Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey! Sign in to get help with your study questionsNew here? Join for free to post

Stepup between GCSEs and AS/A2?

Announcements Posted on
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I'm thinking about taking French, Spanish, Latin, English Lit and possibly Biology next year for my AS levels.

    I have done more detailed work in the languages than most schools (parents speak languages to me at home and my school is a language-specialised one - I have 12 hours of language lessons a week at least); we learn far more than is on the GCSE AQA syllabus, including the subjunctive tense and such. I'm predicted - and capable of - A*s in all the ones I'm thinking of taking. (Well, in all my subjects, but these are my best).

    I've never struggled with English either (not meaning to boast but it's true) nor biology, and in my English coursework (out of 80) scored 79. In my biology exams so far, I have missed two marks out of the total.

    However, I'm worried about the step up from GCSE. It seems to me that the GCSE courses are ridiculously easy - certainly in languages - and I'm not sure how hard the AS/A levels will be in comparison. I'm borderline fluent in Spanish and French, however.

    Any ideas from those who did those subjects? Thank you
    • 4 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    You will find it a lot of work to do 4 essay subjects, it would be strongly recommended to drop latin.
    • 4 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    The step from GCSE to A-Level is phenomenal. If you've consistently being achieving A/A* grades throughout your GCSEs, then you definitely have the potential to achieve A grades at A-Level, but you'll need to put in a lot of hard work to do so. I haven't personally studied languages at A-Level (I'm a science man), but I definitely found the step up difficult; don't make the mistake of thinking that because you were able to cruise through your GCSEs, you'll be able to do the same with your A-Levels!
    • 6 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    The gap from GCSE to AS in Languages isn't so bad... however, A2 is a LOT harder than AS and a lot of work is required in order to achieve a good grade, this is true for German anyway so I guess all languages will be pretty much the same
    • 4 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by JaguarCello)
    I'm thinking about taking French, Spanish, Latin, English Lit and possibly Biology next year for my AS levels.

    I have done more detailed work in the languages than most schools (parents speak languages to me at home and my school is a language-specialised one - I have 12 hours of language lessons a week at least); we learn far more than is on the GCSE AQA syllabus, including the subjunctive tense and such. I'm predicted - and capable of - A*s in all the ones I'm thinking of taking. (Well, in all my subjects, but these are my best).

    I've never struggled with English either (not meaning to boast but it's true) nor biology, and in my English coursework (out of 80) scored 79. In my biology exams so far, I have missed two marks out of the total.

    However, I'm worried about the step up from GCSE. It seems to me that the GCSE courses are ridiculously easy - certainly in languages - and I'm not sure how hard the AS/A levels will be in comparison. I'm borderline fluent in Spanish and French, however.

    Any ideas from those who did those subjects? Thank you
    If I've learnt anything from the step up, its that a lower GCSE grade is a good predictor that a student might be bad at the A level. However, a good GCSE grade doesn't always guarantee a good A level grade. With all do respect it's getting frustrating seeing student say "I find GCSE so easy so I'll be good at A level too". I know that is not what you are saying, but I can't help but sense thats what your thought processing is going like, judging by some of the stuff you said in your post.

    Truth is, taking 5 AS levels is a lot. Too much, in my opinion. But then again if you say you are almost fluent in Spanish and French then perhaps they will genuinely be easy for you and require minimum work, in that case 5 might be okay. The step up is really huge. I didn't notice it so much at first, but soon realised as exams neared and the masses of revision started. The content is more, and the pace is quicker as everyone is generally expected to be the best candidates for the subjects they opt for by choice at A level. At GCSE, everything is relatively new. Things like languages and sciences are studied in primary and early secondary school, but experience exams in these subjects and discover real talents for certain subjects isn't found until GCSEs. Therefore by A level it's common to assume the "best" at the subjects choose those subjects to take. That's partly why the pace is quicker, as well as the exams becoming harder and content becoming a lot more advanced. Sometimes at GCSE, I found myself not really being good at some topics, or not fully understanding something, but just writing down what I thought an examiner wanted to see and hoping to get the marks.

    At A level it's a bit different. You can't do that so easily. It involves a real understanding of the topics being covered, at least some good enthusiasm, and ability to really keep up with work. Once you get behind, all hell breaks loose.

    If you wish GCSEs were a bit harder, then you won't be disappointed at A level put it that way. But it isn't impossible. The change to University is probably many times larger than the change to GCSEs to A levels, but one step at a time!

    You are clearly intelligent, so I wouldn't worry about finding A level too hard for you, just be prepared for a bit of an increase in difficulty and workload.

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: June 22, 2012
New on TSR

Single, dating or in a relationship?

Chat about your life and loves in our Relationships forum!

Article updates
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.