Choosing the right A-Levels: Sociology, Law and Psychology?

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xerentia
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Hi everyone (hopes I posted in the right section since I'm new to TSR).

Got my GCSE results today and I am extremely pleased. However being the indecisive person I am I cannot choose my A-Levels. So can I ask a few questions to A2 students or students that have done these courses at A-Level for insight? These are all new to me so I feel a bit conscious if I would include one of these in my selection of subjects...

1) Do you have to be totally up to date with the news yourself for Sociology or will you be fed issues and real life case studies and then expected to look it up? So if someone who knew nothing about crime, government etc and did very good at GCSE be alright?

2). Psychology- what are the exams like. I've heard that it's a lot of essays and you have to remember lots. By "lots" do these people mean lots of facts, lots of exact data (e.g. Numbers, places names) or something else (please state). I do have a very good memory and can learn many facts.. (But I'm not sure how much you have to learn).

3. Law
Is this more about crime, government and similar to Sociology? What seperates these two subjects and is it once again: "learn the facts, write an essay, bam your grade" or something else?

4). In your order please list easiest to hardest.
And then for an person who knows some things about government (but not much), has a good science background, did good at GCSE, list the order you think I would find easiest to hardest.

Many thanks for the help and I'm very sorry that I wrote and asked so much! I wanted to ask all in one go ^^
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TimmyR
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[QUOTE=xerentia;58718653]Hi everyone (hopes I posted in the right section since I'm new to TSR).

Got my GCSE results today and I am extremely pleased. However being the indecisive person I am I cannot choose my A-Levels. So can I ask a few questions to A2 students or students that have done these courses at A-Level for insight? These are all new to me so I feel a bit conscious if I would include one of these in my selection of subjects...


2). Psychology- what are the exams like. I've heard that it's a lot of essays and you have to remember lots. By "lots" do these people mean lots of facts, lots of exact data (e.g. Numbers, places names) or something else (please state). I do have a very good memory and can learn many facts.. (But I'm not sure how much you have to learn).

Erm I think I can only speak for Psychology. Psychology is a loadddd of case studies and content, especially in the first year my teacher said. The subject can be quite interesting, albeit some content such as the memory models are quite interesting but have very very boring case studies for the most part, like crap with numbers. No, you don't need to know 'exact data' like dates or places. That's ott and even examiners say in reports this is not necessary. The name's of psychologists conducting the experiment and key individuals i.e. in longitudinal studies is all I'd consider important.

Anyway. Psychology is getting reformed this year so it'll be a completely different course anyway so no one can really speak for most A levels from September 2015.
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Oli T-H
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1) You don't need to be totally up-to-date with any subject. If you need to do any additional reading (in most subjects you do), you'll always be given a subject area and pointers for where to find this information.

2) Psychology is pretty hit and miss, but it's relatively easy to do well in. You either agree with it or you don't. It's quite fact and essay-heavy, but it allows a decent amount of freedom. That suits some people. Generally, the people who get A's in other subjects get the same in Psychology. Go for it, if it's something you find interesting.

3) I've heard mostly negative things about Law, and that it's not looked upon favourably by admission staff (funnily enough mostly by Law admissions staff). It gives quite a basic overview of everything without going into sufficient detail to be of much help during an actual Law degree.

4) Easiest to hardest: Sociology > Psychology/Law (both are about the same difficulty-wise).

May I ask what you intend to study at university?
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Demilb
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I'm going to be honest with you and say I think you should think about swapping one of those option to a more traditional 'stronger' option. Out of that set is say Law as quite a lot of uni's look down on it and if you want to do law at uni you're going to have to relearn everything in a different way.


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xerentia
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Wow, thank you to all very much! Very helpful information.

In answer to Oil T-H's question I actually am a very indecisive person and have no idea in what subject I would like to take for university. This is why I want to be very careful about what I choose. And thank you for telling me about Sociology!! Do you know what the exams are like? Essays? Or something else? And what would they typically ask for?

@ Demilb
I am actually taking Geography and English Lit (which I both got A*'s in for GCSE and full UMS in one out of two exams for both) ^^ These are both traditional options and enjoy them both very much. I am still stuck choosing 2 and my sister told me to do Sociology since she thought I won't be able enough to handle Psychology, but since I did good a GCSE in my sciences and english (so I can write essays) as well, she said I could if I wanted. Then I saw Law and she told me her friends did ok in that.

Any more answers to my above questions will be helpful. I want to take atleast 1 or 2 of the above I stated. And if you would like to say other subjects instead: any idea what subjects I should take and stay away from with reasoning?
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Oli T-H
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If you want to develop your essay writing, History is a great choice- more so than English Lit. Both in conjunction are a safe choice if you want to do an essay-heavy subject at university (which I assume you will, due to the lack of maths or sciences in your choices). Geography and Psychology would be the most respected combination for the remainder- Sociology and Law both look rather weak on applications. At the end of the day, however, you know your abilities best- it's better to get AAAA in subjects that aren't as respected than ABBB in respected subjects.
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Daisymaay
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(Original post by xerentia)
Hi everyone (hopes I posted in the right section since I'm new to TSR).

Got my GCSE results today and I am extremely pleased. However being the indecisive person I am I cannot choose my A-Levels. So can I ask a few questions to A2 students or students that have done these courses at A-Level for insight? These are all new to me so I feel a bit conscious if I would include one of these in my selection of subjects...

1) Do you have to be totally up to date with the news yourself for Sociology or will you be fed issues and real life case studies and then expected to look it up? So if someone who knew nothing about crime, government etc and did very good at GCSE be alright?

2). Psychology- what are the exams like. I've heard that it's a lot of essays and you have to remember lots. By "lots" do these people mean lots of facts, lots of exact data (e.g. Numbers, places names) or something else (please state). I do have a very good memory and can learn many facts.. (But I'm not sure how much you have to learn).

3. Law
Is this more about crime, government and similar to Sociology? What seperates these two subjects and is it once again: "learn the facts, write an essay, bam your grade" or something else?

4). In your order please list easiest to hardest.
And then for an person who knows some things about government (but not much), has a good science background, did good at GCSE, list the order you think I would find easiest to hardest.

Many thanks for the help and I'm very sorry that I wrote and asked so much! I wanted to ask all in one go ^^
Hello, as a new A2 student now I will try and give you a little bit of insight into Sociology and Psychology (I did these for AS and will be carrying them on at A2)

Sociology
I didn't do this at GCSE but was told that I would be fine going into it just as an AS student, you have an added advantage there as you already know the kinds of structures of each topic/exam questions- although more elaborated, the basic idea is the same. If your school does AQA then the AS topics are Family and Education and the A2 are Crime and deviance and Religion. So you would already have the "research" skills if you don't know anything about crime there would be loads of help out there, books, internet, tv documentaries (you would be suprised how many that you could apply to sociology) and of course your teachers would be really helpful for this.

Psychology
(AQA) specification is kind of like a science paper, split into three sections per paper (2 in total psya1 and psya2) some shorter answer questions (1-3marks) quite a few 4 markers, some 6 and 1 12 marker which is to be written in continuous prose (an essay) in just one of the sections.
There is alot to remember, but it is possible to do! Keep going over it and write the studies out over and over again onto note cards/flashcards. LOTS of facts and data but not loads for instance for each study
Name (optional)
Brief Aim
Brief summary of procedure (but know enough to elaborate)
Findings/Results (the most important part)
Conclusions (pretty easy, easy to complete from the findings)
Evaluation (you can know these all specifically from the revision and just re-write them in the exam/essays)

Planning your essays from you notecards is really helpful to apply to the other aspects of the course as you just kind of memorise it and are able to go with the flow of the other shorter answer questions once you have gathered the facts and got the essay writing style (there is a structure!!)

If you are interested in Psychology (and Sociology) they will more likely be more easier to learn and you will probably do better.

Hope this made sense, dm me for anymore information!
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xerentia
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Wow thank you both very much! I've enrolled yesterday and chosen my courses (which I *hopefully*, will do great in and be able to get high grades for). Thank you very much and now- to cope with the jump between GCSE and AS/A2 Level! 😊
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