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    Hi i was just wondering how difficult doing medicine is compared to A levels in terms of work load. Of course this differs depending on the course type - pbl, traditional etc, but just want a gerneral idea of the difficulty compared to A levels.
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    good question, but i havent a clue
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    A levels are a walk in the park compared to the medicine course in Cambridge (traditional course).
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    (Original post by Jason2k6101)
    A levels are a walk in the park compared to the medicine course in Cambridge (traditional course).
    Is that to do with the complexity of the topics or simply the sheer volume you have to remember and understand??
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    (Original post by Jason2k6101)
    A levels are a walk in the park compared to the medicine course in Cambridge (traditional course).
    It is PBL at cambridge.
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    (Original post by Jason2k6101)
    A levels are a walk in the park compared to the medicine course in Cambridge (traditional course).
    Nowhere is it a walk in the park....

    Individual universities aside, remember that the biomedical model dosn't change, everywhere has to do the same core stuff, then some places will put more weight on certain areas. For example here, lecturers tend to go into more detail because they are actually at the front of research in those areas....But modesty aside, conceptually it isn't that difficult (yet), volume does creep up on you though.
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    At HYMS, they said the level of the work and understanding is similar, but theres a lot more to learn.
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    How do you manage to remember it all, because i'm finding it difficult to remember all the information in my A2 topics at the moment?
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    (Original post by Hancock orbital)
    It is PBL at cambridge.
    Nah, it's traditional 3-years science, 3-years clinical at Cambridge. The only PBL I have done so far, out of 6 weeks of pretty intense work, is a presentation on obesity.

    (Original post by Wangers)
    Nowhere is it a walk in the park....
    Okay, A levels are pretty challenging in themselves (I was exaggerating slightly). However, there is an incredibly steep learning curve at Cambridge and although much of the content relies on concepts (mainly chemical and biological, although there is a surprising amount of physics!) learnt at A level, the work goes much more in-depth and thus the size of the content increases respectively.

    A levels are, on the whole, very well-structured and easily learnt by spoon-feeding (I'm not saying that the scientific concepts learnt at A level are easy - it's just that the set syllabus tells you pretty much everything you need to know and you just have to learn it from a textbook!). Whereas with university work, you're given the basic, core knowledge through lectures and handouts, but they aren't enough to get you a first class degree unless you do extra reading.

    (Original post by phoenixx)
    Is that to do with the complexity of the topics or simply the sheer volume you have to remember and understand??
    Both, really. The topics go really in-depth, and so there's a hell of a lot you're expected to understand. At Cambridge it's probably worst, because the terms are only 8 weeks long (lecture-wise) and so there's a lot of information thrown at you in a very short time. I'm relying on the Christmas holidays (5 weeks :] ) to catch up!

    That being said, however, it is probably very different at other universities. My friend at St. Georges said that she's basically just been re-learning all her A level work in her lectures, so it's not particularly hard work for her! Grr... lol
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    (Original post by Jason2k6101)
    Nah, it's traditional 3-years science, 3-years clinical at Cambridge. The only PBL I have done so far, out of 6 weeks of pretty intense work, is a presentation on obesity.

    Okay, A levels are pretty challenging in themselves (I was exaggerating slightly). However, there is an incredibly steep learning curve at Cambridge and although much of the content relies on concepts (mainly chemical and biological, although there is a surprising amount of physics!) learnt at A level, the work goes much more in-depth and thus the size of the content increases respectively.

    A levels are, on the whole, very well-structured and easily learnt by spoon-feeding (I'm not saying that the scientific concepts learnt at A level are easy - it's just that the set syllabus tells you pretty much everything you need to know and you just have to learn it from a textbook!). Whereas with university work, you're given the basic, core knowledge through lectures and handouts, but they aren't enough to get you a first class degree unless you do extra reading.


    Both, really. The topics go really in-depth, and so there's a hell of a lot you're expected to understand. At Cambridge it's probably worst, because the terms are only 8 weeks long (lecture-wise) and so there's a lot of information thrown at you in a very short time. I'm relying on the Christmas holidays (5 weeks :] ) to catch up!

    That being said, however, it is probably very different at other universities. My friend at St. Georges said that she's basically just been re-learning all her A level work in her lectures, so it's not particularly hard work for her! Grr... lol
    I know what you mean about the work, it does go in depth, and theres alot of it. my reading for one essay (ssc) will be more then alot of A level work put together. The thing is because you have to understand it to learn it, and everything so far is interreleted the volume does build up. BUT overall, it dosn't go into the conceptual depth that the single sciences/biochems would be expected to know.

    Here the first 3 weeks of term is bringing everyone up to par with some new stuff, then they do increase the workload alot (compared to those weeks of slacking off). But objectively speaking, you can't really compare it to A levels because of the reading. The lecture notes here basically give the facts, you have to flesh out the understanding. We don't do it in weekly essay form, but I don't think we do any/much less then you guys.

    To give the A level folks an example, we had one lecture on complement, 1 hour. In which we sped through all three pathways and its interactions with innate and adaptive response + caspases and apoptosis. That is a lot of material, especially since we tend to have double lectures in the morning....Of course how much work you then need to do to understand all that and internalise it at least semi-permanently is up to you.
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    A levels are really really really easy in comparison to medicine first year - speaking from experience from a traditional course (with about 4 hrs of pbl every week)
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    It's harder, but you get used to it.

    Lectures can speed through a lot of content and, if you don't do catch-up reading if you don't understand, it can all get on top of you very quickly. Conceptually, it isn't an awful lot harder than A levels but there's a lot more content. I had four level arch files of notes last year...which doesn't sound like a lot but when the notes from one lecture can often have more info than one entire topic that might have taken a week or two at A level and when there are a 100 or so lectures/classes etc. per module, that's a lot of info to learn. On top of that we ended up learning two or three books pretty much cover to cover.

    It's doable if you manage it well throughout the year. Personally I didn't read around that much last year, unless something really confused me (ie. pretty much all of physiology) and still did well in exams.
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    This is probaby a really stupid question, but are there like exams at the end of each year, andif you dont pass, you dont carry on to the following year ? Also, overall, is it either a Pass / Fail, or is it graded ?
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    (Original post by i_hate_examz)
    This is probaby a really stupid question, but are there like exams at the end of each year, andif you dont pass, you dont carry on to the following year ? Also, overall, is it either a Pass / Fail, or is it graded ?
    Depends on the medical school.
    Depends on the medical school.
    &, you've guessed it - depends on the medical school! :p:


    Some generalizations and specifics for mine (Oxford) - overall there are 2 qualifying parts the First BM (divided into parts 1 and 2) & the Second BM, which correspond to preclinical and clinical, then there's the FHS year which corresponds to an intercalated BA. So in terms of exams - lots of papers at the end of the first year, lots of papers just before Easter of the second year, a few papers and projects in the 3rd year. Then for clinical exams at the end of stages, 2 sets in 4th year, 6 sets in 5th year & 1 set in 6th year. There are also things that I suppose are vaguely coursework like in that you have to get them signed off.
    Most medical schools seem to have exams at least every year.

    Here you have to pass each stage to continue to the next, would think this is the same everywhere! There are resits usually a term or so after the original or a block later, with differing rules on the number of times you can / exenuating circumstances.

    The key grading is pass fail, but most places seem to try to reward excellence too, so there are variants of merits/credits/distinctions/honours for individual components or the whole degree.
    Here it's merits for individual parts & Distinctions for First or Second BM.
    Intercalated degrees are classified in the usual way.
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    I was reading this and i realised i cant remember a thing about my A levels.
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    I hated my A levels. Found them harder than medicine. But then thats just me.
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    Not sure if it is easier/harder but it is very different... You will not be spoonfed a very defined curriculum, and have to take responsibility for your learning. Some people cope with this better than others...

    Alos, remember medical schools are full of AAAAAAA brainiacs, and someone has to be bottom of the heap...
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    (Original post by Sarky)
    I hated my A levels. Found them harder than medicine. But then thats just me.
    :ditto: Same so far, which isnt very far seeing as this is only the 9th week? But Im hoping itll stay this way
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    I found A Levels harder.
    The workload's quite high though and I'm expected to be in 8am-6pm some days.. so its not a walk in the park.
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    (Original post by phoenixx)
    Hi i was just wondering how difficult doing medicine is compared to A levels in terms of work load. Of course this differs depending on the course type - pbl, traditional etc, but just want a gerneral idea of the difficulty compared to A levels.
    Completely different for me, but I'm only in my first term at uni. I've been trained at school to memorise my course's textbook and that's all I need for the exam, but there is no magic textbook for medicine, so you have to make sure your lecture notes are existant, and organised. As long as you've got a system to do this, before exam revision there isn't much to do (bar a couple presentations for tutorials and reading). Also, the work is easier than A-Levels, but theres a huge amount of information you have to learn.
 
 
 
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