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    Greetings fellow TSRers.

    As some of you may notice, I have made two similar threads regarding to this question over the past few months. Each time, I seem to settle on a conclusion but since this is such a huge dilemma for me, I am being very indecisive despite the two threads. Also I had not had enough information about my Sixthform or had not had enough time to think about with my cool head or organise my thoughts due to all the moving, IGCSE exams, leaving my beloved school and the option choice deadline etc. I apologise for making multiple threads and bother you every time.

    I am also aware that hundreds of similar thread existed in the past. However, I made another again because I wanted advice for my situation specifically and not general advice.

    I would like to believe that now I have enough "information" about myself, and thus I would like to make a new thread with every piece of information that might help me decide.

    So as you can probably see from the title, I am considering to take either Biology or Further Maths.

    Here are my points that can be considered when you kindly give me some advice

    Background info
    • ​I will take maths, chemistry and physics for other 3 AS
    • I still don't know what degree or career to go for
    • Not interested in medicine but not interested in maths degree either.
    • Probably either physics or chemistry course at uni, or natural sciences. Might be biochemistry but not sure.
    • Predicted A* for both maths and double science (my school didn't offer triple)
    • University wise, I'm aiming for as good university as possible for my ability. I'm not sure what I'm capable of, as I can't really compare with other students since I'm top in every class except English, but it's out of the year of SIX PEOPLE so it doesn't tell anything. Let's say one of Russell Group unis, and I have Oxbridge in my sight but heck, I don't know what will happen in A levels so I'm not gonna say I'm aiming for it.
    • Just for reference, I got A* maths, A* science, A* Geography, A* French, A Eng lang, C Eng lit, B History for mocks. Don't know about real grades until 14th (CIE IGCSE is earlier than other boards) but I expect similar grades though I hope an A* in Eng lang and a B in lit, A in history lol.




    Further Maths (Edexcel)
    pros

    • I like maths. I like problem solving and I seek challenge.
    • It would be more useful if I were to go for physics degree
    • Could lead me to computer science/engineering/economics IF I ever wanted to though unlikely
    • I'm good at maths according to people at my school
    • Probably will get better grades than in Biology
    • Might hate currently-beloved chemistry and opt for physics who knows

    cons
    • My biological knowledge will stop at GCSE level unless I do extra reading
    • I'm not really interested in my AS modules though A2 looks interesting. AS: FP1, D1, S1. A2: FP2, FP3, M3
    • Can be self taught and the maths department will help me




    Biology (AQA)
    pros

    • I can have more complex knowledge on biology. GCSE level is not sufficient for my curiosity
    • I love to know how things work and yeah curiosity and thirst for more knowledge all the way
    • I was kind of settled on FM but my work placement for microbiology/spermiology lab - that's what they call themselves but in fact it was medical analysis lab - made me hesitant to stop my knowledge at GCSE.
    • Practicals are essential and so doing biology at school would be better than self teaching
    • Might hate currently-loved physics and opt for chemistry-biology who knows

    cons
    • Even though I'm good at all sciences (double award science gives grade based on all three and I get A* every practice exam), Biology was my worst out of the three due to wording etc
    • I'm not interested in environment topic (mainly in A2) at all so likely to drop at A2 even though the sensitivity and response topic in A2 is interesting unless I suddenly start to bloom in biology.
    • There is a high chance that I get worse grades than Further Maths




    Possibilities
    (A) Biology AS in Year 12, Further Maths AS in Year 13 possibly as a private candidate if the Year 12 timetable doesn't fit mine. Resulting in 2 AS and 3 A2.

    Will cover interesting topics in AS Biology (except classification or some environment stuff) and won't need to do big environment topic in A2. In exchange it is risky as I don't know if I will be capable for self-teaching time wise. I have strong enough passion for maths/biology that I am willing to do so, but I don't know if it's physically possible. Also Further Maths A2 won't be possible to obtain unless I self-teach 6 modules so hard (probably won't happen).

    (B) Further Maths in Year 12 drop it next year/continue with it
    If I want to why not do 4 A2 (seems to be possible at my sixth form though I assume I need to prove that I can keep up with the workload). Will do the seemingly interesting A2 topics. However I won't be able to have an advanced biological grounding which I'm very hesitant about. What if what I really want to do was Biology? (can't know just with limited knowledge from GCSEs and a few extra videos/articles) Maybe chemistry is sufficient especially for biochemistry which I'm quite interested about, but if I need to catch up later on in uni, it could be too hard? I also like interlinking topics between each subject area and am also good at it.

    (C) Biology AS in Year 12 drop it next year/continue with it
    If I want I could continue to A2, in case I realise Biology is what I really want during Year 12. Could opt for Option A later on as well. But will miss out with A2 FP modules which seem interesting and missing FM A2 can be disadvantageous if I realise Physics/maths is the way for me during Year 12.



    Okay, so I tried to make all the thoughts very organised and easier to read. I hope I didn't miss out anything. Apologies for very long post but I will really appreciate if you read it all and avoid "if you're good at understanding concepts go for FM, if you're good at memorising go for Biology" sort of answer because I heard this thing enough. If you could work out and suggest what would be the best option for me (I'm aware that final decision should be mine) maybe using your experience, I will be very grateful. It is sometimes better to hear 3rd person's opinions as they are often less emotional and objective.

    Once again, thank you all for your help.
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    I think you should do biology instead of FM because FM isn't necessary for many science courses and seeing as you aren't completely sure what you want to do, biology might keep more doors open for you. Also, FM would probably be easier to self-teach if needed, and you are already doing maths, proving your mathematical capabilities to universities.
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    This is an extremly well thought out thread and I must say I've been in EXACTLY the same situation as you. I'm starting my A-Levels in september and have opted for biology. This is because I feel quite indecisive and would like a broad scientific knowledge ( as I think you would). Also choosing biology does NOT restrict physical science choices. An AS in further maths is still good for many unis and I know a few people who were set on medicine with these A levels but did maths at good universities ( russell group)- without further maths.
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    (Original post by Laurasaur)
    I think you should do biology instead of FM because FM isn't necessary for many science courses and seeing as you aren't completely sure what you want to do, biology might keep more doors open for you. Also, FM would probably be easier to self-teach if needed, and you are already doing maths, proving your mathematical capabilities to universities.
    Well Biology isn't necessary for many science courses either. I checked several university courses and most science courses require chemistry or physics and any other science/maths. Even biology or medical courses often do not require Biology.

    If you talk about opening more doors, Further maths will open door to engineering, computer science, even economics, and strengthen my application in maths and physics

    But still, yeah, I wouldn't know if I like biology without taking it so in that aspect it would "open more doors".
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    Most people hate the part of biology that's on plants and biodiversity etc (I think this is the unit 1 paper for AQA) but it's fairly easy. The other unit on human biology is much more interesting and I really enjoyed it. If you have Maths already then I don't see the point in FM. Biology will give you a wider range of subjects and tbh I learnt a lot during AS that seemed like common sense i.e we learnt about different types of medicines in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and how they work etc so I guess you could say that biology helps you understand every day things. A lot of people doing maths physics and chemistry usually drop biology after AS anyway, despite enjoying it. I'm on Edexcel but the content is more or less the same across all the boards.
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    (Original post by Spelly456)
    This is an extremly well thought out thread and I must say I've been in EXACTLY the same situation as you. I'm starting my A-Levels in september and have opted for biology. This is because I feel quite indecisive and would like a broad scientific knowledge ( as I think you would). Also choosing biology does NOT restrict physical science choices. An AS in further maths is still good for many unis and I know a few people who were set on medicine with these A levels but did maths at good universities ( russell group)- without further maths.
    Nice to know you have opted for biology! Sounds like you're in an extremely similar situation indeed

    I'm just worried I wouldn't get as good grade in Biology as I would in further maths though.
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    (Original post by C0balt)
    Nice to know you have opted for biology! Sounds like you're in an extremely similar situation indeed

    I'm just worried I wouldn't get as good grade in Biology as I would in further maths though.
    If you'll do better in fm then pick that! It's a far more respected and rigorous ( to most people) choice so it'll look very impressive. You're obviously a mathematical person and so you should be doing a lot of maths. By the way have you studied maths beyond GCSE Level? I did the Further maths gcse and I found it quite hard and realised I only enjoyed maths because of how simple GCSE Maths is . You don't want to feel like I did next year when you've chosen double maths.
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    (Original post by Spelly456)
    If you'll do better in fm then pick that! It's a far more respected and rigorous ( to most people) choice so it'll look very impressive. You're obviously a mathematical person and so you should be doing a lot of maths. By the way have you studied maths beyond GCSE Level? I did the Further maths gcse and I found it quite hard and realised I only enjoyed maths because of how simple GCSE Maths is . You don't want to feel like I did next year when you've chosen double maths.
    Well no, my school didn't offer further maths or additional maths or anything. I only had basic subjects.
    But I did a head start private course of AS maths with my maths teacher

    GCSE maths was boring. I didn't like it at all. I joined to the British system at Year 9 and since I was advanced in maths, I did GCSE stuff in year 9 and then I had a chance to cover few A level topics as well as even more advanced topic (some matrices topic) in Year 10. I had to do GCSE stuff again in Year 11 though to ensure that I pass the exam with good grades...duh.

    Well I like maths a lot though. I've always liked mathematics since I met the Fibonacci sequence when I was about 10yo. I think A levels can teach me something new at last and become challenging and fun
    BUT I also wanna do Biology because yeah breadth is cool as well
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    (Original post by Petulia)
    Most people hate the part of biology that's on plants and biodiversity etc (I think this is the unit 1 paper for AQA) but it's fairly easy. The other unit on human biology is much more interesting and I really enjoyed it. If you have Maths already then I don't see the point in FM. Biology will give you a wider range of subjects and tbh I learnt a lot during AS that seemed like common sense i.e we learnt about different types of medicines in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and how they work etc so I guess you could say that biology helps you understand every day things. A lot of people doing maths physics and chemistry usually drop biology after AS anyway, despite enjoying it. I'm on Edexcel but the content is more or less the same across all the boards.
    Yeeees I looked at the specification and I can't really think that in any way I would like that topic. I don't mind plants but biodiversity and anything to do with ecosystem :puke:... Well I don't see point in FM either but I like maths and FP modules are really interesting
    I don't know if I like medicines and all these stuff I like to know more about how things work than application first of all but anyway I guess it's more complex than how it sounds
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    (Original post by C0balt)
    ...
    Do FM. I studied M, FM, B & C and I had the exact same mindset: 'breadth of knowledge is important.'

    Well I don't feel better off after studying biology. All I can do better now is name a few diseases, name-drop a few immune responses and explain how the heart works. And analyse a graph of data. But I could probably do the former after reading a good book on human biology.

    If you're thinking of anything along the lines of economics, computer science (which I study), maths, physics, engineering, then it's a no-brainer: do FM. Think about doing biology if you want to do medicine, biology (duh!), maybe biochemistry or human sciences.
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    (Original post by Petulia)
    If you have Maths already then I don't see the point in FM.
    Lol
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    FM because then you will have more degree options.
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    Biology sounds like the better choice in your position. I'd only go for Further Maths if you really, really love Maths. If you're not looking to go into a Maths degree and you feel that devoting 50% of your time is a bit of a waste, it'll just be hellish. As you've mentioned, in the worst case scenario you can always self-teach Further Maths (at least the AS) whereas Biology will probably be nearly impossible to self-teach.

    Go through the specifications of both, maybe flick through the textbooks. Since you're doing Maths, Chemistry and Physics anyway, you've got 95% of science-based courses open to you so whichever subject you choose, you can't go too badly wrong. Go with the subject you think you'll enjoy the most. I do think that you might perhaps be over-thinking this!

    One thing though: the people saying that Further Maths will open more options for you are talking nonsense. The only courses that require Further Maths are Mathematics degrees, and that's only a portion of Mathematics degrees - many don't actually require it. In comparison, there are a number of degree courses that require biology.
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    (Original post by Jooooshy)
    Do FM. I studied M, FM, B & C and I had the exact same mindset: 'breadth of knowledge is important.'

    Well I don't feel better off after studying biology. All I can do better now is name a few diseases, name-drop a few immune responses and explain how the heart works. And analyse a graph of data. But I could probably do the former after reading a good book on human biology.

    If you're thinking of anything along the lines of economics, computer science (which I study), maths, physics, engineering, then it's a no-brainer: do FM. Think about doing biology if you want to do medicine, biology (duh!), maybe biochemistry or human sciences.
    Also what I'm afraid of is AQA bio has some sort of essay? Idk if you did the AQA but seriously I don't wanna have essay homework if it's true ._.

    Well, that's what I thought as well at first. I could probably read a book and I suppose it is easier to read biology book than any of my other options... i don't know really

    Economics is almost non existant in my mind. Kinda interesting, but not as much as science.
    I had computer science or engineering in mind when I was like Year 8 but now I think I like natural sciences than these

    Medicine is a big no, I'm not these saints who devote their lives helping other lives lol I'm too selfish; i wanna satisfy my curiosity than aidin
    Biochemistry is still in my option not sure but probably I think I'm going for plain chemistry or physics



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    (Original post by universal_set)
    FM because then you will have more degree options.
    Half of which aren't really interesting for me but so are half of degrees available for biology A levels

    I'm sort of set on chem, phy or biochem
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    (Original post by C0balt)
    Also what I'm afraid of is AQA bio has some sort of essay? Idk if you did the AQA but seriously I don't wanna have essay homework if it's true ._.

    Well, that's what I thought as well at first. I could probably read a book and I suppose it is easier to read biology book than any of my other options... i don't know really

    Economics is almost non existant in my mind. Kinda interesting, but not as much as science.
    I had computer science or engineering in mind when I was like Year 8 but now I think I like natural sciences than these

    Medicine is a big no, I'm not these saints who devote their lives helping other lives lol I'm too selfish; i wanna satisfy my curiosity than aidin
    Biochemistry is still in my option not sure but probably I think I'm going for plain chemistry or physics



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    Yeah I did AQA. The essay isn't too bad.. You can bring up anything from all 4 modules. Mine was on cycles, so it wasn't so bad, since there are so ****ing many of them. Revising for it is gruesome though.

    You'll have a much better idea once you get to college what you'll want to do. I wanted to do medicine initially, but after studying biology and realising that you had to devote your life to the profession I turned towards maths and compsci in particular. If you're set on chem and physics in particular, do FM! Even to do biochem at uni, you don't need bio.. Just chem!
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    (Original post by C0balt)
    Greetings fellow TSRers.

    As some of you may notice, I have made two similar threads regarding to this question over the past few months. Each time, I seem to settle on a conclusion but since this is such a huge dilemma for me, I am being very indecisive despite the two threads. Also I had not had enough information about my Sixthform or had not had enough time to think about with my cool head or organise my thoughts due to all the moving, IGCSE exams, leaving my beloved school and the option choice deadline etc. I apologise for making multiple threads and bother you every time.

    I am also aware that hundreds of similar thread existed in the past. However, I made another again because I wanted advice for my situation specifically and not general advice.

    I would like to believe that now I have enough "information" about myself, and thus I would like to make a new thread with every piece of information that might help me decide.

    So as you can probably see from the title, I am considering to take either Biology or Further Maths.

    Here are my points that can be considered when you kindly give me some advice

    Background info
    • ​I will take maths, chemistry and physics for other 3 AS
    • I still don't know what degree or career to go for
    • Not interested in medicine but not interested in maths degree either.
    • Probably either physics or chemistry course at uni, or natural sciences. Might be biochemistry but not sure.
    • Predicted A* for both maths and double science (my school didn't offer triple)
    • University wise, I'm aiming for as good university as possible for my ability. I'm not sure what I'm capable of, as I can't really compare with other students since I'm top in every class except English, but it's out of the year of SIX PEOPLE so it doesn't tell anything. Let's say one of Russell Group unis, and I have Oxbridge in my sight but heck, I don't know what will happen in A levels so I'm not gonna say I'm aiming for it.
    • Just for reference, I got A* maths, A* science, A* Geography, A* French, A Eng lang, C Eng lit, B History for mocks. Don't know about real grades until 14th (CIE IGCSE is earlier than other boards) but I expect similar grades though I hope an A* in Eng lang and a B in lit, A in history lol.




    Further Maths (Edexcel)
    pros

    • I like maths. I like problem solving and I seek challenge.
    • It would be more useful if I were to go for physics degree
    • Could lead me to computer science/engineering/economics IF I ever wanted to though unlikely
    • I'm good at maths according to people at my school
    • Probably will get better grades than in Biology
    • Might hate currently-beloved chemistry and opt for physics who knows

    cons
    • My biological knowledge will stop at GCSE level unless I do extra reading
    • I'm not really interested in my AS modules though A2 looks interesting. AS: FP1, D1, S1. A2: FP2, FP3, M3
    • Can be self taught and the maths department will help me




    Biology (AQA)
    pros

    • I can have more complex knowledge on biology. GCSE level is not sufficient for my curiosity
    • I love to know how things work and yeah curiosity and thirst for more knowledge all the way
    • I was kind of settled on FM but my work placement for microbiology/spermiology lab - that's what they call themselves but in fact it was medical analysis lab - made me hesitant to stop my knowledge at GCSE.
    • Practicals are essential and so doing biology at school would be better than self teaching
    • Might hate currently-loved physics and opt for chemistry-biology who knows

    cons
    • Even though I'm good at all sciences (double award science gives grade based on all three and I get A* every practice exam), Biology was my worst out of the three due to wording etc
    • I'm not interested in environment topic (mainly in A2) at all so likely to drop at A2 even though the sensitivity and response topic in A2 is interesting unless I suddenly start to bloom in biology.
    • There is a high chance that I get worse grades than Further Maths




    Possibilities
    (A) Biology AS in Year 12, Further Maths AS in Year 13 possibly as a private candidate if the Year 12 timetable doesn't fit mine. Resulting in 2 AS and 3 A2.

    Will cover interesting topics in AS Biology (except classification or some environment stuff) and won't need to do big environment topic in A2. In exchange it is risky as I don't know if I will be capable for self-teaching time wise. I have strong enough passion for maths/biology that I am willing to do so, but I don't know if it's physically possible. Also Further Maths A2 won't be possible to obtain unless I self-teach 6 modules so hard (probably won't happen).

    (B) Further Maths in Year 12 drop it next year/continue with it
    If I want to why not do 4 A2 (seems to be possible at my sixth form though I assume I need to prove that I can keep up with the workload). Will do the seemingly interesting A2 topics. However I won't be able to have an advanced biological grounding which I'm very hesitant about. What if what I really want to do was Biology? (can't know just with limited knowledge from GCSEs and a few extra videos/articles) Maybe chemistry is sufficient especially for biochemistry which I'm quite interested about, but if I need to catch up later on in uni, it could be too hard? I also like interlinking topics between each subject area and am also good at it.

    (C) Biology AS in Year 12 drop it next year/continue with it
    If I want I could continue to A2, in case I realise Biology is what I really want during Year 12. Could opt for Option A later on as well. But will miss out with A2 FP modules which seem interesting and missing FM A2 can be disadvantageous if I realise Physics/maths is the way for me during Year 12.



    Okay, so I tried to make all the thoughts very organised and easier to read. I hope I didn't miss out anything. Apologies for very long post but I will really appreciate if you read it all and avoid "if you're good at understanding concepts go for FM, if you're good at memorising go for Biology" sort of answer because I heard this thing enough. If you could work out and suggest what would be the best option for me (I'm aware that final decision should be mine) maybe using your experience, I will be very grateful. It is sometimes better to hear 3rd person's opinions as they are often less emotional and objective.

    Once again, thank you all for your help.
    My honest advice; ONLY TAKE BIOLOGY IF YOU LIKE THE SUBJECT because AS is a massive jump from triple (I did triple) let alone Double award.



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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    Biology sounds like the better choice in your position. I'd only go for Further Maths if you really, really love Maths. If you're not looking to go into a Maths degree and you feel that devoting 50% of your time is a bit of a waste, it'll just be hellish. As you've mentioned, in the worst case scenario you can always self-teach Further Maths (at least the AS) whereas Biology will probably be nearly impossible to self-teach.

    Go through the specifications of both, maybe flick through the textbooks. Since you're doing Maths, Chemistry and Physics anyway, you've got 95% of science-based courses open to you so whichever subject you choose, you can't go too badly wrong. Go with the subject you think you'll enjoy the most. I do think that you might perhaps be over-thinking this!

    One thing though: the people saying that Further Maths will open more options for you are talking nonsense. The only courses that require Further Maths are Mathematics degrees, and that's only a portion of Mathematics degrees - many don't actually require it. In comparison, there are a number of degree courses that require biology.
    To start off, I always overthink before making a choice that will affect me in long term. I research 3 months prior to purchase of my laptop etc. This is pretty important as well since I will be stuck with this choice for a year or two (I could drop or switch but I don't want to spend long on catching up).

    I do love maths I find it beautiful and I don't mind spending 50% of my timetable on maths but still I can't see myself doing maths at uni atm. It may change if I did FM topics but my mind may as well change if I did biology so can't decide like that, I suppose. Now I think it comes down to the self teach possibility again?

    I did check specifications but I have no frickin idea what the hell these formulae are supposed to mean or whatsoever so not helping too much lol.
    Bilogy specs are a bit more understandable and this biodiversity/classification stuff really looks boring (In fact I covered a bit of classification in Japan which was hella boring) while "look at the biochemistry in the cell" blah blah cancels out the boringness (?) lol

    If I get stuck in FM I'd just ask teacher and practice practice (doubt I get stuck in AS modules though because they're all 1s in S, D, FP which I suppose are basics) but man, my memory of names isn't that great! Process itself gets stuck in my head but the name of process doesn't.. How does the memorising stuff go in A level bio?

    Well I'm aiming for one of the top unis and as far as I looked they often put FM as "highly recommended" in maths/phy/econ/compsci/engi but so is chemistry most of the time so as long as I have maths physics chen then whatever...as you said

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    (Original post by livealittle)
    My honest advice; ONLY TAKE BIOLOGY IF YOU LIKE THE SUBJECT because AS is a massive jump from triple (I did triple) let alone Double award.



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    Well thanks for reply but erm maybe you shoudn't have quoted my OP...

    The thing is I like some topics and I hate a few (ecosystem stuff etc that's not biological processes)

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    (Original post by Jooooshy)
    Yeah I did AQA. The essay isn't too bad.. You can bring up anything from all 4 modules. Mine was on cycles, so it wasn't so bad, since there are so ****ing many of them. Revising for it is gruesome though.

    You'll have a much better idea once you get to college what you'll want to do. I wanted to do medicine initially, but after studying biology and realising that you had to devote your life to the profession I turned towards maths and compsci in particular. If you're set on chem and physics in particular, do FM! Even to do biochem at uni, you don't need bio.. Just chem!
    Yeah on this site it seems like 1/3 ppl want to go to medicine when they're doing GCSEs and when I visit A level forums there are only few medicine students (maybe they are dead of stress lol!)
    Anyway that's what I'm hoping - hopefully during AS year I can know wht I really like.
    Medicine to compsci is a big change! Hearing these stories make me more hesitant to drop either subject you know! *cry*

    Tbh I think FM will be less stress for me and been thinking that since I received the option choice sheet but yeah as you can see I'm so indecisive ._.

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