To everyone that was doing Spanish AS, i have couple of questions.
-How much more Spanish AS is harder than Spanish GCSE?
-Through out the year, what had did you study?
-How was the speaking exam? Do you have to actually speak 15 minutes without any notes?
I was doing Spanish GCSE now, and well i hope for an A or B out of the exam. I was feeling confident with it, and i did enjoy it but now im scared that i wont manage with the AS because all of my friends that did it, said its very hard and that you have to study a lot!
I've recently finished A level Spanish. I have to say the step up between GCSE and A Level is massive, I don't think GCSE really prepares you for AS at all. But, it is definitely worth taking if you're passionate about the language, it is a hell of a lot of work but it pays off. The most difficult thing for me was going from writing controlled assessments where you're allowed dictionaries etc to being expected to write essays on technology/drugs/whatever in timed conditions. However, practice does make perfect.
If I remember correctly, the topics we did at AS were youth culture, lifestyle, the environment and the world around us. Fairly standard. The speaking exam is 7 minutes (I think) where you choose one of the above topics and you'll be asked questions on it. You're not allowed notes but you can prepare in advance because you know the overall topic and you can write down possible questions. I chose lifestyle, and my exam was based around anorexia to give you an idea.
Anyway, I didn't mean to write so much, sorry But I think it's definitely worth taking as long as you work hard throughout the year. After the first few months you'll adapt to the difficulty but I would advise you to brush up on your grammar over summer though. Good luck!
- Study Helper
I've finished doing AS Spanish and, although the step-up between GCSE and A-Level is fairly big, it's definitely not impossible and it shouldn't put you off, especially if you're passionate about languages. As long as you work hard, you will see yourself improving loads and by the end of the year you will be really good providing that you've continuously worked hard.
The topics I studied at AS were Leisure and Lifestyle (tourism, sport, hobbies, healthy living, unhealthy living, customs and traditions), and The Individual and Society (relationships, gender issues, youth culture and education.) This was on the WJEC exam board, but I assume other exam boards will follow a similar format.
The speaking exam was 15 minutes long but it actually went fairly fast. It seems like a daunting thing at the beginning of the year, but by the end it's not bad since you've developed more confidence in being spontaneous. The first part was a discussion on some pictures, and we got around 15 minutes to prepare brief notes, and then the second part was a short conversation about hobbies, education and future plans - a lot of the questions asked were quite predictable so by the time of the exam everything was fine.
Providing that you're passionate about Spanish and are willing to work hard throughout the year, I'd definitely recommend Spanish!!
You need to look at your vocab every day, or at least every other, and refresh your mind.
Listen to Spanish radio everyday, for just 5 minutes in the car, to get used to listening.
Try and speak it as much as possible, I mull things over in my head whilst I am training a lot and just think 'how would I say this' or I say what I'm thinking in Spanish (in my head).
Don't be put off, you don't have to be fluent to get an A and then go on to get an A*; although it helps!
If you're prepared to put the effort in there are lots of free resources online to help you practice and prepare each step of the way for your A Level exams. Throughout the year I'll be creating free resources for my students who are studying for the Edexcel A Levels and I'm happy to share many of those resources with the students here too.
If you decided to take Spanish this year then I hope that they prove useful for you.
¡Todos mis mejores deseos!