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What is so hard about A levels?

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AQA GCSE physics P1 unofficial mark scheme 05-05-2016
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    (Original post by Alexandra's Box)
    I can't wait for college! No more patronising teachers, fewer (hopefully none!) stupid timewasters, no more PE outside when it's freezing COLD, only the subjects I really want to do...
    All that will make it better than school - and I frankly hope it is harder! :yes:
    yeah! i can't wait to finish year 11 its just such a drag!
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    (Original post by Becky)
    a lie? what so what am learning right know is a lie??? really? how?
    No that's not true. The things you learn at GCSE give you a good foundation to study the same concepts at a higher level. However, some of the things you are learning are overly simplified, especially in subjects such as chemistry and physics.
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    (Original post by Dreamweaver)
    No that's not true. The things you learn at GCSE give you a good foundation to study the same concepts at a higher level. However, some of the things you are learning are overly simplified, especially in subjects such as chemistry and physics.
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    (Original post by desijut)
    If you try to understand the work rather than memorise it, it is not too bad. A lot of things i dont recall from memory (even in the exam). I will just think use what I understand about a topic to apply it in the situation. E.g chemistry calculations. People use step by step methods to work it out wheras i think it's better to just know the basic formulae and think about what's going on and what im trying to calculate
    I largely agree with this. I found advanced higher(A level) easier than standard grade(GCSE) because there were less subjects, and you could get away more with just knowing the basics and thinking from there, whereas SG there was much more emphasis on knowing piles of disconnected facts, and I just didn't have the effort to go through learning that kinda thing.
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    (Original post by Becky)
    yeah! i can't wait to finish year 11 its just such a drag!
    Yep. Why can't it just end already?
    I don't care if college is the hardest thing on the planet!
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    The content itself isn't hugely more difficult, there's just so much more of it to learn (although some concepts can be very tricky).
    eg, went from about 2.5 hours of classtime of biology per week and now its more like 6 at A level. But you're learning way more than twice the information.
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    The shear amount of work and content there is too learn in such a short time and especially how difficult the sciences are with the often completely new concepts. Up to gcse, not much new is taught to you, it's mainly adding on bit-by-bit from things you already know and giving you more difficult numbers or words to do it with. In AS maths we did stuff I didn't even know existed before then! And the sciences and psychology introduce so many new scientific keywords you HAVE to learn if you stand a chance of passing the exams. Plus with GCSe you can blag your way through something if you don't understand it but can recall the facts. But at a-level you really have to understand the concepts you're being taught, and with jan and june exams you don't have much time for them to sink in! :eek:

    At GCSE most of my teachers gave us homework maybe once every couple of weeks at the most. But at a-level you generally have 4-5 hours per subject per week but you're expected to do that much outside of class aswell, completeing homework and extra reading and going through your notes. And that's without coursework and exam revision! :eek:
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    The one big difference I've found is notes, you'll be making a lot more at A level so make sure you find a way to optimise your note taking so they are to the point and easy to understand.
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    I'm going to King Eds in September (In Stourbridge) and I just want my GCSE results to be good enough for me to carry on the subjects at A-Level.
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    If you compare the specifications for GCSE and A-Level, you will understand! :rolleyes:

    When you study a subject at A-Level, you go into MUCH deeper detail than you would at GCSE. One of my teachers described GCSE as being like the basic skeleton of the subject, whilst at A-Level you learn all the other information to flesh it out.

    At GCSE you are essentially fed a set list of information, and you learn how to write it all out in the exams. At A-Level it is a lot more about your own analysis, and a much deeper look at evidence, contradicting theories, etc. You will look at HOW the information you learnt at GCSE was discovered/supported/investigated etc. You have to work a lot harder if you want to get a good grade.

    (I've just finished my A-Levels and did my GCSES two years ago so I have first hand experience. :rolleyes: I really didn't work at all for my GCSES (for a variety of reasons not just - but unfortunately partly - due to laziness) and got 3 A*s, 7 As, 2 Bs. However I have worked VERY very hard, it has taken me a LOT of effort to achieve A and a further four predicted As at A-Level.)


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