A level Biology? Watch

Lois Bozilovic
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I am currently preparing to sit my GCSE exams, so naturally I'm trying to decide what I want to do at A level. I've decided on French, Spanish, and English Literature/Language, but I'm thinking of opting for Biology as well. Does anyone have any advice or info on A level biology? Also, I didn't do triple science for GCSE so do I need that? Any information would be great
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don134
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(Original post by Lois Bozilovic)
I am currently preparing to sit my GCSE exams, so naturally I'm trying to decide what I want to do at A level. I've decided on French, Spanish, and English Literature/Language, but I'm thinking of opting for Biology as well. Does anyone have any advice or info on A level biology? Also, I didn't do triple science for GCSE so do I need that? Any information would be great
Hi, many people in my class did not do triple, you’ll be taught everything you need to know so don’t worry this isn’t a problem. In my opinion, there is a lot of content in A level biology but most of it is not too challenging (though some parts are difficult)! If you enjoy it at GCSE you will definitely enjoy it at A level as GCSE leaves loose ends that are cleared up at A level, which I really like. Good luck in your GCSEs!
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TheNamesBond.
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You do not need triple science to take Biology at A-Level, I wouldn't suggest taking 4 A-levels, I'm taking 3 and that's a handful already, a fourth would just tip me over, but we are talking about you here, do you think you're capable of taking 4?
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Lois Bozilovic
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Great to know, thank you for the information, I didn't expect any replies so quickly
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Lois Bozilovic
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Well, I've always been quite academic and I know I'd put the effort and required work in. The only problem really is that because I'm in Wales I have to do Welsh Bac too. So I was hoping that I'd be able to do Biology instead of that, but I doubt that will be possible. I figured if I did 4 to start with, I can always drop the Biology if it becomes too much work, but I really like the sound of the course so I'll have to ask the teacher tomorrow when I go and visit I guess Thanks for your opinion
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niv1234
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(Original post by Lois Bozilovic)
I am currently preparing to sit my GCSE exams, so naturally I'm trying to decide what I want to do at A level. I've decided on French, Spanish, and English Literature/Language, but I'm thinking of opting for Biology as well. Does anyone have any advice or info on A level biology? Also, I didn't do triple science for GCSE so do I need that? Any information would be great
Hi!

You definitely don't need to have done triple science to be able to do biology at A level. They'll explain everything to you in the classes. I'm in my first year studying biology at university at the moment and I did AQA A level biology last year so feel free to ask me any questions about A level biology.
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Lois Bozilovic
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Great, thanks for the help I really appreciate it Do you think it would be a difficult one to pick for a fourth option or not? I love the sound of the course and I really want to do it
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niv1234
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(Original post by Lois Bozilovic)
Great, thanks for the help I really appreciate it Do you think it would be a difficult one to pick for a fourth option or not? I love the sound of the course and I really want to do it
Does your school still offer AS levels? It is really difficult to do 4 subjects. I studied 4 for 2 years and I ended up dropping my 4th just before study leave in year 13 because it got too much to handle. I think it depends on the person but it is a lot of hard work - do what you think is best for you. I don't regret taking 4 even though I didn't take the exams for it. There were around 10 people in my year who started off with 4 A levels but only 2 carried on with them and only one of them actually got decent grades. So it all depends on how much you can handle. Maybe start off with 4 and then drop one if it gets too much?
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dyllll
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Go for it, as long as you stay on top of the content its safe
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Lois Bozilovic
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(Original post by niv1234)
Does your school still offer AS levels? It is really difficult to do 4 subjects. I studied 4 for 2 years and I ended up dropping my 4th just before study leave in year 13 because it got too much to handle. I think it depends on the person but it is a lot of hard work - do what you think is best for you. I don't regret taking 4 even though I didn't take the exams for it. There were around 10 people in my year who started off with 4 A levels but only 2 carried on with them and only one of them actually got decent grades. So it all depends on how much you can handle. Maybe start off with 4 and then drop one if it gets too much?
Yea that's what I planned to do. I like all 4 and my theory is if I don't like one or I can't manage the workload then I have the option to drop 1.
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Lois Bozilovic
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(Original post by dyllll)
Go for it, as long as you stay on top of the content its safe
Ok thanks for the advice
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Infinite Series
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I am taking Biology for both years of A-Level and am currently in Y13. Be aware that Biology is one of the most challenging A-Levels due to the amount of content that you are expected to memorise and performance in A-Level Biology exams have a lot of luck involved since most questions require application of knowledge. The top students that I know would try to finish the content quickly and then do as many practice questions as possible because the exams will punish those that don't.

The subject is certainly manageable alongside the 3 others that you're taking, but make sure you don't fall behind otherwise it'll be a struggle to catch up in time before the real exams.
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Lois Bozilovic
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(Original post by Infinite Series)
I am taking Biology for both years of A-Level and am currently in Y13. Be aware that Biology is one of the most challenging A-Levels due to the amount of content that you are expected to memorise and performance in A-Level Biology exams have a lot of luck involved since most questions require application of knowledge. The top students that I know would try to finish the content quickly and then do as many practice questions as possible because the exams will punish those that don't.

The subject is certainly manageable alongside the 3 others that you're taking, but make sure you don't fall behind otherwise it'll be a struggle to catch up in time before the real exams.
So if I keep up to date with the content and learn it as I go along I should be alright?

Also another question I’ve just thought of: do you have to disect stuff? An odd question I know XD. I’m not the best with stuff like that, I don’t mind doing a practical if I have to, but I don’t like cutting into organs and stuff XD
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Infinite Series
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(Original post by Lois Bozilovic)
So if I keep up to date with the content and learn it as I go along I should be alright?

Also another question I’ve just thought of: do you have to disect stuff? An odd question I know XD. I’m not the best with stuff like that, I don’t mind doing a practical if I have to, but I don’t like cutting into organs and stuff XD
By 'keeping up to date' I don't just mean learning the content but you need to also do as many practice questions as you can for each topic and learn from your mistakes in them to identify and fill any gaps in your knowledge.

I think there's 1 or 2 required practical where you do dissections, and if your teacher is like mine they may make you do extra dissections for no reason. He made us boil locusts alive:eek:
However, if you tell your teacher you aren't comfortable with doing these then i'm sure he/she will allow you to sit it out. For required practicals you can just ask your friends to share their photos (for evidence) and results with you so that you can still complete the write ups without doing the dissections.
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SkyJewel
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If you think you can put the work in then I suggest 4 As-levels. This gives you 2 languages, a literacy subject and a science subject under your belt so really spread out. Then for A2 this gives you a choice to drop one if you wish. Whereas I you just do three and by the end of AS you find out you don't like one of them, you can't drop it. Personally I love Biology and it is really fascinating in Alevel.I would say it is challenging with some aspects being hard to get your head around, but once you understand the basics, you can apply it to most of the course because pretty much everything ties together
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Lois Bozilovic
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(Original post by Infinite Series)
By 'keeping up to date' I don't just mean learning the content but you need to also do as many practice questions as you can for each topic and learn from your mistakes in them to identify and fill any gaps in your knowledge.

I think there's 1 or 2 required practical where you do dissections, and if your teacher is like mine they may make you do extra dissections for no reason. He made us boil locusts alive:eek:
However, if you tell your teacher you aren't comfortable with doing these then i'm sure he/she will allow you to sit it out. For required practicals you can just ask your friends to share their photos (for evidence) and results with you so that you can still complete the write ups without doing the dissections.
Ok, thank you so much for the help I’m going to see the A level teachers tomorrow so I’ll ask all about Biology then too. You’ve been a huge help, thanks for taking the time to help me out
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Lois Bozilovic
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(Original post by SkyJewel)
If you think you can put the work in then I suggest 4 As-levels. This gives you 2 languages, a literacy subject and a science subject under your belt so really spread out. Then for A2 this gives you a choice to drop one if you wish. Whereas I you just do three and by the end of AS you find out you don't like one of them, you can't drop it. Personally I love Biology and it is really fascinating in Alevel.I would say it is challenging with some aspects being hard to get your head around, but once you understand the basics, you can apply it to most of the course because pretty much everything ties together
Yes that’s why I figured I’d take it anyway because I can always drop it if I don’t like it. I like GCSE Biology and the course for A level has similar topics so I probably will end up taking it as my fourth option
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jburnside615
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(Original post by Lois Bozilovic)
I am currently preparing to sit my GCSE exams, so naturally I'm trying to decide what I want to do at A level. I've decided on French, Spanish, and English Literature/Language, but I'm thinking of opting for Biology as well. Does anyone have any advice or info on A level biology? Also, I didn't do triple science for GCSE so do I need that? Any information would be great
I really recommend biology! I got an A* (finished June 2015) and I really liked it. I'm not that into science, but I do love human and animal biology. What I can say is that it's quite 'learn it off' based compared to other a levels. There is a level of understanding needed, but I found that when I learned lff the facts and learned it in order the basic principles sort of fell into place. It's an easy a level of you put in the work, and it's actually very helpful in life to not look stupid! 😂 a science mixed with humanities is also impressive for skills - I did a mix of humanities, science and technology. I did classical civilisation, ICT, Biology and History. I then dropped history at AS, took an addition a level in software systems development and continued on classics, ict and biology to A2. I then did an additional a level outside of school in Chemistry. So I can say that I've experienced a broad range subjects, and biology was my second favorite of all.
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SkyJewel
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(Original post by Lois Bozilovic)
Yes that’s why I figured I’d take it anyway because I can always drop it if I don’t like it. I like GCSE Biology and the course for A level has similar topics so I probably will end up taking it as my fourth option
Oh about dissections, we had to dissect a heart, but majority of the experiments were plants, microscopes and if you do enzymes then there are a lot of experiments to choose from there. I did ccea biology so mat be slightly different
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jburnside615
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(Original post by jburnside615)
I really recommend biology! I got an A* (finished June 2015) and I really liked it. I'm not that into science, but I do love human and animal biology. What I can say is that it's quite 'learn it off' based compared to other a levels. There is a level of understanding needed, but I found that when I learned lff the facts and learned it in order the basic principles sort of fell into place. It's an easy a level of you put in the work, and it's actually very helpful in life to not look stupid! 😂 a science mixed with humanities is also impressive for skills - I did a mix of humanities, science and technology. I did classical civilisation, ICT, Biology and History. I then dropped history at AS, took an addition a level in software systems development and continued on classics, ict and biology to A2. I then did an additional a level outside of school in Chemistry. So I can say that I've experienced a broad range subjects, and biology was my second favorite of all.
Another thing I forgot, biology a level people think is really hard but I found if you picture things it makes it much easier to remember. For example, you learn about muscles and how muscles 'slide' along each other. I used that animation to sort of attach visual queues to spark off remembering facts. I found it very easy to learn and easy to recall.
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