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    For my A-Level Option's I've picked

    Maths
    Further Maths
    Physics
    English Literature

    Are these OK for maths/physics courses? Or do I need another science?
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    (Original post by ThatPerson)
    For my A-Level Option's I've picked

    Maths
    Further Maths
    Physics
    English Literature

    Are these OK for maths/physics courses? Or do I need another science?
    Another science would do you well if you were applying to a top university. My offers all specify Maths and Physics, and one other Scientific Subject. If your third 'science' is going to be Further Maths, you'll be putting a lot of pressure on yourself to do very well in what is a very difficult subject.
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    (Original post by Qwertish)
    Another science would do you well if you were applying to a top university. My offers all specify Maths and Physics, and one other Scientific Subject. If your third 'science' is going to be Further Maths, you'll be putting a lot of pressure on yourself to do very well in what is a very difficult subject.
    I think if I work hard, I will be able to handle Further Maths, although I have heard that FP2 and FP3 are difficult. With all A-Level Maths that I've looked at I've found it slightly tricky at first, but straightforward once I've understood it.

    I've also heard that Chemistry is very hard, and that A2 Biology has a boring unit on Plants, but I haven't looked too much at either course specification.

    What subjects did you take if you don't mind me asking?
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    Have you looked on university websites / prospectuses at what subjects they require? Getting it straight from the horse's mouth is always a really good starting point.
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    Sorry to but in here, but I'm in a similar situation and could really do with some advice.

    I have chosen to study next year: Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Economics
    At university I hope to physics (probably Cambridge natsci)

    I am thinking about swapping economics with chemistry, but am really stuck on the decision since I've heard that chemistry A-Level is extremely difficult and time consuming (and gets the poorest department results in my school) whereas economics A-Level is comparatively extremely easy and much less time consuming (and gets over 50% A* at A-Level in my school, the best department bar maths)

    I'm reasonably good at chemistry and am getting around 90% in the past IGCSEs I'm doing right now, however am not sure if I am even good at economics since there is no GCSE economics offered at my school.

    What do you guys think about me doing A-Level chemistry instead of economics (bearing in mind I hope to do natsci at cambridge)

    Thanks a lot in advance
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    (Original post by Origami Bullets)
    Have you looked on university websites / prospectuses at what subjects they require? Getting it straight from the horse's mouth is always a really good starting point.
    I've looked at a few: UCL, Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial.

    But while they specify Maths and Physics (Oxford also say the A* can be FM), I wasn't sure if I would be OK going with English Literature as opposed to another science.

    Would I be disadvantaged? Or would it make no difference assuming I get the same grades?
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    (Original post by fisika)
    Sorry to but in here, but I'm in a similar situation and could really do with some advice.

    I have chosen to study next year: Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Economics
    At university I hope to physics (probably Cambridge natsci)

    I am thinking about swapping economics with chemistry, but am really stuck on the decision since I've heard that chemistry A-Level is extremely difficult and time consuming (and gets the poorest department results in my school) whereas economics A-Level is comparatively extremely easy and much less time consuming (and gets over 50% A* at A-Level in my school, the best department bar maths)

    I'm reasonably good at chemistry and am getting around 90% in the past IGCSEs I'm doing right now, however am not sure if I am even good at economics since there is no GCSE economics offered at my school.

    What do you guys think about me doing A-Level chemistry instead of economics (bearing in mind I hope to do natsci at cambridge)

    Thanks a lot in advance
    haha My dream course is Cambridge physical science as well
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    (Original post by ThatPerson)
    haha My dream course is Cambridge physical science as well
    we're both in pretty much the same situation, firm on three a-levels, knowing our dream courses, but not sure about our fourth a-level (deciding between an art subject and a science subject!)

    If this helps. There is a guy in my school in the year above who chose
    A-Level Maths, Physics, Chemistry and English Literature
    and AS Further Maths
    He's applying for physical natsci at Cambridge this October, and about a month ago (halfway through L6th) he dropped English Lit (after working really hard on it) and took up A-Level FM (which he has to work really hard for now since he missed half a year!)
    He told me his biggest mistake was choosing an arts a-level even though he knew he wanted to do Cambridge natsci when he was in year 11. That is why I'm thinking about chemistry instead of economics
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    (Original post by ThatPerson)
    For my A-Level Option's I've picked

    Maths
    Further Maths
    Physics
    English Literature

    Are these OK for maths/physics courses? Or do I need another science?
    These are fine, provided that the subject you drop as you continue to A2 is English Literature (Unless you carry them all on).
    I feel obliged to tell you that doing English Lit alongside those options is a pain in the arse. Two of your subjects are pure maths, and the other is >70% maths; so clearly you enjoy maths (if you don't, please reconsider your options). When you enjoy a subject, you are both good at it and are willing to spend more time on it. You may have a night where you've got a piece of maths homework, a piece of physics, and an english essay, all to be in the next day. While you're doing the maths homework, you'll feel "oh, while i'm doing maths i'll just work on my physics" and neglect your essay writing. It's very easy to ignore the length of time and attention that essay writing requires.
    I'm in my AS year, and I do Maths, FM, Chemistry and Physics, with a view to do Physics/NatSci at uni. I was considering Philosophy instead of Chemistry, but decided to go with Chemistry to keep more doors open. While I am still gutted I didn't get to do Philosophy, i'm really happy doing chemistry, it's a lot of fun. In any case, Science homework takes considerably less time than philosophy homework would.

    But don't take a further science just because you want to do a science at uni. There's no point in doing chemistry if you don't like it. Of course if you have as much desire to do it as english literature, it may be better to go for chemistry. The more science the do, the more appealing you are to universities.

    Consider maybe taking five subjects? If you're looking to go to Cambridge, you clearly have a strong academic background, and it might be a good idea to do five AS levels, and drop down to four/three in your A2 year. A friend of mine that is currently reading Chemical Physics at UCL did A2s in Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Art. While doing Art has contributed basically nothing to her place at university, she did it just because she loves art, and wanted to carry it on, and doing an A level urged her to do it.

    I hope that helps!


    (Original post by fisika)
    Sorry to but in here, but I'm in a similar situation and could really do with some advice.

    I have chosen to study next year: Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Economics
    At university I hope to physics (probably Cambridge natsci)

    I am thinking about swapping economics with chemistry, but am really stuck on the decision since I've heard that chemistry A-Level is extremely difficult and time consuming (and gets the poorest department results in my school) whereas economics A-Level is comparatively extremely easy and much less time consuming (and gets over 50% A* at A-Level in my school, the best department bar maths)

    I'm reasonably good at chemistry and am getting around 90% in the past IGCSEs I'm doing right now, however am not sure if I am even good at economics since there is no GCSE economics offered at my school.

    What do you guys think about me doing A-Level chemistry instead of economics (bearing in mind I hope to do natsci at cambridge)

    Thanks a lot in advance
    It depends on your desire to do NatSci at uni. If you REALLY want a broad and whole scientific education, then you should really be doing as many sciences as you can, so i'd go for chemistry rather than physics. If you've read the above message, you'll learn that I basically chose to do Chemistry over Philosophy, because I personally want a really quite broad scientific education, and having more science a levels really helps you to have that.
    Don't take Economics just because it has the best grade rate at your school. If you don't enjoy it, you'll struggle to get a good grade, anyway. In addition, universities can see the success rate of the subjects you study at your school. If you get an A* while nobody else at your school gets one, you look fantastic. Similarly, if you get an A* in Economics, and everyone that does it gets an A*, you look pretty average.

    So in short:
    If you like science, do science. If you're considering economics, Maths, FM, Physics, and Economics provides you with a pretty sound basis.
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    (Original post by chapmouse)
    These are fine, provided that the subject you drop as you continue to A2 is English Literature (Unless you carry them all on).
    I feel obliged to tell you that doing English Lit alongside those options is a pain in the arse. Two of your subjects are pure maths, and the other is >70% maths; so clearly you enjoy maths (if you don't, please reconsider your options). When you enjoy a subject, you are both good at it and are willing to spend more time on it. You may have a night where you've got a piece of maths homework, a piece of physics, and an english essay, all to be in the next day. While you're doing the maths homework, you'll feel "oh, while i'm doing maths i'll just work on my physics" and neglect your essay writing. It's very easy to ignore the length of time and attention that essay writing requires.
    I'm in my AS year, and I do Maths, FM, Chemistry and Physics, with a view to do Physics/NatSci at uni. I was considering Philosophy instead of Chemistry, but decided to go with Chemistry to keep more doors open. While I am still gutted I didn't get to do Philosophy, i'm really happy doing chemistry, it's a lot of fun. In any case, Science homework takes considerably less time than philosophy homework would.

    But don't take a further science just because you want to do a science at uni. There's no point in doing chemistry if you don't like it. Of course if you have as much desire to do it as english literature, it may be better to go for chemistry. The more science the do, the more appealing you are to universities.

    Consider maybe taking five subjects? If you're looking to go to Cambridge, you clearly have a strong academic background, and it might be a good idea to do five AS levels, and drop down to four/three in your A2 year. A friend of mine that is currently reading Chemical Physics at UCL did A2s in Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Art. While doing Art has contributed basically nothing to her place at university, she did it just because she loves art, and wanted to carry it on, and doing an A level urged her to do it.

    I hope that helps!



    It depends on your desire to do NatSci at uni. If you REALLY want a broad and whole scientific education, then you should really be doing as many sciences as you can, so i'd go for chemistry rather than physics. If you've read the above message, you'll learn that I basically chose to do Chemistry over Philosophy, because I personally want a really quite broad scientific education, and having more science a levels really helps you to have that.
    Don't take Economics just because it has the best grade rate at your school. If you don't enjoy it, you'll struggle to get a good grade, anyway. In addition, universities can see the success rate of the subjects you study at your school. If you get an A* while nobody else at your school gets one, you look fantastic. Similarly, if you get an A* in Economics, and everyone that does it gets an A*, you look pretty average.

    So in short:
    If you like science, do science. If you're considering economics, Maths, FM, Physics, and Economics provides you with a pretty sound basis.

    Thanks for your advice, it was really helpful!

    If you have time, a few quick questions:
    1. What is the jump from GCSE to A-Level Chem like?
    2. Is chemistry A-Level tough and time consuming in comparison to economics?
    3. If you do edexcel chem A2 - how good do you need to be at practicals in order to get a good grade in that section?
    4. Why do you think economics gets much better results than chemistry, is this a national trend or just something strange in my school?
    5. Can you understand AS and A2 chem without the aid of a teacher (just using a textbook, some teachers at my school aren't very 'helpful')

    Thanks again!
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    (Original post by chapmouse)
    These are fine, provided that the subject you drop as you continue to A2 is English Literature (Unless you carry them all on).
    I feel obliged to tell you that doing English Lit alongside those options is a pain in the arse. Two of your subjects are pure maths, and the other is >70% maths; so clearly you enjoy maths (if you don't, please reconsider your options). When you enjoy a subject, you are both good at it and are willing to spend more time on it. You may have a night where you've got a piece of maths homework, a piece of physics, and an english essay, all to be in the next day. While you're doing the maths homework, you'll feel "oh, while i'm doing maths i'll just work on my physics" and neglect your essay writing. It's very easy to ignore the length of time and attention that essay writing requires.
    I'm in my AS year, and I do Maths, FM, Chemistry and Physics, with a view to do Physics/NatSci at uni. I was considering Philosophy instead of Chemistry, but decided to go with Chemistry to keep more doors open. While I am still gutted I didn't get to do Philosophy, i'm really happy doing chemistry, it's a lot of fun. In any case, Science homework takes considerably less time than philosophy homework would.

    But don't take a further science just because you want to do a science at uni. There's no point in doing chemistry if you don't like it. Of course if you have as much desire to do it as english literature, it may be better to go for chemistry. The more science the do, the more appealing you are to universities.

    Consider maybe taking five subjects? If you're looking to go to Cambridge, you clearly have a strong academic background, and it might be a good idea to do five AS levels, and drop down to four/three in your A2 year. A friend of mine that is currently reading Chemical Physics at UCL did A2s in Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Art. While doing Art has contributed basically nothing to her place at university, she did it just because she loves art, and wanted to carry it on, and doing an A level urged her to do it.

    I hope that helps!
    Thanks for the reply. My school doesn't allow us to do 5 A-Levels because Critical Thinking AS is compulsory.

    I think I'll look more at the specs of both courses. I've ruled out Biology I think, but I'm still considering Chemistry.

    :/

    How are you finding Chemistry A-Level so far?

    I'm also a bit apprehensive about next year, given the lack of a January exam session.
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    (Original post by fisika)
    Thanks for your advice, it was really helpful!

    If you have time, a few quick questions:
    1. What is the jump from GCSE to A-Level Chem like?
    2. Is chemistry A-Level tough and time consuming in comparison to economics?
    3. If you do edexcel chem A2 - how good do you need to be at practicals in order to get a good grade in that section?
    4. Why do you think economics gets much better results than chemistry, is this a national trend or just something strange in my school?
    5. Can you understand AS and A2 chem without the aid of a teacher (just using a textbook, some teachers at my school aren't very 'helpful')

    Thanks again!
    1- The jump between GCSE and A level for any subject is really quite steep. At first you don't realise it, but it really hits you hard and fast. Especially for Further Maths, because you spend so much time doing maths you just don't recognise. (FM is worth it though)
    Between Maths, FM, Chem and Physics, Chemistry was by far the smallest jump. Essentially you start the year off by confirming your GCSE knowledge, and adjusting to deeper knowledge. Personally, I found Chemistry so boring at the beginning of the year, but i'm really enjoying it now. It gets pretty fun as it goes on. I still agree that chemistry is my easiest subject, as well. All sciences have a huge jump, though. Bear in mind that you have never formally studied Economics before (excuse me if you have), so obviously there's a massively steep learning curve going on there.

    2- I don't do Economics, so I can't speak for that with my own opinion. But from what i've heard: Chemistry is harder, but Economics is a lot more time consuming. The hardest part about Economics is the sheer size of the units and modules. There's a lot to learn, and the one topic you don't learn will definitely be the one that comes up in exams. That being said, the more time you spend on a subject, the better grade you'll get. The finer details in Chemistry definitely require a considerable amount of effort. My chemistry teacher is rubbish, and assumes an awfully large amount of independent reading. When choosing between Economics and Chemistry, bear in mind that you WILL have to do a lot of independent study. I'd argue that Economics is a lot easier to do this independent study with, since you're just surrounded by it wherever you go.

    3- I do OCR chemistry and average As in the practical skills. If you can get a good grade in one, you can get a good grade in them all. It's a matter of being able to read instructions, basically. They're a lot easier if you're on top of your other work, too.

    4- Well, the national trend for any subject is (i'm pretty sure) the top 20% get an A, top 30% get a B, top 40% get a C etc. but I may be wrong with that. But if your school really does have >50% A*, it is probably a case of your economics teacher being really good, rather than your chemistry teachers being really poor. (That, or two people did economics A2, and one got an A* ) I wouldn't worry too much about figures, though. You could be the one that earns your school another A* in chemistry.

    5- As above, my chemistry teacher assumes a lot of knowledge. I find that often the chemistry textbooks offer better solutions to problems than my teacher does, but from time it's the other way round. Learning from others is one of the more useful ways to learn Chemistry, though. Because everyone struggles to wrap their heads around concepts at first, when they work it out, they are so eager to share it with others. So yeah, definitely make friends with people in your classes. As for Economics, I can't really say. I'll go ahead and recommend you read magazines such as the economics review, though. They're really helpful. They're written by exam boards, therefore are a massive indicator of what you're going to find in your exams.

    Hope that helps!


    (Original post by ThatPerson)
    Thanks for the reply. My school doesn't allow us to do 5 A-Levels because Critical Thinking AS is compulsory.

    I think I'll look more at the specs of both courses. I've ruled out Biology I think, but I'm still considering Chemistry.

    :/

    How are you finding Chemistry A-Level so far?

    I'm also a bit apprehensive about next year, given the lack of a January exam session.
    You have to do crit thinking? What a waste of time... I was asked to do it at enrolment, and I full on told the tutor that it isn't respected by the vast majority of universities, and I didn't intend on taking any of UKCAT, BMAT or the LNAT. I took up Level One Latin instead.

    Chemistry is really cool. I used to think that Organic Chemistry (oil and stuff) was really boring at GCSE, but it is pretty freaking awesome. Last week, I made Aspirin. In your second year, you also get to do the reaction of Tollen's Reagent with Aldehydes, which is one of the more impressive things i've seen in my life.

    Yeah I'm annoyed at the changes to exams. Mostly, the fact that they've changed it mid course for me. As a FM student, it means I have 6 exams next summer, just for maths. Not happy. I wouldn't worry about it. Your staff will know to teach the subject as if the exams were linear. They'll also support you the best they can. Don't worry about that

    hope this helps
 
 
 
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