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Advice on A level choices? (maths geography and/or physics) Watch

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    I'm a year 11 student choosing my options, and have recently decided that i want to go on to do preferably biochemistry or biology at uni, and am having trouble picking my A level options. At the moment, they are: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Geography.
    I know that Maths is extremely relevant to the field, and although i do not really enjoy it I have got an A at GCSE and am now doing the OCR FSMQ (I got an E in the mock, as did a lot of the class, but I am improving and enjoy trig and calculus) aiming for about a B, which will give me a massive head start as it is basically the AS course. My question is should I drop physics or geography for maths? Should I do maths at all? Doing a humanity would show i have a variety of skills, give me more options if i change my mind on what i want to do, and would also give me a break from the tougher options. This is what a lot of students at my school doing science are doing. On the other hand, all maths and science would be more relevant but also more challenging with less maneuverability. I am targeted A* in all of my current choices and have an A* in core science, now doing triple.

    Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!
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    Maths would be a wise idea if you want to do science at uni, and more valued than geography. Doing all sciences and maths will be hard, but i think ultimately slightly more respected than geography, if you're sure you can manage 4 challenging A-levels.
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    I don't know what A levels you need to do biochem or biology at uni, but I'd imagine several unis do not require maths, as long as the universities you like the sound of don't require maths, then I suggest you don't do it. Doing an A level you don't enjoy is just horrible and makes it so much harder to actually revise and work hard for, so if you don't enjoy maths then don't do it.
    The only reason why I'd think maths could be useful (apart from helping out bio and biochem) would be that you're doing physics, however your teachers should hopefully provide support for the physics students who don't do maths, although I think the level of maths required in physics depends on the board.

    As you said, geography would help you if you decide that you'd rather do something else at university. I'd vote you stick with your options, I don't really know what the FSMQ is, but hopefully that'll help with the maths needed in physics, and your other subjects (Although I personally think at least in A level the maths needed in biology and chemistry is quite easy). Good luck!
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    (Original post by chessb)
    I'm a year 11 student choosing my options, and have recently decided that i want to go on to do preferably biochemistry or biology at uni, and am having trouble picking my A level options. At the moment, they are: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Geography.
    I know that Maths is extremely relevant to the field, and although i do not really enjoy it I have got an A at GCSE and am now doing the OCR FSMQ (I got an E in the mock, as did a lot of the class, but I am improving and enjoy trig and calculus) aiming for about a B, which will give me a massive head start as it is basically the AS course. My question is should I drop physics or geography for maths? Should I do maths at all? Doing a humanity would show i have a variety of skills, give me more options if i change my mind on what i want to do, and would also give me a break from the tougher options. This is what a lot of students at my school doing science are doing. On the other hand, all maths and science would be more relevant but also more challenging with less maneuverability. I am targeted A* in all of my current choices and have an A* in core science, now doing triple.

    Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!
    Do environmental studies instead of Geography
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    (Original post by Gunpowdergelatin)
    Maths would be a wise idea if you want to do science at uni, and more valued than geography. Doing all sciences and maths will be hard, but i think ultimately slightly more respected than geography, if you're sure you can manage 4 challenging A-levels.
    Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. I genuinely enjoy science, so would dropping maths post-AS to focus on bio chem and physics be of any harm? I tend to find the type of maths we do in physics no problem whatsoever, although i tend to trip up on stupid basic arithmetic stuff in maths class itself which is frustrating seeing as i can do quite advanced stuff with no problem asides from that agh
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    (Original post by Emad1993)
    Do environmental studies instead of Geography
    My sixth form doesn't offer that course, thanks for the advice though!
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    (Original post by Okkefac)
    I don't know what A levels you need to do biochem or biology at uni, but I'd imagine several unis do not require maths, as long as the universities you like the sound of don't require maths, then I suggest you don't do it. Doing an A level you don't enjoy is just horrible and makes it so much harder to actually revise and work hard for, so if you don't enjoy maths then don't do it.
    The only reason why I'd think maths could be useful (apart from helping out bio and biochem) would be that you're doing physics, however your teachers should hopefully provide support for the physics students who don't do maths, although I think the level of maths required in physics depends on the board.

    As you said, geography would help you if you decide that you'd rather do something else at university. I'd vote you stick with your options, I don't really know what the FSMQ is, but hopefully that'll help with the maths needed in physics, and your other subjects (Although I personally think at least in A level the maths needed in biology and chemistry is quite easy). Good luck!
    I've talked to my physics teacher and he says that about half of his AS class isn't doing maths which is reassuring, but ideally i want to get into a really top uni, oxbridge is a stretch but hey, a girl can dream right? From all the reading up on it i've done (which is a lot), they say that maths is very desirable. My main issue with maths is my confidence, which tbh is improving a lot recently
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    (Original post by chessb)
    My sixth form doesn't offer that course, thanks for the advice though!
    I strongly suggest you not to take geography honestly, do chemistry, it is much more easier .
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    (Original post by Emad1993)
    I strongly suggest you not to take geography honestly, do chemistry, it is much more easier .
    What planet are you on?


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    (Original post by chessb)
    I've talked to my physics teacher and he says that about half of his AS class isn't doing maths which is reassuring, but ideally i want to get into a really top uni, oxbridge is a stretch but hey, a girl can dream right? From all the reading up on it i've done (which is a lot), they say that maths is very desirable. My main issue with maths is my confidence, which tbh is improving a lot recently
    If you think you can do well at maths, then go for it! You could always do Geography instead of physics if you really like geography, if not then three sciences + maths are an option. You get all these people saying the three sciences and maths are a really hard combination, but I do them and don't think it's any harder than any other combination (it depends on the person really, I'd die at both englishes for example XD but I'm fine with triple science + maths).

    You can always try maths at the start, and change to geography if you find A level maths too difficult or if you don't like it.
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    (Original post by Emad1993)
    I strongly suggest you not to take geography honestly, do chemistry, it is much more easier .
    I'm already doing chem for definite!
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    (Original post by Okkefac)
    If you think you can do well at maths, then go for it! You could always do Geography instead of physics if you really like geography, if not then three sciences + maths are an option. You get all these people saying the three sciences and maths are a really hard combination, but I do them and don't think it's any harder than any other combination (it depends on the person really, I'd die at both englishes for example XD but I'm fine with triple science + maths).

    You can always try maths at the start, and change to geography if you find A level maths too difficult or if you don't like it.
    How are you finding it? If I end up taking the same as you, would you advise dropping maths after AS and sticking with triple science for A2?
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    (Original post by chessb)
    How are you finding it? If I end up taking the same as you, would you advise dropping maths after AS and sticking with triple science for A2?
    I'm finding it good, fine actually. I'm kind of opposite to you, it's maths that I'm really strong at, and was less confident at biology at GCSE, now it's chemistry I'm less confident with. However I don't think triple science and maths is harder than most other combinations (unless another combination involves one of those known more easy subjects, I guess). I suggest dropping whatever you're worst at/enjoy the least, for all you know you may LOOVE maths and biology, but despise physics, then drop physics. I say if you go for those four, wait until nearer to the end of the year to decide what to drop, since before you start them you have no idea which ones you're going to enjoy the most
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    (Original post by Okkefac)
    I'm finding it good, fine actually. I'm kind of opposite to you, it's maths that I'm really strong at, and was less confident at biology at GCSE, now it's chemistry I'm less confident with. However I don't think triple science and maths is harder than most other combinations (unless another combination involves one of those known more easy subjects, I guess). I suggest dropping whatever you're worst at/enjoy the least, for all you know you may LOOVE maths and biology, but despise physics, then drop physics. I say if you go for those four, wait until nearer to the end of the year to decide what to drop, since before you start them you have no idea which ones you're going to enjoy the most
    yeah true. tbh my aspirations have changed loads over the last few years, up until recently i wanted to be a journalist and had done no research on unis so was gonna take geog, gov & pol, english lit and computing, and at the end of year 9 i had this little dream of being a film director which lead to me taking media & film for my "creative" option. No idea why it didn't click that science was for me earlier, i've always had a passion for it :confused: i guess it'll all fall into place, although i know biology is my strongest point
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    (Original post by chessb)
    yeah true. tbh my aspirations have changed loads over the last few years, up until recently i wanted to be a journalist and had done no research on unis so was gonna take geog, gov & pol, english lit and computing, and at the end of year 9 i had this little dream of being a film director which lead to me taking media & film for my "creative" option. No idea why it didn't click that science was for me earlier, i've always had a passion for it :confused: i guess it'll all fall into place, although i know biology is my strongest point
    Yeah, it makes me kind of annoyed that we have to decide such drastic things as our A levels when we're so young. All my life until this year I wanted to be a vet, now I've decided I prefer maths and want to do that. It makes sense, I've always been good at maths, but I chose my A level options around being a vet, instead of around maths. However, three sciences + maths will keep you set for almost any science related degree if you change your mind
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    (Original post by Okkefac)
    Yeah, it makes me kind of annoyed that we have to decide such drastic things as our A levels when we're so young. All my life until this year I wanted to be a vet, now I've decided I prefer maths and want to do that. It makes sense, I've always been good at maths, but I chose my A level options around being a vet, instead of around maths. However, three sciences + maths will keep you set for almost any science related degree if you change your mind
    mm, the careers guidance is absolutely crap at our school. He advised me that Media was a strong A level for christs sake (Although it was somewhat relevant to journalism and I'm getting an A* at GCSE, still!) The age at which we're made to choose the things which will most likely define our careers is absurdly young, just a year could make all the difference. Yeah 3 sciences and maths sounds like the best option at the moment, but i'm just scared that i'm going to change my mind about what i want to do again argh
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    (Original post by chessb)
    mm, the careers guidance is absolutely crap at our school. He advised me that Media was a strong A level for christs sake (Although it was somewhat relevant to journalism and I'm getting an A* at GCSE, still!) The age at which we're made to choose the things which will most likely define our careers is absurdly young, just a year could make all the difference. Yeah 3 sciences and maths sounds like the best option at the moment, but i'm just scared that i'm going to change my mind about what i want to do again argh
    Oh wow, that is bad, and here I thought my career guidance was terrible XD. Don't be scared of changing your mind, you can always take a gap year and do an A level in another subject if you suddenly get a passion for it. I wish you the best of luck in your options, with whatever you choose!
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    (Original post by Okkefac)
    Oh wow, that is bad, and here I thought my career guidance was terrible XD. Don't be scared of changing your mind, you can always take a gap year and do an A level in another subject if you suddenly get a passion for it. I wish you the best of luck in your options, with whatever you choose!
    sounds like a plan. Best of luck to you as well, you give great advice!
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    (Original post by chessb)
    I'm a year 11 student choosing my options, and have recently decided that i want to go on to do preferably biochemistry or biology at uni, and am having trouble picking my A level options. At the moment, they are: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Geography.
    I know that Maths is extremely relevant to the field, and although i do not really enjoy it I have got an A at GCSE and am now doing the OCR FSMQ (I got an E in the mock, as did a lot of the class, but I am improving and enjoy trig and calculus) aiming for about a B, which will give me a massive head start as it is basically the AS course. My question is should I drop physics or geography for maths? Should I do maths at all? Doing a humanity would show i have a variety of skills, give me more options if i change my mind on what i want to do, and would also give me a break from the tougher options. This is what a lot of students at my school doing science are doing. On the other hand, all maths and science would be more relevant but also more challenging with less maneuverability. I am targeted A* in all of my current choices and have an A* in core science, now doing triple.

    Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!
    I would probably swap physics for maths.
    Maths would be useful for chemistry or biochemistry, as would geography. Obviously biology and chemistry are a must.
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    (Original post by chessb)
    I'm a year 11 student choosing my options, and have recently decided that i want to go on to do preferably biochemistry or biology at uni, and am having trouble picking my A level options. At the moment, they are: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Geography.
    I know that Maths is extremely relevant to the field, and although i do not really enjoy it I have got an A at GCSE and am now doing the OCR FSMQ (I got an E in the mock, as did a lot of the class, but I am improving and enjoy trig and calculus) aiming for about a B, which will give me a massive head start as it is basically the AS course. My question is should I drop physics or geography for maths? Should I do maths at all? Doing a humanity would show i have a variety of skills, give me more options if i change my mind on what i want to do, and would also give me a break from the tougher options. This is what a lot of students at my school doing science are doing. On the other hand, all maths and science would be more relevant but also more challenging with less maneuverability. I am targeted A* in all of my current choices and have an A* in core science, now doing triple.

    Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!
    Maybe it would be a good idea to look at some uni courses you may be interested in and seeing what they say about what subjects they require? I know it may seem far away but would be a horrible feeling wanting to do a course at uni that, for example, requires physics which you decided to drop

    Also, for my AS I took Spanish as a sort of 'rest' and 'calm' subject compared to Maths, Further Maths and Physics. However I never really got into it and ended up just dropping it, despite the relatively small workload. So it all depends on your personal interests and what's going to motivate you
 
 
 
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