How is Physics like in A-level ?

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I am choosing my subjects for A-levels.. and I just want some more insight to physics at A-level from those who are taking or took physics at A-level..

1. What sort of things do you do ? (this may vary in different boards)

2. How are you finding it ?

3. What degrees and careers could it lead to ?

4. Is it really hard ? 

And any other comments / tips.. thanks..!!

Posted: 27-10-12 13:49 by ? Secret - Team GR

I do not like physics at A level. I think it might just be the teaching though, but then again it is just hard because there's a lot of maths involved and I just don't find it that interesting. At the moment I'm doing electricity (resistance, resistivity) and I've done some scalars and vectors. I'm doing the OCR exam board but I just think it's really confusing. I would say that if you find physics really enjoyable and interesting then do it, but don't if you only slightly want to. It's probably just me and my teachers, but it is so confusing when it comes to answering past paper exam questions!! 

Posted: 27-10-12 16:47 by Joanne

Thanks for sharing your experience.. it does really help.. even if you dont enjoy physics because I am still struggling to  decide my subjects..

Which do you think is better...

Chemistry, Maths, Humanities(most likely politics) and Physics


Chemistry, Maths, Humanities(most likely politics) and English

Posted: 27-10-12 19:08 by ? Secret - Team GR

The second one because English will help with anything, so even if you can't decide on a career yet, you still have really good options. But go for physics if you like it! (And I don't know how you can do politics aha!)

Posted: 27-10-12 19:27 by Joanne

To be honest I find physics easy but not really interesting.. a lot of people have been telling me that physics is required for most degrees compared to English.. 

What's wrong with politics ? By the way I offendend or anything, I just want to.. I like to know people's opinions.. its helps a lot.

Posted: 27-10-12 19:33 by ? Secret - Team GR

Oh it's just that I hate politics that's all! Some of my friends are doing politics and there's quite a lot of work, but I guess if you like politics and it's interesting for you, then you'll get on better than others who find it boring.

Well it depends on what kind of field you're interested in doing as a career - if you're doing chemistry and maths then physics fits in more than English I suppose. Why career are you thinking of doing?

Posted: 27-10-12 20:37 by Joanne

Oh okay I understand don't worry..

Well to be honest there are no particular careers in mind thats why I want to keep my options as open as which option do you think will keep my paths more open ?

BTW everybody else, reading this discussion feel free to share your views about physics at A level

Posted: 27-10-12 22:31 by ? Secret - Team GR

To be honest, I think English will keep your options more open because you're already doing a science (chemistry) and maths - physics is basically lots of maths with some science which you've already got in your options.

Posted: 28-10-12 14:34 by Joanne

Okay, thanks Joanne.. u have been really helpful..x

Posted: 28-10-12 18:02 by ? Secret - Team GR

Physics is very difficult. I got A* in core and additional science, and I thought I found find physics ok. Everyone told me how hard it would be. I thought that I could manage. Well I got U grades for my first 3 homeworks, then I got an E in a practice exam. I am on the edexcel board and we do mechanics (motion, forces and energy - it's amazing how hard that stuff gets) and materials (density, floating, Hooke's law, Stoke's law, etc). However I find it very interesting and if you are willing to put the effort in it is really worth it. It can lead to careers like an engineer, physicist and if you do it with other sciences it can lead to much more. I do chemistry and biology with physics and they really go well together. But listen to people when they tell you physics is hard, and you won't get far without a lot of dedication. 

Posted: 28-10-12 18:02 by Former Member

What year are you in Tilly ?  Well physics is a subject I am currenlty finding easy but not very interesting so would you honestly suggest it for A level.. Which do you think is better 

Chemistry, Maths, Humanities(most likely politics) and Physics


Chemistry, Maths, Humanities(most likely politics) and English

Posted: 28-10-12 18:11 by ? Secret - Team GR

Year 12 (as levels)

I think physics will go much better with chemistry and maths because there is lots of maths in physics. I didn't actually take maths, but physics with maths really compliment each other. Physics is very interesting (a lot more than at GCSE), and if you enjoy maths you will probably enjoy physics. Physics is maths with added details about laws, theories and combining these with mathematical equations. Physics helps you to use maths and not just learn about it. I would definitely say physics is better than english, just because physics goes with your other subjects better.

And have you considered biology, because I think it is more interesting than any of the sciences. We cover things like the heart, lungs and cells in lots of depth. 

Posted: 28-10-12 19:00 by Former Member

Thanks Tilly for your advice :)

How are you finding biology at the moment ? I am not too sure about biology, because I am the weakest at biology, I tend to find it quite hard and depending on my next gcse exam I will be able to see if biology is really for me or not..

Posted: 28-10-12 19:56 by ? Secret - Team GR

Biology is much easier than physics or chemistry at A-level and so much more interesting than at GCSE. 

For example the cell like literally explodes into all of this other stuff (more than just the nucleus, cytoplasm and cell membrane etc) and you also learn about what the cell membrane is made up of.

It can be tricky though. Our teacher said you learn more new words in Alevel biology than you do in Alevel French.  

I find biology really enjoyable and I found it the hardest science at GCSE - it is now my best subject. I got a B the other day - which I was so proud of considering my physics grade. I am finding biology really interesting.

What sort of career are you interested in, because doing all science will limit you?

Posted: 28-10-12 20:03 by Former Member

At most I want to do 2 sciences.. to be honest I have no specific career in mind.. so I want to keep my options as open as possible..I want to do three subjects which are difficult / facillitate and one subject which is slighlty less academic and easier.. so a humanity..what would you suggest in terms of what sciences I should take..?

Posted: 28-10-12 20:09 by ? Secret - Team GR

I would say that biology and chemistry leave you open to a lot (becoming a doctor, scientist in one of the fields, vet, etc) but physics does not go anywhere further if you do not have maths. I'd say that biology and chemistry with a humanities subject would go best, just because physics is basically a dead end without maths (you cannot take physics at degree level without maths). 

So either

Chemistry + Biology + Humanities


Physics + Maths + Humanities

And one piece of advice - humanities are not as easy as they seem. I took history and had to drop it after two weeks because it was too much work with science. Humanities are not that difficult to understand, but there is an awful lot of work that comes with them. 

Posted: 28-10-12 20:17 by Former Member

thanks Tilly ... x.. I will keep this in mind..

Which would you go for and why ?

Modified once, last modified by ? Secret - Team GR on Sun 28th October, 2012 @ 20:41

Posted: 28-10-12 20:41 by ? Secret - Team GR

What subject would you say goes well with English ?

Posted: 28-10-12 20:43 by ? Secret - Team GR

I woud do chemsitry, biology and a humanities topic (history, geography or philosophy+ethics, politics are good - so I have heard). 

I would do this because these 3 offer a lot more in terms of career prospects. Humanities can lead to law and other such high paid jobs and science can lead to so much. Plus even if you do not want a science related career - the skills you get from science can be used in many fields of work. 

So that would be my choice. 

But maths could also offer a lot (accounting, finance, business etc) so keep that in mind. You could replace biology with maths if you really struggle with biology.

Posted: 28-10-12 20:46 by Former Member

Thanks.. I think

option 1 would be ..

maths, chemistry, english and politics

option 2 (back up)

maths, biology, english and politiics

Posted: 28-10-12 20:47 by ? Secret - Team GR

That sounds good - it gives you a lot of future options for careers. Chemistry may give more future careers because you can do things like medicine (which cannot be done with biology alone). But biology is really interesting.

But really good choice!

Good luck with your GCSEs - hope they go well! =]

Posted: 28-10-12 20:55 by Former Member

Thanks Tilly !! You have helped me loads and given me great advice.. thank youuuuu.. **

Aw, good luck to you too :) Hope you do well in your A levels ..x

BTW everybody else, reading this discussion feel free to share your views about physics at A level

Modified once, last modified by ? Secret - Team GR on Sun 28th October, 2012 @ 21:01

Posted: 28-10-12 21:00 by ? Secret - Team GR


Fingers crossed

Posted: 28-10-12 21:02 by Former Member

What A levels are you doing Tilly?

Posted: 28-10-12 21:06 by Joanne

Biology, chemistry, physics and extended project

Posted: 28-10-12 21:15 by Former Member