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A level subject choices and University

Uploaded by maxtheA | Sep 14, 2008 | UCAS Personal Statements
maxtheA asks:

Hi etutor!

Thank you for replying on my last message (or question) (heres the link:

I am still an overseas student but will be a home student after 18 months. I followed your advice to me sir/madam and took A-level Maths, History, Economics (through Distance Learning), Psychology and AS Further Maths. I took Psychology because my dad told me it is important in a business-related careers(i.e. man handling, people's choices etc.). However, I found out that Psychology is in the List B on the Cambridge University's Acceptable A-level combination , meaning that this subject is 'limited suitability'. So my question is, can I still be accepted if I will apply to top universities with A-level Psychology (but I might not do this in A2)?

Also, about the AEAs, is it true that the government/education authority will abolish it?

Moreover, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to This is because you helped me to surpassed my GCSE predicted grades especially in English. I got 3 A* and 6 A. I wasn't expecting this result for the fact that I was predicted with 3 A* 2 A 2 C 2 D (english and literature). In connection to this, do I stand a chance of getting in at top universities like oxbridge, LSE? with a 3 A* and 6 A GCSE grades? I did GCSE for a year and English is my second language.

Thank you very much!

More powers!

etutor answers:

Thank you for your kind remarks - we aim to help!

First, your GCSE grades, which are very decent indeed. The rule of thumb at the top universities (Russell Group) is that they are generally looking for a minimum of six A or A star grades. You have a total of nine, so you pass that test with flying colours. It will also be important for your referee to point out in his/her reference that you have made fantastic progress, given that English is your second language.

I am not entirely clear whether you are just starting your A levels, or else have already completed them.If you are planning to study Economics at a top university, then the A level Maths is a huge advantage. The AS Further Maths advertises strength beyond this. You have four A levels and an AS. The normal A level requirement is only three, so you are above this. The Psychology can count as the fourth. It is certainly true that it is on the Cambridge B List, but that won't matter, because you are offering three mainstream subjects. Indeed, the combination of Maths, Economics and History is precisely the one I did 40 years ago, and it took me to Cambridge. The important issue is the grades - you really need As in all three to be regarded as a strong candidate. The Psychology won't matter at all. In your UCAS Personal Statement you can defend your choice of studying it as an EXTRA subject by identifying one or more links with Economics (speculative bubbles, talking ourselves into recession, etc).

AEAs have indeed been abolished. Instead a new A star grade has been introduced at A level and it is awarded to candidates who get over 90 percent overall. It becomes operational for candidates sitting their final papers in 2010. So if you have already completed A level (and are presumably on a Gap Year?) then you can still sit a maximum of two AEAs in the summer of 2009. They are available in all of Maths, Economics and History.

Good luck with this. I hope this advice is helpful.

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