The Student Room Group

Taking 5 A-levels

Hey, I want to know what people think about if it's possible to take 5 A-levels? Well I know it's possible actually, but is there anyone here who has can give insight?

I want to take Maths, Further Maths, French, Physics and Chemistry. I have 9s in these subjects and I genuinely love them, but I'm hesitant as in my school I think that means I'd get no free periods as we get 5 periods per day, and 1 subject every day so most people end up with 2 frees.

None of the subjects I want to take have coursework, but I know they'd be a lot of effort. The thing is though, I genuinely have passion for all of these. If I end up not doing 5, then I'd not take Chemistry as I considered that subject for A-level the latest, but I really love the subject so I'm unsure. Would it be better to start off with 5 and then just drop one if it all becomes too much for me?

I want to go to MIT in America by the way, so taking 5 A-levels wouldn't be for nought if I get 5 A*s then that puts me at an advantage in American applications as American schools take rigorous workload into consideration and I'd get the advantage over most the other UK applicants as the majority take 3 A-levels. However, I also am unsure how possible it is to get 5 A*s. I've heard of it before, but not from my school at least.

Also, I don't want anyone saying "it's a stupid idea don't even think about it", I want some actual advice on why I should or shouldn't take it.
Original post by physicschemgal
Hey, I want to know what people think about if it's possible to take 5 A-levels? Well I know it's possible actually, but is there anyone here who has can give insight?

I want to take Maths, Further Maths, French, Physics and Chemistry. I have 9s in these subjects and I genuinely love them, but I'm hesitant as in my school I think that means I'd get no free periods as we get 5 periods per day, and 1 subject every day so most people end up with 2 frees.

None of the subjects I want to take have coursework, but I know they'd be a lot of effort. The thing is though, I genuinely have passion for all of these. If I end up not doing 5, then I'd not take Chemistry as I considered that subject for A-level the latest, but I really love the subject so I'm unsure. Would it be better to start off with 5 and then just drop one if it all becomes too much for me?

I want to go to MIT in America by the way, so taking 5 A-levels wouldn't be for nought if I get 5 A*s then that puts me at an advantage in American applications as American schools take rigorous workload into consideration and I'd get the advantage over most the other UK applicants as the majority take 3 A-levels. However, I also am unsure how possible it is to get 5 A*s. I've heard of it before, but not from my school at least.

Also, I don't want anyone saying "it's a stupid idea don't even think about it", I want some actual advice on why I should or shouldn't take it.


I take 4 a levels including maths and chemistry (and biology and econ!)

I am applying for cambridge so am trying to do lots of supercurriculars etc and have to say- I have zero free time and sometimes things get a bit stressful!

I got straight 9s at GCSE and I’m enjoying the a level content - Chemistry is certainly my most difficult subject.

Maths at the moment is completely fine for me and takes up the least amount of study time and revision etc, however I know that it is expected to get a lot more difficult for year 13. However, if you’re taking both maths and further maths- perhaps this means you have slightly less revision to do than if you were taking 2 other subjects if that makes sense.

If you start off with five, you can always drop one but from my point of view, I certainly would not be able to manage 5. (I also do an EPQ which I have had very little time to devote to as of yet). Whatever you choose- good luck!
Original post by physicschemgal
Hey, I want to know what people think about if it's possible to take 5 A-levels? Well I know it's possible actually, but is there anyone here who has can give insight?

I want to take Maths, Further Maths, French, Physics and Chemistry. I have 9s in these subjects and I genuinely love them, but I'm hesitant as in my school I think that means I'd get no free periods as we get 5 periods per day, and 1 subject every day so most people end up with 2 frees.

None of the subjects I want to take have coursework, but I know they'd be a lot of effort. The thing is though, I genuinely have passion for all of these. If I end up not doing 5, then I'd not take Chemistry as I considered that subject for A-level the latest, but I really love the subject so I'm unsure. Would it be better to start off with 5 and then just drop one if it all becomes too much for me?

I want to go to MIT in America by the way, so taking 5 A-levels wouldn't be for nought if I get 5 A*s then that puts me at an advantage in American applications as American schools take rigorous workload into consideration and I'd get the advantage over most the other UK applicants as the majority take 3 A-levels. However, I also am unsure how possible it is to get 5 A*s. I've heard of it before, but not from my school at least.

Also, I don't want anyone saying "it's a stupid idea don't even think about it", I want some actual advice on why I should or shouldn't take it.

I doubt most sixth forms or colleges would allow you to take 5 A-levels. I do not know anything about how A-levels translate into US university places so I can't help you with that. I only take 3 A-levels along with EPQ and even that is a lot of work, and doing 5 A-levels I think you would put yourself at a significant risk of burning yourself out.
In all honesty I think you would be better trying 4 + prep for ACT/SAT. They also ask for 4 fairly substantial extra-curriculars.

Useful links:

MIT > International applicants

MIT > What to do in High school
Original post by physicschemgal
Hey, I want to know what people think about if it's possible to take 5 A-levels? Well I know it's possible actually, but is there anyone here who has can give insight?

I want to take Maths, Further Maths, French, Physics and Chemistry. I have 9s in these subjects and I genuinely love them, but I'm hesitant as in my school I think that means I'd get no free periods as we get 5 periods per day, and 1 subject every day so most people end up with 2 frees.

None of the subjects I want to take have coursework, but I know they'd be a lot of effort. The thing is though, I genuinely have passion for all of these. If I end up not doing 5, then I'd not take Chemistry as I considered that subject for A-level the latest, but I really love the subject so I'm unsure. Would it be better to start off with 5 and then just drop one if it all becomes too much for me?

I want to go to MIT in America by the way, so taking 5 A-levels wouldn't be for nought if I get 5 A*s then that puts me at an advantage in American applications as American schools take rigorous workload into consideration and I'd get the advantage over most the other UK applicants as the majority take 3 A-levels. However, I also am unsure how possible it is to get 5 A*s. I've heard of it before, but not from my school at least.

Also, I don't want anyone saying "it's a stupid idea don't even think about it", I want some actual advice on why I should or shouldn't take it.

Heya!
I took 5 alvls to begin with - worst mistake of my life! There was so much work it got extremely overwhelming very quickly which affected my grades and my well-being. I dropped the 5th alvl and stuck with 4 which immediately improved my grades, it was still too much but it was better than having 5. Unis just need 3 alvls typically and for top unis A*A*A* is much more impressive than AABBA :h: Don't underestimate a-level content, there is a lot to cover and understand!

I hope this helps!
Milena
UCL PFE
Study Mind
Reply 5
Original post by username6079303
Hey, I want to know what people think about if it's possible to take 5 A-levels? Well I know it's possible actually, but is there anyone here who has can give insight?

I want to take Maths, Further Maths, French, Physics and Chemistry. I have 9s in these subjects and I genuinely love them, but I'm hesitant as in my school I think that means I'd get no free periods as we get 5 periods per day, and 1 subject every day so most people end up with 2 frees.

None of the subjects I want to take have coursework, but I know they'd be a lot of effort. The thing is though, I genuinely have passion for all of these. If I end up not doing 5, then I'd not take Chemistry as I considered that subject for A-level the latest, but I really love the subject so I'm unsure. Would it be better to start off with 5 and then just drop one if it all becomes too much for me?

I want to go to MIT in America by the way, so taking 5 A-levels wouldn't be for nought if I get 5 A*s then that puts me at an advantage in American applications as American schools take rigorous workload into consideration and I'd get the advantage over most the other UK applicants as the majority take 3 A-levels. However, I also am unsure how possible it is to get 5 A*s. I've heard of it before, but not from my school at least.

Also, I don't want anyone saying "it's a stupid idea don't even think about it", I want some actual advice on why I should or shouldn't take it.

How high of a grade 9 only go forward if 95% ums at least bro

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