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Choosing physics & applied maths for LC
A-123St Leaving Cert Physics — 17/01/17 13

Hi everyone, I'm in third year now and will soon have to pick my subjects for Leaving Cert, and I'm not sure whether to pick physics or biology. I think biology would be really doable for me as I'm good at learning off things, but I don't really like plants or ecology etc, even though I find the other chapters interesting. As for physics, I usually do fine in that section as well, but my scores have been slightly lower than in biology (still mid to high Bs/low to high As, but not the kind of 100%s I get in biology chapters). I think this is because I haven't been actually using formulas and doing problems while studying, so I think it could be fixed pretty easily. Having said that, I don't find physics particularly interesting to be honest. I am good at maths though, and rarely fail to get an A at HL, so I was considering doing Applied Maths and Physics, since they tie in a lot. They're also said to be useful for STEM courses, and I'm interested in studying Computer Science at university. However, they aren't required for any CS course, so I don't have to do them. My main concern is that I'd take physics and/or applied maths, and would end up struggling when I could've easily gotten good results in biology, so I'd really appreciate any advice from people who are doing either or both subjects. Thanks guys!

MAYYAMIMI — 27/09/16
I did my lc in 2016 got 575 points. Did Phy,bio and applied math got A2 in Bio and Phy and A1 in applied math. If you choose Biology it's easy enough to get an A1, you have to learn all the material. If your good at maths I would say go for applied maths and physics. Makes a really nice combination if you are getting good grades in maths.
A-123St — 27/09/16
Would you have to really like maths to cope with applied maths and physics though? I tend to like doing exam papers, but the classes are pretty boring.
MonaSiwlas — 27/09/16
Hey I'm doing my leaving cert this year and I'm doing AM phy and bio Bio is an easy A, if you're good at learning stuff by heart I think you should definitely do it the course is really interesting (remember that plants and ecology are only a small bit of it) lc physics is a bit harder though, because you have to be really precise, youll have to work really hard on it I found AM to be challenging, but if youre good at solving problems then it shouldn't be an issue good luck!
A-123St — 27/09/16
So if you were aiming for an A, biology would be easier? Or is there a lot less to learn in physics?
ella2k1 — 28/09/16
Hey, I'm doing my leaving cert this year, and I'm doing physics and applied maths. I would say it depends on what you have a preference for. If you like the mathematical side of things go for physics, but if you enjoy the theory side of things and you don't mind memorising loads of stuff go for biology. The biology course is longer but the physics course is tougher ( this is according to my friend who does all three sciences).
E.Devitt — 28/09/16
If your're interested in computer science I'd recommend physics and applied maths. I picked all my subjects for computer science or engineering and now I'm aiming for medicine and I don't do chemistry or biology. So the subjects you do at lc aren't vitally important but still try and link to the course you want
A-123St — 29/09/16
Are the two subjects difficult if you don't love maths? I don't mind it and I get good grades, but it's not one of my favourite subjects.
shanemacken2000 — 29/09/16
I despise Maths but I love Physics so it is a tough call. Bio as far as I know can be a right pain
A-123St — 30/09/16
I was thinking of trying out physics and biology on Khan Academy to see which I like better, even though it's not based exactly on the Irish curriculum, it should give me some idea I hope.
abigailf — 23/12/16
I do applied maths, biology and physics. I would honestly say do all three as they're a really easy combo! I get A's in all of my biology exams whereas I get B's in physics and applied maths. Biology is definitely an easier A, but its not a subject you don't have to study for. You'll want to like it as well. My brother does computer science in college and he says there's a ton of maths and physics in his course. There's no biology naturally. I'd strongly suggest doing all three for points purposes or applied maths and physics if you only want to do two of them.
abigailf — 23/12/16
Although if you wanted an A in either biology or physics, do biology, physics can be a tricky one for an A sometimes
A-123St — 23/12/16
I do want to get As, and I know I'd be able for biology, since it is just learning a lot. I'm not sure whether I'd be able to get As in physics and applied maths though. I get As in HL JC maths, but it's not my favourite subject, and I tend to get As in all of my subjects so it's hard to tell whether I have an aptitude for maths.
MamaC — 17/01/17
If you want to do Computer Science - Physics & Applied Maths would be time better spent than on memorizing for biology - They develop your analytical thinking and if you are naturally good at maths that would path a more logical choice - you can always read the parts of biology you are interested in later - or relax watching National Geographic. I had never done physics or higher level maths when I went back to University as a mature student and I had a LOT of extra work to do, but I was excellent at biology in school - not so at University - they say you don't have to be able to draw but that's not true - they penalized me for my diagrams. I also did computer science at Uni - both times - it was fascinating in the 80s and even more so in the 90s. Also for job prospects a Maths/Physics/Applied Maths background is much more valuable than biology unless you want to be a biologist - the skills transfer so much more easily into very diverse fields. Now I am a specialist in Maths for the STEM sector - if it comes easy to you - go for it. Best of luck whatever you decide.
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