Whitney997
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Contemplating on picking either a level along with Bio, Chem and Maths.
My exam board for Economics is Edexcel and AQA for Psychology so if anyone did these a levels and can offer advice that would be really helpful!

Reasons for psychology: Seems interesting, I like most of the topics and would enjoy revising it if I don't procrastinate, in my induction a 1st year student said its one of the most easiest a levels? (he does psychology along with the 3 sciences) There lots of relatable youtube videos for the course (I like youtube videos as part of my revision) and I heard it links with biology?

Cons: Apparently Psychology is less respected than Economics? After reading my syllabus the 1st year seems a bit boring whereas 2nd year is more interesting. I heard theres a lot of information to take in and memorise i.e: research methods, psychologists, dates, studies etc.



Reasons for economics: I sort of enjoyed business studies at GCSE which links with A2 economics and Finance/Economics is my backup plan incase I don't get the grades to study Medicine to become a dermatologist.

Cons: The graphs look really complicated from what I've seen. Theres a lot of keywords to memorise and I don't have the best memory only very good photographic and dates memory. On my induction day the teacher was a bit laid back whereas the psychology teacher looked as if she knew what she was talking about.

So if anyone can help me chose which one I should do it would be much appreciated!
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Jkizer
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(Original post by Whitney997)
So if anyone can help me chose which one I should do it would be much appreciated!
I did both Psychology + Economics (different exam board for econ but very similar syllabus)

With psychology it was definitely the more interesting subject than econ (even though i plan to study econ at uni >.<)
The exam also is much much easier than economics. With psycho, the questions at AS are very very prescriptive, so you won't really get much 'unexpected' sort of questions like you do in sciences & maths. I guess your induction student is kind of right. However there is a lot of memorising indeed. Dates aren't necessary to remember (helps some people though) however you basically have to memorise / able to regurgitate:

1. Theories / explanations of stuff - This is the really interesting bit
2. Psychology studies + supporting / against it - Tedious, but manageable.
3. Studies pros / cons - Much more mechanical and is blaggable once you get the hang of it

Psychology maybe seen as less respected, but TSR tends to overemphasise this sort of stuff. Its a perfectly fine subject to take, and is quite common among medics, as an AS and A2.

In economics, the graphs really arent as complicated as you think they are. Once you start learning the stuff, its actually fairly straight forward ! But yes there are quite a lot of keywords and usually in the exam they make you define it - sometimes they throw nasty ones which arent in the book Q.Q. However AS is generally very straight forward compared to A2 which focuses a lot more on long essays (theres multi choice in AS and A2 for your board i think, just less at A2). I personally found more Economics help videos on youtube than psycho, though they were mainly American (same topics though).

I would say Psycho is A LOT more work than economics, which is more about whether you can understand the concepts and apply it to different sort of questions. Easier exam is definetly psycho, plus a lot lower grade boundaries. If you have a good teacher, psycho will be very straight forward. Theres probably more help on psychology in terms of online resources (everybody learns the same stuff at AS for AQA) and for TSR help.

If need any more specific / detailed answers, feel free to ask!
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Whitney997
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(Original post by Jkizer)
I did both Psychology + Economics (different exam board for econ but very similar syllabus)

With psychology it was definitely the more interesting subject than econ (even though i plan to study econ at uni >.<)
The exam also is much much easier than economics. With psycho, the questions at AS are very very prescriptive, so you won't really get much 'unexpected' sort of questions like you do in sciences & maths. I guess your induction student is kind of right. However there is a lot of memorising indeed. Dates aren't necessary to remember (helps some people though) however you basically have to memorise / able to regurgitate:

1. Theories / explanations of stuff - This is the really interesting bit
2. Psychology studies + supporting / against it - Tedious, but manageable.
3. Studies pros / cons - Much more mechanical and is blaggable once you get the hang of it

Psychology maybe seen as less respected, but TSR tends to overemphasise this sort of stuff. Its a perfectly fine subject to take, and is quite common among medics, as an AS and A2.

In economics, the graphs really arent as complicated as you think they are. Once you start learning the stuff, its actually fairly straight forward ! But yes there are quite a lot of keywords and usually in the exam they make you define it - sometimes they throw nasty ones which arent in the book Q.Q. However AS is generally very straight forward compared to A2 which focuses a lot more on long essays (theres multi choice in AS and A2 for your board i think, just less at A2). I personally found more Economics help videos on youtube than psycho, though they were mainly American (same topics though).

I would say Psycho is A LOT more work than economics, which is more about whether you can understand the concepts and apply it to different sort of questions. Easier exam is definetly psycho, plus a lot lower grade boundaries. If you have a good teacher, psycho will be very straight forward. Theres probably more help on psychology in terms of online resources (everybody learns the same stuff at AS for AQA) and for TSR help.

If need any more specific / detailed answers, feel free to ask!

Thank you so much! Seeing as you did both of them which one would you recommend me taking seeing as finance is my back up plan? Which subject do you think you'll get a higher grade in? What other subjects did you pick? And how did you revise for both psychology and economics and which one was the hardest to revise for?
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Jkizer
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(Original post by Whitney997)
Thank you so much! Seeing as you did both of them which one would you recommend me taking seeing as finance is my back up plan? Which subject do you think you'll get a higher grade in? What other subjects did you pick? And how did you revise for both psychology and economics and which one was the hardest to revise for?
Well if you are thinking about courses like economics, accounting+finance etc, your current 3 subjects will easily get you into the vast majority of unis since you only really need maths.

I did Maths, econ, psychology and in AS got BAA (done epq too but no idea what grade ill get) - economics was my strongest (after the entire AS set got remarked) but only by a couple of UMS. I scraped an A in the Unit 1 of psycho due to poor exam technique. But we did it in January, so we were slightly more rushed. Unit 2 of psychology i got 93 ums so much better - Econ was more balanced of 86 ish if you wanted to know that

Revising economics, i basically looked back at the homework essays we were set and with the textbook made brief essay plans on each sub topic e.g. essay plan on how econ growth can be achieved, benefits of econ growth, conseq's etc. Psychology wise, most people tended to write / type out essays of each topic. I personally typed it out and broke each 'section' out to bullet points. From then i just read it over / occasionally wrote some stuff / occasionally used cue cards.

Hardest to revise for hmmm..... Well i would say economics, because the examiners can throw so much stuff at you in the exam which can really throw you off. E.g. I recall the 'economic growth' mini topic having something like 6+ possible topics - and when you have something like 10-15 (?) topics to revise for AS, it can be slightly nerve wrecking - Its probably why i think i did crud in Economics this year. I looked at both exam questions and thought 'oh crapppp' and basically had to blag a lot of it.

Psychology isnt necessarily hard, i mean if you have a decent teacher, chances are they will basically spoon feed all you need to know for the exam with sheets from which you make more concise. If you manage to make model answers from the beginning, you will be fine (though easier said than done). If you write an essay for each topic in psycho, i would probably go as far to say NOTHING in the exam will make think 'oh god wtf do i write'

AS economics is quite nice but A2 is ughhh, a very big step. AS and A2 psychology have very similar amounts of content you need to memorise, a lot more predictable content but takes a lot more time to actually revise. I probably spent 3x (guessing) more time revising psychology than economics.
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Exceptional
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I did AQA Economics. Great subject and the graphs are simple once they've been explained. A2 apparently takes the piss but we'll see in September!

Shouldn't let the respect of a subject put you off. It really doesn't matter if you have three other strong subjects - I know lots of medicine applicants who do Psychology as a fourth and it didn't hold them back.
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Petrue
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I did Edexcel Economics (AS & A2) and it was a really good course! There's nothing overly abstract or difficult in the syllabus and it covers some interesting topics. If you have a decent teacher then the graphs will be easy to learn as they all build off of each other and some are just simply a couple of lines! Your business GCSE knowledge will help with the AS Microeconomics module because it touches on price elasticity of demand and other business related topics.
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Whitney997
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(Original post by Jkizer)
Well if you are thinking about courses like economics, accounting+finance etc, your current 3 subjects will easily get you into the vast majority of unis since you only really need maths.

I did Maths, econ, psychology and in AS got BAA (done epq too but no idea what grade ill get) - economics was my strongest (after the entire AS set got remarked) but only by a couple of UMS. I scraped an A in the Unit 1 of psycho due to poor exam technique. But we did it in January, so we were slightly more rushed. Unit 2 of psychology i got 93 ums so much better - Econ was more balanced of 86 ish if you wanted to know that

Revising economics, i basically looked back at the homework essays we were set and with the textbook made brief essay plans on each sub topic e.g. essay plan on how econ growth can be achieved, benefits of econ growth, conseq's etc. Psychology wise, most people tended to write / type out essays of each topic. I personally typed it out and broke each 'section' out to bullet points. From then i just read it over / occasionally wrote some stuff / occasionally used cue cards.

Hardest to revise for hmmm..... Well i would say economics, because the examiners can throw so much stuff at you in the exam which can really throw you off. E.g. I recall the 'economic growth' mini topic having something like 6+ possible topics - and when you have something like 10-15 (?) topics to revise for AS, it can be slightly nerve wrecking - Its probably why i think i did crud in Economics this year. I looked at both exam questions and thought 'oh crapppp' and basically had to blag a lot of it.

Psychology isnt necessarily hard, i mean if you have a decent teacher, chances are they will basically spoon feed all you need to know for the exam with sheets from which you make more concise. If you manage to make model answers from the beginning, you will be fine (though easier said than done). If you write an essay for each topic in psycho, i would probably go as far to say NOTHING in the exam will make think 'oh god wtf do i write'

AS economics is quite nice but A2 is ughhh, a very big step. AS and A2 psychology have very similar amounts of content you need to memorise, a lot more predictable content but takes a lot more time to actually revise. I probably spent 3x (guessing) more time revising psychology than economics.

Ohhh that makes things so much clearer now I'm guessing the B was in maths? Im taking maths as well for Alevels and would want to know if there is a big step from GCSE? Also what are your career plans
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Jkizer
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(Original post by Whitney997)
Ohhh that makes things so much clearer now I'm guessing the B was in maths? Im taking maths as well for Alevels and would want to know if there is a big step from GCSE? Also what are your career plans
I dont think the step up is that baaad for maths. The first unit you do is called Core 1 and 70% of the it will be Gcse A/A* sort of stuff so things like factorising, indices, graph transformations etc will reappear. The only 'new' stuff i suppose would be intergration, differentiation (both fairly straight forward for C1) and maybe coordinate geometry (very easy once you understand the language of the questions). Core 2 is slightly more tricky, but not massively harder than C1 - the exam can catch you out though !

You also do applied modules, usualyl Stats or Mechanics. If you suck / detested physics like i did, mechanics will be very dull - however you will eventually understand it since questions are usually the same every year

Hopefully going to study economics at uni but not sure what ill do after D: - Did a bit of work experience at a bank and couldn't see myself working there for many many years !
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Whitney997
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(Original post by Jkizer)
I dont think the step up is that baaad for maths. The first unit you do is called Core 1 and 70% of the it will be Gcse A/A* sort of stuff so things like factorising, indices, graph transformations etc will reappear. The only 'new' stuff i suppose would be intergration, differentiation (both fairly straight forward for C1) and maybe coordinate geometry (very easy once you understand the language of the questions). Core 2 is slightly more tricky, but not massively harder than C1 - the exam can catch you out though !

You also do applied modules, usualyl Stats or Mechanics. If you suck / detested physics like i did, mechanics will be very dull - however you will eventually understand it since questions are usually the same every year

Hopefully going to study economics at uni but not sure what ill do after D: - Did a bit of work experience at a bank and couldn't see myself working there for many many years !
I was thinking of doing Statistics? I heard its easier out of the other options? I actually liked physics towards the end of year 11 - found it very straightforward to understand tbh which one did you do - Statistics or Mechanics?


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AmmaBrownie
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I did OCR Biology, Chemistry and Economics. And AQA B Psychology at AS. I actually started off with Bio, Chem, Maths and Psych. But after the first lesson of Maths, I was already a year behind, literally every single person in my class seemed to have done Additional Maths at GCSE. Luckily for me Economics was in the same option block as Maths. I did Economics at GCSE too, so that was a plus. At AS I spent so much time on Biology and Chemistry I neglected Psychology thinking it was an 'easy option' out of all my subjects. And the fact that I thought that was the subject I wanted to drop. Firstly my sixthform is part of a 'federation' of about 7 others. So for Psych I used to travel about an hour most of the week. AS Psych for me was Approaches, Gender, Research Methods, Social Influence, Remembering and forgetting and Anxiety Disorders. I had a crap teacher from November until April. One who was completely obsessed with David Bowie, instead of teaching is case studies she made up her own; which revolved around David Bowie. To top it off she was a supply! Anyways I began to hate Psychology and swore to myself that I would drop it for A2 and whatever grade I got wouldn't matter as it would be the 4th AS. How wrong was I. I dropped Chemistry instead. But Economics after AS I began to really get into, I mean I got good at it ( we'll see on result day I guess), ahead of the class and even with Psych I began to enjoy A2 after switching lessons back to my original sixthform. But if I was you I would the subject that would benefit you the most later down the line. All the best!

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