savage_queen
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I was planning to do CS, Maths, Further Maths and Physics at A-level but recently, I have realised that I'm better at Chemistry (I'm good at both ) and enjoy it more. In comparison, I find the maths in both subjects easy so even though Physics fits in with the rest of my choices, would doing A-level Chemistry be worth it?
If anyone has done or is doing these subjects? Which one do you prefer and how different is the content and workload?
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MathsPhysMind
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(Original post by savage_queen)
I was planning to do CS, Maths, Further Maths and Physics at A-level but recently, I have realised that I'm better at Chemistry (I'm good at both ) and enjoy it more. In comparison, I find the maths in both subjects easy so even though Physics fits in with the rest of my choices, would doing A-level Chemistry be worth it?
If anyone has done or is doing these subjects? Which one do you prefer and how different is the content and workload?
I did Maths, FM, Physics and Chem and I am going to Uni for Maths so I am slightly biased in that I prefer Maths/Physics over Chem. I very much struggled with Chem despite getting an A* at GCSE with 100% in one of the papers, the A-level really is a whole different ball game. From talking to students around the schools in my area Chemistry is universally agreed upon to be one of the hardest A-levels and I concur. That being said it is obviously entirely possible to get an A*, but I think it would take a fair bit more work than your other subjects, especially if you find maths quite easy.
There was a lot more content in Chem than Phys, and I found the papers much harder, but that's probably because I wasn't very intuitive with Chemistry but I was more so with Physics.
My advice would be to take which ever one you find more interesting, because even if you find Chemistry harder if you enjoy it it won't make that much of a difference to your grade because you'll be more prepared to put the work in.
Alternatively you could take five at AS then drop one for A2
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Jw123
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physics is hard, even harder than further maths for me right now
i think the same will apply to chemistry. but i'd do chemistry if you like it more.
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savage_queen
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(Original post by MathsPhysMind)
I did Maths, FM, Physics and Chem and I am going to Uni for Maths so I am slightly biased in that I prefer Maths/Physics over Chem. I very much struggled with Chem despite getting an A* at GCSE with 100% in one of the papers, the A-level really is a whole different ball game. From talking to students around the schools in my area Chemistry is universally agreed upon to be one of the hardest A-levels and I concur. That being said it is obviously entirely possible to get an A*, but I think it would take a fair bit more work than your other subjects, especially if you find maths quite easy.
There was a lot more content in Chem than Phys, and I found the papers much harder, but that's probably because I wasn't very intuitive with Chemistry but I was more so with Physics.
My advice would be to take which ever one you find more interesting, because even if you find Chemistry harder if you enjoy it it won't make that much of a difference to your grade because you'll be more prepared to put the work in.
Alternatively you could take five at AS then drop one for A2
My school doesn't do AS levels anymore but thanks for the help! Is the content slightly similar for Maths and Physics?
Edit: Well done on your result btw! It's very impressive!
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RickHendricks
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(Original post by savage_queen)
My school doesn't do AS levels anymore but thanks for the help! Is the content slightly similar for Maths and Physics?
Edit: Well done on your result btw! It's very impressive!
I do all 5 subjects: Chemistry, Biology, Physics, maths and further maths

So far I'd say further maths and physics are hardest.

People normally think its chemistry but physics requires greater concentration while Chemistry is just content.
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savage_queen
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(Original post by RickHendricks)
I do all 5 subjects: Chemistry, Biology, Physics, maths and further maths

So far I'd say further maths and physics are hardest.

People normally think its chemistry but physics requires greater concentration while Chemistry is just content.
5 A-levels! How do you manage keeping on top with all the content?
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MathsPhysMind
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(Original post by savage_queen)
My school doesn't do AS levels anymore but thanks for the help! Is the content slightly similar for Maths and Physics?
Edit: Well done on your result btw! It's very impressive!
Haha thank you, honestly wasn't expecting the 100% - think it was just a lucky fluke.
The new Linear A-levels are a pain, to sit the AS papers you would probably have to pay as a private candidate which would be around £100 for the two I think.
Depends which modules you take for maths, if you take M1 then you'be covered all of the Maths content in Physics apart from circular motion which is in A2. At the beginning of year 12 we learnt the first chapter or two of M1 in the first month of Physics so you're saving yourself some content and revision since it all overlaps. Also my if you can get a good understanding of mechanics it will help you a lot with things like electrical circuits and electrical and magnetic fields in Physics. They really do compliment each other
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artful_lounger
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Well it depends somewhat on what you intend to do after A-levels.

If you plan to do Physics, or Engineering in general, Physics would be required or highly desirable for most courses. There are a few engineering courses that don't require Physics (many Materials and Chemical Engineering courses accept both Physics and Chemistry, and a few other engineering courses such as Civil Engineering at UCL don't require Physics) but they are in the minority as indicated. Of course if you want to do Chemistry or something related, it would normally be necessary or advisable to take Chemistry .

For any other courses (including, for example, Maths, CS, Economics, Law, etc, etc) it would be best to take the one you are best at to maximise your overall grades. If you aren't sure what you may want to pursue, it may be advisable to consider taking both - perhaps in lieu of CS, as CS is not a prerequisite for any course - to maximise your options later on. If you are much weaker in Physics it is best to take the other subjects you are strongest in. It may be worth noting a number of desirable Maths and CS courses express a preference for A-level Physics (Cambridge notably, for both subjects).
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RickHendricks
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(Original post by savage_queen)
5 A-levels! How do you manage keeping on top with all the content?
well i'm in year 12 and my school makes us do AS (meaning i'm dropping some)

so far in terms of keeping up with content? Let's just say that your social life will deteriote with 5 subjects.
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Hubrillity
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Physics A-Level is pretty nuts. I'm revising the whole spec over the Easter holidays and I can tell you that practising exam questions makes everything a hell of a lot easier, but if you're planning on taking Physics because you're good at Maths, you're in for one hell of a ride...
The A-Level is becoming increasingly theory-heavy and decreasingly mathsy. I cannot speak for Chemistry, but I can definitely tell you as someone who does Maths A2 and Further AS and A2 in a year (50% extra workload), that I am finding the prospect of getting 90%+ raw marks in Maths much easier than in Physics. You only need 75%ish in physics for an A* which means the difficulty balances out, but it goes to show how tough physics actually is.
It is however worth mentioning that Chemistry is more wordy than Physics, as far as my friends' testimonies suggest. If you do wanna pick the more mathsy option, I do suggest Physics. But don't go in expecting to fly through it because you're getting full marks in pure and applied maths.
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savage_queen
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Well it depends somewhat on what you intend to do after A-levels.

If you plan to do Physics, or Engineering in general, Physics would be required or highly desirable for most courses. There are a few engineering courses that don't require Physics (many Materials and Chemical Engineering courses accept both Physics and Chemistry, and a few other engineering courses such as Civil Engineering at UCL don't require Physics) but they are in the minority as indicated. Of course if you want to do Chemistry or something related, it would normally be necessary or advisable to take Chemistry .

For any other courses (including, for example, Maths, CS, Economics, Law, etc, etc) it would be best to take the one you are best at to maximise your overall grades. If you aren't sure what you may want to pursue, it may be advisable to consider taking both - perhaps in lieu of CS, as CS is not a prerequisite for any course - to maximise your options later on. If you are much weaker in Physics it is best to take the other subjects you are strongest in. It may be worth noting a number of desirable Maths and CS courses express a preference for A-level Physics (Cambridge notably, for both subjects).
I'm planning on doing computer engineering or maths at uni and I want to do CS as my school offers great apprenticeship opportunities. I'm not weak in physics (I've gotten 89% and 94% in my last mocks as opposed to 92% and 94% in chemistry) but chemistry has recently appealed to me more so I was wondering whether it's worth the swap.
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savage_queen
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(Original post by MathsPhysMind)
Haha thank you, honestly wasn't expecting the 100% - think it was just a lucky fluke.
The new Linear A-levels are a pain, to sit the AS papers you would probably have to pay as a private candidate which would be around £100 for the two I think.
Depends which modules you take for maths, if you take M1 then you'be covered all of the Maths content in Physics apart from circular motion which is in A2. At the beginning of year 12 we learnt the first chapter or two of M1 in the first month of Physics so you're saving yourself some content and revision since it all overlaps. Also my if you can get a good understanding of mechanics it will help you a lot with things like electrical circuits and electrical and magnetic fields in Physics. They really do compliment each other
I'm not sure what courses we're doing but pretty sure it's related to mechanics. Overlapping content makes it a lot easier so I might just stick with physics
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savage_queen
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(Original post by RickHendricks)
well i'm in year 12 and my school makes us do AS (meaning i'm dropping some)

so far in terms of keeping up with content? Let's just say that your social life will deteriote with 5 subjects.
Ah, that makes sense. Good luck aha!
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gymkana3000
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I know this post is about Chen vs Physics but I just came to put my piece in about CS
CS at a level is nothing like the one at GCSE. Having looked at what you’re planning on doing, I think you should be fine, but be warned that CS is essentially maths with a bit of computers in it. A level maths is super hard, as is further maths - put it this way, my boyfriend got nearly full marks in both papers a gcse (dropped one mark in each) so got an A* but is now really struggling at college.
I did Chem and it is also really hard. A levels are a huge step up from GCSE and there is loads of content in the sciences that you have to remember. Good luck either way!
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savage_queen
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(Original post by Hubrillity)
Physics A-Level is pretty nuts. I'm revising the whole spec over the Easter holidays and I can tell you that practising exam questions makes everything a hell of a lot easier, but if you're planning on taking Physics because you're good at Maths, you're in for one hell of a ride...
The A-Level is becoming increasingly theory-heavy and decreasingly mathsy. I cannot speak for Chemistry, but I can definitely tell you as someone who does Maths A2 and Further AS and A2 in a year (50% extra workload), that I am finding the prospect of getting 90%+ raw marks in Maths much easier than in Physics. You only need 75%ish in physics for an A* which means the difficulty balances out, but it goes to show how tough physics actually is.
It is however worth mentioning that Chemistry is more wordy than Physics, as far as my friends' testimonies suggest. If you do wanna pick the more mathsy option, I do suggest Physics. But don't go in expecting to fly through it because you're getting full marks in pure and applied maths.
Thank you!
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Anonymouspsych
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(Original post by savage_queen)
I was planning to do CS, Maths, Further Maths and Physics at A-level but recently, I have realised that I'm better at Chemistry (I'm good at both ) and enjoy it more. In comparison, I find the maths in both subjects easy so even though Physics fits in with the rest of my choices, would doing A-level Chemistry be worth it?
If anyone has done or is doing these subjects? Which one do you prefer and how different is the content and workload?
I do all 4 and they're great xD. You can always do 4 at AS and drop one at the end after getting a taste of all of them. I'm at A2 and I'm still doing all 4. Physics has a lot of maths which is great, especially if you are good at maths. Chemistry also has maths but not like physics does. I'd say the workload is quite high for both subjects so if you really like both subjects I'd suggest trying both out. But one thing I would say is A level chemistry is MUCH harder than gcse chemistry so if you did really well at gcse, it doesn't necessarily correlate with how you will do at A level. i stuck with all 4 because I am good at all 4 and really liked all 4 subjects so I couldn't really drop one. So it depends how good you think you will be and how much you like the two subjects. Plus I couldn't drop one because my Cambridge and Imperial offer includes 4 A levels xD.
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savage_queen
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(Original post by gymkana3000)
I know this post is about Chen vs Physics but I just came to put my piece in about CS
CS at a level is nothing like the one at GCSE. Having looked at what you’re planning on doing, I think you should be fine, but be warned that CS is essentially maths with a bit of computers in it. A level maths is super hard, as is further maths - put it this way, my boyfriend got nearly full marks in both papers a gcse (dropped one mark in each) so got an A* but is now really struggling at college.
I did Chem and it is also really hard. A levels are a huge step up from GCSE and there is loads of content in the sciences that you have to remember. Good luck either way!
Thank you so much for the insight! Maths is my strongest subject too so I'm going to give it a shot.Good luck to you too
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savage_queen
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(Original post by Anonymouspsych)
I do all 4 and they're great xD. You can always do 4 at AS and drop one at the end after getting a taste of all of them. I'm at A2 and I'm still doing all 4. Physics has a lot of maths which is great, especially if you are good at maths. Chemistry also has maths but not like physics does. I'd say the workload is quite high for both subjects so if you really like both subjects I'd suggest trying both out. But one thing I would say is A level chemistry is MUCH harder than gcse chemistry so if you did really well at gcse, it doesn't necessarily correlate with how you will do at A level. i stuck with all 4 because I am good at all 4 and really liked all 4 subjects so I couldn't really drop one. So it depends how good you think you will be and how much you like the two subjects. Plus I couldn't drop one because my Cambridge and Imperial offer includes 4 A levels xD.
Sounds great! What are you planning to do at uni?
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by savage_queen)
I'm planning on doing computer engineering or maths at uni and I want to do CS as my school offers great apprenticeship opportunities. I'm not weak in physics (I've gotten 89% and 94% in my last mocks as opposed to 92% and 94% in chemistry) but chemistry has recently appealed to me more so I was wondering whether it's worth the swap.
The site just deleted my longer response, so I'll keep it short this time - if you are performing that highly, and can reasonably expect to continue doing so, university up to and including Oxbridge/Imperial and similar is a very real prospect. I would definitely recommend looking into courses of interest in the area offered by those and similar universities. Based on your current interests, Physics is more immediately relevant. Consider if you are likely to do anything with Chemistry in future realistically, as it's not quite as flexible as Physics in terms of opening doors. I would note many apprenticeships (if not most?) do not require specific backgrounds, or can be flexible about your background (particularly if you are a very strong applicant) in "bringing you up to scratch" once you start.

Regarding some further comments on the perceived "difficulty" of subjects, I would remind everyone involved that such perceptions are wholly individual and can't be generalised. For some, Maths and Further Maths are the easiest A-levels they take; frequently such students continue to Maths at uni, although not necessarily so. For others of course Maths is a great struggle - some may find it difficult to achieve good grades, and others may need to put much more work in than the previously mentioned group to get similar grades.

However there is no reason this latter group is any less likely to be able to successfully pursue a degree in Maths or another numerate subject (indeed, the content in a Mathematics degree often seems so far removed from A-level that the main benefit of taking double Maths is just to experience the nature of being wholly "submerged" in the subject more than actually having any indication of what you'll be studying at university...).

I would personally be inclined to recommend swapping CS for Chemistry, as the opportunity cost of taking is fewer options for when you apply to a degree. If your school allows you to drop subjects (or take the AS exams only, much less commonly) then you lose very little by taking it, but potentially gain a great deal of flexibility. The main benefit of CS is giving you an idea if you may want to continue pursuing it in future, but as it's not required and most are able to (and have been, for some 20 odd years) get some idea by researching and doing personal projects to explore the subject on their own. Ultimately though, you should consider which subjects you are most interested in, enjoy the most, and are most likely to do well in - and the first two criteria usually imply the third.
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savage_queen
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
The site just deleted my longer response, so I'll keep it short this time - if you are performing that highly, and can reasonably expect to continue doing so, university up to and including Oxbridge/Imperial and similar is a very real prospect. I would definitely recommend looking into courses of interest in the area offered by those and similar universities. Based on your current interests, Physics is more immediately relevant. Consider if you are likely to do anything with Chemistry in future realistically, as it's not quite as flexible as Physics in terms of opening doors. I would note many apprenticeships (if not most?) do not require specific backgrounds, or can be flexible about your background (particularly if you are a very strong applicant) in "bringing you up to scratch" once you start.

Regarding some further comments on the perceived "difficulty" of subjects, I would remind everyone involved that such perceptions are wholly individual and can't be generalised. For some, Maths and Further Maths are the easiest A-levels they take; frequently such students continue to Maths at uni, although not necessarily so. For others of course Maths is a great struggle - some may find it difficult to achieve good grades, and others may need to put much more work in than the previously mentioned group to get similar grades.

However there is no reason this latter group is any less likely to be able to successfully pursue a degree in Maths or another numerate subject (indeed, the content in a Mathematics degree often seems so far removed from A-level that the main benefit of taking double Maths is just to experience the nature of being wholly "submerged" in the subject more than actually having any indication of what you'll be studying at university...).

I would personally be inclined to recommend swapping CS for Chemistry, as the opportunity cost of taking is fewer options for when you apply to a degree. If your school allows you to drop subjects (or take the AS exams only, much less commonly) then you lose very little by taking it, but potentially gain a great deal of flexibility. The main benefit of CS is giving you an idea if you may want to continue pursuing it in future, but as it's not required and most are able to (and have been, for some 20 odd years) get some idea by researching and doing personal projects to explore the subject on their own. Ultimately though, you should consider which subjects you are most interested in, enjoy the most, and are most likely to do well in - and the first two criteria usually imply the third.
Thank you so so much!
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