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University application with 3 alevels

Do most unis accept applications in which 1 a level was taken in y12 and the other two were taken in y13?

(Hoping to study Japanese btw)
(edited 7 months ago)
Original post by LELOMAR
Do most unis accept applications in which 1 a level was taken in y12 and the other two were taken in y13?

(Hoping to study Japanese btw)

Whether "most" do is irrelevant. What matters is whether the ones you want to apply to accept it.
Reply 2
Original post by ageshallnot
Whether "most" do is irrelevant. What matters is whether the ones you want to apply to accept it.


Sheffield, leeds, edinburgh, SOAS London, Oxford?
Original post by LELOMAR
Sheffield, leeds, edinburgh, SOAS London, Oxford?

99% certain Oxford would have an issue with it, as you would have effectively not completed a "full academic load" of examinations in one exam session at any point during your A-level career. This is especially an issue for Oxford due to how their courses are structured, with most having you take 2 years worth of examinations at the end of your third year, and your entire degree classification resting on those exam results. They really want to see you can cope with a full academic load of exams in one session.

Edinburgh might have concerns too. The others probably less likely - worth contacting them to make sure though.
(edited 7 months ago)
Reply 4
Original post by artful_lounger
99% certain Oxford would have an issue with it, as you would have effectively not completed a "full academic load" of examinations in one exam session at any point during your A-level career. This is especially an issue for Oxford due to how their courses are structured, with most having you take 2 years worth of examinations at the end of your third year, and your entire degree classification resting on those exam results. They really want to see you can cope with a full academic load of exams in one session.

Edinburgh might have concerns too. The others probably less likely - worth contacting them to make sure though.

I've already contacted Oxford about this, they say they take into account any alevels done within 2 years. I do actually currently take 3 A-levels and I am about to enter y13. I completed my Arabic alevel at the end of year 12 and am awaiting results for it. My other subjects are maths, Spanish and physics. I've been predicted As in maths and Spanish (and hopefully my Arabic is no lower than an A - was predicted A*), but I'm really keen on dropping physics because my predicted grade is so bad and I'm finding it so difficult. Hence why I'm asking if this will affect my application for any university.
Original post by LELOMAR
I've already contacted Oxford about this, they say they take into account any alevels done within 2 years. I do actually currently take 3 A-levels and I am about to enter y13. I completed my Arabic alevel at the end of year 12 and am awaiting results for it. My other subjects are maths, Spanish and physics. I've been predicted As in maths and Spanish (and hopefully my Arabic is no lower than an A - was predicted A*), but I'm really keen on dropping physics because my predicted grade is so bad and I'm finding it so difficult. Hence why I'm asking if this will affect my application for any university.

The issue they may have is not that you haven't taken 3 A-levels in total, but that you were only taking exams for at most 2 A-levels in any single exam session. It's not about whether it "doesn't count".

See here:
https://uni-of-oxford.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1385/related/1

"the usual expectation is that you complete your A-levels within a two-year period. Where a candidate completes a relevant A-level before they apply, this will be taken into account; however, it is likely that offers will be made on the basis of three A-levels completed in year 13. Please see our UK Qualifications page under ‘A-levels’ for our full advice."

and here (under England and Northern Ireland qualifications - A-levels taken in or before year 13): https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/admission-requirements/uk-qualifications

"A-levels taken in or before Year 13

Where there are specific requirements for any course including any requirement for A-levels to be taken together or at particular times these will be clearly stated in the entrance requirements listed on the relevant course page.

The usual expectation is that candidates will complete the A-levels specified in their applications within a two year period. Where a candidate completes a relevant A-level before they apply, this will be taken into account; however, it is likely that offers will be made on the basis of three A-levels completed in year 13.

The Maths department and the Computer Science department have each published advice for students wishing to take Maths A-level early. There are also specific requirements which relate to students applying for Medicine and applicants are recommended to consult the Medical Sciences website for the latest information."

Emphasis mine. So they make it pretty clear they generally expect students to be completing 3 A-level exams in year 13. Any A-levels done in a single year in year 12 would still be considered though as well.

Note incidentally Cambridge have much the same approach (slightly different wording, although they do note elsewhere that for students who have taken "some exams early" they may give a more challenging offer).
(edited 7 months ago)
Reply 6
Original post by artful_lounger
The issue they may have is not that you haven't taken 3 A-levels in total, but that you were only taking exams for at most 2 A-levels in any single exam session. It's not about whether it "doesn't count".

See here:
https://uni-of-oxford.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1385/related/1

"the usual expectation is that you complete your A-levels within a two-year period. Where a candidate completes a relevant A-level before they apply, this will be taken into account; however, it is likely that offers will be made on the basis of three A-levels completed in year 13. Please see our UK Qualifications page under ‘A-levels’ for our full advice."

and here (under England and Northern Ireland qualifications - A-levels taken in or before year 13): https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses/admission-requirements/uk-qualifications

"A-levels taken in or before Year 13

Where there are specific requirements for any course including any requirement for A-levels to be taken together or at particular times these will be clearly stated in the entrance requirements listed on the relevant course page.

The usual expectation is that candidates will complete the A-levels specified in their applications within a two year period. Where a candidate completes a relevant A-level before they apply, this will be taken into account; however, it is likely that offers will be made on the basis of three A-levels completed in year 13.

The Maths department and the Computer Science department have each published advice for students wishing to take Maths A-level early. There are also specific requirements which relate to students applying for Medicine and applicants are recommended to consult the Medical Sciences website for the latest information."

Emphasis mine. So they make it pretty clear they generally expect students to be completing 3 A-level exams in year 13. Any A-levels done in a single year in year 12 would still be considered though as well.

Note incidentally Cambridge have much the same approach (slightly different wording, although they do note elsewhere that for students who have taken "some exams early" they may give a more challenging offer).


Thank you so much!
So sorry for all the questions but do you think if i do my A-level Arabic again in year 13 (as in simply take the exam again) that my chances of getting into Oxford will be higher than if I were to only be taking 2 A-levels?
Because basically, my predicted grade for physics is currently at an E and I REALLY hate the subject and find it extremely difficult. I know I can definitely get better grades in language based subjects too.
And if I do my Arabic again in y13 and drop physics then I would still be doing 3 A-levels in the same year, and maybe even achieve a better grade?
Original post by LELOMAR
Thank you so much!
So sorry for all the questions but do you think if i do my A-level Arabic again in year 13 (as in simply take the exam again) that my chances of getting into Oxford will be higher than if I were to only be taking 2 A-levels?
Because basically, my predicted grade for physics is currently at an E and I REALLY hate the subject and find it extremely difficult. I know I can definitely get better grades in language based subjects too.
And if I do my Arabic again in y13 and drop physics then I would still be doing 3 A-levels in the same year, and maybe even achieve a better grade?


That sounds positively Machiavellian and I suspect that Oxford will see through it.
Reply 8
Original post by LELOMAR
Thank you so much!
So sorry for all the questions but do you think if i do my A-level Arabic again in year 13 (as in simply take the exam again) that my chances of getting into Oxford will be higher than if I were to only be taking 2 A-levels?
Because basically, my predicted grade for physics is currently at an E and I REALLY hate the subject and find it extremely difficult. I know I can definitely get better grades in language based subjects too.
And if I do my Arabic again in y13 and drop physics then I would still be doing 3 A-levels in the same year, and maybe even achieve a better grade?

They can see on UCAS what subjects you have already taken exams for, so they can see if you are retaking it - which then brings up the question of whether they look at retakes less favourably (I don't know). Seems unlikely Oxford are going to fall for that trick
Original post by LELOMAR
Thank you so much!
So sorry for all the questions but do you think if i do my A-level Arabic again in year 13 (as in simply take the exam again) that my chances of getting into Oxford will be higher than if I were to only be taking 2 A-levels?
Because basically, my predicted grade for physics is currently at an E and I REALLY hate the subject and find it extremely difficult. I know I can definitely get better grades in language based subjects too.
And if I do my Arabic again in y13 and drop physics then I would still be doing 3 A-levels in the same year, and maybe even achieve a better grade?

You have to declare all qualifications and attempts at exams on UCAS, so they will see you're resitting it and I don't think it will make a difference. The idea is they want to see that you've done the material of 3 A-levels over the course of two years in parallel. So I wouldn't suggest doing that. I still would recommend dropping physics by the sound of it, as it doesn't sound like you'll do well, or that you enjoy it. Also if you take it and get an E then it's still not going to get you into Oxford.

Your best bet is, unless you can pick up a new subject and do it intensively in one year, to just focus on other unis for Japanese for your undergrad and if you still really want to go to Oxford, look at doing a masters there. Worth noting also that for Japanese, debatably SOAS is better for Japanese in terms of language development in general (particularly reading/writing; Edinburgh apparently might be a bit better for developing speaking/listening skills, but apparently SOAS students always get the best outcomes on the JLPT which doesn't test speaking and listening).
(edited 7 months ago)

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