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Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths + FM students (AS) Watch

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    I have a few questions for people who have done all or >3 of the subjects above:
    1) How did you find the workload?
    2) Did you struggle around exam time? Was it hard to balance revision for all of them?
    3) How many frees did you have every week?
    4) How difficult did you find each of the subjects? (Rating out of 10, with 1 being easy and 10 being extremely difficult).
    5) How interesting did you find each of the subjects? (Out of 10)

    I'm just a bit worried because one of my friends who did the same subjects this year told me that it was one of the worst decisions of her life and that 'it was hell' D:
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    I've taken all of them except Biology to AS and I think, most likely, I'll take all of them to A2.

    I thought the workload was fine, but in think it depends on your college/sixth form. With physics and chemistry, we had homework booklets that we had to complete when we had finished a topic, and that was it. Maths and further maths homework was far less regular. At my college, biology was the same for homework as physics/chemistry (I have a lot of friends who took biology, haha)

    As for exams, I suppose it depends on how you organise yourself. I had flashcards for physics and chemistry made up before Easter, up to what we had covered (hadn't finished chemistry at that point), and did questions on each topic for both subjects, followed by past papers. Maths and further maths I just did past paper after past paper, but I knew all of the content so it wasn't too bad. It's definitely true that further maths makes maths easier, because anything you cover in maths, you also have to do in further, so you get a lot of practice with the basic techniques.

    I had 5 frees a week last year, but that's how the college timetable works. I'd have 9 if I dropped one subject at A2.

    Subject difficulty:
    Maths, not very - a lot of AS is the top end GCSE, and as I said, further maths made it a lot easier
    Further maths, it was alright, but mostly because I did both decision modules, which are both ridiculously easy. FP1 is harder, but it's okay if you put in the practice.
    Physics was a lot of maths, so that was okay. Need to know a lot of definitions, and be able to apply everything you know to new situations.
    Chemistry also had quite a bit of maths in, but the mark schemes are incredibly picky. You need to know everything, in the way the mark scheme wants it, but if you look at exam questions and mark schemes from the start, you'll get used to it and be fine.

    All of them were really interesting, but I think that's more because I love all of them - I wouldn't have chosen anything else.

    If you enjoy the subjects, and you are capable of handling all 5 (if that's what you intend to do), then you should be fine. Just stay organised and calm, think about your exams and techniques from the start, and maybe invest in a graphical calculator for maths & further maths (or borrow one from college, if you can), you can check differentiation, integration, use them for looooads of questions and a lot of your answers - a godsend in an exam so you know you haven't made stupid mistakes!

    Hope I helped
    And apologies for the marathon post!
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    (Original post by thechemistress)
    I have a few questions for people who have done all or >3 of the subjects above:
    1) How did you find the workload?
    2) Did you struggle around exam time? Was it hard to balance revision for all of them?
    3) How many frees did you have every week?
    4) How difficult did you find each of the subjects? (Rating out of 10, with 1 being easy and 10 being extremely difficult).
    5) How interesting did you find each of the subjects? (Out of 10)

    I'm just a bit worried because one of my friends who did the same subjects this year told me that it was one of the worst decisions of her life and that 'it was hell' D:
    About 7 people do this combination, or a very similar one (e.g. swap Biology for Electronics) at my school every year. No free periods apart from Wed pm PE but they seem to manage fine. Many of them continue all 5 A levels into Y13.
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    (Original post by thechemistress)
    I have a few questions for people who have done all or >3 of the subjects above:
    1) How did you find the workload?
    2) Did you struggle around exam time? Was it hard to balance revision for all of them?
    3) How many frees did you have every week?
    4) How difficult did you find each of the subjects? (Rating out of 10, with 1 being easy and 10 being extremely difficult).
    5) How interesting did you find each of the subjects? (Out of 10)

    I'm just a bit worried because one of my friends who did the same subjects this year told me that it was one of the worst decisions of her life and that 'it was hell' D:
    Hey

    I studied Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics at AS. Dropped Physics for A2 and I’m about to start studying Biology at Imperial.

    1) It was no problem as we were given very little work…we were just expected to revise at home and in our frees, write up notes…all the stuff which I am quite good at so it was fine for me.
    2) I was fine around exam time as most of my exams were spread out except the big three exams. 50% of AS in all the sciences, a day after each other. Luckily it was after half term but it left little time to revise between exams…but it wasn’t awful.
    3) 8 frees a week. Each free is 40 minutes long.
    4) Bio – 7, lots of time spent revising but not too hard a subject. Chem – 5, just didn’t find it that hard. Maths – 7, got a lot easier the more work I did. Started hard but by the end of the year very easy. Physics – 8/9, just never got it, didn’t understand a few of the topics and just hated it…
    5) Bio – 10, just my favourite subject, Chem – 8, pretty interesting, some topics are a bit boring, Maths – 9, again love the subject but statistics wasn’t fun, Physics – 5, really don’t like the subject, luckily had a great teacher who made the lessons fun but the subject itself is boring, never wanted to do it haha.

    I hope this helps Some people will find it horrible…others will find it fine, depends on the person If you have any other questions just ask and good luck
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    (Original post by chloe--)
    I've taken all of them except Biology to AS and I think, most likely, I'll take all of them to A2.

    I thought the workload was fine, but in think it depends on your college/sixth form. With physics and chemistry, we had homework booklets that we had to complete when we had finished a topic, and that was it. Maths and further maths homework was far less regular. At my college, biology was the same for homework as physics/chemistry (I have a lot of friends who took biology, haha)

    As for exams, I suppose it depends on how you organise yourself. I had flashcards for physics and chemistry made up before Easter, up to what we had covered (hadn't finished chemistry at that point), and did questions on each topic for both subjects, followed by past papers. Maths and further maths I just did past paper after past paper, but I knew all of the content so it wasn't too bad. It's definitely true that further maths makes maths easier, because anything you cover in maths, you also have to do in further, so you get a lot of practice with the basic techniques.

    I had 5 frees a week last year, but that's how the college timetable works. I'd have 9 if I dropped one subject at A2.

    Subject difficulty:
    Maths, not very - a lot of AS is the top end GCSE, and as I said, further maths made it a lot easier
    Further maths, it was alright, but mostly because I did both decision modules, which are both ridiculously easy. FP1 is harder, but it's okay if you put in the practice.
    Physics was a lot of maths, so that was okay. Need to know a lot of definitions, and be able to apply everything you know to new situations.
    Chemistry also had quite a bit of maths in, but the mark schemes are incredibly picky. You need to know everything, in the way the mark scheme wants it, but if you look at exam questions and mark schemes from the start, you'll get used to it and be fine.

    All of them were really interesting, but I think that's more because I love all of them - I wouldn't have chosen anything else.

    If you enjoy the subjects, and you are capable of handling all 5 (if that's what you intend to do), then you should be fine. Just stay organised and calm, think about your exams and techniques from the start, and maybe invest in a graphical calculator for maths & further maths (or borrow one from college, if you can), you can check differentiation, integration, use them for looooads of questions and a lot of your answers - a godsend in an exam so you know you haven't made stupid mistakes!

    Hope I helped
    And apologies for the marathon post!
    Thanks so much for this, it was exactly what I was looking for! Helped a lot, thank you
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    (Original post by thechemistress)
    I have a few questions for people who have done all or >3 of the subjects above:
    1) How did you find the workload?
    2) Did you struggle around exam time? Was it hard to balance revision for all of them?
    3) How many frees did you have every week?
    4) How difficult did you find each of the subjects? (Rating out of 10, with 1 being easy and 10 being extremely difficult).
    5) How interesting did you find each of the subjects? (Out of 10)

    I'm just a bit worried because one of my friends who did the same subjects this year told me that it was one of the worst decisions of her life and that 'it was hell' D:
    I did Biology, Chemistry, Maths statistics full a level and economics AS...
    I completely regret my decision for taking these subjects... this is because at the time i didn't know what field of study i wanted to do when i was in year 12..

    the reason i picked these subjects was because i wanted to do medicine at the time.. but after doing work experience in year 12 at a few hospitals, i completely hated it and i didn't want to do medicine.. and ever since then, i hated my subjects... i hated chemistry and biology so much and i started to hate 6th form and myself for making this massive mistake... i felt so demotivated and ended up getting DDDD in all my AS in year 12...

    from that point onwards, i didn't know what i wanted to do but i continued my studies and retook every single exam from AS this year and had 20 exams in year 13... and I'm telling you this from experience.. the stress is insane... ever since they stopped January exams, the work load is ****ing insane... its more of a test of endurance, seeing when students will crack under the pressure rather than a test of what you know...
    but maybe thats because i had to retake everything and had 20 exams, whilst everyone else had like 6 or 7...

    Im waiting for my results this August but i honestly think that my best case scenario is A in biology, B in maths, C in chemistry and A in AS economics which is still utter ****....

    So I'm telling you from experience.. think carefully about what you choose... do not limit it to one field of study and always chose one subject that you know you can definitely get an A in... people change over time, your perspective on things will change as time goes by.. so think carefully about what subjects you choose....
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    (Original post by Munrot07)
    Hey

    I studied Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics at AS. Dropped Physics for A2 and I’m about to start studying Biology at Imperial.

    1) It was no problem as we were given very little work…we were just expected to revise at home and in our frees, write up notes…all the stuff which I am quite good at so it was fine for me.
    2) I was fine around exam time as most of my exams were spread out except the big three exams. 50% of AS in all the sciences, a day after each other. Luckily it was after half term but it left little time to revise between exams…but it wasn’t awful.
    3) 8 frees a week. Each free is 40 minutes long.
    4) Bio – 7, lots of time spent revising but not too hard a subject. Chem – 5, just didn’t find it that hard. Maths – 7, got a lot easier the more work I did. Started hard but by the end of the year very easy. Physics – 8/9, just never got it, didn’t understand a few of the topics and just hated it…
    5) Bio – 10, just my favourite subject, Chem – 8, pretty interesting, some topics are a bit boring, Maths – 9, again love the subject but statistics wasn’t fun, Physics – 5, really don’t like the subject, luckily had a great teacher who made the lessons fun but the subject itself is boring, never wanted to do it haha.

    I hope this helps Some people will find it horrible…others will find it fine, depends on the person If you have any other questions just ask and good luck
    Thanks! also, Imperial? That's amazing!
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    (Original post by thechemistress)
    Thanks! also, Imperial? That's amazing!
    Thanks Trust me...it is down to hard work. If you put in the work and I mean hours you will really get a good result in the end It will be hard and you will hate some parts of it but if you end up going to the university you want to study the course you want it really is worth it
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    (Original post by Bustamove)
    I did Biology, Chemistry, Maths statistics full a level and economics AS...
    I completely regret my decision for taking these subjects... this is because at the time i didn't know what field of study i wanted to do when i was in year 12..

    the reason i picked these subjects was because i wanted to do medicine at the time.. but after doing work experience in year 12 at a few hospitals, i completely hated it and i didn't want to do medicine.. and ever since then, i hated my subjects... i hated chemistry and biology so much and i started to hate 6th form and myself for making this massive mistake... i felt so demotivated and ended up getting DDDD in all my AS in year 12...

    from that point onwards, i didn't know what i wanted to do but i continued my studies and retook every single exam from AS this year and had 20 exams in year 13... and I'm telling you this from experience.. the stress is insane... ever since they stopped January exams, the work load is ****ing insane... its more of a test of endurance, seeing when students will crack under the pressure rather than a test of what you know...

    Im waiting for my results this August but i honestly think that my best case scenario is A in biology, B in maths, C in chemistry and A in AS economics which is still utter ****....

    So I'm telling you from experience.. think carefully about what you choose... do not limit it to one field of study and always chose one subject that you know you can definitely get an A in... people change over time, your perspective on things will change as time goes by.. so think carefully about what subjects you choose....
    Wow.. That sounds awful for you. What have you applied to do?
    Also, as I'm taking straight sciences and maths, it leaves my options pretty wide open. I can do maths, medicine, chemistry, biology, physics, engineering, biochemistry, astrophysics, natural sciences, computer science etc. etc. I'm definitely not limiting myself to anything, don't worry
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    (Original post by thechemistress)
    Wow.. That sounds awful for you. What have you applied to do?
    Also, as I'm taking straight sciences and maths, it leaves my options pretty wide open. I can do maths, medicine, chemistry, biology, physics, engineering, biochemistry, astrophysics, natural sciences, computer science etc. etc. I'm definitely not limiting myself to anything, don't worry
    well, half way in year 13, i decided that i should take the financial route instead and as i dropped my A2 economics in year 13, and considering that my AS is utter crap, i decided to take a gap year and finish my economics a level by doing A2 economics outside of school...
    Also, since i know i could have done better this year if it wasn't for no January exams, I may retake a few A2 biology or chemistry or maths exams in my gap year to boost my grade...

    I'll be applying to do economics in university this year, but since im planning to finish my economics alevel out side of school, they may give me a conditional offer on my economics grade, but yea, hopefully my grades are good enough to receive a conditional offer from Royal Holloway, and maybe if i do well enough in my A2 retakes in my gap year, hopefully i can go to a better university by adjustment...

    and that's only if my grades are ABC and A in AS economics...
    i wish there were january exam... i know i would have done a lot better... there was one week where i had 6 exams....
    thank god this nightmare is over.... for now... till results day....
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    (Original post by thechemistress)
    I have a few questions for people who have done all or >3 of the subjects above:
    1) How did you find the workload?
    2) Did you struggle around exam time? Was it hard to balance revision for all of them?
    3) How many frees did you have every week?
    4) How difficult did you find each of the subjects? (Rating out of 10, with 1 being easy and 10 being extremely difficult).
    5) How interesting did you find each of the subjects? (Out of 10)

    I'm just a bit worried because one of my friends who did the same subjects this year told me that it was one of the worst decisions of her life and that 'it was hell' D:
    I'm assuming in this that you would do the same thing as me and complete the full maths a level in a year and then decide whether to do further next year? If you are doing the two maths simultaneously it obviously might be a bit of a different experience but hopefully not much I did maths, chemistry physics geography and I'm doing further next year.

    1)Workload really does depend on your teachers. If you're good at maths, have done further maths gcse, the maths side should be no problem for you. I know for me maths was just something you could go slow and steady at throughout the year and not really freak out until later about. The real question is can you study 3 sciences? It depends how focused and self-disciplined you are and how much else you have on. Most people who got mostly A*s and As in my year and were good at maths gcse took the double maths as well as 3 other subjects and I don't think they were any more stressed than gcses - less so actually but that wasn't to do with how hard it is. Watch out for the dip in motivation for your AS year. I think everyone I know was less motivated for AS than their GCSEs and it's such a big help if you don't have to repeat.
    2)At exam time for me all the maths exams came first and then sciences were later, so the gap gives you time to adjust which is nice you should be able to find a preliminary exam timetable to check this with your exam boards.
    3)4-5 hours per week I think - depending on whether you do Sports or not. (If you are serious about going far in sports, multiple nights training per week, absolutely do not do them all. You'll end up having to pick academia or sport)
    4)Difficulty really does depend on the individual. Maths is relatively straightforward if you have a good teacher and have coped well with it up until now. Chemistry is probably the most difficult - you just have to know it inside out and test yourself a lot. Physics and chemistry practicals are really quite tricky, ask lots of questions and get plenty of practice.
    5)If you're into science it won't matter how interesting they are. It's simply knowledge you need to have a broad background in whatever scientific field you go into. Quantum physics was mind-bogglingly awesome though... Oh and btw my biologist friends nearly all died off in the first term because they were shocked by the amount of chemistry in biology...don't do bio without chem imo
    I think you'll be fine. Where there's a will there's a way. Make sure you have the will.
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    Maths will be no problem for you. It's a pretty pleasant subject, and easy to do well in. Methodical, nothing weird and wonderful to catch you out really.

    Chemistry I thought was reasonably easy to do well in if you understood the concepts. Depends on the exam boards I guess, but once you get to areas like organic chemistry it's more about understanding than memorising so I found it less of an issue for exams etc. For some people, seeing a different molecule to the one they learnt about made them panic, but if you just approach it in the same way with the same thought process then it works out. Couple of bits are fiddly , like definitions, but you get that with everything. Practical assessments are meh.

    Biology was quite information heavy, and that was personally frustrating. It's not particularly difficult if you're good at rote learning/put the work in. I wasn't so keen on it in the end. I loved biology in school but that managed to put me off doing it any further. Again, practicals are meh. It's possibly the subject that might be the most tedious as it's more wordy, rather than just being able to logic your way through processes and calculations.
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    When your in college do you have to do sports
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    (Original post by Munrot07)
    Thanks Trust me...it is down to hard work. If you put in the work and I mean hours you will really get a good result in the end It will be hard and you will hate some parts of it but if you end up going to the university you want to study the course you want it really is worth it
    Hi, I will hopefully be beginning my a levels in september and I was wondering how rigorous the admissions process for imperial college is. I want to apply there to study engineering and i've chosen maths,further maths,physics,chemistry and electronics. Also, what gcse's did you achieve? (if you dont mind me asking of course)

    Furthermore, would 5-7A/A*s be good enough provided i achieve an average of 90 at AS

    Thanks
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    (Original post by thechemistress)
    I have a few questions for people who have done all or >3 of the subjects above:
    1) How did you find the workload?
    2) Did you struggle around exam time? Was it hard to balance revision for all of them?
    3) How many frees did you have every week?
    4) How difficult did you find each of the subjects? (Rating out of 10, with 1 being easy and 10 being extremely difficult).
    5) How interesting did you find each of the subjects? (Out of 10)

    I'm just a bit worried because one of my friends who did the same subjects this year told me that it was one of the worst decisions of her life and that 'it was hell' D:
    Did all of these to full A levels, along with English literature, managed 100% in all FM modules and 98% in English lit, got A*s in the rest

    Workload, not too bad if you can do it. Not exaggerating but all these together doesnt even match one subject, eg Histology in medical school and we have so many subjects a year.

    The fact that you had to ask this question though suggests you might not able to cope, I mean, I didnt gave it a second thought whether they would be too much work back in year 11 and this is where I am now,studying medicine at UCL


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    I did 4/5 of those subjects. times actually not the issue, let me explain that people including me would say in exam time i wish i had another few days. but i did, i was just pissing about in those extra days.

    time isnt short, its people leave it too late like most other people, but they are stuck with even more of a headache because they aren't given that freedom to leave it as late. and just completely give up planning to take a re take already.

    hope you understand what i mean. i wouldn't advise anyone except someone truly good at sitting at home all day going through text books and so on.
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    I did all of them (didn't drop any after AS), alongside an EPQ.

    (Original post by thechemistress)
    1) How did you find the workload?
    It was a LOT of work. As I said, I did the EPQ too which made things more demanding. I did enjoy them all though, so I didn't really mind the heavy workload.

    2) Did you struggle around exam time? Was it hard to balance revision for all of them?
    At times, I did get quite overwhelmed with all of them. Exam season wasn't as bad as I expected...the hardest thing was having friends who finished WAY earlier than you did and not being able to go out to celebrate end of exams. Thankfully, AS marks were fairly high so I only need C's/B's this year to get A's overall (was aiming for all A*s, but no chance of that after some of my exams!)...that helped a lot with exam season this year. So make sure you try your level best at AS to score as highly as possible.

    3) How many frees did you have every week?
    I can't remember, but not many...there were days where I had no lunch break either, just 6 hours of solid lessons with a small 20 minute break in between.

    4) How difficult did you find each of the subjects? (Rating out of 10, with 1 being easy and 10 being extremely difficult).
    The one that I found the hardest was Further Maths...we did pretty tough modules for A2 (M3, FP2 and FP3) so that took up the majority of my time. The content in itself wasn't too bad but under the pressures of the exam room, it got a bit overwhelming (like M3 was a fairly easy paper this year, but I just looked at the first question and thought: "I can't do any of this :cry2:" even though it was actually an easy question...got it in the end but for most of the exam, that's what my mentality was like ). A-Level Maths was not too bad, Chemistry was fine, Biology was pretty easy and Physics was fine apart from one exam which I panicked in and screwed up.

    If we're just talking AS, I personally didn't find them to be that bad at AS (although I found Biology easier at A2 than AS...probably because I enjoyed the content more at A2 ). I didn't find them "easy", there was a lot of work but I didn't think it was that bad.

    Not rating them though as it's subjective.

    5) How interesting did you find each of the subjects? (Out of 10)
    10 for all, with an extra 'mark' for Further Maths (so 11)

    I'm just a bit worried because one of my friends who did the same subjects this year told me that it was one of the worst decisions of her life and that 'it was hell' D:
    It doesn't really give you much advantage doing loads of subjects (and I say this even though I did them). However, if you do have an interest in them, then try it and see what you think.
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    (Original post by gavss)
    Hi, I will hopefully be beginning my a levels in september and I was wondering how rigorous the admissions process for imperial college is. I want to apply there to study engineering and i've chosen maths,further maths,physics,chemistry and electronics. Also, what gcse's did you achieve? (if you dont mind me asking of course)

    Furthermore, would 5-7A/A*s be good enough provided i achieve an average of 90 at AS

    Thanks
    Firstly, what sort of engineering? Imperial don't offer a straight out engineering degree you have to choose something like chemical, or mechanical There are somethings I don't know about as engineering has different aspects to biology in terms of application but i had AAAA at AS, A*A*A* A2 predictions and 5A*s and 6 As at GCSE.

    The only university that can see your UMS is cambridge. You can get 80% in your ASs or 100% and Imperial wont know the difference (unless your teachers mention it in your reference or you mention it in your personal statement). Also remember you can't get A*s at AS level.

    You want the best ASs you can achieve but equally don't feel bad if you get a B or two, you still have just as good a chance. Remember that you also need a really good personal statement, well written, lots of good content (done wider reading, extra curricular and work experience). Then you need a good reference with good predicted grades (but do well at AS and it wont be a problem). Then, you might (and pretty sure will) have an interview (I didn't have one for biology) and maybe do an admissions test (not sure if you need to on this one...best look it up).

    Just try your best at AS and you should be fine Good luck!
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    (Original post by thechemistress)
    I have a few questions for people who have done all or >3 of the subjects above:
    1) How did you find the workload?
    2) Did you struggle around exam time? Was it hard to balance revision for all of them?
    3) How many frees did you have every week?
    4) How difficult did you find each of the subjects? (Rating out of 10, with 1 being easy and 10 being extremely difficult).
    5) How interesting did you find each of the subjects? (Out of 10)

    I'm just a bit worried because one of my friends who did the same subjects this year told me that it was one of the worst decisions of her life and that 'it was hell' D:
    1) Not much at all
    2) Nope, just prioritize nearest exam
    3) the way I did mine I had around 4 a week
    4) and 5)

    Biology: 4/10 and 2/10
    Chemistry: 3/10 and 6/10
    Physics: 2/10 and 6/10
    Maths: 2/10 and 6/10

    :yy:

    Further Maths I only started lessons after exams, but difficult wise I'd say 4/10 and 7-8/10 interest wise
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    i did all of them except for biology.
    Fm - 7
    physics 8
    chemistry 7
    maths 6. h chem was my weakest. Physics is quite hard but easy if u understand it. Im trying to be average as physics for an average student will be the hardest. i was fine with it though. Just work through the year, a few hours a day. And you should easily get 90+ .
    i left chem and physics till last minute which was bad but i just about made it i think


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

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