Please give details on Chemistry/Biology A-Level?

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FloralHybrid
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Hey!

So, as a Year 12 student who is about to retake the year (purely medical reasons, am fairly certain I'll be fine for next year) I'm considering having a totalA-Level revamp and instead of Maths, History and Psychology, I'll take Chemistry Biology and Maths. Maths I've done already and am fine with, but Chemistry and Biology I'm not entirely sure about. This is because I've realised I'd like to go into Medicine (An idea I previously scraped in exchange for Law as I didn't do well enough in science, however I didn't really try back during GCSEs as my health got in the way too much)

Could anyone taking / has taken the subjects give me any and all insight into what's required / what's involved / any useful tips? I got BB at GCSE - Which I know isn't brilliant, but again, my GCSE attendance was less than 50% also due to medical reasons.

I'd love some opinions on any of this before I make any final decisions.

Thank you.
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CorpusLuteum
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(Original post by FloralHybrid)
Hey!

So, as a Year 12 student who is about to retake the year (purely medical reasons, am fairly certain I'll be fine for next year) I'm considering having a totalA-Level revamp and instead of Maths, History and Psychology, I'll take Chemistry Biology and Maths. Maths I've done already and am fine with, but Chemistry and Biology I'm not entirely sure about. This is because I've realised I'd like to go into Medicine (An idea I previously scraped in exchange for Law as I didn't do well enough in science, however I didn't really try back during GCSEs as my health got in the way too much)

Could anyone taking / has taken the subjects give me any and all insight into what's required / what's involved / any useful tips? I got BB at GCSE - Which I know isn't brilliant, but again, my GCSE attendance was less than 50% also due to medical reasons.

I'd love some opinions on any of this before I make any final decisions.

Thank you.
Alright first thing is first make sure YOU REVISE THE GCSE BASICS especially going over some triple science stuff because the teacher will NOT be going over it in class and will expect you to have already banked the information from the triple science course. (This basically means just brush over some of the Further Additional Science stuff and the really essential basics). Make sure you know what a level exam board you are doing for the subjects.
Ask the teacher for the syllabus when you start so you can pre-read before lessons especially.
Maybe buy snap revise which is really helpful at explaining concepts in these subjects; but check for exam spec first.
Make a small specification checklist when you have time so that you have a more specific idea of what information you need to be able to apply in your exam.

Ummmmm I'm also retaking year 12 so yay! Im also changing my subjects from (maths physics and history) to (maths, Further Math, chemistry and physics). So from previously doing physics what I encountered was the lack of re-revising GCSE stuff and fully understanding things. It's also essential if during lesson when you don't understand something that you straight away point it out to the teacher because it might get lost and then resurface in the exam. Also, if you end up with a teacher that does not know what they're talking about it's really important you invest in some sort of extra tuition or maybe just a service like snap revise; be sure to check out what the teacher is saying rather than just believe it because some teachers can be a bit iffy.
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black1blade
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You will definitely have to try really hard to understand the concepts especially if you are slightly rusty after having not done science for a year. Did you do additional science or triple science? There are a small handful of topics in chemistry that are exactly the same as in c3 gcse so it makes it slightly easier if you did extension. Good maths skills will help a lot with the calculations in chemistry. You pretty much go over all the basics again in chemistry but in a more developed manner.
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FloralHybrid
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(Original post by black1blade)
You will definitely have to try really hard to understand the concepts especially if you are slightly rusty after having not done science for a year. Did you do additional science or triple science? There are a small handful of topics in chemistry that are exactly the same as in c3 gcse so it makes it slightly easier if you did extension. Good maths skills will help a lot with the calculations in chemistry. You pretty much go over all the basics again in chemistry but in a more developed manner.
I did additional, not triple. I'm more than willing to put in the hours, just unsure of what gets thrown at me initially that I might not know.

Thank you for the advice!
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FloralHybrid
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(Original post by CorpusLuteum)
Alright first thing is first make sure YOU REVISE THE GCSE BASICS especially going over some triple science stuff because the teacher will NOT be going over it in class and will expect you to have already banked the information from the triple science course. (This basically means just brush over some of the Further Additional Science stuff and the really essential basics). Make sure you know what a level exam board you are doing for the subjects.
Ask the teacher for the syllabus when you start so you can pre-read before lessons especially.
Maybe buy snap revise which is really helpful at explaining concepts in these subjects; but check for exam spec first.
Make a small specification checklist when you have time so that you have a more specific idea of what information you need to be able to apply in your exam.

Ummmmm I'm also retaking year 12 so yay! Im also changing my subjects from (maths physics and history) to (maths, Further Math, chemistry and physics). So from previously doing physics what I encountered was the lack of re-revising GCSE stuff and fully understanding things. It's also essential if during lesson when you don't understand something that you straight away point it out to the teacher because it might get lost and then resurface in the exam. Also, if you end up with a teacher that does not know what they're talking about it's really important you invest in some sort of extra tuition or maybe just a service like snap revise; be sure to check out what the teacher is saying rather than just believe it because some teachers can be a bit iffy.
I didn't take triple science GCSE, but I'm more than willing to learn! Thank you. Do you think the content will initially be "Okay so you should all know this so I'm going to go one step further?" I'm fine to put in the hours, just a little scared that I might be significant behind the class I'm with! I think if I'm willing through the year all should be okay.

Thank you for the advice - I'll make sure to revise as I go along and research anything I don't understand.
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CorpusLuteum
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(Original post by FloralHybrid)
I didn't take triple science GCSE, but I'm more than willing to learn! Thank you. Do you think the content will initially be "Okay so you should all know this so I'm going to go one step further?" I'm fine to put in the hours, just a little scared that I might be significant behind the class I'm with! I think if I'm willing through the year all should be okay.

Thank you for the advice - I'll make sure to revise as I go along and research anything I don't understand.
Generally the gist in A-levels is taking previous knowledge a step further, although it does really depend on what kind of teacher you have etc.
You won't be significantly behind; the knowledge you'll encounter when reading over the triple science stuff will be re-introduced bit by bit. So you'll be safe going over the first half and realising that that's the main focus of your lesson in one term and so on.

You've got this! Good luck!
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FloralHybrid
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(Original post by CorpusLuteum)
Generally the gist in A-levels is taking previous knowledge a step further, although it does really depend on what kind of teacher you have etc.
You won't be significantly behind; the knowledge you'll encounter when reading over the triple science stuff will be re-introduced bit by bit. So you'll be safe going over the first half and realising that that's the main focus of your lesson in one term and so on.

You've got this! Good luck!
Thank you so much! Good luck to you retaking Year 12 also? Feel free to pm me anytime - Being with the year below us is going to be.. interesting to say the the least!
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by FloralHybrid)
Hey!

So, as a Year 12 student who is about to retake the year (purely medical reasons, am fairly certain I'll be fine for next year) I'm considering having a totalA-Level revamp and instead of Maths, History and Psychology, I'll take Chemistry Biology and Maths. Maths I've done already and am fine with, but Chemistry and Biology I'm not entirely sure about. This is because I've realised I'd like to go into Medicine (An idea I previously scraped in exchange for Law as I didn't do well enough in science, however I didn't really try back during GCSEs as my health got in the way too much)

Could anyone taking / has taken the subjects give me any and all insight into what's required / what's involved / any useful tips? I got BB at GCSE - Which I know isn't brilliant, but again, my GCSE attendance was less than 50% also due to medical reasons.

I'd love some opinions on any of this before I make any final decisions.

Thank you.
You won't need to look back at your Biology GCSE notes purely because the absolute fundamentals should be engraved in your brain already. When I say absolute fundamentals, I mean the really, really basic stuff like knowing the definition of diffusion.

A lot of A-Level Biology (at AS especially) builds on GCSE Additional Science. I never found my Triple Science GCSE useful in Biology at all. You will soon find out that what you learned at GCSE was a complete lie in A-Level Bio and you will also learn that some definitions that you learned at GCSE are too simple to pass on as A-Level answers.

Also, your CGP Revision Guide will become your new best friend. Although the official textbook contains many valuable nuggets of information, when it comes to revising you really want a concise revision guide to make notes from.

Make sure you study the mark schemes carefully whenever you do past papers. A lot of questions will have keywords UNDERLINED, meaning you have to use that EXACT word to gain credit. Most Biology questions have similarly structured answers year to year so be sure to study them! Examiners reports are also helpful to see where students commonly mess up.
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CorpusLuteum
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(Original post by FloralHybrid)
Thank you so much! Good luck to you retaking Year 12 also? Feel free to pm me anytime - Being with the year below us is going to be.. interesting to say the the least!
Haha, yeah so looking forward to being with a bunch of snotty children; I'm kidding lol. I'll be sure to! And thanks to you too.
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IGCSETANK
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(Original post by FloralHybrid)
Hey!

So, as a Year 12 student who is about to retake the year (purely medical reasons, am fairly certain I'll be fine for next year) I'm considering having a totalA-Level revamp and instead of Maths, History and Psychology, I'll take Chemistry Biology and Maths. Maths I've done already and am fine with, but Chemistry and Biology I'm not entirely sure about. This is because I've realised I'd like to go into Medicine (An idea I previously scraped in exchange for Law as I didn't do well enough in science, however I didn't really try back during GCSEs as my health got in the way too much)

Could anyone taking / has taken the subjects give me any and all insight into what's required / what's involved / any useful tips? I got BB at GCSE - Which I know isn't brilliant, but again, my GCSE attendance was less than 50% also due to medical reasons.

I'd love some opinions on any of this before I make any final decisions.

Thank you.
Okay so I am half way through my A level course and I would only recommend taking both Biology AND Chemistry I you are willing to put the work in.
From day 1 print out the specification for both subjects and have a short read through.
Next step is to create a 'stock - check'. What I mean by that is the creation of a schedule that dictates the amount of revision you will do after school and on weekends and how your time will be separated (e.g. 1 hour of homework, 1 of reading up on upcoming topics, 1 hour of revision).
The most difficult aspect of taking these 2 subjects is ensuring your motivation will remain high and constant throughout the academic year. Think of a strategy that may help to retain your motivation.
And most importantly, ensure your health remains constant throughout. Particularly in your case devise a method to ensure your health is of a high level throughout the year (e.g. Personal hygiene).
Other than that I wish you luck on your quest for medicine!
Tank.
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