Can someone tell me what Geography, Maths and History are like at A level? Page 2

  • DaM 3 Sep 2009 07:36:29 17,455 posts
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    TheStylishHobo wrote:
    Did A-levels even exist in Otto's day? :D

    Yes, but they were all in Latin.
  • Grunk 3 Sep 2009 07:55:03 4,717 posts
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    Spent most of my A' level time smoking drinking and trying to get into girl's panties.

    Still passed all the exams, so my advice is:

    Pay attention in the classes (since you have to be there anyway)
    Don't smoke, it's not worth it in the end.
    Try to get into women's panties before you get too drunk, it seems to work better.

    I think the subjects seemed tricky at the time, but looking back to it now, they look exceptionally easy, I think a lot of understanding depends on the teacher, but there is the internet now, so you can always find alternative explanations for something.

    Maybe the best thing to do would be to learn Spanish, otherwise just do the one that you like the most, people say your choices now will affect the rest of you life career wise, but it's not really true, getting good grades will help, but it doesn't really matter in which subject.

    You don't even have to have a degree in economics or finance these days to be allowed to fuck up the economy. So just think how much fun you could have in a hospital without a medical degree.
  • Onny 3 Sep 2009 08:19:19 5,695 posts
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    I find it interesting that you love maths but don't enjoy physics, which involves a lot of maths. :)

    Personally I'd say go for whichever subject you enjoy most at the moment, but bear in mind that if you DO go for maths then you'll have 3 very "dry" subjects where the answer to a problem is typically right or wrong. With History/Geography you will be able to express your opinion a bit more, if that counts for anything.
  • Zomoniac 3 Sep 2009 08:42:50 10,170 posts
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    A level maths is a HUGE step up. My teachers always told me I was some sort of maths child prodigy since up until 16 I was getting 100% on every maths test I did despite never doing any work ever, it just all clicked in my head. So I did maths and further maths at A level, got a D in maths and a U in further. Unless you are actually god, you're not going to do well in A level maths unless you're prepared to work hard, some of it is ridiculously obscure and just isn't the kind of stuff that logically makes sense, even if you think you're a very mathematical person. The mechanics stuff is really easy (I got 100% on my mechanics module, the one part of A level maths I didn't spectacularly fail), stats seems to switch randomly between remedial stuff and fucking stupid stuff, and pure starts off easy, then suddenly becomes very, very, very hard where you spend half your lessons banging your head on the desk trying to make the slightest bit of sense from why anyone would ever want to do a calculation based around the root of -1. If you're a hard worker, go for it, I'm sure it will come in useful and will earn you respect if you do well in it. If you're generally a slacker relying on natural talent to blag your way through school, just don't even bother, you'll be wasting your time.
  • opalw00t 3 Sep 2009 08:46:57 12,829 posts
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    Maths can be hard work, but I found it very rewarding. I also liked the right/wrong nature of the questions. The A-level course introduces a lot of new techniques (CALCULUS!!!), which is were the difficulty comes from.
  • andywilkie35 3 Sep 2009 08:49:06 5,327 posts
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    Maths was a huge step up for me, I ended up dropping it.

    To echo LB, History depends on whether or not the particular topics are ones that interest you. Fortunately for me I found the subjects interesting :)
  • opalw00t 3 Sep 2009 08:58:49 12,829 posts
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    Leolian'sBro wrote:
    Your brain might explode though.
    True :)

    I managed a 2:1 in Maths and Statistics, but managed an E in A-level Further Maths...
  • StarchildHypocrethes 3 Sep 2009 09:18:10 32,916 posts
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    A-Level history was the only A-level I actually enjoyed.
  • rutter 3 Sep 2009 09:19:16 1,918 posts
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    It was quite a few years back but I did Chemistry (twice, I failed the first time), Biology and Psychology. The latter in particular I really enjoyed and was the best grade I got.
    In fact my Chemistry lecturer was pretty awful, which is probably an indication of why we all did so badly.

    Best advice is to revise for your A-levels - they're *much* harder than GCSEs, and a degree, in my opinion.
  • chopsen 3 Sep 2009 09:25:29 20,926 posts
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    Leolian'sBro wrote:
    Maths is dry as a bastard.

    It depends on the person. I quite enjoyed it, though it was the A level I did worse in. If you've got a certain brain, there is an inherent abstract beauty and symmetry to the whole thing. If you're not that way inclined, I can imagine it to be meaningless tedium. You either love it or hate, there's no middle ground with mafs.
  • Deleted user 3 September 2009 09:27:15
    I did history. It's good, but totally different to GSCE level. At GSCE it's just about retaining facts and being able to explain what happened and why. At A Level it's much more about reading different historians views on events and using sources to try and answer more in-depth essay questions. It was a lot of work, and a LOT of reading, but good stuff and interseting.
  • StarchildHypocrethes 3 Sep 2009 09:28:52 32,916 posts
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    rutter wrote:
    It was quite a few years back but I did Chemistry (twice, I failed the first time), Biology and Psychology. The latter in particular I really enjoyed and was the best grade I got.
    Heh, I was the complete opposite. I absolutely hated A-level psychology and it made me completely rethink the degree I was going to do and my career aims.

    I thought it was so incredibly mind numbing, that when I over slept on the morning of my first exam, rather than getting up and rushing down to school, I rolled over and went back to sleep. Needless to say, my parents were not particularly impressed...
  • Lutz 3 Sep 2009 09:38:50 48,870 posts
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    If they're anything like GCSE standards then they'll be a piece of piss.
  • chopsen 3 Sep 2009 09:39:26 20,926 posts
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    Doesn't it depend how many stars you have intersecting each other? You could have infinitely many to form a perfect sphere if you wanted.
  • chopsen 3 Sep 2009 09:39:49 20,926 posts
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    Would not allow a lot of light out though.
  • myk 3 Sep 2009 09:40:31 728 posts
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    I found the start of A-level maths really helped me understand the stuff they only half taught at GCSE - trigonometery especially. All that socatohoa stuff is bollocks once you learn sin squared plus cos squared always equals 1.

    Mechanics was easy (especially doing it in the second year as part of further maths), Statistics quite tricky (lots of fiddling around with probability tables) and the latter stage of Pure very difficult (Pure 6 was a bastard).
  • pinkds 3 Sep 2009 09:54:05 1,601 posts
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    I did A-Level Geography (back in 1997-99). It was 50% Human and 50% physical. Also the marking was split 40% exam 60% coursework - which suited me very well as i hate exams. It wasn't a massive step up from GCSE just a lot more detail and content to learn, nothing complicated. I had two amazing teachers which was the reason I took the subject in the first place. Our lessons were always a laugh. I seem to remember there being lots of field trips: cambridge science park for Human geography, which is funnily enough where I work now... Epping Forest etc..lots of day trips out on the coach. Not many people took it as an Alevel so my class only had five people in it. I'd recommend it but it's probably changed a lot in ten years.
  • Stickman 3 Sep 2009 10:00:01 29,986 posts
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    Do history. Everyone should learn about what's shaped the societies and world we live in today. Who gives a fuck about glaciers? No-one. That's who.
  • roz123 3 Sep 2009 10:07:22 7,104 posts
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    It really depends on what you want to do in the future, if you are unsure then its probably best to keep your options open. Since your studying science History would do that and give you more world knowledge which helps when you move to uni.
  • pinkds 3 Sep 2009 10:13:44 1,601 posts
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    On the flip side of that, if you're doing science and want to pursue a career in science, a lot of companies prefer you to stick to the more traditional subjects. Having a 'wild card' subject may help you get into a big company like PWC because it shows that you've got a bit more going for you in terms of interests but a bog basic science company would prefer you to be more specialised and focused.
  • Deleted user 3 September 2009 10:19:58
    Leolian'sBro wrote:
    Worth knowing that maths A level is a pre-requisite to engineering, accounting, architecture etc.

    Not accounting my friend, not accounting. Atleast I haven't been hindered by the lack of it. Just make sure you do a numerical degree like Economics.
  • dufftownallan 3 Sep 2009 10:23:48 4,723 posts
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    i did geography higher ('99), but i have developed a much keener interest in history since. i really enjoyed geography at the time tho, we learned about soil types, rock types, glaciers urban things, very factual and not a lot of practical learning.

    as far as i remember tho, all school work and exams were just an elaborate memory test so as long as you have a good brain on you (which you seem to have) you will fly by.

    what i would say is that if you do choose to do history, there is a LOT more material readily avaialable on any particular subject. last night for example 'World War 1 in Colour' was on channel five and i learned a few things off of that.

    good luck with your choices and eventual exams! don't panic about anything yet, there is much much more to life after school.
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