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    Hey

    I've just done IGCSE and will be doing edexcel bio and chem, is it muchh harder and what is the course like
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    It was all good Chemistry i loved, and biology was ok but just a little too much to memorise and learn really.
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    I did maths & physics. I did 'advancing physics' with some of the course stuff on CD. I thought it was too easy and really wasn't adequate preparation for the physics degree i'm doing now. Presumably to try and make it more accessible, at least the AS part of it didn't seem to require maths beyond GCSE level and trying to do physics without differentiation & integration is pretty rediculous.
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    I did chemistry physics biology and maths AS level last year, I found them all very interesting and never too hard. Helps to have an interest though...
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    Well I've just finished AS AQA in all three sciences. I must say that physics and chemistry were. Challenging whilst biology was less difficult but these are my opinions and may not be shared by others. The Introduction of ISAs and removal of coursework did seem to make the courses easier but this is because I dislike coursework and prefer written exams. I'm interested to know how others found the aqa exams
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    I did chemistry for AS, and Physics/Maths/Further maths through to A2..

    Chemistry was pretty hard at AS, compared to physics at least.. I actually had to revise for it, when i've never had to before.. I think its because chemistry was really harshly marked and you need the exact marking points to get the marks, whereas physics is theory/calculations which i found very easy, or maths where you just need to know the methods..

    It depends on the person I suppose.. maths and physics I did with no revision and found easy, further maths needed quite a bit of revision because there was so much new stuff all crammed into one year..
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    I found AS Chemistry extremely challenging, and dropped it at the end of AS year. I also did Biology A level and found it a lot more interesting and did a lot better in it! I think how interesting you find a subject has a big impact on how well you do, as well as what the teacher is like....and I hated my chemistry teacher!
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    AS Physics (OCR) I found a huge challenge - however, this was by no means a bad thing, when something is challenging but the content so interesting, it encourages me to put in the necessary work. I was put down by having a fairly awful teacher who had no time for those who found it hard to pick up concepts instantly, and so came out of that with a measly D.
    A level Chemistry (OCR) was by far my favourite subject. Much like physics though, I found it a huge but interesting challenge, and had the advantage of having a very pleasant, patient and helpful teacher here. Organic chemistry was pretty dull, but that aside I was very willing to put in all necessary work, even if my overall grade still sat at a C - I didn't really mind, as being such an enjoyable subject for me I knew i'd put in all the work I could, and if a C was the best I could achieve then so be it.
    Biology (OCR).. ehh. Some aspects of biology I found brilliant, noteably the mammalian physiology module, but in all I found the subject dull and tedious. I felt a lot of the time you didn't really have to think, just regurgitate your notes, which wasn't really possible with chemistry or physics. Consequently, despite not struggling with the content, my grades were continuously coming out as C's just because I couldn't find the motivation to put in the necessary work, when really, I could have probably done much better.

    All in all, the sciences are enjoyable to study if you have an interest in the course content. Don't enjoy it? Then you're not going to want to learn it and revise it. And to me, yes, they WERE hard, but this wasn't automatically a bad thing. It often just made me more determined to work harder for the grades I wanted.
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    are A levels the equivalent to Scottish Highers? In my standard grade science we did some higher stuff to toward the end once we covered the SG course. Chemistry was pretty difficult, formulas and stuff all thetime, but once you got your head around them they became alot easier, jus have to revise alot! Biology didnt seem to hard..some maths was in it though i hate maths! I didnt do my highers becos of medical problems but both biology and chemistry were my choices. I have been told physics is very very hard.
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    I wouldn't say the content is too hard. It's challenging, yeah.

    It's more like the volume of stuff you need to know and remember that makes it hard though.
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    i thought physics was hard, mainly because i couldn't see any application of it whatsoever

    biology and chemistry were ok though
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    Chemistry (Nuffield) was just a stupid course because the textbook provided no actual information - it just seemed to be lots of questions which you were somehow meant to answer (silly, because I don't know the answer...that's why I'm reading the textbook, duh), and half a million practicals from which you were supposedly meant to infer some sort of knowledge. Biology was a piece of cake in comparison.
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    (Original post by Ignoramus)
    I don't know about hard so much as different skills are required. Certainly, sciences are more abstract than the humanities and social sciences, and this means that they are harder conceptually to grasp. However, to do well in a science subject at A Level you usually do not need to have any sort of flair for communication or essay writing, nor do you tend to need to memorise the amount of material required for some Arts subjects e.g. History.
    You won't be saying that when you do your A100!
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    As science subjects, I did Physics (Edexcel concept) and Chemistry (OCR B - Salters). For Maths (and Further Maths next year) I'm doing OCR-MEI.

    Physics (Edexcel): It's a good course, the content is not too difficult if you can grasp the concepts easily and are good at maths, although I found that I was struggling with the 'wordy' exam questions near the start of the year. That's probably because I found that Edexcel provided naff answers in the mark scheme that not many people would think of. However, I've heard it's better than the Salters Horners course with Edexcel.

    Chemistry (OCR B - Salters): Also a good course, although it may require more effort than physics. That's because there's a fair bit of memorising to do (e.g. organic reactions) and also quite a lot of different ideas. But it helps if you do physics as well since the two subjects intertwine quite a bit.

    Maths (OCR-MEI): A very good course, the questions often guide you on what you're supposed to do, which is good, and they also offer modules that other exam boards can't do (e.g. Numerical Methods, Numerical Computation, Decision Maths Computation and Differential Equations).
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    (Original post by FXX)
    Compared to GCSEs they are fairly challenging, which I think is the problem. It's just a such a big jump in the complexity of things you do - you cover more topics, you have to go into greater detail, and you have to do independent study. At GCSE it is still fairly basic and all the content is spoon-fed in lessons.
    That's very true. I actually think that GCSE Science should be made harder.
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    (Original post by glance)
    You won't be saying that when you do your A100!
    It's true, but Science A Levels just don't require you to learn nearly as much information to prepare students for the A100 course IMO. Latin, on the other hand... :eek3:
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    biology i found hard, but for me i blame the awful teaching :p:

    chemistry takes a lot of exam practise and revision and without those you'll fail.
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    (Original post by Ignoramus)
    It's true, but Science A Levels just don't require you to learn nearly as much information to prepare students for the A100 course IMO. Latin, on the other hand... :eek3:
    Yeah that's the thing. If you pick up concepts easily, science A Levels aren't difficult at all.
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    I did Maths & Further Maths (both AQA), Chemistry (Edexcel Nuffield) and Biology (AQA Spec A) at A level.

    Maths wasn't too difficult and I easily obtained a very high A without too much effort. Further Maths caused me to lose interest in Maths altogether I don't know if it was because it was so abstract in places (intersection of lines and planes in matrices etc) or because I put in as much effort because it didn't feature in my uni offers. But as much of it seemed very irrelevant to the rest of my life I sort of lost the passion I'd had for maths from year 9 onwards.

    Fortunately this didn't happen in my science A levels if anything it just made me love them more. Edexcel Nuffield Chemistry is a hard A level and requires a lot of effort it had a very practical nature in the first year and thus required a lot of reading over stuff at home to understand and clarify what it was you'd done. Students that didn't put this effort in in the frst year struggled in the second because they just didn't have the concepts to build the new material on fully cemented in their minds. But as with most A levels if you'd put the effort in and had an analytical mind good at making links then it wasn't too hard to achieve the grade you wanted.

    Biology is very much a memory subject. You need to know the facts first or you're going to fail. Once you've got this basis making the connections between them and explaining this concisely in scientific language scores you the marks. The difference between GCSE and A level is the emphasis put on using the key and correct terms. You cannot get away with an explanation of a concept that they understand you have to remember the name of the concept as well. And this is one of the areas that actually makes the Biology A level fairly difficult. Though again investing a sensible amount of time into (yes I'm sad to say) memorising important concepts will guarantee you a respectable grade.
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    Depends on the way you think things through, i.e. how you learn/take things in and understand forms of information. I took phyiscs and chemistry, and i found chemistry by far the hardest of the 2.

    To excel at chemistry, you need to think of it like a language; when you understand the rules and analogies etc you can then apply that knowledge logically - but until you do it just sounds confusing.

    Physics on the other hand i found relatively easy because i loved the subject, it made sense and i could actually see the theory in action! It requires mostly learning formula and set rules etc that can then be applied to limitless scenarios in order to see if you can solve them. There is some long word answers (especially in second year) which can be tricky, but all there is to do is make sure you remember all the theory and you'll be sure to get that all important A.
 
 
 
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