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help please: history, chem and bio

I'm starting my A levels in September and I wanted to know if any one else has already done a combination of these 3 A levels: bio, chem and history. If you have done these a levels, how was it? Was it very hard or was it manageable?

I also wanted to know what unis and uni courses that I could apply to with these a levels?

Any help would be much appreciated :smile:
(edited 1 month ago)
I do biology and chemistry (exams ending next week) and yes it is hard and can be overwhelming but as long as you keep on top of your work, be proactive when it comes to your learning you will be fine!

since you go biology and chemistry, your choices are very open. also, law does not have any requirements for subjects and they are open to STEM subjects too! I say narrow down your choices in terms of what sector you'd like to be in and then see what degrees. the unis you can apply to depend on your predicted grades :smile:
I'm starting my A levels in September and I wanted to know if any one else has already done a combination of these 3 A levels: bio, chem and history. If you have done these a levels, how was it? Was it very hard or was it manageable?
I also wanted to know what unis and uni courses that I could apply to with these a levels?
Any help would be much appreciated :smile:

Hi, yeah I take those three plus maths. I initially wanted to study medicine so that's why I chose them, but actually I ended up applying for History and Politics. I have an offer at Cambridge, and also got offers at LSE, St Andrews, Edinburgh, and York. So at the end of the day, your choices don't matter that much for most courses!

History has lots of content, and you have to have good essay technique too, but as long as you practice as much as possible throughout the two years it's fine. I found bio not as content heavy as some people say, especially because I made flashcards at the end of each unit/subunit and did them regularly, so as long as you understand everything as you go along, it's doable. I struggled a little with chem, as it is my least favourite and only chose it cause I had to. It's not super content focused, more-so understanding, so make sure you ask you teacher/look online for clarification.

Taking those three subjects will keep many doors open for you, so don't worry too much. Just make sure you enjoy all three to some degree, because you'll have to spend a lot of time studying them. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!
(edited 1 month ago)
I'm starting my A levels in September and I wanted to know if any one else has already done a combination of these 3 A levels: bio, chem and history. If you have done these a levels, how was it? Was it very hard or was it manageable?
I also wanted to know what unis and uni courses that I could apply to with these a levels?
Any help would be much appreciated :smile:

hey, I do bio, chem and history ( well I finished my history exams yesterday). I don't regret picking my subjects especially history because it gave me a break from stem. I would say it is manageable if you are organised! If you start slacking it would take you awhile to catch up causing you to prioritise one subject over the other. Since you are doing heavy content subjects, for history make your flashcards as you go and for bio/chem use physics and maths tutor flashcards.

Also for history do lots of essay planning and writing them up because when i did my exams the questions i had were very similar to the past questions.

In terms of unis, you would be fine since you do chemistry especially if you want to go into healthcare/pharmacy/medicine but if you're interested in engineering you would do yourself a favour by picking maths or physics.

I hope this helps, if you have more questions feel free to dm me 😄
Reply 4
Original post by kitty2005
hey, I do bio, chem and history ( well I finished my history exams yesterday). I don't regret picking my subjects especially history because it gave me a break from stem. I would say it is manageable if you are organised! If you start slacking it would take you awhile to catch up causing you to prioritise one subject over the other. Since you are doing heavy content subjects, for history make your flashcards as you go and for bio/chem use physics and maths tutor flashcards.
Also for history do lots of essay planning and writing them up because when i did my exams the questions i had were very similar to the past questions.
In terms of unis, you would be fine since you do chemistry especially if you want to go into healthcare/pharmacy/medicine but if you're interested in engineering you would do yourself a favour by picking maths or physics.
I hope this helps, if you have more questions feel free to dm me 😄

That helps a lott thank you so much!
What uni courses did you apply to (if you don't mind me asking)? Because for a lot of medical courses I've seen that many universities don't accept critical thinking as an alevel and I think history counts as a critical thinking alevel? Or do the unis don't really mind as long as you have pretty good grades in any subject?
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 5
Original post by clarakrisch
Hi, yeah I take those three plus maths. I initially wanted to study medicine so that's why I chose them, but actually I ended up applying for History and Politics. I have an offer at Cambridge, and also got offers at LSE, St Andrews, Edinburgh, and York. So at the end of the day, your choices don't matter that much for most courses!
History has lots of content, and you have to have good essay technique too, but as long as you practice as much as possible throughout the two years it's fine. I found bio not as content heavy as some people say, especially because I made flashcards at the end of each unit/subunit and did them regularly, so as long as you understand everything as you go along, it's doable. I struggled a little with chem, as it is my least favourite and only chose it cause I had to. It's not super content focused, more-so understanding, so make sure you ask you teacher/look online for clarification.
Taking those three subjects will keep many doors open for you, so don't worry too much. Just make sure you enjoy all three to some degree, because you'll have to spend a lot of time studying them. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!

That's wonderful and it helps a lot 🙂!

I like history and do very well at it at GCSE level but people have been telling me that a level history is completely different from GCSE history in terms of structuring your essays and just the coursework in general. How did you revise for your history a level and keep up with all the coursework because I've heard that it is very content heavy.
That helps a lott thank you so much!
What uni courses did you apply to (if you don't mind me asking)? Because for a lot of medical courses I've seen that many universities don't accept critical thinking as an alevel and I think history counts as a critical thinking alevel? Or do the unis don't really mind as long as you have pretty good grades in any subject?
Hey, I applied to medicine, pharmacy and biomedical science. Most med schools ask for bio and chem so you’ll be fine. It’s mainly Oxford and Cambridge that wants maths too
That's wonderful and it helps a lot 🙂!
I like history and do very well at it at GCSE level but people have been telling me that a level history is completely different from GCSE history in terms of structuring your essays and just the coursework in general. How did you revise for your history a level and keep up with all the coursework because I've heard that it is very content heavy.

Don't worry too much about the step between essay writing at GCSE and A level; you have two years to practice and your teachers will guide you through it, and actually, at A level the examiners are looking more for clarity than critical/well-written answers. You should look up some examples online (maybe on topics you've taken at GCSE so you understand them a little) to see that the difference is not that major.

In terms of coursework, I did no work on it over the summer of Y12 and did the bulk of research/writing in the autumn term of Y13. While I wouldn't recommend this - because obviously you'll be busy with uni apps, mock exams, etc - it's doable, as long as it's well researched and hits all the marking points. It's probably best that you do a lot of reading on the topic over the summer and assemble some good knowledge so that you can start writing. But it also depends on how your school organises the coursework/teaching. Honestly, the coursework takes time, but as long as you try to spread it out, it's fine to balance with the rest of your lessons.

And to do with the content itself, I just made lots and lots of flashcards which I did regularly, with facts/stats. And before exams, a bunch of active recall and timelines, as well as essay planning. There's lots of helpful videos on yt for you to check out on history revision. I also did some wider reading/listened to podcasts just to get familiar with the topic.

At the end of the day, no matter how much you work on history, you'll never feel totally prepared going into the exam. So just enjoy this summer and don't stress it. Just focus on consistent practice, I'm sure you'll do well.

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