BeccaBurling
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I’m hoping to go into paramedic science but I’m concerned whether it would be best to take A Level Biology or Psychology as I’ve heard Biology is very content heavy.My maths skills are not the strongest as I got a 6 at GCSE and I got a 7,8 in Science and I did combined.Is there a large amount of content needed from triple science GCSE Biology? As I don’t know if I would be disadvantaged only having done double science. I do enjoy biology but I feel a higher grade would be more achievable in Psychology. How difficult is biology?
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username1258931
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(Original post by BeccaBurling)
I’m hoping to go into paramedic science but I’m concerned whether it would be best to take A Level Biology or Psychology as I’ve heard Biology is very content heavy.My maths skills are not the strongest as I got a 6 at GCSE and I got a 7,8 in Science and I did combined.Is there a large amount of content needed from triple science GCSE Biology? As I don’t know if I would be disadvantaged only having done double science. I do enjoy biology but I feel a higher grade would be more achievable in Psychology. How difficult is biology?
You don’t need to be good at maths to do biology at a level. There isn’t loads of overlap but is some. It’s all in more depth so teachers will go over it all again anyway. It is content heavy but it’s a well respected facilitating a level so that’s to be expected. I didn’t study psychology so I can’t speak for that but do whichever you think you will enjoy more. It may also be worth checking you meet any requirements for the sort of course you want to take after a levels
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yeahthatonethere
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I've just complete both Biology and Psychology courses so I hope I can help!

Both subjects are very content heavy, they have about a similar amount of content, but if I had to say one had more then I'd say psychology was more content heavy. It will depend on the exam board but for my exam board we covered 4 sections of psychology in first year each with 2-3 key studies, 4 theories, a practical, a key questions, evaluation points for all of these and smaller studies to know as extra points. This is alongside research methods (which there are tonnes of) and then a similar amount of content for second year too. Biology-wise you do cover a huge variety of topics that you need to memorise including everything from cell function to kidney function to nutrient cycles. How much of this you've previously covered will depend on your exam boards but honestly you're at no advantage for doing dual award instead of triple, many people in my biology class were in tat situation.

As for the maths, both subjects include maths in some manner. Biology involves a lot of GCSE maths, including % change and graph drawing/interpretation, alongside some newer bits that you will get taught, such as magnification and Hardy-Weinberg. Psychology, again, includes some GCSE maths, mean/median/mode and graph drawing, but also involves stats tests which are quite complicated and clunky to do but have set methods so if you practice a lot you should be okay.

Difficulty wise I didn't necessarily find the content of either difficult to understand but the hard part came from memorising it all. As I said before they are both very content heavy subjects and so you'll need to do a lot of revision for either and find suitable revision techniques for you (e.g. flashcards, mindmaps). Psychology can also be hard to get the exam technique down and figuring out what a question is asking from you can be hard (e.g. is it asking for application to a scenario, does it require a conclusion, how many evaluation points do I need). Biology on the other hand has become extremely reliant on application. You'll rarely be asked a straight question anymore, it'll nearly always be in a strange context and this makes it difficult to suss what they're asking and what they want you to say. While it is hard to get your head around initially, doing past papers for both subjects is also extremely helpful to get the technique down.

Hope I've helped and anymore questions, just ask!
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JessAntonia:)
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(Original post by BeccaBurling)
I’m hoping to go into paramedic science but I’m concerned whether it would be best to take A Level Biology or Psychology as I’ve heard Biology is very content heavy.My maths skills are not the strongest as I got a 6 at GCSE and I got a 7,8 in Science and I did combined.Is there a large amount of content needed from triple science GCSE Biology? As I don’t know if I would be disadvantaged only having done double science. I do enjoy biology but I feel a higher grade would be more achievable in Psychology. How difficult is biology?
I've just finished A Levels and studied both biology and psychology (and loved both). Biology does have a high volume of content but so do all other A Levels. It's mostly learning to understand biological processes which are complex, but if you put the effort to properly understand they're fine. Psychology ismore memorisation, as you have to learn statistics and names for research studies, psychological theories and then evaluation of the theories. The actual learning is much easier than in biology but I would say there's even more to learn volume wise. It really all depends in what you're more interested in because you're more likely to do better in the one that interests you. Maths wise, both contain a little maths but not much and the maths in psychology is slightly easier. Although they give you the equations (for statistics) in biology. I hope this has helped and not confused you more!
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BeccaBurling
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Okay Thankyou, The university said they prefer Biology as an a level but I’m not sure if I would more likely get a higher grade in Psychology 🤔Having not the best teachers at GCSE, I wasn’t the keenest on Biology but I thoroughly enjoyed studying it by myself during exam season.
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BeccaBurling
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Thankyou so much that is so helpful. I really do enjoy Biology but more specifically just human biology, is there a large percentage of this covered in the course? My main concern with biology is I am going to struggle with the level of difficulty and not be able to keep up with the workload.How did you find keeping up to date? I am more steering towards biology but it’s just very daunting as I did not do many practicals at all during GCSE so microscopes and such equipment are all new to me almost.I think Biology would help me more in the long run as my University I hope to go to states Biology is preferred but they would consider Psychology. Thankyou so much again!
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BeccaBurling
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Thankyou so much! How big did you find the step up from GCSE to A Level? I’ve heard from a large number of people in the beginning it’s very overwhelming..
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JessAntonia:)
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(Original post by BeccaBurling)
Thankyou so much that is so helpful. I really do enjoy Biology but more specifically just human biology, is there a large percentage of this covered in the course? My main concern with biology is I am going to struggle with the level of difficulty and not be able to keep up with the workload.How did you find keeping up to date? I am more steering towards biology but it’s just very daunting as I did not do many practicals at all during GCSE so microscopes and such equipment are all new to me almost.I think Biology would help me more in the long run as my University I hope to go to states Biology is preferred but they would consider Psychology. Thankyou so much again!
I much prefered human biology too. The plant side of stuff there isn't too much of, I'd say it is a 70/30 split (70% human, counting cellular and molecular biology as human too) or even 80/20 o it's not bad. I did edexcel Biology B so I'm not sure about other boards but I imagine they're all similar. As for keeping up to date, to begin with I went over my notes within the next week so I was always revisiting stuff. Then as workloads from all my subjects increased I would do that less nad just focus on going over things I didn't understand in class in my own time, using my free periods, plus helping others who didn't understand the bits that I liked. I would recommend doing biology, I found the actual classes really fascinating which helped! The practical side of things are easy to pick so you needn't worry about that.The only thing I would say that is a negative is the official A Level exams are really hard, but that means the grade boundaries are low. (55% was A this year and it was 49% last year). But if you're aware of that you can practise and get ready for them. No problem! Always happy to help.
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Dulciebr
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(Original post by BeccaBurling)
I’m hoping to go into paramedic science but I’m concerned whether it would be best to take A Level Biology or Psychology as I’ve heard Biology is very content heavy.My maths skills are not the strongest as I got a 6 at GCSE and I got a 7,8 in Science and I did combined.Is there a large amount of content needed from triple science GCSE Biology? As I don’t know if I would be disadvantaged only having done double science. I do enjoy biology but I feel a higher grade would be more achievable in Psychology. How difficult is biology?
I do A level biology and in my experience, the maths involved is roughly equivalent to that at GCSE - they can't make it any harder than that otherwise the course would be biased toward those taking A level maths so I'm sure you would manage absolutely fine on that front. A level biology is a huge step up from GCSE biology to be honest but as others in the comments have said, a friend who is taking biology and psychology finds they are at a similar difficulty. My only other advice is that you might want to check entry requirements for Paramedical science degrees - you might find that many require Biology - and that biology is a much broader subject than psychology. If you want to be sure not to close of any potential career options, I would recommend you take biology but at the end of the day you have to take what you're passionate about
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Parabrad
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I see you've already got given good answers thus far and the thread is 5 months old but I'll add my opinion anyway, just in case it helps anyone in the future. I done both at A Level (I took the exams back in 2017) and I'm starting paramedic science this September.

There is indeed a slight preference for Biology but I did find it to be a lot more challenging. It's true that there is a big workload and unless you have a passion or at least a strong interest for the subject I highly recommend not taking it. Otherwise, it's fascinating and certainly builds on your knowledge well. Psychology I found also to be very interesting, though be prepared to write lots of essays.

Do be aware though, most paramedic science applicants do have some form of past or current experience in a healthcare setting, or at least in a related role, whether it be voluntary or paid. If you're serious about this, I suggest gaining some experience and perhaps obtaining your B-cat (+ C1, though not so important this early on) licence when you can as it's usually a prerequisite for most universities. You'll be required to attend placements during your degree so travelling from your home to your ambulance station at 4am may not be easy without driving! I took some time out after A Levels to volunteer and work in care homes (as I previously only worked in retail, which is still good if you can do this too) along with obtaining my driving licence and I'm glad I done it as it has helped me massively. Try and make sure you have time to do this stuff if you want to give it your best shot - I also advise joining the College of Paramedics.

I've gone off on a bit of a tangent here but to realistically answer your question, if you have an interest in both subjects, pick them.
You'll learn some relevant things and if you're willing to put in the work there's no reason you can't do well. I wish the best of luck with whatever decision you have chosen and if you have any further questions regarding the A Levels or the degree at any time, let me know.
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