A-levels: french, psychology, geography

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morvs05
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#1
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#1
hi there,

I’m currently in year 11 and thinking about what I should take for a-level.
I am strong at the essay based subjects and would probably like to go down a similar route in the future (law, journalism, PR etc.)
I would definitely like to take English lit and history but I’m stuck on the 3rd choice.
My options are french, psychology or even perhaps geography.
I feel like french would be a good choice but then again I’ve hard it’s really hard (obviously no a-levels are easy) and quite a large jump from gcse.
I’m interested in psychology but it wasn’t an option at gcse so I’m not sure of what I’d be like at it or what exactly it includes.
Geography I’ve been doing at GCSE and I find the physical side of it interesting but mainly I’m looking between french and psychology.

I would really appreciate any advice that you have!
Thank you )
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McGinger
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#2
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#2
How to Choose A level subjects : https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/a-l...-your-subjects
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erinmadison
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#3
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Hi, I'm in Year 12 and am studying Geography, Economics and English Lit. I was also taking Psychology but dropped it.

I can't talk on the behalf of French however, my friend takes it and she says that it's extremely difficult. I will say that if you really enjoy French and are good at it then you should be fine, she certainly is.

Psychology really surprised me, I thought it would be my favourite subject when I picked my options but ended up not enjoying it.

Geography I'm currently enjoying and am doing well at so not to be biassed but if you are good at it then I definitely recommend it.

My advice would be to take four options for the first month of A-Levels, especially if you can't decide between French and Psychology. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but just remember that you are able to drop the fourth at any time. Taking four seriously helped me as it meant I didn't miss out on any content by having to switch subjects.

Good luck!
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SB1234567890
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#4
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I did my A levels last year and did psychology, having also not done the GCSE, finding that I loved it and it got more and more interesting as the course went on so I'm happy to answer any questions you have about it
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NI52
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#5
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#5
(Original post by morvs05)
hi there,

I’m currently in year 11 and thinking about what I should take for a-level.
I am strong at the essay based subjects and would probably like to go down a similar route in the future (law, journalism, PR etc.)
I would definitely like to take English lit and history but I’m stuck on the 3rd choice.
My options are french, psychology or even perhaps geography.
I feel like french would be a good choice but then again I’ve hard it’s really hard (obviously no a-levels are easy) and quite a large jump from gcse.
I’m interested in psychology but it wasn’t an option at gcse so I’m not sure of what I’d be like at it or what exactly it includes.
Geography I’ve been doing at GCSE and I find the physical side of it interesting but mainly I’m looking between french and psychology.

I would really appreciate any advice that you have!
Thank you )
Psychology A-Level would be the best choice. Its the easiest compared to the rest!
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morvs05
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#6
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(Original post by erinmadison)
Hi, I'm in Year 12 and am studying Geography, Economics and English Lit. I was also taking Psychology but dropped it.

I can't talk on the behalf of French however, my friend takes it and she says that it's extremely difficult. I will say that if you really enjoy French and are good at it then you should be fine, she certainly is.

Psychology really surprised me, I thought it would be my favourite subject when I picked my options but ended up not enjoying it.

Geography I'm currently enjoying and am doing well at so not to be biassed but if you are good at it then I definitely recommend it.

My advice would be to take four options for the first month of A-Levels, especially if you can't decide between French and Psychology. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but just remember that you are able to drop the fourth at any time. Taking four seriously helped me as it meant I didn't miss out on any content by having to switch subjects.

Good luck!
That’s really interesting, I never considered trying 4 but that could be a good option.
If you don’t mind me asking, what was it about psychology that you didn’t like? I know that psychology comes under science but although I’m doing ok in triple science, I’m not sure how I would feel if it was very heavy on science-y content. I was more interested in criminology etc. I don’t know if that makes sense??
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morvs05
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#7
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(Original post by NI52)
Psychology A-Level would be the best choice. Its the easiest compared to the rest!
Thanks! That’s what I was hoping as I was thinking french might be A LOT to take on with English lit and history
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NI52
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(Original post by morvs05)
Thanks! That’s what I was hoping as I was thinking french might be A LOT to take on with English lit and history
I do psychology, English lit and politics in Year 13. All essay-based subjects. Psychology is by far, the easiest subject to work with. All you do is essay plans, memorize and do some essay questions.
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morvs05
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#9
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#9
(Original post by SB1234567890)
I did my A levels last year and did psychology, having also not done the GCSE, finding that I loved it and it got more and more interesting as the course went on so I'm happy to answer any questions you have about it
Thanks so much. What other A-levels did you do? Although I know psychology comes under science but do you think it’s not too science-y and links well with more language-based essay subjects like English and history? I currently am doing triple science although I find it so hard so I was hoping psychology wouldn’t be too much like that and would link to humanities more. I am really interested in criminology etc but need to find out more of what psychology as an A-level includes.
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SB1234567890
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#10
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(Original post by morvs05)
Thanks so much. What other A-levels did you do? Although I know psychology comes under science but do you think it’s not too science-y and links well with more language-based essay subjects like English and history? I currently am doing triple science although I find it so hard so I was hoping psychology wouldn’t be too much like that and would link to humanities more. I am really interested in criminology etc but need to find out more of what psychology as an A-level includes.
I also did sociology and business
I'd say the only scientific chapter (AQA) is biopsychology so overall it is more of an essay-based subject, though I would say it is easier than other essay subjects as the essays have a set structure that's easy to follow and apply. I did higher tier combined science at GCSE and found the science content completely fine as it was either the very basics of biology and the rest of the biopsychology chapter is so specific to psychology that previous scientific knowledge doesn't matter. I'd definitely put it more into the humanities category than science.
In terms of what the AQA specification includes, the topics are (I may not have remembered everthing that's in every chapter and some have specific case studies which I haven't mentioned):
- social influence (types, explanations and reasons for resistance to conformity and obedience, as well as minority influence and social change)
- memory (models of short term memory, types of long term memory, explanations for forgetting, eyewitness testimony and the cognitive interview)
- attachments (stages and types of attachments, animal studies, influence of institutionalisation, impact on childhood and adult relationships)
- psychopathology (characteristics of depression, OCD and phobias and approaches to explaining and treating them)
- approaches (behaviourism, social learning theory, cognitive approach, biological approach, humanistic approach, psychodynamic approach)
- research methods (includes lots of small topics including for example ethics, experimental design, stats tests, averages...)
- issues and debates (gender bias, culture bias, nature vs nurture, idiographic vs nomothetic, free will vs determinism, holism vs reductionism)
the last three topics are optional topics chosen by the school but our school did schizophrenia, gender and aggression

Hope this helps
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morvs05
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#11
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(Original post by SB1234567890)
I also did sociology and business
I'd say the only scientific chapter (AQA) is biopsychology so overall it is more of an essay-based subject, though I would say it is easier than other essay subjects as the essays have a set structure that's easy to follow and apply. I did higher tier combined science at GCSE and found the science content completely fine as it was either the very basics of biology and the rest of the biopsychology chapter is so specific to psychology that previous scientific knowledge doesn't matter. I'd definitely put it more into the humanities category than science.
In terms of what the AQA specification includes, the topics are (I may not have remembered everthing that's in every chapter and some have specific case studies which I haven't mentioned):
- social influence (types, explanations and reasons for resistance to conformity and obedience, as well as minority influence and social change)
- memory (models of short term memory, types of long term memory, explanations for forgetting, eyewitness testimony and the cognitive interview)
- attachments (stages and types of attachments, animal studies, influence of institutionalisation, impact on childhood and adult relationships)
- psychopathology (characteristics of depression, OCD and phobias and approaches to explaining and treating them)
- approaches (behaviourism, social learning theory, cognitive approach, biological approach, humanistic approach, psychodynamic approach)
- research methods (includes lots of small topics including for example ethics, experimental design, stats tests, averages...)
- issues and debates (gender bias, culture bias, nature vs nurture, idiographic vs nomothetic, free will vs determinism, holism vs reductionism)
the last three topics are optional topics chosen by the school but our school did schizophrenia, gender and aggression

Hope this helps
Thank you so much! This is super helpful It’s really reassuring to know about the science side. The topics sound really interesting, it sounds great.
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morvs05
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#12
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#12
(Original post by NI52)
I do psychology, English lit and politics in Year 13. All essay-based subjects. Psychology is by far, the easiest subject to work with. All you do is essay plans, memorize and do some essay questions.
Thank you so much, that’s really helpful
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