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4 a level essay bases subjects. a good idea?

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    • Thread Starter

    i have chosen to do

    english literature - ocr
    history - aqa
    classics - ocr
    psychology - aqa

    how hard is it to do 4 a levels?
    is it hard to do 4 essay based subjects at a level?
    what are your experiences with any of these subjects?
    anything will be helpful - including tips for these subjects

    Quite hard to cope with, unless you really enjoy essay writing. It is a lot of content to learn, don't underestimate that. It's probably worth taking something light such as Maths of ICT, just as an AS, to relieve stress closer to exam season.

    I took English Literature. I underestimated the amount of work that needs to be put in, as at GCSE I never really revised for my English exams, and still came out with decent grades. One of my friends took Sociology, History, Psychology and English Literature. She dropped English half way through the year because she couldn't handle the vast amount of content she had to learn.

    What are you thinking of doing after A levels?

    I take all essay subjects and its not too bad. When it comes to the step up to a level I feel like essay subjects don't feel it as much as others once you have nailed the essay technique.
    There is a lot of content but you can get away with manipulating the stuff you know to fit the questions you get given.

    Honestly so painful, think very carefully before you decide!!!

    As someone's who is currently doing 4 essay subjects (AQA History, Cambridge Pre-U English Lit, AQA Sociology, Edexcel Politics), it's hard. I'd mainly recommend it if you think you'll enjoy them most of them - I love all of my subjects, thank god, but I have friends who only like one or two and find it really difficult to keep up. It'll be a lot of content either way, but enjoying your subjects helps so much when it comes to studying them.

    Warning, however - you will probably lose feeling in your hand during exams. I'm lucky in that I have extra time and rest breaks (both of which are ridiculously helpful in this context) but if you don't then you're going to have to work really hard to keep within the timings for the larger questions. You should definitely be revising throughout the year, for the sake of not dying when study leave comes around because of the amount of content, and ask your teachers if you can do extra essay questions outside of homework - it's not necessary but it's really useful, especially if you're like me and get one of your subjects (for me, it was Sociology) not setting much homework or practise questions and then getting stuck on the technique - which is literally one of the most important things you'll learn and believe me chances are you're going to need to revise that as well, as that helps a ton when it comes to getting marks in the final exams.

    Also, find out if they still have coursework. You're going to need to do extra reading regardless (knowing facts outside of the specification really helps when it comes to making points) so it helps if you can widen that beyond what's in the exams and if you do that earlier, all the better. It also helps with regards to scheduling - if you have coursework from multiple subjects due in around the same time, you need to figure out when you're doing one or the other so you don't end up rushing a ton of work at last minute.

    Last point - you've probably heard this a million times by now, but A Levels are way harder than GCSEs. Which is why I recommend you only do it if you enjoy most/all of them - it is so much easier to deal with the step up in difficulty if you don't find the curriculum a drag. Four essay subjects in particular is really hard, so I'd consider it a lot (which you've probably already done, let's be honest) and then consider it even more - do you think you can keep up with the work? It's not impossible to be set (again, in my case) four different 20/25 mark questions in one week, and given each one can take over an hour... Let's just say you really need to consider what you do outside of school and whether you'll be able to cope with that on top of, potentially, all that homework and coursework.
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