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What is the best choice for my future medicine application

Hello everyone I’m an aspiring medic who is currently in year 12 doing 4 A-Levels in Biology Chemistry Spanish and Maths

I know doing 4 is a lot so I am currently doing my AS Level in Biology but very one keeps telling me that it will hinder my application to medicine but I know that chemistry and maths should be enough as that is what is Atleast required on the Unis I am thinking about (Leeds, MCR etc:smile: I really enjoy biology but I find in terms of time and the quality of the teaching at my school I do a lot of work more independently than my other subjects so I decided to do an AS and I am currently getting good grades in all 4. Also if I drop it how do I explain myself in interviews. What do you guys think, I would appreciate any feedback.
Reply 1
I would personally advise against dropping biology - it’s going to give you quite a steep learning curve once you start your degree and is also likely to result in an offer with a higher grade tariff (check the unis’ websites for this). Not to mention for Leeds, I’m pretty sure you need to do the BMAT and continuing on with biology for A2 will definitely help with that. If I were you I would probably drop either maths or Spanish, whichever you enjoy least.

That said, I come from Northern Ireland where we do an AS in all our A-Level subjects in lower sixth and then sit A2 exams in upper sixth to convert them to the full A-Level, which gives us a lot more flexibility than some of the English schools where you sit everything in upper sixth. So I apologise if I’ve given you this advice only for it to be pointless.

If your only choice is between dropping biology and doing 4 A-Levels and you’re certain that the medical schools you want to apply to will accept you with AS biology then I would say that it’s just key to come up with an explanation for dropping bio that doesn’t sound critical of your teachers/school (even if the teaching quality is not what you hoped for) and trot that our at interview if they ask.
Best of luck
Original post by AliMousavi05
Hello everyone I’m an aspiring medic who is currently in year 12 doing 4 A-Levels in Biology Chemistry Spanish and Maths

I know doing 4 is a lot so I am currently doing my AS Level in Biology but very one keeps telling me that it will hinder my application to medicine but I know that chemistry and maths should be enough as that is what is Atleast required on the Unis I am thinking about (Leeds, MCR etc:smile: I really enjoy biology but I find in terms of time and the quality of the teaching at my school I do a lot of work more independently than my other subjects so I decided to do an AS and I am currently getting good grades in all 4. Also if I drop it how do I explain myself in interviews. What do you guys think, I would appreciate any feedback.


Hi @AliMousavi05

I hope you are well :smile:

This is a completely personal decision and you should consider what is right for you, what you enjoy and what the universities you are applying to require. I would recommend dropping one A-level if you are finding it stressful as I think A-levels are hard enough with three!

Personally, I would recommend dropping Spanish as I feel Biology, Chemistry and Maths do really well together as an inspiring medic. For example, at Edge Hill we require both Biology and Chemistry for our Medicine course. So, it may be best to keep your options open by continuing with you A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths. Of course this is just my advice and it is important that you take your time to consider what is right for you :smile:

I hope you this is helpful!

Katie - Educational Psychology student
(edited 10 months ago)
Original post by AliMousavi05
Hello everyone I’m an aspiring medic who is currently in year 12 doing 4 A-Levels in Biology Chemistry Spanish and Maths

I know doing 4 is a lot so I am currently doing my AS Level in Biology but very one keeps telling me that it will hinder my application to medicine but I know that chemistry and maths should be enough as that is what is Atleast required on the Unis I am thinking about (Leeds, MCR etc:smile: I really enjoy biology but I find in terms of time and the quality of the teaching at my school I do a lot of work more independently than my other subjects so I decided to do an AS and I am currently getting good grades in all 4. Also if I drop it how do I explain myself in interviews. What do you guys think, I would appreciate any feedback.

Leeds require both chemistry and biology:
https://courses.leeds.ac.uk/5580/medicine-and-surgery-mbchb#entry
Reply 4
Original post by AliMousavi05
Hello everyone I’m an aspiring medic who is currently in year 12 doing 4 A-Levels in Biology Chemistry Spanish and Maths

I know doing 4 is a lot so I am currently doing my AS Level in Biology but very one keeps telling me that it will hinder my application to medicine but I know that chemistry and maths should be enough as that is what is Atleast required on the Unis I am thinking about (Leeds, MCR etc:smile: I really enjoy biology but I find in terms of time and the quality of the teaching at my school I do a lot of work more independently than my other subjects so I decided to do an AS and I am currently getting good grades in all 4. Also if I drop it how do I explain myself in interviews. What do you guys think, I would appreciate any feedback.

Hey! I'm sorry I won't be useful in responding to your question, but I had a few questions, if that's okay! I'm conflicted between taking A Level Spanish or Further Maths as a fourth subject (in addition to Biology Chemistry Maths), or not take a fourth subject at all. I was wondering how you are dealing with taking four subjects, and if you would say Spanish has helped in applications or any other aspect? Thank youu and I'm so sorry again for literally adding no response to your question 😭
Reply 5
Original post by Paddy2005
I would personally advise against dropping biology - it’s going to give you quite a steep learning curve once you start your degree and is also likely to result in an offer with a higher grade tariff (check the unis’ websites for this). Not to mention for Leeds, I’m pretty sure you need to do the BMAT and continuing on with biology for A2 will definitely help with that. If I were you I would probably drop either maths or Spanish, whichever you enjoy least.

That said, I come from Northern Ireland where we do an AS in all our A-Level subjects in lower sixth and then sit A2 exams in upper sixth to convert them to the full A-Level, which gives us a lot more flexibility than some of the English schools where you sit everything in upper sixth. So I apologise if I’ve given you this advice only for it to be pointless.

If your only choice is between dropping biology and doing 4 A-Levels and you’re certain that the medical schools you want to apply to will accept you with AS biology then I would say that it’s just key to come up with an explanation for dropping bio that doesn’t sound critical of your teachers/school (even if the teaching quality is not what you hoped for) and trot that our at interview if they ask.
Best of luck


Leeds is UCAT from this sept.

OP dropping biology is likely to significantly limit the numbers of med schools you can apply to.

4 a levels is not really necessary to apply for medicine but personally it wouldnt be biology or chem that It would be looking to ditch if wanting to.

That said, it is much better to get 3 As than 2 As 2Bs....

Good luck whatever you choose.
Reply 6
Original post by zz.z
Hey! I'm sorry I won't be useful in responding to your question, but I had a few questions, if that's okay! I'm conflicted between taking A Level Spanish or Further Maths as a fourth subject (in addition to Biology Chemistry Maths), or not take a fourth subject at all. I was wondering how you are dealing with taking four subjects, and if you would say Spanish has helped in applications or any other aspect? Thank youu and I'm so sorry again for literally adding no response to your question 😭


Not OP but if this is for medicine check the entry requirements thread to check how many require 4 A levels (I think its zero) and even how many say it will be an advantage (again a very very small number if any as far as I can remeber most say they wont take account of a 4th at all). Check combinations often excluded like biology/human biology etc.

There are also very very few that require Biology / Chemistry and maths. Most want chem/bio or both.

For many the third one is an academic one of your choice (although careful here if doing a modern language one in your native language as this may not always be counted as a third.)

Read the entry requirements doc on thr medical schools council website and see what you think.

Does your school do EPQs in year 13? I have seen several med schools that do a reduced offer if you do 3 A levels and an EPQ when you wouldnt get a reduced offer or preference for 4 A levels. Something to think about.

Good luck.
(edited 10 months ago)
Reply 7
Original post by ageshallnot


Yes, that is a change for this year. They were happy with either plus BMAT, but obviously feel they want the science academics now switching to UCAT
Reply 8
Original post by GGIN
Not OP but if this is for medicine check the entry requirements thread to check how many require 4 A levels (I think its zero) and even how many say it will be an advantage (again a very very small number if any as far as I can remeber most say they wont take account of a 4th at all). Check combinations often excluded like biology/human biology etc.

There are also very very few that require Biology / Chemistry and maths. Most want chem/bio or both.

For many the third one is an academic one of your choice (although careful here if doing a modern language one in your native language as this may not always be counted as a third.)

Read the entry requirements doc on thr medical schools council website and see what you think.

Does your school do EPQs in year 13? I have seen several med schools that do a reduced offer if you do 3 A levels and an EPQ when you wouldnt get a reduced offer or preference for 4 A levels. Something to think about.

Good luck.

Thanks for the reply!! After wanting to do medicine my whole life, I’ve only recently realised I don’t actually know what to do in the future lol so I was hoping that doing bio chem maths spanish would keep my options broad while also allowing me to do medicine if I ever change my mind? Also I just really enjoy all four of those subjects haha
Reply 9
Original post by AliMousavi05
Hello everyone I’m an aspiring medic who is currently in year 12 doing 4 A-Levels in Biology Chemistry Spanish and Maths

I know doing 4 is a lot so I am currently doing my AS Level in Biology but very one keeps telling me that it will hinder my application to medicine but I know that chemistry and maths should be enough as that is what is Atleast required on the Unis I am thinking about (Leeds, MCR etc:smile: I really enjoy biology but I find in terms of time and the quality of the teaching at my school I do a lot of work more independently than my other subjects so I decided to do an AS and I am currently getting good grades in all 4. Also if I drop it how do I explain myself in interviews. What do you guys think, I would appreciate any feedback.


Hi!!
If you are going to drop one, I'd recommend not dropping biology as it'll really help you with the medicine course itself. Drop either maths or spanish, the one you find harder (ignore those people saying that maths is better for a med application as this is absolutely not true!!!).
I did those same 4 a levels when when i was applying and always considered dropping maths.
However, if you still decide that the biology a level isn't for you, then its best to drop it to maximise your chances of 3 As.... thugh it will limit your choice of med unis
hope this helps!!
Reply 10
Original post by Paddy2005
I would personally advise against dropping biology - it’s going to give you quite a steep learning curve once you start your degree and is also likely to result in an offer with a higher grade tariff (check the unis’ websites for this). Not to mention for Leeds, I’m pretty sure you need to do the BMAT and continuing on with biology for A2 will definitely help with that. If I were you I would probably drop either maths or Spanish, whichever you enjoy least.

That said, I come from Northern Ireland where we do an AS in all our A-Level subjects in lower sixth and then sit A2 exams in upper sixth to convert them to the full A-Level, which gives us a lot more flexibility than some of the English schools where you sit everything in upper sixth. So I apologise if I’ve given you this advice only for it to be pointless.

If your only choice is between dropping biology and doing 4 A-Levels and you’re certain that the medical schools you want to apply to will accept you with AS biology then I would say that it’s just key to come up with an explanation for dropping bio that doesn’t sound critical of your teachers/school (even if the teaching quality is not what you hoped for) and trot that our at interview if they ask.
Best of luck

Thank you so much for all your advice and funnily enough Leeds have just changed to a UCAT only university so I believe I do not need to do the BMAT anymore and I think you hit the nail on the head with well if I don’t do it what is my excuse really so I need to think of a valid reason to drop it for interviews but surely if a medical school doesn’t require they wouldn’t scrutinize you at interviews.
Reply 11
Original post by EdgeHillStudents
Hi @AliMousavi05

I hope you are well :smile:

This is a completely personal decision and you should consider what is right for you, what you enjoy and what the universities you are applying to require. I would recommend dropping one A-level if you are finding it stressful as I think A-levels are hard enough with three!

Personally, I would recommend dropping Spanish as I feel Biology, Chemistry and Maths do really well together as an inspiring medic. For example, at Edge Hill we require both Biology and Chemistry for our Medicine course. So, it may be best to keep your options open by continuing with you A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths. Of course this is just my advice and it is important that you take your time to consider what is right for you :smile:

I hope you this is helpful!

Katie - Educational Psychology student


Thank you so much Katie but I believe by doing the combination you suggested it will not stand me out from the crowd as it is such a common combination
Reply 12
Original post by ageshallnot


Original post by zz.z
Hey! I'm sorry I won't be useful in responding to your question, but I had a few questions, if that's okay! I'm conflicted between taking A Level Spanish or Further Maths as a fourth subject (in addition to Biology Chemistry Maths), or not take a fourth subject at all. I was wondering how you are dealing with taking four subjects, and if you would say Spanish has helped in applications or any other aspect? Thank youu and I'm so sorry again for literally adding no response to your question 😭


If you are thinking about medicine do not take further maths as many medical universities do not count maths and further maths as seperate subjects as for Spanish I personally love it because it is a break from all the science and not as hard but it is difficult to revise for and a lot of new vocab. I am dealing quite well with four but everyone advises me to drop one as it is not required.
Reply 13
Original post by Blueowl04
Hi!!
If you are going to drop one, I'd recommend not dropping biology as it'll really help you with the medicine course itself. Drop either maths or spanish, the one you find harder (ignore those people saying that maths is better for a med application as this is absolutely not true!!!).
I did those same 4 a levels when when i was applying and always considered dropping maths.
However, if you still decide that the biology a level isn't for you, then its best to drop it to maximise your chances of 3 As.... thugh it will limit your choice of med unis
hope this helps!!

I do feel like maths is a lot of homework
Original post by AliMousavi05
I do feel like maths is a lot of homework


Being a doctor is a lot of work...
Reply 15
Original post by AliMousavi05
If you are thinking about medicine do not take further maths as many medical universities do not count maths and further maths as seperate subjects as for Spanish I personally love it because it is a break from all the science and not as hard but it is difficult to revise for and a lot of new vocab. I am dealing quite well with four but everyone advises me to drop one as it is not required.

Thank you so much!! I think I'll try out bio chem maths spanish at least for a year and see how it goes. Good luck with your medicine application!

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