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English Lit A level

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    I am planning on being a barrister so for my A levels i need good academic subjects. I am currently debating wether or not to take English Lit for AS as i done it for GCSE but i am predicted a C (got a C in my language in Jan) so i done Foundation do you think this would be a disadvantage to me?
    also what does AS English contain what books do youu what do you do? how is it compared to GCSE?

    thanks for your help.
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    I'd speak to your teachers on results day see if they think you'd do well at the AS level. As if you wouldn't get the high grades necessary for law this could count against you. Although I would check on university websites to see what they require in regards to GCSE language and the AS that you plan to drop.

    As for literature it varies a lot as there are a lot of texts on the specification and it is up to each teacher as to what they want to teach. Although I can go through what I did at AS to give you an example of the level of texts you'll be studying.

    I was on AQA and for coursework I did 'Aspects of Tragedy' (my english teacher recently told me this has been changed to 'Aspects of Comedy') and you write two essays one on each text. I studied:
    Othello by William Shakespeare
    Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

    Then for the exam you study 'Aspects of Narrative' you'll write an essay on one text for half the marks and then an essay on the other three texts for the other half. For this I did:
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Enduring Love by Ian McEwan
    The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (poem) by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    Selected Works (poems - La Belle Dame San Mersi, The Eve of St Agnes and Lamia) by John Keats

    As for how AS compares to GCSE I wouldn't question that it's harder. You will study more texts in a lot more detail. The texts for the most part are significantly harder and you will have to apply concepts such as feminism and marxism to your texts to achieve the higher grades. However if your prepared to work then it's a great A Level to take. It is highly regarded by universities and I really enjoyed my lessons.

    I'd talk to your English teacher as to what they think you'd be able to achieve and see if that's the grade you want. I personally dropped my AS with a D and I'm hopefully studying English Literature and Language at Newcastle if I get AAB, so for most courses it shouldn't matter, but law courses are notoriously difficult to get on.


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    (Original post by scousegirl)
    I am planning on being a barrister so for my A levels i need good academic subjects. I am currently debating wether or not to take English Lit for AS as i done it for GCSE but i am predicted a C (got a C in my language in Jan) so i done Foundation do you think this would be a disadvantage to me?
    also what does AS English contain what books do youu what do you do? how is it compared to GCSE?

    thanks for your help.
    For Law, you typically need three As at A-level, in solid subjects. The most common of these are: Foreign Languages, English, and other Arts & Humanities such as History. Law/Politics at A-level is generally frowned upon as not everything is covered at this stage, and everything will be redone at university anyway.

    I don't mean to be condescending when I say that your written English isn't great - "as i done it for GCSE". Frankly, that's gonna be a big obstacle in your way to getting a good grade, as quality of writing and fluidity of an argument are key.

    Most scores from GCSE to AS-level drop slightly, and the jump from AS to Advanced usually results in a grade lower than anticipated. Therefore I would advise you to consider your options in great detail, because if you're going to want to do these subjects, then you're going to have to work a lot harder.

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Updated: July 30, 2012
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