Making the right choices for your GCSE subjects can be tricky, especially when it comes to Science. Many students feel overwhelmed by the thought of studying all three Sciences in more detail especially if they aren’t even aiming for a Science-related career. So, what should you take: Double Science or Triple Science? What’s the difference between the two? And what advantages does one have over the other?
In short, if Science is a subject you enjoy, Triple Science is worth taking. It may prove to be an easier route than Double Science since Double Science students often take an additional subject. Plus, it brings about a multitude of benefits, such as a smoother transition to A-Level Science and invaluable knowledge and more opportunities to develop specific transferrable skills. However, if Science is something you do not do well at, Double Science may be a more advisable option, as Triple Science requires a greater understanding of tricky scientific concepts and contains more content which you will eventually have to revise.
In this article, we’ll be breaking it all down to see if taking GCSE Triple Science is really worth it. We’ll look at commonly asked questions, which will hopefully guide you to a good decision about whether or not you should take GCSE Triple Science.
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Is Taking GCSE Triple Science Worth It?
As we will see in the article, Triple Science can be a valuable addition to your GCSEs. It makes the A-Level more manageable, gives you an extra GCSE and leaves you with a firm foundation in Science. It is definitely worth the extra commitment.
Having said that, if you are certain that Science is your weak spot, and you know that you won’t be able to invest the right amount of time and effort, it may be wiser to stick to the Double Science option. This will give you an opportunity to explore other subjects and hopefully you’ll find one that’ll pique your interest.
When in doubt, just remember that it is much easier to transfer from Triple Science to Double Science than advancing from double to triple. Remember, all of the content taught in Double Science is also included in the Triple Science specification.
That being said, you should not take Triple Science with the aim of changing it to Double Science later on. It should be something that you want to do, or are at least willing to put your mind to because of the many benefits that it brings.
What’s the Difference Between Triple Science and Double Science?
First off, picking either one means you’ll end up studying all three Sciences – Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
The main difference between Double Science and Triple Science is the amount of content. While this varies for different exam boards, Triple Science students generally study more content, whereas Double Science students cover approximately two thirds of the Triple Science content.
Furthermore, Triple Science exams are slightly longer – usually half an hour longer than Double Science exams.
It may be helpful to know which exam board you will be following and check out their website for more details. Here’s the AQA Website.
The extra work does pay off because Triple Science students receive three separate GCSEs, while students taking Double Science receive only two combined GCSEs which are based on their overall performance across all three Sciences. Double Science students often take an extra subject (e.g., a humanities subject) to compensate for this.
Is GCSE Triple Science More Difficult Than Double Science?
Before making decisions, students like to compare the difficulty of Triple Science and Double Science. Triple Science can seem like an extremely grinding GCSE and is often perceived as such.
In reality, Triple Science isn’t harder; there is just more content to cover and that increases the workload. Due to this increased workload, it requires a lot more time and effort – certainly more than required for Double Science. This makes it seem more challenging to students, hence the perceived difficulty.
However, as I mentioned earlier, students taking Double Science usually take an extra non-Science GCSE and, as a result, may end up with an even heavier workload.
Furthermore, many scientifically-gifted students find Sciences easy, making Triple Science a walk in the park. If Science is one of your better subjects, taking Triple Science can be an undemanding way of getting an extra GCSE.
Is the Extra Content in GCSE Triple Science More Difficult?
A lot of times, students wonder if the extra content covered in GCSE Triple Science is harder than the rest of the content.
The GCSE Triple Science content is not necessarily more difficult, but it dives deeper into the concepts so there is more to learn. The extra content is often a challenging aspect for students; that is why many prefer to opt for Double Science instead.
The fact that you go into theories and ideas more thoroughly in Triple Science could be seen as a benefit for some students – this is something that varies individually. You may find that having more detail actually aids your understanding of basic concepts, or you may find it confusing.
The important thing to remember is that you should go into studying Triple Science with a positive mindset, and a hardworking attitude. Learning more content does not have to be impossible.
Many students do not see any point in studying Science in depth when they don’t even want to carry on with Science after GCSEs. This is something that we will discuss later on in this article, so keep reading to find out what the further benefits of taking Triple Science are!
Do You Need to Take GCSE Triple Science If You Want to do A-Level Science?
Many students wonder if it is necessary to take Triple Science to study a Science subject at A-level.
The answer is no, it is not necessary to take Triple Science; you can do the A-level after having studied Double Science.
However, Double Science students may find requirements for A-level Science tougher to meet. While this may vary, most colleges will only allow you to take the A-level if you have received certain high grades in Double Science.
It is easier for Triple Science students since they only need to receive average GCSE Triple Science grades to study A-level Science. That means Triple Science students generally have a less troublesome route to A-level Sciences.
It is also worth noting that at A-Level the Sciences are split into their 3 component subjects. So, if for example, you take GCSE Triple Science and have a very strong grade in Biology, but have only scraped a pass in Physics, the route to A-Level Biology would be fairly straightforward for you.
If, however, you have taken Double Science, the subject that you are strongest in is not necessarily reflected in your grade, because the grade you receive is an average of your performance across the 3 Sciences. This could make it more complex to show your ability in a specific subject to the admissions team at your sixth form college.
Another thing to keep in mind is that due to the extra content covered in Triple Science, Triple Science students may find the A-level less of a challenge (although there’s no doubt that it’s still a huge challenge!). Therefore, it is no surprise that students who do GCSE Triple Science sometimes get better grades in A-level Sciences than those who did double.
Does GCSE Triple Science Require More Revision?
Another aspect that students like to consider is if Triple Science would require them to revise more for the exams.
Because of the extra content in the syllabus, Triple Science does require more revision of Science than Double Science does. On the bright side, the content in Triple Science simply builds up from Double Science, so you will mostly be required to revise the same topics as Double Science, but in more depth.
That means that Triple Science requires more scientific revision than Double Science. However, when taking Double Science, you will often be required to take an additional subject, due to the different number of GCSEs that Triple and Double Science are worth.
This means that, overall, you will do around the same amount of revision as someone taking GCSE Double Science, as they have to take another, separate GCSE. So, there really is no more extra work involved in taking GCSE Triple Science compared to Double Science in the grand scheme of things.
What Are the Benefits of Taking Triple Science GCSE?
As I mentioned before, Triple Science can be a relatively painless way to get an extra GCSE, but its benefits don’t stop there.
Since Triple Science content goes into more depth than double, it smoothens the transition from GCSE to A-level Sciences. This is an important thing to consider if you are planning on opting for A-level Sciences.
Additionally, GCSE Triple Science better prepares students for a degree in Science by giving them a strong foundation in a wide range of topics. And it goes without saying that employers value this qualification too.
The knowledge gained from Triple Science goes a long way and is a valuable life-long asset. Though it is not only the Scientific knowledge that you gain that could aid you in the future. There are various transferrable skills that GCSE Triple Science (and GCSE Double Science to some extent) allow you to develop.
One of the useful skills that you learn from a GCSE Science (especially Triple Science) is analytical skills. In your exam, you may be confronted with results of an experiment, and it can be your job to interpret them. This ability is useful in a wide range of situations and careers.
Additionally, you can develop mathematical and logical skills while completing your GCSE in either Triple or Double Science. These are skills that are widely regarded as incredibly useful, and can, again be applied to many professions.
It is important to consider the extent to which Triple or Double Science will enable you to practice these skills (and many others!) before deciding which subject you should take. Remember, the more time you spend practicing these skills, the better you will be by the end of your course.
What If You Don’t Want a Career in Science?
You may already be thinking that Science just isn’t your thing. Or maybe you’re aiming for a career that doesn’t require Science, and you’re thinking, “Why bother with Triple Science?”.
Well, for starters, Triple Science will serve as a strong foundation in all aspects of life. It is held in esteem by all educational institutions and employers alike, as studying Science develops a scientific way of thinking in the learner and equips them with an analytical approach to life. Of course, such skills come in handy, whether you choose to pursue a career in Science or not.
You can still reap the benefits of taking Triple Science long after your GCSEs.
What If You Aren’t Good at Science?
It’s no secret that many students struggle with Science and find Triple Science a nightmare.
If Science is one of your weaker subjects, it may be a good idea to take Double Science instead of fussing with Triple Science. This way, you will have time to explore other subjects that you may be better at, instead of focusing on something you aren’t sure of.
However, if the idea of Triple Science GCSE is something that appeals to you, remember that you can choose between Foundation and Higher exams as you near your GCSE exam season. Although it is obviously better for you to take the Higher exams, taking Triple Science foundation exams might be useful if you are looking for those 3 separate qualifications.
One of the useful things about Triple Science is that you can also often take different levels of paper for each Science subject. For example, if your strong subjects were Chemistry and Biology, but you didn’t feel confident in your abilities in Physics, you could take Higher exams for GCSE Chemistry and Biology, alongside Foundation exams for Physics.
What If You Want to Switch from GCSE Double Science to Triple Science?
There are times when students taking Double Science find it easy and want to switch to Triple Science.
Different schools have different policies on this, but keep in mind that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to switch to Triple Science after having started with Double Science.
This is because Triple Science goes deeper into the depths of key concepts right from the start. Students joining Triple Science in the middle of the year may struggle to wrap their head around difficult scientific concepts and keep up with the extra amount of work.
This does not, of course, mean that you will not be able to swap to Triple Science after the course has started. Many schools want to encourage students to take Triple Science, and if you are prepared to work hard, this could be something that may benefit you – it is always worth enquiring with your teacher!
Although, as I have said before, it might be trickier to swap from GCSE Double Science to Triple Science, you should certainly consider the benefits, and remember that it will not be impossible to catch up when you put your mind to it.
What If You Want to Switch from GCSE Triple Science to Double Science?
Some students taking Triple Science find it difficult to cope with the amount of work and difficulty of the content. While it is generally encouraged that they try their best and remain steadfast, they may still want to lighten the workload and move to Double Science.
It is possible to switch from Triple Science to Double Science; students will automatically detect the noticeably lighter workload.
A wise thing to do would be to start the year as a Triple Science student, and if you feel that you can’t keep up, switch to Double Science. This will give you a chance to decide through experience what would best suit you. However, all schools have different policies regarding this, so it is always best to explore what is available to you before making any decisions.
It is also worth considering that if you do this, you will likely have to choose another GCSE subject option to take. GCSE Triple Science is worth 3 GCSEs and Double Science is worth 2.
If you feel the need to switch from Triple to Double Science, remember that although the Science workload may be eased, you will still have to catch up with another subject in most cases. There is no option, when changing the subject that you study, that requires no extra work. This is something that you should keep in mind when choosing between GCSE Double and Triple Science.