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Spanish GCSE in 2-3 months?

I would like to study Spanish at university, in combination with either French or German, both of which I already study at AS-level. However, I don't study Spanish. I know you can take beginners' courses at university but I am also considering studying abroad where it seems it would be better to have done AS Spanish at least, so I would like to take AS Spanish next year, in combination with my 3 A2s. The only problem is that at my school you need at least a grade B in Spanish GCSE to take the AS. Would it be possible to self-teach Spanish and take the GCSE (possibly short couse) this summer exam season? I did a mock reading paper and got an A* without any revision or studying. I am just worried about speaking/writing controlled assessments as that obviously requires knowledge of Spanish rather than just comprehension. Unless you cheat and get someone else to write it for you but I don't want to do that.

So one option is to self-teach Spanish GCSE at the same time as my 4 AS levels. Alternatively, I could just drop my 4th AS level now and use the free periods I would gain to learn Spanish, which might give me a better chance of actually getting good at it. And I would still take the AS next year so I would still have 3 A2s and 1 AS at the end of sixth form.

What do you think? Is this a good idea? I realise that doing well in GCSE Spanish probably doesn't require much skill and would really just be aiming to get B or above as required for the AS, and then to learn Spanish properly over the summer.

Alternatively I could just continue with all 4 ASs and take Spanish classes outside of school aiming to sit AS as a private candidate next summer.

Basically I'm really indecisive and need help!
Original post by iamnotme
I would like to study Spanish at university, in combination with either French or German, both of which I already study at AS-level. However, I don't study Spanish. I know you can take beginners' courses at university but I am also considering studying abroad where it seems it would be better to have done AS Spanish at least, so I would like to take AS Spanish next year, in combination with my 3 A2s. The only problem is that at my school you need at least a grade B in Spanish GCSE to take the AS. Would it be possible to self-teach Spanish and take the GCSE (possibly short couse) this summer exam season? I did a mock reading paper and got an A* without any revision or studying. I am just worried about speaking/writing controlled assessments as that obviously requires knowledge of Spanish rather than just comprehension. Unless you cheat and get someone else to write it for you but I don't want to do that.

So one option is to self-teach Spanish GCSE at the same time as my 4 AS levels. Alternatively, I could just drop my 4th AS level now and use the free periods I would gain to learn Spanish, which might give me a better chance of actually getting good at it. And I would still take the AS next year so I would still have 3 A2s and 1 AS at the end of sixth form.

What do you think? Is this a good idea? I realise that doing well in GCSE Spanish probably doesn't require much skill and would really just be aiming to get B or above as required for the AS, and then to learn Spanish properly over the summer.

Alternatively I could just continue with all 4 ASs and take Spanish classes outside of school aiming to sit AS as a private candidate next summer.

Basically I'm really indecisive and need help!


As somebody else said elsewhere on this forum, quoting a teacher, language GCSEs are a lie. The fact that you get an A* or any other grade at GCSE gives no indication whatsoever about whether you're going to be any good at it at AS or A2. Schools have to say that you need a B at GCSE as a minimum because language A levels are difficult and they only want people who are going to work hard! (I speak as a teacher myself, by the way.)

Armed with this knowledge, you can hop, skip and jump your way through GCSE Spanish however you like, because it's not that that's going to make any difference at all. Whether you decide to do your Spanish AS in or out of school, there is one thing that you should do: make sure that you spend some time this summer getting to grips with basic Spanish grammar - learn your verb conjugations - Spanish has a lot of radical-changing verbs (e.g. jeter and appeler in French, in Spanish there are loads); make sure you know how to use the different tenses; make sure you know the difference between the two verbs for "to be". If you can do this before you start on your AS course you'll do well.

In my experience, people who try to do a full school programme and then another subject outside of school with a tutor often find that the outside school subject suffers because there just isn't the same pressure as at school. So my recommendation would be to try and get that B at GCSE now and then do AS classes at school next year. It seems a pity to drop an AS subject to self-teach Spanish; I'd give it a go for a month first without dropping any subjects and see how you're coping.
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From a teacher's perspective would it be possible to learn spanish for gcse in 2 months

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