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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
losing touch. Offline
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AS/A level question. - September 10th 2009, 12:14 AM

i'm going into 6.1 [or year 12..]

i had planned to take 4 AS subjects but i'm now thinking of changing to three and dropping one. i figured that it would be better to get better grades in less subjects than worse grades in more subjects?. anyhow.. so i was telling my friend this and she was like, "oh but you need 4 AS's to get into uni.." is this true? will i be at a disadvantage only having three AS subjects? do some uni's give offers based on the extra AS also? [which i obviously wouldn't have.]

i'm not planning on applying to any really competetive uni's but i don't want to be stuck with no choices because i haven't got 4 AS's like most people.

also.. my mum said something about me needing another AS for UMS points or something?. i have no idea what that is.. and is this true?

oh, and the subjects i'm taking are English language, sociology, politics & philosophy. i would either drop philosophy or sociology.

thanks guys.


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Re: AS/A level question. - September 10th 2009, 11:10 AM

Hi Elle,

My advice would be to start off trying with 4 ASs, if it's too much or you feel you aren't doing as well as you could because of doing 4 then you can always drop one at a later date, but of course it's your decision and it's up to you - do what feel right for you.

It's not essential to have 4 AS levels to get into uni, but it does help. For one thing it just shows the unis you're applying to that you can juggle the work for different courses, but mostly the benefit comes in terms of UCAS points. Although many unis will make an offer based on you getting certain grades in your A-Levels, many will also ask for a certain number of UCAS points, and that 4th AS that you don't necessarily continue to A2 still counts for that. I haven't seen many unis give offers that want certain grades at A2 and a certain grade for the AS that gets dropped, although it does happen occasionally.

My one concern would be what you would do next year? If you feel doing more subjects will lower your grade, how would you feel when you're facing either 3 A2 levels (which, from my experience, would feel like more work than 3 AS levels did) or dropping another subject and only having 2 A2 levels - which would make it more difficult to get into uni as unis do typically expect 3 A-Levels or equivalent. So it might be worth thinking about how you would respond to that as well as getting through this year.

Good luck and take care.
   
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Re: AS/A level question. - September 10th 2009, 11:38 AM

Hey Elle
I'm doing 3 AS's and BTEC but that's a compulsory weird thing at my school
Its perfectly fine to do 3 as long as you think you could do them at A2 as well.
You don't NEED 4 AS's to get into uni but the points from the 4th do help.
Obviously if you feel like its to much work then try and explain that to your mother.
Hope that helped


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Re: AS/A level question. - September 10th 2009, 04:41 PM

I have spoke to you before and if you are still thinking of doing Radiography then most Uni's ask for CCC. (Some may say CCB or CCD). I don't know if you still want to do this or where you want to go but a lot or the courses I have looked at for this do not take UCAS points in to consideration and just look at the grades.

I was doing 4 and I dropped one because I wanted to focus on the 3 I need for university and the 4th was just extra work and more of a distraction from the others.

It is honestly up to you though, the best thing to do is check out the websites of the uni's you want to go to and see what they look at.

This is a really useful page for if you are still considering radiography.
http://www.sor.org/public/pdf/Direct...009_update.pdf

It lists all of the universities that run the course, how many places on the course and what you need to get in. One thing I noticed is you are not doing a science, if you still want to do radiography most ask for 1 science A2. (Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Psychology are accepted as sciences)

Last edited by Melody Pond; September 10th 2009 at 05:02 PM.
   
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Re: AS/A level question. - September 10th 2009, 10:10 PM

It depends what course you want to do and where. If you want to do a competitive course or go to a competitive University then yes you will be at a disadvantage. But at my college 3 AS levels is the norm and lots and lots of people get into Uni.


Not really any of my business -- but did you not have mental health problems last year resulting in you not taking any GCSEs? Don't put yourself under too much stress which may cause them to re-emerge if it's not necesary. 4 AS levels is not 100% necesary.
   
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Re: AS/A level question. - September 10th 2009, 10:15 PM

You only need three A levels to get into Oxford (granted they need to be AAA though) So yes three is perfectly enough.
   
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Re: AS/A level question. - September 10th 2009, 10:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by her_beautiful_mistake View Post
It depends what course you want to do and where. If you want to do a competitive course or go to a competitive University then yes you will be at a disadvantage. But at my college 3 AS levels is the norm and lots and lots of people get into Uni.


Not really any of my business -- but did you not have mental health problems last year resulting in you not taking any GCSEs? Don't put yourself under too much stress which may cause them to re-emerge if it's not necesary. 4 AS levels is not 100% necesary.
no, i have cancer. i did manage to sit my gcse's but not as many as i'd hoped.. but i did get 7 A-C's. this is what i'm thinking.. it's very frustrating because mentally i know i could do 4 but physically i don't think i'll be able to do it. and no i'm not planning on applying to any particularly competetive uni's [well i wouldn't have thought so anyway..]

i was going to drop out until my health situation improves.. but realistically it's going to be ongoing for some time yet and i really have no idea when this is all going to be over so i can't just put everything on hold.


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Re: AS/A level question. - September 10th 2009, 10:30 PM

Nahh, the only time you'll need a 4th AS grade is with the top uni's where they want the subject dropped to be something like a B or higher.

If you look on websites and prospectuses, they ask for three grades. (or points)
Sometime they want you to have a minimum GCSE grade of a B-C in English and Maths.

3-A levels is fine.
If you're really unsure, talk to the exams officer or head of 6th form.






   
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Re: AS/A level question. - September 10th 2009, 11:02 PM

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Originally Posted by PolkaDotTissue View Post
You only need three A levels to get into Oxford (granted they need to be AAA though) So yes three is perfectly enough.
That's A2, not AS.

Three AS levels could be OK depending on what you want to do. However, if you want to go to a good university, it could be a disadvantage. While most don't demand that you have four AS levels (I can't think of any that do, but there may well be some), you'll be competing for entry with people who are taking four. By taking four you also let yourself hedge against inadequate A-level results by dropping your worst subject at the end of Year 12. Obviously it's more work doing four, but my advice to you is to start off with four and, if you don't feel like you can handle it, drop one part-way through the AS year.
   
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Re: AS/A level question. - September 10th 2009, 11:07 PM

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Originally Posted by Acheron View Post
That's A2, not AS.

Three AS levels could be OK depending on what you want to do. However, if you want to go to a good university, it could be a disadvantage. While most don't demand that you have four AS levels (I can't think of any that do, but there may well be some), you'll be competing for entry with people who are taking four. By taking four you also let yourself hedge against inadequate A-level results by dropping your worst subject at the end of Year 12. Obviously it's more work doing four, but my advice to you is to start off with four and, if you don't feel like you can handle it, drop one part-way through the AS year.
I was referring to A2 as an A level. As I assumed they the three as levels would be carried on to A2, seeming as most uni's want three A2 levels to get in...
   
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Re: AS/A level question. - September 10th 2009, 11:12 PM

In my experience, I scouted 50 unis last year (I. Am. Thorough.) Most ask for three, but *some* universities will ask for say ABB + B at AS. Just as a heads up. Not common, but it can happen.


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Re: AS/A level question. - September 10th 2009, 11:21 PM

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Originally Posted by PolkaDotTissue View Post
I was referring to A2 as an A level. As I assumed they the three as levels would be carried on to A2, seeming as most uni's want three A2 levels to get in...
Yeah, except she's planning to do three A2s whatever happens and is asking whether it would be a disadvantage to do three ASs instead of four. Yes, universities make their offers based on three A-levels, but the number of AS levels you take can affect whether or not you get an offer in the first place.
   
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Re: AS/A level question. - September 11th 2009, 09:14 AM

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Originally Posted by xxEllexx View Post
no, i have cancer. i did manage to sit my gcse's but not as many as i'd hoped.. but i did get 7 A-C's. this is what i'm thinking.. it's very frustrating because mentally i know i could do 4 but physically i don't think i'll be able to do it. and no i'm not planning on applying to any particularly competetive uni's [well i wouldn't have thought so anyway..]

i was going to drop out until my health situation improves.. but realistically it's going to be ongoing for some time yet and i really have no idea when this is all going to be over so i can't just put everything on hold.
Given the situation I would do three - as you said you don't want to tire yourself out. Achieving good grades in four AS levels was hard work, not only do you have all the day-to-day work, but going to 5 hours extra of classes when you could be resting and then extra revision - as long as you didn't apply to a University that required an AS level as well you could not be held at a disadvantage as you have significant mitigating circumstances (cancer) and when you decide to apply to University you should get your referance to mention this to ensure you're not at a disadvantage. Often you can submit additional information to Universities - I am regarding my GCSE mitigating circumstances - and I'd recommend you did this in the form of a letter from you outlining why you have A) not achieved as well as your potential at GCSE B) Not taken four AS levels, and get a letter from your GP or oncologist supporting your medical claim and a letter from your secondary school saying what you could have achieved. Sending this a few days before submitting UCAS should mean you won't be held at any kind of disadvantage.

Several Universities have special access schemes you can apply through if your education was disrupted due to serious illness, and you could go through these, so when you start looking at Uni's look into this. Birmingham comes to mind.

   
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Re: AS/A level question. - September 11th 2009, 02:11 PM

Heya,
A lot of people take four AS levels and drop one at A2. Some people only do three, and that's fine, but it depends what uni you want to go to and how many UCAS points you can get from them. Normally a university would want three A2 levels, so bear that in mind if you decide to drop to two. What you could do is do three AS levels this year, carry them on to A2 if you're happy with it, and if you're still worried about not having a 4th AS level, take that in your A2 year? Lots of colleges let you do that, and it's just the same as taking 4 in your AS year.
Hope that helps. If I've confused you there's a website about UCAS points which will be much clearer - have a look on google for it. =]




   
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Re: AS/A level question. - September 11th 2009, 02:18 PM

thanks everyone for your help, i'm going to talk to my personal tutor about it on monday and probably see after a week or two which subject i want to drop. :]


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