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A level choices help!!! (chem, maths and ?)

I’m currently in year 11 and i’m struggling to pick my A level subjects.

i’m currently fixed on chemistry and maths but for my third choice im switching between
-psychology
-economics
-fm
-philosophy
-biology

(1st being most likely)
I also have no idea on what i want to do in the future! i just like science and am particularly interested in chemical research, microbiology, astronomy and genetic engineering. I’m also looking for an insight into how maths and chemistry are like at a levels, (how difficult etc)
Original post by NidPai
I’m currently in year 11 and i’m struggling to pick my A level subjects.

i’m currently fixed on chemistry and maths but for my third choice im switching between
-psychology
-economics
-fm
-philosophy
-biology

(1st being most likely)
I also have no idea on what i want to do in the future! i just like science and am particularly interested in chemical research, microbiology, astronomy and genetic engineering. I’m also looking for an insight into how maths and chemistry are like at a levels, (how difficult etc)

Two of those four interests are biological, and so biology would be the best third option to keep as many of these open as possible.
Original post by Reality Check
Two of those four interests are biological, and so biology would be the best third option to keep as many of these open as possible.

I agree if you like biology and are good at it, OP, but you said it’s the least likely subject you’ll take. Make sure you don’t take a subject you’ll end up hating, regret it in November next year when you can’t switch, and then have it be your lowest grade at the end. Choose the one you are most interested in (after taster lessons and things) or believe you can get the highest grade in.
Original post by NidPai
I’m currently in year 11 and i’m struggling to pick my A level subjects.

i’m currently fixed on chemistry and maths but for my third choice im switching between
-psychology
-economics
-fm
-philosophy
-biology

(1st being most likely)
I also have no idea on what i want to do in the future! i just like science and am particularly interested in chemical research, microbiology, astronomy and genetic engineering. I’m also looking for an insight into how maths and chemistry are like at a levels, (how difficult etc)

Try combinations in this: https://www.theuniguide.co.uk/a-level-explorer
FM or Biology - with Chem and Maths this would lead to many different STEM degrees, plus Economics, Law etc etc.

Chemistry - https://www.southampton.ac.uk/study/subjects/chemistry
Cancer Biology, Virology, Immunology, Microbiology, Biomed, Cellular & Molecular Medicine etc - https://www.bristol.ac.uk/cellmolmed/study/undergraduate/
Genetics - https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/2022/00571/bsc-genetics/
Natural Science - multi- disclipinary science degree - https://www.bath.ac.uk/topics/natural-sciences/
Astronomy, Astrophyics, Space Science - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/67/astronomy-space-science-and-astrophysics-bsc
Original post by SagaciousSag
I agree if you like biology and are good at it, OP, but you said it’s the least likely subject you’ll take. Make sure you don’t take a subject you’ll end up hating, regret it in November next year when you can’t switch, and then have it be your lowest grade at the end. Choose the one you are most interested in (after taster lessons and things) or believe you can get the highest grade in.


Yep, that's a really good point actually - and I didn't read the OP's post closely enough to notice that, so thanks for pointing it out :smile:
Reply 6
Original post by NidPai
I’m currently in year 11 and i’m struggling to pick my A level subjects.

i’m currently fixed on chemistry and maths but for my third choice im switching between
-psychology
-economics
-fm
-philosophy
-biology

(1st being most likely)
I also have no idea on what i want to do in the future! i just like science and am particularly interested in chemical research, microbiology, astronomy and genetic engineering. I’m also looking for an insight into how maths and chemistry are like at a levels, (how difficult etc)

Imo, the most useful third choice would be biology - because it would be linked to 3/4 of those future options. However, it's important that you think you'd enjoy it and be able to handle the workload to get a good grade at the end of it.

In terms of Maths and Chemistry A-Levels:
(Note: I did Maths (done in yr12), Further Maths (done in yr13), Chemistry and Physics).

If you are/were good at Maths GCSE, then for most people A-Level Maths can be challenging at times but is manageable if you work hard at it.

For me, A-Level Chemistry was my most time-consuming subject and the one that I found the most effort.
I've spoken to many friends who were of the exact same opinion.

For me, the thing that made A-Level Chemistry my most challenging subject was the combination of difficulty and work-load/ amount of content.

I wouldn't say that Chemistry was the most 'difficult', but it was the most 'challenging' A-Level OVERALL - when considering the combination of difficulty, amount of content and revision-time.

I found that for a significant proportion of my revision time, I would be trying to memorise very specific and obscure facts or chemical compounds.

Just as an example, I had to essentially memorise everything in the table (see attached image). And this is just one example of the tons of random equations you have to learn.

Don't get me wrong - I found a lot of the Chemistry very interesting when we learning about it in class - but when it got to actually having to memorise it all, and being able to recall chemical equations and compounds (frequently with no logical way to remember them) I found it a long headache.


The reason why I've spoken so much about Chemistry - is that a lot of my mates who did Biology in addition, found it a lot of work to balance the revision for these 2 subjects. It's achievable but not easy, especially to begin with.

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