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AS/A-Level Physics or English Lit? I have no idea what to pick.

Okay so just today, I finished my final GCSE exam and I had a chat with my Maths teacher (who's also the Y12 head in my school) about options I applied for. She told me that because I was three of the choices were in the same block, I couldn't do Computer Science, Product Design, Maths or Film Studies (reserve) for 6th form. That was a bit upsetting given that I'd planned to do some work experience for the Design department around July time.

Now I have to decide a combination for September, that includes Comp. Sci. and Maths. However, I'm now stuck on whether I should take Physics or English Lit.

Physics is one of my favourite subjects as I get good grades in it: 7s and 8s at most. For some reason, I love working with equations, numbers and investigating the causes of physical matter. Though I'm not too into the sciencey sort of field, and wouldn't consider myself to be too nerdy 🤓.

Eng. Lit. is what I'm most passionate about, because I've always enjoyed analyses of what I want to read and watch. I've also done theatre work at school, so having Eng. Lit. will always associate me with the arts in some way. However, having the time to read is hard, since it's quite loud at home. The minimum and target grade is 8, but on the last mock it was a 6.

In the future, I see myself as a computer scientist (working towards AI), maybe a writer, but I'm not sure about physicist... Help, what is the best option?
(edited 8 months ago)
Reply 1
Speaking from experience I'd say do English Lit. It's better to do what you enjoy, not necessarily what you're good at. If you find yourself struggling with one of them by the end of the year or regretting your decision, then most colleges/sixth forms allow you to apply for another AS-level for year 2 (as long as you don't mind taking 3 years in college).

Congrats on finishing your exams by the way!
(edited 8 months ago)
Reply 2
Original post by EN62938
Speaking from experience I'd say do English Lit. It's better to do what you enjoy, not necessarily what you're good at. If you find yourself struggling with one of them by the end of the year or regretting your decision, then most colleges/sixth forms allow you to apply for another AS-level for year 2 (as long as you don't mind taking 3 years in college).

Congrats on finishing your exams by the way!


I heard English Lit. is quite relaxating, comparing to 2 STEM A-levels. Can you speak for that? Does the enjoyment of the subject depend on how it's being taught?

Also, thanks stranger :biggrin:
Reply 3
Original post by fwn
Okay so just today, I finished my final GCSE exam and I had a chat with my Maths teacher (who's also the Y12 head in my school) about options I applied for. She told me that because I was three of the choices were in the same block, I couldn't do Computer Science, Product Design, Maths or Film Studies (reserve) for 6th form. That was a bit upsetting given that I'd planned to do some work experience for the Design department around July time.

Now I have to decide a combination for September, that includes Comp. Sci. and Maths. However, I'm now stuck on whether I should take Physics or English Lit.

Physics is one of my favourite subjects as I get good grades in it: 7s and 8s at most. For some reason, I love working with equations, numbers and investigating the causes of physical matter. Though I'm not too into the sciencey sort of field, and wouldn't consider myself to be too nerdy 🤓.

Eng. Lit. is what I'm most passionate about, because I've always enjoyed analyses of what I want to read and watch. I've also done theatre work at school, so having Eng. Lit. will always associate me with the arts in some way. However, having the time to read is hard, since it's quite loud at home. The minimum and target grade is 8, but on the last mock it was a 6.

In the future, I see myself as a computer scientist (working towards AI), maybe a writer, but I'm not sure about physicist... Help, what is the best option?

Heya!

it seems like you are more passionate about english lit than physics, so why not stick with it :h: You can change it in the beginning if you don't like it! If it helps, you can also check out the content and what you will need to be doing using free resources from Study Mind.

I hope this helps!
Milena
UCL PFE
Study Mind
Reply 4
I'm now finishing my A-Levels, physics finished, maths p3 tomorrow and chem3 on Friday. I would definitely consider physics with your other subjects - I found that there is a large crossover between mechanics in physics and applied maths which was beneficial to my studies. If you get on well with physics and maths now, it's definitely a solid combination for A-Level, although you should go for what you enjoy and if you feel like you'd get more out of English lit.. go for it. If you're still on the fence see if you can pick both (temporarily) at your college/6th form and see how you get on.

Also note - going into compsci at uni next year - I didn't pick it myself, but I understand that further maths is beneficial for compsci (you'll need it to get on compsci for some high-requirement unis, so definitely worth considering if you're looking at oxbridge)

Either way you go, good luck going forward into a-levels!
Reply 5
Original post by fwn
I heard English Lit. is quite relaxating, comparing to 2 STEM A-levels. Can you speak for that? Does the enjoyment of the subject depend on how it's being taught?

Also, thanks stranger :biggrin:

Can't really speak for English Lit, as I don't take it. Generally, if a subject is taught in line with how you learn, then you will most likely find that you enjoy it more.
Original post by fwn
Okay so just today, I finished my final GCSE exam and I had a chat with my Maths teacher (who's also the Y12 head in my school) about options I applied for. She told me that because I was three of the choices were in the same block, I couldn't do Computer Science, Product Design, Maths or Film Studies (reserve) for 6th form. That was a bit upsetting given that I'd planned to do some work experience for the Design department around July time.

Now I have to decide a combination for September, that includes Comp. Sci. and Maths. However, I'm now stuck on whether I should take Physics or English Lit.

Physics is one of my favourite subjects as I get good grades in it: 7s and 8s at most. For some reason, I love working with equations, numbers and investigating the causes of physical matter. Though I'm not too into the sciencey sort of field, and wouldn't consider myself to be too nerdy 🤓.

Eng. Lit. is what I'm most passionate about, because I've always enjoyed analyses of what I want to read and watch. I've also done theatre work at school, so having Eng. Lit. will always associate me with the arts in some way. However, having the time to read is hard, since it's quite loud at home. The minimum and target grade is 8, but on the last mock it was a 6.

In the future, I see myself as a computer scientist (working towards AI), maybe a writer, but I'm not sure about physicist... Help, what is the best option?

bro idk how english literature is linked to what u wanna be though seems random. physics links to maths a level because in maths theres things about newtons laws and stuff. And if ur asked at university why u did english lit as its not linked what u gonna say. But also choose somet easy and something you enjoy
Reply 7
Original post by ashhhhhyyyyyyyyy
bro idk how english literature is linked to what u wanna be though seems random. physics links to maths a level because in maths theres things about newtons laws and stuff. And if ur asked at university why u did english lit as its not linked what u gonna say. But also choose somet easy and something you enjoy


An ex-learning support assistant and some other teachers were saying the same thing (not verbatim), but looking at the specs for physics, I don't think I would mind too much with the content. Of course, the research would be in-depth and have to link together. My brother (25M), from his friends' experiences, told me back on Monday that the subject will take up a lot of my time. Personally, I'd do with some more time after I occupied all of my recent time with heavy GCSE revision.

Besides, that does seem like a good call. Thank you.

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