The Student Room Group

Spanish or Psychology A-level

Hi, does anyone do Spanish or Psychology A-level? If so, could you please give me a detailed insight about the content you learn and whether you are finding it difficult?
I am currently in Year 11 and am planning to do Chemistry, biology and maths A-level, but I want to take another subject that I really enjoy (which would be either Spanish or psychology because I enjoy both a lot).
What is the workload like?
Did you enjoy it?
Can I still be able to get an A/A* in Spanish A-level despite not being a native speaker?...
(btw I am predicted 9s in both spanish and psychology - not sure if it makes much difference because I heard that the step-up is very high from GCSE to A-Level).
Honestly, I want to take a subject that won't affect my other 3 subjects too much. What would you think is best?

Scroll to see replies

What are your other A level choices?

What do you see yourself doing after you leave school - if Uni. what subject?
Reply 2
My other A-level choices are Chemistry, Biology and Maths. I want to study medicine at University. I don’t think my fourth option will affect my uni application. I just want to do something I enjoy as a fourth subject at A-level. Whichever one has a lower workload. I would say that I am really good at picking up new vocabulary in Spanish and I am good at all the 4 components (writing, reading, listening and speaking) at GCSE level, so I feel like it may be less stressful compared to psychology which i have heard, has a very large workload with a lot of content. I enjoy both psychology and Spanish a lot so i want to choose whichever one would be “easier” i.e a lower workload, so it doesn't affect my main three subjects.

Original post by McGinger
What are your other A level choices?

What do you see yourself doing after you leave school - if Uni. what subject?
Original post by Heba.R
My other A-level choices are Chemistry, Biology and Maths. I want to study medicine at University. I don’t think my fourth option will affect my uni application. I just want to do something I enjoy as a fourth subject at A-level.

You dont need 4 A levels - no-one does.

Here are the entry requirements for each UK Med School - https://www.medschools.ac.uk/media/2951/entry-requirements-document-2023-entry.pdf

Taking 3 STEM subjects will be hard work and you do not need to have the added stress of Psych on top of that - you are risking all your grades. So, either forget any idea of a 4th subject or take Spanish to AS level and drop it after that to focus on the all important 3 grades. Remember, AAA is always going to look better that ABBB - and that could cost you a place at Med School.
Reply 4
I am aware that med school does not require 4 A-levels. I just want to do an AS-level beside my main three. So does that mean you would recommend me to do Spanish AS rather than psychology AS?




Original post by McGinger
You dont need 4 A levels - no-one does.

Here are the entry requirements for each UK Med School - https://www.medschools.ac.uk/media/2951/entry-requirements-document-2023-entry.pdf

Taking 3 STEM subjects will be hard work and you do not need to have the added stress of Psych on top of that - you are risking all your grades. So, either forget any idea of a 4th subject or take Spanish to AS level and drop it after that to focus on the all important 3 grades. Remember, AAA is always going to look better that ABBB - and that could cost you a place at Med School.
Original post by Heba.R
Hi, does anyone do Spanish or Psychology A-level? If so, could you please give me a detailed insight about the content you learn and whether you are finding it difficult?
I am currently in Year 11 and am planning to do Chemistry, biology and maths A-level, but I want to take another subject that I really enjoy (which would be either Spanish or psychology because I enjoy both a lot).
What is the workload like?
Did you enjoy it?
Can I still be able to get an A/A* in Spanish A-level despite not being a native speaker?...
(btw I am predicted 9s in both spanish and psychology - not sure if it makes much difference because I heard that the step-up is very high from GCSE to A-Level).
Honestly, I want to take a subject that won't affect my other 3 subjects too much. What would you think is best?

1. Paper 2 for Spanish will be consisting of Spanish essays, that will be based on a novel and film and are only required to be 300 words in Spanish.

2. There is one huge exam for Listening, Reading and Writing worth 50% of the A-Level grade in Paper 1, and most past papers from January 2009 are similar to the questions, so you can practice a lot too. :smile:

3. The third paper, is a Oral and Independent Research Project. It is a topic of your choice which you will be asked to to speak about for several minutes to an examiner or your teacher. It is worth 30% and can boost your grade from a B to an A*?! :biggrin: lol

All in all, language A-Levels have got easier, but it is still hard work.

Don't listen to those people who say 4A-Levels won't get you ahead. If you get A*ABA* in Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Spanish, then your Spanish A* grade will be considered by medical schools. :wink:

I would not do Psychology, as there is far too much to learn and boring essays too. :frown: lol :smile:
Reply 6
Omg. Thank you so much. This has helped a lot. Very inspirational lol. So what would be the difference between Spanish AS and Spanish A-level?
Would i still need to do the research project?



Original post by thegeek888
1. Paper 2 for Spanish will be consisting of Spanish essays, that will be based on a novel and film and are only required to be 300 words in Spanish.

2. There is one huge exam for Listening, Reading and Writing worth 50% of the A-Level grade in Paper 1, and most past papers from January 2009 are similar to the questions, so you can practice a lot too. :smile:

3. The third paper, is a Oral and Independent Research Project. It is a topic of your choice which you will be asked to to speak about for several minutes to an examiner or your teacher. It is worth 30% and can boost your grade from a B to an A*?! :biggrin: lol

All in all, language A-Levels have got easier, but it is still hard work.

Don't listen to those people who say 4A-Levels won't get you ahead. If you get A*ABA* in Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Spanish, then your Spanish A* grade will be considered by medical schools. :wink:

I would not do Psychology, as there is far too much to learn and boring essays too. :frown: lol :smile:
Original post by Heba.R
Omg. Thank you so much. This has helped a lot. Very inspirational lol. So what would be the difference between Spanish AS and Spanish A-level?
Would i still need to do the research project?

Inshallah you consider the FULL A-LEVEL, because you could study Medicine in Spanish speaking countries. :wink:

There is no Individual Research Project in AS-Level, but the novel and film are exactly the same.

The following is from the AS AQA SPANISH SPECIFICATION:

Paper 3: Speaking
What's assessed

One sub-theme from Aspects of Hispanic society and one sub-theme from Artistic culture in the Hispanic world.

How it's assessed

Oral exam: 12–14 minutes
60 marks
30% of AS
Questions

Discussion of two sub-themes (6–7 minutes on each) with the discussion based on a stimulus card for each sub-theme. The student studies the cards for 15 minutes before the test begins.

No access to a dictionary during the assessment or during the preparation time.

Students may take the assessment only once before certification.
Reply 8
Thank you. Are you currently a sixth form student? If so, what subjects do you do?



Original post by thegeek888
Inshallah you consider the FULL A-LEVEL, because you could study Medicine in Spanish speaking countries. :wink:

There is no Individual Research Project in AS-Level, but the novel and film are exactly the same.

The following is from the AS AQA SPANISH SPECIFICATION:

Paper 3: Speaking
What's assessed

One sub-theme from Aspects of Hispanic society and one sub-theme from Artistic culture in the Hispanic world.

How it's assessed

Oral exam: 12–14 minutes
60 marks
30% of AS
Questions

Discussion of two sub-themes (6–7 minutes on each) with the discussion based on a stimulus card for each sub-theme. The student studies the cards for 15 minutes before the test begins.

No access to a dictionary during the assessment or during the preparation time.

Students may take the assessment only once before certification.
Reply 9
Also, kind of out of context, but how are you finding Ramadan? 😄



Original post by Heba.R
Thank you. Are you currently a sixth form student? If so, what subjects do you do?
Original post by thegeek888
If you get A*ABA* in Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Spanish, then your Spanish A* grade will be considered by medical schools.

If the offer is for 3 STEM subjects - as required by some Med Schools - the A level in Spanish will be entirely ignored.

If the offer is AAA and you get ABBB because you wasted time and effort doing an extra A level that you never needed, you wont have a place at Med School.
Original post by thegeek888
1. Paper 2 for Spanish will be consisting of Spanish essays, that will be based on a novel and film and are only required to be 300 words in Spanish.

2. There is one huge exam for Listening, Reading and Writing worth 50% of the A-Level grade in Paper 1, and most past papers from January 2009 are similar to the questions, so you can practice a lot too. :smile:

3. The third paper, is a Oral and Independent Research Project. It is a topic of your choice which you will be asked to to speak about for several minutes to an examiner or your teacher. It is worth 30% and can boost your grade from a B to an A*?! :biggrin: lol

All in all, language A-Levels have got easier, but it is still hard work.

Don't listen to those people who say 4A-Levels won't get you ahead. If you get A*ABA* in Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Spanish, then your Spanish A* grade will be considered by medical schools. :wink:

I would not do Psychology, as there is far too much to learn and boring essays too. :frown: lol :smile:


Only if the med school doesn't want Biology at A level (and many do), or doesn't say your A* much be in chem or bio, as some do.

The 4th A level (or AS level) will not count at almost all med schools, but if they require biology A level, then in your example abouve, they would consider it A*AB and that would not be acceptable for most places - even those that accept A*AB usually ask for the A* to be in chem or bio.

@Heba.R as pointed out, there are only perhaps 2 med schools where a 4th AS or A level gain you any advantage (by reducing offers by 1 grade), so take whichever one you feel is least likely to affect your chances of getting at least AA in chem and bio - the 3rd A subject is essentially irrelevant and maths, Psychology or Spanish would be fine everywhere except Cambridge (who favour 3 stem subjects). Which subject that is likely to be is surely down to your personal aptitudes, which nobody on here can know, so I would have thought your teachers were the ones to be talking to about this
Original post by McGinger
If the offer is for 3 STEM subjects - as required by some Med Schools - the A level in Spanish will be entirely ignored.

If the offer is AAA and you get ABBB because you wasted time and effort doing an extra A level that you never needed, you wont have a place at Med School.

But, Heba is very bright, and will get A*A*AA or greater with ease.

Also, so many applicants from grammar and private schools have 4 A-Levels and some 5 or 6 A-Levels. Just take a look at the statistics for Cambridge and Oxford? :smile:

61.7% of applicants taking A-levels were doing/had done 3 A-levels, 32.2% were doing 4 A-levels and approx. 3.4% were doing 5 or more A-levels (though not necessarily all being completed in one academic year).


20.7% of applicants offered alternative qualifications, the most popular of which was the IB (10.1%), with US qualifications (SAT subject tests/AP tests), Canadian qualifications, the Singaporean SIPCAL, and Scottish Advanced Highers representing the next most popular options. 11.7% of applicants who were shortlisted and 8.6% of applicants with an offer studied for qualifications other than A-levels (including the IB).

https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/medicine/pre-clinical/statistics#:~:text=61.7%25%20of%20applicants%20taking%20A,completed%20in%20one%20academic%20year).
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by thegeek888
But, Heba is very bright, and will get A*A*AA or greater with ease.

Also, so many applicants from grammar and private schools have 4 A-Levels and some 5 or 6 A-Levels. Just take a look at the statistics for Cambridge and Oxford? :smile:


But 4, 5 or 6 A levels are of no benefit in getting shortlisted or an offer for medicine. Plus with UCAT, BMAT (or replacement), work experience and interview prep there is a lot to juggle in Yr 13 and we see many people every year who end up with AABB and regret that 4th A level.
OP should do whatever A levels they wish, but not in the mistaken belief it will improve chances of a place for medicine and not if it jeopardises them getting AAA or better
Original post by Heba.R
Also, kind of out of context, but how are you finding Ramadan? 😄

Taraweeh prayer is difficult with the wet weather and is very long too. :frown: But it is not that hot, it is quite cool weather wise, so bearable for the day. I eat enough in the mornings to not get hungry til 4pm. :smile: lol How about you?
Original post by GANFYD
But 4, 5 or 6 A levels are of no benefit in getting shortlisted or an offer for medicine. Plus with UCAT, BMAT (or replacement), work experience and interview prep there is a lot to juggle in Yr 13 and we see many people every year who end up with AABB and regret that 4th A level.
OP should do whatever A levels they wish, but not in the mistaken belief it will improve chances of a place for medicine and not if it jeopardises them getting AAA or better

For OXFORD UNIVERSITY ADMISSIONS:

61.7% of applicants taking A-levels were doing/had done 3 A-levels, 32.2% were doing 4 A-levels and approx. 3.4% were doing 5 or more A-levels (though not necessarily all being completed in one academic year).

20.7% of applicants offered alternative qualifications, the most popular of which was the IB (10.1%), with US qualifications (SAT subject tests/AP tests), Canadian qualifications, the Singaporean SIPCAL, and Scottish Advanced Highers representing the next most popular options. 11.7% of applicants who were shortlisted and 8.6% of applicants with an offer studied for qualifications other than A-levels (including the IB).
Original post by thegeek888
For OXFORD UNIVERSITY ADMISSIONS:

61.7% of applicants taking A-levels were doing/had done 3 A-levels, 32.2% were doing 4 A-levels and approx. 3.4% were doing 5 or more A-levels (though not necessarily all being completed in one academic year).

20.7% of applicants offered alternative qualifications, the most popular of which was the IB (10.1%), with US qualifications (SAT subject tests/AP tests), Canadian qualifications, the Singaporean SIPCAL, and Scottish Advanced Highers representing the next most popular options. 11.7% of applicants who were shortlisted and 8.6% of applicants with an offer studied for qualifications other than A-levels (including the IB).

I am not sure what you are trying to show with that? It just goes to show that >3 A levels are not needed for an application, nor an offer?
I'm guessing >61.7% of them are right handed, but that also has no bearing on the chances of an offer.

As I say, OP should do 4 A levels if they want, but they will add no benefit to an application at almost all med schools, and even then, will just reduce the offer by 1 grade from the standard
Reply 17
Yeah same. It’s definitely much more bearable compared to the past few years. I remember when it was really hot like 4 years ago. Honestly, I really enjoy this time of the year, getting to form a stronger connection to Allah through prayers and fasting, but also because of all the delicious food we eat at Iftar. I am really excited for Eid. Unfortunately my GCSEs are right around the corner, so I won’t be able to enjoy myself as much as I usually do, but Eid is still very special.



Original post by thegeek888
Taraweeh prayer is difficult with the wet weather and is very long too. :frown: But it is not that hot, it is quite cool weather wise, so bearable for the day. I eat enough in the mornings to not get hungry til 4pm. :smile: lol How about you?
Reply 18
As I said before, I am aware that there is not much (if any) added benefit for a 4th A-level. That is my choice whether I want to do one or not and I am very aware of how difficult it may be. However, if the subject is something that I really enjoy, I don’t see any problem with doing it. Plus I may drop it after AS level. But again, that is a decision I can make in the future. I only created this thread to find out what others think may be better, Spanish or Psychology. For now, I am leaning towards Spanish.

Original post by GANFYD
I am not sure what you are trying to show with that? It just goes to show that >3 A levels are not needed for an application, nor an offer?
I'm guessing >61.7% of them are right handed, but that also has no bearing on the chances of an offer.

As I say, OP should do 4 A levels if they want, but they will add no benefit to an application at almost all med schools, and even then, will just reduce the offer by 1 grade from the standard
Original post by thegeek888
For OXFORD UNIVERSITY ADMISSIONS:

61.7% of applicants taking A-levels were doing/had done 3 A-levels, 32.2% were doing 4 A-levels and approx. 3.4% were doing 5 or more A-levels (though not necessarily all being completed in one academic year).


This does not mean they were accepted BECAUSE they had 4 or 5 A levels or, clearly, that they took them all in Year 13.

For Med, 4 A levels including FM is not uncommon, but it does not mean that is what you have to take to get into Med - or that is a good idea,

Quick Reply

Latest