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Third A-level

(35 Posts)
berrymerry Wed 13-Nov-19 15:54:35

DD is choosing A-levels now. She wants to do History, maybe English Literature and then a third which is not so essay heavy. We were thinking maybe Computer Science, she's predicted a 6 or 7 at GCSE but not confident at all. She doesn't think she'd be able to get that high on the gcse, let alone a good grade on the a level. She isn't amazing enough at maths so that wouldn't be an option, but doesn't want to do all essay based. Advice?

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Fifthtimelucky Wed 13-Nov-19 16:05:04

What are her other GCSEs? A language would go well with history and English, as would art, music or drama.

Xenia Wed 13-Nov-19 16:07:31

4 of my children loved economics (and did not do maths A level) Although not a traditional facilitating subject (but your daughter 2 of those with history and English lti anyway which is enough) economics is highly ranked by universities. It is also useful for business and other careers. In fact one of m lawyer daughters says it was her most useful subject. My children have not been at schools offering computer science so I am not sure about that one.

Do work backwards from university. Eg if she has a idea for what sunbject to do there then she probably in most cases needs an A level in it (unlike something like law where law A level puts you at a disadvantage).

Fifthtimelucky Wed 13-Nov-19 16:13:43

Just to add that my husband my sister and I all did English and history A levels. Our third subjects were music, RS and politics.

Walkaround Wed 13-Nov-19 16:24:27

Well, obviously maths is the best for avoiding essays, but I guess she isn't keen or she'd already have chosen it as number 3! A language should be less essay-heavy, as there are other elements to language A-levels. Geography should also be a bit less essay-obsessed, surely? Biology is possible without other sciences or maths. Then there are things like photography, art, some kind of design technology? What is she actually interested in?!

crazycrofter Wed 13-Nov-19 16:26:05

It sounds like she’s left with either a science or Music/Art/something creative? How about Psychology? It’s a science but more of a crossover subject than the traditional sciences. My daughter plans to do it with History and Geography next year.

berrymerry Wed 13-Nov-19 16:29:22

She's doing RE, Art History and Computing. Absolutely no way she'd do art or RE. Combined Science (she's predicted 8-9 we did combined so she'd get higher grades as she's not fussed about sciences)

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berrymerry Wed 13-Nov-19 16:30:35

Yes, we hadn't thought of psychology. How much maths/science is in it? We will have a look at the course but it would be good for an opinion.

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berrymerry Wed 13-Nov-19 16:32:54

Her main focus is history, and she'd just do that if she could but as she cannot she is having to choose. Didn't take a language (which she now regrets quite a lot) And hates creative subjects (GCSE Art has taken up her time and it's not fun) smile

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berrymerry Wed 13-Nov-19 16:34:10

She wants to do History at university, and I have read that having a more maths based subject is a good mix.

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clary Wed 13-Nov-19 16:37:33

Are there any subjects you can start at A level on offer? My DCs school does gov/pol psychology (tho that needs good maths) sociology - all essay heavy tho I guess.

Drama? Biology is a popular choice too.

berrymerry Wed 13-Nov-19 16:38:51

@crazycrofter what does Physchology involve, she hadn't considered it before but we'd had a look and wanted to know how much maths and science there is in the course.

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berrymerry Wed 13-Nov-19 16:40:20

@clary She wouldn't do drama, biology was an option we discussed so may do that. Someone mentioned Physchology do DD is having a look at that. smile

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SpringFan Wed 13-Nov-19 16:40:46

DS2 did History, English lit and Biology, and AS Politics. (School offered AS Politics as a subject for added breadth).
DS1 did History, Biology and Geography with AS Economics.(Decided not to continue to A2)

SpringFan Wed 13-Nov-19 16:45:56

DS2 did History at Uni - he wouldn't say Maths would have been much use to him . He did a Psychology option in 1st year and found it interesting and quite useful, so A Level might be worth it.
He toyed with A Level Classical Civilisation but it is essay heavy.

wellmadecake Wed 13-Nov-19 16:50:26

DS1 did A-Level Classical civilisation, History and Computer Science. He got an 8 at GCSE and for the A level knew people who didn't even take it. The highest grade those got was a B. He said having done it before really helped.

Xenia Wed 13-Nov-19 17:23:40

My twins who are at Bristol both did History and geography. Geography might be a good one if economics is not for her. Classical civilisation ( essay heavy however) has been done by some of mine too as an A level. It goes well with history particularly if she might read ancient history at university - English history and classical civilisation was the combiation of one of mine - mine all did 4 AS levels and then 3 A levels.

So for non essay heavy I think economics or geography (music may be? One of mine did that one)

Fifthtimelucky Wed 13-Nov-19 17:25:54

Psychology is not essay based. One of my daughters did it. The maths content is mainly statistics.

crazycrofter Wed 13-Nov-19 17:37:32

I’m not massively familiar with psychology as dd hasn’t started it yet but at open days we were told the exams contain a mixture of multiple choice, short answer and some longer essays (but not that long compared to history).

I think it helps with the statistics element to be decent at maths but it’s not advanced stuff. Maybe have a look at some papers on the exam board websites? It sounds interesting anyway!

Fifthtimelucky Wed 13-Nov-19 17:40:02

Does the school/college offer history of art? That would go well with history and English too.

PotteringAlong Wed 13-Nov-19 17:42:11

Sociology? What’s her objection to RS? It would go well with her other a-levels and very useful ultimately for history.

IamHyouweegobshite Wed 13-Nov-19 17:46:52

My ds doesn't really have much of an idea of what he'd like to do for a degree or career, but he knows what he definitely wouldn't want to do (quite a few things) hmm. He came home yesterday, he wants to choose maths (predicted 7/8), psychology and he is now thinking art, but hasn't taken it as a gcse, not sure if he'd be able to.

Piggywaspushed Wed 13-Nov-19 20:44:18

Of course maths is always useful , but I cannot see its use to history or Eng Lit. Comp Sci likewise is left field!

Just because something isn't essay based does not mean it isn't hard or intense in some other way. if she is doing Eng and history she must be good at reading and writing essays, so she should go with her strengths.

wellmadecake Wed 13-Nov-19 20:50:24

@Piggywaspushed I think OP should stick with essay based if that's what she's good at, but subjects like Comp sci and maths would give a break from the long writing aspects and utilize a different part of the brain. So in that area technically it will give her a bit of a break, that is of course if she is good at the maths/comp sci

daisypond Wed 13-Nov-19 20:55:42

What subjects are on offer at A level? There’s often several that might not be offered at GCSE. One of mine picked all-new subjects at A level.

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