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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Last edited by TashaEmily; 30-07-2012 at 12:08.