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Do you think academic success is mutually exclusive to sorting success?

Ok so weird question but I'm kind of looking for opinions rn
Next year I am starting my A-levels which are Maths, Further, Physics & DT (yk quite academic subjects)
I also want to pursue playing my sport for a national team as well though - I didn't go for either the regionals or nationals this year because I didn't know if I would be able to balance it but I really want to give it a go because I feel like it's a once in a lifetime thing. I also know I could because I know someone else doing that and they are about as good as me
But if that means sacrificing grades or friendships I really don't know if I can.
What do you guys think?
I'm kind of looking for advice or idk really
Also how hard are A-levels really? How much extra effort do you have to put in outside of school to get the top grades?
Reply 1
Original post by Maximum-tragedy
Ok so weird question but I'm kind of looking for opinions rn
Next year I am starting my A-levels which are Maths, Further, Physics & DT (yk quite academic subjects)
I also want to pursue playing my sport for a national team as well though - I didn't go for either the regionals or nationals this year because I didn't know if I would be able to balance it but I really want to give it a go because I feel like it's a once in a lifetime thing. I also know I could because I know someone else doing that and they are about as good as me
But if that means sacrificing grades or friendships I really don't know if I can.
What do you guys think?
I'm kind of looking for advice or idk really
Also how hard are A-levels really? How much extra effort do you have to put in outside of school to get the top grades?

The jump from GCSE to A level is big. Some students may have crammed for GCSEs and think they can do the same for A levels but this seldom works. Whilst some can sprint for a GCSE, A levels are a marathon.

Most schools teach 5 hours of lessons per A level and students should do an additional 6 hours on top of this per A level, making notes and reinforcing understanding, plus skills. If you are doing 4 A levels, that's 4 hours of lessons a day + 4 hours of extra study a day (8 hours a day) + 4 hours at the weekend. On top of your sports commitment. Also, DT will require extra time to complete your artefact and Physics will have experiments to complete.

Most students I know who perform at a high level in sports (ballet associates, England U18 netball, rowers or U18 premier league football) are super organised with their time and work hard academically, never miss deadlines or rehearsal/practice. They are very disciplined. It is doable.

If you are at elite athlete level, I would question the 4 A levels. Even Oxbridge only ask for AAA, so. Taking 3 A levels reduces your daily commitment from 8 hours to 6 hours a day, which will make a huge difference if you are training on top of this. Think about it and good luck!
Original post by Maximum-tragedy
Ok so weird question but I'm kind of looking for opinions rn
Next year I am starting my A-levels which are Maths, Further, Physics & DT (yk quite academic subjects)
I also want to pursue playing my sport for a national team as well though - I didn't go for either the regionals or nationals this year because I didn't know if I would be able to balance it but I really want to give it a go because I feel like it's a once in a lifetime thing. I also know I could because I know someone else doing that and they are about as good as me
But if that means sacrificing grades or friendships I really don't know if I can.
What do you guys think?
I'm kind of looking for advice or idk really
Also how hard are A-levels really? How much extra effort do you have to put in outside of school to get the top grades?


I would say that the big jump from GCSEs to A-levels is more prominent when going into year 13, not from year 11 to 12. Y13 is obviously the year when the work you put in matters the most so my advice would be to try fit your sport into your life in Y12 and if need be, when the time comes you can re-evaluate if you have enough time for it in Y13. You shouldn’t have to pick one or the other and it’s definitely manageable :smile:

I would just say to take into consideration how many hours you would spend on the sport. Email the college/s you’re thinking of going to and find out how many hours you’d have in class. It’s different for everyone but I do 3 lots of 1.5hr classes per subject in a week, so for your 4 it would be 18 hours + homework. Secondary school is more hours in a week but less challenging. I’d say no one really spends hours and hours on homework as people might say they do in Y12 so you would have free time.

Go for it and goodluck! Worst case scenario you might have to stop competing or drop 1 subject but that’s unlikely, especially in first year. I also know Y13’s that do competitive sports so it’s fully doable, just figure out what fits in with your time.

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