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Thread: 11 or 13 units for the HSC? Drop Biology or nah?

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    Junior Member Frostguard's Avatar
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    Question 11 or 13 units for the HSC? Drop Biology or nah?

    Hey guys as the title suggests, should I drop Biology and have 11 units or keep it and have 13 units? Basically I've been debating for a while is Biology and whilst I 'like' the subject, I've performed awfully thougout the entire Prelim year and haven't gotten above 70% at all. I do English Advanced, General Maths, Biology, Legal Studies, Modern History and Economics = 12 units and I'm also picking up History Extension as my 13th unit. I'll list my assessments too, topic test (65%), research task (60%), prac exam (65%), topic test (66%), Prelim exams (53%) (this one killed me imao). Half yearly report =64/100 = 32/85

    Lemme list my own pros and cons-
    Pros-
    1. Even though I passed all my assessments, not surpassing 70% in any single assessment, damages my self-esteem because I'm able to get 90s in Legal and Modern and then there's Bio..... whenever I receive something back, I never feel happy with the mark.
    2. I don't really like my teacher, I mean she's good at teaching and socialises with the students but there's something about her personality which I kinda find unenjoyable, she's the kind of person who shows private details of marks, ranks and that sort of stuff to everyone when it should be kept hidden.. She's also more of a 'copy down the question on the board and we'll answer in 10 mins' without any real discussion
    3. I'll have less to worry about, 11 units give some me a lot more time to focus on my other subjects as opposed to 13 units. I also consider Bio as a bludge subject and I think of I think as a 'I'll do it but won't care about it' subject which isn't very good to be honest...
    4. I think the reason why I got 53% for my Prelim exams was because I wasn't motivated, I didn't go through past papers or utilised my textbook properly and maybe I could've done better? I try my best in this subject, making notes each week so I don't drown in content but it's still not good enough..

    Cons-
    1. It's the only Science I actually like (I'm a Humanities kid so I'm more essay writing based rather than science based lol)
    2. I always thought it was traditional as an Asian to do English, Maths and Science?
    3. Having at least one Science opens up certain career paths which would otherwise be closed off I go full Humanities subjects.
    4. The classroom environment is good, people ask me questions but I can't answer some of them because I don't understand and the people sitting around me make me feel like I belong in the classroom
    5. Having 13 units, to a lot of people, seems the easiest way to burn out because I'll be doing an extra unit, an extension, which mean more work and stress.

    Sorry for putting you guys through this but can you honestly tell me If i should drop Biology and do 11 units instead of keeping it and do 13 units? If I do keep it, will HSC Biology be better and more interesting because honestly Prelim Bio was hella dry and boring...
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    Re: 11 or 13 units for the HSC? Drop Biology or nah?

    Speaking from experience, the year 11 biology course is so boring and crap compared to year 12. I think if you do stick you would find it alot more interesting, and possibly this could improve your ranks.
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    New Member gallen88's Avatar
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    Re: 11 or 13 units for the HSC? Drop Biology or nah?

    Note: I don't do Biology so I can't really state whether it is interesting or not.

    Personally, I think you should discuss with your teacher, mention that you're planning to pick up History Extension. I'm in the same situation as you only with different subjects. At the end of the day it is your decision. You're doing History Extension as well so 13 units means you will have a lot of work. There has been multiple people in the past who have done well with 12 - 13 units for the HSC. However, ask yourself the following:

    1) Do you really enjoy the subject?
    2) Are you not motivated to put in more effort for studying Biology?
    3) Do you want to persue a career in science/Biology after highschool?

    If you said/thought yes to questions 1) and 3) then I would consider keeping it. If you answered no to all three questions or most importantly question 3) then consider dropping it.

    From what you have stated above, dropping Biology is a good consideration. You will have more time to work on your major work and other humanities subjects - which you are already doing well in. You have stated that you're not too motivated for Bio and very motivated for your other subjects. I suggest you spend more time on your other subjects, you're smashing them already from what it sounds like and if you continue working hard on your strengths you can do very well.

    It doesn't matter what subjects you do. If you work hard then you can achieve a very high ATAR, even 99.95, with any subject combination.

    Good luck!
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    Junior Member Frostguard's Avatar
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    Re: 11 or 13 units for the HSC? Drop Biology or nah?

    Quote Originally Posted by gallen88 View Post
    Note: I don't do Biology so I can't really state whether it is interesting or not.

    Personally, I think you should discuss with your teacher, mention that you're planning to pick up History Extension. I'm in the same situation as you only with different subjects. At the end of the day it is your decision. You're doing History Extension as well so 13 units means you will have a lot of work. There has been multiple people in the past who have done well with 12 - 13 units for the HSC. However, ask yourself the following:

    1) Do you really enjoy the subject?
    2) Are you not motivated to put in more effort for studying Biology?
    3) Do you want to persue a career in science/Biology after highschool?

    If you said/thought yes to questions 1) and 3) then I would consider keeping it. If you answered no to all three questions or most importantly question 3) then consider dropping it.

    From what you have stated above, dropping Biology is a good consideration. You will have more time to work on your major work and other humanities subjects - which you are already doing well in. You have stated that you're not too motivated for Bio and very motivated for your other subjects. I suggest you spend more time on your other subjects, you're smashing them already from what it sounds like and if you continue working hard on your strengths you can do very well.

    It doesn't matter what subjects you do. If you work hard then you can achieve a very high ATAR, even 99.95, with any subject combination.

    Good luck!
    Thanks gallen for replying with such detail!
    Yeah I've already told her I'm planning on doing 13 units, and she's surprised and hesitant because it's a huge workload and as for your three questions-
    1) Now that I think about it, I don't really enjoy the subject, I'm just doing it because I have too, it's like I don't hate it, but I don't love it either. I'll pay attention in class but may not absorb the information as much compared to my other subjects..
    2) I wouldn't say unmotivated, because I still do have some sort of passion for Biology, it's the only 'writing science' where I excel in writing paragraphs and detailed responses to earn marks. However, I've realised that Science requires me to get straight to the point, unlike Humanities subjects where I can just write whatever I want but not in this subject, I have to use the correct terminology or I won't gain the marks
    3) Basically the only two career paths that interest me are law and science, specifically Psychology, so to some extent, I do want to pursue Science after high school because I've always been interested in the human mind and why people do the things that they do and maybe HSC Biology will help aid my understanding in the anatomy of humans?

    You know, maybe I might keep Biology after all, I might even improve my marks, thanks buddy!
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    Junior Member Frostguard's Avatar
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    Re: 11 or 13 units for the HSC? Drop Biology or nah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zamura1 View Post
    Speaking from experience, the year 11 biology course is so boring and crap compared to year 12. I think if you do stick you would find it alot more interesting, and possibly this could improve your ranks.
    Thanks Zamura for responding! Yeah that's why I don't want to drop Bio because I'm basing my marks/ranks/experiences off Prelim Bio, which was incredibly dry and boring and my teacher did say that she thinks the HSC course is much more interesting especially with Communication and like I always say to my friends, your performance in your subject is dependent on your interest in the subject, maybe if I find the HSC course fun, I might even do better! Thanks again for taking your time to reply
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    The pessimistic optimist. BLIT2014's Avatar
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    Re: 11 or 13 units for the HSC? Drop Biology or nah?

    I'd probably keep it, you can always drop it but can't necessarily pick it up. Also as Zamura said, people typically find Biology more interesting in year 12.
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    New Member Itz_Gabi's Avatar
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    Re: 11 or 13 units for the HSC? Drop Biology or nah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frostguard View Post
    Thanks gallen for replying with such detail!
    Yeah I've already told her I'm planning on doing 13 units, and she's surprised and hesitant because it's a huge workload and as for your three questions-
    1) Now that I think about it, I don't really enjoy the subject, I'm just doing it because I have too, it's like I don't hate it, but I don't love it either. I'll pay attention in class but may not absorb the information as much compared to my other subjects..
    2) I wouldn't say unmotivated, because I still do have some sort of passion for Biology, it's the only 'writing science' where I excel in writing paragraphs and detailed responses to earn marks. However, I've realised that Science requires me to get straight to the point, unlike Humanities subjects where I can just write whatever I want but not in this subject, I have to use the correct terminology or I won't gain the marks
    3) Basically the only two career paths that interest me are law and science, specifically Psychology, so to some extent, I do want to pursue Science after high school because I've always been interested in the human mind and why people do the things that they do and maybe HSC Biology will help aid my understanding in the anatomy of humans?

    You know, maybe I might keep Biology after all, I might even improve my marks, thanks buddy!
    Sounds like a good plan! I've been feeling the exact way and have decided to keep Biology too. Good luck for the coming year!

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