The Student Room Group

applying to university

say if i take four alevels. If i got an A/A* in biology, chemistry and sociology, and a grade less than an A in physics, would universities still accept me in for dentistry. For dentistry I only really need biology and chemistry. I don't really need physics but im taking it anyway, and also sociology. say if my physics grade turns out bad, but my sociology grade is good (like A or above), would universities look at the subjects i get the best grades in? please let me know
Original post by yaz2007
say if i take four alevels. If i got an A/A* in biology, chemistry and sociology, and a grade less than an A in physics, would universities still accept me in for dentistry. For dentistry I only really need biology and chemistry. I don't really need physics but im taking it anyway, and also sociology. say if my physics grade turns out bad, but my sociology grade is good (like A or above), would universities look at the subjects i get the best grades in? please let me know

Generally speaking, universities will pay no attention whatsoever to your fourth A level. They will set offer conditions based upon three A levels only. You could get an E in the fourth A level and they wouldn't bat an eyelid.

This is why, for most people, it's absolutely pointless to take four A levels. I realise that many schools insist on it, but it actually harms your chances, as you have less time to dedicate to the other three subjects, thus risking the grades in those three being adversely impacted by doing the fourth.
Reply 2
Original post by DataVenia
Generally speaking, universities will pay no attention whatsoever to your fourth A level. They will set offer conditions based upon three A levels only. You could get an E in the fourth A level and they wouldn't bat an eyelid.
This is why, for most people, it's absolutely pointless to take four A levels. I realise that many schools insist on it, but it actually harms your chances, as you have less time to dedicate to the other three subjects, thus risking the grades in those three being adversely impacted by doing the fourth.
i just feel like i won't a grade good enough for physics alevel to get into uni, and since im well into year 12, its too late to drop it or replace it with something else. so i was just thinking that if i did an easier alevel privately, such as sociology alevel or ICT alevel or whatever over the course of the summer holidays, and achieve an A/A* in that,, as well as an A in bio and chem, wouldnt it increase my chance of getting into a good uni? im just scared of physics dragging me down and being the reason i can't apply for dentistry/medicine
Original post by yaz2007
i just feel like i won't a grade good enough for physics alevel to get into uni, and since im well into year 12, its too late to drop it or replace it with something else. so i was just thinking that if i did an easier alevel privately, such as sociology alevel or ICT alevel or whatever over the course of the summer holidays, and achieve an A/A* in that,, as well as an A in bio and chem, wouldnt it increase my chance of getting into a good uni? im just scared of physics dragging me down and being the reason i can't apply for dentistry/medicine

OK. That wasn't clear from your first post. You've started year 12 taking 3 A levels: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Biology and Chemistry are going fine, but you're struggling a little with Physics and are worried that you won't get the grade you need. It's too late to switch Physics out for something else, so your plan is to add a fourth A level, which you'll take privately. Your hope is that you'll do well enough in the fourth A level, that it will surpass your likely Physics grade, meaning that your best three grades will be sufficient for Dentistry, leaving Physics as the irrelevant fourth A level. Have I got that right?

A few things to keep in mind:

1. An extra A level is a lot of work. A single A level is designed to require 360 hours of "guided learning hours", and is normally taught over 5 terms (with the last term of year 13 being revision and exams). You're hoping to do those 360 hours across 3 terms (one year). That's roughly an hour a day, 7 days a week, including through holidays etc. If you wanted to take weekends and Christmas off, you'd be nearer 1.5 hours a day. How busy are you right now? Do you have a spare 1 to 1.5 hours per day? Trying to do 360 hours of work over a six-week summer holiday isn't really viable; you'd be doing 10 hours a day, 6 days a week.

2. There's no guarantee that you'd find Sociology or ICT any easier that Physics. Also, you'd have to self-teach. Unless you were planning to hire a tutor, there's be no-one to mark you essays or to explain anything which didn't make sense. So although you might find these subjects easier than Physics, don't discount the amount of effort which will required.

3. When you come to complete your UCAS application, you'll enter four A levels (three at your current school / college, and one at some private exam centre). Each of these will be "pending" grades and your referee (your school / college) will be asked to provide predicted grades for each of these. How will they predict your grade for the subject you're taking privately?

I'm not trying to put you off this plan - I understand the thought process behind it. I'm just trying to ensure that you make your decision fully informed.
Reply 4
It doesnt matter where you train as a Dentist.
Your patients will never ask 'which Un' - and neither will the NHS,

Entry requirements for all UK Dental Schools -DSC_Entry-Requirements-entry-2024.pdf (dentalschoolscouncil.ac.uk)
Pick 4 that meet your likely grades and don't get obsessed with the idea of 'better Uni' - for Dentistry there isn't one.

Quick Reply

Latest