A-Level Psychology is a social science, and a popular choice among many students. An interesting subject for sure, and a good choice for university and many other opportunities after college.
This article takes a look at how hard A-Level Psychology can be, and what you should look out for when making your A-Level choices. Read on for the complete guide on how to decide whether or not A-Level Psychology is the right subject for you.
A-Level Psychology is one of the easiest sciences you can take in college, much easier than A-Level Chemistry and A-level Biology. It’s quite interesting too, which means you’re more likely to apply yourself and succeed. As long as you’re good at writing exam answers and have a scientific mind, you shouldn’t find A-Level Psychology too hard.
Student reviews have told us that A-Level Psychology is quite a memory-based subject, with a little bit of maths mixed in. The general consensus, however, is that it isn’t too hard.
There are lots of case studies you have to remember, in order to answer a lot of 12-mark questions. This can be tricky, but not if you have a good memory.
The exam technique is also fairly easy to get the hang of, as it’s quite similar to many other A-Level exam techniques. That’s one of the reasons why A-Level Psychology pairs up so well with many other A-Levels.
The maths aspect of A-Level Psychology is fairly straightforward, and most students never really have a problem with it. As long as you can do some calculations involving mean, median, and mode, you’ll be absolutely fine.
If you want to get those A* grades, though, you’ll still have to revise for A-Level Psychology as much as you would for any other subject. It’s still an A-Level, and there’s still content to learn.
How Much Content Is There In A-Level Psychology?
A-Level Psychology may be one of the easiest sciences, but how much actual content is there that you have to revise?
The main bulk of A-Level Psychology content is case studies. There are many case studies that you’ll have to revise for your exams, but they’re not actually too hard to understand.
They mainly require you to be able to remember certain methods and techniques. If you can figure out a way to revise effectively, you may find that your A-Level Psychology course is a breeze.
Apart from case studies, there’s not a lot else you need to know. The rest of the content is learning about actual psychology as opposed to reading about it in case studies.
Quite a lot of the content that isn’t case studies is related to biology. Topics like the nervous system and the endocrine system feature in both A-Level Psychology and A-Level Biology, for example.
There is also a small amount of maths involved, but there isn’t enough for you to worry about revising it.
How Difficult Is The Content In A-Level Psychology?
We know how much content there is, but how difficult will the content be to learn and revise?
Many students have said that A-Level Psychology is the easiest of their three A-Levels. This says a lot about the difficulty of A-Level Psychology content…
The case studies and theorists are easy to wrap your head around, provided you always do your independent work outside of lesson.
If you’re any good at science (especially biology) the rest of the content won’t be too challenging either. Psychology is an interesting subject, and is easy to learn and be involved in.
You don’t need to be good at biology, but it definitely helps. The content in A-Level Psychology is nowhere near as hard as the content in A-Level Biology, but there are links.
You’ll find the content a lot easier to learn and remember if you do the right amount of independent work outside of lesson. You should spend around the same amount of time outside of lesson studying as you do in lesson.
What Are The Minimum Requirements For Me To Study A-Level Psychology?
A-Level Psychology is fairly easy, but there are still some things you’ll need to take the course.
The minimum grades you’ll need to take A-Level Psychology is a 5 in GCSE English Language, a 4 in GCSE Maths, and a 5 in Combined Science.
If this sounds easy, good! Any grades higher than the ones you see here and you’ll find A-Level Psychology a total breeze.
These grades are in place to make sure that any student who takes A-Level Psychology is able to complete it. If you don’t meet these requirements, chances are that A-Level Psychology is not the subject for you.
If these minimum grades don’t sound easy, don’t fret! Many colleges and sixth forms will still allow you to take A-Level Psychology if you’re just a couple of grades below what you need.
However, even though they may let you onto the course, that doesn’t mean you’ll pass. It will be hard for you, and you’ll probably have to put in more hours of independent work than other students.
How Hard Is A-Level Psychology Compared To GCSE Psychology?
A-Level Psychology is fairly easy, but how much of a step up is it from GCSE Psychology?
A-Level Psychology isn’t too much of a step up from GCSE Psychology. There may be more content, and it may be slightly harder, but it really isn’t that bad.
There’s definitely a lot more content in A-Level Psychology, that’s for sure. There’s way more case studies, and a bunch more science-y stuff that relates to A-Level/GCSE Biology.
The content is slightly more difficult to understand than GCSE Psychology, but it’s really inconsequential. As long as you can do your independent study, you’ll be fine.
A-Level Psychology is also easier to focus on due to the fact that you take less subjects in college/sixth form. You’ve got less to worry about, but just a lot more content to make up for it.
Long story short – if you can handle the larger content load of A-Level Psychology, you won’t find the subject that much different from its GCSE counterpart.
How Hard Are A-Level Psychology Exams?
The actual subject may be easy, but that doesn’t always mean the exams are.
GCSE Psychology has a pass rate of 63% in 2019. This is quite bad for a GCSE, but this bad pass rate can be explained. Many students decide not to take A-Level Psychology in college, and so don’t try very hard with it in school.
This results in an awful pass rate, because students don’t see GCSE Psychology as a necessity. The actual GCSE exam is fairly easy, so don’t be fooled by the pass rate!
A-Level Psychology has a pass rate of 97.1%, much better than GCSE Psychology. This is partly because of how students take this A-Level seriously, but also because of the exam.
A-Level Psychology exams are fairly easy, and not many students struggle with them. The exam technique is similar to other A-Levels, and many GCSEs too.
As long as you can write reasonably well and you know your stuff, A-Level Psychology exams won’t pose much of an issue to you.
What Other A-Levels Go Well With A-Level Psychology?
A-Level Psychology is a great social science to take, but what other subjects can you take with it?
Because A-Level Psychology is a social science, you’ll want to take a subject that is fairly different to it. This keeps all your options open for life after college, and will make it easier to get into university as well.
A-Level Psychology goes well with subjects A-Level Maths and A-Level Biology. Both of these other subjects pair very well with A-Level Psychology, and it’s easy to see why.
A-Level Biology correlates quite a lot with A-Level Psychology, as quite a lot of the content is shared. This makes both of the subjects easier, as you can revise a few topics for both A-Levels.
A-Level Maths will really help you out with the small maths part of A-Level Psychology. It will also make you a lot easier to employ, and it looks great on university applications.
For a bigger list of great A-Level combinations, make sure to check out my article on 17 Good A-Level Combinations That Universities Love.