GCSE Latin from scratch in a year and a half?? Is it possible?

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virol
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#1
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#1
Hi, I'm doing GCSE Art at the minute but there is too much stress and it's having a really bad effect on my other subjects, so I want to drop it and take up GCSE Latin. There is no Latin teacher at my school, although I think my English teacher could help me with a lot of it.... but I haven't done any Latin before.

I have only a year and a half left to do it in, and I will be mainly self-studying with about 4 hours a week (and yes, I am motivated), so the big question... can I do it? My other subjects are all predicted A/A* and I would like to achieve B/A/A* in Latin if possible.

Also does anyone have any idea which exam board to go for- WJEC or OCR? And which textbook will be the best?


Elle x
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danconway
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#2
Report 7 years ago
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Hey - I do OCR.

I've been exposed to Latin for ages - we started in Year 7, and now I'm of a clear A* standard for GCSE. In a year and a half... Possible. The problem with Latin is that there are two literature papers as well - prose and verse, as well as the two language papers. Now, if you work intensively at it, I think you will be able to get a C or above - definitely.

Having your English teacher on side is FANTASTIC. Especially for the analysis of the texts - you'll find it much easier. Also, with the learning of the actual language, you'll need a lot of support, but I reckon that if you're an A / A* student, you'll do perfectly fine.

Look, at the end of the day, GCSEs don't REALLY matter - as long as you do well enough to do the A levels you want to do. I'd quit the stress and do Latin, and see what happens!

I'd recommend - and this is all for the OCR course, except for the Cambridge Latin Course, which is not designed for exams, but is a 'bottom-up' course, right from the basics.

Cambridge Latin Course - it is THE learner's guide to latin: from the bottom up, you will learn the linguistic structures from the basic 'Caecilius est in horto' up to 'ablative absolutes'. There are five books, and if you work through them and understand everything in those, you will find the exam much easier. Their website is http://cambridgescp.com

John Taylor's Essential GCSE Latin - contains a GCSE orientated guide to the grammar you need to know, with exercises to help.

Once you get into the swing of things, you should also get the Latin Stories book, with GCSE style comprehensions.

Look, I think you can do it, and I don't even know you. If you really hate art, drop it and do Latin. You'll be a bit behind, but given a lot of study and support (which I think you have, and as for study, am certainly capable of), your level of Latin will definitely get there. My school's classics department has a lot of resources and power points and stuff, so if you ever need help, PM me.

Best of luck to you!

Dan x
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Sophieli
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#3
Report 7 years ago
#3
Hey
My class has been doing latin from scratch since Sept last year and most of us is going to get A/A* in June this year.
So, don't worry! As long as you spent at least 4 hours per week( that's actually essential for you as a self-learner), and learn sufficient vocab, remembering essential grammar constructions and simply memorise for the set texts then you would be fine. The start will be struggling if you have not done any other European languages as a 'foundation' ( cuz I did French last year and it helped a lot with this) but that's really not hard.
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