Lydia24
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I am only in Year 10 but I have been thinking alot about what I want to take at A-Level, and Psychology keeps on popping up into my mind.

Could somebody possibly give me the ins and outs of psychology and what the courses are actually like, aren't they mainly essay based?? I don't know...

Here's some stuff so that you can understand why I am so keen...

As it stands I am really interested in how the brain works and why we behave the way we do, I also enjoy reading and interpreting other people's body language and drama helps me to understand that too.

Any help will be much appreciated XD
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Lilygnunn
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(Original post by Lydia24)
I am only in Year 10 but I have been thinking alot about what I want to take at A-Level, and Psychology keeps on popping up into my mind.

Could somebody possibly give me the ins and outs of psychology and what the courses are actually like, aren't they mainly essay based?? I don't know...

Here's some stuff so that you can understand why I am so keen...

As it stands I am really interested in how the brain works and why we behave the way we do, I also enjoy reading and interpreting other people's body language and drama helps me to understand that too.

Any help will be much appreciated XD
I would say no. Sorry. I thought exactly the same as you and i hate it with a passion along with everyone else in my year group. We have barely had a teacher admittedly but it is so dull, the topics are boring and doesn't tell you how the brain works, its wishy washy stuff that is hard to remember and seems pointless.
My A2 exam is tomorrow and i will be lucky to get a C, for each topic (of which there are 3 in each exam) you have to learn about 20 pages of content to be examined on 1 and yes its all essay based. Each essay is 24 marks and hard to write.
AS psychology (not essay based) was okay but A2 is hard and horrible and just ugghh, its my biggest mistake of alevels.
My advise... Take it for AS it you wish and then drop it. AS is more interesting and easier so its okay i got an A but i would then advise dropping it so maybe take it as your forth subject. Sorry to be a downer but its a pointless worthless subject in my opinion :/
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CharlieeB
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Im starting A-levels in september and thinking of doing psychology aswell! Im already doing 2 sciences and i've heard its pretty biology-based and wishy washy i suppose ... so im thinking i might take it as a 5th A-level? would this be to stressfull?
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Magdatrix >_<
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(Original post by Lydia24)
I am only in Year 10 but I have been thinking alot about what I want to take at A-Level, and Psychology keeps on popping up into my mind.

Could somebody possibly give me the ins and outs of psychology and what the courses are actually like, aren't they mainly essay based?? I don't know...

Here's some stuff so that you can understand why I am so keen...

As it stands I am really interested in how the brain works and why we behave the way we do, I also enjoy reading and interpreting other people's body language and drama helps me to understand that too.

Any help will be much appreciated XD
Do you know what exam board/spec you would be taking? If so take a look at their website to see what is included, as well as the exam format.
If you have a genuine interest in Psychology, I'd advise that you seriously consider taking it (because after all that is the best reason to take a subject!). In my experience there is a fair bit of essay-writing in Psychology, though the AQA exams seem less about constructing a coherent essay and more about putting in the right phrases (I could write about that for ages but I won't in case you're not interested)
What other subjects are you considering besides Drama and Psychology?

(Original post by CharlieeB)
Im starting A-levels in september and thinking of doing psychology aswell! Im already doing 2 sciences and i've heard its pretty biology-based and wishy washy i suppose ... so im thinking i might take it as a 5th A-level? would this be to stressfull?
There is a somewhat 'biologyish' component to psychology but also many elements that do not rely so much on biological bases. I would certainly argue that psychology as a discipline is not 'wishy washy', though unfortunately that is sometimes the opinion of people who haven't (and in few unfortunate cases, who have) studied it. My best advice is to do some serious reading on the subject (Richard Gross's book is excellent if you can get your hands on a copy) and make your own decision rather than relying on others' opinions.
What are your other three subjects?
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Laila 247
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Ive heard psychology is really easy. U should choose the subjects u enjoy.

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Lydia24
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I dont know my exam board, and the other subjects I am interested in taking are biology and geography
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Laila 247
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Biology is really interesting

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kendall1
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It's definitely an interesting subject so I'd go for it if it's something you're interested in

I can only speak for AQA as it's the exam board I've done and I found the year 12 topics slightly more dull than the year 13 topics but the exams in year 12 were far easier than year 13. Year 12 was mainly shorter questions whereas year 13 is long essay based questions. As long as your willing to put the effort in then go for it!

For AQA in year 12 you study things like memory, attachments, abnormality etc... and in year 13 you study things like sleep, aggression, gender, eating behaviour, schizophrenia, depression, media etc... (bare in mind this isn't a complete list and you won't learn all of these and i've missed out some to)

What grades are you predicted at GCSE do you know? Especially in sciences and writing based subjects (e.g. history or english lit)
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gr8wizard10
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Do subjects you enjoy.. definitely look at the specification.. I can't stress this point enough. Look at what university courses you're interested in and then find what subjects they require (or and advise to take). Make your decisions based on that, not because people tell you a subject is easy/hard.

For what you're asking, I'd assume Biology is the subject you're looking for unless you really detest science because that subject is pure memorisation. Nonetheless if you are good at writing essays than Psychology may do you more favours in terms of doing your exams. I haven't done the subject so definitely look at exam board specs.
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Lydia24
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I dont take history at GCSE but in all subjects I am predicted As but in drama I am working at an A* level XD
Thanks by the way, what you said was a great help
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sophiehiggins
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I'm in year 13, and I do psychology on the AQA A board. I personally think that psychology is a really interesting subject and I hope to carry on to study it at university. If you have an interest in the subject you should take it; however, on my course it is 4 exams which consist of long essays so you'll have to be willing to learn loads of content
Good luck!
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ChelseaFromChels
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Ha! You are going to die with all three of those subjects they are all epically bulky subjects,, I chose biology thinking it would be similar as gcse but it wasn't 1000000 x harder. Psychology is great if you have a genuine interest in the sections but you have to learn like 200 studies ( no exaggeration) its hard work
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Emmzie
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Well like anything I think it depends on which exam board you're on. I'm on Edexcel and have really enjoyed studying Psychology. I'm hoping to continue it at uni.

I personally think it is extremely interesting, and it's a subject I feel like I actually learn things in rather than stuff I just have to memorise for an exam.

It's also better to take it now than it was a few years ago due to it now being seen as a proper science.

It is hard work, I'll give it that, but so are all A Levels, and if it's an interesting subject that you are passionate about, the hard work won't feel so bad.


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mariagoretti
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Don't do ocr psychology please

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Stridey_xxxx
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Hello!

Firstly, I take Psychology at the moment and absolutely love it - I want to go on to study it at university and hope one day to do a masters in Forensic Psychology.
However, I have many friends who absolutely hate the subject.
Therefore, the moral of the story is that anyone who tells you 'yes' or 'no' to whether you should take the subject is a bit of an idiot because everyones tastes and opinions and strengths and weaknesses are worlds apart.
You've got a couple of years yet, but I definitely admire the fact you're start your considerations so early because it gives you time to do some research. I would suggest that you find out which exam board your school studies Psychology with and then go on their website and have a look at the modules, then read into the modules a little and see if they do truely interest you.

Psychology is often thought of as 'the way our minds work' which is basically its tag, however there is so much more to it that you need to know, because it's not all just fun stuff - it also contains 'research methods' which is a main unit that all exam boards study - it is the science behind psychological experiments and can contain a large amount of maths/statistics so you must make sure you're fully up for it before taking the subject.

I can only talk about AQA because that's the exam board I study on -
in AS we studied;
Research methods
Memory
Attachment
Social Psychology (conformity/obedience)
Stress
and Abnormality.
Psychology is such a wide area that it contains several different parts and the likelihood is you will look some topics more than others, for example I prefer social psychology to biological psychology, but you will need to study all of it and therefore you need to be motivated enough to work hard at the parts you don't find so interesting

I hope this helps a little
Catherine
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Lilygnunn
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(Original post by Laila 247)
Ive heard psychology is really easy. U should choose the subjects u enjoy.

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Psychology isn't as easy as everyone makes out. I thought it was going to be my more relaxed subject... I was wrong. Our teachers didn't care which didn't help but the general content is rubbish. It's not very interesting but if you love just memorizing loads of stuff then take it as that's all you do :/ i thought id love it but i didn't...and im not alone everyone in my year hated it
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Lilygnunn
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(Original post by CharlieeB)
Im starting A-levels in september and thinking of doing psychology aswell! Im already doing 2 sciences and i've heard its pretty biology-based and wishy washy i suppose ... so im thinking i might take it as a 5th A-level? would this be to stressfull?
I would advise not taking 5 a-levels and unless you got all A*s at GCSE and want no life then it wouldn't be advised plus uni's only ask for 3 or if you're wanting to do medicine then 3 and an AS level.
If youre wanting to push yourself more id say take it as your 4th subject and maybe even drop it after AS as A2 is boring and just memorizing stuff...
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Lilygnunn
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(Original post by Lydia24)
I dont know my exam board, and the other subjects I am interested in taking are biology and geography
Exact subjects i took, biology, psychology and geography (took chemistry at AS)
Looking back on it if you don't like writting essays don't do both geog and psych as it so much writing and so much content most of which isn't examined... Biology is great some of it is really hard but if you work though it it is interesting
Good luck choosing and doing them. Im just glad my alevels will be over next week as they are rather dull and boring ill warn you now
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chazwomaq
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(Original post by Lydia24)
I also enjoy reading and interpreting other people's body language and drama helps me to understand that too.
Psychology is almost nothing to do with reading people or interpreting their body language. You won't become Derren Brown. It has pretty much no relation to drama.
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haslam22
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A-Level psychology isn't that bad. I do AQA psych (I think that's the most popular board)
It is split up into two short answer question exams (PSYA1, PSYA2), and then two essay exams for A2 (PSYA3, PSYA4). PSYA4 has a research methods section linking back to PSYA1 which is not essay based.


The only thing is, you can't rely on the teachers to teach you the content. And honestly (I might get criticised for saying this), Psychology is one huge memory test. As long as you remember the right studies and some basic theory knowledge, you can easily get A/A*.


It is definitely not hard if you revise well and cover all the content during the year. If you find it interesting, go for it... Psych is a very popular course
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