Luca Ward
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#1
I’m in year 11, choosing my A-Levels, and in the future I am pretty confident (but not absolutely certain) that I want to do a scientific degree (such as Biomedical Science, Neuroscience etc), so I’m planning on doing Biology and Maths, and I also want to do English Literature as it is one of my favourite subjects and I don’t want to restrict myself to science, in case I regret it later.
My issue, however, is trying to decide between Physics and Chemistry as my fourth A-Level. I did not take Chemistry at GCSE (we can choose sciences individually at my school), and although I feel it would be the best subject for me to take at A-Level, I fear that I might really struggle with it, since it is known for being very difficult. As far as physics is concerned, I do it at GCSE but I do not like it very much. I would preferably take Chemistry but i’m concerned that it will be too difficult, so should I go for it, or stick with Physics.
If it’s at all relevant, I tend to do very well in my subjects at GCSE (A* in everything), and would be willing to look over Chemistry content the summer before AS, but i’m still struggling to decide if it would be a wise choice or not worth it.
0
reply
igotohaggerston
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#2
Report 2 years ago
#2
no point doing chem A-level if you haven't done it a gcse. I don't think sixth forms/colleges would let you, unless you were like a prodigy. That being said it seems you'd need chemistry for the degrees you want to do (need as in make a competitive application to a good uni) so self teaching and acting like you're a genius to the sixth form/college you want to go to may be an option haha.
0
reply
Anti-Fem
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#3
Report 2 years ago
#3
(Original post by Luca Ward)
I’m in year 11, choosing my A-Levels, and in the future I am pretty confident (but not absolutely certain) that I want to do a scientific degree (such as Biomedical Science, Neuroscience etc), so I’m planning on doing Biology and Maths, and I also want to do English Literature as it is one of my favourite subjects and I don’t want to restrict myself to science, in case I regret it later.
My issue, however, is trying to decide between Physics and Chemistry as my fourth A-Level. I did not take Chemistry at GCSE (we can choose sciences individually at my school), and although I feel it would be the best subject for me to take at A-Level, I fear that I might really struggle with it, since it is known for being very difficult. As far as physics is concerned, I do it at GCSE but I do not like it very much. I would preferably take Chemistry but i’m concerned that it will be too difficult, so should I go for it, or stick with Physics.
If it’s at all relevant, I tend to do very well in my subjects at GCSE (A* in everything), and would be willing to look over Chemistry content the summer before AS, but i’m still struggling to decide if it would be a wise choice or not worth it.
Bad news OP, you can't do English Lit if you are planning for a science degree, it just won't fit in. Good news though. I assume you are taking physics GCSE, I recommend taking physics, maths, further maths and then Biology and going straight into engineering
0
reply
igotohaggerston
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#4
Report 2 years ago
#4
(Original post by Anti-Fem)
Bad news OP, you can't do English Lit if you are planning for a science degree, it just won't fit in. Good news though. I assume you are taking physics GCSE, I recommend taking physics, maths, further maths and then Biology and going straight into engineering
not true, a girl at my college in Cambridge got into medicine with english lit. unis only ask for 3 A-levels 4th can be what ever you want lol.
0
reply
Retired_Messiah
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#5
Report 2 years ago
#5
From what I gathered from my fellow sixth formers, maths was maths while Physics was hella maths. So how gud is your maths?

In your position I'd take the one I liked more, cause if you stick with it then you will be doing it for 2 years and you don't want 2 years of a subject you don't at least somewhat like.
0
reply
Anti-Fem
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#6
Report 2 years ago
#6
(Original post by igotohaggerston)
not true, a girl at my college in Cambridge got into medicine with english lit. unis only ask for 3 A-levels 4th can be what ever you want lol.
4 A-Levels are very hard to do, and having English Lit as a subject is useless, as it isn't related to the course. What other subjects did that person do?
0
reply
sindyscape62
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#7
Report 2 years ago
#7
(Original post by Retired_Messiah)
From what I gathered from my fellow sixth formers, maths was maths while Physics was hella maths. So how gud is your maths?

In your position I'd take the one I liked more, cause if you stick with it then you will be doing it for 2 years and you don't want 2 years of a subject you don't at least somewhat like.
That isn't true about physics, the A level contains only basic maths, and many parts of it are quite qualitative.

To the OP I'd recommend chemistry. If you're an able student you'd certainly be able to pick up anything you didn't do at GCSE, and I remember the first parts of most of the modules being GCSE revision anyway. Chemistry would definitely help for anything like biomedical sciences, biochemistry, pharmacology ect. and is more of a natural fit with biology than physics.

Or you could ditch English lit and take all 3 sciences.
0
reply
igotohaggerston
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#8
Report 2 years ago
#8
(Original post by sindyscape62)
That isn't true about physics, the A level contains only basic maths, and many parts of it are quite qualitative.

To the OP I'd recommend chemistry. If you're an able student you'd certainly be able to pick up anything you didn't do at GCSE, and I remember the first parts of most of the modules being GCSE revision anyway. Chemistry would definitely help for anything like biomedical sciences, biochemistry, pharmacology ect. and is more of a natural fit with biology than physics.

Or you could ditch English lit and take all 3 sciences.
Not true A2 physics contain stuff in A -Level further maths mechanics, which i wouldn't call "basic maths" at that level. I'm just saying from my experience basically everyone I know who got A*s in physics did at least AS further maths.
0
reply
igotohaggerston
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#9
Report 2 years ago
#9
(Original post by Anti-Fem)
4 A-Levels are very hard to do, and having English Lit as a subject is useless, as it isn't related to the course. What other subjects did that person do?
Chem, Bio, Maths. It seems like the OP is planning on doing 4 anyway so it shouldn't be a problem. Also from what I hear the more biological science subjects tend to have quite a bit of essay writing hence it would definitely not be useless at all if she did English lit. Like I said before 3 scientific A-Levels and one fun one isn't a restriction since unis only give out offers based on 3 A-Levels. The existence of broccoli doesn't affect the taste of chocolate.
0
reply
Anti-Fem
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#10
Report 2 years ago
#10
(Original post by igotohaggerston)
Chem, Bio, Maths. It seems like the OP is planning on doing 4 anyway so it shouldn't be a problem. Also from what I hear the more biological science subjects tend to have quite a bit of essay writing hence it would definitely not be useless at all if she did English lit. Like I said before 3 scientific A-Levels and one fun one isn't a restriction since unis only give out offers based on 3 A-Levels. The existence of broccoli doesn't affect the taste of chocolate.
I get what you mean, but I think doing 4 will just give unecessary stress to OP, its better if OP just focuses on those 3 subjects and gets really good grades, rather than getting 4 A levels with avg grades.

Also I do biology A level, there is no such essay writing - it's a lot of memorising and recalling.
0
reply
HettiBetti
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#11
Report 2 years ago
#11
(Original post by Luca Ward)
I’m in year 11, choosing my A-Levels, and in the future I am pretty confident (but not absolutely certain) that I want to do a scientific degree (such as Biomedical Science, Neuroscience etc), so I’m planning on doing Biology and Maths, and I also want to do English Literature as it is one of my favourite subjects and I don’t want to restrict myself to science, in case I regret it later.
My issue, however, is trying to decide between Physics and Chemistry as my fourth A-Level. I did not take Chemistry at GCSE (we can choose sciences individually at my school), and although I feel it would be the best subject for me to take at A-Level, I fear that I might really struggle with it, since it is known for being very difficult. As far as physics is concerned, I do it at GCSE but I do not like it very much. I would preferably take Chemistry but i’m concerned that it will be too difficult, so should I go for it, or stick with Physics.
If it’s at all relevant, I tend to do very well in my subjects at GCSE (A* in everything), and would be willing to look over Chemistry content the summer before AS, but i’m still struggling to decide if it would be a wise choice or not worth it.
Take Religious Studies now!!!!!!!
0
reply
igotohaggerston
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#12
Report 2 years ago
#12
(Original post by sindyscape62)
That isn't true about physics, the A level contains only basic maths, and many parts of it are quite qualitative.

To the OP I'd recommend chemistry. If you're an able student you'd certainly be able to pick up anything you didn't do at GCSE, and I remember the first parts of most of the modules being GCSE revision anyway. Chemistry would definitely help for anything like biomedical sciences, biochemistry, pharmacology ect. and is more of a natural fit with biology than physics.

Or you could ditch English lit and take all 3 sciences.
Also, although I didn't do chemistry a lot of "able" students have told me it is a very big jump from GCSE. I'd say being an "able" student may give you the ability to pick up some subjects at A-Level,but from what I hear chemistry isn't one of them and I'd be very surprised if any sixth form/ college let the OP do chem having no understanding of it at the basic level.
0
reply
returnmigrant
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#13
Report 2 years ago
#13
Lots of TSE advice here : https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/a-l...-form-subjects
0
reply
sindyscape62
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#14
Report 2 years ago
#14
(Original post by igotohaggerston)
Not true A2 physics contain stuff in A -Level further maths mechanics, which i wouldn't call "basic maths" at that level. I'm just saying from my experience basically everyone I know who got A*s in physics did at least AS further maths.
I only took A level physics a couple of years ago, and the it didn't even include calculus, let alone any differential equations, complex numbers ect. Obviously it may have changed, but I think the A levels are designed to be independent of each other.

There was overlap between the mechanics in physics and maths, but the physics was always much simpler, and mostly about plugging numbers into formulas.

I agree that almost everyone who does well at physics also takes maths/further maths, but I think this is because they require the same skills and the revision overlaps rather than the maths material being necessary.

I was mainly arguing against the other poster who said physics has more maths than maths does - I agree they're good subjects to take together.
0
reply
igotohaggerston
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#15
Report 2 years ago
#15
(Original post by Anti-Fem)
I get what you mean, but I think doing 4 will just give unecessary stress to OP, its better if OP just focuses on those 3 subjects and gets really good grades, rather than getting 4 A levels with avg grades.

Also I do biology A level, there is no such essay writing - it's a lot of memorising and recalling.
I meant biological science at degree level haha. I agree bout the unnecessary stress, but my point is the OP feels they can handle 4 and if they choose to do 4 English lit won't be a hindrance.
0
reply
sindyscape62
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#16
Report 2 years ago
#16
(Original post by igotohaggerston)
Also, although I didn't do chemistry a lot of "able" students have told me it is a very big jump from GCSE. I'd say being an "able" student may give you the ability to pick up some subjects at A-Level,but from what I hear chemistry isn't one of them and I'd be very surprised if any sixth form/ college let the OP do chem having no understanding of it at the basic level.
My understanding was that the OP had done something along the lines of double science rather than triple, so they're still learning chemistry and are being examined in it, they just haven't done the maximum amount possible. It would be very strange for a student to have the choice to do no science at GCSE (not sure that's allowed by the government either).

Obviously if they've done no chemistry at all it would be a big challenge to do it at A level (although probably not impossible if they were prepared to work at it)
1
reply
igotohaggerston
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#17
Report 2 years ago
#17
(Original post by sindyscape62)
I only took A level physics a couple of years ago, and the it didn't even include calculus, let alone any differential equations, complex numbers ect. Obviously it may have changed, but I think the A levels are designed to be independent of each other.

There was overlap between the mechanics in physics and maths, but the physics was always much simpler, and mostly about plugging numbers into formulas.

I agree that almost everyone who does well at physics also takes maths/further maths, but I think this is because they require the same skills and the revision overlaps rather than the maths material being necessary.

I was mainly arguing against the other poster who said physics has more maths than maths does - I agree they're good subjects to take together.
Don't get me wrong I feel A-Level physics should have way more maths than it does now (for starters simple calculus), but I feel although the complicated maths isn't explicit understanding the maths makes learning the concepts in physics easier. A nice example is SHM, although no calculus is required, understanding where the formulas come from (which involves calculus) , I and a few others found, made them much more easy to use, manipulate and spot when to use. In addition, reading outside your syllabus in any A-Level always helps with understanding and this would be very difficult to do with physics if you don't know a decent amount of maths. Also mechanics is quite a big part of A-Level Physics hence people who have done more of it (those who do further maths) are definitely going to be better than those who have done less . So just to wrap up, I'm not saying that maths/further is necessary for Physics I'm trying to argue it makes it much easier.
0
reply
igotohaggerston
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#18
Report 2 years ago
#18
(Original post by sindyscape62)
My understanding was that the OP had done something along the lines of double science rather than triple, so they're still learning chemistry and are being examined in it, they just haven't done the maximum amount possible. It would be very strange for a student to have the choice to do no science at GCSE (not sure that's allowed by the government either).

Obviously if they've done no chemistry at all it would be a big challenge to do it at A level (although probably not impossible if they were prepared to work at it)
Yeah I agree an A-Level in any science is doable by an able student with only double science knowledge.
0
reply
thekidwhogames
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#19
Report 2 years ago
#19
To be honest, the Maths in Physics A level is trivial compared to the Maths in Maths A level (obviously).

It's usually just plugging into formulas and trigonometry and simple vectors. But the Maths in Physics can be hard for those who hate mathematics as a subject.
0
reply
igotohaggerston
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#20
Report 2 years ago
#20
(Original post by thekidwhogames)
To be honest, the Maths in Physics A level is trivial compared to the Maths in Maths A level (obviously).

It's usually just plugging into formulas and trigonometry and simple vectors. But the Maths in Physics can be hard for those who hate mathematics as a subject.
A2 gets less trivial (for this level)
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Have you experienced financial difficulties as a student due to Covid-19?

Yes, I have really struggled financially (17)
13.08%
I have experienced some financial difficulties (31)
23.85%
I haven't experienced any financial difficulties and things have stayed the same (58)
44.62%
I have had better financial opportunities as a result of the pandemic (20)
15.38%
I've had another experience (let us know in the thread!) (4)
3.08%

Watched Threads

View All