The Student Room Group

A levels

Is it a bad idea for me to take 4 essay based a level subjects, I’m doing English lit classics history rs in September
Should I do stem or nah

Scroll to see replies

4's a lotta subjects if u think u can do well enough in 3 do 3
only go for four essay subjects if you’re REALLY confident you can handle the workload, i did english lit and classics (+ another essay subject) and know people who did history and its a LOT, i don’t think i know anyone who’s done four humanities (though i’m sure there are plenty who do). the main difficulty won’t be the fact there’s no stem (in fact three humanities and a science would probably be even harder) it’ll be the amount of content
Reply 3
Original post by ponddweller
only go for four essay subjects if you’re REALLY confident you can handle the workload, i did english lit and classics (+ another essay subject) and know people who did history and its a LOT, i don’t think i know anyone who’s done four humanities (though i’m sure there are plenty who do). the main difficulty won’t be the fact there’s no stem (in fact three humanities and a science would probably be even harder) it’ll be the amount of content


Ok thanks - yes I was considering bio instead of classics but that might be even worse.
At least they somewhat link and that might benefit me. I want to law at university and don’t really like stemm
Reply 4
Original post by ua12345
Is it a bad idea for me to take 4 essay based a level subjects, I’m doing English lit classics history rs in September
Should I do stem or nah


Hi there, I am doing my a levels right now in Eng lit, RS and Latin so somewhat similar. I’d say the main issue is the amount of content, lots of people struggle especially with RS and History even doing 3 subjects and even if they were a top student in GCSE. No uni requires 4 grades, they only consider the highest 3, so it’s better to focus all your energy on 3 good grades than 4 average grades. You can always drop one after year 12 if it’s too much but wanted to try, or instead do an EPQ around another subject. As for wanting to go into law, most people I know who have had successful offers from russel groups/ oxbridge only do 3 a levels and mainly humanities like Eng Lit and history, and in my opinion RS would be valuable as well.
depending on the exam board, i know aqa history and english lit have a lot of coursework with deadlines throughout the year. if you think you can stay on top of that as well as the other 2 subjects go for it :smile:
Reply 6
Original post by gravvy
Hi there, I am doing my a levels right now in Eng lit, RS and Latin so somewhat similar. I’d say the main issue is the amount of content, lots of people struggle especially with RS and History even doing 3 subjects and even if they were a top student in GCSE. No uni requires 4 grades, they only consider the highest 3, so it’s better to focus all your energy on 3 good grades than 4 average grades. You can always drop one after year 12 if it’s too much but wanted to try, or instead do an EPQ around another subject. As for wanting to go into law, most people I know who have had successful offers from russel groups/ oxbridge only do 3 a levels and mainly humanities like Eng Lit and history, and in my opinion RS would be valuable as well.


Great thanks for the advice
In the sixth form I am applying to we have to do 4 a levels
Reply 7
Original post by whateverlic
depending on the exam board, i know aqa history and english lit have a lot of coursework with deadlines throughout the year. if you think you can stay on top of that as well as the other 2 subjects go for it :smile:


Yeah
Im doing AQA tsarist and communist Russia next year for a level
OCR English
OCR classics
Edexcel RS
Original post by ua12345
Yeah
Im doing AQA tsarist and communist Russia next year for a level
OCR English
OCR classics
Edexcel RS


I just finished OCR Classics, hope you enjoy!
Reply 9
Original post by whateverlic
I just finished OCR Classics, hope you enjoy!

What is it like - any tips or advice ? Should I start revising early
My school is doing:
The World of the Hero: Homer, The Iliad and Virgil, The Aeneid
Culture and the Arts: Imperial image
Beliefs and Ideas: Love and Relationships
Original post by ua12345
What is it like - any tips or advice ? Should I start revising early
My school is doing:
The World of the Hero: Homer, The Iliad and Virgil, The Aeneid
Culture and the Arts: Imperial image
Beliefs and Ideas: Love and Relationships


I did WOtH, Greek Religion and Invention of the Barbarian so I can only speak for WOtH. I really liked it, if you like english lit then the reading and analysing is very similar. If you were to start revising early I’d say research specific quotes and summaries of each book chapter. In the exam the 30 mark essays require scholarship references to get into the high grade bands so things like that can help - there’s a lot of things on quizlet for scholarship. Good Luck!
Original post by ua12345
What is it like - any tips or advice ? Should I start revising early
My school is doing:
The World of the Hero: Homer, The Iliad and Virgil, The Aeneid
Culture and the Arts: Imperial image
Beliefs and Ideas: Love and Relationships

its so so easy compared to english lit since you don't need nuanced arguments. u don't need to revise early just get your notes prepared by easter so you can get on learning
Original post by ua12345
Is it a bad idea for me to take 4 essay based a level subjects, I’m doing English lit classics history rs in September
Should I do stem or nah


It might be more work, but if you enjoy the subjects and have previously done well in them then you should be ok. You could start with 4 and see how you go, then drop one if it gets too much (either after the first few weeks, or after AS level if your 6th form allows that).
Original post by ua12345
What is it like - any tips or advice ? Should I start revising early
My school is doing:
The World of the Hero: Homer, The Iliad and Virgil, The Aeneid
Culture and the Arts: Imperial image
Beliefs and Ideas: Love and Relationships
I’ve also finished Classics (WoTH and Love and Relationships, did Greek Theatre as the other one) and for WoTh as long as you do a little revision consistently of like quotes and key moments (which I did not do and suffered for lmao I was last-minute revising like crazy) it’s fine, all my teachers always said that the most important thing is knowing the texts really well & then the questions are just about a theme or character in those texts. There are also some passage analysis questions in the exam but it’s like an easier version of English Lit it’s like eg. ‘how is this passage made exciting’ and then you comment on like an exciting simile and why it’s exciting or something & repeat for different exciting details. Also you need scholarly opinions (like critics in English) but that’s not too much of a problem

Love and Relationships is a little harder in my opinion because you need some historical context but your teachers should go over that they’ll likely go over the context before you start reading the writers/philosophers views that you're studying so my advice for that is do not forget about the context once you get into the main content lmao, again I left all that to the last minute and hadn’t looked at context since the beginning of year 12 and it was very stressful. Also there is an element of philosophy in it with Plato and Seneca and stuff (if you’re doing those? IDK if everyone does the same thinkers but I’m assuming so) but I didn’t find it that bad, other people in my class hated learning Plato because his ideas are weird but all you have to do is remember them, you don’t have to be able to like defend them and why they make sense

Anyway hope this was helpful haha I wrote way too much here but I loved Classics so 👍 DM me for a massive Classics quizlet if you ever need one
Reply 14
Original post by whateverlic
I did WOtH, Greek Religion and Invention of the Barbarian so I can only speak for WOtH. I really liked it, if you like english lit then the reading and analysing is very similar. If you were to start revising early I’d say research specific quotes and summaries of each book chapter. In the exam the 30 mark essays require scholarship references to get into the high grade bands so things like that can help - there’s a lot of things on quizlet for scholarship. Good Luck!

Thanks for you help - what do you mean by scholarship references btw ?
Reply 15
Original post by Emma:-)
It might be more work, but if you enjoy the subjects and have previously done well in them then you should be ok. You could start with 4 and see how you go, then drop one if it gets too much (either after the first few weeks, or after AS level if your 6th form allows that).

Ok thanks for the advice
Reply 16
Original post by ponddweller
I’ve also finished Classics (WoTH and Love and Relationships, did Greek Theatre as the other one) and for WoTh as long as you do a little revision consistently of like quotes and key moments (which I did not do and suffered for lmao I was last-minute revising like crazy) it’s fine, all my teachers always said that the most important thing is knowing the texts really well & then the questions are just about a theme or character in those texts. There are also some passage analysis questions in the exam but it’s like an easier version of English Lit it’s like eg. ‘how is this passage made exciting’ and then you comment on like an exciting simile and why it’s exciting or something & repeat for different exciting details. Also you need scholarly opinions (like critics in English) but that’s not too much of a problem
Love and Relationships is a little harder in my opinion because you need some historical context but your teachers should go over that they’ll likely go over the context before you start reading the writers/philosophers views that you're studying so my advice for that is do not forget about the context once you get into the main content lmao, again I left all that to the last minute and hadn’t looked at context since the beginning of year 12 and it was very stressful. Also there is an element of philosophy in it with Plato and Seneca and stuff (if you’re doing those? IDK if everyone does the same thinkers but I’m assuming so) but I didn’t find it that bad, other people in my class hated learning Plato because his ideas are weird but all you have to do is remember them, you don’t have to be able to like defend them and why they make sense
Anyway hope this was helpful haha I wrote way too much here but I loved Classics so 👍 DM me for a massive Classics quizlet if you ever need one

Thanks so much for the advice, it was v helpful
I dont acc know the philosophy that my school is doing - but I'm doing RS so hopefully that helps
The classics quizlet would be useful if you could send it, thanks.
Original post by ua12345
Thanks for you help - what do you mean by scholarship references btw ?


Scholarship is just quotes and speculations from people like renowned professors or people with very advanced degrees in the subject that’ve published actual works on the subject. So if you get a 30 marker on Achilles and Patroclus you could research scholarship quotes on them where it’d just be a sentence. If it was a question about their relationship for example you could say something like “Achilles and Patroclus show a very deep relationship that almost reaches a romantic level, this is further evidenced by *Insert Scholar’s Name* saying that *Insert Scholarly Quote*.” It’s a bit difficult to describe, but it’s very simple when you’re being taught it
Original post by ua12345
Yeah
Im doing AQA tsarist and communist Russia next year for a level
OCR English
OCR classics
Edexcel RS

Hey, im in year 13 and have just finished Tsarist and Communist Russia. Ive got some stuff I can send you if you want and generally feel free to Pm if youve got any questions
Reply 19
Original post by whateverlic
Scholarship is just quotes and speculations from people like renowned professors or people with very advanced degrees in the subject that’ve published actual works on the subject. So if you get a 30 marker on Achilles and Patroclus you could research scholarship quotes on them where it’d just be a sentence. If it was a question about their relationship for example you could say something like “Achilles and Patroclus show a very deep relationship that almost reaches a romantic level, this is further evidenced by *Insert Scholar’s Name* saying that *Insert Scholarly Quote*.” It’s a bit difficult to describe, but it’s very simple when you’re being taught it

Oh I see what you mean - yes that makes sense. Thanks

Quick Reply