feminist18
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I have my GCSE course starting in Year 10 soon and I have the opportunity to change my options until the 20th September. The subjects I have are: Maths. English Language and English Literature, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Drama, French, Spanish, Half-Course RS and Geography. Most of these subjects I can do easily. The only ones I struggle with are Maths and Physics (although I know the formulae and reasoning for physics and what I need to work on is just how to answer the questions). I want to switch Geography out for Astronomy. My reasons to are: I have always had an interest in space and the universe, the course looks very interesting (far more interesting than Geography) so I know I would put more effort into learning it, fewer people take it so I would stand out more than if I took Geography, it might help with Maths/Physics and I do not enjoy Geography anymore. However, I have been told Astronomy is very hard and a portion of it is Maths and Physics while everyone has started the Geography GCSE course and it is said to be far easier. I have looked at past papers for both subjects as well as a website which has the Astronomy content on it and believe I could do well in it. Geography has more people achieving an a-a* though. My friends have advised me to take it if I believe myself capable. However, my family have severe reservations and are urging me constantly to stay with Geography (they think taking Astronomy is life dooming-direct quote!). What should I do?
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username2355189
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Astronomy, astrophysics, or anything “space-orientated” is generally very Maths and Physics focused. If you do really struggle with these subjects, I don’t think you will enjoy Astronomy.

Whilst the space aspect and the stars seem amazing, you must understand that there will be a lot of work involved too that you may not necessarily enjoy.

If you feel you can get perhaps a B grade in Maths and Physics, I think it shouldn’t be too difficult.

Avoid statistics and look more towards what you think you can get with your skill set, ability, and affinity in these subjects!

On a side note, wow! Your school offers //Astronomy// as a GCSE subject? That’s wicked cool, nothing like that back where I studied.
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Sinnoh
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It's just one GCSE! People aren't successful because they took Geography, or unsuccessful because they took Astronomy. It doesn't matter. Forget what your family are saying...
Really, astronomy GCSE is mostly memorisation.
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feminist18
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(Original post by Writer_Refresh)
Astronomy, astrophysics, or anything “space-orientated” is generally very Maths and Physics focused. If you do really struggle with these subjects, I don’t think you will enjoy Astronomy.

Whilst the space aspect and the stars seem amazing, you must understand that there will be a lot of work involved too that you may not necessarily enjoy.

If you feel you can get perhaps a B grade in Maths and Physics, I think it shouldn’t be too difficult.

Avoid statistics and look more towards what you think you can get with your skill set, ability, and affinity in these subjects!

On a side note, wow! Your school offers //Astronomy// as a GCSE subject? That’s wicked cool, nothing like that back where I studied.
Yeah, I'm really lucky that my school offer it! I think a B in Maths and Physics is definitely feasible, especially since I now have teachers who actually teach me the material in an engaging way! While I find textbooks helpful for consolidation, I can't learn a topic just from them, and that's what happened last year. In Physics, I really only have to work on the wording but the concepts I understand. I'm fairly sure I could succeed in it but the real issue is my family, who just really don't want me to take it as they fear all of my energy will be put into learning that which would make my other grades suffer. They are also making it very personal, and I almost feel like I'm the villain since they're accusing me of trying to turn them into the enemy and guilt-tripping me. I think that's making my choice harder...
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omarathon
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Astronomy sounds interesting, I would've took that if I had the option!
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feminist18
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
It's just one GCSE! People aren't successful because they took Geography, or unsuccessful because they took Astronomy. It doesn't matter. Forget what your family are saying...
Really, astronomy GCSE is mostly memorisation.
Memorisation of what? Equations and terms? Because I can remember equations and words easily so if it's like that then I could probably do quite well. Also, how much of the course is maths/physics? My school hasn't actually said much about that.
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by feminist18)
Memorisation of what? Equations and terms? Because I can remember equations and words easily so if it's like that then I could probably do quite well. Also, how much of the course is maths/physics? My school hasn't actually said much about that.
The new course is different but for me:
A lot of memorisation was just information. Like what's the purpose of WMAP, how were the Van Allen belts discovered, which constellations point to which stars, things like that.
None of the maths is that hard. Some of the physics is just the cosmology sections in the normal GCSE but in greater detail.
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