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How hard is Edexcel A-Level Government & Politics if... watch

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    ... you don't know much about politics in general, I don't really follow the news so have a very vague idea of what's happening around the world. Do you need a lot of external knowledge to do well in the exam or if you revise the textbook a lot will you do well?
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    Hello! Current Edexcel Government and Politics student here. There seem to be a lot of A-Level Politics questions going around at the moment. I feel so needed!

    To answer your question, by the time of the examination, you're going to want to keep yourself up-to-date in politics and current affairs as much as possible, and also get a general grip on several of the largest parties policies, but you don't need to come to the course with really any prior knowledge. That's part of what makes the course great: it works from the ground up, forcing you to question concepts you took for granted. I've been really into following politics for a long time, and I absolutely love it; the person who sits next to me knew virtually nothing coming to the course, and it's his favourite class.

    I should say I'm lucky enough to have a really excellent teacher, so my experience might not be 100% representative of everyone's - but I think the curriculum is really good too, and in my experience a lot of really interesting people sign up for Politics, much higher than most subjects, so you should have a lot of interesting discussions.

    If you simply revise from the textbook, your grade is unlikely to be as good as it would if you kept up in the news, and more importantly your understanding is likely to be significantly more limited. I don't believe the exam especially focus on external knowledge, in fact it's pretty academically oriented, but you'd be lacking a lot of important context. Besides, certainly in my class, and from what I've heard in most classes, politics is very much a discursive subject, and you'll be asked what you think about recent developments in the news on a very regular basis.

    Personally, I couldn't recommend it enough. I love it, and I think pretty much everyone in my class does. Whichever way you decide, I hope I've helped you reach a decision.
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    I fell in love with that subject!!!

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Updated: September 28, 2014
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