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How hard are these A-lvels. Are they bearable?

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    I am choosing A-level Biology, Chemistry, History and most likely, Economics.

    Right now, at GCSE, I am at an A in Biology, A* at Chemistry, A at History.

    At GCSE level, I cannot say I find Biology and Chemistry easy. It's not one of those things I can get around the first time. History, I'm quite fine with.

    I am aware that GCSE-> A level is a huge jump, but how huge is it exactly? Is it unbearable, because all I ever hear is "Ive failed my A levels" "They're too hard, I'm failing"
    I'm getting quite concerned because I don't know what's coming, and It's affecting my work at school. The colleges arent that helpful either, they just "advertise" how friendly the environment is.

    I am considering on taking Biology and Chemistry further at A2 and maybe even History. I am not going any further than AS with Economics.
    Should I be worried? Is it very, very hard, and should I start work on A-levels now?

    * I can't resit my A-levels if I fail. I have to get it right the first time, which is why I'm worried
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    It is a jump, and it is a good thing that you recognise that already, because many people don't- which is why they fail. It is true to say that they are not the easiest subjects, but universities will know that, so it is worth the effort for the rewards. Just make sure you work hard and revise well before exams, if you do that, you should be ok. But as I said, it is a good thing that you recognise the difficulty already- it should mean that you won't have the laid-back approach of others, who ultimately are the ones who fail.
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    I'm in my AS year and out of your subjects i'm only doing History. I never did History at GCSE but i am still getting A grades in homework essays/mock exams.

    All the people who i talk to have been suprised and not found the jump from GCSE to AS level to be that big. Most of the people who fail A levels are those who do not put the work in and leave revision to the last minute. I have a friend who is doing both biology and chemistry A levels despite only getting three C's in triple science. It was tough for her at first but she has been dedicating herself to revision and hard work and is now doing very well and predicited A/B grades.

    You have good GCSE grades which shows that you do not lack the ability to do well, so as long as you work hard i am sure that you will be fine.

    Out of interest, what career path/degree are you looking towards?
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    what ever you do mate don't "chill out" or else you defo will retake.hit the ground running really.i now have to retake my jan exams (physics and business) because i got an u and e.
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    Oh these are the AS levels I've picked for next year! Would also really appreciate any comments

    What?
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    I'll give you some advice:

    Firstly History requires a lot of time - reading lots of books, writing lots of essays. You may want to re-think this choice [unless you are good at essays!]
    Secondly: DO MATHS TO A-LEVEL - you need it to get into basically every university course and it will be very useful to you even if you do history to university.
    Thirdly I would advise you to think whether you are more into the sciences/ humanities and gear your choices towards this.

    But personally I would recommend you to do the sciences - greater career prospects and more interesting.

    But this is just my personal view - listen to other people's advice as well

    Good luck

    babyjustin
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    Also, talking about the GCSE to A-level jump, i actually find i work less hard at a-level because i take the subjects i found easiest. Also you end up being more focused on fewer subjects and this makes it easier - however you still have to work hard!!
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    (Original post by L_Vieru)
    I am choosing A-level Biology, Chemistry, History and most likely, Economics.

    Right now, at GCSE, I am at an A in Biology, A* at Chemistry, A at History.

    At GCSE level, I cannot say I find Biology and Chemistry easy. It's not one of those things I can get around the first time. History, I'm quite fine with.

    I am aware that GCSE-> A level is a huge jump, but how huge is it exactly? Is it unbearable, because all I ever hear is "Ive failed my A levels" "They're too hard, I'm failing"
    I'm getting quite concerned because I don't know what's coming, and It's affecting my work at school. The colleges arent that helpful either, they just "advertise" how friendly the environment is.

    I am considering on taking Biology and Chemistry further at A2 and maybe even History. I am not going any further than AS with Economics.
    Should I be worried? Is it very, very hard, and should I start work on A-levels now?

    * I can't resit my A-levels if I fail. I have to get it right the first time, which is why I'm worried
    Of Course you can resist your a-levels, it actually doesn't matter how many times you take you're A-level exams, the best of is, the Universities you apply to (with the exception of Cambridge I believe) won't even know if you take your exams more than once

    Yes it is a jump, but not so much so that your should be worrying about it. You need to relax, its no use getting tressed over something your not doing yet. Also you seem to be doing well in your GCSE's so you obviously work hard, in which case it won't be difficult for you to do A-levels.
    From experience I can tell you that Biology and Chemistry are hard subjects, but if your enjoying them and your prepared to put in the effort required, then your'll get there
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    They really aren't the jump that your warned about.

    And do Maths instead of economic at least for AS. Even economic courses don't require economic while most require maths.
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    (Original post by L_Vieru)
    I am choosing A-level Biology, Chemistry, History and most likely, Economics.

    Right now, at GCSE, I am at an A in Biology, A* at Chemistry, A at History.

    At GCSE level, I cannot say I find Biology and Chemistry easy. It's not one of those things I can get around the first time. History, I'm quite fine with.

    I am aware that GCSE-> A level is a huge jump, but how huge is it exactly? Is it unbearable, because all I ever hear is "Ive failed my A levels" "They're too hard, I'm failing"
    I'm getting quite concerned because I don't know what's coming, and It's affecting my work at school. The colleges arent that helpful either, they just "advertise" how friendly the environment is.

    I am considering on taking Biology and Chemistry further at A2 and maybe even History. I am not going any further than AS with Economics.
    Should I be worried? Is it very, very hard, and should I start work on A-levels now?

    * I can't resit my A-levels if I fail. I have to get it right the first time, which is why I'm worried
    With sciences the jump is pretty big. A Level chemistry is hard but I'd say the jump is as big for GCSE->AS as is for AS->A2 for chemistry. If you found GCSE science hard to understand then you may struggle with AS but to be honest it may just be that GCSE was too simple and you didn't pay as much attention. For example for Physics I remembered barely any GCSE stuff (I got A*A* in double science) but you quickly get up to speed if you put in some effort. I don't do biology but from what I've heard it's quite fact-intensive and exam technique is important but the actual content isn't any harder/probably easier than the other sciences.

    With History I found there wasn't that big a jump but you do have to focus more on analysing a text rather than just regurgitating 'primary and secondary sources' for source work and you have to learn to link knowledge and sources together into a coherant argument to get the top grades.

    If you have no intention of taking economics further than AS then might I suggest you take maths instead? It's a very good A level and compliments the other sciences. It will keep more doors open for you when you come to decide what to do post A level. Obviously if you hate maths then don't bother.

    In short, those subjects are all hard, among the hardest A levels available (in my opinion chemistry or further maths is the hardest a level if taken to a2) but if you're a high achiever and you're willing to put in effort then there's no reason why you wouldn't cope.

    How come you can't resit?
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    (Original post by babyjustin)
    I'll give you some advice:

    Firstly History requires a lot of time - reading lots of books, writing lots of essays. You may want to re-think this choice [unless you are good at essays!]
    - True

    (Original post by babyjustin)
    Secondly: DO MATHS TO A-LEVEL - you need it to get into basically every university course
    - False

    (Original post by babyjustin)
    Thirdly I would advise you to think whether you are more into the sciences/ humanities and gear your choices towards this.
    - True

    (Original post by babyjustin)
    But personally I would recommend you to do the sciences - greater career prospects
    - False

    (Original post by babyjustin)
    and more interesting.
    - False - completely subjective.
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    It is a jump. Some people carry on working as hard as they did at GCSE (i.e. not very hard) and subsequently do badly in their AS levels - but if you make sure you work hard and keep up from the onset then you hopefully won't have that problem, and that can reduce the jump
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    My take would be:

    Chemistry A-Level is a bitch; especially if you find maths harder (don't know if this is the case, so just saying).

    Biology gives you tonnes of work but it's not that hard to do.

    History - loads of extra work outside lessons (i.e. making notes), & at least one essay (approx two pages)

    Economics I can't vouch for. (sorry!)

    So if you're happy to attach yourself to a desk (and not resurface for two years) then go for it.

    <3 x
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    the whole thing is really subjective, it's easy for people on here to say History's a lot of extra and work and time consuming bla but I've never found that, whereas I find Maths takes me longer to get my head around while other people say they never do any work.
    If you're interested in your subjects and you'll have the motivation to work then it'll be fine, I didn't think the jump was that bad, if anything I thought AS to A2 was worse.
    Also don't stress, no point starting working for them now, just focus on your GCSEs!
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    (Original post by L_Vieru)
    I am choosing A-level Biology, Chemistry, History and most likely, Economics.

    Right now, at GCSE, I am at an A in Biology, A* at Chemistry, A at History.

    At GCSE level, I cannot say I find Biology and Chemistry easy. It's not one of those things I can get around the first time. History, I'm quite fine with.

    I am aware that GCSE-> A level is a huge jump, but how huge is it exactly? Is it unbearable, because all I ever hear is "Ive failed my A levels" "They're too hard, I'm failing"
    I'm getting quite concerned because I don't know what's coming, and It's affecting my work at school. The colleges arent that helpful either, they just "advertise" how friendly the environment is.

    I am considering on taking Biology and Chemistry further at A2 and maybe even History. I am not going any further than AS with Economics.
    Should I be worried? Is it very, very hard, and should I start work on A-levels now?

    * I can't resit my A-levels if I fail. I have to get it right the first time, which is why I'm worried
    all those a levels are require hard work. History is hard maybe you should pick something like english lit? economics you should drop at as like you said. But history and chemistry the to subjects are hugely different you may find it difficult to concentrate on history or chemistry. so id pick English lit its one piece of coursework and one exam less of a workload.
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    As long as you prioritise work above all else they're not that hard. It's much more independent. Just doing your homework will get you an A/B at GCSE if you're bright but an E at A-level.
    You need to learn how to revise so that you memorise all the information in 3/400 page long textbooks.

    those are well respected A-levels although not sure from them what you want to do at uni ! A mixed bunch !

    Can't stress how important past papers are.
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    Varies from person to person. I personally found AS History to be quite hard, hence why I dropped it after getting a B at AS as I doubt I could have coped with it at A2. On the other hand, I found A2 chemistry and biology much easier though there was still a noticeable jump from GCSE. As long as you don't go for the laid back approach, you should be fine.
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    (Original post by Sean9001)
    - True

    - False

    - True

    - False

    - False - completely subjective.

    the false to maths.

    maths looks good for all BScs.
    Even psychology and biology include statistics.
    Law too - hypothesis tests (S2)
    It may not be necessary but it is impressive.
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    The jump won't be hard for you unless you really start working hard right now. If you treat your GCSEs like your A Levels then you shouldn't find it too difficult.
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    (Original post by L_Vieru)
    I am choosing A-level Biology, Chemistry, History and most likely, Economics.

    Right now, at GCSE, I am at an A in Biology, A* at Chemistry, A at History.

    At GCSE level, I cannot say I find Biology and Chemistry easy. It's not one of those things I can get around the first time. History, I'm quite fine with.

    I am aware that GCSE-> A level is a huge jump, but how huge is it exactly? Is it unbearable, because all I ever hear is "Ive failed my A levels" "They're too hard, I'm failing"
    I'm getting quite concerned because I don't know what's coming, and It's affecting my work at school. The colleges arent that helpful either, they just "advertise" how friendly the environment is.

    I am considering on taking Biology and Chemistry further at A2 and maybe even History. I am not going any further than AS with Economics.
    Should I be worried? Is it very, very hard, and should I start work on A-levels now?

    * I can't resit my A-levels if I fail. I have to get it right the first time, which is why I'm worried

    Firstly, no I wouldn't begin work now. While you could start to learn stuff ahead it would be hard to get the correct stuff, a much better idea is to enjoy your summer, perhaps read stuff that interests you which may relate to the topics, and then once you start keep on top of it!!!!

    The jump is a reasonably big jump, but it's not unachievable by any means. You seem to have good grades already which is a good start. Some tips:
    Keep your notes in order
    Read through stuff as you go
    If you don't get something ASK THE TEACHER when you cover it, don't wait until revision when you have a mountain of things to cover
    Do lots of practice questions
    Make sure you're doing the right subjects for you and don't be afraid to change your mind

    I did Biology (Edexcel SNAB) and although the syllabus has changed since then I believe it's still similar. It wasn't a walk in the park but for me it was really interesting and that's what made it about average difficulty for me. You will be expected to form more opinions, do more research and write to a higher standard than GCSE, but if you're going for History and Eco the level in Bio should be simple for you. The hardest parts for me were remembering the forms of molecules etc. As with a lot of things in our exam system you can do reasonably well by just remembering stuff (not that this is a good thing), so try not to panic. Just put the effort in and keep on top of it as you go along and you will be fine.


    xxx

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