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Advice needed from Geology and Product Design A level Students. Watch

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    Hi.
    I will be starting A level a week from today, currently my chosen options are still Maths, Physics and Geology. I received my GCSE results yesterday and I achieved an A* in Maths, a B in Additional Science (I did the best in Physics out of the three sciences) and a B in Geography.
    My results have given me the confidence to take Maths and Physics. But I loved both these subjects anyway and would fight to take them at A level regardless of my GCSE grade.
    However my mum has questioned whether taking Geology on top of two difficult subjects would put too much pressure on me. I'm not really interested in any of the other subjects on offer apart from possibly Product Design.
    However I knows nothing about it and have no idea whether if I chose Product Design instead of Geology whether it would be even more difficult a subject to take on.
    So my question to A level Geology and Product Design students is what advice would you give to me on choosing between the two? Difficulty? Coursework/ Exam Ratio? Curriculum?
    Thanks.
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    Hi! I did A Level Geology with OCR when I was in sixth form. I found it to be the easiest and most interesting out of my subjects, the others being Geography, ICT and Environmental Studies (Environmental Studies AS only).

    With OCR, Geology has 3 modules for AS and 3 for A2. At AS you study topics such as the Earth as a planet, it's structure, plate tectonics, earthquakes and geological structures like faults and folds. You also study sedimentary rocks, igneous rocks and metamorphic rocks, and the processes which form them.

    At A2 you study engineering and environmental geology topics, such as the impact of geology on water resources, energy resources, metal resources and the construction of dams, roads and tunnels, and palaeontology topics such as fossils, mass extinctions and the ways in which Earth's climate has changed over geological time, and why. In both years, you also do a study skills module, which assesses your ability to make geological maps, interpret photographs, draw different types of diagrams and so on. The study skills module is assessed by coursework, but the other modules are assessed by exams lasting 1 hour for units 1 and 4, and 1hr 45 mins for units 2 and 5.

    I hope that helps! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask
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    (Original post by carrot top geek)
    Hi.
    I will be starting A level a week from today, currently my chosen options are still Maths, Physics and Geology. I received my GCSE results yesterday and I achieved an A* in Maths, a B in Additional Science (I did the best in Physics out of the three sciences) and a B in Geography.
    My results have given me the confidence to take Maths and Physics. But I loved both these subjects anyway and would fight to take them at A level regardless of my GCSE grade.
    However my mum has questioned whether taking Geology on top of two difficult subjects would put too much pressure on me. I'm not really interested in any of the other subjects on offer apart from possibly Product Design.
    However I knows nothing about it and have no idea whether if I chose Product Design instead of Geology whether it would be even more difficult a subject to take on.
    So my question to A level Geology and Product Design students is what advice would you give to me on choosing between the two? Difficulty? Coursework/ Exam Ratio? Curriculum?
    Thanks.
    Hi, I'm currently about to start a2 product design and can honestly say it is the easiest out of my 3 subjects, I also take physics and also chemistry so my other two have a similar heavy workload. I find that I am able to fit PD around chemistry and physics very easily and often use it as a subject to wind down with. It does not take much effort and the concepts for the theory side are simple to get your head around even at like 11pm at night .
    The coursework/exam ratio is 50/50 which is sooo good. At AS you complete a portfolio of work based on a set brief- mine involved a desk light based on Art Deco(picture attached if interested). This involves research, development, planning and evaluating( if you like I'll find a way to send you my AS portfolio to see what it's like).
    The exam content for AS is pretty basic and just involves learning about material properties and manufacturing processes along with small sections on safety, ergonomics etc( for more in depth look at the aqa specification)
    The exam structure is kinda confusing though, it consists of section A, B and C. The whole exam is out of 80, with each section worth 20,20,40 marks respectively. Section A involves basic understanding of certain materials and giving applications with reasons, ie stainless steel is used for a kettle as it is chemically inert and will not contaminate the water. Simplest section of the 3. B involves a choice, a twenty mark total manufacturing based question(NEVER CHOOSE THIS UNLESS YOU'RE SUPER COMFORTABLE WITH WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO) or the choice I go with 2x 8 mark material/application questions with a 4 mark question at the end. C is a 40 mark design/manufacturing section with a question that can be worth up to 15 marks( they usually go with 'develop this existing product for this target market' or 'evaluate the safety/ergonomic features of this product'. Quite an easy exam if you know your content well!
    A2 is slightly different, it's still a Linear A level so AS counts towards this, again 50/50 coursework exam. Coursework follows same structure but you have to find a real life client and design for them this time round- you get complete freedom in client and project.
    The exam looks like hell tbh but I guess again, if you know content you'll be fine. There's section A and B containing 3 28 mark questions( there's usually either 2 or 3 parts to each question). Content usually varies a lot and could be anything covered in the two years. A2 theory focuses on design movements, the design process and more on ergonomics/anthropometrics but you're expected to still have AS knowledge too.
    Out of both sections you pick 3 questions to answer, one from each section and then one of your choice. Yet to experience that paper so can't really give you any advice.
    One piece of advice, many colleges focus far too much on coursework than theory, leaving it til last minute. If yours does this teach yourself theory. Ideally you should have 50% of your timetabled lessons dedicated to theory but this isn't always the case.
    Hope this helps a littleName:  ImageUploadedByStudent Room1472336971.610293.jpg
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    (Original post by carrot top geek)
    Hi.
    I will be starting A level a week from today, currently my chosen options are still Maths, Physics and Geology. I received my GCSE results yesterday and I achieved an A* in Maths, a B in Additional Science (I did the best in Physics out of the three sciences) and a B in Geography.
    My results have given me the confidence to take Maths and Physics. But I loved both these subjects anyway and would fight to take them at A level regardless of my GCSE grade.
    However my mum has questioned whether taking Geology on top of two difficult subjects would put too much pressure on me. I'm not really interested in any of the other subjects on offer apart from possibly Product Design.
    However I knows nothing about it and have no idea whether if I chose Product Design instead of Geology whether it would be even more difficult a subject to take on.
    So my question to A level Geology and Product Design students is what advice would you give to me on choosing between the two? Difficulty? Coursework/ Exam Ratio? Curriculum?
    Thanks.
    I can't really comment on Product Design as I didn't take it as an a-level but I did study Geology and I found it quite interesting

    When I did it there were six exams altogether with two from AS and A2 respectively making up the bulk of the marks. In one exam you are assessed on making geological map cross-sections which in my opinion is the hardest part of the course.

    AS: You cover sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks in lots more detail including learning about the chemical composition of various minerals and how to identify different rocks. You then also learn about volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis in a lot of detail including case studies which you have to learn

    A2: Engineering geology is covered and in our case we had to learn and write essays about the entire geology of the British Isles which was mostly self study.

    I got a B overall without a great deal of effort and there isn't a lot of conceptually difficult content in Geology unlike some subjects *cough* Physics.

    I would highly recommend if you're interested in that sort of thing!
 
 
 
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