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How hard is A2 compared to AS in these subjects - Maths, Physics, Biology, Psychology watch

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    I'm trying to decide what to study for A2. I've also done AS french but I doubt I'll be continuing that.

    I need to do Ma/Phs/Bio for Natural Sciences at uni, but I'm not sure whether to just do these 3 A2 or take more. I got an A (255/300) at AS Psychology and have done most of the A2 coursework already (we did it after AS exams), and I enjoy it, but I don't want to keep it up if the workload is going to increase significantly across my A2 subjects - I need to pull Bs up to As this year for Maths and Biology so that's my top priority.

    I also might have the option of taking AS Chemistry (useful for NatSci) instead of the Psychology, but will it be too much work? As I haven't done Chemistry for a year (but got an A in GCSE Chem)...

    So basically I'm just asking what the workload is like for the subjects in the thread title. Specifically it's AQA Maths/Biology/Psychology and OCR Physics (Advancing Physics) but I'm guessing it's similar across exam boards...

    Thanks, MissSurfer
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    Well personally i found A2 physics (AQA) far harder than the AS it was a big step for me and i got grades B,C,D in my A2 modules luckily my AS's pulled my grade up to a B, the thing with physics is that its very broad and many of us found the A2 papers to be getting harder each year.
    I dropped biology (AQA) after AS but my mates all said it was VERY hard and everyone i know dropped atleast one grade down from their AS but this could be because they also had *****e teachers and i know the A2 exams were solid.
    Maths(AQA) is simply building up on what you have already learned and the AS provided the basis for the A2 which is far more interesting and at first it may seem a big step but at the end of the year you should know everything inside out.
    And i dont know about psychology.
    Oh and A level chemistry is FAR harder than GCSE, thats why its also very highly rated among unis.
    I think any of those a levels would be desirable if your going to do natural sciences apart from psychology probably.
    But at the end of the day you got to sit and look at what works for you and where your strengths are and then i suggest you continue with your strongest subjects.
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    I think maths doesn't get much harder. The topics are roughly the same, but they just go deeper. Topics like differentiation, integration, binomial expansion are just done in different (harder?) situations. Trigonometry goes into double angles, there is also some more identity proving as well. The only real new topic is vectors. Also Maths doesn't have a single synoptic unit like the other subjects.

    I think Biology gets much harder at A2. The papers are longer and there are new things to remember. If you've done crap at AS, I wouldn't advise A2. The synoptic unit is a bit of a pain, you'll have to write an essay which alone contributes quite a lot to unit 6. This unit can test you on anything in the A-level Biology syllabus, which is quite a lot.

    Maths units AS: AAB ---> Maths units A2: AAB
    Bio units AS: AAB ---> Bio units AS: EBE :eek:

    As you can see, I really screwed up the Biology A2 units. I'm a bit skeptical with unit 6 though, I think I will have to order a re-mark for that paper.
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    I found Psychology really easy in the first year. Without doing much work I got A's in both my exams. If it wasn't for my coursework (which I got C/D in) I would have got a great score.
    Year two didn't seem hard at first. I carried on as I had before and in tests we had in class I did well. Then we did unit 4 in January. I got a D. As you can imagine I was NOT happy. In A2 you're expected to remember a lot more information although it's not 'harder' exactly. You'll need more time for revision than you did in the first year. Other than that, the workload is about the same.
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    Thanks for the information.. this is making me sway towards taking just 3 A2s now! If I were to go with the Psychology for a bit but wanted to drop it if it gets too hard.. then I'm presuming this would not be allowed because I've put it on my UCAS form? As I'm probably applying to Cam then this means my UCAS form has got to be sent by October you see!

    My AS results were not amazing - I scraped an A for Physics (242/300), just missed an A for Maths (239/300) and got a middle-ish B for Biology (largely because my coursework was a low B). So it's not like I'm in a strong position to get straight As next year.

    Hmm... why can't I do the Psychology but without the pressure of the exam!! I enjoy my lessons but don't want it to affect my other subjects which are a priority!
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    (Original post by Samothy)
    I found Psychology really easy in the first year. Without doing much work I got A's in both my exams. If it wasn't for my coursework (which I got C/D in) I would have got a great score.
    Year two didn't seem hard at first. I carried on as I had before and in tests we had in class I did well. Then we did unit 4 in January. I got a D. As you can imagine I was NOT happy. In A2 you're expected to remember a lot more information although it's not 'harder' exactly. You'll need more time for revision than you did in the first year. Other than that, the workload is about the same.
    Which exam board? I got the impression from my teacher that A2 would be less about remembering a lot and more about analysing and evaluating - like there's no key/star studies to learn for A2.
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    I did it with Edexcel. I have friends who did Psychology with a different exam board and the structure of their exams were really different to ours.
    I tend to count evalution as something to remember because you usually have strengths and weaknesses of things in your notes.
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    A2's are going to be as hard as we let them be. Work hard, and we will do ok, but if we dont we''ll find the exams hard as hell. You get from life what you put into it.
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    Out of those subjects, the only one I personally did at A2 was Psychology. From my experience, I'd agree largely with Samothy -- I'd say that you have to revise a hell of a lot more information at A2 than AS (the size of the A2 textbook compared to the AS is just scary, though of course, you'll only be studying select areas). However, it's basically just a case of doing what you did at AS, just doing more of it -- so if you can cope with that, you should be fine. And if you've got a good grade at AS, A2 won't seem too much harder as you'll have got used to the subject by then (though this should obviously apply to all A-levels). Personally, I worked much harder in my second year than my first, and raised my grade from a low to a high B.
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    In Psychology, AS is a walk in the park compared to A2. The individual A2 papers each required more work than the entire AS course, for me at least.

    But I did little work all year. Just start your revision early and you'll be fine.
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    To be honest, Psychology was by far my easiest AS anyway. It took hardly any brainpower to understand the concepts and the only challenge was remembering so any studies.
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    Maths doesnt get much harder. really then woo! i will be taking it next year if it does and i am likely to do worse than i will be taking biology.
 
 
 

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