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A level subject combo help!!!

Hi everyone,
My first time posting here! Hope you all are well :smile:
I'm currently in Y11, and I wld love to apply for PPE at Oxford, LSE, UCL etc.
For A levels, I am planning to take either:

1) Maths, Economics, History, Geography (suits my skill set)
2) Maths, Further Maths, Economics, History (safe option for ppe or pure econ)
3) Maths, Economics, History, Politics (literally perfect for ppe)
4) Maths, Further Maths, Economics, Politics (generally seems like strong combo)

Further Maths is useful in case I change my mind and want to apply for pure econ. I enjoy maths (predicted a 9 at gcse), but am scared for FM exams because I tend to make silly mistakes, have low confidence in my problem solving abilities and I feel that essays r more my strong suit. History and Geography both link well with econ and I enjoy both. Never studied politics before, and heard it is a soft subject, but it is v relevant to PPE.

I've been overthinking about this for AGES now (😭) so I would be so grateful if you guys could comment on:
a) which combo u feel is best and why
b)if u have done any of these subjects in the past and ur experience

Many many thanks for taking the time to read! Please feel free to share any advice :smile:

P.S In my school, we have to take 4 A levels, we aren't allowed to do 3
Reply 1
I would suggest maths, history, further maths and economics. Maths and history are both on the oxford website as recommended and helpful, and then further maths and economics will let u take a pure econ route if u ever wanna do that
At Lancaster University, the pure econ course only requires A level Maths. That means you don't need to take Further Maths. The PPE course does not require any specific A levels, which means you might as well choose option 1 since you enjoy Geography.

I have done A Level Maths and Further Maths. My school combined the classes of them so I don't remember what topics are in each. I went from a 9 in Maths and 6 in Further Maths gcse to a A* in Maths and B in Further Maths A level. I agree that Further Maths has a lot of problem solving (although you could practice it) and requires you not to make silly mistakes. You also wouldn't be able to use your essay skills if you take it.

-Kao (Lancaster Maths & Stats Student Ambassador)
I'm currently an LSE BSc Economics student and I'd definitely recommend taking Economics, Mathematics & Further Mathematics.
While Further Mathematics isn't stated as a strict requirement, it is definitely preferred & will prepare you a lot for the quantitative aspect of your course. I too was worried about taking FM as I struggle with problem solving; however, the exams aren't actually that bad - as long as you revise, you'll do well, they ask questions in a similar way that they're taught. It's not like a UKMT test or anything. And if your college lets you choose what applied mathematics module to study within FM, definitely go with statistics. I found it super easy & simple to understand, and it became incredibly useful for me at university.

The fourth can be any of your choice (for me, it was chemistry). - I suggest doing what you enjoy the best & think you can score the highest in.

Good luck! :smile:
Option 2 or 4 give you the most flexibility. Also if your school teaches further maths and maths in parallel, it gives you the flexibility to drop FM if you don't like it (if your school does all of maths in one year then all of FM in the next year though, you may get "locked into" doing FM even if you wanted to drop it to ensure you are doing a full load of three A-level's worth of exams at the end of year 13 which is what universities usually want to see you doing).

Option 1 and 3 have four subjects unnecessarily. If you are sure you don't want to do FM then just take any three subjects from those two options - doing more than three subjects if two aren't maths and FM confers no advantage in admissions and creates several risks for you in actually doing worse overall.

Note that A-level Economics isn't required for any economics degrees (or any degrees at all) in the UK that I am aware of.
Reply 5
It sounds from your post like option 1 is what you are likeliest to most enjoy and do best at; if that is the case, then you should take it. All else equal, option 2 is probably the textbook ‘ideal’ PPE combination, but, again, there’s no harm in taking geography instead of FM if you do genuinely enjoy it more and think you’re likelier to get a higher grade.

On FM specifically, as you mention, you’ll need it if you want to apply for the top single honours econ courses, but it’s certainly not essential for PPE - I think I’m only one of 2 who took it in my college PPE cohort of 10 - though I would say it’s probably given me a slight edge in the econ course (particularly the probably and stats section of it, as I did both of the two further stats modules at A level). But if you don’t feel confident that you’d be able to get as high a grade in FM as the other subjects you mentioned, there’s no need to take it.

Finally, you shouldn’t worry about politics being a soft subject, but neither is it as relevant to PPE as you might think - politics at A level bears little resemblance to how the subject is usually taught at the university level. Also bear in mind what artful_lounger said about economics A level not being required for any course (I didn’t take any of philosophy, politics or economics at A level).
Reply 6
I tend to agree on do the subjects you enjoy but option 2 standard route.
Reply 7
Original post by AnushkaM
Hi everyone,
My first time posting here! Hope you all are well :smile:
I'm currently in Y11, and I wld love to apply for PPE at Oxford, LSE, UCL etc.
For A levels, I am planning to take either:

1) Maths, Economics, History, Geography (suits my skill set)
2) Maths, Further Maths, Economics, History (safe option for ppe or pure econ)
3) Maths, Economics, History, Politics (literally perfect for ppe)
4) Maths, Further Maths, Economics, Politics (generally seems like strong combo)

Further Maths is useful in case I change my mind and want to apply for pure econ. I enjoy maths (predicted a 9 at gcse), but am scared for FM exams because I tend to make silly mistakes, have low confidence in my problem solving abilities and I feel that essays r more my strong suit. History and Geography both link well with econ and I enjoy both. Never studied politics before, and heard it is a soft subject, but it is v relevant to PPE.

I've been overthinking about this for AGES now (😭) so I would be so grateful if you guys could comment on:
a) which combo u feel is best and why
b)if u have done any of these subjects in the past and ur experience

Many many thanks for taking the time to read! Please feel free to share any advice :smile:

P.S In my school, we have to take 4 A levels, we aren't allowed to do 3

No clue on what you should pick. However, further maths isn't as bad as it may seem yes there are some "problem-solving" questions but they are generally not very challenging. Even if there are some problem solving questions the majority of the questions that pop up are all very similiar (As they are in every type of stem subject) and can be revised for. If you are motivated you can still excell at the further maths even if you don't think your problem solving is great.
Reply 8
Hey everyone,

Thank you sooo much for the in depth advice! I will probably take either option 2 (bc FM is useful for econ as u say) or option 1 if fm still worries me on results day...

Once again many thanks for your helpful suggestions...hope you all have a great day 😊
Reply 9
Original post by AnushkaM
Hey everyone,

Thank you sooo much for the in depth advice! I will probably take either option 2 (bc FM is useful for econ as u say) or option 1 if fm still worries me on results day...

Once again many thanks for your helpful suggestions...hope you all have a great day 😊

Good luck with your results!:smile:
Reply 10
Original post by AnushkaM
Hi everyone,
My first time posting here! Hope you all are well :smile:
I'm currently in Y11, and I wld love to apply for PPE at Oxford, LSE, UCL etc.
For A levels, I am planning to take either:

1) Maths, Economics, History, Geography (suits my skill set)
2) Maths, Further Maths, Economics, History (safe option for ppe or pure econ)
3) Maths, Economics, History, Politics (literally perfect for ppe)
4) Maths, Further Maths, Economics, Politics (generally seems like strong combo)

Further Maths is useful in case I change my mind and want to apply for pure econ. I enjoy maths (predicted a 9 at gcse), but am scared for FM exams because I tend to make silly mistakes, have low confidence in my problem solving abilities and I feel that essays r more my strong suit. History and Geography both link well with econ and I enjoy both. Never studied politics before, and heard it is a soft subject, but it is v relevant to PPE.

I've been overthinking about this for AGES now (😭) so I would be so grateful if you guys could comment on:
a) which combo u feel is best and why
b)if u have done any of these subjects in the past and ur experience

Many many thanks for taking the time to read! Please feel free to share any advice :smile:

P.S In my school, we have to take 4 A levels, we aren't allowed to do 3

I would only do FM if you are likely to go down the pure economics route AND you would want to apply to Cambridge or LSE. No other economics course requires it, and if you are attracted to PPE, are you likely to switch to economics at Cambridge and LSE, which is essentially a maths degree as it is so maths heavy.
Reply 11
Definitely do some science!

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