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What do you think of these A'level subject choices

(93 Posts)
AgeofInformation Sat 21-Jan-17 16:29:21

This is what DS might be heading for:

Maths
Economics
Computing.

My worry being that he has chosen two non facilitating subjects.

Darthvadersmuuuum Sat 21-Jan-17 16:33:21

If that's what your DS wants to spend two years of his life studying, that's his business. Nowt to do with me or any other random on MN

Sadik Sat 21-Jan-17 16:35:26

Darthvadersmuuuum - but presumably it's helpful to know if there's any important things he might have missed?

Does he have any idea what he might like to do next? For example, some economics courses may want maths + further maths, but I suspect it would very much depend where. I wonder if that might also be an issue for computing?

titchy Sat 21-Jan-17 16:42:04

Why does he need two facilitating subjects? What's his plan afterwards?

myfavouritecolourispurple Sat 21-Jan-17 17:07:02

Looks like a decent combination to me. All good solid subjects. Economics is a good essay subject, Maths speaks for itself and computing is more than useful in this day and age.

AgeofInformation Sat 21-Jan-17 17:11:56

He's not clear yet what he wants to do. I think RG recommend doing two facilitating subjects to broaden options. From what I've seen, doing two non facilitating subjects definitely narrows his choices but maybe it doesn't so much.

bojorojo Sat 21-Jan-17 17:19:23

Swapping Physics for the Computing keeps a lot more doors open. LSE used to want Further Maths for their Economics course but this is not now the case I believe. Further Maths would be useful if he wants to do Maths. The choice of A levels would not be suitable for most Engineering courses either. However, if he is not interested in Enginerring, then it will not matter.

Has he any idea of what he would like to study at University? If he has, look up some relevant courses at RG universities and see what they prefer regarding A levels. You may find what he has chosen is fine.

It is perfectly OK to ask for advice here. That is what the site is for - I thought!

ErrolTheDragon Sat 21-Jan-17 17:21:01

Is he restricted to 3 subjects from the outset? Does he have any ideas of what he might want to do or has he ruled anything out? (Well, pretty obviously he doesn't want to do languages or humanities)

bojorojo Sat 21-Jan-17 17:22:17

Sorry - I see he does not know what he wants to do! Could you open up the discussion by seeing what is available and whether these A levels fit? Eg Economics, Computer Science, Management, Maths, etc? What does he like best out of the three subjects he has taken?

ErrolTheDragon Sat 21-Jan-17 17:23:22

And yes, of course its perfectly sensible to ask advice here - at a similar stage I got some very helpful advice re my DDs possible choices.

AgeofInformation Sat 21-Jan-17 17:26:46

Bojo you've really hit the nail on the head there. He wanted to do Physics before but this isn't going to be possible as he school only offers Pre U physics. He has now swapped that for economics. Whilst they all are good subjects in their own right, it's the combination of the three and the limited possible course options they lead to I'm uncomfortable about. I know he is still keen a bit on engineering, he's possibly also keen on something g to with computing/programming/ design etc.

Also which one of Computing or Economics do you think has more credence with top universities?

AgeofInformation Sat 21-Jan-17 17:31:48

Errol he is not restricted to 3 subjects but felt 4 would be too much pressure hmm. I did advise he started with. 4 and then could drop one once he's clearer in lower sixth form or A2 (is that what it's called?) but DS and DH quickly stamped on that.

mummytime Sat 21-Jan-17 17:32:24

Could he investigate a sixth form College or another sixth form? You can hold more than one offer for sixth form.

ErrolTheDragon Sat 21-Jan-17 17:34:38

I'm not familiar with 'pre U' - I'm quite taken aback at the idea that someone who might be interested in engineering can't take physics A level. Tbh if his choices are being constrained on that by the school I would very seriously look elsewhere for his sixth form.

If he might be interested in engineering or computing then maths and physics are the essentials, FM highly desirable but in yr 12 you'd really want a fourth subject so as not to be too narrow.

ErrolTheDragon Sat 21-Jan-17 17:39:53

If he's bright enough to be considering 'top universities' he should be bright enough to deal with 4 subjects in yr 12. Its a pity they may not be able to do AS and then drop one nowadays, which is what DD did. That may still be possible for the further maths.

Has he studied either computing or economics before - what happens if he doesn't get on with one of those? That might produce more pressure...

AgeofInformation Sat 21-Jan-17 17:44:00

He has been doing Computing already, so he's happy with that. He's had a taser in Economics and thought that was okay too.
The brain is there but bone idle! Hence the firm resistance to 4 subjects.

scardeyy Sat 21-Jan-17 17:45:51

Tbh there's no point in doing 4 and dropping 1 as 9 times out of 10 the dropped AS counts for fuck all.

titchy Sat 21-Jan-17 17:45:58

Both eco and comp are well regarded subjects. Facilitating subjects are only required for certain degrees (i.e. You can't do a chemistry degree without a chemistry A level hence its on the list. But you can do an economics degree without an economics A level, hence it's not on the list).

So in itself his choices are great, but clearly he's ruling out Physics degrees. Electronic Engineering still open to him - maths and computing. I don't think mech eng would be open to him though as hat needs physics.

If he likes physics why can't he do pre-U? Or go elsewhere.

bojorojo Sat 21-Jan-17 17:48:45

Error - The PreU is mentioned in the adacemic requirements in most university course details! You must know it! The PreU is an academic exam which I think was called the Cambridge PreU when it started. A lot of academic independent schools like it and it is supposed to be harder than A level - although I am not certain about this.

So many Engineering courses like Maths and Physics apart from Chemical Engineering. I think if you read the advice on choosing A levels, there is nothing wrong with A levels that are not facilitating. People often think they prepare for a degree, but lots do not. Law is a poor A level for Law students and Economics is not required for an Economics degree!

What is best really does depend on his aspirations. Could he not consider the PreU if the syllabus is explained to him? Does he feel it is too challenging? Doing Physics Pre U, Maths and Economics or Computing would be fine and he only needs three.Lots of schools are now asking pupils to choose three not four with the new exam structure and I think the PreU is exams at the end.

titchy Sat 21-Jan-17 17:50:42

Software engineering might be a good fit for him with those subjects and an engineering interest. Swapping economics for Design tech would add civil engineering to his degree options.

AgeofInformation Sat 21-Jan-17 17:51:10

I started a thread about this a while ago actually. He's at an Indy, joined yr 9. DS loves his school and is well settled there. It will be too much of an upheaval to start transferring him to yet another school after only 3 yrs and feel this will actually have a much bigger detrimental effect on him.

BackforGood Sat 21-Jan-17 17:53:17

Has he looked at alternative 6th forms, if he is interested in physics?

BackforGood Sat 21-Jan-17 17:54:52

Sorry. x posted

Iamastonished Sat 21-Jan-17 18:00:14

I have never heard of preU physics. Is this instead of an A level? If so why doesn't the school offer physics A level? It is a popular subject.

AgeofInformation Sat 21-Jan-17 18:01:59

titchy I'm pleased to hear Software engineering might still be open, that will definitely float his boat. Forgot to mention he has flirted a bit with the idea of Actuarial science too hmm.

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