Biology vs. Chemistry A-Level Watch

Kaedra
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Hi all

I'm choosing my A-levels soon, and would like some advice; I'm looking to do Physics at uni (although hopefully NatSci) and will be doing Maths, FM and Physics A-levels, but can't decide between Biology and Chemistry (the options limit is so annoying!). I find Biology more interesting atm, but Chemistry might be more related to what I want to do. I'm good at both so that isn't an issue.

If I manage to get into NatSci, would like to do either Maths/Physics/Computing/Biological option (Physiology/Evolution) or Maths/Physics/Chemistry(?) + 1 other. I might still be able to do Physiology of Organisms though as according to the Cambridge website it requires either Physics or Biology, and for Evolution & Behaviour Biology is only recommended.

(btw biological options are more out of interest)

My understanding is that Chemistry is more concepts-based whereas Biology is more about memorising a large amount of information.

So, questions:

- Does Chemistry get more interesting at A Level and further? (I do iGCSE btw)
- Is Biology A Level worth doing or is it pointless?

Anyone doing NatSci, your input is obviously also welcome

Final question: Is it worth looking at US unis for breadth? Would I be able to continue with all 3 sciences or is it not worth doing?

Sorry for the long post! Thanks if you read this far, and any input is appreciated!
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B_9710
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I would say pick chemistry. It's a lot better I think at AS and A2 than at GCSE. Biology is boring in my opinion and there isn't much understanding - just parrot learning quite a lot of information.
If you want to do physics at uni then the more mathematical the subjects you choose the better - chemistry is much more mathematical (which says a lot because even a year 7 could do the maths in chemistry) than biology. The hardest questions that involve maths in biology is working out percentage difference - and people still look around and scratch their heads when they see maths in biology.
Pick chemistry.
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Adzkii786
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CHEMISTRY <3

If you can phase learning 10000 facts and figures and participating in a STRONG lecture based subject, do biology. Its amazing and interesting, but equally boring

Chemistry is recommended by EVERY university, despite your course, because its HARD but enjoyable as there is more theory to it. Biology is easier however.

Up to you. Choose this decision on your own
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Kaedra
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(Original post by B_9710)
I would say pick chemistry. It's a lot better I think at AS and A2 than at GCSE. Biology is boring in my opinion and there isn't much understanding - just parrot learning quite a lot of information.
If you want to do physics at uni then the more mathematical the subjects you choose the better - chemistry is much more mathematical (which says a lot because even a year 7 could do the maths in chemistry) than biology. The hardest questions that involve maths in biology is working out percentage difference - and people still look around and scratch their heads when they see maths in biology.
Pick chemistry.
Thanks for your advice!

Can I ask, did Chemistry get better at A level than GCSE and did you enjoy Biology at GCSE then dislike it at A-Level?
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Kaedra
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(Original post by Adzkii786)
CHEMISTRY <3

If you can phase learning 10000 facts and figures and participating in a STRONG lecture based subject, do biology. Its amazing and interesting, but equally boring

Chemistry is recommended by EVERY university, despite your course, because its HARD but enjoyable as there is more theory to it. Biology is easier however.

Up to you. Choose this decision on your own
Do you think it's better to self-teach Biology perhaps?
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InadequateJusticex
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(Original post by B_9710)
I would say pick chemistry. It's a lot better I think at AS and A2 than at GCSE. Biology is boring in my opinion and there isn't much understanding - just parrot learning quite a lot of information.
If you want to do physics at uni then the more mathematical the subjects you choose the better - chemistry is much more mathematical (which says a lot because even a year 7 could do the maths in chemistry) than biology. The hardest questions that involve maths in biology is working out percentage difference - and people still look around and scratch their heads when they see maths in biology.
Pick chemistry.
You seem to contradict yourself...You claim that chemistry is more mathematical than biology, yet go on to say that even a year 7 could do the maths..? lolwut.
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B_9710
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(Original post by Kaedra)
Thanks for your advice!

Can I ask, did Chemistry get better at A level than GCSE and did you enjoy Biology at GCSE then dislike it at A-Level?
Chemistry does get better at A-level. Biology was ok at GCSE - I didn't mind it. But at A-level I would prefer to be revising other subjects but sometimes I can't because I have to parrot learn some topics in biology. Maybe it's just my personal dislike of biology these days - many people seem to enjoy it. Many people find biology easier because there's no maths and less critical thinking.
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Adzkii786
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(Original post by Kaedra)
Do you think it's better to self-teach Biology perhaps?
Yes, I self taught myself GCSE Biology but A-Levels are abit different. But I think ALevels is more individualistic and yes I do recommend self teaching but theres alot to learn
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B_9710
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(Original post by InadequateJusticex)
You seem to contradict yourself...You claim that chemistry is more mathematical than biology, yet go on to say that even a year 7 could do the maths..? lolwut.
There's less maths in biology than in chemistry for sure. But even the maths in chemistry is easy, which says a lot about how low the level of maths is in biology. See.
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F.Nietzsche
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Hiya,

I'm currently doing both biology and chemistry.

Since you want to study natural sciences I would say go for chemistry because...
1) It complements physics in a way that biology doesn't.
2)Physics + chemistry gives you a lot of options when it comes to courses you can do at university.
3) You can do biological options of NatSci without biology but you can't do physics NatSci without physics at A-level.


And you're right. Chemistry is mostly concepts and applying them to different problems/questions whereas biology is mainly memorisation.

With US universities as I understand it, you can take lots of different classes in the first two years, then in the following years you focus on a subject that you will major in and I think you can take another subject along side it as a minor.

Hope I helped.
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Kaedra
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(Original post by F.Nietzsche)
Hiya,

I'm currently doing both biology and chemistry.

Since you want to study natural sciences I would say go for chemistry because...
1) It complements physics in a way that biology doesn't.
2)Physics + chemistry gives you a lot of options when it comes to courses you can do at university.
3) You can do biological options of NatSci without biology but you can't do physics NatSci without physics at A-level.


And you're right. Chemistry is mostly concepts and applying them to different problems/questions whereas biology is mainly memorisation.

With US universities as I understand it, you can take lots of different classes in the first two years, then in the following years you focus on a subject that you will major in and I think you can take another subject along side it as a minor.

Hope I helped.
Thanks for your advice

It seems that doing Biology is a bit random lol, it's just that I quite enjoy it at GCSE (whereas I find that Chemistry can sometimes get boring) but I suspect that my teacher may play a role

Either way one of the science departments is going to get really annoyed with me
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F.Nietzsche
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(Original post by Kaedra)
Thanks for your advice

It seems that doing Biology is a bit random lol, it's just that I quite enjoy it at GCSE (whereas I find that Chemistry can sometimes get boring) but I suspect that my teacher may play a role

Either way one of the science departments is going to get really annoyed with me
You're welcome. ^_^

Chemistry gets much more interesting at A-level, but I cannot guarantee that you will find it interesting. Most people find it difficult but I just really like and I have a good teacher so that helps. (Having a bad teacher can make you hate a subject, I've been there D: )

Don't worry, you're probably not the first to change their mind. Plus, this is your future we're talking about. I'm sure they'll understand. (:
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Adzkii786
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Basically, its a self-acclaimed decision. You have to decide. Honestly, forums like this wont help. It didnt help me honestly, which one fascinates you? You find easy? Is recommended for your degree?
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Kaedra
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(Original post by Adzkii786)
Basically, its a self-acclaimed decision. You have to decide. Honestly, forums like this wont help. It didnt help me honestly, which one fascinates you? You find easy? Is recommended for your degree?
I know that this probably isn't the best place to ask, but my parents aren't really that interested or helpful and my teachers are biased, so I thought I'd ask those that are currently studying the subjects Although obviously there's some element of bias here too lol

Right now, I enjoy Biology the most of the two, but I find Chemistry slightly easier and it's more recommended for my degree. People look at me funny when I say Biology alongside Maths, FM and Physics

Considering that I'm looking at Biology just out of interest, it might be better to self-teach by reading around... maybe a Biology EPQ?
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InadequateJusticex
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(Original post by B_9710)
There's less maths in biology than in chemistry for sure. But even the maths in chemistry is easy, which says a lot about how low the level of maths is in biology. See.
Yeah, the maths in A level chemistry is pathetic, I wouldn't even consider it maths. I'm really not sure how they managed to skip any maths whatsoever considering how fundamental it is to physical chemistry
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InadequateJusticex
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(Original post by Kaedra)
I know that this probably isn't the best place to ask, but my parents aren't really that interested or helpful and my teachers are biased, so I thought I'd ask those that are currently studying the subjects Although obviously there's some element of bias here too lol

Right now, I enjoy Biology the most of the two, but I find Chemistry slightly easier and it's more recommended for my degree. People look at me funny when I say Biology alongside Maths, FM and Physics

Considering that I'm looking at Biology just out of interest, it might be better to self-teach by reading around... maybe a Biology EPQ?
Trust me, a level chemistry will not aid you whatsoever for physics at university.

Just do what you're more interested in, as that will ultimately determine what grade you get - you need a lot of self-motivation for A level and if you're not interested in what you're doing, you're ****ed. Who cares if people think it's weird to do bio and physics? If anything it shows breadth.
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Kvothe the Arcane
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I would do both but if you most choose then definitely Chemistry
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Vanilla Poison
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Chemistry FTW
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eleanormac
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I am in the exact same situation! I know that I should be doing chemistry in order to keep the doors open when choosing a degree but I really want to study biology. I am kind of set on studying maths, further maths and physics. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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MydaMina
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Chemistry, for sure.
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