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How big is the jump from highers to advanced highers?

Specifically; Physics, Maths, Biology and Chemistry, as I am unsure if 4AH is achievable.
Original post by Femaiden
Specifically; Physics, Maths, Biology and Chemistry, as I am unsure if 4AH is achievable.


Hey, I currently do Biology, Chemistry and Art at AH. I’d say, it depends on what you’re wanting to do. I know people who do AH Maths and Physics that find it very difficult due to it being content heavy and slightly hard to understand. Of course, you should try and talk to your teachers and people at your school who have done these subjects in order to gain a better insight.

I can only talk from a Biology and Chemistry area - I will say, far more interesting. I don’t know if they’ll be reinstating the assignment for you next year but for us it wasn’t there. Biology - content wise, a lot. If you think your jotter is full now, wait until you get to AH. As for the mark schemes, they are insanely difficult! I got an A last year and I’m sitting at a B/C (it fluctuates awfully) so I’m finding it far harder to revise. As for chemistry, I can’t say it’s too difficult but in my opinion, most of it is just maths. You understand the reactions, the worst part of Chemistry AH is the curly arrow mechanisms in Unit 2 but otherwise, difficulty is not too bad. What makes AH so challenging is the content volume and the time being up against you, so start early! Balancing 3AH with university applications (I needed to do interviews and an entrance exam) was a huge struggle for me but now that it’s dying down, I know I can bump up my grades before exams.

Hope that gives you a bit of help and best of luck with whatever you choose!
Reply 2
Original post by AsianNerd:)
Hey, I currently do Biology, Chemistry and Art at AH. I’d say, it depends on what you’re wanting to do. I know people who do AH Maths and Physics that find it very difficult due to it being content heavy and slightly hard to understand. Of course, you should try and talk to your teachers and people at your school who have done these subjects in order to gain a better insight.

I can only talk from a Biology and Chemistry area - I will say, far more interesting. I don’t know if they’ll be reinstating the assignment for you next year but for us it wasn’t there. Biology - content wise, a lot. If you think your jotter is full now, wait until you get to AH. As for the mark schemes, they are insanely difficult! I got an A last year and I’m sitting at a B/C (it fluctuates awfully) so I’m finding it far harder to revise. As for chemistry, I can’t say it’s too difficult but in my opinion, most of it is just maths. You understand the reactions, the worst part of Chemistry AH is the curly arrow mechanisms in Unit 2 but otherwise, difficulty is not too bad. What makes AH so challenging is the content volume and the time being up against you, so start early! Balancing 3AH with university applications (I needed to do interviews and an entrance exam) was a huge struggle for me but now that it’s dying down, I know I can bump up my grades before exams.

Hope that gives you a bit of help and best of luck with whatever you choose!


Thanks for such a detailed response! would you say the jump from higher to advanced higher is similar to the jump from national 5 to higher?
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Femaiden
Thanks for such a detailed response! would you say the jump from higher to advanced higher is similar to the jump from national 5 to higher?


No, it’s far larger! Personally I felt it more than N5 to Higher - and I crashed both bio and chem last year and ended up with 5As. So… would say it’s dependent but it’s more about understanding than memorising
Original post by Femaiden
Thanks for such a detailed response! would you say the jump from higher to advanced higher is similar to the jump from national 5 to higher?


Original post by AsianNerd:)
No, it’s far larger! Personally I felt it more than N5 to Higher - and I crashed both bio and chem last year and ended up with 5As. So… would say it’s dependent but it’s more about understanding than memorising


Hello! Just wanted to add some insight from the Maths/Physics side of things. Moving to Advanced Higher Maths tends to be easier than Higher, as the focus is much more purely on procedures and algorithms rather than using problem solving skills etc. It definitely requires a strong understanding of topics at Higher though, particularly Calculus so I'd make sure you have that nailed before starting! Physics is also a lot more mathematically based, using Calculus in Kinematics and SHM, and there's also some deriving equations that you need to understand.

Bare in mind as well that projects may well be coming back next year (at least in some form), and doing 3 sets of science coursework will be a heavy workload. I personally did 3 AHs and found the workload manageable, it all depends on your abilities and any other committments you have ourside of school (clubs etc). Definitely go for it and try if you'd like to challenge yourself! It may be that you find later you want to drop one, and that's a discussion you can have with your school. In most cases, there's definitely not a need to do this many AHs, universities in Scotland tend to make offers based on a strong set of Higher results, and English unis tend to require very strong grades in 2-3 Advanced Highers, which is something you might like to consider.

Happy to answer any other questions you have!

Jake
Year 2, BSc Mathematics with Physics
Reply 5
Original post by Heriot Watt Rep
Hello! Just wanted to add some insight from the Maths/Physics side of things. Moving to Advanced Higher Maths tends to be easier than Higher, as the focus is much more purely on procedures and algorithms rather than using problem solving skills etc. It definitely requires a strong understanding of topics at Higher though, particularly Calculus so I'd make sure you have that nailed before starting! Physics is also a lot more mathematically based, using Calculus in Kinematics and SHM, and there's also some deriving equations that you need to understand.

Bare in mind as well that projects may well be coming back next year (at least in some form), and doing 3 sets of science coursework will be a heavy workload. I personally did 3 AHs and found the workload manageable, it all depends on your abilities and any other committments you have ourside of school (clubs etc). Definitely go for it and try if you'd like to challenge yourself! It may be that you find later you want to drop one, and that's a discussion you can have with your school. In most cases, there's definitely not a need to do this many AHs, universities in Scotland tend to make offers based on a strong set of Higher results, and English unis tend to require very strong grades in 2-3 Advanced Highers, which is something you might like to consider.

Happy to answer any other questions you have!

Jake
Year 2, BSc Mathematics with Physics


Thanks Jake, based on the advice I think I will attempt the four if I get my predicted 5A's at highers and drop one AH if the projects return.
(edited 1 year ago)

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