Help! A-Level Preparition: Biology, Chemistry and Geography

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wduwdh
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Hi. I'm considering the above subjects for A-Level (biology, chemistry and geography)- possibly looking at applying to medicine.

Does anyone have advice for these particular a-levels or general advice for preparing for sixth form over summer?
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M Farhan
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(Original post by wduwdh)
Hi. I'm considering the above subjects for A-Level (biology, chemistry and geography)- possibly looking at applying to medicine.

Does anyone have advice for these particular a-levels or general advice for preparing for sixth form over summer?
Hi, those subjects seem great. I chose Bio,Chem and Maths (although I got a 9 in GCSE Geography) and have an offer for dentistry. Those subjects are difficult but nothing you won’t be able to handle. If you are completely set on healthcare routes then thats fine, however if you are good at Maths I would recommend it as it opens many doors in terms of career such as financial degrees, engineering, computer science etc. You don’t need to do much over the summer, just start working on your subjects once school starts and be consistent. Even 2 hours a day is PLENTY in year 12. Good luck, you can message me for med school/dental school application advice if you need.
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robertgallacher
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I would recommend just reading around your subject and solidifying your current knowledge. Reading ahead is great if that works for you, but if you're certain on medicine then I'd recommend seeing what relevant extracurriculars and supercurriculars you could work on.

Also, there are these books for the sciences but I haven't personally tried them myself: (except for Maths, but that one is mostly questions)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Head-Start-...s%2C137&sr=8-1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Head-Start-...GYTX85MSBPF0G2
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REDDINGZ
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(Original post by M Farhan)
Hi, those subjects seem great. I chose Bio,Chem and Maths (although I got a 9 in GCSE Geography) and have an offer for dentistry. Those subjects are difficult but nothing you won’t be able to handle. If you are completely set on healthcare routes then thats fine, however if you are good at Maths I would recommend it as it opens many doors in terms of career such as financial degrees, engineering, computer science etc. You don’t need to do much over the summer, just start working on your subjects once school starts and be consistent. Even 2 hours a day is PLENTY in year 12. Good luck, you can message me for med school/dental school application advice if you need.
Are there any Biology related courses Ill be able to study at Uni without taking Chem? Im taking Pyschology and English
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5hyl33n
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(Original post by REDDINGZ)
Are there any Biology related courses Ill be able to study at Uni without taking Chem? Im taking Pyschology and English
I think you may be able to apply to a few Biology courses. Some universities see Psychology as a Science. Bear in mind you may not get any offers because the majority of the candidates will be offering more than one 'proper' Science, such as Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics.
The only other thing I can suggest is to take a gap year and complete another Science A-Level...
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REDDINGZ
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(Original post by 5hyl33n)
I think you may be able to apply to a few Biology courses. Some universities see Psychology as a Science. Bear in mind you may not get any offers because the majority of the candidates will be offering more than one 'proper' Science, such as Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics.
The only other thing I can suggest is to take a gap year and complete another Science A-Level...
Alright, thank you! I shall see what Y12 brings
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5hyl33n
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(Original post by REDDINGZ)
Alright, thank you! I shall see what Y12 brings
Oh, I thought you were in year 12! Why are you only taking one science if you want to go into a science career?
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REDDINGZ
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(Original post by 5hyl33n)
Oh, I thought you were in year 12! Why are you only taking one science if you want to go into a science career?
If im honest, im not sure what i want. Originally i wanted i to take Psych, Eng Lang Lit and Art, but my parents think i wont get a good job with an A Level in Art. Im changing it to Biology bc i find it interesting and its a respected subject. - Interests: Art, Design, Ancient History, Toxicology, Animals, Creative Writing, Working with children, Disease
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5hyl33n
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(Original post by REDDINGZ)
If im honest, im not sure what i want. Originally i wanted i to take Psych, Eng Lang Lit and Art, but my parents think i wont get a good job with an A Level in Art. Im changing it to Biology bc i find it interesting and its a respected subject. - Interests: Art, Design, Ancient History, Toxicology, Animals, Creative Writing, Working with children, Disease
A-Level Art is definitely a well-respected subject so don't think it isn't!

So, let's break this down. You say you have interests in these subjects:
English Language
Not many people take this as an A-Level and if a course has a requirements it is usually English Literature because not all schools offer English Language.

English Literature
This is a great subject! I was originally going to take it, but it clashed with Physics so I didn't take it. From what I've heard from my friends, it is a great subject and interesting.

Art
As I said before, this is a well-respected A-Level. It also opens up careers in Art and Design, Architecture, and other courses that require a portfolio of artwork.

Psychology
I take this as an A-Level and I love it! If you want more information on this A-Level, I am more than happy to provide an insight. Let me know!

Biology
This is also a great subject and opens up many careers in the science field. I don't take this subject but if you type in A-Level Biology on the 'search' bar in the top right-hand corner you will get many insights on this subject.


I would say take 3 A-Levels out of English Literature, Art, Psychology and Biology. If you are still struggling to pick subjects out of this, then take all 4 and perhaps drop one after Yr 12 once you know what you want to do or you aren't performing as well as you should. The above 4 A-Level options will keep your options open for a degree in Art, Design, Creative Writing, Working with children.

If you want to take a scientific route, you will need 2 A-Levels in Science (Biology, Chemistry or Physics). I take both Chemistry and Physics, if you want any advice.
I have also created a post on A-Level Chemistry if you want some more advice on this A-Level:
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6613212

I hope this helped and didn't confuse you even more! Let me know if you are still confused x
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mabelkabutey
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(Original post by wduwdh)
Hi. I'm considering the above subjects for A-Level (biology, chemistry and geography)- possibly looking at applying to medicine.

Does anyone have advice for these particular a-levels or general advice for preparing for sixth form over summer?
omg i’m taking those exact subjects as well and i also wanna do medicine😊, you’re the first person i’ve seen from this years year 11 who’s doing bio chem and geography and wants to do medicine!!!
i haven’t actually started any official preparation for my subjects, i’ve done like 25 mins of practice questions here and there. I should probably start some serious work soon😂
but i think to prepare you should go over the basics of biology and chemistry; just so you’re familiar with them again and to also just prep your brain for studying again in september.
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REDDINGZ
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(Original post by 5hyl33n)
A-Level Art is definitely a well-respected subject so don't think it isn't!

So, let's break this down. You say you have interests in these subjects:
English Language
Not many people take this as an A-Level and if a course has a requirements it is usually English Literature because not all schools offer English Language.

English Literature
This is a great subject! I was originally going to take it, but it clashed with Physics so I didn't take it. From what I've heard from my friends, it is a great subject and interesting.

Art
As I said before, this is a well-respected A-Level. It also opens up careers in Art and Design, Architecture, and other courses that require a portfolio of artwork.

Psychology
I take this as an A-Level and I love it! If you want more information on this A-Level, I am more than happy to provide an insight. Let me know!

Biology
This is also a great subject and opens up many careers in the science field. I don't take this subject but if you type in A-Level Biology on the 'search' bar in the top right-hand corner you will get many insights on this subject.


I would say take 3 A-Levels out of English Literature, Art, Psychology and Biology. If you are still struggling to pick subjects out of this, then take all 4 and perhaps drop one after Yr 12 once you know what you want to do or you aren't performing as well as you should. The above 4 A-Level options will keep your options open for a degree in Art, Design, Creative Writing, Working with children.

If you want to take a scientific route, you will need 2 A-Levels in Science (Biology, Chemistry or Physics). I take both Chemistry and Physics, if you want any advice.
I have also created a post on A-Level Chemistry if you want some more advice on this A-Level:
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6613212

I hope this helped and didn't confuse you even more! Let me know if you are still confused x
Thank you so much! This is really helpful <3
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5hyl33n
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(Original post by REDDINGZ)
Thank you so much! This is really helpful <3
No problem! <3
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lilyrose270
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Heyy! I'm entering year 13 this year and we have the same combination of A-levels with similar aspirations of studying Medicine in the future. Firstly, despite what other people have said on here, you're not at a disadvantage because you're not taking Maths- most unis require an A*/A in Chemistry and/or Biology with the 3rd A-level being the applicant's choice. So as long as you know you can achieve an A*/A in the 3rd subject along with the sciences then you're meeting the offer requirements. Double-check with certain universities though because the requirements vary from uni to uni.

Biology+Chemistry
Personally I didn't undertake any preparation for bio in the summer and instead looked at the general overview of the exam board's specification and got familiar with how the content is spread out through each paper. I made online folders with each sub-topic under their respective names so when my teacher would assign any online worksheets or informative pdfs, I could just store them in there. I did the same with Chemistry. This is useful with past papers too because I find there are way more a-level past papers than there are of GCSE's - especially with the 9-1 curriculum being relatively new.

Geography
With geography, I just went over the key terms from my GCSE knowledge (e.g glocalisation, suburbanisation, gentrification..etc) and also made a geo folder on my laptop in hopes of storing files, pdfs, past papers and mark schemes on there. When the academic year begins, I recommend starting making revisions resources as soon as you approach a case study in the lesson. You don't want to be wasting precious revision time making case study mindmaps or however you revise for them when you could be going over certain weaknesses in the topic.

overall advice

  • make notes as you go for each subject- you will thank yourself when you're revising for upcoming exams
  • experiment with revision resources. Just because flashcards were proven to be effective for your GCSE revision doesn't mean they'll still be effective for your A-levels
  • pick up a hobby/extracurricular activity that you'll enjoy- a-levels, despite only being 2 years, are time-consuming and at times can be stressful- plus you could mention this in your personal statement as medical schools like to see you're not only academically competent but you're also able to maintain a work-life balance
  • make sure you enjoy at least one of your subjects while still meeting the a-level requirements of your chosen course of study. I love geography and even though at times it can be very content-heavy, it is not far as stressful as the other sciences.

Hope this helps! And sorry for it being quite lengthy xx
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15977emily
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(Original post by wduwdh)
Hi. I'm considering the above subjects for A-Level (biology, chemistry and geography)- possibly looking at applying to medicine.

Does anyone have advice for these particular a-levels or general advice for preparing for sixth form over summer?
I have some Pre-Prep for all 3 if you're interested? They're from my school!
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wduwdh
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(Original post by mabelkabutey)
omg i’m taking those exact subjects as well and i also wanna do medicine😊, you’re the first person i’ve seen from this years year 11 who’s doing bio chem and geography and wants to do medicine!!!
i haven’t actually started any official preparation for my subjects, i’ve done like 25 mins of practice questions here and there. I should probably start some serious work soon😂
but i think to prepare you should go over the basics of biology and chemistry; just so you’re familiar with them again and to also just prep your brain for studying again in september.
Thank you.
I haven't done that much either but there's still plenty of time. Good luck with sixth form and hopefully you'll get into medicine xx
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wduwdh
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(Original post by lilyrose270)
Heyy! I'm entering year 13 this year and we have the same combination of A-levels with similar aspirations of studying Medicine in the future. Firstly, despite what other people have said on here, you're not at a disadvantage because you're not taking Maths- most unis require an A*/A in Chemistry and/or Biology with the 3rd A-level being the applicant's choice. So as long as you know you can achieve an A*/A in the 3rd subject along with the sciences then you're meeting the offer requirements. Double-check with certain universities though because the requirements vary from uni to uni.

Biology+Chemistry
Personally I didn't undertake any preparation for bio in the summer and instead looked at the general overview of the exam board's specification and got familiar with how the content is spread out through each paper. I made online folders with each sub-topic under their respective names so when my teacher would assign any online worksheets or informative pdfs, I could just store them in there. I did the same with Chemistry. This is useful with past papers too because I find there are way more a-level past papers than there are of GCSE's - especially with the 9-1 curriculum being relatively new.

Geography
With geography, I just went over the key terms from my GCSE knowledge (e.g glocalisation, suburbanisation, gentrification..etc) and also made a geo folder on my laptop in hopes of storing files, pdfs, past papers and mark schemes on there. When the academic year begins, I recommend starting making revisions resources as soon as you approach a case study in the lesson. You don't want to be wasting precious revision time making case study mindmaps or however you revise for them when you could be going over certain weaknesses in the topic.

overall advice

  • make notes as you go for each subject- you will thank yourself when you're revising for upcoming exams
  • experiment with revision resources. Just because flashcards were proven to be effective for your GCSE revision doesn't mean they'll still be effective for your A-levels
  • pick up a hobby/extracurricular activity that you'll enjoy- a-levels, despite only being 2 years, are time-consuming and at times can be stressful- plus you could mention this in your personal statement as medical schools like to see you're not only academically competent but you're also able to maintain a work-life balance
  • make sure you enjoy at least one of your subjects while still meeting the a-level requirements of your chosen course of study. I love geography and even though at times it can be very content-heavy, it is not far as stressful as the other sciences.

Hope this helps! And sorry for it being quite lengthy xx
Thank you- this was super helpful! x
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wduwdh
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(Original post by 15977emily)
I have some Pre-Prep for all 3 if you're interested? They're from my school!
Yes please.

Thank you so much ! x
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lilyrose270
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n

(Original post by wduwdh)
Thank you- this was super helpful! x
no problem! message me if you want any help xx
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15977emily
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(Original post by wduwdh)
Yes please.

Thank you so much ! x
I'll have to upload them all separately as they are too big!
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