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Psychology A-Level watch

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    So I am in the process of selecting my options for A-Levels for next year. My three definite choices are Chemistry, Biology, and Maths.

    I am unsure of my fourth option (which I will most likely drop for A2) but I am considering Psychology. I have some passion for the subject but I don't know if I am too keen on the idea of taking it. I would like some advice on whether or not it is useful, interesting, and if an A is achievable for a hard working student. I really would not like to end up regretting the subject so any information would be helpful.

    I wish to study Medicine in the future if that would further help. Thanks in advance!

    Edit: AQA is the exam board.
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    Hi there, I took the same subjects as you, including Psychology. It depends on what your exam board is cos I did AS Psychology for AQA A, so I'll talk to you about my experience with AQA Psych.

    I have learned about abnormal behaviour, stress, social psychology, cognitive psychology (memory), developmental psychology (attachment) and research methods. Overall, the course is really interesting as you can apply some of these topics to other areas of your life, for example stress. However, you do need to put in a lot of work. In the exam papers, you'll have to write essays in a short of amount of time, so be prepared to come out of the exam with a sore hand! :P It's also good to take into consideration the way your psychology teacher teaches psychology. They can make it fun, they can make it boring. But then, it's up to you if you're gonna put in effort.

    If you remember the info and understand what the questions ask you, then psychology will be easier. My teacher sets our class mini tests every week so that we can get practice on how much time we should spend on each question and how we should answer them. Practice makes perfect!

    Regarding on its usefulness, I say that it comes in handy because some medical schools teach psychology as part of the medicine course. And if you want to, you can even go into clinical psychologist if you want. ^_^

    That's all I have to say for now, but I hope that helps.
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    Psychology plays a huge part in health care and medicine, and is very generally applicable. Did a degree in it, but not A level - good field imo.
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    (Original post by hellodave5)
    Psychology plays a huge part in health care and medicine, and is very generally applicable. Did a degree in it, but not A level - good field imo.
    Slightly off topic to this thread - but did you enjoy your psychology degree? Where did you study?

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    (Original post by oyin.k25)
    Hi there, I took the same subjects as you, including Psychology. It depends on what your exam board is cos I did AS Psychology for AQA A, so I'll talk to you about my experience with AQA Psych.

    I have learned about abnormal behaviour, stress, social psychology, cognitive psychology (memory), developmental psychology (attachment) and research methods. Overall, the course is really interesting as you can apply some of these topics to other areas of your life, for example stress. However, you do need to put in a lot of work. In the exam papers, you'll have to write essays in a short of amount of time, so be prepared to come out of the exam with a sore hand! :P It's also good to take into consideration the way your psychology teacher teaches psychology. They can make it fun, they can make it boring. But then, it's up to you if you're gonna put in effort.

    If you remember the info and understand what the questions ask you, then psychology will be easier. My teacher sets our class mini tests every week so that we can get practice on how much time we should spend on each question and how we should answer them. Practice makes perfect!

    Regarding on its usefulness, I say that it comes in handy because some medical schools teach psychology as part of the medicine course. And if you want to, you can even go into clinical psychologist if you want. ^_^

    That's all I have to say for now, but I hope that helps.
    Thank you, that was really helpful
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    The course is very interesting, although it is a lot of hard work! When I decided to take Psychology everybody warned me how difficult it would be as you have to have an excellent memory.

    Basically for the first year you have two modules to complete PY1 and PY2.

    In PY1 there are five questions that you have to know the answers to (worth 40%) :

    1a: Outline two assumptions of the _________ approach. (4)

    1b: Describe the __________ theory. (8)

    2: Describe how the __________ approach has been applied in either________ or _______ therapy. (12)

    3a: Evaluate the strengths of the _________ approach. (6)

    3b: Evaluate the weaknesses of the ___________ approach (6)

    4: Compare and contrast the _______ and the ______ approaches in terms of similarities and differences. (12)

    5 Explain and evaluate the methodology used by the _______ approach. (12)


    Now, because there are four different approaches used in PY1; Psychodynamic, behaviourist, biological and cognitive there are four possible answers that you will need to know for each question (apart from 4) that's 20 essay type answers that you have to memorise word for word before we even get into PY2. For question four there is a variety of different combinations that could come up but it's roughly 6 (I think) so that's 26 essay like questions to memorise ranging from about 300-650 words each depending on the question.

    The good news is you be taught every thing that you need to know by your teaching and should have the AS Level textbook that will have the information that you need on answering the questions. The bad news is that there will be a different approach for each question and you don't know which approach will come up for any of the questions.


    Now, if that wasn't bad enough you have to do PY2 in the same year.

    PY2 consists of 10 core studies that you have to memorise and research methods (worth 60%).

    In the exam there are three sections to answer.

    Section A:
    You must answer all three questions:

    1: Summarise the aims and context of _______. (12)

    2: Outline the procedures of ________. (12)

    3: Describe the findings and conclusions of _______. (12)

    (30 possible answers at around 200-300 words)

    Section B:
    All three questions must be answered, these three questions can be one of each type:

    > Evaluate the methodology of ________. (12)
    > With reference to alternative evidence, critically assess ___________. (12

    (20 possible answers at around 200-300 words) There will always be a mixture of the two types of question: maybe one methodology and two AE (alternative evidence) questions; or two methodology questions and 1 AE question.


    Section C:
    You will have to answer one question from a choice of two questions. Each question will consist of a brief description of a study and will be split into parts A-F:

    A: Outline one advantage and one disadvantage of using the (named method) in this research. (3)

    B: Identify one issue of reliability in this research and describe how you could ensure reliability. (3)

    C: Identify one issue of validity in this research and describe how you could ensure validity. (3)

    D: Outline one advantage and one disadvantage of the (named sampling method) in this research. (3)

    E: Discuss one ethical issue that might arise in this research. (3)

    F: State one conclusion that can be drawn from the (named data) in this research. (3)


    You have to make links between your methodological knowledge and the novel situations so make sure to contextualise your answers. I can't remember exactly but I think they only give you examples that you would of learned about in school so there is about 60 possible answers at about 150 words long (but I'm not sure about that one).

    So, overall Psychology in the first year of your A-Levels sucks and I'm told that it doesn't get that much better in the second year. You HAVE to have an amazing memory and remember to take into account all of the extra time that it will take outside of school to memorise these questions. You already have picked some difficult options for A-level so you may want to consider something that is less of a work load. However, as you say you are a hard worker and in that case it is entirely achievable however literally all of your time would have to be spent on school work. Psychology is no longer considered a scientific subject in terms of school as it is now classed as part of the humanities faculty. However, I don't see why psychology would in anyway negatively effect your plans to work in the medical sector. As long as you find the subject interesting you should be able to find the work load bearable because you would enjoy learning about the subject!

    Regardless, good luck with your A-Levels! Let me know what you decide!
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    I forgot to mention that that particular Psychology course was WJEC. So, I don't know how useful that information is for you if that is not your examination board.
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    (Original post by Kay(:)
    Slightly off topic to this thread - but did you enjoy your psychology degree? Where did you study?

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    Yeah very interesting! Massive variety in content psycho-dynamics to neurophysiology, and statistics to... manipulation techniques.

    I have just finished my psych degree at Sheffield Hallam, as I'm from Sheffield (not bothered with the whole ranking malarkey), and going on continue with them doing clinical neuroscience.
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    (Original post by hellodave5)
    Yeah very interesting! Massive variety in content psycho-dynamics to neurophysiology, and statistics to... manipulation techniques.

    I have just finished my psych degree at Sheffield Hallam, as I'm from Sheffield (not bothered with the whole ranking malarkey), and going on continue with them doing clinical neuroscience.
    Omg! I want to do exactly what you're doing.
    Clinical neurology
    Are these alevels good¢℅? And is it of any use to study your degree subject?

    chemistry
    Biology
    Physics
    Psychology (..

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    (Original post by oyin.k25)
    Regarding on its usefulness, I say that it comes in handy because some medical schools teach psychology as part of the medicine course. And if you want to, you can even go into clinical psychologist if you want. ^_^
    That would be a very unusual route for someone who studied medicine and was a doctor.

    Perhaps you mean psychiatrist?
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    (Original post by Eradicating)
    Omg! I want to do exactly what you're doing.
    Clinical neurology
    Are these alevels good¢℅? And is it of any use to study your degree subject?

    chemistry
    Biology
    Physics
    Psychology (..

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    All of those are very helpful for clinical neurology (or neuroscience)... aye will put you in good stead
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    That would be a very unusual route for someone who studied medicine and was a doctor.

    Perhaps you mean psychiatrist?
    I thought clinical psychologist had closer links to medicine, that's what I meant. My bad (>o<)
 
 
 
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