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Nicholas92 Male
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  #4 Old 11-12-2012 Default Re: Advice Regarding Number of A Level Subjects

Originally Posted by babymekimmy View Post
General Paper is a compulsory paper for each college when taking A Levels right? But it is not counted as a requirement for entry to university. Therefore when choosing the number of subjects to take for A Levels, do we include the general paper as well? As I have gathered on various Google searches and forums, most universities require 3A's but there are many who are taking 4 subjects and they say taking 5 is really too much of a burden for a student.

So lets say I'm interested in taking Economics, Psychology, Mathematics and Eng. Lit, + General Paper, does that mean I am taking 5 A Level Subjects and will be really tough to cope up with? Or is this the normal 4 subject combination most students take?
I did my A-Levels in Singapore, and General Paper was compulsory there - I don't think it is in Malaysia though (following the Edexcel or Cambridge A-Levels that is). Regardless, it's not a "full" subject per se and so won't be counted when you're applying to uni - at most it may be a tiebreaker consideration, but don't worry about it.

I'd really recommend taking 4 subjects (excluding General Paper) so you have one to fall back on in case you miss an A in one subject (freak results always happen). Because lots of unis want 3As for the more popular courses, it's kinda risky to only have 3 subjects.

On the other hand, if you know for sure that you can't cope with taking 4 subjects + GP, then don't. But I'd at least recommend you start off with 4, then drop one later on if you find that you really, really can't cope.

I did four subjects plus GP and it worked out OK in the end. So it really depends on the person, and only you can know if you can handle it, probably. Like I said, maybe try it out first and see?

Also, when choosing subjects, do make sure they're recognised by the unis...some so-called 'non-traditional' subjects don't look as good to unis. I'm not sure if Psychology is in this category, but I'm pretty sure it's not one of the 'traditional' subjects (which would be stuff like Maths, the Sciences, Economics, History, etc.). And some unis say they're alright with it, but may not be entirely supportive of it (see more specific student forums for this).

Lastly, note that when it comes to undergraduate Law or Psychology (and similar subjects), there's no need to have the corresponding A-Level subject - in fact studying at A-Level won't really help you much at all, so if you're interested in taking Psychology at A-Level because you may want to do it as a degree, know that it isn't really necessary.
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