Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    I've just recently finished my A levels as of July. Looking back at my own post-GCSE applications to Sixth Form experience and starting my A levels, it seemed quite a nerve-racking experience, especially as back in the day I never had TSR (2 years ago)

    Pose a question and I'll answer it to the best of my ability.

    If it helps I've taken A levels in:

    Economics
    English Literature
    History
    German (taken early)
    Mathematics
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Acidy)
    I've just recently finished my A levels as of July. Looking back at my own post-GCSE applications to Sixth Form experience and starting my A levels, it seemed quite a nerve-racking experience, especially as back in the day I never had TSR (2 years ago)

    Pose a question and I'll answer it to the best of my ability.

    If it helps I've taken A levels in:

    Economics
    English Literature
    History
    German (taken early)
    Mathematics
    Did you drop any at AS?

    What is the best way to revise before an exam?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    What was English Lit like - did you find yourself spending a lot of time writing essays etc. for the subject?

    Also, how many free periods did you have? I know it varies between schools and subjects but still, it'd be good to know roughly.

    Thanks!


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by slg60)
    Did you drop any at AS?

    What is the best way to revise before an exam?
    Nope. I took four AS levels and one A2 level [German] in Y12. At the end of AS I carried on with four subjects.

    The best way to revise before an exam:
    - Be honest with yourself. I had to realise AS was straightforward. At first I tended to overestimate the difficulty of AS levels which caused my responses to be more of a University styled thesis than a AS response inevitably bringing down my grade, this was only fixed after this realisation.

    - Attempt as many past paper questions as possible keeping in mind the phrase 'quality' over the 'quantity' of responses. Rinse and repeat.

    - Be critical of your own responses, compare it to 'A' grade pieces of work which your tutors should distribute.

    - Teach! This is the most unused and effective method of last minute consolidation. Get your friends and teach them the significance of events [i.e. History] this is applicable humanities/social sciences rather than subjects such as Maths.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Acidy)
    Nope. I took four AS levels and one A2 level [German] in Y12. At the end of AS I carried on with four subjects.

    The best way to revise before an exam:
    - Be honest with yourself. I had to realise AS was straightforward. At first I tended to overestimate the difficulty of AS levels which caused my responses to be more of a University styled thesis than a AS response inevitably bringing down my grade, this was only fixed after this realisation.

    - Attempt as many past paper questions as possible keeping in mind the phrase 'quality' over the 'quantity' of responses. Rinse and repeat.

    - Be critical of your own responses, compare it to 'A' grade pieces of work which your tutors should distribute.

    - Teach! This is the most unused and effective method of last minute consolidation. Get your friends and teach them the significance of events [i.e. History] this is applicable humanities/social sciences rather than subjects such as Maths.
    I would give you a thumbs up but i cant rate anymore today, thank you
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I'm taking history too- does it require a lot of note taking in class?

    I've got a couple of questions sorry to be picky:
    1) how is the best way to take notes to and from college as I've got a knee problem so can't have too much weight in my bad to carry so would it be easier to carry ring biders ro and from.college or leave them at home and just take wallets etc. How did you do it?
    2) for A2 level do you need to remember anything from AS level for the exam? Or is completley seperated? I know how you have a exam for AS and A2 but I'm not sure how A2 works really like if you do need some stuff from AS etc.
    3) how much time did you spend revising every day/week? And how did you manage your time?

    Thanks in advance

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AnnaValentine)
    What was English Lit like - did you find yourself spending a lot of time writing essays etc. for the subject?

    Also, how many free periods did you have? I know it varies between schools and subjects but still, it'd be good to know roughly.

    Thanks!

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Hi Anna,

    English Literature's a great subject if you have an appreciation for narrative. I would say it's important to have a good selection of books when starting the course. I, for instance studied 'The Great Gatsby' along with the poetry of Wordsworth which was fantastic because I ended up loving both.

    I can't speak on behalf of what you're being assessed on, but I was on AQA and 100% of our lesson time was devoted to writing Essays, critically analysing poetry and preparing for coursework.

    The entirety of the week gave me 4 free periods although the fact I studied four AS and one A2 levels must be considered, assuming you take four AS levels you're sure to have a good amount (or at-least I hope)

    It's a great subject.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by slg60)
    I would give you a thumbs up but i cant rate anymore today, thank you
    No problem.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CaitlinN15)
    I'm taking history too- does it require a lot of note taking in class?

    Thanks in advance

    Posted from TSR Mobile



    1. I'm sorry to hear about your condition. Given your circumstances it may be wise to ask your school for a locker or somewhere you can store your files while you're at school. As you've previously alluded to it might be better to use binders to take out only necessary notes required for revision/homework leaving the rest at school. This will take more effort to keep up. Other than that it may be useful to see if your school uploads it's resources to a school server to which you can access at home. Personally I bared the torture of keeping all my notes in one full folder in my bag, my spine isn't the happiest back bone, but I'll live

    2. This is dependent on your School's syllabus. The majority of institutions with respect to History take separate yearly modules which do not require you to remember any former knowledge. Some but very few tend to extend the period - for example Russia in Revolution (1881 -1954 AS) and then Russia (1954 - 19XY) however, it's best to check with your school. Apart from that no. If you're confident you achieved the grade you wanted on the examination then bin the notes, otherwise it might be wise to a) keep them for retakes or b) sell them as I did.

    3. Get homework done, try your hardest to avoid procrastination (easier said than done I know, but this can be the difference between being happy and sad come results day)
    - Personally following finishing my homework I consolidated what I learnt at school on the same day. So just going over notes, rewriting and understanding them should suffice.

    Weekend. I devoted Friday night to work so I was able to go out with friends on Saturday ( I didn't like the idea of leaving everything to Sunday which is my own personal preference)

    Hope that answers some of your questions.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    how manageable is taking 4 A2s? was it stressful?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    What did you do to ensure success with English Literature and History? (prospective Cambridge history student) I'm slightly concerned about the reading side of things.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by veem7)
    how manageable is taking 4 A2s? was it stressful?
    The amount of work required, the fear of falling behind and my own need to achieve my own personal standards at certain points, created a stressful environment.

    Managing four A2 levels is manageable as long a) you're motivated and b) you enjoy the subjects which you have taken. The most important part is enjoying your subjects which understandably at times can prove difficult. As long as you stay a head of the game in terms of work load then you should be fine.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by JayJay-C19)
    What did you do to ensure success with English Literature and History? (prospective Cambridge history student) I'm slightly concerned about the reading side of things.
    To 'ensure success' I assume you're referring to gaining a good UMS score which is necessary as you mentioned as you're a perspective Oxbridge applicant.

    To get over 90 UMS consider and sustain the following:

    It's important to develop your interest in the subjects. A piece of classical literature for example raises many interesting questions which rummage into the fabric of convention, issues of science and morality etc. Develop your attitude and views through this. Think critically. The study of History on the other hand provides a bigger framework for inquiry, I remember for instance how much I admired the leadership and ideas of Lenin to the extent I was quoting Lenin's testament on my essay's which wasn't at all required- but nonetheless helped me gain a wider perspective.

    My teachers would always commend me on my ability to give original interpretations of events, so don't be scared to make well informed readings. Examiners and Admissions tutors will be very interested in this.

    Attend Cambridge lectures as I did, their academics as I've come across are very interesting in their approach to analysing events.

    Make it your goal to be the best Historian/Lit student in your class. Have fun but also try and get down to business when business is due.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Acidy)
    To 'ensure success' I assume you're referring to gaining a good UMS score which is necessary as you mentioned as you're a perspective Oxbridge applicant.

    To get over 90 UMS consider and sustain the following:

    It's important to develop your interest in the subjects. A piece of classical literature for example raises many interesting questions which rummage into the fabric of convention, issues of science and morality etc. Develop your attitude and views through this. Think critically. The study of History on the other hand provides a bigger framework for inquiry, I remember for instance how much I admired the leadership and ideas of Lenin to the extent I was quoting Lenin's testament on my essay's which wasn't at all required- but nonetheless helped me gain a wider perspective.

    My teachers would always commend me on my ability to give original interpretations of events, so don't be scared to make well informed readings. Examiners and Admissions tutors will be very interested in this.

    Attend Cambridge lectures as I did, their academics as I've come across are very interesting in their approach to analysing events.

    Make it your goal to be the best Historian/Lit student in your class. Have fun but also try and get down to business when business is due.
    Thanks for your advice. How would you start off then? I'm going into my first year of AS Levels in September and I really want to get them A's and, at A2, A*'s. I'm a very dedicated student. However, I sometimes realise things I should have done, a little too late down the line. SO. How would you approach your subjects in the beginning (mine are History, English Literature, Philosophy and Biology)? I'm not, what I'd call, a 'naturally bright student' and so I have to put work in, and a lot of it. BUT, I do have the potential for the top grades and to do very well.

    I'd appreciate ANY advice you have to offer with regards to English Literature and History. Also, do you have any recommendations on what to read for both? I'm studying the AQA B syllabus for English and the AQA syllabus, again, for History. Reading, outside of the text, that is.

    Thank you in advance
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by JayJay-C19)
    Thanks for your advice. How would you start off then? I'm going into my first year of AS Levels in September and I really want to get them A's and, at A2, A*'s. I'm a very dedicated student. However, I sometimes realise things I should have done, a little too late down the line. SO. How would you approach your subjects in the beginning (mine are History, English Literature, Philosophy and Biology)? I'm not, what I'd call, a 'naturally bright student' and so I have to put work in, and a lot of it. BUT, I do have the potential for the top grades and to do very well.

    I'd appreciate ANY advice you have to offer with regards to English Literature and History. Also, do you have any recommendations on what to read for both? I'm studying the AQA B syllabus for English and the AQA syllabus, again, for History. Reading, outside of the text, that is.

    Thank you in advance
    I would like to clarify that the the most successful A level students are not what you would call 'naturally bright students' as you have put it.

    Hard working, committed students perform exceptionally at A level. This isn't to say that naturally gifted students will not do as well or better, however the nature of A levels tend to favour the hard working and committed as you appear to be, as opposed to post GCSE students who find it hard to enter the domain of assessment. This is the nature of further education.

    I also think your range of subjects are very good. As I said, keep on top of the work, run the extra mile and you'll be very satisfied with your results.

    In terms of advice I would say that if you have the time, ask for the set texts for English Literature and familiarise yourself with them. As with History ask your teacher for the History text books which should have a good amount of narrative to read from and then questions to answer.

    It's refreshing to see such dedication, but also make sure to save time for yourself during the holidays as well.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Acidy)
    Hi Anna,

    English Literature's a great subject if you have an appreciation for narrative. I would say it's important to have a good selection of books when starting the course. I, for instance studied 'The Great Gatsby' along with the poetry of Wordsworth which was fantastic because I ended up loving both.

    I can't speak on behalf of what you're being assessed on, but I was on AQA and 100% of our lesson time was devoted to writing Essays, critically analysing poetry and preparing for coursework.

    The entirety of the week gave me 4 free periods although the fact I studied four AS and one A2 levels must be considered, assuming you take four AS levels you're sure to have a good amount (or at-least I hope)

    It's a great subject.
    Thank you very much - I appreciate your opinions/advice! And yes, I do love literature, analysis and anything to do with reading so I hope I will enjoy it at A level


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    On the whole, how was your experience at college and was it what you had expected?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Acidy)
    I would like to clarify that the the most successful A level students are not what you would call 'naturally bright students' as you have put it.

    Hard working, committed students perform exceptionally at A level. This isn't to say that naturally gifted students will not do as well or better, however the nature of A levels tend to favour the hard working and committed as you appear to be, as opposed to post GCSE students who find it hard to enter the domain of assessment. This is the nature of further education.

    I also think your range of subjects are very good. As I said, keep on top of the work, run the extra mile and you'll be very satisfied with your results.

    In terms of advice I would say that if you have the time, ask for the set texts for English Literature and familiarise yourself with them. As with History ask your teacher for the History text books which should have a good amount of narrative to read from and then questions to answer.

    It's refreshing to see such dedication, but also make sure to save time for yourself during the holidays as well.
    Thank you for all of your advice. I have the English texts and unfortunately, I can't get my history textbook(s) as they changed the units of study late in the day. However, I will read generally to prepare myself for historical analysis etc.etc. Thanks again!
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Acidy)
    I've just recently finished my A levels as of July. Looking back at my own post-GCSE applications to Sixth Form experience and starting my A levels, it seemed quite a nerve-racking experience, especially as back in the day I never had TSR (2 years ago)

    Pose a question and I'll answer it to the best of my ability.

    If it helps I've taken A levels in:

    Economics
    English Literature
    History
    German (taken early)
    Mathematics
    I will be studying independently (from home) starting next month. I am taking A-level History (Edexcel) and AS Economics (AQA), but I can't decide between English Language, English Literature or Combine Language and Literature, all AQA.

    I guess English Literature is more complimentary to History, but I think I would find English Language easier. I always thought History and English Language would be good together, but many students take English Literature alongside History. Please help me!

    On an entirely unrelated matter, could you possibly teach my brother German?

    Thanks in advance.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by KH94)
    I will be studying independently (from home) starting next month. I am taking A-level History (Edexcel) and AS Economics (AQA), but I can't decide between English Language, English Literature or Combine Language and Literature, all AQA.

    I guess English Literature is more complimentary to History, but I think I would find English Language easier. I always thought History and English Language would be good together, but many students take English Literature alongside History. Please help me!

    On an entirely unrelated matter, could you possibly teach my brother German?

    Thanks in advance.
    Firstly take into account what interests you and what you think you will be happy to study for up to two years. This is even more significant to your situation being an independent student, it will be tough at times and you will need to motive yourself.

    Comparatively the Most prestigious qualification is English Literature if that's what you're looking for.

    Less prestigious but still regarded is Language.

    The former also applies to Lit+lang.

    From what I've gathered from friends who studied Language for A level it is very straightforward and and would be much easier in guaranteeing a higher grade compared to Literature, so I agree with how you mentioned you would find it easier.

    It also depends on what you're looking for. History and English are two completely distinct subjects, so there will be no content over lap. However the skills acquired especially in Essay writing, developing analysis and thinking critically will reinforce the skills needed to succeed regardless of whether you take Literature or Language. Have you taken a look at the syllabus? If not, make sure to take a look make sure you know what you're in for so there's no unwanted surprise.

    Unfortunately I'm away for the most of the summer- it's therefore unlikely I'll be able to teach your brother. Perhaps in September I would be able to find some time. There are excellent resources he could use granted internet access is given. Duolingo for instance is fantastic and free.

    Hope this helps.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What newspaper do you read/prefer?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.