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Any tips for year 12 ?

The title is pretty self explanatory :smile: I’m planning to study Biology, Chemistry, English literature and Maths ( + an EPQ ). Is there anything I can prepare for in the summer ?
Original post by Ashley142
The title is pretty self explanatory :smile: I’m planning to study Biology, Chemistry, English literature and Maths ( + an EPQ ). Is there anything I can prepare for in the summer ?

For english lit, you could read the books for your exam board.
Use chemguide/ safemyexams for biology and chemistry
Original post by Ashley142
The title is pretty self explanatory :smile: I’m planning to study Biology, Chemistry, English literature and Maths ( + an EPQ ). Is there anything I can prepare for in the summer ?


Four A levels and an EPQ is too much. Unis only require three A levels and you don't get extra credit for taking a fourth, and AAA will always look better than AABB. A levels are a big step up from GCSEs and year 12 is also the time when you need to research unis and courses, get work experience/volunteer if you are going to study a vocational course, do supercurriculars to add to your personal statement, learn to drive, etc. Do you have a uni course/career in mind at this stage?
Original post by normaw
Four A levels and an EPQ is too much. Unis only require three A levels and you don't get extra credit for taking a fourth, and AAA will always look better than AABB. A levels are a big step up from GCSEs and year 12 is also the time when you need to research unis and courses, get work experience/volunteer if you are going to study a vocational course, do supercurriculars to add to your personal statement, learn to drive, etc. Do you have a uni course/career in mind at this stage?

At our school, people who did 4 A Levels had to do the AS exams in year 12, if they didn't do so well, you had to drop one. So by year 13, no one had 4 A Levels - doing 3 and getting higher grades is better than 4 with lower grades
Original post by BankaiGintoki
At our school, people who did 4 A Levels had to do the AS exams in year 12, if they didn't do so well, you had to drop one. So by year 13, no one had 4 A Levels - doing 3 and getting higher grades is better than 4 with lower grades

AS exams are no longer a thing in England (with the exception of AS maths). A levels are now linear - two years of study with one set of exams at the end of the course.
Original post by normaw
Four A levels and an EPQ is too much. Unis only require three A levels and you don't get extra credit for taking a fourth, and AAA will always look better than AABB. A levels are a big step up from GCSEs and year 12 is also the time when you need to research unis and courses, get work experience/volunteer if you are going to study a vocational course, do supercurriculars to add to your personal statement, learn to drive, etc. Do you have a uni course/career in mind at this stage?

Completely agreed - I’d also add on that some unis actually make offers conditional on all four A levels rather than just the three specified on the uni website. Even with these harsher offers, solid performance is expected in each of the 4 A levels and as such, you would have to work much, much harder.

Original post by Ashley142
The title is pretty self explanatory :smile: I’m planning to study Biology, Chemistry, English literature and Maths ( + an EPQ ). Is there anything I can prepare for in the summer ?


Were you not given any transition work? If not, I’m sure you can find some resources for each on the internet (and the relevant A level specifications) to give yourself an idea of what you will be taught early on in the courses you are taking and so you can get a head start.
I’d also take a look at this thread: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7253201&page=2#post97549790
Original post by normaw
AS exams are no longer a thing in England (with the exception of AS maths). A levels are now linear - two years of study with one set of exams at the end of the course.


AS exams do still exist for all subjects, however they are a separate qualification to the current A levels in the linear system.

I believe fairly recently it was made an option to be able to sit AS exams in the subjects you planned to sit as A levels at the end of year 13, though I’ll need to check this.
(edited 9 months ago)
Original post by TypicalNerd
AS exams do still exist for all subjects, however they are a separate qualification to the current A levels in the linear system.

I believe fairly recently it was made an option to be able to sit AS exams in the subjects you planned to sit as A levels at the end of year 13, though I’ll need to check this.

I should have worded it better - many schools don't offer the option of taking subjects at AS level but the exception is AS maths. Certainly at the sixth forms in our area, three A levels plus an EPQ or AS maths or core maths (or four A levels if they include maths and further maths) are the standard options. No other AS subjects are available.
Original post by Ashley142
The title is pretty self explanatory :smile: I’m planning to study Biology, Chemistry, English literature and Maths ( + an EPQ ). Is there anything I can prepare for in the summer ?


Hey are you an international student? 2 of my friends actually chose the same subject combination as you but later dropped Math/English after AS. At my school, half of the year took 4 A levels + the EPQ (which was compulsory). Although not necessary, some of these students wanted to apply to the States where taking a range of different subjects would put them at an advantage. One of my friends successfully received an offer from an Ivy uni and was test optional. He didn’t need to take the SAT as our uni counsellor told him that as he did both math and English lit (and was predicted both an A*), that this would be a good enough reflection of the score he would have received had he completed the SAT. I also did 4 A levels to start with (Math, bio, chem, and Chinese + the EPQ) but dropped Chinese after year 13 due to its growing commitments as a med candidate. Did I regret it? No at all as I was able to learn beyond GCSE content and refine my skills. I also certainly didn’t try to compromise on my other subjects during year 12. At my school only half of the subjects are AS but I know that most schools abroad, especially in Asian countries, where everyone sits the AS exams (for all subjects) as they only follow the CIE exam board. Taking another subject is never wrong as it would benefit you in one way or another. For my friend who will be attending Imperial for med this September (he took all the sciences and maths + the EPQ), doing all these subjects made every bit of an impact in his application. Studying for the medical school entrance test (BMAT), which tests all 4 of these subjects, was certainly made an easier task. He achieved all A*s this year. To close, I think you should truly consider what you want to do at uni and where you would like to go for uni. Always prioritise your well-being and mental health and do what feels right to you. Hope this helps!
Reply 9
Original post by normaw
Four A levels and an EPQ is too much. Unis only require three A levels and you don't get extra credit for taking a fourth, and AAA will always look better than AABB. A levels are a big step up from GCSEs and year 12 is also the time when you need to research unis and courses, get work experience/volunteer if you are going to study a vocational course, do supercurriculars to add to your personal statement, learn to drive, etc. Do you have a uni course/career in mind at this stage?


Yeah, I’d like to go into Biochem or neuroscience. + the whole reason I applied to the college I’m going to is so that I can study 4 A-levels, I just really like all 4 subjects
Reply 10
Original post by Tulipbloom
Hey are you an international student? 2 of my friends actually chose the same subject combination as you but later dropped Math/English after AS. At my school, half of the year took 4 A levels + the EPQ (which was compulsory). Although not necessary, some of these students wanted to apply to the States where taking a range of different subjects would put them at an advantage. One of my friends successfully received an offer from an Ivy uni and was test optional. He didn’t need to take the SAT as our uni counsellor told him that as he did both math and English lit (and was predicted both an A*), that this would be a good enough reflection of the score he would have received had he completed the SAT. I also did 4 A levels to start with (Math, bio, chem, and Chinese + the EPQ) but dropped Chinese after year 13 due to its growing commitments as a med candidate. Did I regret it? No at all as I was able to learn beyond GCSE content and refine my skills. I also certainly didn’t try to compromise on my other subjects during year 12. At my school only half of the subjects are AS but I know that most schools abroad, especially in Asian countries, where everyone sits the AS exams (for all subjects) as they only follow the CIE exam board. Taking another subject is never wrong as it would benefit you in one way or another. For my friend who will be attending Imperial for med this September (he took all the sciences and maths + the EPQ), doing all these subjects made every bit of an impact in his application. Studying for the medical school entrance test (BMAT), which tests all 4 of these subjects, was certainly made an easier task. He achieved all A*s this year. To close, I think you should truly consider what you want to do at uni and where you would like to go for uni. Always prioritise your well-being and mental health and do what feels right to you. Hope this helps!

Thank you !! I’m not an international student but I am going to an international sixth form college :smile:+ it’s good to know that 4 A-levels and an EPQ are possible
I did English Lit, the biggest thing i'd say is make sure you know the books front to back properly. Make sure your notes are organised because by the time you reach year 13 all the new content will be bombarded to you and you'll struggle finding your notes from year 12 (This happened to me sadly I even lost some stuff). Please make sure you're on top of everything, don't leave stuff to the last minute it's not easy plus you're doing 4 A levels.
Original post by Ashley142
Yeah, I’d like to go into Biochem or neuroscience. + the whole reason I applied to the college I’m going to is so that I can study 4 A-levels, I just really like all 4 subjects


Same I’m doing 4 alevels and everyone at my school has to do an epq if I can’t cope in the first term
i may drop one but I hope not 💔💔

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