HeyThereHarry
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I'm thinking of taking Spanish as an A-Level when I go to college since I'm doing extremely well with GCSE, and the exam board my local college uses for Spanish is AQA. I was wondering if any of you have had experience with the course and whether you enjoyed it or not. Were the topics good? Did you have to write essays? How did you find it? How were the exams?

:-) Thanks in advance!
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.snowflake.
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speaking as an A2 German candidate - the topics covered and what the exams are like are the same in both french, german and spanish. AQA also recycle the questions around the languages. The AS ones are more similar to GCSE for the current Y12's than they were for us. Popular culture, media, sport & healthy living and Family, friends and relationships are the topics studied at AS.

At A2 its the environment, multicultural society and contempory social issues. They are a lot more interesting than they sound. For the last topic, studying biology/ being friends with someone who does biology is helpful - part of it is on GM foods and stem cells. You also choose 2 cultural topics to study such as a piece of literature, a region, a period of history. Essays are written at both AS and A2. At AS they can be on any of the topics studied, whilst at A2, they're only on the cultural topics.

How did I find it? Periods of I love this language, I get it, I've come really far, I understand loads more grammar/ vocab. Interspersed with 'Stupid language, the grammar doesnt make any sense. WHY have I applied to do this at uni??'
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HeyThereHarry
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(Original post by .snowflake.)
speaking as an A2 German candidate - the topics covered and what the exams are like are the same in both french, german and spanish. AQA also recycle the questions around the languages. The AS ones are more similar to GCSE for the current Y12's than they were for us. Popular culture, media, sport & healthy living and Family, friends and relationships are the topics studied at AS.

At A2 its the environment, multicultural society and contempory social issues. They are a lot more interesting than they sound. For the last topic, studying biology/ being friends with someone who does biology is helpful - part of it is on GM foods and stem cells. You also choose 2 cultural topics to study such as a piece of literature, a region, a period of history. Essays are written at both AS and A2. At AS they can be on any of the topics studied, whilst at A2, they're only on the cultural topics.

How did I find it? Periods of I love this language, I get it, I've come really far, I understand loads more grammar/ vocab. Interspersed with 'Stupid language, the grammar doesnt make any sense. WHY have I applied to do this at uni??'
Thank-you for sharing your experience! Very useful! How long do the essays normally have to be?
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.snowflake.
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(Original post by Hazwaz7)
Thank-you for sharing your experience! Very useful! How long do the essays normally have to be?
It depends. At AS, the exam board recommends you to write more than 200 words. By the time I resat the written paper in this summer, I was easily doing double that. At A2, they recommend 250 words+, was consistantly writing essays 700 words+ on the history topic we studied. Sound horrendous, but once you get into the question, you realise you have loads to say. One thing I will warn you to do is to not let your level of grammar slip between now and september. I did, spent all of my AS year trying to rectify that, and pick up an awful lot of new grammar. Had the lightbulb moment in terms of grammar just after xmas this year, (WHY couldnt this have happened just before my AS exam??) and it was that sudden sir actually commented because my accuracy in my essays had improved dramatically and wanted to know what I'd been doing.
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HeyThereHarry
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(Original post by .snowflake.)
It depends. At AS, the exam board recommends you to write more than 200 words. By the time I resat the written paper in this summer, I was easily doing double that. At A2, they recommend 250 words+, was consistantly writing essays 700 words+ on the history topic we studied. Sound horrendous, but once you get into the question, you realise you have loads to say. One thing I will warn you to do is to not let your level of grammar slip between now and september. I did, spent all of my AS year trying to rectify that, and pick up an awful lot of new grammar. Had the lightbulb moment in terms of grammar just after xmas this year, (WHY couldnt this have happened just before my AS exam??) and it was that sudden sir actually commented because my accuracy in my essays had improved dramatically and wanted to know what I'd been doing.
Okay, that's kind of what I was expecting. Would you say you were well prepared to write the exam essays? Do you learn enough vocabulary through the year to be able to answer the essay questions well?
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.snowflake.
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(Original post by Hazwaz7)
Okay, that's kind of what I was expecting. Would you say you were well prepared to write the exam essays? Do you learn enough vocabulary through the year to be able to answer the essay questions well?
Yes. my german teacher translated all of the past history topic essay titles from the french and spanish papers into german, so we had essay titles coming out of our ears.
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HeyThereHarry
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(Original post by .snowflake.)
Yes. my german teacher translated all of the past history topic essay titles from the french and spanish papers into german, so we had essay titles coming out of our ears.
Okay. Thanks for answering all my questions! I think I'll definitely take Spanish A-Level
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LauraEmilyT
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(Original post by Hazwaz7)
Okay. Thanks for answering all my questions! I think I'll definitely take Spanish A-Level
I do OCR, but my school is changing up aqa in sept this year. We did a past paper of aqa and my self + my fellow classmates all found the aqa a hell of a lot easier. It is a step up from gcse I got a B at gcse my reading & listening let me down.


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VickyDoodle
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Just completed AQA Spanish A-level,so here's my input
Once you get a grip on grammar it's not too bad - get ready to memorise points till ypu can memorise no more. you're penalised for memorising points for speaking but if you do enough practising you find the exam really easy - it's just your opinions after all! In AS your spoken slso has a chosen topic so it's a nice way of getting your nightmare topic over and done with.
At A2 you need to practise debates on the topics you study, again once you go through it a lot it starts to cone naturally. The written also gets easy after you practise, the A2 is more specialised (on your cultural topic,probably) but that also can make it seem less scary as you know vaguely what it'll be about!
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LauraEmilyT
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(Original post by VickyDoodle)
Just completed AQA Spanish A-level,so here's my input
Once you get a grip on grammar it's not too bad - get ready to memorise points till ypu can memorise no more. you're penalised for memorising points for speaking but if you do enough practising you find the exam really easy - it's just your opinions after all! In AS your spoken slso has a chosen topic so it's a nice way of getting your nightmare topic over and done with.
At A2 you need to practise debates on the topics you study, again once you go through it a lot it starts to cone naturally. The written also gets easy after you practise, the A2 is more specialised (on your cultural topic,probably) but that also can make it seem less scary as you know vaguely what it'll be about!
Do u mind me asking what grade u got gcse & as?


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VickyDoodle
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(Original post by LauraEmilyT)
Do u mind me asking what grade u got gcse & as?


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A* at GCSE, then got a B (6 marks off, my essay got me as I went slightly off-point) at AS, but re-took the written in January to bring it up to an A. Now hoping to carry on at uni!
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LauraEmilyT
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(Original post by VickyDoodle)
A* at GCSE, then got a B (6 marks off, my essay got me as I went slightly off-point) at AS, but re-took the written in January to bring it up to an A. Now hoping to carry on at uni!
Wow! I only got a B at gcse :/ I'll find my AS in like 2 weeks time so I'll see then *fingers crossed*


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HeyThereHarry
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Thanks for some more comments, guys. I'm hoping for an A or A* in gcse overall. I've completed all my controlled assessments and have full marks in them all, so I only have to survive the reading and listening exams. Hopefully they won't be too bad when I do them next year.

Again, thanks for sharing your experiences! I just like to know what I'm getting into before I actually decided on things :P
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TheLightBulb
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Hi - I'm going to be doing A level Spanish next year on te AQA board too!

I'm also predicted A/A* at GCSE and I really love Spanish! I find the speaking units the hardest though - what about you?

I spoke to my Spanish teacher and he said that it's mostly the stuff you did for GCSE - just te exam format is different, there are a few more grammar things to learn and there are more topics to read/talk/write about


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HeyThereHarry
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(Original post by TheLightBulb)
Hi - I'm going to be doing A level Spanish next year on te AQA board too!

I'm also predicted A/A* at GCSE and I really love Spanish! I find the speaking units the hardest though - what about you?

I spoke to my Spanish teacher and he said that it's mostly the stuff you did for GCSE - just te exam format is different, there are a few more grammar things to learn and there are more topics to read/talk/write about


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Hi! Haha for me the writing, speaking and reading are all okay. It's my listening skills that I need to work on! I weirdly love learning new grammar rules so hopefully that'll be fun.

I just hope that it won't be too hard for me. I mean, I'm doing fantastically at gcse and really truly love it. But, I fear that if A-level ends up being to difficult then I may begin to hate the subject that I used to like most
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TheLightBulb
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(Original post by Hazwaz7)
Hi! Haha for me the writing, speaking and reading are all okay. It's my listening skills that I need to work on! I weirdly love learning new grammar rules so hopefully that'll be fun.

I just hope that it won't be too hard for me. I mean, I'm doing fantastically at gcse and really truly love it. But, I fear that if A-level ends up being to difficult then I may begin to hate the subject that I used to like most
Same - a level has so much more vocal to learn and the people speak so much faster- the aqa Spanish board exam looks ok ish but the speaking... Fluently speaking for 5minutes by myself is going to be hard :/

I find I love reading - it's like reading and dicephering a code and I love trying to find out what the message is


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.snowflake.
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(Original post by TheLightBulb)
Same - a level has so much more vocal to learn and the people speak so much faster- the aqa Spanish board exam looks ok ish but the speaking... Fluently speaking for 5minutes by myself is going to be hard :/

I find I love reading - it's like reading and dicephering a code and I love trying to find out what the message is


This was posted from TheLightbulbKid - voicing an opinion and attempting to give advice
the speaking seems really, really scary and horrible at first. I'll agree with that, did awful in it at AS the first time. But by A2, it wont be so bad because you'll be reasonably well prepared for 2/3rds of the exam (the two cultural topics), so you'll know exactly what you want to say, and how to say it. I went from scraping a C at AS, to discussing the death penalty and whether i thought the plot or the language was more important in Der Vorleser.
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HeyThereHarry
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The only reason I'm okay at speaking at gcse is because we get to write and memorise it beforehand! I doubt I'll be as good when making it up on the spot. I don't know.

My favourite thing about Spanish is translating and figuring out what things mean as well! Haha

I really hope I do well in a-level Spanish because, even though I probably will not need Spanish for my career (whatever that may be — I still have no idea!), if I choose to go to university I'll need to do well in all of my a-levels to be considered

The A-levels I'm thinking of taking are:
ICT, Spanish, Biology (maybe physics instead, not sure), and finally Psychology (maybe law instead).

As you can see, I'm kind of indecisive! What are you guys taking?
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TheLightBulb
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(Original post by Hazwaz7)
The only reason I'm okay at speaking at gcse is because we get to write and memorise it beforehand! I doubt I'll be as good when making it up on the spot. I don't know.

My favourite thing about Spanish is translating and figuring out what things mean as well! Haha

I really hope I do well in a-level Spanish because, even though I probably will not need Spanish for my career (whatever that may be — I still have no idea!), if I choose to go to university I'll need to do well in all of my a-levels to be considered

The A-levels I'm thinking of taking are:
ICT, Spanish, Biology (maybe physics instead, not sure), and finally Psychology (maybe law instead).

As you can see, I'm kind of indecisive! What are you guys taking?
Oh lucky you being allowed to plan it beforehand!

Me too :/ I'm doing maths, chem, Spanish and history/ICT.

What year are you in?


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LauraEmilyT
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(Original post by TheLightBulb)
Oh lucky you being allowed to plan it beforehand!

Me too :/ I'm doing maths, chem, Spanish and history/ICT.

What year are you in?


This was posted from TheLightbulbKid - voicing an opinion and attempting to give advice
I do OCR, awaiting AS result, the speaking for that is like gcse you control it all inc. the Q u give the teacher/ examiner. Then memorise it all, however front understanding aqa is harder, the writing, reading & listening easier but speaking isn't as good, 'cos my school is changing from OCR to aqa this sept!



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