Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    I want to take Biology, Chemistry, Geography and English Literature in September for year 12 and I want to know people's honest opinions studying them. If you take/taken any of those subjects can you answer the following questions, i would really appreciate it!!
    1) What did you enjoy
    2) What did you hate/ found boring
    3) Best and worst topic
    4) What's the workload like and how do you cope with it
    5) What did you get in GCSE and the end of AS/A2
    6) Best ways to revise for you

    I really could do with some first hand opinions!!
    I'm taking OCR Biology and Chemistry but I'm not sure what exam boards the others are on.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by amelimoo)
    I want to take Biology, Chemistry, Geography and English Literature in September for year 12 and I want to know people's honest opinions studying them. If you take/taken any of those subjects can you answer the following questions, i would really appreciate it!!
    1) What did you enjoy
    2) What did you hate/ found boring
    3) Best and worst topic
    4) What's the workload like and how do you cope with it
    5) What did you get in GCSE and the end of AS/A2
    6) Best ways to revise for you

    I really could do with some first hand opinions!!
    I'm taking OCR Biology and Chemistry but I'm not sure what exam boards the others are on.
    You have all academic topics which will improve your chances greater of getting into competitive univerwities , I haven't done them but I am planning to take biology and chemistry myself so I don't know anything about them as I haven't taken them but I deffintely know you will have a massive improved chance to succeeding in a competitive university
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    I took english lit(wjec) and geography (aqa)
    1) I liked lit more than geography, the people in my class were better and I naturally prefer english. I liked the coursework topics for lit and I found some of the things we learned in geography such as the health topic useful in real life
    2) I hated geography more, mostly due to my teacher and the class I was in, we never got in so I found it more boring.
    4. Best topic for lit was the creative writing coursework and the worst was the play for the exam. For geography the best was probably health or rivers and the worst was population.
    4. For me the workload was barely there for geography which worried me when it got to the exam and we hadn't done much exam practice and there wopere some things that my teacher had never gone over so I did work out of class for it. For english lit we never did full practice essays, only sections of them and as I had two teachers with different ideas, it meant that one gave us work every so often and the other barely any all year.
    5)At GCSE for lit I got an A and geography an A* and overall 2A* 6As and 2Bs
    6) Making spider diagrams, for example within the topic of say rivers I would make a spider diagram of river processes and then one for a case study. I would then read everything on the diagram, turn it over and then write down everything that I remember, repeating until I know it all.

    Feel free to ask me any more questions you have
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Gunni098)
    You have all academic topics which will improve your chances greater of getting into competitive univerwities , I haven't done them but I am planning to take biology and chemistry myself so I don't know anything about them as I haven't taken them but I deffintely know you will have a massive improved chance to succeeding in a competitive university
    Haha thanks! I was advised to take 3 core subjects and one 'soft' subject but refused as i'm rubbish at the soft subjects and I know i'l do better doing core ones. Did you do double or triple science for GCSE and what grades are you hoping for?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    Thank You so much!
    Is there any tips about the subjects or Alevels/ sixth form that might be useful?

    850018174819
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by amelimoo)
    Haha thanks! I was advised to take 3 core subjects and one 'soft' subject but refused as i'm rubbish at the soft subjects and I know i'l do better doing core ones. Did you do double or triple science for GCSE and what grades are you hoping for?
    I'm going to do triple science when I'm back starting year 11 I have Bs as targets but confident to get As, I done some real exams for my French and coursework in English and we have a stupid thing where years 10 and 11 in maths have mock exams every term and I get A*s. All my target grades are Be for every GCSE I took but teachers believe I'll receive an A in each which is very promising! I revise everyday for a few hours so I have no stress what so ever

    What did you do for science and what grades are you hoping to achieve?
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    For Lit I would recommend finding out the books/plays/poems you will be studying beforehand and try reading them if possible just to make sure that you would be content to study them as we studied our play and poems from just before christmas until May and I didn't enjoy reading the play the first time, let alone for 6 months. For geography I would recommend checking out the topics you will be studying too, just to make sure you will enjoy them. For overall tips just make sure you take what you enjoy and interests you so you don't get to the end of the first year with the prospect of having to take subjects you may not like for another year. Also avoid subjects like general studies though, if you don't get an interesting teacher and the topics don't naturally interest you, it is not worth the time.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Gunni098)
    I'm going to do triple science when I'm back starting year 11 I have Bs as targets but confident to get As, I done some real exams for my French and coursework in English and we have a stupid thing where years 10 and 11 in maths have mock exams every term and I get A*s. All my target grades are Be for every GCSE I took but teachers believe I'll receive an A in each which is very promising! I revise everyday for a few hours so I have no stress what so ever

    What did you do for science and what grades are you hoping to achieve?
    I only took Double but I got an A in core last year and aiming for an A or A* in additional.. I'll know on results day. I've just finished year 11 and aiming for 2 A*'s, 5 A's, 2 B's and 1 C.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AmyTheSwifty)
    For Lit I would recommend finding out the books/plays/poems you will be studying beforehand and try reading them if possible just to make sure that you would be content to study them as we studied our play and poems from just before christmas until May and I didn't enjoy reading the play the first time, let alone for 6 months. For geography I would recommend checking out the topics you will be studying too, just to make sure you will enjoy them. For overall tips just make sure you take what you enjoy and interests you so you don't get to the end of the first year with the prospect of having to take subjects you may not like for another year. Also avoid subjects like general studies though, if you don't get an interesting teacher and the topics don't naturally interest you, it is not worth the time.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    okay thank you! I've looked at the spec for geography and I know two of the books we're studying for Alevel and they seem alright, I'm very good at making myself like a book when I'm studying it, like Animal Farm. I'm planning to do EPQ as we don't do general studies or anything like that although we do have to do a short course thing in religious studies because i go to a roman catholic school.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by amelimoo)
    I only took Double but I got an A in core last year and aiming for an A or A* in additional.. I'll know on results day. I've just finished year 11 and aiming for 2 A*'s, 5 A's, 2 B's and 1 C.
    Very great results then! Well done!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Gunni098)
    Very great results then! Well done!
    Hhaha thank you!! I'll be over the moon if I've actually achieved them! Won't know until results day.. 29 days to go!!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by amelimoo)
    Hhaha thank you!! I'll be over the moon if I've actually achieved them! Won't know until results day.. 29 days to go!!
    Haha I have to wait till start of year 11 to get core science results which I think I got an A in! And French and bla bla don't want to bore you but I hope you get the results you want
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Gunni098)
    Haha I have to wait till start of year 11 to get core science results which I think I got an A in! And French and bla bla don't want to bore you but I hope you get the results you want
    Haha good luck!! And wow I never did a language GCSE kinda regret it now!!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I don't actually remember which AS topics I liked/disliked. Just finished my first year of uni, so it was a while ago. But generally:

    Biology:
    AS is initially quite a big shock because of the large number of new words and new topics. The problem with the GCSE --> AS transition is that you tend to learn completely different things in AS, so everything is new as opposed to a continuation of what you already know. The content itself isn't particularly difficult, there's just quite a lot of it. As long as you review your notes every now and then, it shouldn't be too difficult to cope when exams come around (the biology exam is essential one big memory test). A2 isn't that different to AS (more new words, more new topics), but the topics are a little more difficult in the second year.

    Chemistry:
    Chemistry, in my opinion, is actually a smoother transition than biology. The first few weeks covered a little new content, but was mostly a review of what we'd learnt in GCSE. It's different to biology in the sense that you learn concepts and then apply them throughout AS and A2, rather than learning many things that seem to have little relationship to one another. Basically, if you understand what you're being taught, it should be fine. If you don't, you might have a problem. A2 chemistry is a bit of a step up, but the same concepts. As long as you have a firm grasp on AS chemistry, A2 isn't too bad, because once again you're just taking what you already know and applying it elsewhere. I think the general consensus is that biology is easier than chemistry, but personally I found it the other way around.

    Geography:
    I don't really have much to say about geography. It's much the same as biology, in the sense that you just remember it all and write it down in the exam. I didn't really feel the jump between GCSE and A level. In fact, two of the AS geography topics were actually the same as two of the ones I did for GCSE. Personally, I didn't particularly enjoy the subject, so I dropped it after AS, but I think that was my problem rather than the topic itself.

    The workload is a big step up from GCSE, but it's manageable (especially compared to university). As long as you start your homework early and work efficiently, you shouldn't have a problem keeping up. Most who struggle with the amount of work do so because they leave things until the night before they're due and then realise they don't have enough time.

    GCSE results: 9A*, 1A, 2B
    AS: 4A
    A2: 3A*

    General advice for revising would be: start early, try to understand what you're learning rather than just trying to memorise it, use the online specification as a checklist for what you need to know, familiarise yourself with the past papers and mark schemes. Above all, ensure you know what works for you. Some people can just sit and read a textbook and everything goes in; others need to condense things, make notes, draw diagrams etc.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by amelimoo)
    Haha good luck!! And wow I never did a language GCSE kinda regret it now!!
    I didn't have a choice due to the fact I was on the English barraculate and I was never told during year nine so when I had my options I was very angry because I couldn't get out of it as it was too late. I didn't like French I always wanted to do Spanish and we didn't have enough teachers who knew it at the time so I am only thriving through French just to make my CV that extra mile better. But everyone is different with their prefences! I am the type of person who finds languages easy to learn because when I was younger I lived in Spain ect so yeah!

    And thanks for the luck I need it
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Reina)
    I don't actually remember which AS topics I liked/disliked. Just finished my first year of uni, so it was a while ago. But generally:

    Biology:
    AS is initially quite a big shock because of the large number of new words and new topics. The problem with the GCSE --> AS transition is that you tend to learn completely different things in AS, so everything is new as opposed to a continuation of what you already know. The content itself isn't particularly difficult, there's just quite a lot of it. As long as you review your notes every now and then, it shouldn't be too difficult to cope when exams come around (the biology exam is essential one big memory test). A2 isn't that different to AS (more new words, more new topics), but the topics are a little more difficult in the second year.

    Chemistry:
    Chemistry, in my opinion, is actually a smoother transition than biology. The first few weeks covered a little new content, but was mostly a review of what we'd learnt in GCSE. It's different to biology in the sense that you learn concepts and then apply them throughout AS and A2, rather than learning many things that seem to have little relationship to one another. Basically, if you understand what you're being taught, it should be fine. If you don't, you might have a problem. A2 chemistry is a bit of a step up, but the same concepts. As long as you have a firm grasp on AS chemistry, A2 isn't too bad, because once again you're just taking what you already know and applying it elsewhere. I think the general consensus is that biology is easier than chemistry, but personally I found it the other way around.

    Geography:
    I don't really have much to say about geography. It's much the same as biology, in the sense that you just remember it all and write it down in the exam. I didn't really feel the jump between GCSE and A level. In fact, two of the AS geography topics were actually the same as two of the ones I did for GCSE. Personally, I didn't particularly enjoy the subject, so I dropped it after AS, but I think that was my problem rather than the topic itself.

    The workload is a big step up from GCSE, but it's manageable (especially compared to university). As long as you start your homework early and work efficiently, you shouldn't have a problem keeping up. Most who struggle with the amount of work do so because they leave things until the night before they're due and then realise they don't have enough time.

    GCSE results: 9A*, 1A, 2B
    AS: 4A
    A2: 3A*

    General advice for revising would be: start early, try to understand what you're learning rather than just trying to memorise it, use the online specification as a checklist for what you need to know, familiarise yourself with the past papers and mark schemes. Above all, ensure you know what works for you. Some people can just sit and read a textbook and everything goes in; others need to condense things, make notes, draw diagrams etc.
    Wow! You wrote loads! You got amazing grades!!! Thank you so much this is really helpful
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hi, I did Chemistry English Lit Biology and EPQ at AS (and a few others but you don't care about those )
    For Lit, I would agree with checking the reading list but some of the options are flexible so don't base it entirely on that. English was definitely my favourite class out of the three, even with some of the crappier work I.e. The play. We did a lot of class discussion and essays for homework, which worked well so if you can, ask about teaching style (can you talk to anyone who had the teachers last year, cause an awful teacher can make a big difference)

    Biology was probably my next fave, it's interesting but a lot of rote learning of details. If you do take biology I would say go over the earlier topics every couple months so it doesn't all creep up on you (it's not really the type you can cram cause there's so much detail)

    Chemistry is a good subject and opens a lot of doors; lots of uni courses want chemistry, it's a respected course. A2 is a lot more interesting than AS, I found but it was still worth taking (I did OCR)

    EPQ was fun to do as long as you plan your workload/timetable and actually stick to it; you can get by doing about 2 or 3 hours a week if you start early but if you leave it you have a serious panic when you have to stay up working all night every night to try and get a draft in (and it's never as good quality) Also, aim to meet goals at least a week before deadlines in case something comes up; I had a 3 day interview the week before my deadline that I couldn't work in which screwed up my timings. Most important with EPQ, record literally EVERYTHING. Seriously. About a third of the final marks are for diary evidence of what you did/ time management etc. A few people in my year decided to make up their diaries at the end, and said it was really difficult to come up with a list of plausible things they had done that matched the timeline shown by their other documents.

    I got 9A* and 1B at GCSE (art was not my forte)
    5A and 1B at AS.
    I'm waiting for A2 results but got offers for med school so fingers crossed.
    Just ask if there's anything else you want to know

    Edit: as you probably know, the exam style changed massively this year (at least for OCR). For biology, there was a lot less 'memory' questions and more 'suggest', which is detail and understanding (they'll ask you something slightly related then get you to speculate on reasons using your knowledge). Just something to take into account; I don't really think chemistry changed much and I don't know about Lit but it's something I would ask about (previous year students from the college you're looking at can be really helpful for that kinda thing.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What newspaper do you read/prefer?
    Help with your A-levels

    All the essentials

    The adventure begins mug

    Student life: what to expect

    What it's really like going to uni

    Rosette

    Essay expert

    Learn to write like a pro with our ultimate essay guide.

    Uni match

    Uni match

    Our tool will help you find the perfect course for you

    Study planner

    Create a study plan

    Get your head around what you need to do and when with the study planner tool.

    Study planner

    Resources by subject

    Everything from mind maps to class notes.

    Hands typing

    Degrees without fees

    Discover more about degree-level apprenticeships.

    A student doing homework

    Study tips from A* students

    Students who got top grades in their A-levels share their secrets

    Study help links and info

    Can you help? Study help unanswered threadsRules and posting guidelines

    Sponsored content:

    HEAR

    HEAR

    Find out how a Higher Education Achievement Report can help you prove your achievements.

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.