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    Hello biologists,

    If you're doing/have done biology at A-Level or above, me and The Learn Ranger want to know why you picked it, and what you love about it (and what you hate about it!).

    You don't have to write loads, but we thought up a few questions to get you going


    What does biology involve?

    How does A-Level differ from GCSE?

    How are you assessed?

    What skills have you developed?

    What does doing biology lead to, either in careers or further education?

    Do you have any advice for people thinking of picking biology?

    Feel free to answer as many or as little questions as you like. We're thinking about writing a little guide to particular subjects - if we use any of your answers you will be credited
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    It involves a large volume of content but relatively easy concepts. The difficulty doesn't change a great deal from GCSE to AS imo, but the amount you need to learn is staggeringly different. You are mainly assessed on your ability to apply your knowledge to new scenarios whereas at GCSE they often just test you on the content you know so you can memorise. There is some maths involved (10% of the paper I think) but its relatively easy, same level as GCSE maths. I think you develop good analytical skills and of course the much of the content is useful in real life, especially human biology. Biology can lead to many different careers, for me personally it is necessary to apply for medicine but I would have taken it anyway. I would recommend it, but if aren't interested in the subject then it is one to avoid s you will struggle. Id also stress it is important to get out of the GCSE way of just regurgitating info, as at A-level you need to apply what you learn or you wont do as well as you can.
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    *choose :mmm:
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    AS biology for me (old spec) was just doing all the past papers and learning the marking points from the mark scheme but in A2 it was mostly suggest questions which meant you had to apply your knowledge
    At GCSE, you could just memorise the CGP revision guide and get an A*. You CANNOT just do that at A2 if you want to get an A even. At A2, I had to actually do past papers and make notes using the specification. I also used multiple resources when learning topics e.g. notes from TSR, youtube videos and TheBioTutor
    I did biology so I could apply for Dentistry
    Biology imo is the easiest of the 3 sciences at A level. However, there is a LOT of content to learn, especially at A2, so get started early and you will have to make your own notes using the specification.
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    I love chosing biology :sucks:
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    (Original post by yoda123)
    AS biology for me (old spec) was just doing all the past papers and learning the marking points from the mark scheme but in A2 it was mostly suggest questions which meant you had to apply your knowledge
    At GCSE, you could just memorise the CGP revision guide and get an A*. You CANNOT just do that at A2 if you want to get an A even. At A2, I had to actually do past papers and make notes using the specification. I also used multiple resources when learning topics e.g. notes from TSR, youtube videos and TheBioTutor
    I did biology so I could apply for Dentistry
    Biology imo is the easiest of the 3 sciences at A level. However, there is a LOT of content to learn, especially at A2, so get started early and you will have to make your own notes using the specification.
    i think there are also exam reports which showed where students struggled during particular exams and suggests how examiners wanted you to answer.
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    Because, at one point in my life I wanted to study Medicine :mmm:
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    (Original post by SuperHuman98)
    Because, at one point in my life I wanted to study Medicine :mmm:
    and *now you dont?
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    (Original post by Fox Corner)
    Hello biologists,
    How does A-Level differ from GCSE? The specification at A-Level is huge. The list of things to know and understand it almost endless. The concepts aren't too hard to understand but the magnitude of information blew me away. There is much more application at A-Level than at GCSE level.

    Do you have any advice for people thinking of picking biology? Choose the subject if you like/love it and/or it is necessary for the career you want to pursue. If you don't enjoy the subject you may struggle.
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    What does biology involve?

    Studying life and growing pretty bacteria or fungi in petri dishes.



    How does A-Level differ from GCSE?

    No idea, I didn't study it at A level.

    How are you assessed?

    The degree was about 60% exams, 40% coursework including a final year research project. Coursework was generally either related to lab practicals (lab write ups or problem solving exercises) or essays. Exams were mostly longish essays, although there were some short answer or problem solving components.

    What skills have you developed?

    Plenty of lab skills. PCR, running gels, chromatography, etc. all become second nature. I didn't do much in the way of fieldwork on my course. Plenty of IT skills as bioinformatics is becoming increasingly important. I think the most important skill I developed was how to badger academics for lab placements.

    What does doing biology lead to, either in careers or further education?

    My particular degree was in cellular and molecular biology with an emphasis on biotechnology. Some of my fellow students have found jobs in biotech companies. A lot of us are going on to postgraduate study, with some going down the medical research route or others, like myself, sticking to the basic science or biotechnology.

    Do you have any advice for people thinking of picking biology?

    I would suggest that anyone considering a degree in biology should do A level maths and chemistry particularly if you are interested in the molecular/genetics side of things.

    There are more opportunities if you are interested in the lab side of things. A lot of students come with an interest in ecology, zoology, etc. and find there are limited oversubscribed jobs in their field.

    If you want a career in biology, pick up work experience. I've found the lab placements I've done have taught me far about biological research than lectures and people with relevant experience found it far easier to get employment or onto postgrad courses.
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    (Original post by TheReader)
    and *now you dont?
    Yes, now i don't
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    (Original post by Alexion)
    *choose :mmm:
    (Original post by SalazarSlytherin)
    I love chosing biology :sucks:
    :cry:
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    (Original post by Fox Corner)
    :cry:
    forgive me, it was too tempting :emo:
 
 
 
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