How hard is A Level Biology? Watch

YasudaSayo
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#1
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I tried it at the start of this year, I got an A at GCSE but A Level bio was so chemistry-based and there was so much to memorise... I just couldn't do it and I quit. Now I'm thinking of trying again. Does it get better? Is there less chemistry, and maybe more human biology? (my favourite).
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DrawTheLine
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(Original post by YasudaSayo)
I tried it at the start of this year, I got an A at GCSE but A Level bio was so chemistry-based and there was so much to memorise... I just couldn't do it and I quit. Now I'm thinking of trying again. Does it get better? Is there less chemistry, and maybe more human biology? (my favourite).
I hated it. I found it extremely difficult. It's not very chemistry-based, it's just very application based. I did OCR and the questions were rarely based on the specification content, rather applying it to a situation. I totally understand that application of knowledge is important, yet the papers were (or seemed like) almost exclusively application based. There was so much content, it was the 1 A-Level that actually had me cry regularly. Somehow I ended up with a B, but I f*cking hated it. It was worth it though.
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YasudaSayo
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(Original post by DrawTheLine)
I hated it. I found it extremely difficult. It's not very chemistry-based, it's just very application based. I did OCR and the questions were rarely based on the specification content, rather applying it to a situation. I totally understand that application of knowledge is important, yet the papers were (or seemed like) almost exclusively application based. There was so much content, it was the 1 A-Level that actually had me cry regularly. Somehow I ended up with a B, but I f*cking hated it. It was worth it though.
Oh god... k nvm then i suppose
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DrawTheLine
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(Original post by YasudaSayo)
Oh god... k nvm then i suppose
You seriously can't take my word for it though. This was just my experience. I just in general dislike science. I only took it because it would help with my degree. Other people loved it.
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hannxm
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(Original post by YasudaSayo)
I tried it at the start of this year, I got an A at GCSE but A Level bio was so chemistry-based and there was so much to memorise... I just couldn't do it and I quit. Now I'm thinking of trying again. Does it get better? Is there less chemistry, and maybe more human biology? (my favourite).
I got a C in GCSE. Did it in A level, with a horrible, un-supportive and simply nasty teacher when I was 16 and immature and failed. Went to college when I was 18/19, with a better attitude, better environment and the loveliest, most supportive teacher and I did really well. It depends on your attitude and how much you're willing to invest in learning it and revising regularly.
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Ray_Shadows
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it's hell , but only because it requires alot of effort than gcse

just put the work in from the start of the year and you should be fine
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SpicyMemes69
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Pretty much the same as above there’s still a lot of content, there is more human biology in 2nd year can’t compared to first year in my opinion but OCR seem to like to the idea of application questions over just question directly related. I’ve found it much easier to cope by doing Chemistry compared to a few classmates that don’t.

But I wouldn’t say there’s to much Chemistry related content only here and there so it’s not to bad.
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Greenapplepear
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(Original post by YasudaSayo)
I tried it at the start of this year, I got an A at GCSE but A Level bio was so chemistry-based and there was so much to memorise... I just couldn't do it and I quit. Now I'm thinking of trying again. Does it get better? Is there less chemistry, and maybe more human biology? (my favourite).
Basically mate, pretty boring, just learning pure facts and recalling them in exam. I love human biology as well, I took it for GCSE lol. It's stupid how every exam board got rid of human biology a level because no offence but classification, biodiversity and plants are so boring (personally). I'm doing the OCR course and I think it's decent in terms of human biology, you do the heart (interpreting ECGs pretty cool), lungs, blood vessels, circulartory system in year 12. Homeostasis, temperature control in ectotherms and endotherms, kidneys, liver and neuronal communication, hormonal communication in humans, mammalian nervous
system, human brain, mammalian muscle and the mechanism of muscular contraction, big topic on respiration including glycolysis, Krebs cycle, oxidative phosphorylation and the chemiosmotic theory in Y13. I love the human side of the course, are you thinking about medicine at uni?

in Y13
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Issakatie
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I liked GCSE biology too. I hate a level bio so much the only reason why I didn't drop it was because my teacher got ill and never came back so I didn't have the opportunity to talk to any one about it. I find it boring and there's lots to learn. but a lot of people In my class like it I don't want to put you off
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YasudaSayo
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(Original post by Greenapplepear)
Basically mate, pretty boring, just learning pure facts and recalling them in exam. I love human biology as well, I took it for GCSE lol. It's stupid how every exam board got rid of human biology a level because no offence but classification, biodiversity and plants are so boring (personally). I'm doing the OCR course and I think it's decent in terms of human biology, you do the heart (interpreting ECGs pretty cool), lungs, blood vessels, circulartory system in year 12. Homeostasis, temperature control in ectotherms and endotherms, kidneys, liver and neuronal communication, hormonal communication in humans, mammalian nervous
system, human brain, mammalian muscle and the mechanism of muscular contraction, big topic on respiration including glycolysis, Krebs cycle, oxidative phosphorylation and the chemiosmotic theory in Y13. I love the human side of the course, are you thinking about medicine at uni?

in Y13
I want to do Japanese at uni so I can choose any 3 A Levels as long as I get good grades (AAB/ABB). So far I'm only 100% on doing psychology. Everything else seems so damn difficult
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Greenapplepear
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(Original post by YasudaSayo)
I want to do Japanese at uni so I can choose any 3 A Levels as long as I get good grades (AAB/ABB). So far I'm only 100% on doing psychology. Everything else seems so damn difficult
If you wanna do Japanese then you should take an essay subject and an language,presumably japanese?
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Mesopotamian.
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The biology exams are nasty. My exam board had some interesting human biology (mixed in with the boring stuff too) but the exam questions were literally designed to mentally kill students. Especially with the new spec stuff
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Harry123341
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I am currently studying Biology A level but am going to be doing a degree apprenticeship next year so dont even need to know any biology so it feels like I am just learning facts for no reason but for the exam.What i would say is it can be pretty easy as it is just memory recall so if you get good notes condensed you can do it pretty easy just needs constant effort to rmeber all the sections.Can be such a demotivating subjects as a lot of effort especially if you dotn even need biology a level once you have already started the subject.
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Issakatie
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I find the questions are weird too. like you don't know what they want/ what they're actually asking you ,u have to be good at applying ur knowledge
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randomsheep11
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Hi, I'm currently in year 12 and I'm studying EDEXCEL(B) A Level Biology (so not the Salter's Nuffield version).

At the start, there was a lot of Chemistry/Biochemistry based topics which was hard for students in my class who didin't like Chemistry (I love it so I found it fun).

But I can assure you that the beginning is the most Chemistry intensive.In addition, the Chemistry skills needed for A Level Biology are only what you did at GCSE (triple science) + polarity of molecules.

But here's the thing, if you can understand things like: covalent bonding, intermolecular forces, electronegativity (e.g. the polar nature of water) then a lot of the Biochemistry/Biological Molecules content can become something that you can understand easily as it's consistent.

For a lot of the other topics, honestly, it's just about remembering facts and names and soooo many definitions (like all the different types of speciation).

There's certainly a good amount of human biology in the course, I'm currently learning about circulation and tansport of gases in the blood; my teachers are garbage, but when I actually understand a topic in biology it just seems so much more interesting and rewarding to understand than my other subjects (Chemistry - like woah periodicity is kinda lit, but I don't have much interest in organic solvents tbh & French - wow I just had a discussion on the study of French food heritage I'm in such awe ).

What I must admit though about Biology, is that the practicals that YOU HAVE TO DO are the most boring and complicated things I've ever done in school. It's like "ooooh cut this beetroot into tiny peices and use this colorimeter thing that seems to disfunction every time you use it to determine how much water has left the beetroot omg so fun. Is you Biology a vegan and therfore refuses to do the discetion practical (is this just me???)? Oh don't be sad kids, I bet you'd rather Investigate the effect of gibberellins on the production of amylase in germinating cereals using a starch agar assay".

In summary:

content: supe interesting but Biology is less intuitive and more about memerising things.

core practicals: "so umm, you know that Acetic Orcein that'd meant to go on the root tips, plz let me drink it and use it as eye drops plz I don't want to live on this boring world anymore".
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YasudaSayo
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(Original post by Greenapplepear)
If you wanna do Japanese then you should take an essay subject and an language,presumably japanese?
Nah universities just ask for AAB/ABB, no specific subjects. They just said language is 'preferable' but not mandatory because 0 colleges do Japanese A Level.
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YasudaSayo
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(Original post by randomsheep11)
Hi, I'm currently in year 12 and I'm studying EDEXCEL(B) A Level Biology (so not the Salter's Nuffield version).

At the start, there was a lot of Chemistry/Biochemistry based topics which was hard for students in my class who didin't like Chemistry (I love it so I found it fun).

But I can assure you that the beginning is the most Chemistry intensive.In addition, the Chemistry skills needed for A Level Biology are only what you did at GCSE (triple science) + polarity of molecules.

But here's the thing, if you can understand things like: covalent bonding, intermolecular forces, electronegativity (e.g. the polar nature of water) then a lot of the Biochemistry/Biological Molecules content can become something that you can understand easily as it's consistent.

For a lot of the other topics, honestly, it's just about remembering facts and names and soooo many definitions (like all the different types of speciation).

There's certainly a good amount of human biology in the course, I'm currently learning about circulation and tansport of gases in the blood; my teachers are garbage, but when I actually understand a topic in biology it just seems so much more interesting and rewarding to understand than my other subjects (Chemistry - like woah periodicity is kinda lit, but I don't have much interest in organic solvents tbh & French - wow I just had a discussion on the study of French food heritage I'm in such awe ).

What I must admit though about Biology, is that the practicals that YOU HAVE TO DO are the most boring and complicated things I've ever done in school. It's like "ooooh cut this beetroot into tiny peices and use this colorimeter thing that seems to disfunction every time you use it to determine how much water has left the beetroot omg so fun. Is you Biology a vegan and therfore refuses to do the discetion practical (is this just me???)? Oh don't be sad kids, I bet you'd rather Investigate the effect of gibberellins on the production of amylase in germinating cereals using a starch agar assay".

In summary:

content: supe interesting but Biology is less intuitive and more about memerising things.

core practicals: "so umm, you know that Acetic Orcein that'd meant to go on the root tips, plz let me drink it and use it as eye drops plz I don't want to live on this boring world anymore".
Well I failed GCSE chemistry so yeah
Honestly I'm starting to consider BTECS because this is just too much for me
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0physicstudent
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Ok I dont know if this sounds weird, but here’s the thing.I was wondering whether it is a good option to take Biology A level (accelerated course) when I did not have Biology at GCSE( or any other Science subs)?
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