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staylor
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#1
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I am halfway through my second year of GCSE's and need o choose my A levels. I want to do 5 but dont know if this would be too much work. These 5 would be:

Physics
Biology
Chemistry
Maths
IT AVCE (second year)

I would intend to carry all of them to A2, although I would finish the IT in the first year, leaving only four A2s in the second year (I am already halfway through the IT)

Has anybody had any experience and could help me - would this be too hard?
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smallthoms
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It's certainly possible but it will depend on your commitment.
How are you coping at GCSE and what grades are you likely to get? It definitely isn't a concrete way of predicting how you'll do at A-Level, but it usually gives at least a rough indication.
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staylor
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In mocks before X-mas I got:

Maths - A*
Physics - A*
Chemistry - A
Biology - A*
IT - no idea, our teacher is NOT big on marking


Mainly it is the amount of work I am worried about. I dont want to become really stressed or anything.
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Gaz031
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Have you considered further maths?
Are you sure you want to do year 2 of ICT? Don't you find it tedious?
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smallthoms
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(Original post by staylor)
In mocks before X-mas I got:

Maths - A*
Physics - A*
Chemistry - A
Biology - A*
IT - no idea, our teacher is NOT big on marking


Mainly it is the amount of work I am worried about. I dont want to become really stressed or anything.
They're excellent grades so if you work hard you should be ok ability-wise. No-one can predict how well you'll cope so the best thing you can do is probably to take all 5 and drop 1 or 2 if you're struggling later on.
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staylor
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(Original post by smallthoms)
No-one can predict how well you'll cope so the best thing you can do is probably to take all 5 and drop 1 or 2 if you're struggling later on.
Good idea - thanks

I have thought about further maths but it is not a biggie at my school, and Im not sure if its really for me. I shall perhaps enquire further though...

And in answer to Gaz031, I dont find the IT too bad. Only the spreadsheets (unit 3) are really dragging on (curse that techical documentation, it never ends). The other bits have been alright (even the unit 2 exam I hope).
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Zarathustra
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I did 5 AS levels last year, carried on 4 to A2 and did an extra AS this year.

It was loads of work, and tbh I'm not sure if it was worth it - it looks cool, but unis still won't make offers based on more than 4. So consider how much work it'll be, how much you love the subjects (it'll have to be lots otherwise you just won't be motivated), and how much of a social life you want.

My school wouldn't let me do 5, so I had to do Biology as a one-lesson-a-week evening class at a local college - teaching was **** and we only covered just over two-thirds of the AS syllabus before the exams. Not good. You're going to be able to do them all on timetable, right?

ZarathustraX
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staylor
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(Original post by Zarathustra)
I did 5 AS levels last year, carried on 4 to A2 and did an extra AS this year.

It was loads of work, and tbh I'm not sure if it was worth it - it looks cool, but unis still won't make offers based on more than 4. So consider how much work it'll be, how much you love the subjects (it'll have to be lots otherwise you just won't be motivated), and how much of a social life you want.

My school wouldn't let me do 5, so I had to do Biology as a one-lesson-a-week evening class at a local college - teaching was **** and we only covered just over two-thirds of the AS syllabus before the exams. Not good. You're going to be able to do them all on timetable, right?

ZarathustraX
I should be able to do all the subjects on timetable. I do enjoy them all, and my school seems to have reasonable teachers


What 5 subjects did you do - were they anything like the ones Im interested in? How did anybody else cope?
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kellywood_5
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Well, I'm doing 4 AS-levels at the moment (see sig for subjects) and I'm finding it a lot of work, but then I have to spend a lot of time on reading and essays. For science subjects, although they're hard and you need to spend time on practice questions etc, I would say they don't require quite as much time and natural ability plays a bigger part. From the sounds of your mock GCSE results, you certainly have that, so you might find it OK. I did AVCE ICT (single award) when I was doing my GCSEs as well and had to spend a lot of time on it. It didn't help that I also found it quite boring. I'd say take on all 5 to start with, otherwise you might regret only taking 4 later on, but if it gets too much, drop one. If you're thinking of applying to top unis, it might be worth bearing in mind that AVCEs aren't as respected as A-levels, so it may be a good idea to drop the ICT. Obviously it depends on your preferred subjects though and the ones you're best at.
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staylor
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Great advice thanks.

Ill look into the choices more and see how the subjects compare. I think Ill also ask about further maths - can anybody here tell me about that?
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Zarathustra
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(Original post by staylor)
What 5 subjects did you do - were they anything like the ones Im interested in? How did anybody else cope?
English Literature
Psychology
Sociology
Religious Studies
Biology

Wish I had done more maths-y things as well. Maybe instead of psych 'cause that's pants (the way it's taught at my school).

ZarathustraX

EDIT:

(Original post by Staylor)
Mainly it is the amount of work I am worried about. I dont want to become really stressed or anything.
Yeah I was well stressed all year - I thrive on stress though, if I don't have too much to do then I don't do anything. Go figure
Tbh for the last half of the year I was doing it out of sheer pigheadedness because teachers kept accusing me of having breakdowns and suggesting I could drop the evening course. All seems very worth it on results day though, even if it doesn't the rest of the time. But as I said, think about stress and social life and see how you feel.
I'd second whoever told you to start and then drop if necessary, but if you're anything like as stupid as me you Just.Wouldn't.Drop...
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F1 fanatic
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Now 5 subjects including Further Maths would be pushing it. You only need it if you want to do something maths based. Otherwise I think the workload should be ok but up to you. To be honest Unis only ever ask for 4 & more often 3. So if your doing it for that reason I wouldnt bother. If you enjoy it though then go for it. You can always pull out if it gets too nasty.

Good Luck
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staylor
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Great advice y'all, thanks muchly. I shall take it all into account when I filnally decide what to do

Dont know what I would have done without this help - I suppose could have *shudder* asked a careers adviser or something (forgive me if you are one or anything like that)

Please keep posting - information is probably the fruit of success or something metaphorically similar :p:
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joshdajoker
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instead of choosing your A-levels choose the degree you want. I found it was so much easier when you consider your uni placement before choosing your A-levels.

I would also only choose 4 A-levels. You seem like someone who would do a University degree and A-levels would only be the icing on the cake when it comes to getting a job once you have a degree.

My personal opinion would be to drop a science and IT if you onyl wanted 3 A-levels.
If you wanted 4 I would drop just IT. IT is a joke and it requires no more skills than the average computer enthusiast. and you certainly dont need it for any degree course.
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Alice2411
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(Original post by staylor)
I am halfway through my second year of GCSE's and need o choose my A levels. I want to do 5 but dont know if this would be too much work. These 5 would be:

Physics
Biology
Chemistry
Maths
IT AVCE (second year)

I would intend to carry all of them to A2, although I would finish the IT in the first year, leaving only four A2s in the second year (I am already halfway through the IT)

Has anybody had any experience and could help me - would this be too hard?
ud have to be a complete nutter!! i do 5 alevels and its really difficult although one of them is just general studies. i do phyiscs and biology and they are a lot of work and iv heard chem maths and IT are as wel.. good luck my dear.
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Jonah Ramone
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It is very hard to do 5 A-levels. Alot of people myself included, start with 5 then drop one or two, so I'd try to avoid it. But it's your decision and it depends how committed to the work you are.
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ryan750
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im doing 4 this year - wel 5 really because i am doing an as an a2 in the same year (maths - yeah im crazy). im doin bio, chem, physics and maths AT a2 + maths AS. THEN NEXT YEAR IM GONNA DO FURTHER MATHS - SO IM DOIN 5 OVER 3 YEARS BUT THE WORKLOAD IS EFFECTIVELY FOR 5 THIS YEAR. IT IS ALOT AND I AM STARTING TO WORRY BOUT HOW MUCH I GOTTA DO - BUT IT IS JUST FEBRUARY SO I GOT PLENTY OF TIME IF I START WORKING HARDER NOW. - I BELIEVE THAT IT IS DEF POSSIBLE. I WOULD ONLY BOTHER DOIN 5 IF U WERE GONNA APPLY TRO OXBRIDGE UNLESS YOU REALLY HAVE A PASSION FOR UR SUBJECTS.
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staylor
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I would be interested on applying to Oxbridge or other top Unis.

I really do like the sciences and maths, but thanks for the feedback - I've more or less decided against further maths for definite now. It really does look hard!!!

Chemistry is perhaps the most doubtful one - what is it like (my school does the Nuffield course)
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trev
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If you have or don't have further maths, you still get the offer.
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Create
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Heya! I did 5 A-Levels, and although it was a lot of hard work, I was really pleased I did it. I did loads of extracurricular stuff too, so was really, really busy. However, if you've got the motivation and want to go for it, then jump right in. At the end of the day, if you're finding it tough after the first year, then you can always drop one. If you've already done a lot of the ICT course already though, I don't see you'll find it much of a problem. I found Chemistry my hardest A-Level by far, but.. personal preferences etc...
Trying to think of any other advice I could give... I think at the end of the day, you should go for it - if you don't, you might regret it and you can always drop one if you're finding it too much.

Did you find it reasonably ok to get those grades at GCSE or did you really have to work for them?
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