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What are Biology, Chemistry, French & German like at A-level? watch

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    I am currently in Year 11 and planning to study Biology, Chemistry, French & German at A-level.
    I was wondering if any current A-level students could give me some info on what to expect from these subjects and maybe what you are planning to study at university (cos I'm not sure what I want to do lol )
    Thank you
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    (Original post by lilacpotato)
    I am currently in Year 11 and planning to study Biology, Chemistry, French & German at A-level.
    I was wondering if any current A-level students could give me some info on what to expect from these subjects and maybe what you are planning to study at university (cos I'm not sure what I want to do lol )
    Thank you
    Hi, I am in year 13 and studying biology,chemistry and maths and I did As German last year. I'm hoping to study either maths or biochemistry at uni. What grades are you predicted? Although I have really enjoyed studying all my subjects these last two years they were a lot harder than I was expecting!Biology: not a massive difference to GCSE and I think taking chemistry really helps - in my class there is a notable difference in people's grades in biology if they also do chemistryChemistry: I found this was the biggest jump from GCSE however it’s really interesting and well respected because it is so hardGerman: Im not sure if this was just for the exam board I did (Edexcel), but at GCSE they only use vocabulary from a set list whereas at A level they can use any vocab. This means that there is a lot of vocab you need to learn and you need to be good at working out what sentences mean without being able to directly translate them. For me this was fine as I don't mind learning vocab and found it interesting reading "real" news articles etc. rather than things written specifically for GCSE but I know some people in my year struggled with that. I think the best thing about a language is you make so much progress - I went from being able to talk about my pencil case at the end of year 11 to being able to discuss German politics in German by the end of the year 12 I hope that gives you some idea but let me know if you have any questions
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    (Original post by LilacFlorence)
    Hi, I am in year 13 and studying biology,chemistry and maths and I did As German last year. I'm hoping to study either maths or biochemistry at uni. What grades are you predicted? Although I have really enjoyed studying all my subjects these last two years they were a lot harder than I was expecting!Biology: not a massive difference to GCSE and I think taking chemistry really helps - in my class there is a notable difference in people's grades in biology if they also do chemistryChemistry: I found this was the biggest jump from GCSE however it’s really interesting and well respected because it is so hardGerman: Im not sure if this was just for the exam board I did (Edexcel), but at GCSE they only use vocabulary from a set list whereas at A level they can use any vocab. This means that there is a lot of vocab you need to learn and you need to be good at working out what sentences mean without being able to directly translate them. For me this was fine as I don't mind learning vocab and found it interesting reading "real" news articles etc. rather than things written specifically for GCSE but I know some people in my year struggled with that. I think the best thing about a language is you make so much progress - I went from being able to talk about my pencil case at the end of year 11 to being able to discuss German politics in German by the end of the year 12 I hope that gives you some idea but let me know if you have any questions
    Thank you so much for all the info!
    I'm predicted A*s in most subjects
    I was just wondering, as you do maths as well, how are you finding maths? I was between picking Chemistry and Maths but I went for Chemistry as I enjoy it a lot more...



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    (Original post by lilacpotato)
    I am currently in Year 11 and planning to study Biology, Chemistry, French & German at A-level.
    I was wondering if any current A-level students could give me some info on what to expect from these subjects and maybe what you are planning to study at university (cos I'm not sure what I want to do lol )
    Thank you
    I did French A Level and German AS (with hindsight I would have done German to A2). I'm currently in first year doing French and Linguistics. Can't really talk about Biology and Chemistry though.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed doing the languages. It's a bit of a step up from GCSE but bear in mind that that's the case for every subject, and I didn't find it too bad - it just takes a lot more focus on key vocab and grammar. Also (not sure what it's like on other boards, I did AQA) AS level felt a bit like a more extended GCSE - similar topics (eg sport and healthy lifestyle, tech, holidays etc) but A2 gets a lot more interesting - in French, we got to study a region and then went on a trip there
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    (Original post by lilacpotato)
    Thank you so much for all the info!
    I'm predicted A*s in most subjects
    I was just wondering, as you do maths as well, how are you finding maths? I was between picking Chemistry and Maths but I went for Chemistry as I enjoy it a lot more...
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    You're welcome Tbh with those predictions I think you'll be fine with A levels!
    Maths has always been my favourite subject so I'm a bit biased, but I think it's great . However, I think if you enjoy chemistry a lot more than maths, you should do chemistry - you're going to spend a lot of time revising and reading around the subject so its really important you enjoy it!
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    (Original post by leahdw)
    I did French A Level and German AS (with hindsight I would have done German to A2). I'm currently in first year doing French and Linguistics. Can't really talk about Biology and Chemistry though.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed doing the languages. It's a bit of a step up from GCSE but bear in mind that that's the case for every subject, and I didn't find it too bad - it just takes a lot more focus on key vocab and grammar. Also (not sure what it's like on other boards, I did AQA) AS level felt a bit like a more extended GCSE - similar topics (eg sport and healthy lifestyle, tech, holidays etc) but A2 gets a lot more interesting - in French, we got to study a region and then went on a trip there
    Thank you for your help, what grades did you get if you don't mind me asking?


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    (Original post by LilacFlorence)
    You're welcome Tbh with those predictions I think you'll be fine with A levels!
    Maths has always been my favourite subject so I'm a bit biased, but I think it's great . However, I think if you enjoy chemistry a lot more than maths, you should do chemistry - you're going to spend a lot of time revising and reading around the subject so its really important you enjoy it!
    Haha I hope so
    Thank you for your advice, it's been really helpful


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    (Original post by lilacpotato)
    I am currently in Year 11 and planning to study Biology, Chemistry, French & German at A-level.
    I was wondering if any current A-level students could give me some info on what to expect from these subjects and maybe what you are planning to study at university (cos I'm not sure what I want to do lol )
    Thank you
    I'm doing AS Biology and Chemistry - I don't mean to scare you but they're both quite a step up from GCSE (maybe it's just me because I only did double award science and not the triple at high school) and they're actually a lot different from high school in terms of the content and style.

    In terms of what to expect - for Biology, there will be a LOT of content to just memorise but then you can't regurgitate it all like you did in high school you'll have to get used to the style of questions in AS Level.

    As for chemistry, it's mostly just understanding concepts and applying it (please don't ask what I think of it)

    Good luck!

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    (Original post by nomophobia)
    I'm doing AS Biology and Chemistry - I don't mean to scare you but they're both quite a step up from GCSE (maybe it's just me because I only did double award science and not the triple at high school) and they're actually a lot different from high school in terms of the content and style.

    In terms of what to expect - for Biology, there will be a LOT of content to just memorise but then you can't regurgitate it all like you did in high school you'll have to get used to the style of questions in AS Level.

    As for chemistry, it's mostly just understanding concepts and applying it (please don't ask what I think of it)

    Good luck!

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    Thanks for the warning lol
    What grades are you hoping for/what do you want to do at uni?


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    (Original post by lilacpotato)
    Thanks for the warning lol
    What grades are you hoping for/what do you want to do at uni?


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    Lol - you're welcome, I didn't get one and I was in for a nasty surprise because I went from being a straight A* student at high school to failing everything lol.

    What grades I'm hoping for and what grades I'm probably gonna get are 2 different thing :emo: I'm hoping for 4 A's obvs, and I wanna do medicine at uni. I'm probably gonna get a C in chemistry (I'm very bad at it and was asked to drop it...yeah - this is why I told you not to ask what I think of it xD) and an A in bio

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    (Original post by lilacpotato)
    I am currently in Year 11 and planning to study Biology, Chemistry, French & German at A-level.
    I was wondering if any current A-level students could give me some info on what to expect from these subjects and maybe what you are planning to study at university (cos I'm not sure what I want to do lol )
    Thank you
    hi, i'm in year 12 and doing biology, chemistry, french and english at a-level. since my year is the first to take the linear exams in their new format (half multiple choice, half questions etc etc) you'll be doing the same as me for bio chem and french. absolutely trust me when I say chemistry is pure DEATH!!! get yourself a tutor during sixth form. biology content is like gcse but x10000 more stuff and the questions are really difficult to answer compared to gcsem, where you pretty much just regurgitate the info. bio a-level (and chem esp) requires a lot of application.
    french AS is actually not as bad as i expected, just make sure you're revising topic vocab regularly on memrise because they drop the mocks and oral exams on you out of nowhere and the oral exams are much harder than gcse. over the summer, keep practising your vocab because in class and in the oral exam, they expect you to pretty much fully freestyle.
    it's cool that you're taking both french and german, but as somebody who switched from spanish to english, i would recommend switching either french or german for english lit or maths depending on what you have ideas of doing. do you want to take languages at uni? if not, honestly i personally see the point in taking german unless you want to study or work there but then if you want to study at uni in germany, a-level maths is required. so yeah
    i don't know what exactly i want to apply for at university, but it will be sciency/healthcare-related. if you want to do something sciency, then maybe a medicine-allied subject, like neuroscience? if languages, you could french and german at uni and then become a teacher/interpreter?
    do lots of work experience over your summer after gcses so you have better ideas of what you're interested in and make sure you're doing the correct subjects to lead into it
    honestly just make sure your gcse and AS grades are really good because if they are then you can choose from the cream of the crop unis and courses.
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    (Original post by nomophobia)
    Lol - you're welcome, I didn't get one and I was in for a nasty surprise because I went from being a straight A* student at high school to failing everything lol.

    What grades I'm hoping for and what grades I'm probably gonna get are 2 different thing :emo: I'm hoping for 4 A's obvs, and I wanna do medicine at uni. I'm probably gonna get a C in chemistry (I'm very bad at it and was asked to drop it...yeah - this is why I told you not to ask what I think of it xD) and an A in bio

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    I'm sure you'll do great in the end! Thanks for your help and good luck x


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    (Original post by skwonc)
    hi, i'm in year 12 and doing biology, chemistry, french and english at a-level. since my year is the first to take the linear exams in their new format (half multiple choice, half questions etc etc) you'll be doing the same as me for bio chem and french. absolutely trust me when I say chemistry is pure DEATH!!! get yourself a tutor during sixth form. biology content is like gcse but x10000 more stuff and the questions are really difficult to answer compared to gcsem, where you pretty much just regurgitate the info. bio a-level (and chem esp) requires a lot of application.
    french AS is actually not as bad as i expected, just make sure you're revising topic vocab regularly on memrise because they drop the mocks and oral exams on you out of nowhere and the oral exams are much harder than gcse. over the summer, keep practising your vocab because in class and in the oral exam, they expect you to pretty much fully freestyle.
    it's cool that you're taking both french and german, but as somebody who switched from spanish to english, i would recommend switching either french or german for english lit or maths depending on what you have ideas of doing. do you want to take languages at uni? if not, honestly i personally see the point in taking german unless you want to study or work there but then if you want to study at uni in germany, a-level maths is required. so yeah
    i don't know what exactly i want to apply for at university, but it will be sciency/healthcare-related. if you want to do something sciency, then maybe a medicine-allied subject, like neuroscience? if languages, you could french and german at uni and then become a teacher/interpreter?
    do lots of work experience over your summer after gcses so you have better ideas of what you're interested in and make sure you're doing the correct subjects to lead into it
    honestly just make sure your gcse and AS grades are really good because if they are then you can choose from the cream of the crop unis and courses.
    Thank you for your help


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    (Original post by lilacpotato)
    I am currently in Year 11 and planning to study Biology, Chemistry, French & German at A-level.
    I was wondering if any current A-level students could give me some info on what to expect from these subjects and maybe what you are planning to study at university (cos I'm not sure what I want to do lol )
    Thank you
    A level French is rubbish for a lot of people. You don't learn any really "useful" topics as such (I can't order food for the life of me but if you want the benefits and drawbacks of advertising I've got you covered fam) and I hold the belief that if one is good at gcse and they wish to learn another language in a sort of useful way they maybe shouldn't bother with the A level and look into alternative methods. Of course if you want to do the language at uni you'd be better of taking it to enable you to do that.
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    could be similar for german but idk I don't do it

    A level Biology is a bit weird, everything I learned at gcse turned out to be a bit of a lie. (ribosomes don't "make" proteins as such, mitochondria don't make "energy" as such, there's a lot more bits in a cell than you thought. Strange times.) However it's very good in my opinion, very interesting. There's some sorta chemistry-heavy stuff in bits of it but if you're considering doing chemistry A level anyway that probably shouldn't be an issue for you, it's sorta GCSE level chemistry to an extent.

    Chemistry I don't do but the people I know that do it attest that it is very difficult and a number of them claim I should be glad I didn't take it. But I cannot speak from any personal experience on that one, I personally regret doing French instead of chemistry.

    Do note I'm only in the first year and haven't done A2 in any of these things.
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    (Original post by Retired_Messiah)
    A level French is rubbish for a lot of people. You don't learn any really "useful" topics as such (I can't order food for the life of me but if you want the benefits and drawbacks of advertising I've got you covered fam) and I hold the belief that if one is good at gcse and they wish to learn another language in a sort of useful way they maybe shouldn't bother with the A level and look into alternative methods. Of course if you want to do the language at uni you'd be better of taking it to enable you to do that.
    Spoiler:
    Show
    could be similar for german but idk I don't do it

    A level Biology is a bit weird, everything I learned at gcse turned out to be a bit of a lie. (ribosomes don't "make" proteins as such, mitochondria don't make "energy" as such, there's a lot more bits in a cell than you thought. Strange times.) However it's very good in my opinion, very interesting. There's some sorta chemistry-heavy stuff in bits of it but if you're considering doing chemistry A level anyway that probably shouldn't be an issue for you, it's sorta GCSE level chemistry to an extent.

    Chemistry I don't do but the people I know that do it attest that it is very difficult and a number of them claim I should be glad I didn't take it. But I cannot speak from any personal experience on that one, I personally regret doing French instead of chemistry.

    Do note I'm only in the first year and haven't done A2 in any of these things.
    Thanks for your help
    What grades are you hoping for in Biology and French and what do you want to do at uni?


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    (Original post by lilacpotato)
    Thanks for your help
    What grades are you hoping for in Biology and French and what do you want to do at uni?


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    In Biology I want an A, in French I don't care as long as I pass it but I think I'm set for like a B?

    At uni I want to have a gud time :dontknow:
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    (Original post by Retired_Messiah)
    In Biology I want an A, in French I don't care as long as I pass it but I think I'm set for like a B?

    At uni I want to have a gud time :dontknow:
    I'm sure you'll get the grades you want in the end
    Haha me too!
    Good luck with your exams and everything x


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