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Best A-level Science?!

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    OK, thanks! I keep seeing Biology as the 'safe' option - I fairly enjoy it and I am really good at it. And if course by the sounds of it it's got lots of relevance to Geography.

    But then again Physics - I also like it, come to think of it and also got good exam results for it recently (so I must be alright at it!)... If I did take Physics I'd consider taking Maths as well, meaning I'd not do History. Another reason is what people say (on this thread included) about how Universities will look at Physics as the 'ultimate science' and that it's actually quite relatable to Geography (Geophysics...)! If I want to take the A-levels that will best gear me to apply at a top institution like Cambridge, UCL, etc. I will seriously need to consider Physics and Maths IMO. I know people keep saying I should chose the Science that I most enjoy (which is of course very valid) but I'm honestly sitting on the fence between the Biology/Ecology route and the Physics/Maths route.

    Btw in case you were wondering my hopeful a-level combinations are now:

    -Geography, German, History and Biology (Original)
    -Geography, German, Maths and Physics (New combo.)
    -Geography, German, Geology and Biolohy (as the person on the previous page suggested? called 'a mum' or something)

    I definetly want to take Geography and German. I've almost definitely decided on not taking Chemistry, purely for the fact that I don't really enjoy it and can't relate to it much at all.
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    Do physics. Chemistry is so dreadfully boring at A-level. I mean I really loved it at GCSE but grew to hate it over the next 2 years, which eventually lead to me dropping it. Biology isn't as valued as physics, and I'm sure physics would be a lot more interesting. Sooooo wish I'd done physics instead of chemistry!!! Arghh!!!

    Oh well - isn't hindsight a wonderful thing.
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    (Original post by supergrantholt)
    OK, thanks! I keep seeing Biology as the 'safe' option - I fairly enjoy it and I am really good at it. And if course by the sounds of it it's got lots of relevance to Geography.

    But then again Physics - I also like it, come to think of it and also got good exam results for it recently (so I must be alright at it!)... If I did take Physics I'd consider taking Maths as well, meaning I'd not do History. Another reason is what people say (on this thread included) about how Universities will look at Physics as the 'ultimate science' and that it's actually quite relatable to Geography (Geophysics...)! If I want to take the A-levels that will best gear me to apply at a top institution like Cambridge, UCL, etc. I will seriously need to consider Physics and Maths IMO. I know people keep saying I should chose the Science that I most enjoy (which is of course very valid) but I'm honestly sitting on the fence between the Biology/Ecology route and the Physics/Maths route.

    Btw in case you were wondering my hopeful a-level combinations are now:

    -Geography, German, History and Biology (Original)
    -Geography, German, Maths and Physics (New combo.)
    -Geography, German, Geology and Biolohy (as the person on the previous page suggested? called 'a mum' or something)

    I definetly want to take Geography and German. I've almost definitely decided on not taking Chemistry, purely for the fact that I don't really enjoy it and can't relate to it much at all.
    I actually assumed that you were already taking maths. Maths is probably the most wanted A-level and you can't go wrong with it.

    Furthermore, I also assumed that you were either taking geology or are going to attend a college that doesn't offer it. Geology focuses on aspects such as earthquakes, volcanoes and plate tectonics which I'm sure will be useful.

    A book I got from a college that I may be attending says that the following subjects complement geography: biology, business studies, chemistry, economics, history, law, sociology and sport. It doesn't explain why.
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    Geography, German, Maths and Physics

    is a fantastic combination! But do also consider the grades you are likely to get and what universities will ask for.

    Geology sounds really interesting too. I'd only do both Geography and Geology if you are really sure that you won't change your mind later about doing Geography at uni. Because if you do change your mind it's quite a narrow combination of subjects. In that sense, Maths and Physics are a lot more generally useful (i.e. also useful for other degree options) than Geology.

    Just my 0.02£.
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    (Original post by supergrantholt)
    I don't know which A-level science (Biology, Chemistry or Physics) I should take to complement Geography (I want to take Geography at Degree level).

    I've been told that it's best to take at least one science - definitely no more for me! It's not that I don't like science, but I'm more of a Humanities person...

    So which one do you think will best complement Geography at Uni? Which one will look the most valuable by itself? Which one actually relates to Geography the most?

    *btw I'm predicted an A* at GCSE Science and I think I'm equally as good at all 3*
    Biology without a doubt. I'm doing both Biology and Geography at A2 level and they complement each other very well. For instance, in Biology A2 one of the topics in titled 'Ecosystems and Sustainability' (OCR). This goes succession, different ecosystems etc. I'm also doing an 'Ecosystems' topic in Geography (again, OCR) so revision is quite good for these bits...its the same!

    Maths (Statistics) can also go well as the Geography A2 course requires you to do statistical analysis on data you've collected from fieldwork. Maths AS was very useful for this

    If you want any more info, PM me
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    I would say Physics... I do A level Physics, Biology and Geography, and I find there to be a fair amount of overlap between Geography and Physics. There is hardly any at all with Biology.
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    Biology obv
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    (Original post by 08batee)
    I would say Physics... I do A level Physics, Biology and Geography, and I find there to be a fair amount of overlap between Geography and Physics. There is hardly any at all with Biology.
    Rubbish! There is loads, especially in A2! I'm doing OCR for Geography and Biology and the 'ecosystems' topic comes up in both subjects. Also sampling last year in Biology we used on fieldwork for Geography, and statistical analysis ie Chi2, Spearman's Rank I have used in both Biology and Geography.
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    (Original post by beanstalkgirl_24)
    Rubbish! There is loads, especially in A2! I'm doing OCR for Geography and Biology and the 'ecosystems' topic comes up in both subjects. Also sampling last year in Biology we used on fieldwork for Geography, and statistical analysis ie Chi2, Spearman's Rank I have used in both Biology and Geography.
    I'm sorry, but with the syllabus for both subjects I DO, there is hardly any at all. I don't do OCR, and apart from half a lesson on standard deviation, I don't do any of the topics that you mention, in EITHER subject. So don't call my opinion rubbish.
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    (Original post by supergrantholt)
    OK, thanks! I keep seeing Biology as the 'safe' option - I fairly enjoy it and I am really good at it. And if course by the sounds of it it's got lots of relevance to Geography.

    But then again Physics - I also like it, come to think of it and also got good exam results for it recently (so I must be alright at it!)... If I did take Physics I'd consider taking Maths as well, meaning I'd not do History. Another reason is what people say (on this thread included) about how Universities will look at Physics as the 'ultimate science' and that it's actually quite relatable to Geography (Geophysics...)! If I want to take the A-levels that will best gear me to apply at a top institution like Cambridge, UCL, etc. I will seriously need to consider Physics and Maths IMO. I know people keep saying I should chose the Science that I most enjoy (which is of course very valid) but I'm honestly sitting on the fence between the Biology/Ecology route and the Physics/Maths route.

    Btw in case you were wondering my hopeful a-level combinations are now:

    -Geography, German, History and Biology (Original)
    -Geography, German, Maths and Physics (New combo.)
    -Geography, German, Geology and Biolohy (as the person on the previous page suggested? called 'a mum' or something)

    I definetly want to take Geography and German. I've almost definitely decided on not taking Chemistry, purely for the fact that I don't really enjoy it and can't relate to it much at all.
    Try doing the original, i'm sure after writing 70 mark essays in history the pesky 15 mark ones we're doing will seem easy :L
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    (Original post by Rainingshame)
    Try doing the original, i'm sure after writing 70 mark essays in history the pesky 15 mark ones we're doing will seem easy :L
    What do you mean??? Do you 15 mark ones in Maths?

    BTW I rather enjoy essay writing
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    (Original post by supergrantholt)
    What do you mean??? Do you 15 mark ones in Maths?
    Probably geography.
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    Maths, its a universal and sort after academic skill
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    (Original post by Cubic)
    Probably geography.
    Ahh I see

    I don't think it's particularly essay based with German and Biology...
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    btw, from the different replies it seems pretty much 50/50 in terms of either the Biology route or the Physics route... Please keep the replies coming!
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    Probably Biology would be more relevant, but I only do Chemistry and Biology as my Sciences at A Level, so out of those two it'd be Biology which is more relevant.

    Good on your for picking German though, I do it this year and it's really not much harder than at GCSE.
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    Yes! I thought I was rather brave as well!

    I have heard some very different views - some people have said it's the hardest a-level - harder than other a-level languages for some reason?! Others (like you) have said it's not much harder than GCSE.

    Is it structured similarly to GCSE? In that roughly 25% each of Speaking, Writing, Listening and Reading make up the A-level? What sort of topics are you doing? I should really consult the prospectus but what the hell!?

    Sorry for all the questions!
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    With chem, bio and physics it doesn't matter which one you do really for a geography degree. The reason a university geography department may prefer you to have one science subject is because doing one of the three sciences will give you certain generic skills that will aid you with a geography degree. Therefore, do the one you enjoy most.
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    Physics is the "strongest" A level in terms of difficulty.
    Chemistry is the most enjoyable.
    Biology is.. well.. I don't like it. However, if you want something that relates to geography, biology is a decent bid if you choose the right exam board seeing as some exam boards have more content on ecology than others.

    This is all my personal opinion, nothing more.
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    As someone who does physics, I really REALLY wouldnt recommend taking it unless you have a keen interest in it and you're good at maths. And I can't see how it would relate to geog at all, although if you can get a good grade it does look impressive. My advice would definitely be biology!

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Updated: April 10, 2012
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