Jitesh
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Hi,

I would like to study Biology, Chemistry and maths as a-levels, but I'm torn between History and Physics for my fourth option...

I'd like to study dentistry, so to my knowledge there wouldn't be a direct benefit between picking either over each other

I should be able to get a sound grade in either one, and really enjoy both. The teachers are both great for each subject as well...

Anyone who did two?

For History, it's with AQA and it's topic 1H (Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855–1917) and 2S (The Making of Modern Britain, 1951–1979)

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resource...-2015-V1-0.PDF

There wouldn't be any coursework, as I would only want to do it for AS and not as a full a-level

For Physics, it's OCR B Advancing Physics... I've heard the old specification's textbook isn't the best http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-revi...RankDescending

...the updated textbook designed for the new 2015 specification is meant to be better, but I don't think that the textbooks available should dictate my choice of subject...

Any advice? Anyone who did both History and Physics?
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thecatwithnohat
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My friend actually did all three of your chosen subjects :rofl: and did Physics on top, but dropped Chemistry in year 13. She got all her offers for Dentistry
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Fannibal
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(Original post by Jitesh)
Hi,

I would like to study Biology, Chemistry and maths as a-levels, but I'm torn between History and Physics for my fourth option...

I'd like to study dentistry, so to my knowledge there wouldn't be a direct benefit between picking either over each other

I should be able to get a sound grade in either one, and really enjoy both. The teachers are both great for each subject as well...

Anyone who did two?

For History, it's with AQA and it's topic 1H (Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855–1917) and 2S (The Making of Modern Britain, 1951–1979)

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resource...-2015-V1-0.PDF

There wouldn't be any coursework, as I would only want to do it for AS and not as a full a-level

For Physics, it's OCR B Advancing Physics... I've heard the old specification's textbook isn't the best http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-revi...RankDescending

...the updated textbook designed for the new 2015 specification is meant to be better, but I don't think that the textbooks available should dictate my choice of subject...

Any advice? Anyone who did both History and Physics?
I did history AS level and it was pretty good, I'm not taking it next year purely because of the uni course I want to do. It's a LOT of memorisation though, seriously loads! I heard about physics a lot as a close friend of mine did it, apparently it's super heavy on maths and theory. You need to be good at maths to do well in physics, you'll go beyond what you do in AS level maths.
Both courses have perks, history is an essay subject so you'll need to be quick at writing and confident with essay structures. For physics you'll need to be good at maths and good at learning theory.
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Fleming1928
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I took history at AS, now taking it onto A levels. I'm on the OCR exam board however my modules were very similar to yours: Russia in Turmoil (1900-1921) and The Impact Of War on British Politics and Society since 1900. Even though my opinion may be bias, as I love history and I want to study it at university, I'm going to say that you should study history AS level history is much more interesting than GCSE history, but I wouldn't say it's harder! Yes, you have to write a lot more, however as long as you remember everything there will be nothing hard about it. Learning about Russia has been my favourite thing during year 12, I now want to study Russian alongside history when I go to university, as after studying Russia in Turmoil, I became fascinated with not only the Russian history, but also the language, culture etc...

Since you're planning to take maths, Physics might be a good option as maths is a massive part of the subject. It's a massive step from GCSE to AS levels, and I know that many people in my sixth form struggled with it. On the other hand, many people at my sixth form also struggled with AS history, therefore in conclusion it depends on what you think your strength is. Personally, I am much better at humanities subjects as they rely more on facts rather than equations. Now I'm not saying that in AS history facts will get you an A, as you still need to look at different historian views and come up with your conclusion, you need to interpret sources etc. If you're good at those things, then I advise you to take history. At the end of the day it's simply a very interesting subject, and even though it's a little different from your other subjects, it would be nice to have that one subject where you don't need to use any equations and simply focus on the past.
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chiarax213
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If you want a break from sciences, history would be a good contrasting subject
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techgeek
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(Original post by Jitesh)
Hi,

I would like to study Biology, Chemistry and maths as a-levels, but I'm torn between History and Physics for my fourth option...

I'd like to study dentistry, so to my knowledge there wouldn't be a direct benefit between picking either over each other

I should be able to get a sound grade in either one, and really enjoy both. The teachers are both great for each subject as well...

Anyone who did two?

For History, it's with AQA and it's topic 1H (Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855–1917) and 2S (The Making of Modern Britain, 1951–1979)

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resource...-2015-V1-0.PDF

There wouldn't be any coursework, as I would only want to do it for AS and not as a full a-level

For Physics, it's OCR B Advancing Physics... I've heard the old specification's textbook isn't the best http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-revi...RankDescending

...the updated textbook designed for the new 2015 specification is meant to be better, but I don't think that the textbooks available should dictate my choice of subject...

Any advice? Anyone who did both History and Physics?
Hi!

I can only relate partially to your situation as I did Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and History but what I can say is that doing an essay subject was both enjoyable and challenging in contrast to my mathematical based subjects. For AS History I also studied Russian History from 1881-1950 and found it very interesting. Like others have said, there are a lot of very specific facts to remember (that I found myself cramming a couple of weeks before the exam!) but as long as you know these well and understand exactly what examiners want in terms of essay structure, you will be fine!

At times when revising, starting an essay with a blank piece of paper seemed like a drag compared to completing a maths exam paper but I don't regret it one bit as it has increased my breadth of knowledge and now not only am I an AS mathematician and chemist but also know a fair bit about what kind of a leader Stalin was!

I can't comment on Physics as GCSE was enough for me... That's another story!

Good luck with year 12!

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thenextchemist
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I was in the same position as you
I took history instead

I suggest you take physics
The reason being:
There are so many more opportunities of careers you can take if you take physics with the other two sciences and maths! Seriously!
Right now, I'm in a position where there are so many careers in front of my face that I'd love to do but I can't because I didn't take physics.
It'll open up many doors for you





EDIT:

Although I didn't take physics and took history instead, I don't regret it but if I were somehow to live my life again or retake a levels, I would definitely trade history into physics.
History is enjoyable but there's a lot to memorise!!
But again, I do suggest you pick physics but it's really up to you


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SteelManatee
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I do OCR B Physics too and the old spec is pretty crappy compared to AQA or OCR A. However you did say that the new spec seems better, I haven't researched much into that. Your teachers for physics are good so that will help you out a lot. Although I think to do good in Physics, you need to have good interest in it because you will have to put it quite some effort with physics to get a good grade.

I would personally recommend you to do History as it would be a break from the sciences although some people may disagree with me
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muonfrisbee98
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(Original post by Jitesh)
Hi,

I would like to study Biology, Chemistry and maths as a-levels, but I'm torn between History and Physics for my fourth option...

I'd like to study dentistry, so to my knowledge there wouldn't be a direct benefit between picking either over each other

I should be able to get a sound grade in either one, and really enjoy both. The teachers are both great for each subject as well...

Anyone who did two?

For History, it's with AQA and it's topic 1H (Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855–1917) and 2S (The Making of Modern Britain, 1951–1979)

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resource...-2015-V1-0.PDF

There wouldn't be any coursework, as I would only want to do it for AS and not as a full a-level

For Physics, it's OCR B Advancing Physics... I've heard the old specification's textbook isn't the best http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-revi...RankDescending

...the updated textbook designed for the new 2015 specification is meant to be better, but I don't think that the textbooks available should dictate my choice of subject...

Any advice? Anyone who did both History and Physics?
I'm at the same stage as you and so I can't comment in detail about the courses, as I have just done my GCSEs too However, I have purchased the OCR B course textbook for physics as I will be doing this next year. Agreed, the course doesn't have the best reputation but the new textbook has been well revised and there are definite improvements, after having browsed over some of the older (and I mean old) textbooks, but I cannot say definitively that the exams will be much better. Despite this though, I would choose whatever you enjoy the most regardless of exam boards, personally, as you will most likely succeed in that subject and meet the offers for uni, although offers are often only based on your most relevant subjects.

Edit: I was also debating over whether to do biology or English lit and I'd like to do a physics degree, so I had a similar dilemma, but I enjoy biology more so chose that Even though both are irrelevant for a physics degree!

-Muonfrisbee 98
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SteelManatee
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(Original post by muonfrisbee98)
I'm at the same stage as you and so I can't comment in detail about the courses, as I have just done my GCSEs too However, I have purchased the OCR B course textbook for physics as I will be doing this next year. Agreed, the course doesn't have the best reputation but the new textbook has been well revised and there are definite improvements, after having browsed over some of the older (and I mean old) textbooks, but I cannot say definitively that the exams will be much better. Despite this though, I would choose whatever you enjoy the most regardless of exam boards, personally, as you will most likely succeed in that subject and meet the offers for uni, although offers are often only based on your most relevant subjects.

Edit: I was also debating over whether to do biology or English lit and I'd like to do a physics degree, so I had a similar dilemma, but I enjoy biology more so chose that Even though both are irrelevant for a physics degree!

-Muonfrisbee 98
Buy a textbook called 'Advanced Physics for you' buy the second edition, its updated for new spec. It actually explains physics properly, the stuff you'd expect from the course textbook.

Yes you cant fully blame ocr b however there are better boards the school could have chosen.
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muonfrisbee98
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(Original post by SheLikeTheMango)
Buy a textbook called 'Advanced Physics for you' buy the second edition, its updated for new spec. It actually explains physics properly, the stuff you'd expect from the course textbook.

Yes you cant fully blame ocr b however there are better boards the school could have chosen.
Thanks - I'll look for that I've got the OCR 'endorsed' book as requested by our school but it might be useful to have a couple of sources! Yeah - I wish they'd chosen AQA as the science seems (I don't know for sure as I haven't even started the course!) more rigorous and prepares us well for future study. Thankfully, I'm AQA for biology, maths and further maths and OCR A for chemistry.
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General Josh
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Physics, undoubtedly. It's more suitable for your chosen career path, actually, though it might not seem totally relevant. To my knowledge, medical physics is covered at A-Level.
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SteelManatee
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(Original post by muonfrisbee98)
Thanks - I'll look for that I've got the OCR 'endorsed' book as requested by our school but it might be useful to have a couple of sources! Yeah - I wish they'd chosen AQA as the science seems (I don't know for sure as I haven't even started the course!) more rigorous and prepares us well for future study. Thankfully, I'm AQA for biology, maths and further maths and OCR A for chemistry.
Yeah we were loaned the ocr books, i hardly opened it this year, it was useless. I just used the book i told you about and the cgp revision guide. Buy the cgp revision guide for ocr b physics

Ocr a for chemistry is the best, lots of revision material online and solid textbook
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georgiaTK
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I can only vouch for history - the Making of Modern Britain unit was my favourite thing to study from all of my AS levels and the exam was extremely kind! I think it could be changing because of the A level reforms etc (mine was from 1959 to 1975) but it is so good! And like others have said, it would be a bit of a change from all the science?
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muonfrisbee98
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(Original post by SheLikeTheMango)
Yeah we were loaned the ocr books, i hardly opened it this year, it was useless. I just used the book i told you about and the cgp revision guide. Buy the cgp revision guide for ocr b physics

Ocr a for chemistry is the best, lots of revision material online and solid textbook
Yeah - chem should be good. I'm a bit angry now having spent £25 on that textbook but I'll have a look for the others online anyway Thanks again!
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SteelManatee
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(Original post by muonfrisbee98)
Yeah - chem should be good. I'm a bit angry now having spent £25 on that textbook but I'll have a look for the others online anyway Thanks again!
Dont worry about having bought the ocr textbook, i think it will compliment the advanced physics for you book. Also the OP said that the new spec textbook is better
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muonfrisbee98
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(Original post by SheLikeTheMango)
Dont worry about having bought the ocr textbook, i think it will compliment the advanced physics for you book. Also the OP said that the new spec textbook is better
Fair point
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DDan123
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I was in the same dilemma as you last year aha. I ended up picking physics over history, I sort of regret it tbh. I'm definitely dropping it for A2 AS physics is quite challenging and you really do have to put the effort in, unless you're super clever and all the theory you are being taught just "clicks" Honestly the maths really isn't that difficult, if you are confident and understood all the equations, the calculations are easy marks in the exams.

My opinion is slightly biased,because the physics department at my college was piss poor, so I ended up teaching myself half the spec because my teachers were that bad lol. Seriously it will really help if your physics department is good and offers a lot of support. I don't think either subject will give you an advantage for dentistry. You're already doing Biology and Chemistry which is great. Oh yh my board was Edexcel for physics.


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Rhetorical Hips
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(Original post by Jitesh)
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(Original post by muonfrisbee98)
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(Original post by SheLikeTheMango)
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I was in a similar position - I was applying for medicine and wanted to do chemistry, biology, further maths and OCR B physics or WJEC history. I went with physics, and I don't regret it at all. History is interesting and all, but all that essay writing would make my hand fall off, and if you're truly interested in the sciences (as I assume you would be, applying for dentistry) then you shouldn't find it particularly tiresome doing only science subjects. I found it much easier anyway being able to just be in science-thinking mode throughout sixth-form, and being able to forget how to structure arguments and essays makes things easier.

Physics is going to be more relevant to your profession anyway (as a random example, X-rays of patients' jaws can be taken - physics!), and being a science subject there will be some crossover with your other subjects, particularly maths and chemistry, which will make your life easier.

That said, I can also vouch for OCR B physics being an awkward specification, I wish that my physics teacher had chosen an 'easier' specification, or one with better resources. There are only two textbooks designed with OCR B physics in mind - the official one is **** (just look at the Amazon reviews, buy it if you don't believe me) and the CGP one is decent, but pretty basic and doesn't go into enough detail to get you high grades (also, the puns and jokes inside are absolutely dire, you'll know what I mean if you've had CGP textbooks before). So yeah I would look into getting a few extra textbooks that are just 'general' A-level physics textbooks on top of the CGP one (and also just use the internet). However you'd be on the new 2015 specification, so it might be better, however I doubt it will change drastically from what it is now.

Also, if you did physics, would you drop it at AS like you would history?

Regardless of whether you choose physics or history your subjects should be fine for dentistry, so just choose whichever one you feel best.

^All just my opinion

(Original post by General Josh)
Physics, undoubtedly. It's more suitable for your chosen career path, actually, though it might not seem totally relevant. To my knowledge, medical physics is covered at A-Level.
Unfortunately, there's absolutely no medical physics taught in the OCR B physics specification however if you're interested in it you can just read up on it yourself - you'll still be learning physics, so what you read should make sense. You also do a presentation in year 13 on any aspect of physics you've studied, so you can do a topic such as MRI (I did) because you study magnets in year 13, electricity in year 12.

(Original post by Fannibal)
You need to be good at maths to do well in physics, you'll go beyond what you do in AS level maths.
That's not the case for OCR B at least. The specification doesn't even require calculus. That said, people in my class who did not do A-level maths were at a big disadvantage, as while things like logs are not required, it's really useful to know how to use and rearrange equations involving things like logs.
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General Josh
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(Original post by Rhetorical Hips)
Unfortunately, there's absolutely no medical physics taught in the OCR B physics specification however if you're interested in it you can just read up on it yourself - you'll still be learning physics, so what you read should make sense. You also do a presentation in year 13 on any aspect of physics you've studied, so you can do a topic such as MRI (I did) because you study magnets in year 13, electricity in year 12.
Ah, my school uses AQA so I think it'll come up on my course. I never knew about the presentation thing, though (I assume we'll do one as well, since you get to select your extra topics). I'll definitely be doing mine on nuclear/subatomic physics.
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