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Desperately need advice about turning 5 A level choices into 4: want to do PPE at uni Watch

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    I desperately need helpful advice from everyone! There are 5 A levels that I am passionate about and really want to take as As levels before dropping down to 4 at A2, but everyone I speak to is telling me that it's just not done at the college where I'm going to and that I won't have enough study periods on my timetable/time to myself.

    I want to do Chemistry, Economics, French, Maths and Politics and I want to apply to Oxford to do PPE. As the entrance exam and interviews are so hard, and they strongly recommend you have maths A level before applying, I think Economics, Maths and Politics are pretty essential. However, has anyone tried/suceeded in getting into Oxford for PPE without one of these? Has anyone started PPE at another Uni without any of these A levels? If you did, how did you cope without previous knowledge?

    It would be possible to do 5 at my college but I don't know anyone who did, so I can't find out what it's like compaired with doing four.

    Please can you tell me if you did do 5 and how you coped. How much time did you spend studying each day/week? Do you regret taking 5/not taking 5? Maybe you thought about doing 5 and then decided in the end to do 4, did you think this was a good idea?

    I really can't choose between any of my subjects but I'll need AAA to get into Oxford or similar unis and don't want the quality of my grades to suffer due to an extra subject. When people are awarded A*s for the first time next year, the requirements may go up to include A*s for PPE and I don't know if I can acheive such high grades with an extra subject. I'm hoping to get around 5 As and 5 A*s at GCSE.

    I'm very likely to get A*s in French and sciences and hope to get one in maths, so I can't see any obvious choice about which one to drop

    Please help me :eek3: :confused:
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    There's a thread about PPE at oxford here which you may want to read.
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    Just take the 5, I was very iffy about taking 5 at AS (maths, f. maths, biology, chemistry and physics), I had no study periods and yet I got 5 A's. So don't worry, if you want to take 5 do, study periods don't matter really.
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    kdark thanks for your advice. I'll stick with chemistry instead of further maths as I recon that, if I only focus on subjects relevant to the course, I won't be showing that I'm a flexable person with a range of skills and interests. I will have enough slots on my timetable for the actual lessons and I spose I could cope without the study periods. . .

    There are 36 45min lesson periods on the time table per week, with 6 lessons per subject. If I did 4 subjects, that would be 24 lessons with 12 study periods. If I did 5, then I'd have 30 lessons with only 6 study periods; that's only 3 hours a week to catch up on 5 subjects. My college say that you should use every study period for study but do loads outside of that: do you think I'll have enough time to do enough to get 5 As at AS?

    When you say it 'should be fine' to do 5. . . why doesn't everyone do 5 if it's so easy to cope? What's your experience with this? What subjects do you do, how much studying per subject and free time each week du recon you've done and what do you hope to get?
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    I'd honestly say drop chemistry and do French, Economics, Maths and Politics. Those 4 are solid subjects and link more with the course you want to do at university.
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    Nelliephant, do you know roughly how many hows you had to do per subject during the week and how much free time you had? Did you never feel you might go insane with overwork or just might reduce the quality of your grades in the end?
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    In all honesty outside of lessons I did practically no work for maths, and a small amount for physics. Biology and Chemistry required a bit more work but I never felt stressed by it. If you are intelligent then you can do it. I still did my dancing outside school, volunteering on a saturday, and hanging out with my friends.
    During the year I did my homework that was set, and wrote up my notes, it was enough work.
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    I'd say go with Maths, Economics, Politics and French.
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    you can still take 5 if you want, but out of your choices id say dropping chemsitry is your best bet
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    JayAyy, what do you feel makes French more relevant than chemistry? I definately think that it's between the two but can't think of any way of deciding between them; I'm really interested in both of them. Do you think you could have coped with/done well if you'd studied an extra subject or do you recon I'd be insane to do more than 4?
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    loads of people are saying drop chemistry, an advice about why to help me decide?
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    I did five. It was fine.

    I didn't have any more work than the students who did 4 AS levels with 2 or 3 essay subjects.

    You can always drop out any time you feel if it gets too much. Don't let other people tell you what you can and can't do.
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    how come you didn't have any more work??
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    (Original post by purple hat in the ring)
    JayAyy, what do you feel makes French more relevant than chemistry? I definitely think that it's between the two but can't think of any way of deciding between them; I'm really interested in both of them. Do you think you could have coped with/done well if you'd studied an extra subject or do you recon I'd be insane to do more than 4?
    You sometimes study the politics of other countries as part of the course (france is probably one of them - not too sure though), whereas chemistry definitely wont come in handy. French will definitely apply for philosophy too - everyone studies Descartes in the first year.

    I took 6 AS levels and found it totally fine btw, so I imagine that 5 would be completely doable.
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    For GCSES, Oxford want A*s and As or is A-levels more important?
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    (Original post by purple hat in the ring)
    kdark thanks for your advice. I'll stick with chemistry instead of further maths as I recon that, if I only focus on subjects relevant to the course, I won't be showing that I'm a flexable person with a range of skills and interests. I will have enough slots on my timetable for the actual lessons and I spose I could cope without the study periods. . .

    There are 36 45min lesson periods on the time table per week, with 6 lessons per subject. If I did 4 subjects, that would be 24 lessons with 12 study periods. If I did 5, then I'd have 30 lessons with only 6 study periods; that's only 3 hours a week to catch up on 5 subjects. My college say that you should use every study period for study but do loads outside of that: do you think I'll have enough time to do enough to get 5 As at AS?

    When you say it 'should be fine' to do 5. . . why doesn't everyone do 5 if it's so easy to cope? What's your experience with this? What subjects do you do, how much studying per subject and free time each week du recon you've done and what do you hope to get?
    If you're willing to do the work then you should be able to achieve any grades you want. A-Levels are all about ticking boxes when it comes to exams so if you're happy to invest the time learning enough information to tick those boxes then you'll be fine. I only did 3 full A-Levels and truly didn't have to do that much. On the one hand I regret it now as it would be nice to have more qualifications, plus those extra results would be extremely beneficial entering the job market next year if/when I graduate. However, doing 3 full A-Levels (did Maths AS) did allow me to have an absolute laugh at sixth form, yeah it was only two years which might affect my future so it doesn't really make sense but I really did enjoy the time. So that's your answer- five is eminently do-able, even if you want A's from them all. But be prepared to sacrafice some element of your social life.
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    Thanks Dannymccs that's some really good advice. Thanks everyone for being so helpful can someone tell me, if it's answerable, how much harder than GCSEs A levels are?
    I had to teach myself my entire DT, English and maths GCSEs in the space of about a month in April/May and I think I'll get A/A*s in them. If I can do that in a month, will A levels not be much harder, given that I'll have way more time? Is there a way of comparing GCSEs with A levels, like is an AS/A2 modual the equivelant of a GCSE or something like that?
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    I did 5 ASs - French, English Lit, Geography, RE and Maths

    It was hard work and my days were alot fuller than everyone else's but it didn't seem too bad because to me it was just normal and I still went out loads with my friends. Like you, I did 5 because for the life of me I couldn't decide what I wanted to drop. I wouldn't really recommend it though because you end up doing a lot more work, for no real reason. I ended up with BABAA when I could have probably got 4 As. So I dropped maths at A2 and then resat 2 modules to get the Bs up to As.

    I think you shouldn't bother with chemistry because it's known as one of the hardest a levels and it isn't relevant to your degree.
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    OP- the only truly essential subject you need to take is Maths. If you really wanted to do both French and Chemistry then you could- I received an offer for PPE after taking maths, english, french and history. As such neither politics nor economics are strictly necessary, though obviously doing one or both of them might work in your favour during the application/interview process.
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    I'd drop the Chemistry personally for PPE, but I would have thought all five were doable at AS, then you could drop Chemistry for A2.
 
 
 
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