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Choosing A levels to start sixth form in September 2017 Watch

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    Hi, I have just completed my Gcses and have decided to study biology, psychology and English literature in September. I would appreciate it if you could answer the following questions:
    -Do these subjects go well together
    -Is it interesting/boring or does it vary with each topic that you learn
    - Is there a reading list for English literature that you could perhaps post so I can get a head start?
    -For biology, psychology and English literature what work could I be doing over the holidays to get a head start?
    -Would these subjects help you get into one of the following careers; nursing, midwifery, occupational therapy, biomedical science, teaching or social worker. This is because I haven't decided which of these careers I would definitely like to study but I would like to choose three a levels that would leave more doors open for me so I can choose what career I would like to go into nearer the time.
    -If you are currently applying to university or have already applied would these a levels be acceptable for the careers mentioned above?
    -Also if possible could you attach any notes that I could look at over the summer. For psychology the exam board would be Ocr or wjec(depending on the 6th form I choose), biology (Aqa) and English literature(Aqa).
    Thank you for taking time out to respond. I would sincerely appreciate any comments!!
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    I'd advise against bio but if ur good at it and u enjoy it a lot that's fine. Biology is my most hated alevel subject, content is ridiculous and the exam will be on like a quarter of the course
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    (Original post by theboss1738)
    I'd advise against bio but if ur good at it and u enjoy it a lot that's fine. Biology is my most hated alevel subject, content is ridiculous and the exam will be on like a quarter of the course
    Thanks for replying!😊. Since they have reformed A level biology is it more about application rather than recalling the facts?
    If I was to take biology in your opinion due to there being a lot of content when do you think it would be best to start revising it?
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    (Original post by mysticalrose)
    Thanks for replying!😊. Since they have reformed A level biology is it more about application rather than recalling the facts?
    If I was to take biology in your opinion due to there being a lot of content when do you think it would be best to start revising it?
    I have my A level bio paper tomorrow, if you want a good grade you need to be revising all year in my opinion. Yes, a lot more application, a lot more maths and practical statistics in the exam to replace the removal of ISAs. But if you really like bio go for it. It has some good cross over with psychology. I got straight A's at AS in all my subjects apart from bio which I got a D, and I put the same effort into all my subjects, just shows how content heavy it is.
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    (Original post by bwilliams)
    I have my A level bio paper tomorrow, if you want a good grade you need to be revising all year in my opinion. Yes, a lot more application, a lot more maths and practical statistics in the exam to replace the removal of ISAs. But if you really like bio go for it. It has some good cross over with psychology. I got straight A's at AS in all my subjects apart from bio which I got a D, and I put the same effort into all my subjects, just shows how content heavy it is.
    Firstly thank you very much for replying😊! Secondly in your opinion what content should I go over in the holidays so I am ready for As biology?
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    My exam boards are different but I would say that Biology and Psychology go well together. There is biopsychology to be learnt in my specification anyway.

    Psychology is interesting but it is VERY content-heavy and it is more about memorising information in contrast to learning and understanding imo.

    English Lit is okay, although I don't really enjoy much of the books I need to know in the specification (e.g. Frankenstein) however what I like about this subject is that it is more about creative thinking- there is no right or wrong answer. Poetry in this specification is the hardest imo, especially with the unseen poetry where you must rely on your own interpretation and understanding of a poem you have not seen before.

    Overall, they are enjoyable subjects if you have a genuine interest in them. As they are A-Levels, they will be a huge step from GCSEs and you must revise as you go along rather than cramming it all in last-minute!
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    (Original post by haj2244)
    My exam boards are different but I would say that Biology and Psychology go well together. There is biopsychology to be learnt in my specification anyway.

    Psychology is interesting but it is VERY content-heavy and it is more about memorising information in contrast to learning and understanding imo.

    English Lit is okay, although I don't really enjoy much of the books I need to know in the specification (e.g. Frankenstein) however what I like about this subject is that it is more about creative thinking- there is no right or wrong answer. Poetry in this specification is the hardest imo, especially with the unseen poetry where you must rely on your own interpretation and understanding of a poem you have not seen before.

    Overall, they are enjoyable subjects if you have a genuine interest in them. As they are A-Levels, they will be a huge step from GCSEs and you must revise as you go along rather than cramming it all in last-minute!
    Thanks for the reply it has certainly reassured me! What type of things would you suggest I do in the holidays to get ready for A levels so I can bridge the big step up from gcse to a level in your opinion?
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    (Original post by mysticalrose)
    Thanks for the reply it has certainly reassured me! What type of things would you suggest I do in the holidays to get ready for A levels so I can bridge the big step up from gcse to a level in your opinion?
    I personally think that holiday revision wouldn't do you much good as it could add confusion, etc. This is particularly true if you have not done A-Levels before and you are not 100% confident with what your specification requires.

    I think the key is to just revise when you learn content.

    If you are keen on starting revision early, I'd only suggest teaching yourself or grab a rough idea of what your subjects are like- use the internet, etc.

    I am currently waiting to complete my last Psychology exam on Thursday (finally!) and I think Loopa Psychology would be great for you to grab an overall view of what Psychology is like (although the exam board is AQA, which I believe is different to yours)
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    (Original post by mysticalrose)
    Firstly thank you very much for replying😊! Secondly in your opinion what content should I go over in the holidays so I am ready for As biology?
    For AQA Biology at AS you can be looking into the basics of biochemistry, the heart, the lungs, transcription, translation, translocation, biological molecules and biodiversity.

    There is actually a book you can purchase on amazon called "Head Start to A-Level Biology" and it is especially for AQA. I purchased it for my summer work.
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    (Original post by haj2244)
    I personally think that holiday revision wouldn't do you much good as it could add confusion, etc. This is particularly true if you have not done A-Levels before and you are not 100% confident with what your specification requires.

    I think the key is to just revise when you learn content.

    If you are keen on starting revision early, I'd only suggest teaching yourself or grab a rough idea of what your subjects are like- use the internet, etc.

    I am currently waiting to complete my last Psychology exam on Thursday (finally!) and I think Loopa Psychology would be great for you to grab an overall view of what Psychology is like (although the exam board is AQA, which I believe is different to yours)
    Thanks I will definitely check the website out to get a better idea of what I will be taught in September
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    (Original post by bwilliams)
    For AQA Biology at AS you can be looking into the basics of biochemistry, the heart, the lungs, transcription, translation, translocation, biological molecules and biodiversity.

    There is actually a book you can purchase on amazon called "Head Start to A-Level Biology" and it is especially for AQA. I purchased it for my summer work.
    Thanks I will check it out😊
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    For the careers you want to go into, I would recommend doing chemistry as a fourth subject or doing it instead of english lit. For biomedical sciences it's usually a requirement, and would be useful for some other related careers.
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    I'm not too sure about psychology, but I currently do biology and English language and I think they go quite well together. Biology is a very large and complex subject as, not only do you need to learn many facts and processes, you must be able to apply your knowledge to often very vague questions. Although, biology (or any of the sciences) and English do open many doors to many different opportunities. If you want to get a head start in one of your subjects then it would be a good idea to pre-order an official revision guide and I recommend that you check whether there is a biology CGP book available for your exam board. Also, have you considered taking English language because it is one of my more enjoyable A levels
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    Hey, I do all three subjects at A2 and I love how well they go together! I'm on OCR for biology and AQA for psychology, same board as you for lit. There's definitely a lot of crossover in my bio and psych specs in terms of A2 bio topics (the nervous system, the brain, the endocrine system and some sampling methods from AS) and they just work really well together in my opinion. Although, all of the alevels are very content heavy, since they're linear. Psychology is more about memorisation, and being able to convey info effectively in essays. Whereas biology is hugely content heavy with mostly application and maths skills (I know people who got A/A*s at gcse and managed an E/D at AS, whereas I got a C in both) understanding the content is key to biology, but if you put in the time and the effort it will pay off.
    English on the other hand is dependent on essay writing skills, critical thinking and personal interpretations. It's difficult to give you a reading list as your teacher will be picking your texts, the ones I have studied are: Tess of the d'Urbervilles, The Great Gatsby, Othello, Pre-1900s poetry, The Woman in White, Lady Audley's secret (TWIW and LAS as coursework texts) Birdsong, The war poems of Wilfred Owen & My boy Jack. There is a larger emphasis on context, critical opinions and connections across texts in the A level syllabus, so be aware of those! If you have any other specific questions, feel free to ask
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    (Original post by Chloefaye9)
    I'm not too sure about psychology, but I currently do biology and English language and I think they go quite well together. Biology is a very large and complex subject as, not only do you need to learn many facts and processes, you must be able to apply your knowledge to often very vague questions. Although, biology (or any of the sciences) and English do open many doors to many different opportunities. If you want to get a head start in one of your subjects then it would be a good idea to pre-order an official revision guide and I recommend that you check whether there is a biology CGP book available for your exam board. Also, have you considered taking English language because it is one of my more enjoyable A levels
    Thank you for replying😊. At the moment I have been getting grade 8/9 consistently in language&literature but for some reason I prefer literature more🤔
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    (Original post by DingusDongus)
    For the careers you want to go into, I would recommend doing chemistry as a fourth subject or doing it instead of english lit. For biomedical sciences it's usually a requirement, and would be useful for some other related careers.
    Originally I was going to pick chemistry and biology but then I realised that I don't have much of an interest for chemistry so I decided to not take it further. I also thought that there is no point in me taking a subject for two years that I will not enjoy. Also because the sciences have been reformed I feel it may be difficult to learn all the content for chemistry and biology for the end of year exams thoroughly and in depth!
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    (Original post by Rachyray)
    Hey, I do all three subjects at A2 and I love how well they go together! I'm on OCR for biology and AQA for psychology, same board as you for lit. There's definitely a lot of crossover in my bio and psych specs in terms of A2 bio topics (the nervous system, the brain, the endocrine system and some sampling methods from AS) and they just work really well together in my opinion. Although, all of the alevels are very content heavy, since they're linear. Psychology is more about memorisation, and being able to convey info effectively in essays. Whereas biology is hugely content heavy with mostly application and maths skills (I know people who got A/A*s at gcse and managed an E/D at AS, whereas I got a C in both) understanding the content is key to biology, but if you put in the time and the effort it will pay off.
    English on the other hand is dependent on essay writing skills, critical thinking and personal interpretations. It's difficult to give you a reading list as your teacher will be picking your texts, the ones I have studied are: Tess of the d'Urbervilles, The Great Gatsby, Othello, Pre-1900s poetry, The Woman in White, Lady Audley's secret (TWIW and LAS as coursework texts) Birdsong, The war poems of Wilfred Owen & My boy Jack. There is a larger emphasis on context, critical opinions and connections across texts in the A level syllabus, so be aware of those! If you have any other specific questions, feel free to ask
    Thanks so much if you don't mind me asking could you perhaps send any notes for the three subjects you have studies so I can see what you have learnt so far and hownin depth you have learnt it?😊
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    Of these three, I only do English lit. For lit there isn't a reading list and it depends on the exam board you do as to what texts you study. More importantly I would say you have to enjoy the subject if you want to do it because In comparison to GCSE you have to quite a bit of independent work eg coursework if you have it and your own research into the area around the text.
    I have had no problem with English and have really enjoyed it but some of friends who don't enjoy it as much do say that they struggle
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    (Original post by Neddie001)
    Of these three, I only do English lit. For lit there isn't a reading list and it depends on the exam board you do as to what texts you study. More importantly I would say you have to enjoy the subject if you want to do it because In comparison to GCSE you have to quite a bit of independent work eg coursework if you have it and your own research into the area around the text.
    I have had no problem with English and have really enjoyed it but some of friends who don't enjoy it as much do say that they struggle
    Most people do say that literature is harder than language but in what way?
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    (Original post by mysticalrose)
    Most people do say that literature is harder than language but in what way?
    I think because the focus of the subject shifts from what it was at GCSE whereas lots of other subjects stay along the same lines
 
 
 
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