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Shall I cancel my A level sociology exams

I am currently self studying my A level Sociology in one year, while also resitting 2 of my A levels last year
Since A levels are coming up my situation is

1) Struggle to balance the workload with all
2) Lack of timed essays at all and havent started past papers on A level sociology - I struggled being fluent in writing essays it took time as well as other commitments with family and the other 2 a levels, I keep getting exhausted and overwhelmed to do one. I blame myself and take full responsibility that I should have disciplined myself more to take action.

3) Struggle to make notes. I blame myself for taking too long to figure out what worked out for me and now I realised its just essay plan notes and thats it. I had been making them but reorganising all of my notes to essay plan notes at this stage is so time consuming, and because of it takes up more time studying Sociology over my other 2 subjects which this time I really want to have a good grade
4) I have a tutor who I send essays to but he takes too long to reply so I am worried with the first exam in 3 months, to send all my essays in time for him to mark and feedback and me to practise/memorise wont be enough

Hence all these factors including exhaustion leads me to think I need to cancel these sociology exams asap
Can anyone give me advice here
(edited 1 year ago)
Hi. I'm sorry that you are feeling so overwhelmed. It is common at this time of year, with exams looming. However, your situation is different to that of "normal" A level learners, which means your options are going to be different.

Firstly, have you applied for university? If yes, presumably any offers you have will be dependent on you completing the three A Levels. This may influence your decisions as to whether you pull out of the Sociology exams this summer. However, that said, if your workload means you don't achieve the grades you need/want, it may be preferable to reapply to university next year, once you know what grades you have (whether with or without Sociology). If you do have offers but do drop Sociology, you will need to inform your universities as you are changing your situation and they need to determine whether this alters your offer from them.

With regards your specific points.
1. Only you know if you are using your time effectively/efficiently. If you are studying for two A level retakes, as well as trying to learner a whole new A Level in one year, whilst also trying to incorporate family/personal commitments, it may very well be that you have too much on your plate and need to reassess workload. The most logical responsibility to drop would be the Sociology, so you can focus on retaking the two A levels you studied last year, maximising the chances of better grades in these. You could then take Sociology next year when you are not studying any other subjects (so presumably would have more time).

2. Sociology is all about the essays! These need to be well-structured, containing the pertinent information/key terms/theories, and written in an academic style all under timed conditions. If you a) don't have the knowledge in your head; b) have not developed the essay writing skills under timed conditions; and, c) don't foresee yourself having the time or support to develop these skills or acquire this knowledge between now and the exams, it may be best to stop Sociology, freeing up time to focus on the other two subjects and maximising your chances of improving your grades.

3. Firstly, take heart. It is great you have worked out the study method that works best for you. However, as mentioned above, if your don't see there being enough time between now and the exams to do all the required work, dropping Sociology may be best to free up time for the other two subjects.

4. You say your tutor is taking ages to send you feedback. Without a timescale, is is difficult to say whether they are failing to respond in a timely manner but hopefully you have a contract and I would suggest you look to see what it says in that about the speed of turnaround of work and supplying you with feedback. If they are failing to meet the expectations of the contract, you could have recourse to ask for some element of a refund, which could be particularly useful if you do decide to drop Sociology, and your contract with the tutor is for a whole year.

Ultimately, only you can decide whether you can rearrange responsibilities to free up more time for your studies. If you determine the workload is too much, I would say pulling out of the Sociology exams for this academic year would be a small tactical retreat that would enable you to maximise your chances of the highest grades possible in your two retakes, leaving you free to take Sociology next year. At this point, you may even be able to get a refund on the exam fees for Sociology (please speak to the Exams department of where you would be sitting the exams to see how this works).

Good luck with it.
It sounds like you have lost your way a bit. We can soon get back on track, though it might take more than one year. Getting back means listening to yourself and your needs. You have other commitments and responsibilities these need tending they loom large and distract. The neighbour round the corner from me needs to sit in here car to get her work done because things are too frenetic in her house. I discovered this when passing one day and thought someone had left their car lights on.

I think you are setting yourself upto fail to be honest. I'm hearing you, that you have already failed to make the grade with these other two exams, and now your repeating the same mistakes with the 'A' level Sociology. It is very expensive purchasing courses and sitting exams and you don't want to lose that investment. However you do need to do well because every success helps build up self-esteem.

We have several option here think of the pro and cons of each.
1. Carry on.
2. Drop Sociology and just do the two retakes.
3. Drop Sociology and just do one of the retakes
4. Drop the lot and have a clean slate.

*If you have not use up your advance learner you maybe able to get upto four A levels funded. Perhaps if you feel so inclined please reveal your career aspiration whatever that might be.
https://www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan
Mine is Medicine though at times I wonder if I ought to train in and adorn Asian Brides at weekends for a £1000.00 a pop. I would need to learn how to do Asian make up, and Henna Art like some of my peers. I have distinctions in Beauty and Holistic therapy but little to not have had this consideration previously in the way common sense. However perhaps it time to listen to my intuition on this matter. It could prove to be a nice little earner that does not take away in the short term from my A levels. In addition it would depend on the structure of the Medical School course if this kind a thing would be a good fit.

I think it might be time for you to use your intuition.

There is more than one way to skin a cat!

Which means there are many ways to do something, there are many ways to achieve a goal
Original post by Pheasant2000
Hi. I'm sorry that you are feeling so overwhelmed. It is common at this time of year, with exams looming. However, your situation is different to that of "normal" A level learners, which means your options are going to be different.

Firstly, have you applied for university? If yes, presumably any offers you have will be dependent on you completing the three A Levels. This may influence your decisions as to whether you pull out of the Sociology exams this summer. However, that said, if your workload means you don't achieve the grades you need/want, it may be preferable to reapply to university next year, once you know what grades you have (whether with or without Sociology). If you do have offers but do drop Sociology, you will need to inform your universities as you are changing your situation and they need to determine whether this alters your offer from them.

With regards your specific points.
1. Only you know if you are using your time effectively/efficiently. If you are studying for two A level retakes, as well as trying to learner a whole new A Level in one year, whilst also trying to incorporate family/personal commitments, it may very well be that you have too much on your plate and need to reassess workload. The most logical responsibility to drop would be the Sociology, so you can focus on retaking the two A levels you studied last year, maximising the chances of better grades in these. You could then take Sociology next year when you are not studying any other subjects (so presumably would have more time).

2. Sociology is all about the essays! These need to be well-structured, containing the pertinent information/key terms/theories, and written in an academic style all under timed conditions. If you a) don't have the knowledge in your head; b) have not developed the essay writing skills under timed conditions; and, c) don't foresee yourself having the time or support to develop these skills or acquire this knowledge between now and the exams, it may be best to stop Sociology, freeing up time to focus on the other two subjects and maximising your chances of improving your grades.

3. Firstly, take heart. It is great you have worked out the study method that works best for you. However, as mentioned above, if your don't see there being enough time between now and the exams to do all the required work, dropping Sociology may be best to free up time for the other two subjects.

4. You say your tutor is taking ages to send you feedback. Without a timescale, is is difficult to say whether they are failing to respond in a timely manner but hopefully you have a contract and I would suggest you look to see what it says in that about the speed of turnaround of work and supplying you with feedback. If they are failing to meet the expectations of the contract, you could have recourse to ask for some element of a refund, which could be particularly useful if you do decide to drop Sociology, and your contract with the tutor is for a whole year.

Ultimately, only you can decide whether you can rearrange responsibilities to free up more time for your studies. If you determine the workload is too much, I would say pulling out of the Sociology exams for this academic year would be a small tactical retreat that would enable you to maximise your chances of the highest grades possible in your two retakes, leaving you free to take Sociology next year. At this point, you may even be able to get a refund on the exam fees for Sociology (please speak to the Exams department of where you would be sitting the exams to see how this works).

Good luck with it.

This is a really good response thank you for your advice. This made me feel better. I will discuss still with my parents on this matter. I am leaning towards dropping Sociology however I wont take it again for next year as I am honestly done for A levels. 4 years would be terrible
I will move on if thats the case. For now Im reanalysing my workload and thinking how to study smarter to scrape even a B in this subject but if I cant find something by the end of the week, I will drop it
Original post by Pheasant2000
Hi. I'm sorry that you are feeling so overwhelmed. It is common at this time of year, with exams looming. However, your situation is different to that of "normal" A level learners, which means your options are going to be different.

Firstly, have you applied for university? If yes, presumably any offers you have will be dependent on you completing the three A Levels. This may influence your decisions as to whether you pull out of the Sociology exams this summer. However, that said, if your workload means you don't achieve the grades you need/want, it may be preferable to reapply to university next year, once you know what grades you have (whether with or without Sociology). If you do have offers but do drop Sociology, you will need to inform your universities as you are changing your situation and they need to determine whether this alters your offer from them.

With regards your specific points.
1. Only you know if you are using your time effectively/efficiently. If you are studying for two A level retakes, as well as trying to learner a whole new A Level in one year, whilst also trying to incorporate family/personal commitments, it may very well be that you have too much on your plate and need to reassess workload. The most logical responsibility to drop would be the Sociology, so you can focus on retaking the two A levels you studied last year, maximising the chances of better grades in these. You could then take Sociology next year when you are not studying any other subjects (so presumably would have more time).

2. Sociology is all about the essays! These need to be well-structured, containing the pertinent information/key terms/theories, and written in an academic style all under timed conditions. If you a) don't have the knowledge in your head; b) have not developed the essay writing skills under timed conditions; and, c) don't foresee yourself having the time or support to develop these skills or acquire this knowledge between now and the exams, it may be best to stop Sociology, freeing up time to focus on the other two subjects and maximising your chances of improving your grades.

3. Firstly, take heart. It is great you have worked out the study method that works best for you. However, as mentioned above, if your don't see there being enough time between now and the exams to do all the required work, dropping Sociology may be best to free up time for the other two subjects.

4. You say your tutor is taking ages to send you feedback. Without a timescale, is is difficult to say whether they are failing to respond in a timely manner but hopefully you have a contract and I would suggest you look to see what it says in that about the speed of turnaround of work and supplying you with feedback. If they are failing to meet the expectations of the contract, you could have recourse to ask for some element of a refund, which could be particularly useful if you do decide to drop Sociology, and your contract with the tutor is for a whole year.

Ultimately, only you can decide whether you can rearrange responsibilities to free up more time for your studies. If you determine the workload is too much, I would say pulling out of the Sociology exams for this academic year would be a small tactical retreat that would enable you to maximise your chances of the highest grades possible in your two retakes, leaving you free to take Sociology next year. At this point, you may even be able to get a refund on the exam fees for Sociology (please speak to the Exams department of where you would be sitting the exams to see how this works).

Good luck with it.


I know I said I am done with A levels after this year but just in case I reconsider. I want to express my feelings about taking the A level Sociology next year. My main worries is
1) I would have taken 4 years to do A levels I am worried how that would look at to unis
2) I am honestly emotionally tired of this cycle. It was a big decision for me to do this in hopes of getting better grades, and it was my fault from the very beginning I picked the wrong subject the first time round which was Physics and found too late to change but got a D. Hence why I decided to do sociology for one year with my retakes because honestly Physics was the reason why I struggled juggling bio and chem the first time round. Now bio and chem is soooooo much better but sociology had no progress so I feel like it might be a repeat of last year except now I got the choice to drop.
3) I feel so behind from my friends if I take another year out to do Sociology, so I am stuck with accepting the fact I will have D for Physics but at least bio and chem is better
4) I have a difficult decision whether to just go with my deferred offer. Foundation year Biomed at Sussex. I wanted to improve and get better grades to do the course I wanted which was medicine (dont worry I no longer want to do this anymore but any other healthcare profession I will be happy) and I was not ready for foundation year course (I am worried with the additional year for student loans), but now I am stuck on what I really want to do in uni honestly. Im glad I deferred my offer because of this situation I am in now but i still dont know whether it will be ok for me to go ahead with it since I have only some interest in it. Hopefully if I do get As in bio and chem I will be happy, but I will be stuck with AAD so it looks like my defered offer is my only option

So yes hence the debate with dropping sociology. Its also whether I should just move on and jump into something and see how it goes in uni :frown:

Sorry for another long response, but this is the thoughts I have in my mind that my parents and I are having problems thinking straight or I may be just overthinking it all again.
Original post by Username159
Thanks but for biology and chemistry I am ok with. they are both OCR by the way but thank you


I am so glad that you've done the right thing for you regarding the Sociology A-level

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