Biology, Chemistry and... ?

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rafi_126
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#1
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#1
Hi, I'm currently in Yr 11 and I really don't know which subject to pick for my third. I was pretty interested with psychology initially but then heard that it was a bit of a soft subject to uni's so I'm just pretty confused at the moment. At gcse History is a big passion of mine but i'm not sure if I should carry it on to a-levels. Oh and maths? Completely out of the question, I just can't cope with the damn thing.
Science really is the biggest passion I have, I could literally sit in school all day and learn about biology, chemistry and a little physics(defo not a-level, maths remember?).
As for English I like that as well but I'm not exactly ecstatic over it.

Any recommendations and help would be great! Thanks
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noonslug
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#2
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#2
History, along with the sciences, is really well looked at by universities. This is a good mix of your subjects because you've got variety - an essay subject, and two critical thinking subjects. Plus, history always shows a lot of skills. I have a friend doing it who enjoyed it highly at GCSE's and is now doing it at A-Levels, and is also very happy with it. Don't do something you have an absolute hatred for, no matter the circumstances - because it always makes the subject even harder, and maths is already hard.
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rafi_126
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#3
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#3
(Original post by noonslug)
History, along with the sciences, is really well looked at by universities. This is a good mix of your subjects because you've got variety - an essay subject, and two critical thinking subjects. Plus, history always shows a lot of skills. I have a friend doing it who enjoyed it highly at GCSE's and is now doing it at A-Levels, and is also very happy with it. Don't do something you have an absolute hatred for, no matter the circumstances - because it always makes the subject even harder, and maths is already hard.
Hey thanks a lot I probably will end up taking history then
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Zoe Lea
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#4
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#4
I agree with the first comment, History has similar skills to English however I definitely advise to not do English unless you LOVE it otherwise you will definitely regret it. Therefore History is the better option, you should ask and find out what topics you'll be doing, like what time period.
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noonslug
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#5
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(Original post by rafi_126)
Hey thanks a lot I probably will end up taking history then
No problem! Good luck with your A-Levels
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Fonzworth
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#6
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#6
(Original post by rafi_126)
Hi, I'm currently in Yr 11 and I really don't know which subject to pick for my third. I was pretty interested with psychology initially but then heard that it was a bit of a soft subject to uni's so I'm just pretty confused at the moment. At gcse History is a big passion of mine but i'm not sure if I should carry it on to a-levels. Oh and maths? Completely out of the question, I just can't cope with the damn thing.
Science really is the biggest passion I have, I could literally sit in school all day and learn about biology, chemistry and a little physics(defo not a-level, maths remember?).
As for English I like that as well but I'm not exactly ecstatic over it.

Any recommendations and help would be great! Thanks
Physics mainly involves GCSE Maths whereas A-Level Maths quickly expands past level 7 stuff. If you enjoy History definitely do it, it shows a wide range of skills and I don’t think you’d dread any of your lessons if you find History fascinating too
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artful_lounger
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#7
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As above, A-level Physics, to it's eternal detriment I might add, is purely algebra based, not calculus based. As such, it won't cover anything (or much of anything) beyond GCSE level Maths. Psychology is fine as an option, although be aware you'll need to do maths in that as well (statistics). However I found 6th form psychology to be tediously boring, so...caveat emptor.

Dispel notions of "soft" and "hard" subjects when considering them - the only relevant distinction is academic vs applied/vocational, as that's more or less where the line gets drawn at what is preferred, and this is due to the fact the former are specifically preparing you for university study, both curricular and in terms of transferable skills, whereas the latter usually aren't (this isn't to suggest the latter aren't worthwhile in their own right, but if your intent is to apply to university it's best to avoid it).

If you enjoy and are interested in the sciences, you may want to consider Geography. It is about 50% "physical" geography at A-level, which covers aspects of the natural world and complements your subjects well enough. It's often taken by students planning to study geology/earth sciences and similar, and some universities will consider it as a science subject for such course (such as the SOES courses at Southampton). You may find such earth/environmental focused science to be something you are interested in, and there are biological and chemical aspects to this (from traditional paleontological and mineralogical/petrological aspects of geology to more modern and integrated considerations of climate science, biogeochemical cycles and earth "system" science).
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rafi_126
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#8
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#8
(Original post by artful_lounger)
As above, A-level Physics, to it's great detriment I might add, is purely algebra based, not calculus based. As such, it won't cover anything (or much of anything) beyond GCSE level Maths. Psychology is fine as an option, although be aware you'll need to do maths in that as well (statistics). However I found 6th form psychology to be tediously boring, so...caveat emptor.

Dispel notions of "soft" and "hard" subjects when considering them - the only relevant distinction is academic vs applied/vocational, as that's more or less where the line gets drawn at what is preferred, and this is due to the fact the former are specifically preparing you for university study, both curricular and in terms of transferable skills, whereas the latter usually aren't (this isn't to suggest the latter aren't worthwhile in their own right, but if your intent is to apply to university it's best to avoid it).

If you enjoy and are interested in the sciences, you may want to consider Geography. It is about 50% "physical" geography at A-level, which covers aspects of the natural world and complements your subjects well enough. It's often taken by students planning to study geology/earth sciences and similar, and some universities will consider it as a science subject for such course (such as the SOES courses at Southampton). You may find such earth/environmental focused science to be something you are interested in, and there are biological and chemical aspects to this (from traditional paleontological and mineralogical/petrological aspects of geology to more modern and integrates considerations of climate science, biogeochemical cycles and earth "system" science).
Hey thanks for the great insight! I didn't take gcse geography, and a bit of research shows that I'm not particularly at a disadvantage to gcse students. To be honest I simply can't fathom this. I am seriously considering geography now as I previously didn't think you could take it without gcse. Is it true that all students will start off on the same page?
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artful_lounger
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#9
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#9
(Original post by rafi_126)
Hey thanks for the great insight! I didn't take gcse geography, and a bit of research shows that I'm not particularly at a disadvantage to gcse students. To be honest I simply can't fathom this. I am seriously considering geography now as I previously didn't think you could take it without gcse. Is it true that all students will start off on the same page?
No idea, I stopped taking geography in year 9 because I didn't like either of the geography teachers at my school

They did give me the option to take it when I did IB, but I took psychology, to my great regret...although that's because I hated psych, not that I had any interest in geography at the time

In any case, to my knowledge it's not uncommon to be offered without having taken it at GCSE, similar to History. It's often required just to create continuity which simplifies things for the schools and gives the teachers more flexibility in timescales (since if they know they already taught x content to the students in GCSE they can spend more on Y if need be in A-level if the cohort struggles with it).

You should speak with your relevant administrators/teachers at school - the geography teacher(s) may or may not support such an option. If they do they'll probably be able to advise if there's anything specific you should catch up on, if anything.
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