A big step up from GCSE? Watch

arpeggio
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I was reading on another thread that an A* at GCSE is the equivalent to a D at AS Level!! :eek: Is it really that much harder? Is there anything I can do during/before I start the course to get the best AS grades I can?! Any help would be much appreciated as I'm panicking slightly here!
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kellywood_5
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The only subject you'll be taking that I do is English lit, so I can only speak for that. There are quite a few similarities to GCSE in that you continue to study poems, plays and novels and pick out literary tecnhiques, themes, characterisation etc, but at the start of the course, it is quite a big step up because the style is different. At GCSE, for example, you can get away with simply stating facts such as 'this is an example of alliteration' and get top marks, whereas at A-level, you need to explain why it's there and what the effects are. One of the assessment objectives is social, historical and cultural context, ie knowing a bit about the background of the author and the time the text was set, which isn't really covered at GCSE. Finally, we have closed text exams where you're not allowed even a blank copy of the text in the exam, but the questions are more vague and you're not expected to quote as much. On the bright side, we also have open text exams where we're allowed annotated texts, which I believe you can't have at GCSE anymore. The important thing is not to get too down and to believe you can improve. At the start of AS, I was getting Ds in pretty much all my essays, but I ended up with Bs in both of the exams.
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winnie the poo
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I do Chemistry, and you'll probably think it's a bit hardcore, but don't worry, you'll get used to it.

As for the whole step-up from GCSE level, I think it is a pretty big leap, but after a few weeks, you get used to the workload.
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~Bex~
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You'll be fine, as long as you put in consistent effort. To be honest, I think the reason most people struggle at first is that they don't anticipate the big jump, and don't do as much work as they maybe should at the start of the year. And as for A* being equivalent to a D, I don't think that's true at all. If it was, how would anyone get a C, let alone an A!
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michaelbenson
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I wouldnt neccessarily say than an A* is the equivalent of a D grade at A-Level, it is all dependant upon the individual subjects and your general desire and motiviation to suceed and learn more about the subject in question. For example, for me i used to really enjoy Media Studies, i was easily self motivated and enjoyed both A* grades at GCSE and A grades at A-Level - without actually learning any new content. However, after achieving an A grade at GCSE for Mathematics i am now swimming around the C/D marker at A-Level primarily because i dont feel motivated towards the subject and the enjoyment has almost been sucked out.

Although never become complacent with your GCSE grades, assuming that you wont have to work at all to improve your examination technique and general subject knowledge, will be your downfall
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Kolya
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I have found AS Levels easier than GCSEs. You can focus on your strengths and I find myself doing less work than ever before...(and enjoying the work that I do do)
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arpeggio
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(Original post by kellywood_5)
The only subject you'll be taking that I do is English lit, so I can only speak for that. There are quite a few similarities to GCSE in that you continue to study poems, plays and novels and pick out literary tecnhiques, themes, characterisation etc, but at the start of the course, it is quite a big step up because the style is different. At GCSE, for example, you can get away with simply stating facts such as 'this is an example of alliteration' and get top marks, whereas at A-level, you need to explain why it's there and what the effects are. One of the assessment objectives is social, historical and cultural context, ie knowing a bit about the background of the author and the time the text was set, which isn't really covered at GCSE. Finally, we have closed text exams where you're not allowed even a blank copy of the text in the exam, but the questions are more vague and you're not expected to quote as much. On the bright side, we also have open text exams where we're allowed annotated texts, which I believe you can't have at GCSE anymore. The important thing is not to get too down and to believe you can improve. At the start of AS, I was getting Ds in pretty much all my essays, but I ended up with Bs in both of the exams.
Actually, that sounds quite good - closed text exams mean you don't waste as much time looking things up Thanks for the help everyone, I guess it all comes down to hard work and self-motivation really. Sometimes it's so hard to motivate yourself though! I often think it'd be easier if I had someone actually forcing me to work harder!
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Troyes
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The thing with A-levels though is that most of the topics in it, especially Maths and Physics, are "funner." You kinda enjoy doing them so there's no real motivation required. I used to hate doing GCSE maths but nowadays I actually enjoy revising for the A-level maths. You'll see what I mean when you go to a few lessons and have a look at the text book etc.

It's definitely more harder but more enjoyable all the same.
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mortderire
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a-levels hard? naaaa

well, you only lose your hair worrying at the end of the year (like me) about how little work you've done- you can blag gcses DONT try to do that with a-levels cos howeva cleva you are (unless you're like me)- that's my burst of modesty, then its dangerous.

then again youre a girl so you should be able to keep your hair- we guyz have something called testosterone to deal with
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GarageMc
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I'll put it this way for you:

Your getting A* and A's in your GCSE's because of your work ethic, not because your school is good, your teachers are clever etc

Basically as long as this ethic continues you can be guarenteed to good grades in you A levels.
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Ywiss
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(Original post by GarageMc)
I'll put it this way for you:

Your getting A* and A's in your GCSE's because of your work ethic, not because your school is good, your teachers are clever etc

Basically as long as this ethic continues you can be guarenteed to good grades in you A levels.

Agreed. Stick with the A* attitude, work reasonably hard throughout the year (however tempting those free periods at the coffee machine may be...) and reaaaaally push yourself around this time in the year. And then it's over. Really early, not at all like GCSEs. I've almost finished my ASs now But I was also stressing about the huge jump up, so I gave my work a huuuge boost at the beginning of term - really did my best in about my first two or three assignments for each subject, and you soon get up there at the As and Bs.

1 word of warning (sorry!) - A* doesn't *always* guarantee you an A, I'm afraid...I hate to use English Lit as an example, but people seem to find English Lit very different at AS. I personally love it - but it's definitely something new to get used to, especially closed book exams. You really have to know your texts and get the exam technique, but it makes it all the more interesting to do. It's a great subject, en mi opinion And people say Art is amaazing because you get to choose almost whatever you like. Good choices there!

Good luck with the rest of your exams
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hakking
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A levels are just about working hard. It doesnt matter too much how clever you are i think. A level is about 20% cleverness and 80% hard work. GCSE's you could blag and get decent grades but its a bit hard to blag a levels (max you can get is a B with blagging). You have to put in some solid work.
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Sasuke!
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yeah there is a lot of work involved, not too sure if you can compare GCSE to A-level, but it was an ok transition for me, i only got average of Grade A, not A* and i was ok, however maths needed a lot of help, and chemistry was a little rusty!
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Sasuke!
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get as many points in AS as possible so you dont need to work as hard next year!
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Serenity
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(Original post by Baal_k)
I have found AS Levels easier than GCSEs. You can focus on your strengths and I find myself doing less work than ever before...(and enjoying the work that I do do)
Jesus. What subjects are you doing?! I started AS thinking it would be easier because I would be doing 5 subjects instead of 11. I thought wrong - the amount of work I get for my 4 subjects surpasses anything I ever got for GCSE.
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Redhothead
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got to agree there.
I did music maths classics and biology for AS Level after getting almost straight A*s at GCSE.
The shock of the extra work was enormous, I really struggled to keep up for the first half term, but in the end I got three As and a B because I got used to it and worked really hard.

After the first term you'll be Ok but dont worry if you find it tough - stick with it.
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Redhothead
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oh yeah. An A* AT Gcse means that if you wrote the same answers against an AS mark scheme, you would get an E (not a D)
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Linds
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^ I would say that is because the way you structure questions and answer questions in AS is different to GCSE, rather than harder. For example, I got an A* in GCSE History, but when I did my first AS essay I got a C. That was because I was still structuring my answers the same way as GCSE, which is totally different to an AS answer. I just had to forget GCSEs and learn how to structure AS answers, not try and apply GCSE structures to AS questions.

Just go in with a open mind, ready to start afresh, and you'll be fine!
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Ninja32
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(Original post by kellywood_5)
The only subject you'll be taking that I do is English lit, so I can only speak for that. There are quite a few similarities to GCSE in that you continue to study poems, plays and novels and pick out literary tecnhiques, themes, characterisation etc, but at the start of the course, it is quite a big step up because the style is different. At GCSE, for example, you can get away with simply stating facts such as 'this is an example of alliteration' and get top marks, whereas at A-level, you need to explain why it's there and what the effects are. One of the assessment objectives is social, historical and cultural context, ie knowing a bit about the background of the author and the time the text was set, which isn't really covered at GCSE. Finally, we have closed text exams where you're not allowed even a blank copy of the text in the exam, but the questions are more vague and you're not expected to quote as much. On the bright side, we also have open text exams where we're allowed annotated texts, which I believe you can't have at GCSE anymore. The important thing is not to get too down and to believe you can improve. At the start of AS, I was getting Ds in pretty much all my essays, but I ended up with Bs in both of the exams.
ditto
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jay
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iv got a chemistry exam in 2weeks..and i am gonna fail
i do ocr salters.....bloody tough stuff....teachers wernt so much help..1 of them left half-way through..
soo basically my medical aspirations are out of the window
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