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4th a-level for medicine

I'm picking my a-level options and I'd like to study medicine.
I've already decided to do chem bio and maths but I'm not sure whether I should take further maths or French as a fourth a-level.
Also, is doing a fourth a-level gonna boost my application in any way?

I really enjoy maths and am good at it so I think further maths would be interesting however I've heard people say it's a lot of work, and as for French, I'm fluent so I thought it would be an easy A* (btw I've got no French roots and I just lived there when I was 8 months to around the age of 4)
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by injeolmii
I'm picking my a-level options and I'd like to study medicine.
I've already decided to do chem bio and maths but I'm not sure whether I should take further maths or French as a fourth a-level.
Also, is doing a fourth a-level gonna boost my application in any way?
I really enjoy maths and am good at it so I think further maths would be interesting however I've heard people say it's a lot of work, and as for French, I'm fluent so I thought it would be an easy A* to add to my application (btw I've got no French roots and I just lived there when I was 8 months to around the age of 4 so no one would know)
I personally am taking 4 a levels (although I want to study psychology, not medicine) and I don't see any drawbacks to it. Personally I would recommend French since you're already fluent and the workload isn't as much as in further maths so it won't eat at your time much. It's also easier than Further Maths so you can basically guarantee you'll get a good grade doing half (or even less!) of the work you'd have to do for Further Maths.

The university knowing you're fluent in French isn't really much of an issue. I'm a native Spanish speaker, born and raised in Spain (and I still live there) and my school makes all of us take Spanish A Level for an easy A* so don't worry about the university knowing about you being fluent in French.

hope this helps!!
Original post by injeolmii
I'm picking my a-level options and I'd like to study medicine.
I've already decided to do chem bio and maths but I'm not sure whether I should take further maths or French as a fourth a-level.
Also, is doing a fourth a-level gonna boost my application in any way?

I really enjoy maths and am good at it so I think further maths would be interesting however I've heard people say it's a lot of work, and as for French, I'm fluent so I thought it would be an easy A* to add to my application (btw I've got no French roots and I just lived there when I was 8 months to around the age of 4 so no one would know)

No, doing a fourth A-level is not going to "boost" your application. You also run the risk of spreading yourself too thin and not getting the 3 As and A*s you need for medicine, which is all they require.
Reply 3
It depends on the universities you apply to. Generally, most only consider your 3 best A-Levels. Otherwise they might give you reduced offers (e.g. AAAB vs A*AA).

Personally, unless you're really passionate about doing 4, I'd stick to 3. Gives you more time to build on other parts of your application (UCAT practice, interview prep, work experience) that universities will look at far far more.
Reply 4
Original post by sneaky-oppressor
I personally am taking 4 a levels (although I want to study psychology, not medicine) and I don't see any drawbacks to it. Personally I would recommend French since you're already fluent and the workload isn't as much as in further maths so it won't eat at your time much. It's also easier than Further Maths so you can basically guarantee you'll get a good grade doing half (or even less!) of the work you'd have to do for Further Maths.
The university knowing you're fluent in French isn't really much of an issue. I'm a native Spanish speaker, born and raised in Spain (and I still live there) and my school makes all of us take Spanish A Level for an easy A* so don't worry about the university knowing about you being fluent in French.
hope this helps!!

Thanks so much for the reply!
Reply 5
Original post by stick101
It depends on the universities you apply to. Generally, most only consider your 3 best A-Levels. Otherwise they might give you reduced offers (e.g. AAAB vs A*AA).
Personally, unless you're really passionate about doing 4, I'd stick to 3. Gives you more time to build on other parts of your application (UCAT practice, interview prep, work experience) that universities will look at far far more.

Thing is, I go to a selective school and we have to do three a-levels with either an EPQ, core maths, further maths, or a fourth a-level, and I'm really not interested in doing EPQ as I'm not a fan of writing essays, and core maths just wouldn't so much for me since I'm taking a-level
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 6
Original post by injeolmii
Thing is, I go to a selective school and we have to do three a-levels with either an EPQ, core maths, further maths, or a fourth a-level, and I'm really not interested in doing EPQ as I'm not a fan of writing essays, and core maths just wouldn't so much for me since I'm taking a-level

Oh god that’s annoying - is that for just year 12? In that case, I would pick French if you know you can get an easy A* out of it and there will be no way for a uni to trace back that you have French roots! In any case, I know some schools make it mandatory to do 4 A Levels for year 12, but they don’t make it known that you can usually drop the 4th in year 13. Do you know if that’s possible if worst comes to worst?
Reply 7
Original post by stick101
Oh god that’s annoying - is that for just year 12? In that case, I would pick French if you know you can get an easy A* out of it and there will be no way for a uni to trace back that you have French roots! In any case, I know some schools make it mandatory to do 4 A Levels for year 12, but they don’t make it known that you can usually drop the 4th in year 13. Do you know if that’s possible if worst comes to worst?

Yep it's quite annoying.. as far as I'm aware we're not allowed to drop any, but I'm allowed to swap a subject for the first month of year 12
(edited 1 month ago)
No-one needs to take 4 A levels and, as PQ has already stated, this gives you absolutely no advantage in the admissions process for Medicine. Focus on getting top grades on the 3 subjects that matter. AAA will always look better than ABBB - and that could cost you a Uni place.

Useful free online Moocs - Applying for Medical School - Online Course - FutureLearn and Healthcare Professional: Online Work Related Learning - FutureLearn

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