Taking French GCSE, then AS a year early? :s Watch

Lainathiel
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Hi,

So, I am trying to decide whether to take my French GCSE this year (I'm in year 10), and then take AS next year, or not. This was the teacher's idea, as I've gotten A*s in all the past papers and controlled assessments that I've done this year, and they think that I would be fine taking the proper exams this summer. However, if I do take AS, it will have to be primarily self-taught, as due to timetabling issues I cannot be included into the sixth form class, and my classmates doing their GCSE will of course need to be prioritised.

What I was wondering was, how difficult is the AS? Is it a big jump from GCSE work, or will I be able to do it with half self-teaching? I don't particularly want to take the GCSE exam as I should in year 11, as to be honest the class is quite boring and I'd like something more difficult to do. :s

Also, would it look at all better having an additional AS/A-level with my qualifications? I mean, would it at all appear significant to universities, or will it not make much of a difference?

Thank you
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Data
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(Original post by Lainathiel)
Hi,

So, I am trying to decide whether to take my French GCSE this year (I'm in year 10), and then take AS next year, or not. This was the teacher's idea, as I've gotten A*s in all the past papers and controlled assessments that I've done this year, and they think that I would be fine taking the proper exams this summer. However, if I do take AS, it will have to be primarily self-taught, as due to timetabling issues I cannot be included into the sixth form class, and my classmates doing their GCSE will of course need to be prioritised.

What I was wondering was, how difficult is the AS? Is it a big jump from GCSE work, or will I be able to do it with half self-teaching? I don't particularly want to take the GCSE exam as I should in year 11, as to be honest the class is quite boring and I'd like something more difficult to do. :s

Also, would it look at all better having an additional AS/A-level with my qualifications? I mean, would it at all appear significant to universities, or will it not make much of a difference?

Thank you
The step from GCSE to AS French (or German) is one of the biggest gaps amongst subjects. AS is significantly harder than GCSE (where you can get an A without any ability to communicate at all, just by rote learning) and I would counsel against doing it unless you are going to get decent teaching or loads of practice (e.g. because your Mum is French). An early AS with a D would NOT be an advantage.
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Lainathiel
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(Original post by Data)
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Okay, thanks, that was really what I wanted to know. One thing the teacher did suggest was that I be given AS-level work, but not sit the exam if I'm not ready, which from what you say is almost certain. I know that's a bit of a waste of time if I'm not going to do the exam, but I suppose I would at least get some practice beforehand. :dontknow:
Thanks, anyway.
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Lexxaa
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(Original post by Lainathiel)
Okay, thanks, that was really what I wanted to know. One thing the teacher did suggest was that I be given AS-level work, but not sit the exam if I'm not ready, which from what you say is almost certain. I know that's a bit of a waste of time if I'm not going to do the exam, but I suppose I would at least get some practice beforehand. :dontknow:
Thanks, anyway.
Like someone said, it's a big step so you could find an alternative. I don't know how it's with your school, but mine offered a one year GCSE course, so you get 2 GCSE's in 2 years, maybe that could happen. I doubt that due to timetable issues.
So If you want to take A levels in Sixth Form, than do the As level work, but don't do the exam unless you're gonna be super genius aka really good at it. See how you do in your actual French exams too.
If you don't want to take French A level, just use that time for revising for other subjects
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Lainathiel
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(Original post by Lexxaa)
Like someone said, it's a big step so you could find an alternative. I don't know how it's with your school, but mine offered a one year GCSE course, so you get 2 GCSE's in 2 years, maybe that could happen. I doubt that due to timetable issues.
So If you want to take A levels in Sixth Form, than do the As level work, but don't do the exam unless you're gonna be super genius aka really good at it. See how you do in your actual French exams too.
If you don't want to take French A level, just use that time for revising for other subjects
Hey, sorry for the late reply. That's a lot of help, thanks. I asked my teacher about that and she suggested that I try Italian, as I am taking both French and Spanish at the moment; I'll keep having a think about it.

Thank you guys for your help!
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mitchellshazia
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I realise this is a different subject and so the same is not necessarily true - but I am in the same situation for Maths and am taking AS Maths this year, primarily self-taught. It's turned out that those who were just quite good at GCSE have done really quite badly in this - but people who worked hard and are good Maths have done fine. If you apply the same to doing AS French, based on what you've said, you should be fine - just make sure you're doing a bit of work every few days until the exam.

Also, presumably if you do badly you can retake in Year 12 being taught properly anyway? So seems to be worth a go to me.
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Data
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(Original post by mitchellshazia)
I realise this is a different subject and so the same is not necessarily true - but I am in the same situation for Maths and am taking AS Maths this year, primarily self-taught. It's turned out that those who were just quite good at GCSE have done really quite badly in this - but people who worked hard and are good Maths have done fine. If you apply the same to doing AS French, based on what you've said, you should be fine - just make sure you're doing a bit of work every few days until the exam.

Also, presumably if you do badly you can retake in Year 12 being taught properly anyway? So seems to be worth a go to me.
40% of the AS is the oral, and this is very hard to teach yourself, or practise by yourself. My eldest got an A in AS Maths in Y11, but says he could never have done it for French (though he did get an A in Y12).
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mitchellshazia
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(Original post by Data)
40% of the AS is the oral, and this is very hard to teach yourself, or practise by yourself. My eldest got an A in AS Maths in Y11, but says he could never have done it for French (thought he did get an A in Y12).
But she will still have a teacher - she will just have to teach herself certain parts, she won't be completely abandoned.

And as I said, I think worth a go anyway since I assume she will have another chance - and even if she doesn't get an A first time around it will make it much easier for her in Year 12.
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Lexxaa
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(Original post by Lainathiel)
Hey, sorry for the late reply. That's a lot of help, thanks. I asked my teacher about that and she suggested that I try Italian, as I am taking both French and Spanish at the moment; I'll keep having a think about it.

Thank you guys for your help!
Do you want to be come a translator or something close to that? If so you'll have a good background. If you have enough time than do it, but if you don't enjoy it or don't want to put up with extra work than just use that time for revising. Once you get to do all the exams, that time will be needed.

Anyway, Good Luck with Italian or whatever you decide to do.
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Lainathiel
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(Original post by Lexxaa)
Do you want to be come a translator or something close to that? If so you'll have a good background. If you have enough time than do it, but if you don't enjoy it or don't want to put up with extra work than just use that time for revising. Once you get to do all the exams, that time will be needed.

Anyway, Good Luck with Italian or whatever you decide to do.
Haha, not really! I originally took languages because I was reasonably good at it and I found it fun; I have no desire to do it as a career though! I'll have a serious think about how much time I'll have come exam season. Thank you so much for the advice!
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Lainathiel
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(Original post by mitchellshazia)
I realise this is a different subject and so the same is not necessarily true - but I am in the same situation for Maths and am taking AS Maths this year, primarily self-taught. It's turned out that those who were just quite good at GCSE have done really quite badly in this - but people who worked hard and are good Maths have done fine. If you apply the same to doing AS French, based on what you've said, you should be fine - just make sure you're doing a bit of work every few days until the exam.

Also, presumably if you do badly you can retake in Year 12 being taught properly anyway? So seems to be worth a go to me.
(Original post by Data)
40% of the AS is the oral, and this is very hard to teach yourself, or practise by yourself. My eldest got an A in AS Maths in Y11, but says he could never have done it for French (though he did get an A in Y12).
Ah, I didn't realise that such a large percentage was the oral exam. Whilst I could understand taking AS maths early, for it is the skills that are required and could theoretically be self-taught if the student is intelligent enough, I agree that I probably wouldn't be able to practise speaking enough with another person to get the grade I want. What I might do is take the GCSE a year early as planned, then work on harder work for year 11; that way, I'll get some more difficult work in, but I am not necessarily obliged to take the AS exam also early.

Again, thank you guys for your help.
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Data
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(Original post by Lainathiel)
Ah, I didn't realise that such a large percentage was the oral exam.
Oops, just noticed my typo. The oral is 30%, not 40%.
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Lexxaa
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(Original post by Lainathiel)
Haha, not really! I originally took languages because I was reasonably good at it and I found it fun; I have no desire to do it as a career though! I'll have a serious think about how much time I'll have come exam season. Thank you so much for the advice!
Regardless it's nice to have a paper saying that you can speak/write etc in foreign language aka a GCSE certificate with a good grade.
I am sick and tired of languages, learning English was enough for me (I am foreign ) and now French, ugh. We have a French speaking exam coming up and I suck at speaking exams . When I was in yr 10 all we did for French was one part of the writing exam and that was it, it didn't even count >.<! We had to do it all again this year. :rolleyes:

Whatever career you want to do, it always good to have something that makes you stand you Do you have an idea yet? Or are you not sure ?
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Lainathiel
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(Original post by Lexxaa)
Regardless it's nice to have a paper saying that you can speak/write etc in foreign language aka a GCSE certificate with a good grade.
I am sick and tired of languages, learning English was enough for me (I am foreign ) and now French, ugh. We have a French speaking exam coming up and I suck at speaking exams . When I was in yr 10 all we did for French was one part of the writing exam and that was it, it didn't even count >.<! We had to do it all again this year. :rolleyes:

Whatever career you want to do, it always good to have something that makes you stand you Do you have an idea yet? Or are you not sure ?
Wow; so, including your native language, you can speak 3?! That's awesome! I really want to do medicine, which is one reason for taking my exams early, because I know the A-levels that I'll have to take are pretty much standard. However then there's the point that as medicine is so competitive, it is best to have a small number of qualifications but with the highest grades that you can achieve, rather than a large number of mediocre ones. What about you; what are you studying at the moment?
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Lexxaa
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(Original post by Lainathiel)
Wow; so, including your native language, you can speak 3?! That's awesome! I really want to do medicine, which is one reason for taking my exams early, because I know the A-levels that I'll have to take are pretty much standard. However then there's the point that as medicine is so competitive, it is best to have a small number of qualifications but with the highest grades that you can achieve, rather than a large number of mediocre ones. What about you; what are you studying at the moment?
Well, I wouldn't say I know 3 languages. I can speak fluently 2, but there's no way I can speak French properly haha. I have a speaking assessment coming up and I just want to run away, because I hate speaking. :rolleyes:

Oh wow me too. I am not 100 % certain about medicine, but it's mostly likely. If not a surgeon than a pharmacologist or something along those lines. A scientist of some kind involving the human body etc.

Well the "standard" A level for Medicine is obviously Chemistry, Biology is only required by some universities, but it might as well be compulsory. I don't really see the point of becoming a doctor without the knowledge of anatomy and how the body works. If you want to become a doctor you most likely want to study biology at A level anyway. Maybe I am wrong, but that's my opinion. Also, if you want to go to Oxbridge you need Physics or Maths at A level.

I am currently in Yr 11 so right now preparing for the huge amount of exams (yay.. ). I have 2 Maths exams and Chemistry exam in 3 weeks, then about 10 ish in May/June. Also I already chose my A levels and waiting for an offer on 10th February, I will die if I don't get in . I chose Biology, Chemistry, Physics and History.

If you want to talk just message me :P
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Butterfly9595
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Take the GCSE if you're ready - I'd hesitate before taking up AS as it may affect your other results - you could look into doing the ASSET language qualification at the appropriate level in French next year though? It ranges through a lot of different levels, but at my school if people decide to drop a language halfway through AS then they sit an ASSET language test at a level between GCSE and AS so that the 4/5/6 months work they do doesn't go to waste - maybe this would be easier to take alongside your other GCSEs?


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erincutiez08
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(Original post by Lainathiel)
Hi,

So, I am trying to decide whether to take my French GCSE this year (I'm in year 10), and then take AS next year, or not. This was the teacher's idea, as I've gotten A*s in all the past papers and controlled assessments that I've done this year, and they think that I would be fine taking the proper exams this summer. However, if I do take AS, it will have to be primarily self-taught, as due to timetabling issues I cannot be included into the sixth form class, and my classmates doing their GCSE will of course need to be prioritised.

What I was wondering was, how difficult is the AS? Is it a big jump from GCSE work, or will I be able to do it with half self-teaching? I don't particularly want to take the GCSE exam as I should in year 11, as to be honest the class is quite boring and I'd like something more difficult to do. :s

Also, would it look at all better having an additional AS/A-level with my qualifications? I mean, would it at all appear significant to universities, or will it not make much of a difference?

Thank you
I am in the exact same situation as you, I'm in Year 10 and right now I've done all of my writing assessments (worth 30%) and one of my speaking assessment (worth 15%) and on Tuesday I have my last speaking assessment which is also worth 15%. Sometime in May I would have to do a Reading and Listening Paper, as I'm doing my french GCSE in Year 10, instead of Year 11. My teacher also thought about making me do AS level for French next year, and I'm not sure if I'm ready either.
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Kureiji_Riji
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Well if anything I'd say just to go over the french grammar rules occasionally as there is such a huge difference i.e. knowing where to put different pronouns etc. Judging by how different it was in the first week at AS (my oral is coming up soon), then I'd suggest definitely doing french grammar and verbs before AS so you have a head start. I got a high B in GCSE and at the moment my grades in French AS range between A-C. It depends. You really have to push yourself for an A, like... super hard. So just do some grammar stuff and making sure you know your genders (because without that you can't do much) and then if you do AS after school, then it should be less stressful.
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