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Advice on A-levels: biology english literature geography psychology

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    Hey guys,

    I am currently in year 11 and have almost finished my exams (just one more to go-YAAAYAH) and i am in the process of deciding what i would like to do for A-level. I have been up and down and all over the place by changing my options but i think i've made a good decision right now, it's:

    biology
    english literature
    geography
    psychology

    Do you guys have any advice and experiences you'd like to share about these courses if you've done them, or if you know someone thats did them. Especially on Geography because thats the one i've chosen most recently

    Thanks
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    hi, i did As Psychology and a full A Level in english. Personally, psychology wasn't for me. I was in OCR, and it seemed to be more about statistics and memorising a lot of pointless information than actually DOING anything. But i know a lot of people that do it and love it . Personally, i kind of struggled with English Lit. I was on AQA and found it to be a massive step up from GCSE. It really made me realise that you need a certain amount of raw talent to get a good grade, but basically, as long as you can write to the assessment objectives, you'll be fine I know someone last year who wrote a beautifully 'english' piece of work, but got an E because they didn't write to the ao's.

    If i could choose again, i wouldn't have done psychology. It just wasn't what i was expecting. I would probably have still done english, as i really enjoyed the A2. I got a B overall at AS (C in coursework, A in exam), but an A in the coursework in A2, because they let you choose your own books. I hope this helps, but be warned, English is a disciplined A Level, and some find it harder than others.
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    (Original post by lorrieeista)
    Hey guys,

    I am currently in year 11 and have almost finished my exams (just one more to go-YAAAYAH) and i am in the process of deciding what i would like to do for A-level. I have been up and down and all over the place by changing my options but i think i've made a good decision right now, it's:

    biology
    english literature
    geography
    psychology

    Do you guys have any advice and experiences you'd like to share about these courses if you've done them, or if you know someone thats did them. Especially on Geography because thats the one i've chosen most recently

    Thanks
    I do English Lit, it's a tonne of fun but it is also quite a bit of work so you will really need to be dedicated to taking it (so I wouldn't have it as one your taking as a fourth option because its an 'easy' choice). Its quite dependent if the books you study are ones you will like too as in my first year I had 'Great Expectations' which to me is one of my unfavourite books ever :P There is loads of reading and note taking and throughout the year I did at least one essay a week and closer to exam time it was three essays a week for practice. If you really love it (which you must if your picking it ) then you will be fine keeping up with the work.

    I also do Biology and to be honest for me its extremely hard (WJEC exam board) but I have found the second year easier and hope to come out with a C or a B overall. You will definitely need a scientific mind and be interested in the subject as my mind is more suited to Humanities I have found at A level. It can be really fun though so don't let me finding it hard put you off but a decent amount of revision at exam time is definitely needed to see the results you will want.

    Hope this helps
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    (Original post by lorrieeista)
    Hey guys,

    I am currently in year 11 and have almost finished my exams (just one more to go-YAAAYAH) and i am in the process of deciding what i would like to do for A-level. I have been up and down and all over the place by changing my options but i think i've made a good decision right now, it's:

    biology
    english literature
    geography
    psychology

    Do you guys have any advice and experiences you'd like to share about these courses if you've done them, or if you know someone thats did them. Especially on Geography because thats the one i've chosen most recently

    Thanks
    I've done Biology and Psychology AS. Both on AQA, so if you do different boards it may be slightly different. Personally Biology was not for me. Some people in my year love it, and are good at it. Some people love it, but are not so good at it. Then, unfortunately I fall in the category of realising I don't like it and not being that great at it. I found it hard and the exam papers angered me. I would learn things in so much detail then be asked a 2 marker on something, where the answer you wrote technically did answer the vague question they asked, but "wasn't what they were looking for". It just frustrated me. The only way you know what they want is to do past papers. The focus is withdrawn from assessing intelligence and more on "what do the examiners want to see".

    Psychology, despite being the same board, was much better. The mark schemes explicitly allow for diverse answers, unlike Biology. While the Psychology content isn't significantly less or much easier, it is easier to gain the marks on past papers, in my personal opinion. I find it much more enjoyable than Biology, and have realised my love for the subject so much I have opted to take it at University.

    As for English lit and Geography, I don't do them but I can tell you some things my friends have said if it helps? My friends generally say both are hard, but the majority tend to like Geography more than English. With Geography, they say they really like it but some areas can get difficult and tedious and the exams are challenging, but a lot are carrying it on because they like it so much and all seem to have pulled through fine With English, throughout the year a lot of my friends have come out of lessons saying "I'm definitely dropping it, I can't do it" etc etc, but to tell you the truth, don't let that put you off as a lot of my friends have said it with other subjects. I've even said that myself with Biology, but everyone else seems to love Biology! All those subjects are going to be tough, its the next step up after all. But I'm sure you'll enjoy them as much as me and my friends. If not, perhaps you can ask to quickly swap at the start of the year if you find Geography, or any others are not for you.

    Also, if you plan on dropping one, don't think about which yet. Almost everyone changes their mind many times throughout the year. Wait to see which one you like the least/not the best at.
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    Thanks for the comments and advice guys, i really appreciate it!
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    Hey I did Geography and Biology both till A2.

    They are great subjects, both require a lot of commitment and interest, but definitely worth it! Biology exams can be a bit of a prick, but assuming you prepare well enough you should get As/Bs. Geography exams are waaaay more straight forward and in some schools you have a say in what topics you want to learn Both subjects are well-respected by unis, so its great for ucas!
    good luck

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Updated: June 21, 2012
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