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Does anyone actually care about A-Level Computer Science?

Universities don't require having taken CompSci at A-Level in order to take their undergrad Computer Science courses, and the percentage of people who got an A* in it last year was about 5% of applicants.

Does anyone in industry or academia actually care about the qualification? Because if not, it seems like a massive waste of time to me.
Reply 1
Definitely, if applying for undergraduate university courses, having a good grasp of Further Mathematics is a lot more important than A level CS. I emailed Oxford about this last year and they said, I quote:

"Once Maths and Further Maths is in the mix we don’t mind which third (or fourth) A levels a student decides to take. We suggest that you take something you enjoy and can do well in.... Further Maths (FM) isn't a requirement: because we understand that not all schools offer it. We consider it the best preparation for our Computer Science courses.... I can't imagine a situation where we would accept one candidate over another because they did or did not have computing A Level."

No idea about what industry thinks.
Reply 2
Some people do other things than 'going to Uni' - ie. apprenticeships, traineeships, jobs etc where A level CS is valuable and / or required.
Original post by KWad
Universities don't require having taken CompSci at A-Level in order to take their undergrad Computer Science courses, and the percentage of people who got an A* in it last year was about 5% of applicants.

Does anyone in industry or academia actually care about the qualification? Because if not, it seems like a massive waste of time to me.

No, no one even values it, even for a cs degree they don’t care ab u unless u have maths and “ideally fm” they view cs as a waste. I hate cs now, I picked it for alevel thinking I would do it at uni, it’s so difficult and now I don’t even wanna go and do that field and it’s preventing me from applying to anywhere good, physics and fm might be hard but at least they’re actually valued, cs coursework is closer to a torture method than a piece of work and no one even cares about this subject at alevel, the teachers are usually rubbish, and most of the people who take it are incredibly smart and could do the course in a year, and so the grade boundaries are so high. They also teach a bunch of useless stuff aswell and the coursework has so much useless write up, I’d highly recommend anyone to stay away from this subject at alevel even if u wanna do it at uni, so many ppl have been put off cs forever thanks to this and just for unis to prefer further maths anyway… I’ve known ppl to take the alevel and then swap it for something else even when they still have the intention to do cs at uni…it’s such a dull, boring and poorly taught alevel even for people who are genuinely interested in the field.
(edited 5 months ago)
Reply 4
Original post by Jam.123
Definitely, if applying for undergraduate university courses, having a good grasp of Further Mathematics is a lot more important than A level CS. I emailed Oxford about this last year and they said, I quote:

"Once Maths and Further Maths is in the mix we don’t mind which third (or fourth) A levels a student decides to take. We suggest that you take something you enjoy and can do well in.... Further Maths (FM) isn't a requirement: because we understand that not all schools offer it. We consider it the best preparation for our Computer Science courses.... I can't imagine a situation where we would accept one candidate over another because they did or did not have computing A Level."

No idea about what industry thinks.

Hm thanks for that, interesting to read. I sound like a cynic but I feel like the whole point of an A-Level in computer science would be to make a candidate's application to take computer science at uni more competitive, no? Like taking A-Level Law while not necessarily a prerequisite for studying law at university, will be looked at more favourably than having taken another subject instead? I'm not surprised that maths is more important to the oxbridge cs courses, that's pretty reasonable, but the fact that they barely even take into consideration that you took cs makes taking cs seem like a massive waste of time imo. Idk tho lmk what you think
personally, im interested in taking it because i missed out on it at gcse (the option was available, but i picked something else in favour), and i just want to try it out because i want to see if its something i actually enjoy.

though i havent started alevels yet, choosing your uni degree just seems like a big commitment and i think it might help people like me who cant decide what subjects they want to pursue at a higher level. Like, i know it'd be better if i replaced compsci with further maths if i was deadset on getting into uni for it, but im not and i dont want to spend all that time applying and showing up just to realise a few weeks in that i hate what im studying, then go through the stress of finding something that i actually like instead

i wanna be optimistic though and assume i wont hate compsci alevel 😭

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