A-level biology? Watch

Lyons
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I need to choose a fourth A-level subject so i am considering taking biology. It doesn't matter what my fourth subject is as i have already chosen what i need/like (graphics,geography,art). I don't want to pick a "soft" subject so that limits me to english literature, english language, RE, chemistry, physics or biology (these are the only options i am willing to do). I find biology interesting compared to the other sciences, and i got an A* for my year 10 gcse (not done year 11 exams yet). I'd rather steer away from the essay type subjects so i am wondering if biology is interesting, how difficult it is and what the workload is like (unless anybody has opinions about the othe sciences). Thanks
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hadukilami
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(Original post by Lyons)
I need to choose a fourth A-level subject so i am considering taking biology. It doesn't matter what my fourth subject is as i have already chosen what i need/like (graphics,geography,art). I don't want to pick a "soft" subject so that limits me to english literature, english language, RE, chemistry, physics or biology (these are the only options i am willing to do). I find biology interesting compared to the other sciences, and i got an A* for my year 10 gcse (not done year 11 exams yet). I'd rather steer away from the essay type subjects so i am wondering if biology is interesting, how difficult it is and what the workload is like (unless anybody has opinions about the othe sciences). Thanks
Biology will definitely take up a lot of your time but at least it's straightforward(mainly just learning facts and all). It is really interesting at A level as its in a lot more detail and the topics are generally nicer. But it all depends on you, and how much you enjoy the subject.
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crozibear96
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Hi. Biology is definitely the easiest of the three sciences (I do all three + maths), but the course is very, very content heavy. There is a lot of stuff to learn for it, but some of it can be quite simple if you understand it.:3 It definitely is interesting. Well, to me it is.^-^
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Tillybop
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(Original post by Lyons)
I need to choose a fourth A-level subject so i am considering taking biology. It doesn't matter what my fourth subject is as i have already chosen what i need/like (graphics,geography,art). I don't want to pick a "soft" subject so that limits me to english literature, english language, RE, chemistry, physics or biology (these are the only options i am willing to do). I find biology interesting compared to the other sciences, and i got an A* for my year 10 gcse (not done year 11 exams yet). I'd rather steer away from the essay type subjects so i am wondering if biology is interesting, how difficult it is and what the workload is like (unless anybody has opinions about the othe sciences). Thanks
I found biology the hardest of the three sciences, and physics the easiest. But I don't think most people find it that way

Biology has essays. I did AQA, so not sure about other exam boards, but you do have essays as a part of your exams (at A2).

There is a lot of content, and you have to be able to apply it well. Most people I know struggled with A level biology, without at least having AS chemistry, because there is a lot of chemistry knowledge you need to have. However if you learn the chemistry bits you need to know, you'll have no problem.

It really comes down to what you are best at, and what you enjoy.

Good luck ^.^
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Lyons
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(Original post by Tillybop)
Biology has essays. I did AQA, so not sure about other exam boards, but you do have essays as a part of your exams (at A2).

There is a lot of content, and you have to be able to apply it well. Most people I know struggled with A level biology, without at least having AS chemistry, because there is a lot of chemistry knowledge you need to have. However if you learn the chemistry bits you need to know, you'll have no problem.
Thanks for our advice, is the chemistry you need to know for a-level biology the stuff you learn at gcse? and what the essays generally cover/involve?
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Tillybop
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(Original post by Lyons)
Thanks for our advice, is the chemistry you need to know for a-level biology the stuff you learn at gcse? and what the essays generally cover/involve?
The chemistry is a bit more in depth that GCSE. I only did chemistry to AS, and I didn't struggle with biology at A level. But certain parts of the AS chemistry come in very handy with A level biology.

The essays are usually synoptic, which means that they will cover information from the entire A level, including AS and A2, and you have to gather all the information you have learnt over the two years. For AQA the essay is in the final exam at A2, and it is difficult to get top marks. Apparently most A grade students can expect to get 12-14/25 marks for it. It's tough
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seizetoday
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I would not take Biology if it's your fourth choice. It is terribley time consuming and you mentioned you don't like essays... There's a lot of writing involved. I would say physics/chemistry have much less writing and are also equally interesting.
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loperdoper
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All the sciences are pretty time consuming tbh, but as biology has the least maths it will inevitably have the most writing. I do OCR, which doesn't have an essay like AQA, but 9-12 marks questions are not uncommon, and 4/5 mark questions make up a lot of the second (100 mark) exam.
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Lyons
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(Original post by loperdoper)
I do OCR, which doesn't have an essay like AQA
Thanks , do you know if WJEC do essays?
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loperdoper
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(Original post by Lyons)
Thanks , do you know if WJEC do essays?
I wouldn't, sorry. You could look at past papers on their website?
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Afghan Warrior
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AQA biology is solid. Chemistry is much easier

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Manexopi
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I'm assuming as a forth subject you'll be dropping it and so the long essay won't apply. Either way biology is a lot of memorising and the exam technique is the worst. Chemistry has the most forward exam style imo and hardly any application so as long as you understand it, you're good to go.
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mud4554r
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(Original post by Lyons)
I need to choose a fourth A-level subject so i am considering taking biology. It doesn't matter what my fourth subject is as i have already chosen what i need/like (graphics,geography,art). I don't want to pick a "soft" subject so that limits me to english literature, english language, RE, chemistry, physics or biology (these are the only options i am willing to do). I find biology interesting compared to the other sciences, and i got an A* for my year 10 gcse (not done year 11 exams yet). I'd rather steer away from the essay type subjects so i am wondering if biology is interesting, how difficult it is and what the workload is like (unless anybody has opinions about the othe sciences). Thanks
Biology is really interesting and it seems like you are very good at it so that is always a great combination. There are a lot of things to remember but if you structure your revision and pay attention in class, you should be fine! The workload personally for me is a lot less than Chemistry and Physics. Good luck though for whatever subject you choose!
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dragonkeeper999
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(Original post by Lyons)
Thanks , do you know if WJEC do essays?
They do - but I think they're only 10 marks each (can't quite remember tbh - look up some past papers on their website).

However, Biology essays are very different to humanities essays - basically they don't care all that much how you structure it or phrase things, you just need to write as many facts down as possible about the topic. My teacher actually suggested we bullet pointed our essays and added labelled diagrams, rather than writing loads of prose. I really wouldn't stress about Biology essays - they are just slightly longer than normal questions tbh!
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alicecb
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(Original post by Lyons)
I need to choose a fourth A-level subject so i am considering taking biology. It doesn't matter what my fourth subject is as i have already chosen what i need/like (graphics,geography,art). I don't want to pick a "soft" subject so that limits me to english literature, english language, RE, chemistry, physics or biology (these are the only options i am willing to do). I find biology interesting compared to the other sciences, and i got an A* for my year 10 gcse (not done year 11 exams yet). I'd rather steer away from the essay type subjects so i am wondering if biology is interesting, how difficult it is and what the workload is like (unless anybody has opinions about the othe sciences). Thanks
I did AS Biology last year, and it's an interesting subject, but there's a lot of content to learn. There is some maths and chemistry involved, but it's only basic. You have to have a good memory though because there is tonnes of content to remember. That's where I had a problem last year. I had fun with it, but I dropped it at A2 because I got a D. :/ My mind can't remember that amount of stuff at once- so make sure you've got a good memory. English is fun-you get to do creative writing in both.
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wolfee
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(Original post by Lyons)
I need to choose a fourth A-level subject so i am considering taking biology. It doesn't matter what my fourth subject is as i have already chosen what i need/like (graphics,geography,art). I don't want to pick a "soft" subject so that limits me to english literature, english language, RE, chemistry, physics or biology (these are the only options i am willing to do). I find biology interesting compared to the other sciences, and i got an A* for my year 10 gcse (not done year 11 exams yet). I'd rather steer away from the essay type subjects so i am wondering if biology is interesting, how difficult it is and what the workload is like (unless anybody has opinions about the othe sciences). Thanks
Hey, I'm currently studying A2 Biology and I have found it and the AS course really interesting although I would say as other people have mentioned, there is a huge amount of content and lots of memorising. I found the workload a lot more than Chemistry which was more understanding things and a lot less memorising. Hope this helps!
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Lyons
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(Original post by wolfee)
Hey, I'm currently studying A2 Biology and I have found it and the AS course really interesting although I would say as other people have mentioned, there is a huge amount of content and lots of memorising. I found the workload a lot more than Chemistry which was more understanding things and a lot less memorising. Hope this helps!
Thanks . Do you think AS is less difficult than doing A2?
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wolfee
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(Original post by Lyons)
Thanks . Do you think AS is less difficult than doing A2?
You're welcome! From what I've done so far in A2 I would say AS was a lot easier, A2 at the moment is quite biochemistry related. I also heard that A2 is about 70% application whereas AS is about 50%. Of course it depends on what sorts of things you're good at!
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username1333513
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like everyone else has said, there's a lot of content to learn but it's not too hard to get the grasp of, have you thought about maths a level?
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Afghan Warrior
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It's not really about the content, it's difficult in terms of answering questions correctly. Almost all of the questions are applying, being able to read graphs and tables properly actually understanding the content and being able to apply that knowledge

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