tfh
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I'm interested in taking biology for a levels next year, I just wanted to know the thoughts you guys have around the subject.

Some of the questions I have:

Is the content hard to remember?
Is it more about memorising the content or understanding it?
Any essay writing involved?
Is the workload at home a lot?
Should the subject be taken along with chemistry if I want to go into nursing or teaching?
What kind of math is involved?
Are the practicals hard?

Other information would be useful too.

Thanks!
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Asad_2015
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(Original post by tfh)
I'm interested in taking biology for a levels next year, I just wanted to know the thoughts you guys have around the subject.

Some of the questions I have:

Is the content hard to remember?
Is it more about memorising the content or understanding it?
Any essay writing involved?
Is the workload at home a lot?
Should the subject be taken along with chemistry if I want to go into nursing or teaching?
What kind of math is involved?
Are the practicals hard?

Other information would be useful too.

Thanks!
highly enjoyable subject and it's really interesting but like most alevels it's a huge jump. you have to be very good at applying knowledge and the content is a lot tbf.
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Terrificmagenta
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(Original post by tfh)
I'm interested in taking biology for a levels next year, I just wanted to know the thoughts you guys have around the subject.

Some of the questions I have:

Is the content hard to remember?
Is it more about memorising the content or understanding it?
Any essay writing involved?
Is the workload at home a lot?
Should the subject be taken along with chemistry if I want to go into nursing or teaching?
What kind of math is involved?
Are the practicals hard?

Other information would be useful too.

Thanks!

Heyyy,

Is the content hard to remember? I guess it depends on how good your memory is- how easily do you remember things? And how interested you are in the subject/topics (the more interest you have, the easier it'll be to remember I guess?-but that's not always the case Image). Very content heavy.

Is it more about memorising the content or understanding it? Bio in year 12 is less understanding, more memory work; with some application questions. In Year 13, there's a lot more application and complex concepts etc. to get your head round- just having a good memory isn't enough on it's ownImage

Any essay writing involved? Not sure about the new linear Alevel system, but I did OCR and I wouldn't say there was reallyy any 'essay writing' involved. I think the longest questions were worth around 10 marks..?

Is the workload at home a lot? Depends on you- do you grasp concepts and pick up on information easily and fast (in class)? If you do, then nope, you'll just need to complete any HW you get and then, during exam period, do past papers.Depends on what works for you though- a lot of people spent ages on biology; making notes etc.

Should the subject be taken along with chemistry if I want to go into nursing or teaching? If you want to do a Biology degree and teach Bio, you will need Alevel Biology, but not Chemistry. If you want to teach chemistry in the future, you won't need to do Alevel Bio. And with nursing, I'm not 100% sure but I think the entry requirements usually ask for one of either Chemistry, Biology or Psychology (the list includes a few other subject choices I think?), so nope you wouldn't need both Bio and Chem. But if you want to do other courses like medicine, dentistry, pharmacy etc, you will need A level Chemistry. Chemistry is a good Alevel to have in general

What kind of math is involved?Umm. Not that much at all in year 12 (maybe a little when microscopes are covered?). In year 13, there's a bit more, but again, it's not difficult Image(more plugging numbers into formulas). There is quite a lot of data and graph interpretation in Alevel Biology.

Are the practicals hard? Nope

Other information would be useful too. I found it kinda (Extremely) boring loll Image
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muonfrisbee98
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(Original post by tfh)
I'm interested in taking biology for a levels next year, I just wanted to know the thoughts you guys have around the subject.

Some of the questions I have:

Is the content hard to remember?
Is it more about memorising the content or understanding it?
Any essay writing involved?
Is the workload at home a lot?
Should the subject be taken along with chemistry if I want to go into nursing or teaching?
What kind of math is involved?
Are the practicals hard?

Other information would be useful too.

Thanks!
Hi there

I'm in year 13 doing AQA A-Level biology. In response to your questions:

Is the content hard to remember?

Admittedly there is a lot of content to remember but if you revise properly and in good time then you'll be fine!

Is it more about memorising the content or understanding it?

I had the exact same question when choosing my A-Levels, as I'm not a big fan of memorising stuff. I'm finding that it's a mixture of both. Basically, everything needs to be memorised but it's definitely worth getting your head round 'why' and 'how' things work. This just helps to solidify your understanding and learning. I also do chemistry, physics, maths and FM and have found that biology requires the most memorising of them all, but this doesn't mean that there's not content to be understood!

Any essay writing involved?

For my course (AQA) I have a 25 mark essay at the end of the final exam paper. You'll get to do lots of practice with this though (they're not like English essays and you don't need to use fancy sentence structure etc...)

Is the workload at home a lot?

All A-Levels are hard work, but you choose how much you do outside the classroom. I could probably get all my homework done (for biology) in my free periods if I wanted to but the time spent at home revising is incredibly valuable! So I wouldn't say there's too much compulsory work that has to be finished at home, but it wouldn't be wise to not do any either. This is essentially the same for all A-Levels.

Should the subject be taken along with chemistry if I want to go into nursing or teaching?

I find that chemistry complements biology really well, and many people choose this combination. For example, in chemistry we are currently looking at amino acids, and this is also a foundation in biology. As to whether you need it for nursing or teaching, I don't know. I'd recommend looking on course websites to find the requirements.

What kind of math is involved? Are the practicals hard?

The maths in A-Level biology is definitely do-able. You need to be able to rearrange equations (for example with magnification), and be confident with GCSE maths. The hardest it gets is using log scales, and there are a couple of formulas you need to know (Hardy-Weinberg springs to mind) but it's mostly plugging numbers in

The practicals are not too bad because the assessment has changed to pass/fail and they are integrated throughout the two years. This means there is no coursework (for AQA anyway). It's worth paying attention though as practical skills can be tested in the exam!

Hope this helps
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sciencestudent19
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Just started a levels this year doing biology, chemistry, geography.

Is the content hard to remember?
So far there is a lot of content but if you learn it as you go along and keep revisiting it you'll be ok.

Is it more about memorising the content or understanding it?
I'd say both. If I don't understand it I find it hard to memorise it.

Any essay writing involved?
Longest questions we've been given so far are 9 marks.

Is the workload at home a lot?
So far yes kind of (depending on how you use your frees). I rewrite notes, do practise questions and read ahead for next lesson.

Should the subject be taken along with chemistry if I want to go into nursing or teaching?
Check UCAS for uni requirements but I don't think so

What kind of math is involved?
Only come across one maths thing so far but I'll see as the course goes on

Are the practicals hard?
No

Other information would be useful too.
Highly enjoyable (my favourite subject) and very interesting.




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