A levels, GCSE and law

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qandaseeker | 12:42 Sun 10th May 2009 | Jobs & Education
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hi, iam 20 and i have four GCSE's passes (BCCC). im due to take my exams for my english resits. Although i got a grade D in Maths, i didnt bother resitting because i find it really hard. But i realised it is a essential subject so i decided to take it in september.

My question is can i take my A levels this year alongside my GCSE maths?

Subject i may want to do are: Business, biology, english language, ICT, law, psychology, or RE.

I want to study a combined degree in business and law. Which subjects do you think will benefit me?

I syudy at bradford college (

thank you


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As far as the examining boards are concerned, there's absolutely no reason why you can't sit a GCSE examination during the same examination season as you're sitting A-levels.

However each individual college will have its own timetabling constraints. There are no 'standard rules' across the country. You'll have to ask the staff at Bradford College whether there would be any timetabling clashes if you were to join a GCSE Maths group as well as your choice of A-level groups.

To get onto any Law degree course (whether 'single honours' or 'combined honours', with another subject) you normally require excellent A-level grades in at least three subjects. Unfortunately for you, one of the most impressive A-levels for such a course is probably Maths. (It displays an analytical mind, which is required for Law, together with an ability to get to grips with statistical techniques, which are required for Business Studies). As you're obviously not going to be studying A-level Maths, it might be best to opt for subjects which are directly linked to the degree course you're aiming for. So Law and Business Studies come to the fore. I'd definitely advise against taking a subject which university admissions tutors might regard as being rather 'wishy washy', such as Religious Studies or English (which, at A-level, is normally always the study of 'literature', rather than 'language'). Information Technology or Psychology might look far more impressive.

Also, don't fall into the trap of taking on too many A-level courses. 3 'A' grades would probably impress a university more than 4 'D' grades. Many people don't realise just how much work is required for each A-level course. (I used to teach A-level Maths and I always warned my students that they'd have to cope with more content in the first couple of terms than they'd had to absorb over the previous ten years of their life).


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