"University is easier than A Levels!" Watch

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Hi all,

Have you heard this? I've heard people say this. Surprisingly, I heard it from teachers too..

Now, I can only speak on behalf of BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science - and all I can say is, that is a load of absolute tosh.

I don't know about other courses (please comment!) but the science now is significantly harder than it was in A Level Biology and Chemistry. I don't understand how anyone can say that University is easier than A Levels.


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CTLeafez
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I also do a bioscience degree. Currently in 1st year Genetics I believe people say University is easier than A-Level for two reasons:
1. They have a better work ethic (hopefully). You are paying a significant amount of money to be there and there's a lot more support in the form of lecturers being experts in their field and libraries full with books on the topic.
2. 70% at Uni is a 1st (highest grade) while 70% at A-Level is around a B grade. So those who score mildly are now achieving top tier grades, thus giving the impression of uni being easier.
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(Original post by CTLevers)
70% at Uni is a 1st (highest grade) while 70% at Level is around a B grade.
Ohhhh yes that's true! I forgot all about that actually, mhm... I wonder if these lower grade boundaries outweigh the increase in difficulty of scientific concepts. I think you're right actually
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KaylaB
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Yup, I can confirm the same from my experience. I'm doing Chemistry BSc, but it also depends on the modules.

Like year some modules like the maths ones are just for catching everyone up to the same level, so for example to me it's easy. The change in terms of the course difficulty started on gradually but now is just leaps.
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(Original post by CTLevers)
Currently in 1st year Genetics
Also, that's extremely interesting! Genetics is my absolute favourite section of Biology, even though it seems like the hardest - what are you planning on doing afterwards? Hoping to become a Genetic Engineer?
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tomtjl
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The first year of a biomed degree isn't significantly harder than A-levels, as the first year is usually used to bring everybody to the same level of knowledge in the field. Due to this, there is a fair amount of overlap with A-levels, though most of it is new information. There's also the fact that most first year exams are MCQ/SAQ, which are complete piss in all honesty.

Once you get to second year and everything is essay based, you'll realise that 70% is actually a lot damn harder than it sounds.

Source: Currently doing a Master's in Neuroscience.
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CTLeafez
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(Original post by AshEntropy)
Ohhhh yes that's true! I forgot all about that actually, mhm... I wonder if these lower grade boundaries outweigh the increase in difficulty of scientific concepts. I think you're right actually
I can't really say much about Uni at the moment, just about to go into Semester 2, but we haven't really done any science concepts past A-Level Biology level with a little bit extra on the side. I think 1st Year is like a nice stepping stone and it'll only get worse from 2nd year onwards XD
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(Original post by AshEntropy)
Also, that's extremely interesting! Genetics is my absolute favourite section of Biology, even though it seems like the hardest - what are you planning on doing afterwards? Hoping to become a Genetic Engineer?
I'm leaning more towards becoming a Genomic Counsellor (previously known as a Genetic Counsellor), specifically pre-natal. I love genetics, I enjoy educating others in genetics e.g. punnett squares and then putting that into a medical/helping context is the perfect role for me.
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(Original post by AshEntropy)
Hi all,

Have you heard this? I've heard people say this. Surprisingly, I heard it from teachers too..

Now, I can only speak on behalf of BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science - and all I can say is, that is a load of absolute tosh.

I don't know about other courses (please comment!) but the science now is significantly harder than it was in A Level Biology and Chemistry. I don't understand how anyone can say that University is easier than A Levels.


Lets take a moment to consider the suffering done by those at postgraduate level....

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(Original post by tomtjl)
The first year of a biomed degree isn't significantly harder than A-levels, as the first year is usually used to bring everybody to the same level of knowledge in the field. Due to this, there is a fair amount of overlap with A-levels, though most of it is new information. There's also the fact that most first year exams are MCQ/SAQ, which are complete piss in all honesty.

Once you get to second year and everything is essay based, you'll realise that 70% is actually a lot damn harder than it sounds.

Source: Currently doing a Master's in Neuroscience.
The major issue a lot of people on my course have been having, including myself, is the fact in A Level Biology there was very very little anatomy - literally, no studying about the brain whatsoever - but now there's a lot of anatomy to learn from scratch. Yeah there's overlap with A Level Biology in topics like Aerobic Respiration, etc, but there's also a lot of completely new stuff. For us, we do MCQ, Lab Reports, Practicals & Essays to contribute to our overall module grades. Also, I'd love to study MSc Neuroscience

(Original post by KaylaB)
Yup, I can confirm the same from my experience. I'm doing Chemistry BSc, but it also depends on the modules.

Like year some modules like the maths ones are just for catching everyone up to the same level, so for example to me it's easy. The change in terms of the course difficulty started on gradually but now is just leaps.
Yeah the first few months were quite, like, "Oh I did this in A Level Biology!" but then it took a nose dive when there was a lot of anatomy to learn in a short amount of time.
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CTLeafez
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(Original post by Quantex)
Lets take a moment to consider the suffering done by those at postgraduate level....

I'm not even going to ask what all that means...
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(Original post by CTLevers)
I'm leaning more towards becoming a Genomic Counsellor (previously known as a Genetic Counsellor), specifically pre-natal. I love genetics, I enjoy educating others in genetics e.g. punnett squares and then putting that into a medical/helping context is the perfect role for me.
Oooh I didn't know that the name changed I wonder why.. a bit like how Computing got changed to Computer Science? I'm sure you'll love being a Genomic Counsellor

(Original post by Quantex)
Lets take a moment to consider the suffering done by those at postgraduate level....
Oh.
My.
:puke::puke::puke::puke::puke:
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CTLeafez
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(Original post by AshEntropy)
For us, we do MCQ, Lab Reports, Practicals & Essays to contribute to our overall module grades. .
We do the same, MCQ, Short Question Answers, Lab Reports and an essay. It's this new change in assessment that may also be giving uni students higher grades than they did at A-Level. A-level Biology on AQA was SQA and essay questions, no MQC unfortunately...XD
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(Original post by CTLevers)
I'm not even going to ask what all that means...
It's the absolute full version of Biochemical Pathways, I think it's called the Roche Diagram
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(Original post by CTLevers)
I'm not even going to ask what all that means...
Schematic of metabolic pathways. You will have a working knowledge of it by the time you finish your degree. Then you'll look back and wonder why people find A level so hard.
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(Original post by CTLevers)
A-level Biology on AQA was SQA and essay questions, no MQC unfortunately...XD
I did AQA A-Level Biology too and I loved the fact it was SQA and Essays - I honestly don't like MCQ. I think the reason why I don't like it is because a lot of the answers sound very similar and it's all too tempting to go back and "correct" your answers, when the original answer was true. ;(
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(Original post by CTLevers)
I'm leaning more towards becoming a Genomic Counsellor (previously known as a Genetic Counsellor), specifically pre-natal. I love genetics, I enjoy educating others in genetics e.g. punnett squares and then putting that into a medical/helping context is the perfect role for me.
Just as an FYI if you think punnett squares count as genetics then you're gonna have a nasty shock next year . Genetics is a really useful tool but is bloody boring to learn about imo.


(Original post by AshEntropy)
The major issue a lot of people on my course have been having, including myself, is the fact in A Level Biology there was very very little anatomy - literally, no studying about the brain whatsoever - but now there's a lot of anatomy to learn from scratch. Yeah there's overlap with A Level Biology in topics like Aerobic Respiration, etc, but there's also a lot of completely new stuff. For us, we do MCQ, Lab Reports, Practicals & Essays to contribute to our overall module grades. Also, I'd love to study MSc Neuroscience
There is a fair amount of anatomy, but because exams are MCQ based you can usually figure out the right answers anyways. Yeah, that sounds similar to my first year as well (we had a common year one for all biomed subjects and medicine). Where are you studying?

And trust me, you won't want to be studying MSc anything once you get to this point :P.

My advice to both of you would be to keep an open mind about your future endeavors. CT stated he wanted to be a genomic counsellor, but most people end up leaving the sciences after their degree, so keep an open mind about that. It's very easy to get sick of science and these degrees are some of the hardest around.

Also consider doing an MSci (which is what I'm doing) if you want to get a Master's. It's much, much, much, much better than doing an MSc. Trust me.
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(Original post by Quantex)
Schematic of metabolic pathways.
I remember my Biology teacher talking about that
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(Original post by Quantex)
Schematic of metabolic pathways. You will have a working knowledge of it by the time you finish your degree. Then you'll look back and wonder why people find A level so hard.
I look forward to that day! Human orientated sciences are the best sciences.
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(Original post by tomtjl)
Also consider doing an MSci (which is what I'm doing) if you want to get a Master's. It's much, much, much, much better than doing an MSc. Trust me.
Ahhh I heard about MSci vs MSc vs MRes - they're all different in a certain way I just can't remember hwo

(Original post by CTLevers)
I look forward to that day! Human orientated sciences are the best sciences.
Yeah I love human orientated science as it makes it a lot more motivating to learn
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