Want to take French for A-Level, but...

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AdderDee
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I initially wanted to do French for A-Level, (an A at GCSE, or at least so far) but I began to realize that I struggle in it in some areas. I am great at reading French text or writing things in French, but when it comes to actually speaking French and especially listening to French being spoken, I really do slip up a lot. When doing a listening exam for example, I will hear a bunch of compounded garbage (I know what the words mean individually) and since listening and speaking make up a large part of the subject, I feel that being strong in only two areas out of four would end up in me being royally screwed and probably confused as to what went wrong after doing an exam.

Pretty much my only other option is ICT, but I'm already considering Software Systems Development, (it's a new one, but not a very popular one. It's the same as Computing.) which is actually supposed to be a desirable subject to have for university. I also feel that doing what is essentially one A-Level that had been split in two is a huge waste of time. It's my best subject, but possibly not my best bet, even though it's my best subject (A*, but anyone can do that). Here are my choices, by the way:

SSD
Physics
Maths
French or ICT (unsure)


I guess my last option would be to take Chemistry, but other than being my 4th worst subject at GCSE (low C), I don't really enjoy it, not to mention I wouldn't see a use for it other than as a trump card for getting into university. Add that to not being within my desired career path, and there's a whole pile of doubt here.

Should I take ICT? Or should I see how I do with French? Thanks in advance.
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flyyoufools
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If you think you'll get a C at GCSE in Chem, don't even think about doing it for A-level. I got an A* at GCSE and did Chem at AS but it was by far my hardest subject [Did Chem, Phys, Maths, English Lit and Welsh Bacc] and I only managed a B at AS with a last minute tutor and chance in the prac exam.

Talk to your teachers about it and see if they think you could deal with the work.

I have two friends doing French at A2 and it sounds pretty difficult. Although a huge chunk seems to be literature, there is definitely a lot of listening/spoken work too. Having said that, maybe you just need practice?

I have no idea what SSD is but if it's similar to ICT in content then maybe it's not your best choice? If they're completely different in content then it's a possibility but be careful that it's accepted as a subject at university because if it's similar to ICT they might be funny about it, like with Maths and Further Maths. Idk though.

Really, I can't help you much but your teachers will know your work best so just talk to them about it and go from there.
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ThatPerson
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(Original post by AdderDee)
I initially wanted to do French for A-Level, (an A at GCSE, or at least so far) but I began to realize that I struggle in it in some areas. I am great at reading French text or writing things in French, but when it comes to actually speaking French and especially listening to French being spoken, I really do slip up a lot. When doing a listening exam for example, I will hear a bunch of compounded garbage (I know what the words mean individually) and since listening and speaking make up a large part of the subject, I feel that being strong in only two areas out of four would end up in me being royally screwed and probably confused as to what went wrong after doing an exam.

Pretty much my only other option is ICT, but I'm already considering Software Systems Development, (it's a new one, but not a very popular one) which is actually supposed to be a desirable subject to have for university. I also feel that doing what is essentially one A-Level that had been split in two is a huge waste of time. It's my best subject, but possibly not my best bet, even though it's my best subject (A*, but anyone can do that). Here are my choices, by the way:

SSD
Physics
Maths
French or ICT (unsure)


I guess my last option would be to take Chemistry, but other than being my 4th worst subject at GCSE (low C), I don't really enjoy it, not to mention I wouldn't see a use for it other than as a trump card for getting into university. Add that to not being within my desired career path, and there's a whole pile of doubt here.

Should I take ICT? Or should I see how I do with French? Thanks in advance.
Instead of considering ICT, I would consider taking Computing. It's much more useful than ICT, and you would actually learn some computer programming.

I can't comment on which one is better.
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AdderDee
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(Original post by ThatPerson)
Instead of considering ICT, I would consider taking Computing.
Just to clear things up, SSD is Computing, if not the closest thing to it.
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ThatPerson
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(Original post by AdderDee)
Just to clear things up, SSD is Computing, if not the closest thing to it.
Oh, I see.

Still, I wouldn't recommend A Level ICT. GCSE ICT was enough to make me want to jump off a cliff, and I'd imagine that it's 10x worse at A-Level.

Anything other A Levels you think you'd like?

Do you have an idea of what you want to at university?
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AdderDee
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(Original post by ThatPerson)
Do you have an idea of what you want to at university?
I wanted to do something in either Physics or Programming/Software Development, but still not sure on that. Another A-Level I had in mind is German, but I'm not particularly sure how useful that'd be in the real world, considering German isn't that common of a language in the regions I was looking to work in (not to mention it would likely be the same deal as French.)
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ThatPerson
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(Original post by AdderDee)
I wanted to do something in either Physics or Programming/Software Development, but still not sure on that. Another A-Level I had in mind is German, but I'm not particularly sure how useful that'd be in the real world, considering German isn't that common of a language in the regions I was looking to work in (not to mention it would likely be the same deal as French.)
Further Maths at least to AS Level would be helpful, but that depends on how good you are at Maths.
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locksher
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(Original post by AdderDee)
I initially wanted to do French for A-Level, (an A at GCSE, or at least so far) but I began to realize that I struggle in it in some areas. I am great at reading French text or writing things in French, but when it comes to actually speaking French and especially listening to French being spoken, I really do slip up a lot. When doing a listening exam for example, I will hear a bunch of compounded garbage (I know what the words mean individually) and since listening and speaking make up a large part of the subject, I feel that being strong in only two areas out of four would end up in me being royally screwed and probably confused as to what went wrong after doing an exam.
I'm interested, how have your results for speaking and listening components turned out so far? I'm sure they can't be too bad if you have an A overall; do you think you genuinely are poor at speaking and listening or that you just aren't as confident in them? What do your teachers say?

Personally I am terrible at public speaking of any kind and hate oral exams because I have a horrible tendency to forget my words and cry... but I'm actually doing a languages degree with a large oral component :P Often it's just a confidence thing and the more speaking and listening work you do, the better you'll get. I'm sure you're not as bad at it as you imagine.

I obviously can't speak for ICT or whatever other subjects you're considering, but I'd advise you not to disregard French unless you're absolutely sure. I find speaking very difficult and still manage to enjoy and do well in languages, I see no reason why you can't either if that's what you want

Not to mention universities love applicants with an extra language, as do some employers
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AdderDee
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(Original post by ThatPerson)
Further Maths at least to AS Level would be helpful, but that depends on how good you are at Maths.
Yeah, I'd love to have Further Maths, but my grades aren't quite up to standard for it (A C in Additional Maths says it all, really.)
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aibekhsi
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Having got an A* at French GCSE (AQA), then getting a C in AS (AQA) - I would say it is quite tough. However, the oral exam is quite easy (A* on that) but the 2 hour, reading, listening and writing, exam is quite a bit harder (D on that).

If you want to do something to do with physics or programming, then choose subjects tailored towards that, e.g. maths, physics, computing etc.

However, if you want to keep your options open, choose a range of subjects.
For example, when I was picking my A-level subjects, I didn't know what I wanted to do so I picked: Maths, Economics, Psychology and French. Now, I've dropped French and currently holding law offers.

So basically, if you know what you want to go into, then tailor your subjects towards that. If not, diversify.

P.S. If you want help in French (oral exam) I have plenty of resources. PM me
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AdderDee
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(Original post by locksher)
I obviously can't speak for ICT or whatever other subjects you're considering, but I'd advise you not to disregard French unless you're absolutely sure.
Now that you mention it, I was considering being able to drop French at A2 so that if I do get better with speaking and listening (it's probably just my confidence that needs work) then I can keep it and have 4 A-Levels on record , but the thought of trying to secure a place in university with 3 A-Levels and no extra-curricular activities whatsoever is a bit scary (but you never know. I could get more involved in school stuff if it's really so important.)
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Crumpet1
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I'd suggest you wait to see how you do with French. What you need to do is listen to more spoken French. Can you get French spoken books off the internet? Can you borrow some French films from a DVD shop ('Le Closet' is fun). Can you go to France on holiday? Can you organise a French exchange? The more French you hear, the easier you will find it to distinguish words from the jumble.
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locksher
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(Original post by AdderDee)
Now that you mention it, I was considering being able to drop French at A2 so that if I do get better with speaking and listening (it's probably just my confidence that needs work) then I can keep it and have 4 A-Levels on record , but the thought of trying to secure a place in university with 3 A-Levels and no extra-curricular activities whatsoever is a bit scary (but you never know. I could get more involved in school stuff if it's really so important.)
Ah well I did IB so I don't really know about that side of things. Do most people do 4 A Levels? I thought 3 was the norm. Extra curricular activities aren't a bad idea though, they don't have to be anything too over the top, just something extra that might show off some different skills.

And definitely, if you really feel like French isn't working out then you can drop it at A2
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ThatPerson
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(Original post by AdderDee)
Yeah, I'd love to have Further Maths, but my grades aren't quite up to standard for it (A C in Additional Maths says it all, really.)
What did you get in GCSE Maths?

Maybe you can see how you do with A Level Maths and then possibly take AS Level FM in Year 13.

Tbh I don't know what else to suggest. Definitely don't take subjects you don't like (like Chemistry).
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BlackMagicV
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I found French really easy at A level, the only thing stopping me from getting an A in the end was choosing a stupid essay question in the writing component of the paper. You may be nervous speaking now, but I had 30 minutes each week of conversation class and speaking ended up being no problem - just don't stop speaking, make plenty of points and you'll be fine
we also had 1 hour a week for listening, so that gets a lot better. If you watch TV5, your listening will improve, too.
I hated French at secondary (I had the teacher from hell) then loved it at A level. I took it because I was considering becoming a solicitor at the time and the firms I spoke to in the City said that they'd prefer an applicant with a modern foreign language. Take it. TAKE IT!!!
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AdderDee
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(Original post by ThatPerson)
What did you get in GCSE Maths?
I'm pretty much set for an A in Maths. You need an A* in Additional Maths to do FM, so that's out of the question, I guess
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