The Student Room Group

Picked the wrong alevels

I did pretty average across all of my GCSEs due to extenuating circumstances so was quite unsure what to take for alevels. In the end I went with psychology both economics and business. Im currently half way through year 12 and don't mind my subjects and think I want to study something related at university such as cognitive psychology or behavioural economics. However i recently found out that universities really look down upon taking both business and economics and some don’t even see them as separate alevels. My application is already weak due to my average GCSEs. So I have been thinking about retaking the year with different subjects or maybe i should just stick it out and then take an additional alevel over a gap year or something. I don’t mind taking a foundation year either if it comes down to it. I just want my application to be as strong as possible. Any advice would be really appreciated
Original post by isabellagrose
Hi, I study maths, economics, and business. Currently a year 13 student and have received offers from Nottingham, Exeter, Durham, and Newcastle to study economics. I was worried about the whole business and economic subjects together thing too, as well as 'average' GCSEs (I got all 6s) but as long as you have good work experience and extracurriculars you will be fine. I received emails from Durham and Nottingham saying my application was strong as I did many things outside of the specification, such as completing a variety of open learn courses. So I wouldn't be too worried about your subjects. However, if you do decide to change subjects I'd suggest changing business studies as it is known to be an 'easier' level compared to Econ. But I wouldn't stress about them, just focus on getting high grades. A lot of unis don't penalise for gcses unless its Oxbridge or lse.

Well done, yeah I think I’m just gonna see them through and then if I find there’s a course I really want to do that requires another specific alevel I’ll just take it at collage over a gap year and then reapply. Thank you that’s very reassuring
Reply 2
What grades are you targeting? The reality is that very few universities mark you down for having both business and economics and these tend to be ones demanding high grades in any case.
Original post by ajj2000
What grades are you targeting? The reality is that very few universities mark you down for having both business and economics and these tend to be ones demanding high grades in any case.

Probably like ABB
Reply 4
Original post by cavernous-irriga
Probably like ABB

Thats great! What an improvement from GCSEs!

What do you fancy studying and where?
Original post by ajj2000
Thats great! What an improvement from GCSEs!

What do you fancy studying and where?

Thanks, I mean I’m currently working at Bs but I think I can get psychology up to an A. My interests are really varied at the moment I like the look of cognitive science and psychology, social policy, business and entrepreneurship. I think really just the highest ranking uni I can get into for the subject I want to study.
Reply 6
Original post by cavernous-irriga
Thanks, I mean I’m currently working at Bs but I think I can get psychology up to an A. My interests are really varied at the moment I like the look of cognitive science and psychology, social policy, business and entrepreneurship. I think really just the highest ranking uni I can get into for the subject I want to study.

Well - have a think about courses and what type of university environment you might enjoy. City? Campus? Which part of the country? Have you had a chance to visit any universities? That doesn't have to be for formal session - it can be worth walking around the campus and town to get a feel and a term of reference.
Reply 7
Oh - what were your GCSE grades for maths and English? That is occasionally a problem if people don't think of the issue in advance.
Original post by ajj2000
Oh - what were your GCSE grades for maths and English? That is occasionally a problem if people don't think of the issue in advance.

5 in math however was consistently getting 6s and with sufficient support I think I could’ve got a 7 and then a 6 in English lang however it was a resit
Reply 9
Original post by cavernous-irriga
5 in math however was consistently getting 6s and with sufficient support I think I could’ve got a 7 and then a 6 in English lang however it was a resit

Good thinking! Have a look at some courses you might aspire to and see if you should consider resitting maths GCSE.

Perhaps check 10 ambitious but realistic universities for both business and psychology to see which accept a 5 in maths.
Original post by ajj2000
Good thinking! Have a look at some courses you might aspire to and see if you should consider resitting maths GCSE.

Perhaps check 10 ambitious but realistic universities for both business and psychology to see which accept a 5 in maths.

Most just ask for a 5, some top ones ask for a 6 so if I end up getting the alevel grades for those courses I’ll just resit it over a gap year and then reapply. My main concern is just the business and economics alevel, as I’ve recently heard lots of people saying unis tend to favour people with a wider range of alevels.
Reply 11
Original post by cavernous-irriga
Most just ask for a 5, some top ones ask for a 6 so if I end up getting the alevel grades for those courses I’ll just resit it over a gap year and then reapply. My main concern is just the business and economics alevel, as I’ve recently heard lots of people saying unis tend to favour people with a wider range of alevels.

I think people are just misleading you. It might matter for courses at LSE and Bath - possibly Bristol too. However these are courses which would normally need maths A level anyway so not really relevant.

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