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Are A-Levels hard?

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    Heya

    I am currently in the middle of Year 11, still taking my GCSE's. I have just finished picking subjects for my A-Levels, which are: Maths, English Literature, Economics, Philosophy and AS Psychology. My parents wanted me to do mainly mathematical and theoretical subjects like Physics, Further Maths etc... (coz I'm good at maths and calculating stuff), but I didn't want to go down that route. I am predicted 7A*'s and 2A's at GCSE's , and already achieved an A* and a B. The career route I would like to follow is either journalism or becoming a social entrepreneur I am interested in writing and stuff so I genuinely think that this is the sort of thing for me

    Apart from the good news, I have a lot of good friends that have been complaining about A-Levels and how it's completely different from GCSE's. I understand that it gets more challenging as it goes along but I know people that got straight A*'s at GCSE level but scrapped an E and below at A-Level. So my question is to those who are currently studying A-Levels, how much of a jump is it from GCSE's? Especially maths, how hard is it?? I have heard a lot of complaints, and at some point, people did tell me to drop maths for a different subject (but I enjoy maths, which is why I would want to do it for A-Level)

    Thanks a lot
    Rahma Hussein xx
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    I'm currently doing A Levels, and yes, A Levels are tough. Even A Levels such as Art and Design are tough, because they are so time consuming. I study English Literature as well and if you enjoy the subject, it doesn't feel like work anyway. GCSE's were just as difficult, because it requires just as much studying etc. I'm yet to experience A2 so I'll let you know in September 2012 time.
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    GCSE's are nothing compared to A levels. and A level Maths is good.
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    It differs. If you're good at the theoretical stuff, then you'll find the looser essay subjects --English Literature, Politics -- hard, but you'll find Maths, Physics, etc. quite manageable. This is what I've heard. Maths, Chemistry, and Physics will always be hard for me.
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    IT won't be hard. I fyou're getting A* in the subject at GCSE and you're in like the top 10 in your year for these subjects you would defo be fine. You can even do AS Maths in year 11. I am and it isn't that hard. It is a heck of a lot more interesting than GCSE Maths, even though at the time GCSE Maths was pretty enjoyable.
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    I was thinking the same thing im predicted 7A*s and 4 A's and B , choosing maths,biology,chemistry and economics for my a levels... but i known so many people that managed to fail there AS level and are retaking a year, but the shocking thing is they all did brilliant in there gcse. is anyone doing a level chem and how hard is it
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    I would like to say the gap from AS maths to A2 is pretty big imo I had to study a lot more for them and still got lower grades than AS it just that t require you to do a lot more for your marks :/
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    (Original post by justanotherindigo)
    Heya

    I am currently in the middle of Year 11, still taking my GCSE's. I have just finished picking subjects for my A-Levels, which are: Maths, English Literature, Economics, Philosophy and AS Psychology. My parents wanted me to do mainly mathematical and theoretical subjects like Physics, Further Maths etc... (coz I'm good at maths and calculating stuff), but I didn't want to go down that route. I am predicted 7A*'s and 2A's at GCSE's , and already achieved an A* and a B. The career route I would like to follow is either journalism or becoming a social entrepreneur I am interested in writing and stuff so I genuinely think that this is the sort of thing for me

    Apart from the good news, I have a lot of good friends that have been complaining about A-Levels and how it's completely different from GCSE's. I understand that it gets more challenging as it goes along but I know people that got straight A*'s at GCSE level but scrapped an E and below at A-Level. So my question is to those who are currently studying A-Levels, how much of a jump is it from GCSE's? Especially maths, how hard is it?? I have heard a lot of complaints, and at some point, people did tell me to drop maths for a different subject (but I enjoy maths, which is why I would want to do it for A-Level)

    Thanks a lot
    Rahma Hussein xx
    Yes.
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    In my experience I found that A levels (obviously) are harder than GCSE. To get where you are now with those predictions suggest two possibilities:

    A) you work really hard to make sure you get all the work done and know all the content
    B) you are just naturally clever and don't work too hard

    For me, the difference in A level is that you can't get away with coasting. It's 60% effort 40% brains. As long as you apply yourself and dedicate extra time to learning the content, A level will be fine. It will seem like a step up at first but if you keep at it, it becomes perfectly managable to you.

    Good luck!
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    School/College/University is not hard.

    People just like to make facebook/twitter updates like "Probably should be doing coursework" / "Year 11's are so naive saying they can't wait till college, believe me, its hell!" / "Me and monday mornings don't like each other. I hate the 8:30 start at college " / "College drags out my life" which give people the illusion that it's actually in any way difficult. It's all in your head.

    These people just like to write these generic boring **** status updates to get as many likes/retweets as possible.

    You'll sail through doing no work and revising a good 2-3 days before the exams.

    Don't believe the hype.
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    They're harder than GCSE's in that there is loads to learn but in the same time frame, and there is more focus on understanding than basic knowledge recall. You are also expected to do a lot more independent work which is good because it prepares you for uni I actually prefer AS Maths to GCSE Maths, it's so much more interesting and satisfying when you get it right I am more a scientific person and I find chem and biology difficult but manageable, then I find Maths the easiest of them, then my more arty essay based Spanish is by far my hardest AS...
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    Well, I did much better in my A-Levels than in my GCSEs but this was mainly due to the fact that I only started working hard when I started sixth forrm. After studying A-Level English lit and history, I noticed that there was not a substantial gap between them - merely in the amount of reading/knowledge required. For example, I used the exact same exam techniques acquired from GCSE history to fulfil A-Level history and I came out with an A* at A-Level after having achieved an A at GCSE.
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    (Original post by GreenLantern1)
    IT won't be hard. I fyou're getting A* in the subject at GCSE and you're in like the top 10 in your year for these subjects you would defo be fine. You can even do AS Maths in year 11. I am and it isn't that hard. It is a heck of a lot more interesting than GCSE Maths, even though at the time GCSE Maths was pretty enjoyable.
    Heya And thanks for your comment!

    I did IT Short Course at GCSE and I have dropped it because the teacher was irresponsible and lost my coursework(s). So at the end, I got a D. ICT is not the thing for me because I just find it a waste of time. Maths I also enjoy. I can't start AS Maths now because I haven't finished GCSE Maths. I am predicted an A* for maths and a lot of people have advised me to do it at A-Level (including my parents). What sort of stuff do you learn at A-Level maths? I heard that it is sort of an extension of GCSE stuff I wish you the best of luck, and have you by any chance got any revision tips for maths. Got my Unit 2 exam on the 5th March 2012.

    Thanks
    xx
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    In my opinion, yes they really really are hard. I'm not the most academic person admittedly, but I STILL haven't gotten over the shock of A levels. And maths is really really tough... there's no comparison between GCSE Maths and A level Maths. With grades like that though, I'm sure you'll be fine.
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    It's a big jump and you have to be prepared to spend up to 10 hours a week per subject studying, that includes; lessons, homework, coursework, writing up notes, going over stuff you don't full understand or can't fully remember. But it's doable, lots of people get As . . . BUT 5 subjects aren't necessary. it doesn't really benefit you. It just gives you more work, stress and exams and uni offers are based around 3/3.5 a-levels. If the requirements are AABc then you probably won't get onto the course if you get ABBCd which is what you risk doing . . . especially the people that can breeze through GCSEs with little effort but still get As risk thinking they can do the same for a-levels. YOU CAN'T, so many people with good gcses end up retaking year 12, don't let that happen to you.
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    Not really. Only a bit harder than GCSEs (keeping in mind you will be 2 years older) but the biggest difference is in the effort required - that's why some straight A* GCSE students sometimes struggle.
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    doing five A levels will be really hard, even if you plan to keep one just as an AS. at my sixth form, they won't let you take five unless you can prove yourself capable, and i'm sure many other schools have a similar system. taking your career choices into decision, do you think it would be more beneficial for you to do media studies? it's an easier subject to do as well, in terms of exams/revision. if i were you, i'd lose one and swap another for media (maybe psychology, economics or maths?), but i guess with your parents expecting you to do all mathsy/sciency subjects it could be a bit awkward. but at the end of the day, these are YOUR choices and they're going to effect your life, not theirs!
    just going by my experience here, but i have several friends who took maths, only one continued it to a full A level and many dropped out. apparently, over half of the class got Us and Es for their AS, even though they got As at GCSE! so only do maths if you really want to haha.
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    yes, they are hard but not impossible. If you get organised and make sure you work independantly then they're doable. With A-levels you can't blag your way through them and expect to get A*s so it's best to work the hardest you can in order to do the best. Best of luck
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    (Original post by pink pineapple)
    yes, they are hard but not impossible. If you get organised and make sure you work independantly then they're doable. With A-levels you can't blag your way through them and expect to get A*s so it's best to work the hardest you can in order to do the best. Best of luck
    ...
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    Gone into second year now, and personally I would say none of my subjects (Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry) required anymore work than at GCSE. If anything, I revised less for Physics and Maths than I did for GCSE. However, it is completely personal. Put the work in during the year, keep up with homework, and revise efficiently and you can easily pull off straight A-A*s, (this is in the more theoretical subjects), because at the end of the day it (sadly) comes down to how well you can regurgitate. A lot of people may feel differently to me, and it is purely opinion, but that's my view.

    In terms of anything essay based, the workload seems much heavier. I get an assignment for maths every 3-4 weeks, and have to just keep up with notes in my sciences, and I get by on homework. However, I know people taking essay subjects (such as History) who get an essay per week, which for me would just bore me to death. History is great, and I would have taken it, given the opportunity to take 5, meaning I would have taken 4 of my 5 A* GCSE subjects on. I would really recommend taking maths, as it is a nice standard A level that if you do well in, looks good. After that, it's up to you. I would be biased to say TAKE PHYSICS, IT'S AWESOME, but hey, I like Physics.

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Updated: March 3, 2012
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