Will I need maths A-level or AS level for biology A-level?

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j....
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#1
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I'm in year 11 and will start sixth form in a few months. I'll probably do A-levels biology, classical civilisation, and I'm not sure about the third yet. It says in the sixth form's prospectus (colchester sixth form) that they "strongly recommend" maths AS- or A-level alongside biology. However, I've looked at some exam board specifications, and the maths involved in biology A-level seems pretty small and basic (mostly graphs and basic multiplications). I probably won't want to take any kind of maths at sixth form. I have high predicted GCSEs, and will almost definitely get a 9 in maths - but will I still need to study more maths to do well in biology A-level? Any ideas, especially from anyone who's done/is doing Biology A-level? Like will I still be able to do just as well in biology without maths or statistics A- or AS-levels as with it?
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bea_murray0
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#2
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(Original post by j....)
I'm in year 11 and will start sixth form in a few months. I'll probably do A-levels biology, classical civilisation, and I'm not sure about the third yet. It says in the sixth form's prospectus (colchester sixth form) that they "strongly recommend" maths AS- or A-level alongside biology. However, I've looked at some exam board specifications, and the maths involved in biology A-level seems pretty small and basic (mostly graphs and basic multiplications). I probably won't want to take any kind of maths at sixth form. I have high predicted GCSEs, and will almost definitely get a 9 in maths - but will I still need to study more maths to do well in biology A-level? Any ideas, especially from anyone who's done/is doing Biology A-level? Like will I still be able to do just as well in biology without maths or statistics A- or AS-levels as with it?
I'm in Year 13, taking bio, chem and PE. I have never felt disadvantaged not taking maths for biology, it is pretty basic, the hardest thing you have to do is statistical tests, and there will be plenty fo people in the same boat as you. For reference, I got a 9 in maths and further maths, plus a level 3 stats certificate at GCSE, and I take OCR A, but I don't imagine the maths content is massively different between exam boards. I don't see why you would have any problem with it, as long as you're ok with stats.
Last edited by bea_murray0; 3 months ago
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Callicious
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#3
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If you intend to carry Biology on to Uni, then you should take maths. Of all my friends who do Biology in Uni, the ones who lack some sort of mathematical background are the ones who suffer in later years- it's very much a field that relies on statistics and the like, and statistics is just a species of mathematics. I've had them come to me for help with statistics and even basic mathematics at times, because of their lack of a background in it, or trouble understanding course content on it.

As someone who did both A-Level Maths and A-Level Biology, I can say that you do not need A-Level Maths to do A-Level Biology. It will come in handy, especially when it comes to data reductions and dealing with graphs, or probabilities with the genetic content or ecological content, or with dilutions/etc, but it's not necessary.
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Medic Mind
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#4
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#4
(Original post by j....)
I'm in year 11 and will start sixth form in a few months. I'll probably do A-levels biology, classical civilisation, and I'm not sure about the third yet. It says in the sixth form's prospectus (colchester sixth form) that they "strongly recommend" maths AS- or A-level alongside biology. However, I've looked at some exam board specifications, and the maths involved in biology A-level seems pretty small and basic (mostly graphs and basic multiplications). I probably won't want to take any kind of maths at sixth form. I have high predicted GCSEs, and will almost definitely get a 9 in maths - but will I still need to study more maths to do well in biology A-level? Any ideas, especially from anyone who's done/is doing Biology A-level? Like will I still be able to do just as well in biology without maths or statistics A- or AS-levels as with it?
Heya! For a-levels biology specifically you don't need maths a-levels as from what I experienced there was no difficult maths. However, as someone said, if you are planning to continue with Biology or Science in general for your university then a-levels Maths is recommended as you would need know statistics and etc (though you get them taught again if needed).I did both a-levels maths and a-level biology because I needed both subjects for my university. For some degrees, maths a-levels is a must but that's not the case with every subject. Have you thought about what you want to do in the future? Would that option need maths?
Hop this helps!
Milena G.
UCL PFE
www.medicmind.co.uk
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sadckerman
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I am in year 12 and do a level biology but not a level maths. my college did add core maths( different to a level- it covers sampling, measures of spread, how to choose what graph to use, but not geometry or algebra like in a level maths ) to my timetable(and everyone else who does biology and isnt doing a level maths ) as it looks good to universities if your not doing an EPQ and can also help with the maths in biology ( standard deviations and interpreting graphs things like that). if that sound better than doing a level maths it might be worth looking into it. hope this was helpful
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j....
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(Original post by sadckerman)
I am in year 12 and do a level biology but not a level maths. my college did add core maths( different to a level- it covers sampling, measures of spread, how to choose what graph to use, but not geometry or algebra like in a level maths ) to my timetable(and everyone else who does biology and isnt doing a level maths ) as it looks good to universities if your not doing an EPQ and can also help with the maths in biology ( standard deviations and interpreting graphs things like that). if that sound better than doing a level maths it might be worth looking into it. hope this was helpful
Sorry, I meant core maths by AS-level maths (isn't that pretty much what it is?) - I'd rather not do that either, but would you say it's worth taking just for biology? Like I said, I have a 9 in GCSE maths, and I'd assume I could learn any maths I'll need in A-level biology classes; but from your experience in sixth form, do you think that's enough, or d'you think I'll need core maths too?
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sadckerman
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#7
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(Original post by j....)
Sorry, I meant core maths by AS-level maths (isn't that pretty much what it is?) - I'd rather not do that either, but would you say it's worth taking just for biology? Like I said, I have a 9 in GCSE maths, and I'd assume I could learn any maths I'll need in A-level biology classes; but from your experience in sixth form, do you think that's enough, or d'you think I'll need core maths too?
I wouldn’t say it’s ABSOLUTELY Necessary, especially if you got a 9 in maths, since the maths in biology is pretty straight forward and not hard to pick up (they give some of the formulas in the exam). It would be better to focus just in biology Instead of adding another subject on top of it. It would look good for unis like I said, but if you believe you can get high grades in biology, I don’t think taking as maths will be necessary. I am Pretty sure you can take it up throughout the year if you want to,( I started it in November and it’s a short course so it is easy to learn by yourself) so don’t worry too much about making the choice now. I say just focus on biology and your other subjects, don’t add any unneeded stress.
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Alevelhelp.1
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#8
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#8
(Original post by j....)
I'm in year 11 and will start sixth form in a few months. I'll probably do A-levels biology, classical civilisation, and I'm not sure about the third yet. It says in the sixth form's prospectus (colchester sixth form) that they "strongly recommend" maths AS- or A-level alongside biology. However, I've looked at some exam board specifications, and the maths involved in biology A-level seems pretty small and basic (mostly graphs and basic multiplications). I probably won't want to take any kind of maths at sixth form. I have high predicted GCSEs, and will almost definitely get a 9 in maths - but will I still need to study more maths to do well in biology A-level? Any ideas, especially from anyone who's done/is doing Biology A-level? Like will I still be able to do just as well in biology without maths or statistics A- or AS-levels as with it?

There’s only a bit of maths in a level biology and it’s usually very basic so no it’s not necessary
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