The Student Room Group

Is anyone doing 5 alevels?

I am doing physics chemistry biology and maths for alevel, but I’m rlly interested in psychology as well. Do you think it’s too much if I do 5 alevels?
I need 4A* to get into the university I like, I’ve checked the grade boundaries for psychology which is around 75% ish, do you think I have a higher chance getting 4A* doing 4 alevels or 5? Thank you so much!!!
Reply 1
which university is asking for 4A*?
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by ItsJennie00
I am doing physics chemistry biology and maths for alevel, but I’m rlly interested in psychology as well. Do you think it’s too much if I do 5 alevels?
I need 4A* to get into the university I like, I’ve checked the grade boundaries for psychology which is around 75% ish, do you think I have a higher chance getting 4A* doing 4 alevels or 5? Thank you so much!!!

i mean most people take 3 a levels and a lot of people struggle at maintaining grades at 4. I think it would be unnecessary to make yourself do 5 and you'd burn yourself out. Its a lot of work is all i'm saying and it's better to get 3/4 high grades than 5 lower grades
Reply 3
Original post by ItsJennie00
I am doing physics chemistry biology and maths for alevel, but I’m rlly interested in psychology as well. Do you think it’s too much if I do 5 alevels?
I need 4A* to get into the university I like, I’ve checked the grade boundaries for psychology which is around 75% ish, do you think I have a higher chance getting 4A* doing 4 alevels or 5? Thank you so much!!!


i think 4 a levels is more than enough and doing 5 is unnecessary and may cause you to burn out
Reply 4
Original post by ItsJennie00
I am doing physics chemistry biology and maths for alevel, but I’m rlly interested in psychology as well. Do you think it’s too much if I do 5 alevels?
I need 4A* to get into the university I like, I’ve checked the grade boundaries for psychology which is around 75% ish, do you think I have a higher chance getting 4A* doing 4 alevels or 5? Thank you so much!!!

I did five a levels for about half a term - I was one of four people in my year who did iirc. We all dropped down to four before Christmas. The workload is a lot (especially with science subjects I can see it being really hard to manage!!) and so you could probably keep it up but would have to give up a lot of social time etc
Original post by ItsJennie00
I am doing physics chemistry biology and maths for alevel, but I’m rlly interested in psychology as well. Do you think it’s too much if I do 5 alevels?
I need 4A* to get into the university I like, I’ve checked the grade boundaries for psychology which is around 75% ish, do you think I have a higher chance getting 4A* doing 4 alevels or 5? Thank you so much!!!


Id stick to doing 4.5 may be too much.
I know of one person who did 6 (general studies + 5 others). But in general i wouldnt recommend it.
Does anyone know which places do 5 alevels because I'm very interested in doing so. Thanks.
Reply 7
Unless you are applying for a degree that requires/prefers Further Maths, you are much better off doing 3 A-levels, and then devoting any spare time you have to super curriculars, entrance exams, a relevant EPQ, interview prep etc.

That recommendation is not to make your life easier, but it will also strengthen your application to the elite UK unis, including Oxbridge, as they only need 3 A-level, but they will reject you if the other aspects of your application are not really strong.
I did biology, chemistry and maths and that was intense as it was. Don’t do 5 unless you’re really amazing. I think you’re much more likely to get 4A*s if you just do 4
Reply 9
Original post by ItsJennie00
I am doing physics chemistry biology and maths for alevel, but I’m rlly interested in psychology as well. Do you think it’s too much if I do 5 alevels?
I need 4A* to get into the university I like, I’ve checked the grade boundaries for psychology which is around 75% ish, do you think I have a higher chance getting 4A* doing 4 alevels or 5? Thank you so much!!!

you're underestimating how hard a levels are. unless one of your a levels is further maths, don't even take 4.

there's no point putting yourself through extra stress, even if you enjoy a subject it will not be pleasurable if you're doing so many a levels
Original post by mymelo
you're underestimating how hard a levels are. unless one of your a levels is further maths, don't even take 4.
there's no point putting yourself through extra stress, even if you enjoy a subject it will not be pleasurable if you're doing so many a levels

some people do alvelels in y11
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 11
Original post by miffy122233
some people do alvelels in y11

yes but not many people. some people are incredibly intelligent and can handle it but why put yourself through the extra stress and work? don't make a levels your life by taking more than you need
Sorry, Ik know i'm slightly late to the party. I technically did 5 alevels being Maths, Physics, Computer Science, DT: Product Design, AS Further Maths, EPQ. The reason is, I was doing 4 A-Levels and wanted to go to Imperial/Oxbridge for maths and computer science, both who required Further Maths or self study + the STEP or MAT tests, and **Imperial wanted 4A*. My alevels were a lot of coursework which took a bit of pressure off the exams and by no means do you need to do 5. If your university requires that you do a specific alevel, then offer to do the AS. It shows that you are willing to put the effort in and they will understand that 5 alevels is alot of workload and they won't ask you to do that (make sure you mention your situation in your personal statement). Alternatively, if you are in y11 and just starting alevels, look at the uni course you want to do and the alevels they require then do those 3 + one that you enjoy. Also when doing 4, there is no need to do an EPQ as, by doing 4, you have already shown that you can time manage. If you really want to do 5, even if it's just for ego, do some subjects which include coursework so you can remove pressure from the exams, and do subjects you enjoy. Just a final point, if you are having to study before every topic test and only getting As or having to put extra effort in outside of class then an extra A-Level isn't for you. If you are easily getting As or 90-100% on all subjects just off classwork then have a look if you must.

**On UCAS these unis will request A*AA. Bear in mind this is the MINIMUM grade and is what applicants are expected to get if they have a bad day in the exams. Talking to many of the unis the admissions test will filter out all the students below A*A*A* and most of the time they will go with the 4-5 A Level students as they have so many applicants they can turn straight A* students away. You really need both a good personal statement AND top grades. (Just to put this into perspective, the head of computer science at Imperial said not to even think about applying to Maths and Computer Science Joint honors without 4 A-levels and most students have top grades) I don't think this is for every oxbridge course but if you're looking for maths/science/cs course then I imagine it will.
Original post by ItsJennie00
I am doing physics chemistry biology and maths for alevel, but I’m rlly interested in psychology as well. Do you think it’s too much if I do 5 alevels?
I need 4A* to get into the university I like, I’ve checked the grade boundaries for psychology which is around 75% ish, do you think I have a higher chance getting 4A* doing 4 alevels or 5? Thank you so much!!!

Hey! It really depends - I did 5 a-levels for the majority of year 12 and it was a lot of work, but it is possible. To be honest, I certainly felt that I lacked free time very often but it was still more manageable than most people would think. I'd say the hardest thing is not the regular school term, but exam season, since you have more content to revise and less days between exams to prepare. If you are not planning to take psychology at university, then i would recommend taking 4-alevels and learning/reading about pysch in your free time or as a hobby. If you might do it at uni, you could swap it for one of the sciences too? At the end of the day, its your decision and perhaps check with your school if you can drop a fifth subject in the middle of the school year because then you could just give it a go but always have that safety net. Check if the pyschology course aligns with your interests as well, since the A-level subject may not be as interesting as the areas you find fascinating (or it might be). Good luck with whatever you end up deciding 🙂
Original post by gyllenhaalferret
Hey! It really depends - I did 5 a-levels for the majority of year 12 and it was a lot of work, but it is possible. To be honest, I certainly felt that I lacked free time very often but it was still more manageable than most people would think. I'd say the hardest thing is not the regular school term, but exam season, since you have more content to revise and less days between exams to prepare. If you are not planning to take psychology at university, then i would recommend taking 4-alevels and learning/reading about pysch in your free time or as a hobby. If you might do it at uni, you could swap it for one of the sciences too? At the end of the day, its your decision and perhaps check with your school if you can drop a fifth subject in the middle of the school year because then you could just give it a go but always have that safety net. Check if the pyschology course aligns with your interests as well, since the A-level subject may not be as interesting as the areas you find fascinating (or it might be). Good luck with whatever you end up deciding 🙂


Thank you so so much!! May I ask which 5 alevels did you do?
Original post by ItzTheDodo
Sorry, Ik know i'm slightly late to the party. I technically did 5 alevels being Maths, Physics, Computer Science, DT: Product Design, AS Further Maths, EPQ. The reason is, I was doing 4 A-Levels and wanted to go to Imperial/Oxbridge for maths and computer science, both who required Further Maths or self study + the STEP or MAT tests, and **Imperial wanted 4A*. My alevels were a lot of coursework which took a bit of pressure off the exams and by no means do you need to do 5. If your university requires that you do a specific alevel, then offer to do the AS. It shows that you are willing to put the effort in and they will understand that 5 alevels is alot of workload and they won't ask you to do that (make sure you mention your situation in your personal statement). Alternatively, if you are in y11 and just starting alevels, look at the uni course you want to do and the alevels they require then do those 3 + one that you enjoy. Also when doing 4, there is no need to do an EPQ as, by doing 4, you have already shown that you can time manage. If you really want to do 5, even if it's just for ego, do some subjects which include coursework so you can remove pressure from the exams, and do subjects you enjoy. Just a final point, if you are having to study before every topic test and only getting As or having to put extra effort in outside of class then an extra A-Level isn't for you. If you are easily getting As or 90-100% on all subjects just off classwork then have a look if you must.
**On UCAS these unis will request A*AA. Bear in mind this is the MINIMUM grade and is what applicants are expected to get if they have a bad day in the exams. Talking to many of the unis the admissions test will filter out all the students below A*A*A* and most of the time they will go with the 4-5 A Level students as they have so many applicants they can turn straight A* students away. You really need both a good personal statement AND top grades. (Just to put this into perspective, the head of computer science at Imperial said not to even think about applying to Maths and Computer Science Joint honors without 4 A-levels and most students have top grades) I don't think this is for every oxbridge course but if you're looking for maths/science/cs course then I imagine it will.


This is super helpful😭😭You’re such an angel tysm!!
Original post by ItsJennie00
Thank you so so much!! May I ask which 5 alevels did you do?

of course! I did maths, further maths, physics, computer science and economics. Feel free to ask any more questions 😁

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