Doing Government and Politics AS and A2 in one year.

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mctruffle
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I've just finished my AS exams (Biology, History, Geography, ICT) and am thinking about what to take and drop next year. I am not hugely optimistic about doing well in Biology and I don't want to take ICT to A2. I've been offered the choice of doing the Government and Politics in one year. The subject interests me (when applying to college it was a debate between doing Biology or Government and Politics) but I am concerned with the workload, particularly now that the January exams have been taken out.
Do you think I could feasibly do Government and Politics in one year? I feel that the humanities subjects are my strong point and while I enjoy Biology, I don't feel that I will do well.
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username1060389
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(Original post by mctruffle)
I've just finished my AS exams (Biology, History, Geography, ICT) and am thinking about what to take and drop next year. I am not hugely optimistic about doing well in Biology and I don't want to take ICT to A2. I've been offered the choice of doing the Government and Politics in one year. The subject interests me (when applying to college it was a debate between doing Biology or Government and Politics) but I am concerned with the workload, particularly now that the January exams have been taken out.
Do you think I could feasibly do Government and Politics in one year? I feel that the humanities subjects are my strong point and while I enjoy Biology, I don't feel that I will do well.
I did AS Government and Politics in year 12 and found that a lot of work as we did both exams in June, with each exam covering 4 different topics.
If you think you would be ok to do 4 exams that are like this (which you may be able to do if you like writing essays), then you might as well try.

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mctruffle
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I did AS Government and Politics in year 12 and found that a lot of work as we did both exams in June, with each exam covering 4 different topics.
If you think you would be ok to do 4 exams that are like this (which you may be able to do if you like writing essays), then you might as well try.

Did you do it for A2? What grade did you get?
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Alexandra's Box
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(Original post by mctruffle)
I've just finished my AS exams (Biology, History, Geography, ICT) and am thinking about what to take and drop next year. I am not hugely optimistic about doing well in Biology and I don't want to take ICT to A2. I've been offered the choice of doing the Government and Politics in one year. The subject interests me (when applying to college it was a debate between doing Biology or Government and Politics) but I am concerned with the workload, particularly now that the January exams have been taken out.
Do you think I could feasibly do Government and Politics in one year? I feel that the humanities subjects are my strong point and while I enjoy Biology, I don't feel that I will do well.
I'm just finishing my AS year and I did Edexcel Govt. and Politics. There is a large amount of information to learn, with a couple of the topics e.g. Parliamentary reforms having many small things you should remember (such as the name and date of a Bill, an advantage of it and a disadvantage with examples) - it's not especially hard but you need a decent memory.
However, there is quite a lot of flexibility in your exams. For each exam, there are 4 areas you learn but you answer questions on two of them. For example, I had the Unit 2 exam on the 23rd May which had questions on the constitution, the PM and cabinet, Parliament and the judiciary, of which we picked two. (One had to be a set of three 'sub-'questions of a, b and c while the other had to be one single 40-mark essay.) This means that you can usually not bother revising your worst topic. It really favours people who actually care about the subject and watch the news/read a quality paper regularly as you can demonstrate this easily in your longer-mark essays. The questions are very similar year-on-year and so revising is quite easy.
So, the basic answers require a lot of memorising, and you need to be pretty good at writing decent essays, and the timing is tight but doable in the exam. But there's plenty of room to actually enjoy the subject and bring in your own knowledge. You do History, which I don't but many people do in conjunction with G&P so should help you with essays etc.

Please ask me any questions you have about the course, it's a good subject and I do enjoy it
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YThursday
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I've just done (like, I finished an hour ago :O) my first politics A2 exam.

I couldn't imagine trying to do both AS and A2 in one year personally.
I'd say around 40% of the AS stuff is learning definitions/arguments which you need to apply to the A2 stuff too, but the level of detail is much more at A2.
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christanmu
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Yeah it is doable, the AS is so much easier after doing a year of A2 as you develop a much better understanding, it makes it seem so simple. In reality, the workload for AS is very minimal as you essentially only need to go through the text book and take notes and you will pass so long as you have A2 level understanding - but the content load is huge at A2.

You need to break it down into the sections and learn them solidly, and constantly go over them to keep them in there, those being law & order, the economy, the environment and education for unit 3, then the EU (so much to learn) for unit 4. If you are a hard worker and serious about the exam then sure you will be able to do it. With each module comes more understanding, I just re-sat unit 3 today after doing it at Christmas and I found it simple, as I found a re-sit at Christmas of an AS module.

Many of the things that seem hard to grasp such as neofunctionalism etc, are easy enough once you get your head around them, and a lot of the course in unit 3 is learning what different groups thing, and to be honest you can use a general template for that (Tories - draconian, less state; Labour - less strict under Millibland, more state; Liberals - cry about everything human rights).

Work hard and keep at it, and you will succeed.
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mctruffle
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Thanks for the replies . It sounds like I will have a hell of a lot of work to do if I do take it, my memory's ok though and I know the teacher is good for politics. The flexibility with the exams sounds like a huge plus but just how big is the workload at A2? Is it any bigger than Biology?


I'm doing edexcel if that helps.
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sammyvine
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(Original post by Alexandra's Box)
I'm just finishing my AS year and I did Edexcel Govt. and Politics. There is a large amount of information to learn, with a couple of the topics e.g. Parliamentary reforms having many small things you should remember (such as the name and date of a Bill, an advantage of it and a disadvantage with examples) - it's not especially hard but you need a decent memory.
However, there is quite a lot of flexibility in your exams. For each exam, there are 4 areas you learn but you answer questions on two of them. For example, I had the Unit 2 exam on the 23rd May which had questions on the constitution, the PM and cabinet, Parliament and the judiciary, of which we picked two. (One had to be a set of three 'sub-'questions of a, b and c while the other had to be one single 40-mark essay.) This means that you can usually not bother revising your worst topic. It really favours people who actually care about the subject and watch the news/read a quality paper regularly as you can demonstrate this easily in your longer-mark essays. The questions are very similar year-on-year and so revising is quite easy.
So, the basic answers require a lot of memorising, and you need to be pretty good at writing decent essays, and the timing is tight but doable in the exam. But there's plenty of room to actually enjoy the subject and bring in your own knowledge. You do History, which I don't but many people do in conjunction with G&P so should help you with essays etc.

Please ask me any questions you have about the course, it's a good subject and I do enjoy it
I am in as similar situation. I need an extra a-level to do on my gap year...
What text books did you use btw?
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sammyvine
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(Original post by mctruffle)
I've just finished my AS exams (Biology, History, Geography, ICT) and am thinking about what to take and drop next year. I am not hugely optimistic about doing well in Biology and I don't want to take ICT to A2. I've been offered the choice of doing the Government and Politics in one year. The subject interests me (when applying to college it was a debate between doing Biology or Government and Politics) but I am concerned with the workload, particularly now that the January exams have been taken out.
Do you think I could feasibly do Government and Politics in one year? I feel that the humanities subjects are my strong point and while I enjoy Biology, I don't feel that I will do well.
Hey

Will your school teacher you Politics in one year or is it being self taught?
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sammyvine
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(Original post by YThursday)
I've just done (like, I finished an hour ago :O) my first politics A2 exam.

I couldn't imagine trying to do both AS and A2 in one year personally.
I'd say around 40% of the AS stuff is learning definitions/arguments which you need to apply to the A2 stuff too, but the level of detail is much more at A2.
Did you do Political Ideologies?

If so how did you find it
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sammyvine
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(Original post by christanmu)
Yeah it is doable, the AS is so much easier after doing a year of A2 as you develop a much better understanding, it makes it seem so simple. In reality, the workload for AS is very minimal as you essentially only need to go through the text book and take notes and you will pass so long as you have A2 level understanding - but the content load is huge at A2.

You need to break it down into the sections and learn them solidly, and constantly go over them to keep them in there, those being law & order, the economy, the environment and education for unit 3, then the EU (so much to learn) for unit 4. If you are a hard worker and serious about the exam then sure you will be able to do it. With each module comes more understanding, I just re-sat unit 3 today after doing it at Christmas and I found it simple, as I found a re-sit at Christmas of an AS module.

Many of the things that seem hard to grasp such as neofunctionalism etc, are easy enough once you get your head around them, and a lot of the course in unit 3 is learning what different groups thing, and to be honest you can use a general template for that (Tories - draconian, less state; Labour - less strict under Millibland, more state; Liberals - cry about everything human rights).

Work hard and keep at it, and you will succeed.
Since i am taking a gap year and may do Politics ALevel in one year like the OP, but self-teach (don't want to go lessons tbh) plus my best mate did politics and got an A in it so he could help me out with essay writing....
Do you think you need to start revising from September...
Can you for example start serious revision for Politics AS and A2 in January?
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chubbycharms
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(Original post by mctruffle)
I've just finished my AS exams (Biology, History, Geography, ICT) and am thinking about what to take and drop next year. I am not hugely optimistic about doing well in Biology and I don't want to take ICT to A2. I've been offered the choice of doing the Government and Politics in one year. The subject interests me (when applying to college it was a debate between doing Biology or Government and Politics) but I am concerned with the workload, particularly now that the January exams have been taken out.
Do you think I could feasibly do Government and Politics in one year? I feel that the humanities subjects are my strong point and while I enjoy Biology, I don't feel that I will do well.
I think it is doable as other people have said, although very hard work. I wouldn't want to do it as it's a lot of stress, especially as all four exams are in June. Or is there coursework? Maybe then it would be more manageable. I think if it's just exams, it's a lot of information to retain at once. I'd probably just feel the need to memorise things as there's so much in so little time and would most likely forget them after the exam, so really learnt nothing.

Also it depends on the exam board. I did Edexcel - People and Politics, Governing the UK at AS, then Introducing Political Ideologies and Other Ideological Traditions.
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chubbycharms
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(Original post by sammyvine)
Did you do Political Ideologies?

If so how did you find it
I did Political Ideologies, we're not allowed to talk about it on here yet though!
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sammyvine
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(Original post by chubbycharms)
I did Political Ideologies, we're not allowed to talk about it on here yet though!
Nah not the examm....I am talking about the actual whole A2
Is it hard to do in one year would you say?
Also what texts books did you use as I am be doing the exam next June?
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username1060389
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(Original post by mctruffle)
Did you do it for A2? What grade did you get?
I didn't do it at A2 this year as I wanted to focus on my other subjects and get better grades in those subjects. My friends do it at A2 though and have all said its very different compared to AS but it is still very hard
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YThursday
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(Original post by sammyvine)
Did you do Political Ideologies?

If so how did you find it
Nope, I did the US
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mctruffle
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Will your school teacher you Politics in one year or is it being self taught?
No, the college will let me do it in one year. The teacher thinks I'm capable and I've found history and geography to not be too demanding this year (although I haven't got my exam results back yet). It's just I find biology hard due to the exam board which is a shame, I want to do history or law at university so government and politics would combine well with my current subjects.
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Alexandra's Box
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(Original post by sammyvine)
I am in as similar situation. I need an extra a-level to do on my gap year...
What text books did you use btw?
I used 'Essentials of UK Politics' by Andrew Heywood and the official Edexcel student unit guides. They are helpful for clarifying and summarising the topics, and giving good background information for the exams' essays.
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sammyvine
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(Original post by Alexandra's Box)
I used 'Essentials of UK Politics' by Andrew Heywood and the official Edexcel student unit guides. They are helpful for clarifying and summarising the topics, and giving good background information for the exams' essays.
Is that all you need?
You don't need any other materials...
Some people i know have been using this book....

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Edexcel-Gove...excel+politics
Do you know much about that text book
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sammyvine
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(Original post by mctruffle)
No, the college will let me do it in one year. The teacher thinks I'm capable and I've found history and geography to not be too demanding this year (although I haven't got my exam results back yet). It's just I find biology hard due to the exam board which is a shame, I want to do history or law at university so government and politics would combine well with my current subjects.
Oh wow

How does that work?
Does your college do intensive alevel or something?
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