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Chemistry or English Lit? watch

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    Hello! I'm currently trying to figure out my A level option choices and I'm not sure whether or not to take Chemistry or English Literature (my other options are French, history and Biology). I'm interested in a career in Biology (specifically Marine Biology or Zoology) but I'm not sure whether or not Chemistry would be too difficult after hearing rumors about is being horrible at A level . Any advice on either option would be really helpful!
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    I took chemistry, and I am currently in A2 readying for my final exam. I haven't taken English lit, but many of my friends used to take it.

    First off, chemistry really depends on your school, for example my school as a lot of equipment, samples and decent teachers, that does not mean everyone has, do your research ask some sixth-formers at your school to see what they think about their teachers and the facilities.

    As for the actual subject matter again that matters a little bit on your exam board, but overall I'm pretty sure its all similar. Chemistry from my exam board (OCR) is awesome, I found it extremely interesting and it gets a lot better in A2. If you like chemistry and you are genuinely interested in it, then it is a great A-Level for you because it is very in-depth and very detailed, furthermore it is incredibly varied meaning that it will rarely be boring, honestly when you finish the whole thing it makes you feel like a real chemist.

    However what you heard is very true, it is HARD. Be ready to have the biggest jump in terms of difficulty for any school subject that you have had. The difference from GCSE to A-Level is huge, do not underestimate it (which is what I did last year), Like I pointed out before it is very varied yet detailed you are going to have to memorise a lot of things, specially definitions. The exams are brutally harsh and will try to trick you from as many marks as possible which can sometimes lead you to loosing a grade or two.

    But don't let this scare you off, it is not impossible to get an A/A* you just have to be organised with your notes and revision from the start of the year, make sure you understand everything that the teacher has taught you before you leave every lesson. Do these things, with no excuses, and you will get an A/A*.

    As for English Lit, I am not very experienced, but in my school out of the 2 full classes from the start of last year, only 5 people are taking it this year. Not only is it hard, I have also heard that it is simply just very boring. Again I'm not the best person to answer this, maybe wait for someone else with more knowledge on English Lit.

    However judging on your career path, go for chemistry, English Lit is only useful for 3 things: If you want to be a writer, a journalist or an English teacher. There is absolutely 0 point of taking such a hard A level if you are going to specialize on a science. Many of my chemistry classmates also do biology and it all really ties in.

    EDIT: Also if you are looking for a career in biology or any science, taking maths A-Level REALLY helps, even in the exams for A-levels taking maths gives you a good advantage for the many calculations that you have to do. It is not necessary but if you want to go to a good university to study biology, then maths is a huge bonus. I would personally take out history, but that is all just personal choice, what you prefer is what really matters.
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    (Original post by BM786)
    I took chemistry, and I am currently in A2 readying for my final exam. I haven't taken English lit, but many of my friends used to take it.

    First off, chemistry really depends on your school, for example my school as a lot of equipment, samples and decent teachers, that does not mean everyone has, do your research ask some sixth-formers at your school to see what they think about their teachers and the facilities.

    As for the actual subject matter again that matters a little bit on your exam board, but overall I'm pretty sure its all similar. Chemistry from my exam board (OCR) is awesome, I found it extremely interesting and it gets a lot better in A2. If you like chemistry and you are genuinely interested in it, then it is a great A-Level for you because it is very in-depth and very detailed, furthermore it is incredibly varied meaning that it will rarely be boring, honestly when you finish the whole thing it makes you feel like a real chemist.

    However what you heard is very true, it is HARD. Be ready to have the biggest jump in terms of difficulty for any school subject that you have had. The difference from GCSE to A-Level is huge, do not underestimate it (which is what I did last year), Like I pointed out before it is very varied yet detailed you are going to have to memorise a lot of things, specially definitions. The exams are brutally harsh and will try to trick you from as many marks as possible which can sometimes lead you to loosing a grade or two.

    But don't let this scare you off, it is not impossible to get an A/A* you just have to be organised with your notes and revision from the start of the year, make sure you understand everything that the teacher has taught you before you leave every lesson. Do these things, with no excuses, and you will get an A/A*.

    As for English Lit, I am not very experienced, but in my school out of the 2 full classes from the start of last year, only 5 people are taking it this year. Not only is it hard, I have also heard that it is simply just very boring. Again I'm not the best person to answer this, maybe wait for someone else with more knowledge on English Lit.

    However judging on your career path, go for chemistry, English Lit is only useful for 3 things: If you want to be a writer, a journalist or an English teacher. There is absolutely 0 point of taking such a hard A level if you are going to specialize on a science. Many of my chemistry classmates also do biology and it all really ties in.

    EDIT: Also if you are looking for a career in biology or any science, taking maths A-Level REALLY helps, even in the exams for A-levels taking maths gives you a good advantage for the many calculations that you have to do. It is not necessary but if you want to go to a good university to study biology, then maths is a huge bonus. I would personally take out history, but that is all just personal choice, what you prefer is what really matters.
    Thanks for the detailed reply, maths definitely isn't one of my stronger subjects and I don't think it's something I would particularly enjoy at A level but I have read that Chemistry starts to get pretty Mathematical after GCSE. Is this true and if so how difficult is the maths?
    Thanks again!
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    Hi,
    Conveniently enough for you I take both English lit and chemistry, I'm in year 12 and both are OCR exam board. Chemistry does get a bit more mathematical but it's not a great deal of stressful maths. English lit is very good, in terms of how its examined though, unfortunately it's all closed book exams. Chemistry is not as hard as some are describing it, but I would say, if you didn't do so well at GCSE chemistry it will be hard to grasp. There is a large gap between GCSE and alevel chemistry, but it just takes time and dedication. English lit however is great if you're able to blag your way through essays, fairly easy, only difficult bit is memorising quotes and keeping track of lit crit notes and film adaptations. For marine biology in particular, you need to check university requirements and then have a look to see what students took at a-level when applying for the degree. I would say take chemistry, but English has its benefits too. Base the decision on what you can do, like what you are more passionate about and what will benefit you the most.
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    (Original post by jetpackblues)
    Thanks for the detailed reply, maths definitely isn't one of my stronger subjects and I don't think it's something I would particularly enjoy at A level but I have read that Chemistry starts to get pretty Mathematical after GCSE. Is this true and if so how difficult is the maths?
    Thanks again!
    It does get a bit mathematical, however it is nothing you should be worried about, its all standard GCSE level. Percentages, ratios, standard form and rearranging equations.

    I also REALLY agree with unorganisedaf, check various prospectuses from various universities, don't worry about picking what uni you are going to, just focus on the requirements they are all pretty similar.

    This is something that my school did badly, and only gave us prospectuses after we chose our A-Levels, that's when I figured out that I needed physics A-Level to do mechanical engineering in a university that I wanted to go to. Do yourself the favour and really research on the requirements for universities you see yourself going to before picking your A-Levels.
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    (Original post by Unorganisedaf)
    Hi,
    Conveniently enough for you I take both English lit and chemistry, I'm in year 12 and both are OCR exam board. Chemistry does get a bit more mathematical but it's not a great deal of stressful maths. English lit is very good, in terms of how its examined though, unfortunately it's all closed book exams. Chemistry is not as hard as some are describing it, but I would say, if you didn't do so well at GCSE chemistry it will be hard to grasp. There is a large gap between GCSE and alevel chemistry, but it just takes time and dedication. English lit however is great if you're able to blag your way through essays, fairly easy, only difficult bit is memorising quotes and keeping track of lit crit notes and film adaptations. For marine biology in particular, you need to check university requirements and then have a look to see what students took at a-level when applying for the degree. I would say take chemistry, but English has its benefits too. Base the decision on what you can do, like what you are more passionate about and what will benefit you the most.
    Thanks for your help! (:
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    (Original post by BM786)
    It does get a bit mathematical, however it is nothing you should be worried about, its all standard GCSE level. Percentages, ratios, standard form and rearranging equations.

    I also REALLY agree with unorganisedaf, check various prospectuses from various universities, don't worry about picking what uni you are going to, just focus on the requirements they are all pretty similar.

    This is something that my school did badly, and only gave us prospectuses after we chose our A-Levels, that's when I figured out that I needed physics A-Level to do mechanical engineering in a university that I wanted to go to. Do yourself the favour and really research on the requirements for universities you see yourself going to before picking your A-Levels.
    Ok, thank you for the answers!
 
 
 
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