ElasticJane
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Hey there, today I'm looking for a little advice on subjects to take next year.

I'm hoping to eventually go on to university and become an English teacher, so I am aware of certain qualifications I do require.

Right now I'm studying: National 5 English, National 4 Mathematics, National 5 History, National 5 Drama, National 5 French, National 5 Biology and National 5 Chemistry.

I'm doing well in all subjects with the exception of Biology, which I'm currently working on to improve my grade for exam day.

I obviously know I will have to do Higher English and Mathematics (eventually..), but I'm unsure of other subjects to take.

I don't want to take Drama to Higher, out of dislike for the subject.

I'd enjoy to do Higher Chemistry next year, but seeing as I'm National 4 Mathematics, I may need to wait a year to start Higher Chemistry, as I apparently will find the high amount of calculations at Higher difficult.

In terms of Higher English, French and History, I'm getting A-Band One results in the National 5 Prelims/Class tests (if that's the correct term), so I certainly want to try my hand at Higher French and History, but would it be worth it, seeing as I only need one of these to get into a university?

Current working grade if that helps:
English - A-Band One
French - A-Band One
History - A-Band One
Drama - A-Band Two
Chemistry - B-Band Three
Biology - C..
Mathematics - N4 Pass

I'd appreciate any advice, thanks!
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User1443542
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Personally, I'd say do the chemistry, because having an extra science can't hurt, really?

I'm not sure how highers work, but is it possible to drop one after the first year? Is it even a two year thing?
Because then you could do both the French and the History, and drop which ever you find less appealing afterwards
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ElasticJane
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(Original post by devangdave)
Personally, I'd say do the chemistry, because having an extra science can't hurt, really?

I'm not sure how highers work, but is it possible to drop one after the first year? Is it even a two year thing?
Because then you could do both the French and the History, and drop which ever you find less appealing afterwards
Highers are one-year courses, but some - if they're working at B-Band Four or below - may choose to study them over a two year period, doing the unit assessments in year one, and the exam in year two.

I may be entirely wrong, this was just how my History teacher described what people wanting to do Higher History but are currently National 4 English should do.
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It's_Ailie
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Hi!
First thing i want to let you know is that the actual maths involved in higher chem calculations is not too difficult. The calculations as a whole are not easy, but that isn't because of the maths you have to use, it's because there are far more steps to them compared to national 5 where you use the n/m/gfm and n/c/v - in higher you continue using these but apply them to bigger questions and with a couple of other added things but the formulas are given to you and you plug in numbers. I'm currently doing cfe higher chemistry and there are others in my class who did n4 maths last year, they are not at a disadvantage. If you enjoy chemistry, please don't not do it due to calculations because although there are more than at n5 they are not the entire course and I think you will manage them.

As for what else to take -
I have a friend who has been offered a place to study English at uni. this year she is doing English, maths, mods, history and computing (all at higher)
Things like history are good to take because they demonstrate essay writing/ability to use literature to find out stuff, those types of skills (history is classed as a subject which shows communications/research skills) Have a look at the English courses online on different uni websites, they will tell you what they want you to have. For something like English there will be quite a lot of flexibility outwith of taking English. French would also be a good choice if you want to do it as, again, it shows you're good with languages plus it's communication. Only do it if you're willing to put in a lot of work though! Higher french takes a lot of dedication.
To answer the 'is it worth doing both' question - yes of course, if you're happy to do them - it's more evidence of your ability. What the unis say they want is the minimum. In reality, they will choose those who are above and beyond the minimum. Unis look at highers above everything else so the more you have that is relevant the better

Hope this has helped you a little, if you've got other questions I'm more than happy to help


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It's_Ailie
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Also don't be disheartened for the C for biology - it's really not that bad plus you've got plenty of time to pull it together before the exams if you really want a higher grade. I've got people in my higher biology class who got Ds in the exam at n5, and they were allowed into the higher class if they were willing to work for it (probably helped by the fact that our teacher is amazing at teaching us and willing to give anyone a chance though, but if you want to do higher bio then it's worth talking to guidance/the biology teacher. I absolutely love biology, higher is fascinating, better than n5)


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ElasticJane
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(Original post by It's_Ailie)
Also don't be disheartened for the C for biology - it's really not that bad plus you've got plenty of time to pull it together before the exams if you really want a higher grade. I've got people in my higher biology class who got Ds in the exam at n5, and they were allowed into the higher class if they were willing to work for it (probably helped by the fact that our teacher is amazing at teaching us and willing to give anyone a chance though, but if you want to do higher bio then it's worth talking to guidance/the biology teacher. I absolutely love biology, higher is fascinating, better than n5)


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Gee, thanks!

The issue for me with Higher Chemistry and Biology is that my school will only allow people with Bs or higher for N5 prelims pick it at this stage - though if I boosted my grade I don't see why I wouldn't be able to do it - and in the case of Chemistry, I need Mathematics.

I think for Biology and Chemistry I'll need to talk to someone about it in school, as if I boosted my grade in Biology and/or continued my standard in Chemistry, I'd be able to do Higher.

Thanks for the guidance on History and French though, I think I've decided on that now!
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It's_Ailie
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(Original post by ElasticJane)
Gee, thanks!

The issue for me with Higher Chemistry and Biology is that my school will only allow people with Bs or higher for N5 prelims pick it at this stage - though if I boosted my grade I don't see why I wouldn't be able to do it - and in the case of Chemistry, I need Mathematics.

I think for Biology and Chemistry I'll need to talk to someone about it in school, as if I boosted my grade in Biology and/or continued my standard in Chemistry, I'd be able to do Higher.

Thanks for the guidance on History and French though, I think I've decided on that now!
If you want to do them then yeah definitely talk to someone about it, you never know until you ask although I guess it would be one or the other seeing as you've already chosen four. glad to be of some use!!


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The Milk Thief
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As someone who applied to English this year and received 5 unconditional offers, I'd advise you to do as many social subjects as possible. For example, both myself and a close friend applied for English at Strathclyde; I got an unconditional with subjects English, Maths, History, Music and Chemistry all at Higher, and she got a pretty steep conditional with Highers in English, Maths, Graphics and Art, despite her grades actually being higher than mine on the whole. She was told this was because she had no social subjects among her Highers.

I did Higher Chemistry simply because it was the only thing I could take in the column that wouldn't be a crash Higher for me (I got a Grade 1 at SG so it made sense at the time). However, I was quickly out of my depth and my dad wouldn't let me change it. It's my biggest regret of 5th year; if I could go back and do it again, I'd crash something and make my life one hell of a lot easier!

If you really fancy doing chemistry, my advice would be that you give it a go (if your school won't let you do it, get a parental note, they always work). However, if at any point you feel that you are not coping, change into something else ie. an essay based subject because these are what universities really like to see more than anything else.

If in doubt, however, just go for the subject you can do the best in overall.
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ElasticJane
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Hey everyone, thanks for all the advice.

A few days ago - sorry I forgot to update the thread - I made my final decision on my subjects next year.

I've decided to take Higher Chemistry over Higher Biology, and still doing Highers in English, French and History and National 5 Maths.

Thanks for all the help!
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rachelbowden
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(Original post by ElasticJane)
Hey there, today I'm looking for a little advice on subjects to take next year.

I'm hoping to eventually go on to university and become an English teacher, so I am aware of certain qualifications I do require.

Right now I'm studying: National 5 English, National 4 Mathematics, National 5 History, National 5 Drama, National 5 French, National 5 Biology and National 5 Chemistry.

I'm doing well in all subjects with the exception of Biology, which I'm currently working on to improve my grade for exam day.

I obviously know I will have to do Higher English and Mathematics (eventually..), but I'm unsure of other subjects to take.

I don't want to take Drama to Higher, out of dislike for the subject.

I'd enjoy to do Higher Chemistry next year, but seeing as I'm National 4 Mathematics, I may need to wait a year to start Higher Chemistry, as I apparently will find the high amount of calculations at Higher difficult.

In terms of Higher English, French and History, I'm getting A-Band One results in the National 5 Prelims/Class tests (if that's the correct term), so I certainly want to try my hand at Higher French and History, but would it be worth it, seeing as I only need one of these to get into a university?

Current working grade if that helps:
English - A-Band One
French - A-Band One
History - A-Band One
Drama - A-Band Two
Chemistry - B-Band Three
Biology - C..
Mathematics - N4 Pass

I'd appreciate any advice, thanks!
Are you looking to do post or under grad English teaching?

As someone doing higher chemistry I cannot tell you enough DO NOT DO HIGHER CHEMISTRY!!!!!! It is highly regarded as the hardest higher and if you think you can get an A in it then go for it but it is incredibly complex and time consuming. I'm doing the old higher but I think the new higher which you'll be doing at the moment has a whole unit on calculations. If you're only doing nat 4 maths at the moment then you might really struggle with that.
Do at least 4 highers. You will need nat 5 maths, you don't need higher maths, trust me. IF you think you will definitely pass nat 5 in one year then you could consider leaving it to sixth year. Otherwise I would highly recommend taking it in S5.
Definitely do higher English in S5, obviously.
I don't think it would be redundant at all to do both history and French, they are very different highers. History has a huge amount of essay writing and analysis, which an English degree would like. All Unis like a higher language.
Apart from English, and for your case national 5 maths, take the subject you think you're most likely to get in As in. At the very last minute I changed from doing French to Chemistry, and I severely regret it. As long as you've got the subjects that Uni's specify that they want for your particular degree, what they then want is the best grades and then a very good personal statement and references. I recommend spending summer working with children to try and get some experience as in fifth year you'll have to work very hard if you want to get into teaching and will have less time for CV building. If you have shown a keen interest in working with children from a young age universities will like that.

Hope this helps and it's not too late! Good luck! Let me know how you get on
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rachelbowden
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have just seen that you took higher chemistry! Hope we haven't stressed you out with this, I suggest getting a tutor from the start and going over your notes EVERY DAY FROM THE START. Once you get home from school spend just half an hour going over what you covered in all of your classes that day. It makes an insane difference.
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Pennyarcade
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(Original post by rachelbowden)
As someone doing higher chemistry I cannot tell you enough DO NOT DO HIGHER CHEMISTRY!!!!!! It is highly regarded as the hardest higher and if you think you can get an A in it then go for it but it is incredibly complex and time consuming.
(Original post by rachelbowden)
have just seen that you took higher chemistry! Hope we haven't stressed you out with this, I suggest getting a tutor from the start and going over your notes EVERY DAY FROM THE START. Once you get home from school spend just half an hour going over what you covered in all of your classes that day. It makes an insane difference.
Calm yersel. It's not that hard. All you need to do is regurgitate marking schemes and you'll get a very high A.
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username1331498
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(Original post by ElasticJane)
Hey there, today I'm looking for a little advice on subjects to take next year.

I'm hoping to eventually go on to university and become an English teacher, so I am aware of certain qualifications I do require.

Right now I'm studying: National 5 English, National 4 Mathematics, National 5 History, National 5 Drama, National 5 French, National 5 Biology and National 5 Chemistry.

I'm doing well in all subjects with the exception of Biology, which I'm currently working on to improve my grade for exam day.

I obviously know I will have to do Higher English and Mathematics (eventually..), but I'm unsure of other subjects to take.

I don't want to take Drama to Higher, out of dislike for the subject.

I'd enjoy to do Higher Chemistry next year, but seeing as I'm National 4 Mathematics, I may need to wait a year to start Higher Chemistry, as I apparently will find the high amount of calculations at Higher difficult.

In terms of Higher English, French and History, I'm getting A-Band One results in the National 5 Prelims/Class tests (if that's the correct term), so I certainly want to try my hand at Higher French and History, but would it be worth it, seeing as I only need one of these to get into a university?

Current working grade if that helps:
English - A-Band One
French - A-Band One
History - A-Band One
Drama - A-Band Two
Chemistry - B-Band Three
Biology - C..
Mathematics - N4 Pass

I'd appreciate any advice, thanks!
Higher Chemistry is a very interesting subject, I would certainly recommend that you take it. It will take some revision to get an A, but it is definitely achievable. The calculations can be quite overwhelming at times, but it does not take a lot of time and effort to perfect the methods to get 100% in them.
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rachelbowden
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(Original post by Pennyarcade)
Calm yersel. It's not that hard. All you need to do is regurgitate marking schemes and you'll get a very high A.
It certainly is one of the hardest Highers, which many unis also agree with. If you struggle with it at nat 5/ struggle with maths it is giving yourself a very hard work load, that's what I'm saying. And it's a very complex subject for many to get their head around. That may be the case with multiple choice section but if you struggle to understand chemistry then all of the sneaky twists can really through you. And I'm giving advice on how to understand ALL subjects in the second thing you quoted hence the "all your classes". That's standard how to do well in Highers, particularly the complex ones, advice. There's no need to be rude.
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Pennyarcade
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(Original post by rachelbowden)
It certainly is one of the hardest Highers, which many unis also agree with. If you struggle with it at nat 5/ struggle with maths it is giving yourself a very hard work load, that's what I'm saying. And it's a very complex subject for many to get their head around. That may be the case with multiple choice section but if you struggle to understand chemistry then all of the sneaky twists can really through you. And I'm giving advice on how to understand ALL subjects in the second thing you quoted hence the "all your classes". That's standard how to do well in Highers, particularly the complex ones, advice. There's no need to be rude.
Lol soz didn't mean to come across as rude. I was trying to emphasise that highers are fairly straightforward in the sense that you don't really need to understand anything to do well. I mean look at it this way: you have 15 years of pastpapers readily available to you, the SQA only add 3 new multiple choice questions each year and all of the questions in the written section have come up in some form or another previously. It doesn't take a genius to do all the pastpapers, write down the questions they got wrong then memorise answers.

Even at that you can still get 1 in 3 marks wrong and get an A. So really if you put in a fair bit of effort (going through seemingly endless pastpapers is mundane af) then you will be fine.

With this in mind, I think English is the only hard higher

EDIT: Realised this may not apply to new highers
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WithoutMuchHope
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(Original post by Pennyarcade)

EDIT: Realised this may not apply to new highers
No, I've done all new highers this year and I am finding that the regurgitation method is still pretty solid. Also new highers are likely to be nice-n'-easy mode for the first few years.

OP, I think you should try higher chemistry. A lot of it is just grasping concepts- the calculations aren't really that hard, and are definitely accessible for somebody who is doing National 5 level maths. A lot of it is just basic percentages or ratios between chemical quantities. Almost all of the relationships are also given for you.
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