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which alevel is better english lit or philosophy

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    (Original post by Sophie mac)
    I've heard that sometimes there's only 2 people in a philosophy class is that true/ is it a good or bad thing??
    Which is easier??
    What did they test you on in English lit (was it the same as GCSE with course work in a book a controlled poetry exam and a controlled exam on a book?)??
    In my class this year there was about 12 of us which I think is a good amount as it is small enough to be able to ask the teacher if you're not sure about something and be able to have one to one help if needed, but at the same time the group was large enough to be able to have discussions and debates which is a key part of the subject. As for having a class of say 2 people, this could have an impact on the discussion aspect of the course, yet I'd imagine you'd get even more help and assistance from your teachers which would be very useful as some of the course content can be difficult to understand at first. It all depends on how many people you would like to work in and what kind of class size would fit you best.

    In terms of which one I found easiest - obviously this is going to be subjective but hopefully still useful to you. Philosophy and Ethics is very much about learning the content including philosophers' arguments, responses and strengths and weaknesses. Although you also have to use essay writing skills including evaluating and using your own opinion, it is crucial that you learn and remember lots of details as ultimately you will have to write an essay on this. English, however, is more focused around your own opinion. For my course, all of the questions were structured like arguments which I thought was great as you could essentially take the question and answer it whichever way you wanted. Once you've read the set texts and done some work on them in class, it's up to you to read into them further and look at the wider ideas.
    In summary, I personally found English easier as other than remembering quotes from the texts, it was far less about memorising information and more about analysing and justifying your ideas.

    For my English Literature AS we had to study 1 book, 2 plays and a poem so slightly different to GCSE. All of this was assessed through 2 controlled exams at the end of the year where you are not allowed a copy of the texts - bear this in mind as you will have to know what you are studying quite well to write a good essay on them! I'm currently writing my coursework piece which is part of the A Level so this is something you would do in Year 13. For my exams we had a choice of two questions for the two plays and you had to pick which one you wanted to write an essay on. For the poem and the book we got an extract from the text and had to analyse it and write an essay from it. The questions are generally on themes/characters (quite like GCSE) but the ideas can be a lot wider then the basic ones you are used to in order to stretch you further.

    I hope this helped and just to say that this was what the subjects were like at my school for my exam boards, it obviously differs between schools so my experience won't be exactly like yours! Whatever subject you choose, I hope you enjoy it
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Updated: August 19, 2016
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