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Any experience with these AS levels?

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    :hi:

    So, I've applied to study the following four AS levels in September:
    • Chemistry
    • Politics
    • Biology
    • Economics


    The exam boards are AQA for Biology and Economics, Edexcel for Politics and OCR for Chemistry.

    Do you know anything about any of these choices? Tips, exams, good revision guides, content compared to other exam boards. Anything!

    EDIT - I've switched to Politics from History so decided to revive the thread Info on Politics or any of the others would be great, thanks!
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    I do Edexcel History and I found the exams ok. As long as you can nail down the style of essay and know plenty of facts about the topic, you'll do fine. Which topics are you doing, if you know?
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    (Original post by mahjongmagic)
    I do Edexcel History and I found the exams ok. As long as you can nail down the style of essay and know plenty of facts about the topic, you'll do fine. Which topics are you doing, if you know?
    Thanks for posting!
    I think that I'm doing India (it becoming independent from Britain etc) and Russia (Tsarism to Communism). I'm pretty pleased that I get to do something other than the World Wars...
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    (Original post by Alexandra's Box)
    :hi:

    So, I've applied to study the following four AS levels in September:
    • Chemistry
    • History (Modern)
    • Biology
    • Economics


    The exam boards are AQA for Biology and Economics, Edexcel for History and OCR for Chemistry.

    Do you know anything about any of these choices? Tips, exams, good revision guides, content compared to other exam boards. Anything!
    OCR Chemistry (if you mean OCR A, not OCR B Salters) is the easiest of the boards Definitely get yourself a copy of the official revision guide http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0...QNP7MR926WS2YJ and work with that and the syllabus alongside it. Do lots of past papers, including the legacy syllabus ones and you should do well. Chemistry is a hard A-level, but because of this it is well respected.
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    (Original post by clownfish)
    OCR Chemistry (if you mean OCR A, not OCR B Salters) is the easiest of the boards Definitely get yourself a copy of the official revision guide http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0...QNP7MR926WS2YJ and work with that and the syllabus alongside it. Do lots of past papers, including the legacy syllabus ones and you should do well. Chemistry is a hard A-level, but because of this it is well respected.
    Thankyou! Just browsing Amazon right now
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    Anyone else?
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    Did chemistry and economics, but did CIE exam board, ended up dropping chemistry because of the teacher.
    Chemistry is really hard, its a major jump from O levels, Economics is a really good subject, I did it at A2 as well, be careful with economics, it seems so easy when you are doing it but it really isnt and it is very tricky!
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    (Original post by Alexandra's Box)
    Thanks for posting!
    I think that I'm doing India (it becoming independent from Britain etc) and Russia (Tsarism to Communism). I'm pretty pleased that I get to do something other than the World Wars...
    Nice, I'm doing Russia as my coursework and its really interesting. Not quite sure how it would work as an exam though. India sounds really cool too.
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    Thanks guys!
    Just one specific question - textbooks and revision guides. Which ones did you use?
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    I just did past papers and used the schools text books.


    Heres a past paper website http://www.xtremepapers.com/downloads.html
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    Economics is a good subject, helped enormously if you have a great teacher that will let you discuss loads of stuff. It's not too bad at AS but it does become more tricky at A2.

    As for Chemistry, if you're good at spotting patterns then you should be fine. It's difficult until it 'clicks', and then it becomes much easier
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    (Original post by Tunechi)
    I just did past papers and used the schools text books.


    Heres a past paper website http://www.xtremepapers.com/downloads.html
    Thanks for that. Were the school books just the standard AQA etc ones? We have to buy our own as I'm going to a college not a school 6th form...

    (Original post by the_flying_walrus)
    Economics is a good subject, helped enormously if you have a great teacher that will let you discuss loads of stuff. It's not too bad at AS but it does become more tricky at A2.

    As for Chemistry, if you're good at spotting patterns then you should be fine. It's difficult until it 'clicks', and then it becomes much easier
    Thanks for your reply! GCSE Chem has been like that - luckily I find it interesting so am prepared to work on it :cool:
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    (Original post by Alexandra's Box)
    :hi:

    So, I've applied to study the following four AS levels in September:
    • Chemistry
    • History (Modern)
    • Biology
    • Economics


    The exam boards are AQA for Biology and Economics, Edexcel for History and OCR for Chemistry.

    Do you know anything about any of these choices? Tips, exams, good revision guides, content compared to other exam boards. Anything!
    Oh how I envy you for doing OCR biology! I'm stuck with tough Edexcel

    Anyway I do AQA Economics and basically you get given a very intimidating Economics textbook which is the size of an Argos catalogue. But don't worry, most of it is full of random junk. Just buy a revision booklet which summarises everything you need to know.

    The exam itself not too bad, at AS Level it consists of 25 multiple choice questions, a 5 marker definition question, 8 marker 'describe trend in the data' question, 12 mark diagram question and the standard 25 mark question. It's very easy to get full marks on the 5, 8 and 12 mark question so aim for that. Also ensure you know your definitions cuz you can gain very easy marks if you just write relevant definitions in your answers.

    Quote me if you have any questions regarding AQA Economics, I am an A2 student
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    I just used my notes for lessons and the past papers for the topics.
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    I did OCR B Salters Chemistry and it was the most awful thing I've ever done - hated every moment of it. It was hard (had an awful teacher), but really interesting at the same time.

    I also do AQA Economics at A2 - I love it, but I have an awful teacher (put it this way, we started Econ 4 last week...). Definitely do some reading over the holidays for economics, and if you don't enjoy it at AS, DEFINITELY drop as A2 is much harder in my opinion (not in content, but in terms of exam technique).
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    I do AQA Biology. It's all good until you do the topics about plants (unit 2) and ecology (unit4). The ISAs/EMPAs are pretty straight forward (compared to chemistry). And also there is a 25 mark essay question in unit 5 exam. But judging from the fact that you do History, I think you should be fine with the essay, if you decide to keep Biology for A2.
    Good luck!

    Thought I might add: take a look through the textbooks and see if you think you can handle it. Might look scary or too scientific, but will be second nature by the time it comes to exams
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    Chemistry is really good once you get over the initial shock of the difference between GCSE and AS. It's not too much content compared to my other subjects. Biology on the other hand is now my worst subject whereas at GCSE is was my best. The content amount for unit two is pretty ridiculous and I now have a strong hatred for the subject.
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    I did Tsarist to Communist Russia on Edexcel. It is really interesting and as long as your easy technique is good you should be fine.
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    OCR Chemistry - the units are fairly interesting, I'm enjoying Unit 5 but it is quite challenging when you get to A2. The organic Chemistry is a bit tough at first but you get used to it as you practice - that's only if you've never touched on Organic Chemistry before. The specifications are very specific making it a bit easier to revise for and know what to prepare especially for Units 1 & 2
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    THANKS EVERYONE! Really useful info

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Updated: September 8, 2012
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