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A Level subject choices: HELP. watch

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    I want to do Maths, further maths, physics, chemistry, and biology. However, I want to ask those who are currently in year 12 and 13, or perhaps even at university, do you think it is too much to be able to handle? Would I still be able to achieve decent grades with five subjects - and by decent I mean an A or A*. If I do end up picking the subjects I mentioned, I would certainly put in all the hard work and effort required. I think it's manageable...but I only THINK, I do not KNOW.
    Thanks in advance.
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    Im studying at A2 with Biology & Chemistry and know others doing your other choices. In my honest opinion I think you should have a long, hard thing about those choices. I definitely wouldn't even consider further maths if you are not sure you're going to achieve an A* at GCSE, I know several others that had A* in Maths at GCSE and still dropped further maths after 2 months, it is very intense and fast paced, you must be able to commit yourself 100%. As for the others you are considering the hardest A levels around with extremely high drop out rates and again should be getting A/A* in these at GCSE. I know you have probably heard this many times before but the gap between GCSEs and A levels is ridiculous, for me Biology and Chemistry feel like completely different subjects to what they were at GCSE. Unless you want to go into medicine or a similar course or are really passionate I would consider doing an easier subject instead to relieve the pressure. I would also speak to your subject teachers to get their opinions too. Hope this helps
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    (Original post by Wolfram Alpha)
    I want to do Maths, further maths, physics, chemistry, and biology. However, I want to ask those who are currently in year 12 and 13, or perhaps even at university, do you think it is too much to be able to handle? Would I still be able to achieve decent grades with five subjects - and by decent I mean an A or A*. If I do end up picking the subjects I mentioned, I would certainly put in all the hard work and effort required. I think it's manageable...but I only THINK, I do not KNOW.
    Thanks in advance.
    I did 5 subjects at AS (chem, bio, physics, maths and history) thinking the exact same thing, and it is a lot of work. There were a couple students in my year who did 5 and came out with straight As but on the whole people tended to slip in one or two of their subjects (not to mention the amount of griping we all did about how stressed we were). Maths especially is a very work-intensive subject, and I can imagine further maths is pretty much more of the same workload-wise.
    Personally, I'd advise against it - universities don't ask for 5 and many don't look at your qualifications beyond what meets their minimum requirements, and it's better to do fewer subjects to a better standard. However you know how motivated/good at managing your time you are, and there is the potential option of doing five to begin with and then dropping one later on in the year if you find that it's too much.
    Hope this helps you
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    (Original post by lightwoXd)
    I did 5 subjects at AS (chem, bio, physics, maths and history) thinking the exact same thing, and it is a lot of work. There were a couple students in my year who did 5 and came out with straight As but on the whole people tended to slip in one or two of their subjects (not to mention the amount of griping we all did about how stressed we were). Maths especially is a very work-intensive subject, and I can imagine further maths is pretty much more of the same workload-wise.
    Personally, I'd advise against it - universities don't ask for 5 and many don't look at your qualifications beyond what meets their minimum requirements, and it's better to do fewer subjects to a better standard. However you know how motivated/good at managing your time you are, and there is the potential option of doing five to begin with and then dropping one later on in the year if you find that it's too much.
    Hope this helps you
    I will be reconsidering doing five now, certainly. Thank you very much for your reply!
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    (Original post by livsep)
    Im studying at A2 with Biology & Chemistry and know others doing your other choices. In my honest opinion I think you should have a long, hard thing about those choices. I definitely wouldn't even consider further maths if you are not sure you're going to achieve an A* at GCSE, I know several others that had A* in Maths at GCSE and still dropped further maths after 2 months, it is very intense and fast paced, you must be able to commit yourself 100%. As for the others you are considering the hardest A levels around with extremely high drop out rates and again should be getting A/A* in these at GCSE. I know you have probably heard this many times before but the gap between GCSEs and A levels is ridiculous, for me Biology and Chemistry feel like completely different subjects to what they were at GCSE. Unless you want to go into medicine or a similar course or are really passionate I would consider doing an easier subject instead to relieve the pressure. I would also speak to your subject teachers to get their opinions too. Hope this helps
    I am considering doing maths and physics because I enjoy them. Further maths is mainly because of the Mechanics which I also enjoy (since I did M1 last year) and Decision making. I'm not sure what P1 and 2 consist of. With regards to biology, I think it's fairly interesting and I do want to go into medicine; the university I want to go to requires biology as an A level therefore I must take it. Chemistry is the one I am not very keen about but of course it is a necessity. I will certainly have a good think about my choices and take into consideration all you have said. Thank you very much for you reply; it was very helpful.
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    (Original post by Wolfram Alpha)
    I want to do Maths, further maths, physics, chemistry, and biology. However, I want to ask those who are currently in year 12 and 13, or perhaps even at university, do you think it is too much to be able to handle? Would I still be able to achieve decent grades with five subjects - and by decent I mean an A or A*. If I do end up picking the subjects I mentioned, I would certainly put in all the hard work and effort required. I think it's manageable...but I only THINK, I do not KNOW.
    Thanks in advance.
    I'm in year 12 now and doing all those subjects, though further maths is sort of self taught.

    If you've got good study habits (e.g. always do homework when you get it, revise on a regular basis, good time management, good diet and sleeping pattern...) and you are passionate about these subjects, then go for it. Don't slack at any point, always try to get ahead if you find yourself free of work (this wont last long). Also, try to self teach some maths AS modules in your summer - I said I would do this but never did, now I'm regretting it.

    Overall, I do not have the best study habits and quite regularly find myself overloaded with work, which stresses me out (this is a bit of an understatement, I can get pretty low sometimes). I was like you in year 11, so prepared to put all the work in, so interested in all these subjects, but the reality is much different. However, this is just my experience. If I were you, I would get ahead in summer then you will be successful. I don't want to scare you off doing these subjects, because they are wonderful and I really do love them, but I want you to be prepared and on track for the As and A*s.

    Good luck!! Any questions about subjects then feel free to ask
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    (Original post by Wolfram Alpha)
    I will be reconsidering doing five now, certainly. Thank you very much for your reply!
    No problem! Good luck with everything
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    I am going to study five A levels next year (Maths, Further maths, Spanish, Italian and one of geography, English lit, psychology or philosophy), but I am doing A level Italian a year early - I will take Italian As level while I'm doing my GCSEs. To relieve the pressure slightly, you could study biology, chemistry, physics and maths in the first year, and then take up As level further maths in the second year.
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    Just to put my thoughts across...

    I am a Chemistry and Biology A-Level teacher, I think you should really think hard about whether you want to embark on these subjects? Biology involves intense memorisation of difficult scientific topics, maths is very limited in Biology but that does not make it an easier subject. Individuals say that Biology is the "easiest" science, but that usually comes from individuals who do not study all 3.

    Now Chemistry is a very difficult subject (it has one of the lowest pass grades out of all the subjects), it is maths heavy and some of the concepts are extremely difficult to understand. Some students do very well, but the majority struggle.

    Chemistry and Biology are very good A-Levels to have as it teaches you more than the subject content, you will acquire analytical skills, problem solving, logic e.t.c

    If you do take any of the sciences (including maths) be mindful of the work you will take on.

    If you, or anyone else needs any advice before or after they embark on a science A-Level then please do hesitate to pm me.

    Cheers
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    (Original post by Lambert87)
    Just to put my thoughts across...

    I am a Chemistry and Biology A-Level teacher, I think you should really think hard about whether you want to embark on these subjects? Biology involves intense memorisation of difficult scientific topics, maths is very limited in Biology but that does not make it an easier subject. Individuals say that Biology is the "easiest" science, but that usually comes from individuals who do not study all 3.

    Now Chemistry is a very difficult subject (it has one of the lowest pass grades out of all the subjects), it is maths heavy and some of the concepts are extremely difficult to understand. Some students do very well, but the majority struggle.

    Chemistry and Biology are very good A-Levels to have as it teaches you more than the subject content, you will acquire analytical skills, problem solving, logic e.t.c

    If you do take any of the sciences (including maths) be mindful of the work you will take on.

    If you, or anyone else needs any advice before or after they embark on a science A-Level then please do hesitate to pm me.

    Cheers
    Thank you very much for your reply; it has been helpful. I have been speaking to some teachers about the A levels I am thinking about taking and will be thinking carefully about my options since I have until January to decide. Again, thank you.
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    (Original post by h8skoooooool)
    I'm in year 12 now and doing all those subjects, though further maths is sort of self taught.

    If you've got good study habits (e.g. always do homework when you get it, revise on a regular basis, good time management, good diet and sleeping pattern...) and you are passionate about these subjects, then go for it. Don't slack at any point, always try to get ahead if you find yourself free of work (this wont last long). Also, try to self teach some maths AS modules in your summer - I said I would do this but never did, now I'm regretting it.

    Overall, I do not have the best study habits and quite regularly find myself overloaded with work, which stresses me out (this is a bit of an understatement, I can get pretty low sometimes). I was like you in year 11, so prepared to put all the work in, so interested in all these subjects, but the reality is much different. However, this is just my experience. If I were you, I would get ahead in summer then you will be successful. I don't want to scare you off doing these subjects, because they are wonderful and I really do love them, but I want you to be prepared and on track for the As and A*s.

    Good luck!! Any questions about subjects then feel free to ask
    Yes, I was definitely thinking about starting some AS work during the summer to ease off some pressure. I think as long as I do what you said - trying to get ahead, managing time effectively - I will be fine, hopefully. I have a quick questions with regards to your GCSE's. How long did you start revising before the exams? I have started revising now but I am struggling to 'discover' what the best way to revise is for me. I get distracted and a lot of the time, when I actually sit down to do work, my mind wanders off. I was wondering whether you have any tips? Since you seem like a very committed and hard working person. Also, I thank you for putting in the time to answer my question as I found your answer quite useful.
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    (Original post by Wolfram Alpha)
    Thank you very much for your reply; it has been helpful. I have been speaking to some teachers about the A levels I am thinking about taking and will be thinking carefully about my options since I have until January to decide. Again, thank you.
    You're welcome... so what have you decided? or thinking of?
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    (Original post by Wolfram Alpha)
    Yes, I was definitely thinking about starting some AS work during the summer to ease off some pressure. I think as long as I do what you said - trying to get ahead, managing time effectively - I will be fine, hopefully. I have a quick questions with regards to your GCSE's. How long did you start revising before the exams? I have started revising now but I am struggling to 'discover' what the best way to revise is for me. I get distracted and a lot of the time, when I actually sit down to do work, my mind wanders off. I was wondering whether you have any tips? Since you seem like a very committed and hard working person. Also, I thank you for putting in the time to answer my question as I found your answer quite useful.
    Yeah definitely start some work in the summer, and also don't get a job!! Unless you find one that you really love and the hours aren't too long, but in my opinion good grades > money any day haha

    I was exactly like that when revising for GCSE's at first, and I think the only thing that stopped me from getting distracted was the sheer terror I felt when my exams were only a month away . I honestly don't think that you need to do intense revision at this point in the year, just organise all the notes and make sure you actually understand the content - do little bits but don't cram too hard. I think the best time to start revising properly is around January/February time.

    I found that the best method of revision for me was flashcards (but not hand-written, they're boring). I used quizlet to make all my flashcards, and then downloaded the app on my phone so I could use them anywhere. Text books and mindmaps were useful but I didn't retain the information as well as from my flashcards. However, that only really works for some subjects. Maths just requires a lot of practice, and does English.

    Good luck this year!! You sound like a very conscientious student so I'm sure you'll do brilliantly
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    (Original post by Lambert87)
    You're welcome... so what have you decided? or thinking of?
    I think I have decided to study Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and Maths. I will teach myself M1 at home since many of the sixth forms I will apply to only teach M1 as part of further maths. The reason I'm going to self teach this module is because it links in to physics...thus it will be useful. Perhaps, I might end up taking up further maths! But at this current moment, I choose not to.
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    (Original post by h8skoooooool)
    Yeah definitely start some work in the summer, and also don't get a job!! Unless you find one that you really love and the hours aren't too long, but in my opinion good grades > money any day haha

    I was exactly like that when revising for GCSE's at first, and I think the only thing that stopped me from getting distracted was the sheer terror I felt when my exams were only a month away . I honestly don't think that you need to do intense revision at this point in the year, just organise all the notes and make sure you actually understand the content - do little bits but don't cram too hard. I think the best time to start revising properly is around January/February time.

    I found that the best method of revision for me was flashcards (but not hand-written, they're boring). I used quizlet to make all my flashcards, and then downloaded the app on my phone so I could use them anywhere. Text books and mindmaps were useful but I didn't retain the information as well as from my flashcards. However, that only really works for some subjects. Maths just requires a lot of practice, and does English.

    Good luck this year!! You sound like a very conscientious student so I'm sure you'll do brilliantly
    Yes, I have been looking for flashcards on the internet and some of them are quite useful. Thanks so much for your answer!
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    (Original post by Wolfram Alpha)
    I am considering doing maths and physics because I enjoy them. Further maths is mainly because of the Mechanics which I also enjoy (since I did M1 last year) and Decision making. I'm not sure what P1 and 2 consist of. With regards to biology, I think it's fairly interesting and I do want to go into medicine; the university I want to go to requires biology as an A level therefore I must take it. Chemistry is the one I am not very keen about but of course it is a necessity. I will certainly have a good think about my choices and take into consideration all you have said. Thank you very much for you reply; it was very helpful.
    If you want to go into medicine, you need top A Level grades. I'm doing four and I sometimes struggle with the work load. I wouldn't recommend doing five, and few unis don't count maths and further maths as separate subjects. If I were you, I wouldn't take further maths, but at the end of the day, it's your decision.
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    (Original post by horsewithnoname)
    If you want to go into medicine, you need top A Level grades. I'm doing four and I sometimes struggle with the work load. I wouldn't recommend doing five, and few unis don't count maths and further maths as separate subjects. If I were you, I wouldn't take further maths, but at the end of the day, it's your decision.
    Yes, after discussing my options with a few teachers and friends, I think it is likely that I will not end up doing further maths. Anyhow, thank you for your reply!
 
 
 
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