The Student Room Group

3 or 4 a levels for oxford

Hello, I'm currently in y12 taking art, maths, physics and further maths, of which id say im doing quite well in all of them (as in like A-A*). i was initially going to take further maths as an AS but honestly it's very interesting and i spoke to my fm teacher today and he said he'd predict me no less than an A without any thought (quote on quote). I plan to apply for Physics or the PhysPhil degree in oxford but I'm not particularly sure if it would be good for me to actually do a 4th, considering how im becoming slightly behind in art (but i didnt start my personal investigation yet so in theory i can make time to catch up). one other thing to note however about that is that i believe that i dont have that much time for art due to the amount i need to study beforehand to familiarise myself with the content that is going to be in the PAT (which is mostly y13 content, so it may be possible that next year i may be able to prioritise art and stuff whilst doing consistent revision for the content ive already covered).

so to summarise, here are some pros and cons ive made from what i remember now from the top of my head

- in y13 (in theory) I should be able to study more on my other subjects as i would have fully done my maths a level and a third of Y13 physics (due to studying for the PAT)
- it would be fun (i hope), and if i dont understand something then i would do it as many times as i need before fully understanding it
- it would be useful as a lot of the content is going to be in the degree i believe (so it would be a stable base to expand my knowledge on (and later on i may be able to look into other topics of physics im really interested in, in my own time due to theoretically more free time))

- it may be just a waste of time or maybe too much stress considering how stressed i get before interviews and stuff (ill probably be at peak stress throughout november to january but at the same time that may be normal)
- there is a slight risk of decreasing my grades
- it may just be too stressful in general as i am a little stressed now and i may get burnt out by that time if im constantly under stress
- im anyway going to learn the stuff i need from fm for the degree i want

one thing i plan to do for definite is to stay for the mechanics module of fm which is covered at the end of y12 after the AS exams, so if i dont take fm as an a level i can always write about this in my personal statement (i think??).

Either way, i understand that only 3 a levels are considered in the end due to many state schools only allowing up to 3, but i was also wondering whether something like cGCSEs (or something along those lines) were in place, where they take into account the area you live in/school and give you slightly more consideration depending on how you did in comparison to people in that area. I was wondering about this as a state school student myself.
Reply 1
If you want to apply for Physics at Oxford then studying Further Maths A level is very helpful. Most successful candidates will have studied maths, further maths and physics a levels. If you are thinking of dropping an A level then Art would be the obvious one. But if you enjoy it and are able to keep up with it alongside your other subjects then carry on with it.
Your GCSE results are taken into consideration, but ultimately it's how you do on the PAT that will determine whether you get an interview. Studying Further Maths will help prepare you for the PAT but also, more importantly, for the degree itself - Physics after all is mostly maths.
4 and drop if its too much

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