National 5 Subjects?

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roksana
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#1
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#1
Hello, right now I am in S3 and I am picking my subjects for S4 over the February break. I'm going to be honest and say that I'm not too sure what I want to do in the future but I am aware of some professions that I do not want to be working as.

Anyhow, I'm thinking of studying:
Mathematics
English
Chemistry
French
Business Management
Art and Design

Do you think this is a good range of subjects to study for National 5?

Many thanks!
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WithoutMuchHope
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#2
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#2
What do you not want to be working as?

Obviously the subjects you choose have to be ones you are willing to work hard in, ones you like and are interested in and ones that you think you are capable of passing (well).

Nobody can choose for you, though your curriculum is rather tipped in one direction- if you can select another science- physics or biology to balance it out and leave options open (unless you are really, really, really adverse to these subjects and 100% sure you won't need them).

Personally this year I did:
Spanish
English
Modern Studies (biggest regret)
Chemistry
Physics
Maths

I attained all A grades (five A band 1s and one A band 2 in Spanish) in the prelims, and I am working hard for the exams in may. I am also studying six highers next year, though I am dropping Modern Studies for Business
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roksana
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#3
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#3
(Original post by _Miriam_)
What do you not want to be working as?

Obviously the subjects you choose have to be ones you are willing to work hard in, ones you like and are interested in and ones that you think you are capable of passing (well).

Nobody can choose for you, though your curriculum is rather tipped in one direction- if you can select another science- physics or biology to balance it out and leave options open (unless you are really, really, really adverse to these subjects and 100% sure you won't need them).

Personally this year I did:
Spanish
English
Modern Studies (biggest regret)
Chemistry
Physics
Maths

I attained all A grades (five A band 1s and one A band 2 in Spanish) in the prelims, and I am working hard for the exams in may. I am also studying six highers next year, though I am dropping Modern Studies for Business
Oh thanks for the reply. I hate how I'm "good" at so many subjects, there's no proper guidance and no clue which one I'm better at.

Well actually, I do not want to take 2 sciences as I don't think I want to go into any job specifically to do with science or medicine but I'm still wondering whether I should take Chemistry or Biology but I'm not sure which one is more worthwhile for me.

Well done to you on your prelims and I wish you well on your exams! Do you know what you want to do after high school?
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Quick-use
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#4
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#4
(Original post by roksana)
Oh thanks for the reply. I hate how I'm "good" at so many subjects, there's no proper guidance and no clue which one I'm better at.

Well actually, I do not want to take 2 sciences as I don't think I want to go into any job specifically to do with science or medicine but I'm still wondering whether I should take Chemistry or Biology but I'm not sure which one is more worthwhile for me.

Well done to you on your prelims and I wish you well on your exams! Do you know what you want to do after high school?
I'm surprised that you don't have to take a social science unless Business Management counts as one. Your subjects look varied so that's okay. If you're not sure about Chemistry, you could consider something else? Also, you could consider Biology instead of Chemistry which doesn't have as many calculations I don't think.
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roksana
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Quick-use)
I'm surprised that you don't have to take a social science unless Business Management counts as one. Your subjects look varied so that's okay. If you're not sure about Chemistry, you could consider something else? Also, you could consider Biology instead of Chemistry which doesn't have as many calculations I don't think.
We get a total free choice of subjects aside from English and Mathematics which are compulsory. Technically in S3, we are obliged to take all 3 sciences and all three teachers came back to me and told me I could take any science I wanted on National 5 level but I'm going to be honest, I really don't know what one is the most beneficial in the long term.

I do not want to be in S5 to realise I'll need to crash higher a different science as I guess, that might be a little difficult?

If Psychology was a choice at my school, I'd pick that in a heart beat.
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Quick-use
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#6
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#6
(Original post by roksana)
We get a total free choice of subjects aside from English and Mathematics which are compulsory. Technically in S3, we are obliged to take all 3 sciences and all three teachers came back to me and told me I could take any science I wanted on National 5 level but I'm going to be honest, I really don't know what one is the most beneficial in the long term.

I do not want to be in S5 to realise I'll need to crash higher a different science as I guess, that might be a little difficult?

If Psychology was a choice at my school, I'd pick that in a heart beat.
Biology can sometimes be quite similar to Psychology especially at Higher where there's a small section on Psychology (I'm talking about Human Biology here) unless they decide to change it. You can always do crash Higher but yeah, you're right in saying that it's not always that easy. It depends whether or not you like the subjects. I chose Physics and I really didn't like it but then I did crash Human Biology in S5 and that was quite interesting. I didn't do it because I had to but instead because I just wanted to. I kinda wish I did Bio instead in S3 because compared to Chemistry and Physics, it's not as maths intensive and it can be quite interesting. Maybe go on the SQA website and look at the past papers: do you feel slightly interested in any of the specimen papers of Physics, Chemistry or Maths?
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roksana
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Quick-use)
Biology can sometimes be quite similar to Psychology especially at Higher where there's a small section on Psychology (I'm talking about Human Biology here) unless they decide to change it. Image You can always do crash Higher but yeah, you're right in saying that it's not always that easy. It depends whether or not you like the subjects. I chose Physics and I really didn't like it but then I did crash Human Biology in S5 and that was quite interesting. I didn't do it because I had to but instead because I just wanted to. I kinda wish I did Bio instead in S3 because compared to Chemistry and Physics, it's not as maths intensive and it can be quite interesting. Maybe go on the SQA website and look at the past papers: do you feel slightly interested in any of the specimen papers of Physics, Chemistry or Maths??
Biology was actually my original choice in S3 but like I said, we had to take all 3 in the end. I'm actually really interested in Human Biology but so far all we seem to learn about is plants and doing experiments (about plants)..
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Quick-use
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#8
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#8
(Original post by roksana)
Biology was actually my original choice in S3 but like I said, we had to take all 3 in the end. I'm actually really interested in Human Biology but so far all we seem to learn about is plants and doing experiments (about plants)..
Oh! Sorry, I didn't realise that National 4/5 courses are only 1 year courses in S4 :gasp: I thought you were going into third year and would be doing them over two years like I had done my courses a few years back. :lol: Sorry!
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roksana
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Quick-use)
Oh! Sorry, I didn't realise that National 4/5 courses are only 1 year courses in S4 :gasp: I thought you were going into third year and would be doing them over two years like I had done my courses a few years back. :lol: Sorry!
Oh that's fine haha! I'm in 3rd year going into 4th year to study National 5s!
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Ecasx
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#10
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#10
(Original post by roksana)
Hello, right now I am in S3 and I am picking my subjects for S4 over the February break. I'm going to be honest and say that I'm not too sure what I want to do in the future but I am aware of some professions that I do not want to be working as.

Anyhow, I'm thinking of studying:
Mathematics
English
Chemistry
French
Business Management
Art and Design

Do you think this is a good range of subjects to study for National 5?

Many thanks!
I think thats a very good choice of subjects at Nat 5. Does your school only do 6 subjects? I'm doing my Nat 5s this year and we do 7 at my school :s

Maths and English are necessities obviously.

If I had to pick one science, I would pick chemistry. Unless you want to get into medicine or anything related, I doubt biology would be very useful. And maths can count as a substitute for physics in a lot of cases, I'd think.

Btw, languages are quite hard at Nat 5 :P I dont know about French, but Spanish theyve revamped the listening and speaking completely. Previously, in the listening test the questions would be split up into smaller sections, for example 3 questions at a time. The recording for the first set would read 3 times, and a small portion of the script would be WRITTEN on your sheet. Then you'd hear the 2nd set, then 3rd set, whatever. Whereas now in Nat 5 there is no written text shown to you and the recording is played in fill 3 times, much like Higher.

As for the speaking (30% of your mark), I get my test this Monday. We have to know a 2-minute presentation (10 marks) then have a 5-minute discussion with the teacher (15 marks) where she asks you questions about a set subject (school). Our teacher gave us a list of the questions she could ask, there are 30. So ive memorised my answers to all 30 questions now and a presentation. On top of that, shes going to ask us 'spontaneous questions', questions that aren't on the list, which tests your ability to think on the spot and formulate an answer (5 marks). I'm by no means complaining, I think its great that were forced to speak better, but compared to SG thats pretty difficult, where all you did was 3 prepared presentations over the space of a year. Its actually an advantage if you like languages. Bridges the gap between higher much more. I dislike languages though and didnt expect the need to put this much effort in :/

Business is pretty easy. There's loads of content and its extremely boring so I have no motivation to study it, but its mainly just common sense in a business context.

To whoever said chemistry includes more calculations, it actually barely includes any at this level. We sure do learn about some, e.g. m=ng, n=CV and PVC = PVC. Plus the GFM calculations. Yet these calculations have rarely ever turned up in all the exams we've had. In the prelim, there was a single calculation question, and it was not difficult at all. I hope theyre not misleading us like this, where the real exam is infested with calculations to be carried out.

I had my prelims at the start of January.
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chopinfan
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#11
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#11
Pick whatever science you feel you would enjoy most. It doesn't look like you're going to be doing anything science related at university (unless you crash subjects) so the future 'usefulness' isn't too important. I think nearly all schools are doing 6 or 7 subjects at National 5 level, apart from mine haha. I would also agree with the above in that languages at Nat 5 level are slightly more difficult than Int 2/Standard Grade, the speaking being the main reason for this due to the variety of questions that can be asked in the second part. I remember feeling the same regarding picking subjects at your age; I wasn't amazing at anything in particular but I seemed to be reasonably good in all subjects haha. Do you have any idea of something you'd like to study at uni or something you enjoy in particular?
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roksana
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#12
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#12
(Original post by Ecasx)
I think thats a very good choice of subjects at Nat 5. Does your school only do 6 subjects? I'm doing my Nat 5s this year and we do 7 at my school :s

Maths and English are necessities obviously.

If I had to pick one science, I would pick chemistry. Unless you want to get into medicine or anything related, I doubt biology would be very useful. And maths can count as a substitute for physics in a lot of cases, I'd think.

Btw, languages are quite hard at Nat 5 :P I dont know about French, but Spanish theyve revamped the listening and speaking completely. Previously, in the listening test the questions would be split up into smaller sections, for example 3 questions at a time. The recording for the first set would read 3 times, and a small portion of the script would be WRITTEN on your sheet. Then you'd hear the 2nd set, then 3rd set, whatever. Whereas now in Nat 5 there is no written text shown to you and the recording is played in fill 3 times, much like Higher.

As for the speaking (30% of your mark), I get my test this Monday. We have to know a 2-minute presentation (10 marks) then have a 5-minute discussion with the teacher (15 marks) where she asks you questions about a set subject (school). Our teacher gave us a list of the questions she could ask, there are 30. So ive memorised my answers to all 30 questions now and a presentation. On top of that, shes going to ask us 'spontaneous questions', questions that aren't on the list, which tests your ability to think on the spot and formulate an answer (5 marks). I'm by no means complaining, I think its great that were forced to speak better, but compared to SG thats pretty difficult, where all you did was 3 prepared presentations over the space of a year. Its actually an advantage if you like languages. Bridges the gap between higher much more. I dislike languages though and didnt expect the need to put this much effort in :/

Business is pretty easy. There's loads of content and its extremely boring so I have no motivation to study it, but its mainly just common sense in a business context.

To whoever said chemistry includes more calculations, it actually barely includes any at this level. We sure do learn about some, e.g. m=ng, n=CV and PVC = PVC. Plus the GFM calculations. Yet these calculations have rarely ever turned up in all the exams we've had. In the prelim, there was a single calculation question, and it was not difficult at all. I hope theyre not misleading us like this, where the real exam is infested with calculations to be carried out.

I had my prelims at the start of January.
We're only allowed 6 subjects. To be honest, I'm not sure I could pick another subject anyway.

Yeah, I would say that I am good with languages and my teacher thinks I have a "talent". I checked out the Reading and Writing Specimen Paper and it didn't look too difficult. As for the Listening, I reckon that with a lot of revision I could ace it.

I'm more confident about picking Chemistry once I thought about it for longer.

Good luck on your exams!
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roksana
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#13
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#13
(Original post by chopinfan)
Pick whatever science you feel you would enjoy most. It doesn't look like you're going to be doing anything science related at university (unless you crash subjects) so the future 'usefulness' isn't too important. I think nearly all schools are doing 6 or 7 subjects at National 5 level, apart from mine haha. I would also agree with the above in that languages at Nat 5 level are slightly more difficult than Int 2/Standard Grade, the speaking being the main reason for this due to the variety of questions that can be asked in the second part. I remember feeling the same regarding picking subjects at your age; I wasn't amazing at anything in particular but I seemed to be reasonably good in all subjects haha. Do you have any idea of something you'd like to study at uni or something you enjoy in particular?
Thanks for replying!
I don't plan to do anything science-related at university like you said. Oh, I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels like this - it's so weird. I remember I considered studying English, Psychology or Education before but I honestly don't know anymore. I really like Psychology but that wasn't a choice this year and I'm not sure I want to do that as a job?! :confused:
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WithoutMuchHope
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#14
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#14
(Original post by roksana)
Oh thanks for the reply. I hate how I'm "good" at so many subjects, there's no proper guidance and no clue which one I'm better at.

Well actually, I do not want to take 2 sciences as I don't think I want to go into any job specifically to do with science or medicine but I'm still wondering whether I should take Chemistry or Biology but I'm not sure which one is more worthwhile for me.

Well done to you on your prelims and I wish you well on your exams! Do you know what you want to do after high school?
It depends on your preference between the two- if you want to do medicine you'll need THREE (including Chemistry) from: physics, biology, chemistry. If you are really stuck between Chem and Bio, then pick Chemistry. Nat 5 will give you a good taster of the subject (and as long as you pay attention I'm sure you'll do fine on it), and then if you decide it really isn't relevant you can drop it for higher. Biology is MUCH easier to crash as a higher than chemistry, so if you're only doing one science this year chemistry is your safest bet. Good luck choosing- remember it doesn't all hang on your national 5s! They will give you a good idea of how to pick your highers.

Thanks! I'd love to study economics, yourself?
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Ecasx
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#15
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#15
(Original post by roksana)
We're only allowed 6 subjects. To be honest, I'm not sure I could pick another subject anyway.

Yeah, I would say that I am good with languages and my teacher thinks I have a "talent". I checked out the Reading and Writing Specimen Paper and it didn't look too difficult. As for the Listening, I reckon that with a lot of revision I could ace it.

I'm more confident about picking Chemistry once I thought about it for longer.

Good luck on your exams!
To be honest, listening is quite easy. I dont know if they've reduced the pace at which the tape is read, or used simpler language, but the fact that in Nat 5 the script is read in full with no written text isnt as bad as it sounds. Either the former, or SG was extremely easy.

Funny, in class I didnt do exceptionally well in listening practice. I got around the 70-75% mark. In the prelim however, I decided to follow the teachers recommendation of using a scrap peice of paper for note taking - hell, it makes life so much easier. I got 18/20 at listening in the prelim - it was honestly very easy, and these prelims were meant to be very similar to the real exam, so I'm in high hopes

Another note: the writing portion of languages are a free 20 marks.

And also, do you do Nat 4 right now in 3rd year?
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Twerk and die
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#16
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#16
(Original post by roksana)
Hello, right now I am in S3 and I am picking my subjects for S4 over the February break. I'm going to be honest and say that I'm not too sure what I want to do in the future but I am aware of some professions that I do not want to be working as.

Anyhow, I'm thinking of studying:
Mathematics
English
Chemistry
French
Business Management
Art and Design

Do you think this is a good range of subjects to study for National 5?

Many thanks!
Pick what ones you are strongest at. Are you allowed to pick and swop new subjects?
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