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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:14 pm 
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Location: groombridge, e.sussex
DS got ok GCSE results and is now heading to 6th form next week. He has chosen Maths, Economics and Government & Politics for first 3 subjects. Originally he chose Chemistry as number 4 but is now wondering if he should do Physics instead. He says he's not sure if he wants to do Chemistry for 2 years and this is causing him to re-think. He's spent today googling the subjects and reading the blurb given by school. He needs to decide by Friday.
His scores were very similar so no clue from those! I'm not Science-minded and wonder if anyone out there has any helpful "arguments" for chosing one or the other.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:31 pm 
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Physics would complement Maths better - lots of degrees want this combination.

What are the school's results at A level like? Is one department stronger than the other?

What are his future career/degree choices?

Can he take both for a month to see how they go? The school does not have to declare any student stopping the course within the first month so this can help.

What do his teachers think? He needs to ask teachers that know him well and aren't just trying to 'sell' their own subject.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:41 pm 
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Physics is more closely related to maths and therefore probably slightly easier than chemistry for a good mathematician.

However, doing chemistry would demonstrate a broader range of ability and is absolutely essential for anyone even vaguely considering medicine.

I would suggest a talk with course tutors and the head of science.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:31 pm 
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Last edited by Belinda on Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:40 pm 
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Does it have to be a science? any possibility of History / geography or a language?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:43 pm 
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I would not do Govnt & Politics, especially as a third subject, as it is considered a 'weak' subject. Physics is considered a strong subject.

What does he fancy at Uni and as a future career?

WH


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:08 am 
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Location: groombridge, e.sussex
Many thanks for all the really helpful replies.

The results at A level for Chem and Physics are pretty similar, physics very slightly better.

He is adamant he doesn't want to do History which we thought was a better match but what do we know?!! Actually he scraped a B where as he got solid Bs in all the sciences, so I've stopped that discussion.

He got a surprise A in Spanish and we've talked about that but he is not a natural linguist and worked really hard to do so well. Also "I really hate Spanish" was his response so I guess that answers that. Everything I read says they should do the subjects they like and that makes lots of sense.

He wants to do Government and Politics and will probably give it up after AS. The course sounds really interesting, in fact I'd like to do it as well!!

There was a great article in Saturdays' Telegraph re post GCSE choices and we pointed DS in that direction. Better to read it some where independent than listen to parents waffling on!! The messages were all as been discussed on here ie which subjects to choose, which A levels are required by various professions etc.

Think he'll be going down the Physics route but anything could happen between now and Friday (interview with new Form Tutor)

He has, for quite some time, talked about doing Economics at Uni so he definitely needs to keep Economics and Maths.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:10 pm 
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If he's interested in economics at university, he might want to think about Further Maths (if offered). Definite advantage at top unis.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:19 pm 
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Thanks for the suggestion but I don't think he could cope with Additional, although it is offered at his school. He got an A for Maths and I think they advised an A* for boys wanting to do further Maths.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:13 pm 
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He might want to think carefully about economics at degree level in that case - very mathematical nowadays and many universities prefer further maths, but if doing single are really looking for A/A* at A2.


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