Should I take Biology at A Level? Watch

Xylophonic
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#21
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#21
(Original post by Gregory House)
I'm currently doing A2 AQA biology and I'm loving it! Oh and for the people talking about how hard AS is ... wait till next year! *evil laugh* The only reason I enjoy it is because I want to do medicine and plus I like the sciences, but people I know who just put it down as a random choice like you're planning to do are really either struggling or just not enjoying it. Well actually both of those two things.

So if you like science and you're strongly thinking about a biology related uni course, then go for it. If not, I'd advise against it. If you want something to add breadth, I'd suggest maths, maths is pretty much used everywhere. Hope this helps
Yikes, that's slightly discouraging! :P
I'm sort of thinking of biology related courses but not really. I'm not sure what I want to do yet so I want to keep my options open. I'd definitely like to add breadth, so I am thinking about Maths/Stats a little bit. Is it harder or easier than Biology? I took my Maths GCSE early and got a B, currently doing Statistics and aiming for an A. Would I be able to cope with the AS course?
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Xylophonic
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#22
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#22
(Original post by Valindrius)
I won’t outright recommend Biology as I have no desire to accidentally mislead you, but I was in a similar position in terms of diverse course selection and not being sure as to what I wanted to study at university. I’ve found that Biology is a thoroughly interesting subject that covers many concepts relevant to current affairs, human behaviour, cognition, environmental responsibility, politics, the fallibility of human senses, and the true rigorousness of science.

In particular, AQA’s focus on evaluation of conclusions, awareness of experimental conditions, validity of results, etc has increased my capacity for general logical deduction and filtering out flaws. Whereas other things are simply downright interesting, like the cycles of photosynthesis and respiration. I can’t speak for the other exam boards but I expect that they’re relatively comparable.

Personally, I’d suggest that Biology is perfect for a person that has an interest in every facet of existence and will appreciate the wondrous nature of even the most basic, remarkable facets of an ecosystem or an organism rather than treating it as another tedious name to be remembered. Similarly, if you’re the type of person that can conceptualise yourself as a kind of ‘bystander’ looking down on events and the intertwined causes and effects existence in a given situation then you’ll really do well.

On top of that, I think it gives you vital cognitive skills that are transferrable to other areas of life or academia. Sorry if this seems like silly waffle but I hope it somehow manages to help. Good luck irrespective of what you choose, I’m sure you’ll excel if you’re being so proactive and rigorous in your choices.
Wow, you really know how to sell it- I'm practically drooling to do Biology now! :P Thanks so much for the advice, I'll definitely take it into account
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roopeehoox
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#23
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#23
(Original post by Xylophonic)
I figured this was the most appropriate board to post this on :P I'm currently choosing my A levels and I was thinking of taking either Biology or Psychology in addition to English Language, German and Computing. I was hoping someone could give me some advice as to what sorts of things Biology AS involved, or direct me to a decent source that will tell me as such.

Edit: Okay, I'm currently thinking of taking English Language, German and Biology to A2 and dropping Computing at AS. Any thoughts? I'm also slightly interested in taking Maths, not sure if at AS or A2. I took my Maths GCSE early and got a B, would I be able to cope with AS Maths? And is Computing seen as a soft subject? Thanks for all your advice so far, it's been really helpful
Hi! I really think you should take Biology- it's considered a 'hard' subject that will open your options to apply to a lot more university courses than Psychology. To be honest I wouldn't recommend either Psychology or Computing as both are considered 'soft'. I haven't heard of any university course that requires an A-level in either.

Having said that, Biology does require quite a bit of work, mainly remembering things. But if you're up for German I guess that won't really be a problem. I'm doing the OCR course (I really really like it)- you might want to flip through a textbook in a book shop if you're doing OCR. Here's a link that will let you view the OCR book I'm using on amazon (btw it's an awesome textbook):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Biology-Stud...8162153&sr=8-1

I'd also recommend doing Maths as it's one of the most useful A-levels. How about taking that to AS and then dropping it? It is pretty hard but I think you'd be able to get a B if you got a B during GCSE, or higher if you pushed yourself loads.

Hope that helped- I didn't want to ramble but if you want me to explain the OCR biology course in more detail, like coursework, feel free to message me
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Xylophonic
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#24
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#24
(Original post by roopeehoox)
Hi! I really think you should take Biology- it's considered a 'hard' subject that will open your options to apply to a lot more university courses than Psychology. To be honest I wouldn't recommend either Psychology or Computing as both are considered 'soft'. I haven't heard of any university course that requires an A-level in either.

Having said that, Biology does require quite a bit of work, mainly remembering things. But if you're up for German I guess that won't really be a problem. I'm doing the OCR course (I really really like it)- you might want to flip through a textbook in a book shop if you're doing OCR. Here's a link that will let you view the OCR book I'm using on amazon (btw it's an awesome textbook):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Biology-Stud...8162153&sr=8-1

I'd also recommend doing Maths as it's one of the most useful A-levels. How about taking that to AS and then dropping it? It is pretty hard but I think you'd be able to get a B if you got a B during GCSE, or higher if you pushed yourself loads.

Hope that helped- I didn't want to ramble but if you want me to explain the OCR biology course in more detail, like coursework, feel free to message me
Thanks for the advice! I'd love to hear more about the course if you've got the time to spare to tell me about it I am leaning towards taking Biology at the moment but I want to be certain about my decision. Thanks for the link too, I'll take a look now.
I definitely didn't push myself hard enough with GCSE Maths, in fact I barely understood anything at all. I have no idea how I got a B, I was certain I'd failed. I guess I got lucky I've been browsing TSR Maths forums and looking up course details but it doesn't really interest me that much, and I don't think that taking A level Maths just for the sake of having more respected A levels would be a good idea. We'll see how it goes, I had no idea I'd ever consider taking Biology when I first looked at the prospectus, so nothing is off the table :P
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michael clayton
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#25
Report 8 years ago
#25
(Original post by Valindrius)
I won’t outright recommend Biology as I have no desire to accidentally mislead you, but I was in a similar position in terms of diverse course selection and not being sure as to what I wanted to study at university. I’ve found that Biology is a thoroughly interesting subject that covers many concepts relevant to current affairs, human behaviour, cognition, environmental responsibility, politics, the fallibility of human senses, and the true rigorousness of science.

In particular, AQA’s focus on evaluation of conclusions, awareness of experimental conditions, validity of results, etc has increased my capacity for general logical deduction and filtering out flaws. Whereas other things are simply downright interesting, like the cycles of photosynthesis and respiration. I can’t speak for the other exam boards but I expect that they’re relatively comparable.

Personally, I’d suggest that Biology is perfect for a person that has an interest in every facet of existence and will appreciate the wondrous nature of even the most basic, remarkable facets of an ecosystem or an organism rather than treating it as another
tedious name to be remembered. Similarly, if you’re the type of person that can conceptualise yourself as a kind of ‘bystander’ looking down on events and the intertwined causes and effects existent in a given situation then you’ll really do well.

On top of that, I think it gives you vital cognitive skills that are transferrable to other areas of life or academia. Sorry if this seems like silly waffle but I hope it somehow manages to help. Good luck irrespective of what you choose, I’m sure you’ll excel if you’re being so proactive and rigorous in your choices.

Only a prospective Cambridge student could write a riveting short essay on reasons for taking biology to a level
In my own experiences through the OCR exam board, I have found some of the biochemical/physiological topics to be of great interest whilst others such as ecosystems and sampling have been tiresome. It is also revision heavy.
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