AidenAdam-11
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Currently, I’m taking GCSE’s in the following subjects:
•Bio
•Chem
•Physics
•Maths (Higher)
•English lit/Lang
•Computer science
•History
•Spanish
•RE

I am predicted grade 6 for most of the subjects, grade 7 for RE and an A for psychology.

Now the actual struggle is choosing alevels!

I would like to go into medicine therefore I wanted some tips/advice on Chem, Bio, RE and history.

Even if you don’t take any of those alevels do tell us about your experiences.

Please don’t bombard the thread with ‘we all find things of different levels’ or ‘do what you like’, in all honesty just speak about your transition from GCSE to Alevels. Specify the subject choices and how much you revise etc.
Thanks
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Prefect1992
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Hiya I found history to be interesting but the mark schemes were confusing at the best of times (just a heads up)

I done about 3-4 hours of revision on weeks not near the exams this increased to about 7 on exam weeks (i started revising a good 5-6 months before exams)
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asox
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My a levels are English, biology, latin

I’m in my second year of A levels (upper sixth)

I’ll summarise my opinions on English and biology seeing as you take those two for GCSE

English lit is a rather relaxed and I’ve found it’s been like this for the majority of the course. Content wise there isnt necessarily a lot you need to know for the exam which I find to be a large benefits (you just need to know some quotes from the novels and some critics quotes). For this reason I would recommend it however lessons can be rather tedious as they generally include reading through the set texts/novels for the majority of lesson time. As you’re looking to go into medicine you probably won’t consider English however I would recommend it (especially over history and RE as it’s a lot less stressful when it comes to exam season, especially with the immense content of knowledge needed for the sciences).

Biology I also enjoy. I find that the subject content itself isn’t too tricky and that it is fairly easy to understand. Other than ecology, I find all of the topics interesting and not too tedious. The only downside with biology is the amount you need to know but this also comes with an upside and that is that you can go into the exam knowing that you can get around 40% with ease as it is simply factual recall.

Good luck making your decision!
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aamina.x
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Hi, I study History and to be honest the transition from GCSE to A Level was by far the most challenging. It is very content heavy and involves a lot of practice and effort in order to nail essay questions.
It also depends on which topics/modules you study, and if they interest you.
Revision is very time consuming and I would suggest making detailed notes as you study the course, and not leaving it to the last minute to revise, because it won't work!
That's the only subject that I can advise on, but good luck with your decision!
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yeahthatonethere
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I'm in year 13 doing Biology, Chemistry and Psychology with an AS Level in Religious Studies (and I'm doing EPQ). I got 4 As at AS Level.

(Sorry but I can't specify how much I revise cause I seriously don't know!)

So let's start with biology! It's a great subject that can be really interesting but also extremely boring also points. You covered every aspect from physiology to immunity to conservation and so on so the odds are you will run into a topic that bores you to death. Despite those topics it is a good subject and I love it!

Advice? Do a ton of exam questions! Practice is the best thing you can do. Mark schemes for A level biology are notoriously picky so you're not going to do well if you don't know what they expect you to answer. It's also a content heavy subject so set aside a lot of time for revision (I found flashcards to be a lifesaver!)

Chemistry is a hard A Level. I don't think I can count how many times I broke down last year! However it is an awesome subject and I'll never regret taking it (unless I fail of course)! There's a lot of maths so beware of that and the content can be a bit confusing at times so don't be afraid to ask for help!

Advice? Basically the same as for Biology! There's less content but a lot more practice needed and don't be afraid to fail in lessons. This is one subject where failure is needed to do better so just keep positive and learn from your mistakes.

Religious Studies was a fascinating subject! I loved doing it and it was such a different way of thinking to my biology and chemistry. The ethics part was my favourite and I would have loved to have taken it to A Level.

Advice? I found mind maps to be a god send (pun not intended). The whole subject was a massive information dump so the best way I found to keep my ideas organised was mind maps. Flashcards were, again, really useful in memorising the theories and key concepts. Exam practice is useful but unlike the others it can be hard to mark it yourself so ask your teacher to help! The practice is helpful in learning how they word questions cause it can be quite weirdly worded e.g. a question on my Buddhism exam was along the lines of "Nirvana can't be expressed in words. Do you agree with this statement?" Like what do you write about that! But seriously practice is always great.

Hope I've helped and anymore questions just ask!
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AidenAdam-11
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(Original post by Dodo0099)
Hiya I found history to be interesting but the mark schemes were confusing at the best of times (just a heads up)

I done about 3-4 hours of revision on weeks not near the exams this increased to about 7 on exam weeks (i started revising a good 5-6 months before exams)
Thanks for your reply! That sounds gooood, is most of the exam analytical or what? I heard most of the questions are based on interpretations with own knowledge.
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AidenAdam-11
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(Original post by asox)
My a levels are English, biology, latin

I’m in my second year of A levels (upper sixth)

I’ll summarise my opinions on English and biology seeing as you take those two for GCSE

English lit is a rather relaxed and I’ve found it’s been like this for the majority of the course. Content wise there isnt necessarily a lot you need to know for the exam which I find to be a large benefits (you just need to know some quotes from the novels and some critics quotes). For this reason I would recommend it however lessons can be rather tedious as they generally include reading through the set texts/novels for the majority of lesson time. As you’re looking to go into medicine you probably won’t consider English however I would recommend it (especially over history and RE as it’s a lot less stressful when it comes to exam season, especially with the immense content of knowledge needed for the sciences).

Biology I also enjoy. I find that the subject content itself isn’t too tricky and that it is fairly easy to understand. Other than ecology, I find all of the topics interesting and not too tedious. The only downside with biology is the amount you need to know but this also comes with an upside and that is that you can go into the exam knowing that you can get around 40% with ease as it is simply factual recall.

Good luck making your decision!
A very informative reply. I did think about taking an English Alevel, however I have been advised not to as history and English will require a lot of essay writing which will barricade the immense amount of content I need to remember for bio.


Is there a lot of maths involved in biology, like there is for chem?
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AidenAdam-11
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(Original post by aamina.x)
Hi, I study History and to be honest the transition from GCSE to A Level was by far the most challenging. It is very content heavy and involves a lot of practice and effort in order to nail essay questions.
It also depends on which topics/modules you study, and if they interest you.
Revision is very time consuming and I would suggest making detailed notes as you study the course, and not leaving it to the last minute to revise, because it won't work!
That's the only subject that I can advise on, but good luck with your decision!
Thank you so much. Hopefully, when I start the course I plan to start revision from day1 as I have just started revision for GCSES now!
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Prefect1992
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(Original post by AidenAdam-11)
Thanks for your reply! That sounds gooood, is most of the exam analytical or what? I heard most of the questions are based on interpretations with own knowledge.
Hiya I done pearsons it was a bit of both tbh

Mostly the latter though... (but the questions were quite confusing and I often got marked down for "irrelevant content" despite using own knowledge related to the question in hand and making links between factors.

Very enjoyable, you'll learn loads there's a lot of different modules. but the marking is pony.
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AidenAdam-11
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(Original post by yeahthatonethere)
I'm in year 13 doing Biology, Chemistry and Psychology with an AS Level in Religious Studies (and I'm doing EPQ). I got 4 As at AS Level.

(Sorry but I can't specify how much I revise cause I seriously don't know!)

So let's start with biology! It's a great subject that can be really interesting but also extremely boring also points. You covered every aspect from physiology to immunity to conservation and so on so the odds are you will run into a topic that bores you to death. Despite those topics it is a good subject and I love it!

Advice? Do a ton of exam questions! Practice is the best thing you can do. Mark schemes for A level biology are notoriously picky so you're not going to do well if you don't know what they expect you to answer. It's also a content heavy subject so set aside a lot of time for revision (I found flashcards to be a lifesaver!)

Chemistry is a hard A Level. I don't think I can count how many times I broke down last year! However it is an awesome subject and I'll never regret taking it (unless I fail of course)! There's a lot of maths so beware of that and the content can be a bit confusing at times so don't be afraid to ask for help!

Advice? Basically the same as for Biology! There's less content but a lot more practice needed and don't be afraid to fail in lessons. This is one subject where failure is needed to do better so just keep positive and learn from your mistakes.

Religious Studies was a fascinating subject! I loved doing it and it was such a different way of thinking to my biology and chemistry. The ethics part was my favourite and I would have loved to have taken it to A Level.

Advice? I found mind maps to be a god send (pun not intended). The whole subject was a massive information dump so the best way I found to keep my ideas organised was mind maps. Flashcards were, again, really useful in memorising the theories and key concepts. Exam practice is useful but unlike the others it can be hard to mark it yourself so ask your teacher to help! The practice is helpful in learning how they word questions cause it can be quite weirdly worded e.g. a question on my Buddhism exam was along the lines of "Nirvana can't be expressed in words. Do you agree with this statement?" Like what do you write about that! But seriously practice is always great.

Hope I've helped and anymore questions just ask!
Again, a very informative response just like all of the replies above. I understand that or practise is key! Please could you specify the type of maths for chemistry ALevel because, at GCSE it’s really simple. At GCSEs, all we do is remember and apply equations





Please could you specify the type of maths? Loci, trig/Pythagoras? What type of maths. thanks
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AidenAdam-11
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(Original post by Dodo0099)
Hiya I done pearsons it was a bit of both tbh

Mostly the latter though... (but the questions were quite confusing and I often got marked down for "irrelevant content" despite using own knowledge related to the question in hand and making links between factors.

Very enjoyable, you'll learn loads there's a lot of different modules. but the marking is pony.
I’m sure I’ll find it interesting. I think, if I start revising and concentrating from D1, I will receive fantastic results.
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asox
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(Original post by AidenAdam-11)
A very informative reply. I did think about taking an English Alevel, however I have been advised not to as history and English will require a lot of essay writing which will barricade the immense amount of content I need to remember for bio.


Is there a lot of maths involved in biology, like there is for chem?
I’m doing AQA Biology and I think maths makes up around 15% of marks however all the maths I’ve covered so far is no harder than GCSE standard and they’re generally easy marks.
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AidenAdam-11
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(Original post by asox)
I’m doing AQA Biology and I think maths makes up around 15% of marks however all the maths I’ve covered so far is no harder than GCSE standard and they’re generally easy marks.
Kwl, my school also follows the AQA spec, I’m sure we will continue using AQA for alevels. How many topics are there in total?
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yeahthatonethere
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(Original post by AidenAdam-11)
Again, a very informative response just like all of the replies above. I understand that or practise is key! Please could you specify the type of maths for chemistry ALevel because, at GCSE it’s really simple. At GCSEs, all we do is remember and apply equations





Please could you specify the type of maths? Loci, trig/Pythagoras? What type of maths. thanks
Well in AQA Chemistry there's not much difference from the maths skills in GCSE and skills in A Level, there's just a lot more of it. It is mainly rearranging and applying equations (or in some cases learning a method such as with empirical formulas) so it's nothing too difficult. Some questions can require numerous equations though but these are mainly at A2.

The most difficult part about the maths is figuring out during the exam what equations they want you to use and what equations you can use with information given because the questions can be fairly obscure (and you learn A LOT of equations which you are not given in the exam).

There's also some maths in AQA Biology, mainly things like percentage difference and reading off of graphs. There are a few equations you need to learn and apply but nowhere near the amount for chemistry.
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