Hi I'm new to the forum but I've got a question I've been wanting to ask some people with more experience.
It's the time of year when in Cambridgeshire (not sure about the rest of the UK) you have to choose your A levels and I have a question about biology. I was thinking about taking Biology A level to contrast with my other subjects and but in the prospectus it says:
"You need to be aware that a good understanding of chemistry is essential to successful study of Biology at A level."
But what exactly does this mean? It doesn't say you need to take Chemistry with it and it even explicitly says next to Physics "AS Mathematics is not required." so I can't see why this should mean a Chemistry A level is for Biology. So I was wondering how much Chemistry is there in Biology A level? I understand that there is naturally a large amount but do I need to take both A levels together? I'm currently doing Triple Science GCSE and have A* for all three so would that be sufficient? ( I understand there is a big jump, but I do have a basic understanding of chemistry.)
Also, how much maths is there in the Biology A level? Is it much more than you learn in GCSE Maths?
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Chemistry needed for AS/A2 Biology? watch
- Thread Starter
- 21-01-2010 21:02
- 21-01-2010 21:08
well i do the AQA board, there is a whole module on bio-chem - i found it difficult as i hate chem but if you're lucky like me it wont come up in the exam =) not too sure about A2 cause iv spent the last few months revising for my AS retakes ahaha but theres a big photosynthesis unit which takes the piss =|
also the maths is pretty easy, people who dont even get maths would understand, and also where there is maths there are formulas so yeah its all good =)
- 21-01-2010 21:11
Theres a lot of people in my year who do Biology, but don't do Chemistry and they seem to be fine at the moment. I'm doing both, and the amount we've done so far (all of unit 1 and a bit of unit 2), the chemistry involved isn't that much. There are some aspects that overlap such as Hydrogen bonding, but in Biology all you need to know is that its bonded by Hydrogen bonds, whereas in Chemistry you learn how they bond in Hydrogen bonding.
I think that you'll be fine in doing Biology A-level on its own, and if you aren't too confident, you could easily read about their certain section on the internet from a Chemistry website, even though you don't really need this.
Also, for Biology (Im only talking about AS atm) there is hardly no maths involved apart from having an equation (standard deviation) and putting in the numbers.
- 21-01-2010 21:11
I'm doing a AQA too, but i think GCSE chem is more than enough for AS/A2 level bio.
There are very few parallels between a level chem and bio, and you can easily do the biochemistry module without chem AS - so dont worry about it
EDIT: You need very little maths as well - you need to be able to do some basic stats, but other than that, there is just simple addition, multiplication etc. and the ability to follow and use a formulaLast edited by Who's N?; 21-01-2010 at 21:13.
- 21-01-2010 21:15
I'm doing Biology on OCR and you don't really need to take Chemistry at A level, I know a few people that didn't. The only time I've come across anything Chemistry-related is in the Biochemistry topics when they talk about ions, and that's actually about it! Especially seeing as you're doing very well at Chemistry GCSE, I don't think you should let it get in the way of your A level choice. You might want to check with your teacher as to what exam board you are doing, incase it has more Chemistry related topics than others. What other A levels are you hoping to do?
- 21-01-2010 21:19
i do biology on AQA and to be honest a deep understanding of chemistry really isnt important. theres the occasional bit of biochem pops up such as the photosynthesis and respiration topics in A2, but thats fairly basic and is only understanding oxidation and reduction (OILRIG)
There isnt much maths either, basic 3 subject equations you have to be able to rearrange, like the one for magnification but most of the time they want to know the theory behind the equations (especially ficks law) so provided you've got good GCSE grades in maths/chem you'll be fine