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    Hi, I'm currently in Year 11 and am about to choose my A-Levels.
    So far I have: Art, English Literature and French.
    I'm predicted a B in Maths at GCSE but an A* in Physics, and I really enjoy Physics at the moment, and the syllabus looks really interesting for Year 12. I want to study English at degree level at the moment, and I have been told that French and English are good prerequisites. I may substitute Art for History as I am torn for what I enjoy and am good at and what will be most helpful.

    Any help welcome
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    (Original post by bourgeoisiie)
    Hi, I'm currently in Year 11 and am about to choose my A-Levels.
    So far I have: Art, English Literature and French.
    I'm predicted a B in Maths at GCSE but an A* in Physics, and I really enjoy Physics at the moment, and the syllabus looks really interesting for Year 12. I want to study English at degree level at the moment, and I have been told that French and English are good prerequisites. I may substitute Art for History as I am torn for what I enjoy and am good at and what will be most helpful.

    Any help welcome
    Physics AS is pretty easy and so long as you can do basic trig you shouldn't have a problem, my younger brother took it without maths and is predicted a high A.
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    Firstly, DON'T just choose Physics because you liked it at GCSE. Massive rookie error. While the GCSE course is basically a list of simple facts which you learn and regurgitate in the exam, the AS course pretty much has the worst of both worlds in that it requires more actual understanding than GCSE but is still seen as spoonfeedy and dumbed down. All in all not worth the bother unless you want to pursue it (or another science) to degree level. It might be worth reading a couple of books or papers on the aspects of Physics which interest you if you want to maintain an interest in it.
    Secondly, Physics without Maths is possible, but if you have the time/opportunity I would suggest going to some Mechanics lessons (in AS Maths you have to take 2 Pure Maths "Core" modules called C1 and C2 and one Applied module chosen from Mechanics (M1), Statistics (S1) and Decision (D1).), even if you're not going to sit the Mechanics exam as it will help you keep up some general mathematic skills and the specific course content will really help you when you get to the mechanics part of the Physics course. However, I personally wouldn't recommend it as AS/A2 Physics is more of a means to qualify you to do actual Physics (at uni etc) than an end in itself, ie. if you don't need the qualification you'd get more satisfaction out of reading a book.
    Thirdly, History is a better choice than Art for an English applicant since it's essay-based and although the type of essay technique you're supposed to develop in each subject is very different, there are things from each which you can apply to the other (for instance, writing about the reliability of a source in History might make you consider the motives and personal influences of the author of a poem you study in English) and both subjects encourage you to analyse and compare sources/pieces of writing/people's opinions etc.
    Hope some of this is helpful. Good luck!
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    I wouldn't recommend physics without maths, particularly as your maths isn't very strong. One girl in our physics class last year didn't do maths and she really struggled. It's not really that you need to know any a level maths until the A2, but you would definitely need a thorough understanding of GCSE maths which you would probably lack, just for the simple trig, algebra (mainly rearranging equations tbh, but there's some quadratics/ logarithms (which might be AS level maths...)).
    I would recommend taking History as your 4th AS instead of physics, although Art is also not particularly important for your degree subject (and is apparently LOADS of work...).
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    Oh also, more things:

    French is good (language learning = analytical skills, insight into other culture, more literature, essay writing, broader perspective on life etc) with relevance to English as well as in its own right.
    But it sounds like you aren't that sure about what you want to do yet, so try to keep your options open. All the stuff I just said about French still stands because those things make it a useful subject on its own, but I don't know how much you like it and how easy you find it - so don't choose a subject unless it has some value other than as a complement to English, because if you go off English you'll be stuck with that subject and it will be awful. With History as with Physics, the AS and GCSE courses are nothing alike - I didn't do History beyond GCSE but I remember the GCSE course not requiring any knowledge outside of what was in the textbook (apart from the controlled assessment where you had to find your own sources), whereas all my friends doing A2 have to do extra reading and independent research and huuuuuge essays with footnotes (shock horror) - all of which are great skills to have as an English student, but be prepared for that. Basically, make sure you know what you're signing yourself up for when you pick a subject. In my experience, languages are pretty much the same as at GCSE, English and History are much more independent, Sciences require a lot more understanding, Maths is the same and Music is the same.

    If you aren't absolutely 100% convinced about a degree subject, think about why you like each subject you want to do (once you've worked out what they are all like at A-level), what skills/traits they all have in common, what this indicates that you are good at or enjoy and what subjects these aspects lend themselves towards. If you are currently inclined towards English, the only subject you actually need for that is English and if you happen to like some of theother subjects which go well with it then stick those in as well. At this point it's better to choose subjects you will do well in and enjoy than subjects suited to a particular degree.
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    I agree with other posters, GCSE Physics is nothing compared to AS Physics.

    At GCSE, I got an A* in Maths, and in Physics an A. (2 UMS of an A*, yes 1 mark, so angry!)

    As AS now, I'm studying Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Economics. No Maths.

    Physics was a huge jump. A lot of Maths in the syllabus.

    Of 3 sciences, I had to work the hardest in Physics, and it paid off in my January exam Unit 1- I got an A.

    I'm now focussing on Unit 2, which is basically Maths. Loads of calculations, you need to be very alert to spot the problems. I can still do AS Physics without Maths, but I find other people doing Maths benefit from it and find Physics easier to do. (They already get taught some at Maths)

    Think what you're doing in GCSE Maths now, trigonometry, Pythagoras, cosine rule etc, and now imagine it combined in Physics problems. Its not straight where they ask you to calculate something, the problem is hidden in the Physics theory. Obviously the Maths is also harder as well than the Maths part you're doing now at GCSE.

    If your Maths isn't particularly strong, I'd avoid Physics AS completely.

    Its a huge step up from GCSE.

    Hope this helps.
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    AS level physics is easily done without maths. I got a B at GCSE maths and do not do A-level maths and I have not struggled with any of the maths so far. It's completely doable. However I can't comment on A2 though.


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    (Original post by bourgeoisiie)
    Hi, I'm currently in Year 11 and am about to choose my A-Levels.
    So far I have: Art, English Literature and French.
    I'm predicted a B in Maths at GCSE but an A* in Physics, and I really enjoy Physics at the moment, and the syllabus looks really interesting for Year 12. I want to study English at degree level at the moment, and I have been told that French and English are good prerequisites. I may substitute Art for History as I am torn for what I enjoy and am good at and what will be most helpful.

    Any help welcome
    You pretty much need maths, maybe not so much at AS, but definitely at A2. And also you're going to find it hard if you're only getting a B in Maths. Physics and Maths are basically the same thing except one is applied to real life situations and is experimentally testable. Maths underpins a lot of physics and you won't really be able to fully understand physics, or appreciate it's beauty, without a good understanding in Maths.
    I'd say that not doing Maths pretty much rules you out of being able to get an A in the subject, and is kinda vital to actually understanding what you're being taught, especially in A2 year :L
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    If you can add a fraction your maths skills will be competent for AS Physics
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    (Original post by Ollie113)
    I'd say that not doing Maths pretty much rules you out of being able to get an A in the subject,
    I don't think that's true. Myself and some other people have managed to get an A in Physics AS without Maths. (Unit 1)

    Unit 2 Mechanics I find has more Maths content but still doable without Maths, but at GCSE I got an A* at Maths, so I understood it fairly well, and the similar principles apply, but for the OP, I'm not to sure about.
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    lol
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    (Original post by bourgeoisiie)
    Hi, I'm currently in Year 11 and am about to choose my A-Levels.
    So far I have: Art, English Literature and French.
    I'm predicted a B in Maths at GCSE but an A* in Physics, and I really enjoy Physics at the moment, and the syllabus looks really interesting for Year 12. I want to study English at degree level at the moment, and I have been told that French and English are good prerequisites. I may substitute Art for History as I am torn for what I enjoy and am good at and what will be most helpful.

    Any help welcome
    make the subject.

    Solve for :

    Get back to me with the answers! If you can do these then you will be set for Alevel Physics.
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    Don't listen to the remarks about you 'only' getting a B in maths. I got a B in my GCSE maths and am finding the maths in the physics course to be doable. Fair enough I do maths as well, but all the maths you need to know you get taught in the lessons. Only thing is you might have to put more work in at home for the maths than the people who are studying it do, as they're basically doing it in the lessons.
    The main maths you'll need in physics is learning, rearranging and applying a couple of formula and basic trig. The only thing that makes it confusing is picking out from a worded problem what you need to do, and sometimes it is both, especially with trajectories.
    Make sure, if you do do physics, that you pay attention in the practicals as recently in the exams they ask you to plan an experiment to test certain theories.
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    no you dont need to do maths, but it would help if you were good at it.
 
 
 
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