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 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!
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.
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..