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Rate my A Level options

Hi, I’m in Year 11 and just about to finalise my option choices. My plan:
Maths
Further maths
Economics
Geography
Welsh Bacc (compulsory at my Sixth form)

I’m decided on maths, econ & geog but scared for FM. I’m currently thinking of finance/economics (and hoping to go to a top uni like Cambridge/LSE), meaning taking FM would be quite advantageous.

In general, what do you think of my combo and also how hard actually is FM? (I enjoy maths and took my Mathematics and Numeracy GCSEs early, achieving 2 A*s, but it seems to take me longer than the other (seemingly genius) students in my current ‘Additional maths’ class to grasp new concepts.

Does this mean I’d have to sacrifice my other A Levels due to spending so long on FM? (We do all of Maths in Y12, then FM in Y13) I’d greatly appreciate any advice! :smile:
(edited 3 months ago)
Sorry you've not had any responses about this. :frown: Are you sure you've posted in the right place? :smile: Here's a link to our subject forum which should help get you more responses if you post there. :redface:
i wouldn’t recommend doing 5 subjects; it doesn’t help you get into uni. I personally would recommend dropping geography; however, I did find it quite easy (20-30% of the workload of the other subjects and got an A*) compared to chemistry, maths and biology. But it wouldn’t help your application for the top unis.
(edited 3 months ago)
Reply 3
Original post by lanky_giraffe
i wouldn’t recommend doing 5 subjects; it doesn’t help you get into uni. I personally would recommend dropping geography; however, I did find it quite easy (20-30% of the workload of the other subjects and got an A*) compared to chemistry, maths and biology. But it wouldn’t help your application for the top unis.


Thank you for your advice - my only other option is to study Geography for AS in Year 12 and then drop it in Year 13, meaning I’d only be doing all of FM and A2 econ in Y13. I guess I’ll see if I can cope with the workload in Y12 and decide after that 🤷*♀️
Original post by bookw0rmm
Thank you for your advice - my only other option is to study Geography for AS in Year 12 and then drop it in Year 13, meaning I’d only be doing all of FM and A2 econ in Y13. I guess I’ll see if I can cope with the workload in Y12 and decide after that 🤷*♀️

Why can’t you just not study geography?
Reply 5
Original post by lanky_giraffe

Why can’t you just not study geography?


Long story short, my school basically make us pick FM as a 4th subject. They want us to be sitting at least 3 A2 Level exams at the end of Y13, so if I dropped geog, I’d only be sitting 2 A2 exams (FM + econ) as we complete the entire maths A Level in Y12.
Reply 6
(And Welshbacc is unfortunately compulsory at my sixth form)
Original post by bookw0rmm
Long story short, my school basically make us pick FM as a 4th subject. They want us to be sitting at least 3 A2 Level exams at the end of Y13, so if I dropped geog, I’d only be sitting 2 A2 exams (FM + econ) as we complete the entire maths A Level in Y12.

That’s mad, especially knowing you have to study Welsh. And it doesn’t even help your chances of getting into uni.
So yeah geography is probs your best bet knowing that i personally didn’t find it that hard at a level.
Reply 9
Original post by lanky_giraffe

That’s mad, especially knowing you have to study Welsh. And it doesn’t even help your chances of getting into uni.


I agree. I reckon the students doing FM (who are effectively forced to do 4 A levels) shouldn’t have to do Welsh Baccalaureate but I guess I’ll just have to deal with it. I’m relieved to hear that geog won’t consume too much of my time so I can focus on FM :smile:
Original post by bookw0rmm
Hi, I’m in Year 11 and just about to finalise my option choices. My plan:
Maths
Further maths
Economics
Geography
Welsh Bacc (compulsory at my Sixth form)

I’m decided on maths, econ & geog but scared for FM. I’m currently thinking of finance/economics (and hoping to go to a top uni like Cambridge/LSE), meaning taking FM would be quite advantageous.

In general, what do you think of my combo and also how hard actually is FM? (I enjoy maths and took my Mathematics and Numeracy GCSEs early, achieving 2 A*s, but it seems to take me longer than the other (seemingly genius) students in my current ‘Additional maths’ class to grasp new concepts.

Does this mean I’d have to sacrifice my other A Levels due to spending so long on FM? (We do all of Maths in Y12, then FM in Y13) I’d greatly appreciate any advice! :smile:

4 and Welsh Bac is far too much. A few years ago I was speaking to a girl studying Maths in Swansea. Her school a Welsh speaking comprehensive in Cardiff has insisted on her taking Welsh Bac as well as 4 A levels. She had missed the grades for Exeter and ended up in Swansea. She said the reason for missing her grades was the amount of time spent on the Welsh Bac.

That is the issue she was effectively taking 5 A levels. All universities required 3 and spreading the load too thinly caused her to not get into her favoured university.

This is the problem. The Senedd are putting Welsh students at a disadvantage because of their stupid policy on Welsh Bac.

Tell your school you arent taking it and concentrate on your 3 other subjects. 3 top grades is preferred to 5 mediocre ones. AAA is preferred to AABBB.

The really annoying thing is that students futures are put at risk in order to make a school look good and that isnt what education should be about. A number of English universities including Cambridge do not accept the Welsh Bac as one of your 3 subjects so really it is a waste of time for somebody looking to go there.

As far as Further Maths is concerned it is mainly only useful if you intend taking Maths at university. Around 1/2 dozen or slighly more require require FM for Mats courses. A couple require it for Economics and Computer Science but the vast majority of top universities dont require it. It might be worth taking it for Cambridge, LSE and Imperial otherwise it wont be of any use.
Original post by bookw0rmm
Hi, I’m in Year 11 and just about to finalise my option choices. My plan:
Maths
Further maths
Economics
Geography
Welsh Bacc (compulsory at my Sixth form)

I’m decided on maths, econ & geog but scared for FM. I’m currently thinking of finance/economics (and hoping to go to a top uni like Cambridge/LSE), meaning taking FM would be quite advantageous.

In general, what do you think of my combo and also how hard actually is FM? (I enjoy maths and took my Mathematics and Numeracy GCSEs early, achieving 2 A*s, but it seems to take me longer than the other (seemingly genius) students in my current ‘Additional maths’ class to grasp new concepts.

Does this mean I’d have to sacrifice my other A Levels due to spending so long on FM? (We do all of Maths in Y12, then FM in Y13) I’d greatly appreciate any advice! :smile:

Another user recommended dropping geography, but I would drop maths or further maths myself, as they are very closely linked. It’s looked upon the same as doing both business and economics as they are almost revision for one another.

Geography ties in with both maths and economics but also covering different aspects. Also at A Level, you would definitely struggle to juggle all of those subjects, geography is slightly more relaxed and still highly regarded.

I’d suggest just do 3, alongside the compulsory welsh, or do an AS, and at the end of first year choose which one you no longer want to continue.

First year is a breeze compared to second year, second year is very stressful and doing 4 A levels alongside welsh will not only incredibly stress you out, but you also do not gain anything in uni from doing four. They accept three grades only.
Reply 12
Original post by swanseajack1
Original post by bookw0rmm
Hi, I’m in Year 11 and just about to finalise my option choices. My plan:
Maths
Further maths
Economics
Geography
Welsh Bacc (compulsory at my Sixth form)

I’m decided on maths, econ & geog but scared for FM. I’m currently thinking of finance/economics (and hoping to go to a top uni like Cambridge/LSE), meaning taking FM would be quite advantageous.

In general, what do you think of my combo and also how hard actually is FM? (I enjoy maths and took my Mathematics and Numeracy GCSEs early, achieving 2 A*s, but it seems to take me longer than the other (seemingly genius) students in my current ‘Additional maths’ class to grasp new concepts.

Does this mean I’d have to sacrifice my other A Levels due to spending so long on FM? (We do all of Maths in Y12, then FM in Y13) I’d greatly appreciate any advice! :smile:

4 and Welsh Bac is far too much. A few years ago I was speaking to a girl studying Maths in Swansea. Her school a Welsh speaking comprehensive in Cardiff has insisted on her taking Welsh Bac as well as 4 A levels. She had missed the grades for Exeter and ended up in Swansea. She said the reason for missing her grades was the amount of time spent on the Welsh Bac.

That is the issue she was effectively taking 5 A levels. All universities required 3 and spreading the load too thinly caused her to not get into her favoured university.

This is the problem. The Senedd are putting Welsh students at a disadvantage because of their stupid policy on Welsh Bac.

Tell your school you arent taking it and concentrate on your 3 other subjects. 3 top grades is preferred to 5 mediocre ones. AAA is preferred to AABBB.

The really annoying thing is that students futures are put at risk in order to make a school look good and that isnt what education should be about. A number of English universities including Cambridge do not accept the Welsh Bac as one of your 3 subjects so really it is a waste of time for somebody looking to go there.

As far as Further Maths is concerned it is mainly only useful if you intend taking Maths at university. Around 1/2 dozen or slighly more require require FM for Mats courses. A couple require it for Economics and Computer Science but the vast majority of top universities dont require it. It might be worth taking it for Cambridge, LSE and Imperial otherwise it wont be of any use.


I completely agree with you - I think Wales should just scrap the Welsh Bacc and embrace EPQs. Also, unfortunately for me, the last unis you listed are 3 of the 5 I’m planning to apply to for either economics or possibly something related to maths depending on how I find A Level maths/FM. Hopefully I’ll be allowed to complete my entire Welsh Bacc project throughout the summer after Y12 to reduce my Y13 workload.
Original post by bookw0rmm
Hi, I’m in Year 11 and just about to finalise my option choices. My plan:
Maths
Further maths
Economics
Geography
Welsh Bacc (compulsory at my Sixth form)

I’m decided on maths, econ & geog but scared for FM. I’m currently thinking of finance/economics (and hoping to go to a top uni like Cambridge/LSE), meaning taking FM would be quite advantageous.

In general, what do you think of my combo and also how hard actually is FM? (I enjoy maths and took my Mathematics and Numeracy GCSEs early, achieving 2 A*s, but it seems to take me longer than the other (seemingly genius) students in my current ‘Additional maths’ class to grasp new concepts.

Does this mean I’d have to sacrifice my other A Levels due to spending so long on FM? (We do all of Maths in Y12, then FM in Y13) I’d greatly appreciate any advice! :smile:

Further maths is pretty tough(current y12, have started further maths course alongside a level topics at the same time). It’s fair to say that my class of 13(reduced from 18 ) could all get As or A stars in every test no problem in the normal maths class, but because of the difficulty, it ranges from A star to B and we’re all working really hard and for the most part, still struggling but just about managing to keep up. Based off of you struggling a bit more than others in additional maths, which is the easy AS level stuff(which isn’t a bad thing, but just means you’re not a genius ) you will probably struggle with further maths, especially with 4 others, but I also want to do economics at university, so I’d drop geography instead of further maths if I was in your position. That’s just what I’d do. Further maths is hard, and with four others you’d have to work incredibly hard, would probably struggle to hold down a part time job or other serious commitments , but that’s normal for most people who do well in gcse maths-A level is a different game entirely so unless you’re a genius, that’s the likely reality of the situation if you do take five subjects with further maths as one of them.


Really, it all depends on what you want , and it’s always worth giving it a try anyway if you really want.
Original post by Peach_rose34
Further maths is pretty tough(current y12, have started further maths course alongside a level topics at the same time). It’s fair to say that my class of 13(reduced from 18 ) could all get As or A stars in every test no problem in the normal maths class, but because of the difficulty, it ranges from A star to B and we’re all working really hard and for the most part, still struggling but just about managing to keep up. Based off of you struggling a bit more than others in additional maths, which is the easy AS level stuff(which isn’t a bad thing, but just means you’re not a genius ) you will probably struggle with further maths, especially with 4 others, but I also want to do economics at university, so I’d drop geography instead of further maths if I was in your position. That’s just what I’d do. Further maths is hard, and with four others you’d have to work incredibly hard, would probably struggle to hold down a part time job or other serious commitments , but that’s normal for most people who do well in gcse maths-A level is a different game entirely so unless you’re a genius, that’s the likely reality of the situation if you do take five subjects with further maths as one of them.


Really, it all depends on what you want , and it’s always worth giving it a try anyway if you really want.

So , I’d recommend you drop geography or further maths
Reply 15
Original post by Peach_rose34
Original post by Peach_rose34
Further maths is pretty tough(current y12, have started further maths course alongside a level topics at the same time). It’s fair to say that my class of 13(reduced from 18 ) could all get As or A stars in every test no problem in the normal maths class, but because of the difficulty, it ranges from A star to B and we’re all working really hard and for the most part, still struggling but just about managing to keep up. Based off of you struggling a bit more than others in additional maths, which is the easy AS level stuff(which isn’t a bad thing, but just means you’re not a genius ) you will probably struggle with further maths, especially with 4 others, but I also want to do economics at university, so I’d drop geography instead of further maths if I was in your position. That’s just what I’d do. Further maths is hard, and with four others you’d have to work incredibly hard, would probably struggle to hold down a part time job or other serious commitments , but that’s normal for most people who do well in gcse maths-A level is a different game entirely so unless you’re a genius, that’s the likely reality of the situation if you do take five subjects with further maths as one of them.


Really, it all depends on what you want , and it’s always worth giving it a try anyway if you really want.

So , I’d recommend you drop geography or further maths


Thank you very much! Hopefully I’ll be able to make a more informed decision after doing some A level maths and perhaps base whether I’ll drop a subject in Y13 on my maths result after Y12. Good luck with your studies :smile:

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