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I need HELP picking A-level subjects

Hi, So I need to pick my A-level subjects.

I have kinda already decided on doing Maths and Chemistry because I really like maths, and I have heard that Chemistry opens a lot of doors.
I am also thinking of Biology, but everytime I think of it it kinda makes me feel a bit sick because I'm scared that having two sciences and maths may feel too strenuous.

For a fourth subject I am thinking either geography or politics. I looove geog gcse but ppl say that the A level made them hate geog. i am considering politics because I have never done it before and i think it might be fun, however four subjects seems like a lot.

Please help me. I do like bio gcse but I'm just scared ab the double science. Geography or even politics would be great as a change of pace. Please help :smile:))

UPDATE: so the school that i am applying to had a deadline of yesterday and i put down maths chemistry and biology, but now that combo makes me want to cry. There is nothing i can do about it now, but I am wondering if I should start the biology course and see how it goes or just switch to geography when as soon as I get the opportunity.
I also need to take into consideration what i want to do after, and apparently, the first combo (w biology) is more niche, but i just need ADVISE bc i really want to stop worrying and focus on the current task at hand: GCSEs!!!
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by elyonl0001
Hi, So I need to pick my A-level subjects.

I have kinda already decided on doing Maths and Chemistry because I really like maths, and I have heard that Chemistry opens a lot of doors.
I am also thinking of Biology, but everytime I think of it it kinda makes me feel a bit sick because I'm scared that having two sciences and maths may feel too strenuous.

For a fourth subject I am thinking either geography or politics. I looove geog gcse but ppl say that the A level made them hate geog. i am considering politics because I have never done it before and i think it might be fun, however four subjects seems like a lot.

Please help me. I do like bio gcse but I'm just scared ab the double science. Geography or even politics would be great as a change of pace. Please help :smile:))

Hi there

It is nice to hear that you are thinking about future study options.

For myself, I really enjoyed biology as I could focus on specific topics that really interested me. (I took biology, chemistry and maths). Personally I found biology the most interesting and understandable. I would say that A levels is a large jump from GCSEs, so it would be good to have strong foundations in GCSEs, and you should be willing to put in the hours of studying. :smile:

Whether you take a fourth subject really depends on how much work load you can handle. (When I was in sixth form, I remember some students taking four subjects to give it a go, some then dropped one subject afterwards, which is always something you can try.)

For geography, whilst I did not take it myself, I did have a similar moment when I found myself disliking my A level subjects- (Chemistry actually) so it is really up to yourself. During A levels, it is so important to develop a resilient mindset to keep yourself motivated yourself.

Between politics and geography, perhaps you could consider what type of career you would like to enter in the future? You could consider whether you are more likely to benefit from a coursework/ essay based subject.

Also, if you have any particular career that you are interested in, maybe have a look at what entry requirements are needed to get into University. Another thing that could help you make a decision is considering what grades you are likely to achieve if you took those A levels. Having good A level grades could help to widen your future options.

I hope this helps.
Chloe
-University of Kent Student Rep
Reply 2
Original post by University of Kent
Hi there

It is nice to hear that you are thinking about future study options.

For myself, I really enjoyed biology as I could focus on specific topics that really interested me. (I took biology, chemistry and maths). Personally I found biology the most interesting and understandable. I would say that A levels is a large jump from GCSEs, so it would be good to have strong foundations in GCSEs, and you should be willing to put in the hours of studying. :smile:

Whether you take a fourth subject really depends on how much work load you can handle. (When I was in sixth form, I remember some students taking four subjects to give it a go, some then dropped one subject afterwards, which is always something you can try.)

For geography, whilst I did not take it myself, I did have a similar moment when I found myself disliking my A level subjects- (Chemistry actually) so it is really up to yourself. During A levels, it is so important to develop a resilient mindset to keep yourself motivated yourself.

Between politics and geography, perhaps you could consider what type of career you would like to enter in the future? You could consider whether you are more likely to benefit from a coursework/ essay based subject.

Also, if you have any particular career that you are interested in, maybe have a look at what entry requirements are needed to get into University. Another thing that could help you make a decision is considering what grades you are likely to achieve if you took those A levels. Having good A level grades could help to widen your future options.

I hope this helps.
Chloe
-University of Kent Student Rep

Thank you so much for your advice!!

I am not entirely sure what I want to do in the future, however, I am fascinated by the environment, biodiversity and the like; politics would be really interesting, and I am also really scared that I'm limiting my humanities options by only picking only sciences, I might be over exaggerating but it is really hard to decide on subjects that may have a big impact on the degrees I can choose in only YEAR 11!!!

Also, I am sure I could benefit from an essay-based subject, as I heard that it is a good transferrable skill for uni, but I was thinking I could always harness that skill by doing an EPQ (??).

Is doing two sciences hard? In addition to maths? Or do they all feel separate and unique in their own way?

thankyouu :smile:
Reply 3
Original post by elyonl0001
Hi, So I need to pick my A-level subjects.

I have kinda already decided on doing Maths and Chemistry because I really like maths, and I have heard that Chemistry opens a lot of doors.
I am also thinking of Biology, but everytime I think of it it kinda makes me feel a bit sick because I'm scared that having two sciences and maths may feel too strenuous.

For a fourth subject I am thinking either geography or politics. I looove geog gcse but ppl say that the A level made them hate geog. i am considering politics because I have never done it before and i think it might be fun, however four subjects seems like a lot.

Please help me. I do like bio gcse but I'm just scared ab the double science. Geography or even politics would be great as a change of pace. Please help :smile:))

Hey! I thought I might be of help as i'm a year 13 who takes biology and geography Alevel. I would 100% recommend geography, it isn't too much harder than GCSE but there's just more content. It's also a nice break from science as its very different in terms of question structure as its more essay based. If you loved it at GCSE, you'll definitely like it at Alevel. Biology is difficult I won't lie, I got an 8 at GCSE and its not been easy for me. it is interesting but its a massive step up from A-level, and with chemistry and maths it might be nice to have a break from them with a more essay based subject. Obviously if you want to apply for medicine, you'd probably want to pick biology. I can't say too much on politics as I don't take it but, my friends do and say its significantly harder than geography, but they do find it interesting!

I hope this helps, if you have any other questions, ill be happy to answer :smile:
Reply 4
(Y13) I do 2 sciences (physics & chemistry) with English lang and to be honest my workload is 45% physics 45% chem 10% English🫣
Do you have any idea of what you’d like to do at uni? Chemistry and Maths definitely do open up a lot of doors.
Based on what I have seen from my friends I think geography would be good if you would like a more courseworky subject (not fully but ofc maths and chem don’t have any coursework). I wish I had taken geog lol
Maths, chemistry and geography are good options if you are considering environmental/earth sciences. Don't take four A levels - unis only require three and you won't get bonus points for doing more. An epq is a better option than a fourth A level.
Reply 6
Original post by KatieMcF
Hey! I thought I might be of help as i'm a year 13 who takes biology and geography Alevel. I would 100% recommend geography, it isn't too much harder than GCSE but there's just more content. It's also a nice break from science as its very different in terms of question structure as its more essay based. If you loved it at GCSE, you'll definitely like it at Alevel. Biology is difficult I won't lie, I got an 8 at GCSE and its not been easy for me. it is interesting but its a massive step up from A-level, and with chemistry and maths it might be nice to have a break from them with a more essay based subject. Obviously if you want to apply for medicine, you'd probably want to pick biology. I can't say too much on politics as I don't take it but, my friends do and say its significantly harder than geography, but they do find it interesting!

I hope this helps, if you have any other questions, ill be happy to answer :smile:

Thank you so so much. I will definitely ask some more questions when i have some :smile:
Reply 7
Original post by vsepr902
(Y13) I do 2 sciences (physics & chemistry) with English lang and to be honest my workload is 45% physics 45% chem 10% English🫣
Do you have any idea of what you’d like to do at uni? Chemistry and Maths definitely do open up a lot of doors.
Based on what I have seen from my friends I think geography would be good if you would like a more courseworky subject (not fully but ofc maths and chem don’t have any coursework). I wish I had taken geog lol

I'm not entirely sure what i want to do for uni, that's why i want to take facilitating subjects however i also don't want to do things that will make me hate school
Reply 8
Original post by vsepr902
(Y13) I do 2 sciences (physics & chemistry) with English lang and to be honest my workload is 45% physics 45% chem 10% English🫣
Do you have any idea of what you’d like to do at uni? Chemistry and Maths definitely do open up a lot of doors.
Based on what I have seen from my friends I think geography would be good if you would like a more courseworky subject (not fully but ofc maths and chem don’t have any coursework). I wish I had taken geog lol

Thankyouu!
I'm not entirely sure what i want to do at uni, and i really just want to do subjects that i wont hate myself for picking 😭
Reply 9
Original post by elyonl0001
Hi, So I need to pick my A-level subjects.

I have kinda already decided on doing Maths and Chemistry because I really like maths, and I have heard that Chemistry opens a lot of doors.
I am also thinking of Biology, but everytime I think of it it kinda makes me feel a bit sick because I'm scared that having two sciences and maths may feel too strenuous.

For a fourth subject I am thinking either geography or politics. I looove geog gcse but ppl say that the A level made them hate geog. i am considering politics because I have never done it before and i think it might be fun, however four subjects seems like a lot.

Please help me. I do like bio gcse but I'm just scared ab the double science. Geography or even politics would be great as a change of pace. Please help :smile:))

Hi, a lot of people in my year say A-Level Biology is tough and a lot of people don't like it. I don't know whether that has to do with us doing the Edexcel B spec or just because they find the subject to be a lot of hard work. In my opinion, A-Level Biology is actually very fun and you can easily enjoy it as long as you keep on top of your notes and you're good at remembering lots of information - but I find that that's pretty easy to do as long as you understand how it all works. If you liked Biology at GCSE, you'll like it at A-Level. Honestly, I think it's (out of all the subjects I do) the closest in revising style to GCSE, for me there was no big jump like there was in other subjects like Chemistry (you'll find that to be a big shock). I'd recommend reading ahead of the lesson for all your A-Level subjects, but especially Biology because it will make remembering all the information a lot easier when it comes to revising it because it'll feel like revision when you go through it in the lesson.

Doing 3 sciences (maths is considered a science too) is not too difficult so don't worry about that - I do all sciences and maths and yes I'm struggling a bit but that's just because I've been slacking in Physics haha. What you may find difficult though is managing your essay subject alongside them. Politics is very essay-based and quite a different world to the sciences, however, Geography encompasses both maths and aspects of the other sciences. I don't know too much about how fun either of them are though.
(edited 3 months ago)
Reply 10
Original post by DedBread
Hi, a lot of people in my year say A-Level Biology is tough and a lot of people don't like it. I don't know whether that has to do with us doing the Edexcel B spec or just because they find the subject to be a lot of hard work. In my opinion, A-Level Biology is actually very fun and you can easily enjoy it as long as you keep on top of your notes and you're good at remembering lots of information - but I find that that's pretty easy to do as long as you understand how it all works. If you liked Biology at GCSE, you'll like it at A-Level. Honestly, I think it's (out of all the subjects I do) the closest in revising style to GCSE, for me there was no big jump like there was in other subjects like Chemistry (you'll find that to be a big shock). I'd recommend reading ahead of the lesson for all your A-Level subjects, but especially Biology because it will make remembering all the information a lot easier when it comes to revising it because it'll feel like revision when you go through it in the lesson.

Doing 3 sciences (maths is considered a science too) is not too difficult so don't worry about that - I do all sciences and maths and yes I'm struggling a bit but that's just because I've been slacking in Physics haha. What you may find difficult though is managing your essay subject alongside them. Politics is very essay-based and quite a different world to the sciences, however, Geography encompasses both maths and aspects of the other sciences. I don't know too much about how fun either of them are though.

Thankyouu this is extremely helpful!!
Original post by elyonl0001
Hi, So I need to pick my A-level subjects.

I have kinda already decided on doing Maths and Chemistry because I really like maths, and I have heard that Chemistry opens a lot of doors.
I am also thinking of Biology, but everytime I think of it it kinda makes me feel a bit sick because I'm scared that having two sciences and maths may feel too strenuous.

For a fourth subject I am thinking either geography or politics. I looove geog gcse but ppl say that the A level made them hate geog. i am considering politics because I have never done it before and i think it might be fun, however four subjects seems like a lot.

Please help me. I do like bio gcse but I'm just scared ab the double science. Geography or even politics would be great as a change of pace. Please help :smile:))

UPDATE: so the school that i am applying to had a deadline of yesterday and i put down maths chemistry and biology, but now that combo makes me want to cry. There is nothing i can do about it now, but I am wondering if I should start the biology course and see how it goes or just switch to geography when as soon as I get the opportunity.
I also need to take into consideration what i want to do after, and apparently, the first combo (w biology) is more niche, but i just need ADVISE bc i really want to stop worrying and focus on the current task at hand: GCSEs!!!

i took bio, chem and maths at a level as well as an epq. one of the best things about taking multiple sciences is that some of the content overlaps so it won't feel like as much work when you're revising and you're able to understand a concept from multiple angles as well. however, if you don't enjoy biology then don't pick it! it's important you pick subjects that you enjoy as it means that you're more likely to enjoy your choices after sixth form wherever that is.
remember that people have lots of different opinions on a subject, some people love maths and some people hate it so take everything with a pinch of salt.
Reply 12
Original post by AliceKS
i took bio, chem and maths at a level as well as an epq. one of the best things about taking multiple sciences is that some of the content overlaps so it won't feel like as much work when you're revising and you're able to understand a concept from multiple angles as well. however, if you don't enjoy biology then don't pick it! it's important you pick subjects that you enjoy as it means that you're more likely to enjoy your choices after sixth form wherever that is.
remember that people have lots of different opinions on a subject, some people love maths and some people hate it so take everything with a pinch of salt.

Thankyouuu for your advice, it's extremely helpful!! I dont know for sure if I'll love physics but i feel like i need it to do any sort of engineering course at uni. What would you suggest in that case?
Reply 13
Original post by DedBread
Hi, a lot of people in my year say A-Level Biology is tough and a lot of people don't like it. I don't know whether that has to do with us doing the Edexcel B spec or just because they find the subject to be a lot of hard work. In my opinion, A-Level Biology is actually very fun and you can easily enjoy it as long as you keep on top of your notes and you're good at remembering lots of information - but I find that that's pretty easy to do as long as you understand how it all works. If you liked Biology at GCSE, you'll like it at A-Level. Honestly, I think it's (out of all the subjects I do) the closest in revising style to GCSE, for me there was no big jump like there was in other subjects like Chemistry (you'll find that to be a big shock). I'd recommend reading ahead of the lesson for all your A-Level subjects, but especially Biology because it will make remembering all the information a lot easier when it comes to revising it because it'll feel like revision when you go through it in the lesson.

Doing 3 sciences (maths is considered a science too) is not too difficult so don't worry about that - I do all sciences and maths and yes I'm struggling a bit but that's just because I've been slacking in Physics haha. What you may find difficult though is managing your essay subject alongside them. Politics is very essay-based and quite a different world to the sciences, however, Geography encompasses both maths and aspects of the other sciences. I don't know too much about how fun either of them are though.

Do you recommend physics???
Original post by elyonl0001
Thankyouuu for your advice, it's extremely helpful!! I dont know for sure if I'll love physics but i feel like i need it to do any sort of engineering course at uni. What would you suggest in that case?

physics sounds like it would fit well into a combo with maths and chem, in fact my younger brother is taking those plus further maths (what a nerd haha) and he seems to be really enjoying it. kinda goes back to my point about overlapping content as he says that lots of concepts and theories from theoretical chemistry are also taught in physics so it reduces the amount of content you have to remember

however, this feels like a sharp u turn from your initial options of geography and politics! please make sure you take subjects you enjoy. as someone above has said, an epq is a great way to explore a subject in depth without taking it at a level and will definitely give you something to talk about on your personal statement so that might be the right option for you. there is still time to change your mind tho so please don't feel like this has to be final, i remember changing my a levels on my gcse results day and your school will try to accommodate this as much as the timetable allows
Reply 15
Original post by AliceKS
physics sounds like it would fit well into a combo with maths and chem, in fact my younger brother is taking those plus further maths (what a nerd haha) and he seems to be really enjoying it. kinda goes back to my point about overlapping content as he says that lots of concepts and theories from theoretical chemistry are also taught in physics so it reduces the amount of content you have to remember

however, this feels like a sharp u turn from your initial options of geography and politics! please make sure you take subjects you enjoy. as someone above has said, an epq is a great way to explore a subject in depth without taking it at a level and will definitely give you something to talk about on your personal statement so that might be the right option for you. there is still time to change your mind tho so please don't feel like this has to be final, i remember changing my a levels on my gcse results day and your school will try to accommodate this as much as the timetable allows

thankyouu!! I know it's different I seem to change my mind every two seconds haha (the same thing happened when picking GCSEs 😭). I know that I really love geography at GCSE level and it might pain me if I didn't pick it, but from advice I've received, the maths, chem, bio combo is better and more desirable??
ALSO would you say that taking epq is like taking an essay subject (even though it's on computers)? Because I've realised that i haven't really picked an essay subject and I'm good at those and don't want to lose that skill. Thank you, by the way, for responding to all these questions, I am extremely indecisive at the moment 😭😭, it's a tough thing to think about.
Original post by elyonl0001
thankyouu!! I know it's different I seem to change my mind every two seconds haha (the same thing happened when picking GCSEs 😭). I know that I really love geography at GCSE level and it might pain me if I didn't pick it, but from advice I've received, the maths, chem, bio combo is better and more desirable??
ALSO would you say that taking epq is like taking an essay subject (even though it's on computers)? Because I've realised that i haven't really picked an essay subject and I'm good at those and don't want to lose that skill. Thank you, by the way, for responding to all these questions, I am extremely indecisive at the moment 😭😭, it's a tough thing to think about.

it's ok, i think everyone changes their mind and 15/16 definitely feels too young to be choosing essentially what you study at uni. you still have time so try to take some deep breaths and not worry too much (easier said than done ik)
epq is defo like an essay subject, as a definite STEM girlie, i struggled to fill the word count at times so you'll definitely still use that skill but the style of essay they're looking for is apparently more like the style you'll do at uni with referencing in a specific style and how you structure and lay it out so a good skill to have - i say apparently cos my degree doesn't do essays very often (like once a year)
Reply 17
Original post by AliceKS
it's ok, i think everyone changes their mind and 15/16 definitely feels too young to be choosing essentially what you study at uni. you still have time so try to take some deep breaths and not worry too much (easier said than done ik)
epq is defo like an essay subject, as a definite STEM girlie, i struggled to fill the word count at times so you'll definitely still use that skill but the style of essay they're looking for is apparently more like the style you'll do at uni with referencing in a specific style and how you structure and lay it out so a good skill to have - i say apparently cos my degree doesn't do essays very often (like once a year)

thankyou for your advice, i will try not to stress out too much but it is SO HARD, i just don't want to regret anything 😭😭😭
Original post by elyonl0001
Hi, So I need to pick my A-level subjects.

I have kinda already decided on doing Maths and Chemistry because I really like maths, and I have heard that Chemistry opens a lot of doors.
I am also thinking of Biology, but everytime I think of it it kinda makes me feel a bit sick because I'm scared that having two sciences and maths may feel too strenuous.

For a fourth subject I am thinking either geography or politics. I looove geog gcse but ppl say that the A level made them hate geog. i am considering politics because I have never done it before and i think it might be fun, however four subjects seems like a lot.

Please help me. I do like bio gcse but I'm just scared ab the double science. Geography or even politics would be great as a change of pace. Please help :smile:))

UPDATE: so the school that i am applying to had a deadline of yesterday and i put down maths chemistry and biology, but now that combo makes me want to cry. There is nothing i can do about it now, but I am wondering if I should start the biology course and see how it goes or just switch to geography when as soon as I get the opportunity.
I also need to take into consideration what i want to do after, and apparently, the first combo (w biology) is more niche, but i just need ADVISE bc i really want to stop worrying and focus on the current task at hand: GCSEs!!!

Hello.

Picking your A-levels is an exciting adventure. My advice would be to pick your favourite subjects and the ones you connect with. Don't worry that you have submitted your choices, there is always time to change if you are not happy with your selection. Lastly, enjoy the process and keep working hard for your GCSEs

All the best,
Hassa, Liverpool Hope Student Ambassador

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