All 3 sciences at A-level? help! Watch

username826246
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So was just wondering whether I should take all 3 sciences at A-level (I took all 3 at GCSE and am doing well with 3 A's but not sure whether A-level will be too much of a big jump) I enjoy sciences, not sure what career I want but possibly down the science route (maybe a vet, but not sure whether I'm academic enough)
Advice and general comments on the difficulty of A-level sciences would be much appreciated, thanks
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Sagacious
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Well there's a big difference between Physics and Biology (the way it's taught etc.); surely you know which you prefer? If not, then just try them all, if you find out that you dislike Physics (it's different to GCSE) then you can simply drop it - the same applies for the others.

If you are taking Physics, you will also need to take Maths. I haven't heard of many people that get an A/A* in Physics without taking Maths - it's also a requirement for a lot of courses (scientific especially).

Furthermore, if you're a top student and would like to study something along the lines of Physics at a top university then they will ask you why you didn't do Further Maths (assuming it's offered at your sixth form). Further Maths is something to consider if you think that you may end up going down the Physics route.

I'm not doing Chemistry and Biology in September so I will not be able to give you the best answer, but from what I've read they're also difficult.

If I generalise the feedback I've been given, then Chemistry appears to be the hardest out of the 3 (of course it's subjective to the individual), Physics is just behind Chemistry and apparently Biology is the easiest but it's still tough.

Biology - Are you good with names and remembering things? This is a huge part of Biology, you won't need to do much application/problem solving (compared to Physics and Chemistry).

Chemistry - This is a mixture between remembering concepts and applying that knowledge to a question. The maths is fairly basic; you can get away without taking Maths (the same can be said for Biology).

Physics - Like I said, Maths is a must to be honest. A lot of AS Physics appears to be the application of formulas. You don't have to remember as many things as Biology and Chemistry, but you do need to know how things work/concepts behind them. A personal opinion of mine is that you have to be more organised with Physics; as opposed to the other two, you need to remember the correct units and how to display them and which formulas are required to use (SUVAT etc.)

You should be able to manage all three of them and Maths, I know a lot of people who have done. Just consider Further Maths if you think Physics could be a career option.

Summary; try them all, if you don't like one then you can drop it. Simple.

*I apologise if any of my generalisation of Chemistry and Biology is wrong, I'm not studying either of them in September so I could be wrong; I'm just basing it on feedback.
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mementomori
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Hi
I did the three sciences for AS this year and I actually really enjoyed it. They are very different from one another so I felt like there was a lot of variety in both the knowledge and the skills I was learning.

Biology is a lot about facts. Knowing the names and strictures of things, the processes, the similarities and difference between things... It's far more interesting and in depth than GCSE and not that big of a jump in my opinion. I'd say the easiest science.

Chemistry gets a lot trickier. It's all about detail and precision. You need to know everything inside out. There're descriptions, explanations, diagrams, calculations... Bit of everything really. Very rigorous and challenging. But I enjoyed it

Physics I found a ***** because I didn't take maths. It is a lot of formulae and calculations... There definitely isn't s much to learn as bio and chem. You just really need to practice and make sure you fully understand the theories.

I do, however, recommend taking a completely different subject. A language or humanities. I took Eng Lit and it was really good because it was a completely different approach and meant my writing skills were still kept sharp which is an advantage for any subject really. Plus it shows variety and I think a non-science 4th subject is more impressive.

But yeah, depends what you enjoy really. I would say take both chem and bio together though as they complement each other nicely
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Tomatochuckers
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(Original post by Sagacious)
Well there's a big difference between Physics and Biology (the way it's taught etc.); surely you know which you prefer? If not, then just try them all, if you find out that you dislike Physics (it's different to GCSE) then you can simply drop it - the same applies for the others.

If you are taking Physics, you will also need to take Maths. I haven't heard of many people that get an A/A* in Physics without taking Maths - it's also a requirement for a lot of courses (scientific especially).

Furthermore, if you're a top student and would like to study something along the lines of Physics at a top university then they will ask you why you didn't do Further Maths (assuming it's offered at your sixth form). Further Maths is something to consider if you think that you may end up going down the Physics route.

I'm not doing Chemistry and Biology in September so I will not be able to give you the best answer, but from what I've read they're also difficult.

If I generalise the feedback I've been given, then Chemistry appears to be the hardest out of the 3 (of course it's subjective to the individual), Physics is just behind Chemistry and apparently Biology is the easiest but it's still tough.

Biology - Are you good with names and remembering things? This is a huge part of Biology, you won't need to do much application/problem solving (compared to Physics and Chemistry).

Chemistry - This is a mixture between remembering concepts and applying that knowledge to a question. The maths is fairly basic; you can get away without taking Maths (the same can be said for Biology).

Physics - Like I said, Maths is a must to be honest. A lot of AS Physics appears to be the application of formulas. You don't have to remember as many things as Biology and Chemistry, but you do need to know how things work/concepts behind them. A personal opinion of mine is that you have to be more organised with Physics; as opposed to the other two, you need to remember the correct units and how to display them and which formulas are required to use (SUVAT etc.)

You should be able to manage all three of them and Maths, I know a lot of people who have done. Just consider Further Maths if you think Physics could be a career option.

Summary; try them all, if you don't like one then you can drop it. Simple.

*I apologise if any of my generalisation of Chemistry and Biology is wrong, I'm not studying either of them in September so I could be wrong; I'm just basing it on feedback.
Brilliant advice- one general impresson however is that chem is the hardest as level followed by physics and then bio, whereas physics is the hardest a2 level, followed by chem and then bio.
However, others may quite rightly disagree.
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Tomatochuckers
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(Original post by mementomori)
Hi
I did the three sciences for AS this year and I actually really enjoyed it. They are very different from one another so I felt like there was a lot of variety in both the knowledge and the skills I was learning.

Biology is a lot about facts. Knowing the names and strictures of things, the processes, the similarities and difference between things... It's far more interesting and in depth than GCSE and not that big of a jump in my opinion. I'd say the easiest science.

Chemistry gets a lot trickier. It's all about detail and precision. You need to know everything inside out. There're descriptions, explanations, diagrams, calculations... Bit of everything really. Very rigorous and challenging. But I enjoyed it

Physics I found a ***** because I didn't take maths. It is a lot of formulae and calculations... There definitely isn't s much to learn as bio and chem. You just really need to practice and make sure you fully understand the theories.

I do, however, recommend taking a completely different subject. A language or humanities. I took Eng Lit and it was really good because it was a completely different approach and meant my writing skills were still kept sharp which is an advantage for any subject really. Plus it shows variety and I think a non-science 4th subject is more impressive.

But yeah, depends what you enjoy really. I would say take both chem and bio together though as they complement each other nicely
Spot on, v.good points- but I think if the person wants a physics related career- then maths should also be an as level.
I get what u mean though- variety shows that you are not a science neek lol- but I did history, and I hate the workkload in essay subjects, and the marking of them is so inconsistent and unreliable.
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mementomori
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(Original post by Tomatochuckers)
Spot on, v.good points- but I think if the person wants a physics related career- then maths should also be an as level.
I get what u mean though- variety shows that you are not a science neek lol- but I did history, and I hate the workkload in essay subjects, and the marking of them is so inconsistent and unreliable.
Oh yeah I agree. I think if they are thinking of a physics route then biology definitely wouldn't be necessary... Maybe not even chemistry. But chemistry would be useful.
Yeah I get you. I got a B for one of my English papers in my mock and got full marks in my AS. It's totally subjective. But for courses which have essay-based assessments, which many science subjects have now, I feel sorry for those who haven't written essays since GCSE cause they'll be quite at a disadvantage.
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username826246
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Thanks everyone - I'm working at a B (sometimes A if I'm lucky) at maths GCSE so do people thinik I will be able to cope at maths a-level?
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explicit4u
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(Original post by thatgirlbecky)
Thanks everyone - I'm working at a B (sometimes A if I'm lucky) at maths GCSE so do people thinik I will be able to cope at maths a-level?
If you put the work in there's no reason you can't come out with an A/A* in maths. GCSE results and A level results are not always linked, some people fail one and do really well in the other and some people do well in both. Just put in the work and make sure you understand everything and you'll be fine.
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LCM2
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I do 3 sciences and maths at A-level and all i can tell you is that you have to love/be really interested in physics to take it, everyone i know, apart from the people who would like to study physics at uni hate it! I luckily managed to scrape an A and so i'm dropping it at A2 now.
Math's on the other hand I enjoy, however the people who got a B in my class (you have to have a minimum B to do it at A-level at my school) really struggle with the subject, it's very challenging and difficult to get an A/A* at a-level however if you get an A/A* at GCSE then with alot of work and past papers, you should be ok at A-level.
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Zyanide
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Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Physics... why not?

go ahead.

You really need to have the motivation/interest for it though.
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The Polar Dude
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I initially chose all 3 science + maths at as level last year but i realised just in time, that I do not enjoy physics at all, plus it would be too much work for me.

I dropped physics and took up economics to have a break from the science.
Best decision i've made in a long time.

3 people chose 3 sciences at AS but they all dropped physics after November- but if you have passion, drive and you put in the effort from day 1, you will be fine but expect a big jump from GCSE to AS especially Chemistry.
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F1's Finest
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(Original post by thatgirlbecky)
Thanks everyone - I'm working at a B (sometimes A if I'm lucky) at maths GCSE so do people thinik I will be able to cope at maths a-level?
you have to put the work in. its not like gcse where you can do last minute revision (applies to every A-level ), work hard from the start, go over past paper questions once you completed a topic and things will become easy!
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Jale
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Career-wise you would probably be best served by doing Maths, Chemistry and then either Biology OR Physics, and then a solid essay subject (English lit, History) at least to AS. That will give you a lot of options. The reason why I say Biology OR Physics is because there aren't really that many overlapping subjects that require the two, and you will probably get a better set of skills by picking one of those and doing Maths and an Essay subject than doing both.
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Unununium
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I cant speak for physics :L

Biology is largely application - you learn all the content but there is never questions direct to what youve learnt in the exam paper - its all application of what you know and applying it to situations - which annoyingly i couldnt do well :L but i came out with a D.

Chemistry is ridiculously hard the first few months because you have to get your head around everything and the sheer amount of content to learn is very hard. that being said - i absolutely loved chemistry and once youve got your head around the basics you can build on it I came out with a C.

I got A's at GCSE in all 3 but its all about what effort you put in im not going to do forensic science at university so its all good
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username826246
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Thanks everyone, I really appreciate your comments
I think I might do chemistry, biology and maths but I'm not sure between taking physics or another subject
I can't take history as I didn't at GCSE, and I don't really enjoy English to do it enough at a-level
My favourite subject is geography so would it make sense to do that with the other three and then drop it after a year? comments on taking maths chem bio and geography?
thank you to everyone
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Jale
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I think that would be pretty strong. The reason I said English or History is just because they are classic 'essay' subjects. It really helps broaden your perspective to be doing a properly critical subject like that.
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ashrafdin
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what did you get for all of the three sciences in your a level
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thomasbt
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If you don't mind me asking, what grades did you get? I was thinking of doing exactly the same but not sure if it's too much of a jump for me
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