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would you recommend doing 5 a-levels?

i'm taking french, biology, chemistry and maths for a levels next year but i really want to also take physics, spanish and further maths so i can't tell if i should do a fifth or not (at least for one term).
Original post by ash.ri
i'm taking french, biology, chemistry and maths for a levels next year but i really want to also take physics, spanish and further maths so i can't tell if i should do a fifth or not (at least for one term).


Taking four A levels is a lot of work. If you think you can take on a fifth then have another long thought about it to be 100% sure, I wouldn't recommend Spanish as you may start getting really stressed having to learn multiple subjects and two languages at once. If you are finding A level maths easy then I would definitely recommend physics or further maths. Make sure that you are 100% certain you are capable of five A level as the added stress will be quite large. Best of luck, hope this helps :smile:
at the end of the day its a personal decision, but i would personally say its not worth it. its so much stress and could lead to a lower performance in your other subjects as a result. also most universities require only 3 alevels so even 4 is sometimes unnecessary. but if you are really set on it maybe try it for a term and drop one if you’re feeling like its too much
Reply 3
the thing is i'm currently doing french and spanish for gcses and i'm really loving both of them. taking four a levels isn't a big deal for me as it's the norm in my school and we all have to take four, the only problem is that means i won't have any frees. physics seems really interesting for biomedical engineering as i met an alumni the other day and her job was really fascinating so i can't tell what i should do.
Original post by ash.ri
the thing is i'm currently doing french and spanish for gcses and i'm really loving both of them. taking four a levels isn't a big deal for me as it's the norm in my school and we all have to take four, the only problem is that means i won't have any frees. physics seems really interesting for biomedical engineering as i met an alumni the other day and her job was really fascinating so i can't tell what i should do.

Hi @ash.ri

I studied four A Levels, including a language, and managed to fit all four subjects into my timetable while also not feeling too overwhelmed by the amount if work. As you're taking two languages for GCSE you seem more than capable of studying five A Levels, but maybe consider if it's worth sticking to four so that you can invest more time in those four subjects? You also don't want to burn out, especially as A Levels are a step up from GCSEs, so maybe have a think about whether studying five subjects will compromise some of your free time.

Is it possible to begin your A Levels, taking five subjects and if you feel like it's too unmanageable, to drop a subject later on in the year? I know this was an option at my sixth form, and it wouldn't be a waste of time, as you could at least try studying five subjects...

Best of luck with your GCSEs, and whatever you decide I'm sure will be right for you.

Emily
Student Ambassador at BCU
No (that was easy)
Reply 6
Original post by ash.ri
i'm taking french, biology, chemistry and maths for a levels next year but i really want to also take physics, spanish and further maths so i can't tell if i should do a fifth or not (at least for one term).


No, hopefully your school will persuade this this is foolish. What do you want to study at unii?
Reply 7
Wouldn't recommend, 4 a-levels is already lots if work and stress on top of it all.
Definitely not.

Also, I don't mean to alarm you, but A-Level languages are a LOT harder than GCSE languages.

I, too, did French and Spanish GCSEs. Got an A* in French and an A in Spanish.
Massive shock to the system doing them both for A-Levels though. Ended up with Cs in both, and I had to resit French to get it up to a B.

Meanwhile I took GCSE Italian at the same time alongside A-Levels and got an A in it.

Studying 5 subjects, two of them being French and Spanish... I hate to say it but it's just not terribly realistic. It's also absolutely unnecessary.

Just do 3. Seriously, you do not need more.
Original post by ash.ri
i'm taking french, biology, chemistry and maths for a levels next year but i really want to also take physics, spanish and further maths so i can't tell if i should do a fifth or not (at least for one term).

Biology has a lot of content to learn, the core practicals can be a lot of work, I sometimes struggle with the workload of it and I only do three A-levels. I know Chemistry and Maths are also a lot of work, and although quite a few people take 4 A-levels with those subjects it is still a lot of work and 5 A-levels is not necessary for any course (nor is 4 A-levels for that matter). I know a lot of sixth forms would not allow you to take that many A-levels because it would leave you with very little time outside of lessons (in school hours) to complete the work.
Original post by ash.ri
the only problem is that means i won't have any frees


It isn't the only problem. You'll also have more demands on your time outside of school (including homework), which in turn means less time (both in school and out) to do other things such as sports, spending time with friends and pursuing other interests, as well as just having down time. Those other things are really important. The fact that you physically may be capable of doing five A-Levels does not mean that it is a good idea. Irrespective of whether or not you manage to complete them with the grades that you want, you will simply have to sacrifice too many elements of the other aspects of your life. It's just not worth it.

It's really great that you have so many interests and so many subjects that you want to pursue. That is a good problem to have, but you do now need to choose between them. Studying five A-Levels would absolutely be a mistake regardless of who you are.
A lot of my friends do bio chem maths and even with just three they find its a lot of work (but they are also very high achieving students so put a lot of time into studies). I do 4 subjects and find its manageable and I have time for other things too, but again I do have to stay on top of everything and it can be tough. In my opinion, 5 subjects are possible but it could come with the risk of compromising your grades at the end if you can't dedicate enough time to each subject. I think unis probably prefer 4 (or 3) with good grades over 5 where you haven't done as well. But obviously I'm saying this not knowing how you work, and you may well be capable of taking 5 subjects and do really well in all of them. Just think if its necessary though
Reply 12
Original post by ash.ri
i'm taking french, biology, chemistry and maths for a levels next year but i really want to also take physics, spanish and further maths so i can't tell if i should do a fifth or not (at least for one term).

Heya!
5 alvls is definitely too much! Try sticking to 3-4 if possible. It is a lot of work and stress + unis just require 3 alvls :h: What are you thinking of doing in the future? What are the entry requirements?

I hope this helps!
Milena
UCL PFE
Study Mind

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