Regretting chemistry a level choice

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MelWS
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#1
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#1
Hi, I’ve picked chemistry a level (along with biology and Spanish). Although I haven’t started the course yet, I am quite nervous about the jump from gcse to a level and whether or not I’ll be capable to do it. When I was considering which options to take, I emailed my chem teacher about whether or not she thinks I should do it and she said if I like it she definitely thinks I’m capable, as long as I’m aware of the jump. However, I’ve been doing the transition work and I’m finding it quite difficult, I think it’s gcse stuff too, which doesn’t assure me. I did combined science at gcse and got a 77.
Please give me you advice and let me know, if you picked chemistry too, what grades you got at gcse and how you find the course
Thank you
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EierVonSatan
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#2
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#2
Chemistry is a tough subject, but don't quit it before you've even started. Your teacher, the person who should know best, thinks that you are capable enough for it. Maybe you could email her and express your worries to her now that you have your GCSE grades.

If you're looking to get a good grade at A-level (an A) then I usually recommend it for those that could get a grade 8 at GCSE Chemistry on a "bad day".
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Tammie2345524
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#3
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#3
Hey, I did A level chemistry. I finished this year - I got a 9 at GCSE and an A* at A level.
Not to scare you, but it's not easy. I didn't find it ridiculously difficult, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I enjoyed GCSE chemistry. There's a lot of content, and it's quite a large step up from GCSE. The initial AS level stuff isn't much harder than GCSE, but it gets harder as the course progresses. If maths freaks you out, there is some maths involved (it's simple maths though - if you can rearrange equations and learn to use logarithms you'll be fine). Are there any parts of chemistry that you prefer? I don't know what it's like for all A level courses, but chemistry is split into organic (hydrocarbons), physical (rates of reaction, energetics, batteries etc) and inorganic (basically everything else). Most people seem to find organic chemistry difficult, but it was physical chemistry that I had an issue with. I hated it.

If you're struggling with the transition work, maybe A level chemistry isn't for you. You could try taking it for a week or two at first to see if you enjoy it.
Last edited by Tammie2345524; 8 months ago
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Tolgash
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#4
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#4
I got an 8-8 in combined science at GCSE in 2018, and I got a B at A Level after feeling like going to hell and back. Seriously, you need to be dedicated and engaged in every lesson. From what I've heard, it's quite a difficult subject for many pupils.
Last edited by Tolgash; 8 months ago
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scimus63
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#5
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#5
The jump from gcse to AS level is not too bad, I am sure your teacher will make sure you on track and hopefully put any doubts you have to bed. From your gcse grade you will be fine, so stop panicking. You might even enjoy it once you get started. AS chemistry is a lot more interesting and enjoyable than gcse in my opinion. Chemistry gets better the further you go with it.

Bear in mind that most students get worried and stressed about their choices at gcse and the fear of doing a-levels. Once you get started and you realise it nowhere near as bad as you think then you will be fine.
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mxx454
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#6
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#6
Hey! I personally think you should go on with it and see if you like it, my college gave us a month window to change our courses so if your college/six form allows that then i’d definitely recommend to continue with chemistry.

I got a 9 in chemistry at GCSE and when i first started A level, the jump wasn’t too bad. The content you learn at the start was pretty easy to keep up with. It was later on during the year that my grades really plummeted and i was getting D/E in topic tests. I wasn’t studying or putting in any work so it wasn’t really surprising.

If you put in the work and keep up with the content, making sure that anything you don’t understand you go over as soon as you go home/in your free and if you do loads of practice then you’ll be fine. I thought i wasn’t smart enough for chemistry because everyone in my class was doing better than me and at the end of year 12 i was almost sure i was going to fail. Once i put the hours in and found the best way of studying for me, my grades went up and i was getting As/A*s throughout year 13 and ended up getting an A* overall.
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randomperson244
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#7
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#7
I got an 8 in gcse chemistry (i did triple science) and I’m not gonna lie, a level chemistry is a very difficult subject. I went from usually getting around 80% in gcse to frequently getting like 30-40%. I’ve had to get a chemistry tutor because there was so much I didn’t understand, but now I have a tutor I’m finding it a lot easier and it’s probably my best subject now. For context though, I spent a lot of year 12 not revising properly and not keeping on top of things and that’s probably why I found it that bad. I think if you put the work in from day 1 and keep on top of things then you can probably do well. A level takes a lot more work than gcse so you’ll have to get used to going over class notes consistently and doing constant revision so you don’t fall behind (I learnt that the hard way). Also, any subject at a level is inevitably going to be difficult, because it’s a level. But if chemistry is something you’re interested in, and you’d like to do something sciencey in the future, then go for it. Just make sure you stay on top of things and you should be fine. Even if you do struggle, if you’ve made your choice for the right reason (i.e because you enjoy the subject and it will help you with your future uni degree and career, not because you think it’ll be easy) then that’s all that matters, and you can always get a tutor to help you through it. Hope this has helped with your decision.
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Muttley79
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#8
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#8
(Original post by MelWS)
Hi, I’ve picked chemistry a level (along with biology and Spanish). Although I haven’t started the course yet, I am quite nervous about the jump from gcse to a level and whether or not I’ll be capable to do it. When I was considering which options to take, I emailed my chem teacher about whether or not she thinks I should do it and she said if I like it she definitely thinks I’m capable, as long as I’m aware of the jump. However, I’ve been doing the transition work and I’m finding it quite difficult, I think it’s gcse stuff too, which doesn’t assure me. I did combined science at gcse and got a 77.
Please give me you advice and let me know, if you picked chemistry too, what grades you got at gcse and how you find the course
Thank you
What degree are you considering? Is Chemistry needed?
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MelWS
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Muttley79)
What degree are you considering? Is Chemistry needed?
I’m thinking about doing marine biology, I’m not too sure if chem is necessary
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EierVonSatan
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#10
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#10
(Original post by MelWS)
I’m thinking about doing marine biology, I’m not too sure if chem is necessary
https://www.theuniguide.co.uk/search...marine+biology

Usually biology and one other science.
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Muttley79
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#11
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#11
(Original post by MelWS)
I’m thinking about doing marine biology, I’m not too sure if chem is necessary
Look at uni requirements.

Southampton say: Biology and one further science subject
Acceptable science subjects are Chemistry, Maths, Environmental Studies, Geology, Geography or Physics.Where this offer is satisfied by including grades achieved in either Biology, Chemistry or Physics, a Pass in the practical science assessment is additionally required.

So is there something else you prefer?
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wiiparty
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#12
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#12
i got an 8 for triple chem at gcse and a B for a-levels. i revised for chemistry way more than my other subjects yet i got higher grades in my other 2 subjects! it's very hard. only do it if the course you want to do at uni requires it!!
Last edited by wiiparty; 8 months ago
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