alphadawg
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I have decided to take Art as one of my A-levels. The reason being it's one of my hobbies and passions, and along with that a perfect job in the future would be something along the lines of a concept artist.

Anyway, I was wondering what I should expect of A level art and how different it is to GCSE - i was very dissapointed to get a C at GCSE... and anyone who has taken GCSE art will know its not the best of subjects, not skill-based at all, coursework is the only thing that really matters and they dont tell you until a few weeks before the end of year 11 - blah blah blah basically it was really stupid. Is A level Art the same as this or set out differently? I do not want to feel like ive failed again at the end of this A level because I didnt write down enough ideas or whatever. :rolleyes:
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manic_fuzz
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I don't actually do art, but it does seem to be judged a lot more on your actual artistic ability. Saying that, expect to be putting hours upon hours upon hours into your work. My friend recently got an A at AS, and many a times was she up till 4am just doing art :lol:
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alphadawg
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That sounds good! I would love for it to be judged more on artistic ability. that way i might actually enjoy it compared to GCSE.
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louiseyoung
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My friend did A Level Art, History, Physics and French, and she said that Art was the most demanding and time consuming of the lot, and even though she loves it, wishes that she'd never chose it for A Level, because she has been told that it's seriously damaged her chances of doing History at a top Uni. But then again, that's just her situation.
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Aspiringlawstudent
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Terminal unemployment.
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Marisa_Grace
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For me, unlike my other subjects, A Level Art wasn't much different from GCSE, apart from that I had to put even more work in than I had for GCSE.
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5015
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I have just taken Chemistry Biology Maths French and History for A level, I am fairly good at art, having achieved an A* at GCSE and was really upset i didn't continue with it however many of my friends did and only a few days in, they already have so much work - I think art is only useful as an A level if you wish to pursue it in further education - it is much the same as GCSE in terms of concepts and themes, the quantity is just much more. Personally, quality is fairly irrelevant as long asy ou have shown progression in your work
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Kai Hiwatari
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Its a big step up from GCSE in terms of quality of practical work and written work. Your written work and annotation has to be much more in depth than what you write at GCSE. And the quality of your ideas has to be good as well to show you're more mature than at GCSE and are really thinking about your work! The best advice I can give you though is just keep up with the work. I missed 1 day due to illness at AS and got so far behind because of it! Also do more than what the teachers/guidelines tell you to do. Thats where you get the extra marks =) Good luck!
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Oreon
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You should be aware that even after the hundreds of hours of work you'll need to put in to get any sort of decent grade (as the people above described), your grade is still uncertain. Last year the marks of ALL Art students were completely messed up at my college, with many predicted A*s getting Ds, and little chance of a re-mark. Art's a risk if you want a good grade, and it WILL be a massive time drain. I'm not sure it's much more skill based that GCSE Art either; the number of hoops you'll have to jump through, unnecessary annotations, subject studies and various other things unrelated to artistic skill is so great that it caused my dad to quit his job an an art teacher on principle!
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Ollie F
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(Original post by alphadawg)
I have decided to take Art as one of my A-levels. The reason being it's one of my hobbies and passions, and along with that a perfect job in the future would be something along the lines of a concept artist.

Anyway, I was wondering what I should expect of A level art and how different it is to GCSE - i was very dissapointed to get a C at GCSE... and anyone who has taken GCSE art will know its not the best of subjects, not skill-based at all, coursework is the only thing that really matters and they dont tell you until a few weeks before the end of year 11 - blah blah blah basically it was really stupid. Is A level Art the same as this or set out differently? I do not want to feel like ive failed again at the end of this A level because I didnt write down enough ideas or whatever. :rolleyes:
Hey! I just finished my a levels. I took Maths, Art, Physics, Psychology and dropped the psychology for A2. Got AAA and then art A* gcse so here's my perspective. The course I did was undendorsed, so it gave me liberty to work in any media, in any mixture.

I put a lot of work in GCSE and as you said, its mainly coursework. The same goes for A level except its more intense. I think what I noticed more was sticking to the specification as this is what your getting marked on. It tends to fall into, Ability to research and explore ideas, Skills development, skills exploration, and final synthesis. My teachers were slavedrivers and I don't feel gave me too much direction, so depending on your perspective that can be good or bad. They did help and check that I was working on time (which was never; always two weeks behind so it seemed) and if I had trouble they would always give me tutorials make sure I was maximising marks, more than once I was told what I was planning to do wasn't relevant enough to my initial ideas. I did 2 units over each year and the basic formula for me went something like this:

Given a theme i.e. Blackpool

Do research, maybe go on a field day, photos, internet, books, excetra, vast vast research.
Draw up initial ideas and make initial explorations, drawings, paintings, sketches from that.
Artist research, more exploration,
Technique exploration, development,
More research into a synthesised theme or idea, then devlopment of techniques, seeing what works, what doesn't work, more development, more exploration etc. etc. etc.
Then a final synthesis and final peice.

It takes HOURS, so for example my school had 9 schedules lessons fortnight, and on average I was spending 15 hours a week maybe 20-25 and possibly 30 towards the end of a2. I also did night classes because I didn't feel my painting or drawing abilities were that good. Out of all my subjects it was definetly the hardest and I wonder actually if I worked too hard seeing as I almost got an A* at A level, which is too stressful.

So differences from gcse? Lot more work, they expect to see you in the art department a lot more. The bar is raised on the quality of work. You use more materials and more media. But otherwise I found it was the same formula of work to gcse, as I described above. You develop it a lot further.

Hope that helps! Sorry if its a bit pessimistic, art traumatised me this May and I haven't yet gotten over it sure you'll be fine.
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ihatethispart
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I'm doing my A2 now, I can say that AS pretty much killed me, but that's because I was lazy and slow, resulting in super high stress near exam time.
I would say that you're gonna need to research a wider range of artists, they really care about experimentation and higher quality and quantity with the writing.

You may think the coursework is really stupid, but it's really important to develop your skills and to show that you actually have clear ideas and can express them both visually and in writing. Skills and technical ability are only so important when the ideas are weak, especially now that lots of uni course are all about being abstract and conceptual. I hated all the writing and put that off until the end, but this year I'll just have to suck it up. Doing Art History really helps you too.
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elliep24
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what are you doing at Uni?
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