SudanesePrince
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Repost as my first post got swamped 😔

I just want to know what A Level physics entails. In a way that isn't as obtuse as reading the specification.

The taster session at my school was questionable and did little to actually show what we were going to learn.

I think I'm going with biology, but I keep hearing wonderful things about Physics, I have a look and I can't find what is so stimulating about physics, that makes biology look like a memory test.

Please both people who do bio reassure me it's what I want to do, and people who do Physics give me a breakdown of what a level Physics consists of. I have heard of "options" but I don't even know how that works.

I'm really torn between biology and physics, and both will take me to totally different places, but I'm not sure I'm informed at all what physics even is at A level.

Many thanks in advance,

The Sudanese Prince,
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999tigger
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Are you really a prince?
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Anon213
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It’s hard to explain to you what’s in physics as you’ve never done it.

In general biology is heavy on content with A LOT to remember and is full of longer questions and essays.
Physics consists of A LOT of maths, you can expect well over 50% of an exam paper to be mathematical questions.

I personally took physics and will be studying it an uni so I may be biased but it gives a lot more options in terms of degree and life, the A Level is harder and so is more respected (not that biology isn’t).

Also A Level physics is where you begin to learn real physics, if you liked physics at GCSE you’ll love it at A Level.

Hope this helps and message me if you have any questions !
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χordan
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If you’re taking four subjects, I would suggest that you take both and see how it goes, if you’ve realised that one doesn’t suits your taste, you could drop A2 level and only study for AS level. Personally when i was doing a-levels, i took Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Math. I think taking both Biology and Physics really opens up my mind to a lot of things and it gives a wider and broader understanding of the world.
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SudanesePrince
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Are you really a prince?
Usually I don't reply to the peasantry, but as I cannot miss a chance to correct you in your utter ignorance:

I am a prince, a self styled prince of the coming rebirth of the Sudanese nation.
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SudanesePrince
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(Original post by χordan)
If you’re taking four subjects, I would suggest that you take both and see how it goes, if you’ve realised that one doesn’t suits your taste, you could drop A2 level and only study for AS level. Personally when i was doing a-levels, i took Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Math. I think taking both Biology and Physics really opens up my mind to a lot of things and it gives a wider and broader understanding of the world.
Are 4 subjects even possible?! Like to bring As in all 4,
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Bogotá
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Lots about smaller things than GCSE, you will be untold a lot of things, protons and neutrons are actually made up of things called quarks for example. Some interesting work on electricity, decent level mechanics, in depth study of waves and optics depending on the exam board
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SudanesePrince
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(Original post by Bogotá)
Lots about smaller things than GCSE, you will be untold a lot of things, protons and neutrons are actually made up of things called quarks for example. Some interesting work on electricity, decent level mechanics, in depth study of waves and optics depending on the exam board
How do the "options" work?
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entertainmyfaith
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moving to the physics forum
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ThatGuy107
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Let me put it this way, unless you have a really good teacher, you’re gonna struggle with physics. I got 10 A*s at GCSE, and I took AS level physics because the amount of work I was having to do to keep up in physics was ridiculous compared to my other 3 A-Levels.
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Bogotá
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(Original post by SudanesePrince)
How do the "options" work?
Depends on how your school want to do it. I got an A in GCSE and A in AS btw. Did about 3 hours of extra physics a week on top of lessons,started revising after easter. I found it about as challenging as maths AS. Once you are familiar with certain concepts it all sort of falls into place. If you make sure you remember key points like The Types of decay, fundamental forces, mechanics formulas, electricity calculations and the photoelectric effect for example (easier than it sounds), all the questions that come up will make sense to you

More questions just ask. If you message me a topic area I’m down to explain what it’s like. I’m not like the other dude in this thread btw, my GCSEs weren’t as good. 1A* 5As 4 Bs
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SudanesePrince
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(Original post by Thomas_Grimes_17)
Let me put it this way, unless you have a really good teacher, you’re gonna struggle with physics. I got 10 A*s at GCSE, and I took AS level physics because the amount of work I was having to do to keep up in physics was ridiculous compared to my other 3 A-Levels.
Was it still worth it? At AS, also can you even still do AS with all this linear course nonsense. All this a level business is a nightmare, and I haven't even started yet.
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ThatGuy107
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You can still do AS but you have to ask to be put in for it. I got an A (highest grade at AS level) but most unis don’t care about AS levels so tbh it probably wasn’t worth it
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Bogotá
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(Original post by Thomas_Grimes_17)
You can still do AS but you have to ask to be put in for it. I got an A (highest grade at AS level) but most unis don’t care about AS levels so tbh it probably wasn’t worth it
Lmfao what are you on about. No, Unis do care about AS because they are a better indication that teachers predicted grades.

Depends on school by the way. Some schools As in compulsory, some schools you have to opt in and some schools don’t offer it at all
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ThatGuy107
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Actually, AS levels are being phased out by the exam boards, and the majority of unis don even consider AS levels when looking at potential results.
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alevelphysicist
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I’m just going to give a brief overview of each topic you’ll probably study.

Particle physics:
Studying subatomic particles and the forces/ interactions between them. Very little maths involved compared to other topics and so arguably the easiest topic after you get your head around new ideas.

Waves:
Study of how waves interact and produce phenomena, such as interference. Quite a long topic with a lot of things to remember and concepts to apply (often combined with other topics).

Mechanics:
The majority of mechanics is maths, as you are calculating features of the motion of an object, such as projectiles. This topic tends to favour people who are quite mathematically inclined.

Materials:
A very short topic looking at properties of materials and learning about stress and strain.

Electricity:
General ideas about circuits are covered. A lot of formula are given in the formula booklet which can be applied to circuits you may never have seen before.

Further mechanics:
You study simple harmonic motion and circular motion which can be quite difficult to understand initially, especially when applying the equations, but you’ll get it eventually.

Nuclear physics:
Pretty much a continuation of particle physics, now looking at fission and fusion.

Thermal physics:
A short topic studying the motion of particles in ideal gases.

Fields:
Probably the hardest topic. First you need to understand the properties of gravitational, electric and magnetic fields, then you need to apply maths. You’ll also learn about capacitors.

If you study AQA, you pick an option (from astrophysics, medical physics, engineering physics etc).
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SudanesePrince
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(Original post by Thomas_Grimes_17)
You can still do AS but you have to ask to be put in for it. I got an A (highest grade at AS level) but most unis don’t care about AS levels so tbh it probably wasn’t worth it
So what's the point then, and what this nonsense about unis not caring, medical schools don't care if you've done further maths, unis don't care about AS.
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SudanesePrince
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(Original post by alevelphysicist)
I’m just going to give a brief overview of each topic you’ll probably study.

Particle physics:
Studying subatomic particles and the forces/ interactions between them. Very little maths involved compared to other topics and so arguably the easiest topic after you get your head around new ideas.

Waves:
Study of how waves interact and produce phenomena, such as interference. Quite a long topic with a lot of things to remember and concepts to apply (often combined with other topics).

Mechanics:
The majority of mechanics is maths, as you are calculating features of the motion of an object, such as projectiles. This topic tends to favour people who are quite mathematically inclined.

Materials:
A very short topic looking at properties of materials and learning about stress and strain.

Electricity:
General ideas about circuits are covered. A lot of formula are given in the formula booklet which can be applied to circuits you may never have seen before.

Further mechanics:
You study simple harmonic motion and circular motion which can be quite difficult to understand initially, especially when applying the equations, but you’ll get it eventually.

Nuclear physics:
Pretty much a continuation of particle physics, now looking at fission and fusion.

Thermal physics:
A short topic studying the motion of particles in ideal gases.

Fields:
Probably the hardest topic. First you need to understand the properties of gravitational, electric and magnetic fields, then you need to apply maths. You’ll also learn about capacitors.

If you study AQA, you pick an option (from astrophysics, medical physics, engineering physics etc).
Thank you, this is what I was looking for. Option wise, how is that facilitated by teaching, is that like an individual choice, that you can then self study for or what?
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Hedged95
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(Original post by alevelphysicist)
I’m just going to give a brief overview of each topic you’ll probably study.

Particle physics:
Studying subatomic particles and the forces/ interactions between them. Very little maths involved compared to other topics and so arguably the easiest topic after you get your head around new ideas.

Waves:
Study of how waves interact and produce phenomena, such as interference. Quite a long topic with a lot of things to remember and concepts to apply (often combined with other topics).

Mechanics:
The majority of mechanics is maths, as you are calculating features of the motion of an object, such as projectiles. This topic tends to favour people who are quite mathematically inclined.

Materials:
A very short topic looking at properties of materials and learning about stress and strain.

Electricity:
General ideas about circuits are covered. A lot of formula are given in the formula booklet which can be applied to circuits you may never have seen before.

Further mechanics:
You study simple harmonic motion and circular motion which can be quite difficult to understand initially, especially when applying the equations, but you’ll get it eventually.

Nuclear physics:
Pretty much a continuation of particle physics, now looking at fission and fusion.

Thermal physics:
A short topic studying the motion of particles in ideal gases.

Fields:
Probably the hardest topic. First you need to understand the properties of gravitational, electric and magnetic fields, then you need to apply maths. You’ll also learn about capacitors.

If you study AQA, you pick an option (from astrophysics, medical physics, engineering physics etc).

Top post, Im starting to read a bit of Physics myself. Good outline of the subject. Thanks.
u
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ThatGuy107
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(Original post by SudanesePrince)
So what's the point then, and what this nonsense about unis not caring, medical schools don't care if you've done further maths, unis don't care about AS.
You’re probably right there wasn’t much point, 4 A-Levels was just too much for me 🤷*♂️
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