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Should i take Biology, Chemistry & History for my A levels? watch

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    I'm really struggling to choose what to take for my A levels, throughout the GCSE course I've been really passionate about Biology and I've always been quite good at history but I'm still scared that I won't be able to do it? Especially with chemistry, I really want to do it but I'm not the best at the subject, i feel with a lot of hard work and effort that i will be able to achieve a good grade but i still don't want to take it if I'm not guaranteed a good grade? I spoke to my teacher and she gave me text books to look through and although bits of the content had been dropped down to GCSE anyways so i do understand some of the basics, i don't know how hard i would find it?

    Does anyone have any tips? I also feel like Biology & Chemistry go well together and they help each other but i don't know...
    Any help would be much appreciated
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    Think about what career you want to do first of all. If you're not sure, I'd pick the one that you find the most fun/ easiest unless you want a challenge. Less stress the better basically lol, but everyone's different in what they prefer! Good luck
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    If you are taking Chemistry, I’d strongly suggest having Maths A-level as well. The maths required for Chemistry isn’t particularly hard but it is still a noticeable step up from GCSE. Plus having maths as an A-level will keep more options open if you decide to go down the science route for university degrees.
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    (Original post by brendarob)
    Think about what career you want to do first of all. If you're not sure, I'd pick the one that you find the most fun/ easiest unless you want a challenge. Less stress the better basically lol, but everyone's different in what they prefer! Good luck
    What career r u interested in? Only do it if you really want to do it but be realistic r u gonna work from day one because many people say this but don't do it.
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    (Original post by wombat746)
    If you are taking Chemistry, I’d strongly suggest having Maths A-level as well. The maths required for Chemistry isn’t particularly hard but it is still a noticeable step up from GCSE. Plus having maths as an A-level will keep more options open if you decide to go down the science route for university degrees.
    I've never really considered taking maths as an A-level because I've never enjoyed it and I'm not good enough to do it at an advanced level, would this cause a problem with A-level chemistry? I know a lot of maths is involved in certain areas so i'm not sure whether i could get away with not being the best at maths.
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    From someone who attempted to do all three (plus Maths) but ended up dropping Chemistry in y13 (and ended up retaking the AS lol): it is potentially doable but it requires a hell of a lot of work.
    Thing is, unlike doing history/politics or maths/fm/physics as combinations, there really is no overlap in what you'd be learning. If you're considering studying a science at university then I'd do Chem instead of History if I had to choose between them, simply because like you said they go well together (not necessarily helping each other but yeah). You'd ideally need Maths as well instead of History as a 3rd subject if you were going down this route, but History could help show your strengths in multiple areas. Like previously mentioned in this thread, A level chem and bio use things from a level maths as it's almost a given someone would take maths with a science.
    Otherwise, if you're thinking about doing a degree in anything unrelated to science then don't put yourself through the struggle of doing Chemistry and History together with Biology unless you're absolutely set on it. They're all heavily knowledge-based and don't let you get away with bluffing it in the exam, so they require a lot of brainpower to crack. However, if you have the motivation to do well and genuinely enjoy all three then go for it, but be aware of what you're getting into!
    Please, don't take on more than you feel comfortable handling simply because it looks good - AA in two subjects looks better than BBB in 3 take this from someone who learnt the hard way a year ago.
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    (Original post by brendarob)
    Think about what career you want to do first of all. If you're not sure, I'd pick the one that you find the most fun/ easiest unless you want a challenge. Less stress the better basically lol, but everyone's different in what they prefer! Good luck
    Okay! Thank you
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    You're welcome
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    (Original post by man111111)
    What career r u interested in? Only do it if you really want to do it but be realistic r u gonna work from day one because many people say this but don't do it.
    For me, a career in art. Not sure what kind of job yet like. Gonna do a btec level3 diploma- not putting myself through stressful a levels, and also I prefer coursework over exams. GCSEs have done me in😭😭😂
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    (Original post by stu-dying)
    From someone who attempted to do all three (plus Maths) but ended up dropping Chemistry in y13 (and ended up retaking the AS lol): it is potentially doable but it requires a hell of a lot of work.
    Thing is, unlike doing history/politics or maths/fm/physics as combinations, there really is no overlap in what you'd be learning. If you're considering studying a science at university then I'd do Chem instead of History if I had to choose between them, simply because like you said they go well together (not necessarily helping each other but yeah). You'd ideally need Maths as well instead of History as a 3rd subject if you were going down this route, but History could help show your strengths in multiple areas. Like previously mentioned in this thread, A level chem and bio use things from a level maths as it's almost a given someone would take maths with a science.
    Otherwise, if you're thinking about doing a degree in anything unrelated to science then don't put yourself through the struggle of doing Chemistry and History together with Biology unless you're absolutely set on it. They're all heavily knowledge-based and don't let you get away with bluffing it in the exam, so they require a lot of brainpower to crack. However, if you have the motivation to do well and genuinely enjoy all three then go for it, but be aware of what you're getting into!
    Please, don't take on more than you feel comfortable handling simply because it looks good - AA in two subjects looks better than BBB in 3 take this from someone who learnt the hard way a year ago.
    Yes, I thought that it might be an issue because I don't like maths and wouldn't consider doing it at A-level. I haven't thought too specifically on the exact course i would like to do at university but I think that I would like to do something with science. Thank you for your advice!!
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    (Original post by man111111)
    What career r u interested in? Only do it if you really want to do it but be realistic r u gonna work from day one because many people say this but don't do it.
    I'm not 100% set on any specific career yet other than it having something to do with science. I am very much the person who's been like that with my GCSEs but I would like to think that with my A-levels i would take it more seriously.
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    (Original post by emmamace13)
    I'm not 100% set on any specific career yet other than it having something to do with science. I am very much the person who's been like that with my GCSEs but I would like to think that with my A-levels i would take it more seriously.
    I hope so but please do not pick an A level that you really don't need because you r gonna put stress onto your self for no reason. TBH you don't need history if you want a career in science plus history may look good as an A level but remember at the end of the day if you don't get a good grade then you have wasted your time on a subject that you didn't need. Just don't pick a subject that u don't need or a subject ur having second thoughts about. If you have any other questions about A levels please ask me
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    (Original post by man111111)
    I hope so but please do not pick an A level that you really don't need because you r gonna put stress onto your self for no reason. TBH you don't need history if you want a career in science plus history may look good as an A level but remember at the end of the day if you don't get a good grade then you have wasted your time on a subject that you didn't need. Just don't pick a subject that u don't need or a subject ur having second thoughts about. If you have any other questions about A levels please ask me
    yes of course. I’m going to do a little more research into different things to help me decide but thank you so much for your help!
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    (Original post by emmamace13)
    I've never really considered taking maths as an A-level because I've never enjoyed it and I'm not good enough to do it at an advanced level, would this cause a problem with A-level chemistry? I know a lot of maths is involved in certain areas so i'm not sure whether i could get away with not being the best at maths.
    many people told me i needed maths for physics but you don't need it. I'll ask a friend who studied chemistry but i don't think you need it TBH.
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    (Original post by man111111)
    many people told me i needed maths for physics but you don't need it. I'll ask a friend who studied chemistry but i don't think you need it TBH.
    yes, i know that chemistry involves maths but my sister took all three sciences without maths so i’m not sure
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    (Original post by emmamace13)
    yes of course. I’m going to do a little more research into different things to help me decide but thank you so much for your help!
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    (Original post by emmamace13)
    yes, i know that chemistry involves maths but my sister took all three sciences without maths so i’m not sure
    My advice to you is that if you can rearrange a formula then that is enough. The new A level maths has become harder (my maths teacher told me that the questions are more challenging and it requires you to think more).
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    I’m doing biology, chemistry and history A level at the moment and if you enjoy them I’d say go for it! It’s a lot of work but I vary rarely feel overwhelmed by it and they’re all super interesting. Adding to the point about maths A level for chemistry, I do think it helps but you can still do really well without it. I did maths AS last year and it did help in terms of the maths side of chemistry and understanding things like logarithms which I didn’t do at GCSE! Although, there’s also an overlap with biology and chemistry and according to my friends doing physics, there’s an overlap with chemistry and physics too! So don’t let the idea of taking another subject just to help you in chemistry, especially a subject like maths because honestly if you don’t love maths you will hate it at A level! Also I have a friend who got A*AA last year, with an A* in chemistry after having taken biology and drama along with it! So it’s definitely doable without maths 😊

    I also enjoy having a range of subjects because I find it really helps me to engage with the subjects and not get bored. I feel like if I would have continued with maths instead of history I would have felt bogged down by the non-stop science 😂 also history allows you to have other skills which universities will favour (given any relevence to the course), for example with me I’m hoping to study medicine and universities like the fact that I have history as a 3rd option as it demonstrates analytical and essay based skills which other candidates don’t have!

    Having said that if you don’t love the subjects don’t do it because it’s a massive step up from GCSE and they are not easy A levels to do, but I definitely wouldn’t change any of them!
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    (Original post by liliandrews)
    I’m doing biology, chemistry and history A level at the moment and if you enjoy them I’d say go for it! It’s a lot of work but I vary rarely feel overwhelmed by it and they’re all super interesting. Adding to the point about maths A level for chemistry, I do think it helps but you can still do really well without it. I did maths AS last year and it did help in terms of the maths side of chemistry and understanding things like logarithms which I didn’t do at GCSE! Although, there’s also an overlap with biology and chemistry and according to my friends doing physics, there’s an overlap with chemistry and physics too! So don’t let the idea of taking another subject just to help you in chemistry, especially a subject like maths because honestly if you don’t love maths you will hate it at A level! Also I have a friend who got A*AA last year, with an A* in chemistry after having taken biology and drama along with it! So it’s definitely doable without maths 😊

    I also enjoy having a range of subjects because I find it really helps me to engage with the subjects and not get bored. I feel like if I would have continued with maths instead of history I would have felt bogged down by the non-stop science 😂 also history allows you to have other skills which universities will favour (given any relevence to the course), for example with me I’m hoping to study medicine and universities like the fact that I have history as a 3rd option as it demonstrates analytical and essay based skills which other candidates don’t have!

    Having said that if you don’t love the subjects don’t do it because it’s a massive step up from GCSE and they are not easy A levels to do, but I definitely wouldn’t change any of them!
    Thank you so much, this has really boosted up my confidence with taking these subjects now! Would you say that you would need to get A's/A*'s to take these subjects or? :)
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    (Original post by emmamace13)
    Thank you so much, this has really boosted up my confidence with taking these subjects now! Would you say that you would need to get A's/A*'s to take these subjects or?

    I’d say for chemistry having an A/A* would be good just so you know that you will be able to handle the subject because it is a huge step up! Having said that I know of people getting a B at gcse chemistry and going on to get an A* at A level! So again it’s all about the work you put in.

    For biology again the same goes but ultimately A level is a different learning style because everything is so much more in depth, so people either do better from this change or worse just depending on how well you learn the content of the course!

    For history I don’t think how you do at gcse defines how well you’ll do at A level at all. Just be sure that you do have a brain which can remember numerous dates and random little facts and figures because some people find this quite tricky. I’m not sure what history gcse is like for you but for me questions ranged between 2 - 8 marks, then an essay at the end of each paper but they were all very much based upon ‘explain...’ ‘describe...’ whereas A level history (for my specification anyway, although I’m sure most exam boards are the same) is more about how well you can debate the different concepts together and different views in terms of their historical context, and it’s completely essay based. I really struggled last year with history because my essays were too descriptive and I was being marked down basically just for knowing the content well haha, but instead what examiners are looking for at a level is for you to think like an historian and create your own judgement and debate on key issues. So it’s very different to gcse really so I think even if someone wasn’t very good at gcse but loved the subject, they could still do very well in history because it is ultimately very different.

    Also, a girl in my classes got ABB in history, biology and chemistry respectively at gcse and she’s finding them fine at a level so by no means do you have to have straight A*s in the subjects to do well at A level!
 
 
 
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