MayaVellichor
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#1
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#1
Hi!
I need some advice on my 4th A level choice... I know I want to do maths, further maths, and physics for the first three, but am stuck between biology and art for the last option.
I am not sure whether it would be wise to study biology without taking chemistry, because I have heard that some aspects rely on chemistry concepts that they cover in chemistry A level. But is it more respected than art for university?
I would really appreciate any advice! Thank you!
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Reality Check
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#2
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#2
(Original post by MayaVellichor)
Hi!
I need some advice on my 4th A level choice... I know I want to do maths, further maths, and physics for the first three, but am stuck between biology and art for the last option.
I am not sure whether it would be wise to study biology without taking chemistry, because I have heard that some aspects rely on chemistry concepts that they cover in chemistry A level. But is it more respected than art for university?
I would really appreciate any advice! Thank you!
Why do you need to do a fourth A level?
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MayaVellichor
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#3
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#3
I really want to do four A levels and also my school's sixth form said that I should try to take four... Honestly I would take five to take both art and biology because I love them both, but I can only take one of them
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_Jonneh_
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#4
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#4
(Original post by MayaVellichor)
Hi!
I need some advice on my 4th A level choice... I know I want to do maths, further maths, and physics for the first three, but am stuck between biology and art for the last option.
I am not sure whether it would be wise to study biology without taking chemistry, because I have heard that some aspects rely on chemistry concepts that they cover in chemistry A level. But is it more respected than art for university?
I would really appreciate any advice! Thank you!
If you really want to do something mathematical or STEM-related then you could do any other science (including comp sci) as your fourth although it would be a difficult mix.

If you're unsure about what you want to do at uni then I would advise choosing an essay-based subject as your fourth (History, Geography, Politics, Psychology, Economics etc) to keep your skillset broad and keep doors open; most non-STEM degrees prefer when you take at least one essay-based subject.

I'm not sure if Art is considered as an essay-based subject so maybe it could fill that fourth gap decently well but you're right, other subjects are more respected.
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Reality Check
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#5
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#5
(Original post by MayaVellichor)
I really want to do four A levels and also my school's sixth form said that I should try to take four... Honestly I would take five to take both art and biology because I love them both, but I can only take one of them
Biology doesn't really have much chemistry in it, and as long as you're confident of higher GCSE chemistry, you should be fine. Art is a huge amount of work, and most students underestimate just how much it is. It's certainly not a good idea to have it as a fourth A level.

If you're determined to do a (unnecessary) fourth one, then out of those two I'd pick biology: but be aware that there is a lot of content and a lot of exam technique required to do well in it.
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Reality Check
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#6
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#6
(Original post by _Jonneh_)
I'm not sure if Art is considered as an essay-based subject so maybe it could fill that fourth gap decently well but you're right, other subjects are more respected.
This isn't correct. Art is a perfectly well-respected A level - there is nothing inherently 'better' about sciences than subjects like art. This is an old-fashioned and redundant distinction now - a bit like that old 'soft A level' nonsense.
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MayaVellichor
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Reality Check)
Biology doesn't really have much chemistry in it, and as long as you're confident of higher GCSE chemistry, you should be fine. Art is a huge amount of work, and most students underestimate just how much it is. It's certainly not a good idea to have it as a fourth A level.

If you're determined to do a (unnecessary) fourth one, then out of those two I'd pick biology: but be aware that there is a lot of content and a lot of exam technique required to do well in it.
OK, thank you! That helps a lot!
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Reality Check
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#8
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#8
(Original post by MayaVellichor)
OK, thank you! That helps a lot!
No problem The chemistry in biology A level is mainly restricted to basic organic: if you understand condensation/hydrolysis reactions, basic catalysis, you're comfortable with basic structures of molecules etc you should be fine. A level chemistry is by no means a necessary companion to A level biology, thought it's obviously helpful.
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08robins01
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#9
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#9
(Original post by MayaVellichor)
Hi!
I need some advice on my 4th A level choice... I know I want to do maths, further maths, and physics for the first three, but am stuck between biology and art for the last option.
I am not sure whether it would be wise to study biology without taking chemistry, because I have heard that some aspects rely on chemistry concepts that they cover in chemistry A level. But is it more respected than art for university?
I would really appreciate any advice! Thank you!
just saying unless you want no freedom don't do this
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_Jonneh_
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#10
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#10
(Original post by Reality Check)
This isn't correct. Art is a perfectly well-respected A level - there is nothing inherently 'better' about sciences than subjects like art. This is an old-fashioned and redundant distinction now - a bit like that old 'soft A level' nonsense.
I think it really depends on what OP wants to do after A levels / who controls whether they get to do that that determines how respected Art is vs other subjects, that's more so what I meant than a general statement about all cases.
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MayaVellichor
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#11
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#11
(Original post by _Jonneh_)
I think it really depends on what OP wants to do after A levels / who controls whether they get to do that that determines how respected Art is vs other subjects, that's more so what I meant than a general statement about all cases.
I want to study Engineering after a levels... Does that change anything?
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_Jonneh_
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#12
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#12
(Original post by MayaVellichor)
I want to study Engineering after a levels... Does that change anything?
Art shouldn't disadvantage you because your other 3 A levels will be directly applicable to Engineering, however there are probably other 4th options that are even more applicable, but be sure to check specific requirements for the courses you want to do.
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aaron2578
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#13
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#13
(Original post by MayaVellichor)
Hi!
I need some advice on my 4th A level choice... I know I want to do maths, further maths, and physics for the first three, but am stuck between biology and art for the last option.
I am not sure whether it would be wise to study biology without taking chemistry, because I have heard that some aspects rely on chemistry concepts that they cover in chemistry A level. But is it more respected than art for university?
I would really appreciate any advice! Thank you!
Hi, I'm in year 13 and I'm doing maths, further maths, physics and biology. The biology content is easy to understand but there's a lot of it (AQA), I find it alright because I have everything memorised but I know others who find it harder. I've heard art requires a lot of work, but I don't know anyone doing it well enough to provide more information.

I saw you said you might do engineering, honestly both aren't really relevant. Biology might be useful in biomedical engineering/bioengineering, and art might help with your creativity.

If you like them both equally, I would say choose the easier one. Or you could do biology because art would be easier to have as a hobby.

Hope this helps!

Edit: Forgot to talk about chemistry, I haven't done A-Level Chemistry or learnt any chemistry after my GCSEs but after a whole year, even with disruption with lockdowns etc, I don't think taking A-Level Chemistry makes biology any easier. There's some chemical bonds and some processes you'll have to remember the names of, but that's it.
Last edited by aaron2578; 1 month ago
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