Sophia_xx
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I am going to start AS spanish soon and am having second thoughts about it . I am unsure about whether i should take physics instead , can anyone give me any advice. I got an A star in both spanish and physics at GCSE?
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LostInStereo123
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I was in the exact same position as you a couple of years ago and I chose Spanish. It honestly depends on which you like more and what you plan on studying at uni. Feel free to ask me questions about Spanish
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LeFailFish
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(Original post by Sophia_xx)
I am going to start AS spanish soon and am having second thoughts about it . I am unsure about whether i should take physics instead , can anyone give me any advice. I got an A star in both spanish and physics at GCSE?
Both subjects are very challenging at AS/A-level in different ways. Are you taking A-level Maths? It is possible to take Physics without Maths but it does make things a lot more difficult.
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username1344042
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Spanish is much more fun than physics! I'm starting it in September too, and also got A*'s in both
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Sophia_xx
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(Original post by LeFailFish)
Both subjects are very challenging at AS/A-level in different ways. Are you taking A-level Maths? It is possible to take Physics without Maths but it does make things a lot more difficult.
Yes I am going to be taking A-level maths
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Sophia_xx
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(Original post by LostInStereo123)
I was in the exact same position as you a couple of years ago and I chose Spanish. It honestly depends on which you like more and what you plan on studying at uni. Feel free to ask me questions about Spanish
Is spanish a big jump up from GCSE ? I love spanish but am worried about speakings and having to write an essay in the exam rather than planning it at home first.
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LeFailFish
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(Original post by Sophia_xx)
Yes I am going to be taking A-level maths
Physics would certainly compliment Maths as a choice then - there's a lot of overlap between M1 Maths and Physics. However, you should take whichever one you think you'll enjoy more.
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LostInStereo123
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The jump between GCSE to AS wasn't too big. There is a heavy emphasis on grammar but I didn't find it too difficult. Unlike GCSE, you can't do minimum revision and expect to achieve a high grade. The subject requires hard work and consistency. I didn't like the speaking unit for AS (I liked A2 though) but its 30% of the AS grade. If your sixth form/college requires you to attend speaking classes, I definitely recommend that you make use of them. The writing part does seem difficult at first because you have to refrain from making it sound GCSE like but with practice it becomes more bearable.
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languagey
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(Original post by Sophia_xx)
Is spanish a big jump up from GCSE ? I love spanish but am worried about speakings and having to write an essay in the exam rather than planning it at home first.
Hola! I did French and German post-GCSE at A Level and would say that I didn't find the jump from GCSE to AS too huge as a lot of the topics were similar to those in GCSE, but more in-depth and more independent study. AS topics will include technology, youth culture, holidays, family, friends + relationships, health etc - topics that we know quite a lot about which makes them not only easier but more interesting!
I also started Spanish AS (+ then continued to A2 this past year) from scratch which was a real challenge to begin with and I was at a disadvantage with a lack of grammar, but after the first term of AS I felt at a similar level to the rest of the class.
At AS you build on your knowledge at GCSE and develop your understanding of grammar, but a lot of schools (including mine) actually spend the first term recapping GCSE stuff to get people up to the same level, so I wouldn't worry too much!
To be honest, I found AS to A2 more of a jump as you deal with more ethical/political/social/cultural issues, but A2 is definitely the most interesting and it prepares you for degree-level language study.
I was also worried about having to write timed essays at A Level as opposed to spending ages getting them perfect and then memorising like at GCSE, but the more you practise, the easier it gets. Essays at A Level are actually quite short & a similar length to GCSE I believe - 250-300 words usually. You should get a lot of practice + help with essay structure which definitely makes the exams less daunting! At my school we wrote one essay every other week so that meant that we were much more used to thinking quickly for the exams. But it's not too scary because most exam boards give a choice in questions (eg between film/music/holidays essays) so there's bound to be something you like/can do! I know I'm biased, but one thing I would say about having a language to AS level is that it will undoubtedly be useful whatever you decide to do, and will attract employers. Plus, it could open up opportunities for studying/working abroad. Plus it's FUN!
Sorry for the essay - if you have any more specific questions about doing a language/Spanish @ A Level, feel free to ask me
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Sophia_xx
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(Original post by LostInStereo123)
The jump between GCSE to AS wasn't too big. There is a heavy emphasis on grammar but I didn't find it too difficult. Unlike GCSE, you can't do minimum revision and expect to achieve a high grade. The subject requires hard work and consistency. I didn't like the speaking unit for AS (I liked A2 though) but its 30% of the AS grade. If your sixth form/college requires you to attend speaking classes, I definitely recommend that you make use of them. The writing part does seem difficult at first because you have to refrain from making it sound GCSE like but with practice it becomes more bearable.
ok , thank you
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Sophia_xx
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(Original post by languagey)
Hola! I did French and German post-GCSE at A Level and would say that I didn't find the jump from GCSE to AS too huge as a lot of the topics were similar to those in GCSE, but more in-depth and more independent study. AS topics will include technology, youth culture, holidays, family, friends + relationships, health etc - topics that we know quite a lot about which makes them not only easier but more interesting!
I also started Spanish AS (+ then continued to A2 this past year) from scratch which was a real challenge to begin with and I was at a disadvantage with a lack of grammar, but after the first term of AS I felt at a similar level to the rest of the class.
At AS you build on your knowledge at GCSE and develop your understanding of grammar, but a lot of schools (including mine) actually spend the first term recapping GCSE stuff to get people up to the same level, so I wouldn't worry too much!
To be honest, I found AS to A2 more of a jump as you deal with more ethical/political/social/cultural issues, but A2 is definitely the most interesting and it prepares you for degree-level language study.
I was also worried about having to write timed essays at A Level as opposed to spending ages getting them perfect and then memorising like at GCSE, but the more you practise, the easier it gets. Essays at A Level are actually quite short & a similar length to GCSE I believe - 250-300 words usually. You should get a lot of practice + help with essay structure which definitely makes the exams less daunting! At my school we wrote one essay every other week so that meant that we were much more used to thinking quickly for the exams. But it's not too scary because most exam boards give a choice in questions (eg between film/music/holidays essays) so there's bound to be something you like/can do! I know I'm biased, but one thing I would say about having a language to AS level is that it will undoubtedly be useful whatever you decide to do, and will attract employers. Plus, it could open up opportunities for studying/working abroad. Plus it's FUN!
Sorry for the essay - if you have any more specific questions about doing a language/Spanish @ A Level, feel free to ask me
thank you for your reply ! Are there any resources online or books you used in spanish that helped you ? Also is there a vocabulary list at AS or do you gain vocabulary by reading articles and stuff like that?
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languagey
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(Original post by Sophia_xx)
thank you for your reply ! Are there any resources online or books you used in spanish that helped you ? Also is there a vocabulary list at AS or do you gain vocabulary by reading articles and stuff like that?
Online - I'd suggest sites like Memrise for learning vocab, and also BBC Languages can be useful. There are always vids in different languages on YouTube, and also news podcasts online. Personally I watch quite a few foreign films + listen to foreign music which does also help with new vocab

Books - Palabra Por Palabra is excellent for key A Level vocab + fancy essay phrases, esp. for top grades! http://www.amazon.co.uk/Palabra-Por-...2390883&sr=1-4 I'm even taking my copy to uni with me.
For a grammar book I'd recommend the Practice Makes Perfect series, or also Routledge grammar books. The exam boards also publish their own guides so keep an eye out for those on Amazon for your specific exam board - they're written by examiners so have tips + useful practice exam-style questions. They talk you clearly through the topics and what you need to do in the exams. When I did AS I used this one (WJEC): http://www.amazon.co.uk/%C3%81nimo-S...lf+study+guide

I'd recommend getting a good-sized dictionary or at least an app if you do Spanish - your school will probably have dictionaries for using in class but I found it really helped me to have my own to reference for homework. Although of course you won't have that in the exam!
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Sophia_xx
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(Original post by languagey)
Online - I'd suggest sites like Memrise for learning vocab, and also BBC Languages can be useful. There are always vids in different languages on YouTube, and also news podcasts online. Personally I watch quite a few foreign films + listen to foreign music which does also help with new vocab

Books - Palabra Por Palabra is excellent for key A Level vocab + fancy essay phrases, esp. for top grades! http://www.amazon.co.uk/Palabra-Por-...2390883&sr=1-4 I'm even taking my copy to uni with me.
For a grammar book I'd recommend the Practice Makes Perfect series, or also Routledge grammar books. The exam boards also publish their own guides so keep an eye out for those on Amazon for your specific exam board - they're written by examiners so have tips + useful practice exam-style questions. They talk you clearly through the topics and what you need to do in the exams. When I did AS I used this one (WJEC): http://www.amazon.co.uk/%C3%81nimo-S...lf+study+guide

I'd recommend getting a good-sized dictionary or at least an app if you do Spanish - your school will probably have dictionaries for using in class but I found it really helped me to have my own to reference for homework. Although of course you won't have that in the exam!
thank you !!!!!
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languagey
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(Original post by Sophia_xx)
thank you for your reply ! Are there any resources online or books you used in spanish that helped you ? Also is there a vocabulary list at AS or do you gain vocabulary by reading articles and stuff like that?
Also - there are vocab lists in the course book you'll use in class, usually at the beginning/end of units, but you might want to make your own vocab lists for each module in a notebook. You'll also get vocab from articles in the course book too, or from other sources
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