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Which is best for Engineering Degree 3 A levels or 4?

(171 Posts)
S0upVat Sun 12-Jan-20 16:44:43

Ds def doing Maths,Further Maths and Physics. He’s toying with chemistry too. He’s bright and should get 8/9s in these subjects but a tad fly by the seat of his pants, leave it all until the last minute ie not a swot. Would it be better to focus on 3 to get more chance of As? Ie are 3 strong better than 4 weaker? He’s supposed to do a project if not doing a 4th. Any ideas of something that would help with Engineering applications?

S0upVat Sun 12-Jan-20 16:45:37

Doing Gold DofE, mooting the idea of that Crest thing.

Ami01 Sun 12-Jan-20 17:05:03

They used to count top 3, but if he can get top grades in all 4 of those not a bad thing. Adding Chemistry will also give him option to go for Medicine should he want to change his mind.

He sounds bright enough to handle 4 then should give it a try.

TheFrendo Sun 12-Jan-20 17:05:58

What will help with his application will be good predicted grades and deeper subject knowledge. DoE etc. not useful for applications.

M/Fm/Phys & Chemistry is a really good combination.

Hercwasonaroll Sun 12-Jan-20 17:06:11

Focus on 3 if he won't/doesn't work hard. A Levels are a big step up.

MrsEricBana Sun 12-Jan-20 17:13:03

I'm not sure that maths & FM count as 2. DEFINITELY do FM for engineering as Oxford, Imperial, Bristol etc. seem to really like it even though they don't state it as a requirement. In your shoes I'd suggest M, FM, physics and chemistry. If further maths didn't come into it then 3 strong results better than 4 weaker results at A level.

MrsEricBana Sun 12-Jan-20 17:14:24

Plus if he starts with those 4 he can always drop one later.

S0upVat Sun 12-Jan-20 17:16:51

Pretty sure further maths is counted as a separate Alevel.

Ami01 Sun 12-Jan-20 17:20:30

Yes agree, further maths is not just another A level but an extremely strong choice and will reflect not just now but for a long time, the subjects get more intense and demanding from A level maths.

S0upVat Sun 12-Jan-20 17:21:24

But would poss 3 As be better than say AABB?

Annebronte Sun 12-Jan-20 17:34:52

Further Maths needs to be a fourth. He sounds bright, so should be fine. Those are a strong four for engineering. If he can manage the Further Maths too, it will definitely give him a more competitive application.

Ami01 Sun 12-Jan-20 17:36:13

Difficult to say AABB can easily become AAAB or even AAAA....as possible as AAA becoming AAB

If the child is capable and willing to go for it, then 4 a levels wont be a problem, depends on quality of teachers too.

Ami01 Sun 12-Jan-20 17:38:37

Just so you know further maths is probably the hardest A level, so they need to be really ready and motivated to do well in this.
Harder than further Maths and is additional further maths (which very few schools even offer).

Curiousmum69 Sun 12-Jan-20 17:39:13

My Ds started with those 4 but has now dropped chemistry.

He has several good AAB offers with just the 3. He's enjoying it much more

noblegiraffe Sun 12-Jan-20 17:40:34

They advise getting top grades in 3 rather than lesser grades in 4.

TheGirlFromStoryville Sun 12-Jan-20 17:43:43

Dd did 3 (phys, chem, maths) plus EPQ - though Imperial didn't take EPQ into account.

ListeningQuietly Sun 12-Jan-20 17:44:42

Further Maths needs to be a fourth
no it does not.

3 high grades are better than four middling ones.

Now that all A levels are linear top marks are getting harder to get again.

Maths, Further Maths, Physics is a very common combination that opens doors to LOTS of courses

including Imperial, Cambridge and other top science / engineering Unis

titchy Sun 12-Jan-20 17:45:50

Start with 4, drop one at the end of lower sixth. Definitely don't take 4 in the second year unless he has a dramatic turnaround in learning style!

S0upVat Sun 12-Jan-20 17:57:43

Great, good to know. He’s your typical Engineer but hard to make the decision. Loves all 4 and will do v well at GCSE but it’s a big step up. Getting by with the minimum won’t cut it for Alevel and worried he‘ll become a cropper.

repsullden Sun 12-Jan-20 18:10:53

It's A* A* in Maths and Physics and another A for Imperial. A*AA for places like Southampton so definitely go for three: Maths, FM, Physics.

Trewser Sun 12-Jan-20 18:28:12

But would poss 3 As be better than say AABB?

Yes 3 As would be preferable to AABB.

ListeningQuietly Sun 12-Jan-20 18:53:57

It's A* A* in Maths and Physics and another A for Imperial. A*AA for places like Southampton so definitely go for three: Maths, FM, Physics.
Offers maybe
but admission data are another story

please do not scare the OP
3 decent A levels in the monster subjects open all the doors

WhyAmIPayingFees Sun 12-Jan-20 19:01:49

Look at the complete university guide for the points scores of candidates who have been successfully admitted to courses of interest. Just doing three will make you a below average applicant at top unis for competitive courses. Ignore the typical offer info. They are the minimum acceptable standard for a candidate the uni has decided they want and are often at the bottom if what is being achieved.

Trewser Sun 12-Jan-20 19:05:19

Just doing three will make you a below average applicant at top unis for competitive courses

This is 110% bollocks.

ListeningQuietly Sun 12-Jan-20 19:09:16

Look at the complete university guide for the points scores of candidates who have been successfully admitted to courses of interest.
and
Just doing three will make you a below average applicant at top unis for competitive courses
Mutually exclusive / contradictory comments, one of which is utter bilge

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