How much harder are A-Levels than GCSE's?

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fairlyemily
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From what I've heard about A-levels they are extraordinarily hard! I was wondering what you guys on student room think about A-levels in general and specific subjects. Do they lead on from knowledge you glean at GCSE?
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kkboyk
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(Original post by fairlyemily)
From what I've heard about A-levels they are extraordinarily hard! I was wondering what you guys on student room think about A-levels in general and specific subjects. Do they lead on from knowledge you glean at GCSE?
They are harder than GCSE and for some subject yes they do lead on form GCSE knowledge.

There are much more topics to cover in great details at a short amount of time, you'll have to be revising throughout the year (unlike GCSE which you can scrap a good grade by starting revision a few weeks before the exams).
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HistoryStudent1
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(Original post by fairlyemily)
From what I've heard about A-levels they are extraordinarily hard! I was wondering what you guys on student room think about A-levels in general and specific subjects. Do they lead on from knowledge you glean at GCSE?
I personally find them easier, purely because there is less subjects to revise from - I wouldn't say that getting an A at A level is as difficult as people make out.
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username1560589
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(Original post by fairlyemily)
From what I've heard about A-levels they are extraordinarily hard! I was wondering what you guys on student room think about A-levels in general and specific subjects. Do they lead on from knowledge you glean at GCSE?
For an individual subject the A-level is much harder than the GCSE. Whether it leads on from the GCSE really depends on the subject. For maths, you pretty much start from the start. GCSE covers virtually no maths, so you would be starting from nothing. For sciences on the other hand, the knowledge you have learned from GCSE is used as a foundation to learn it in much more detail and learn new content.

In general though, A-levels are easier because you do the subjects you are good at and enjoy. You are also older and more experienced of revision etc. Last year I got an A* in A-level maths, but a D in GCSE English, which proves that getting an A* in your best subjects at A-level is much, much easier than getting a C in your worst subjects at GCSE.
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HistoryStudent1
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(Original post by morgan8002)
For an individual subject the A-level is much harder than the GCSE. Whether it leads on from the GCSE really depends on the subject. For maths, you pretty much start from the start. GCSE covers virtually no maths, so you would be starting from nothing.
I disagree, there is a lot of Core Maths 1 at least which leads on from GCSE such as completing the square, surds and transformations of graphs (although they are more advanced.)
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username1560589
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(Original post by HistoryStudent1)
I disagree, there is a lot of Core Maths 1 at least which leads on from GCSE such as completing the square, surds and transformations of graphs (although they are more advanced.)
We didn't cover completing the square at GCSE. We covered factorising quadratics and the quadratic formula, but nothing more advanced than that. Surds are covered at GCSE and are the closest thing in AS to GCSE, but are more advanced at AS. I can't remember doing transformations of graphs at GCSE, but if we did it was very simplistic and much easier than that covered in C2 and C3.
AS maths is about learning the foundations of maths that you need for your A2 and beyond.
Areas such as calculus, numerical methods, curve sketching, algebra (such as logs, surds and indices), trig and summation are either introduced for the first time or are covered in enough detail to make the GCSE seem like nothing.
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voxdock
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A-levels are unfathomably more difficult, like seriously unless you're going to be getting all A*s at GCSE don't even bother just go to College
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Kiarash_f
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(Original post by voxdock)
A-levels are unfathomably more difficult, like seriously unless you're going to be getting all A*s at GCSE don't even bother just go to College
Please don't listen to this idiot. A-levels are harder ofc but bare in mind it's 4 subjects vs like 10-12 and it's subjects youve chosen to do.

I amassed 4A*s at GCSE and am doing fairly well in A-levels so please stop talking rubbish
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voxdock
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(Original post by Kiarash_f)
Please don't listen to this idiot. A-levels are harder ofc but bare in mind it's 4 subjects vs like 10-12 and it's subjects youve chosen to do.

I amassed 4A*s at GCSE and am doing fairly well in A-levels so please stop talking rubbish
jokes?
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Kiarash_f
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(Original post by voxdock)
jokes?
world class jokes imo
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voxdock
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(Original post by Kiarash_f)
world class jokes imo
If you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen #justsayin
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uberteknik
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#12
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#12
Some people will tell you they are easy because they find them......easy.

Some people will tell you they are hard because they find them......hard.

There is no right or wrong answer. It's down to your own preferences, ability, work ethic, tenacity and support network.

A tone deaf person who hates everything that's not pop music and has two left thumbs, ain't gonna ace music A-level.

A person who has a phobia for equations and algebra is not going to get far with maths.

A person who reads only because they did it to pass an exam will seriously struggle with English literature.

General rule: If you like the subject at GCSE and can get at least a high grade B or above, then most A-level subjects are open to you but you will still need to put a lot of effort in and for most people - be prepared for the shock of a far higher and far more challenging work load.
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Exhale3451
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They are significantly harder and shouldn't be underestimated. However, if you work steadily and effectively throughout the year (e.g. revising topics you went over in class, doing all the homework, revision technique and timetable), you will be well prepared for the exams and your chances of gaining top grades will be good.
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voxdock
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(Original post by Exhale3451)
They are significantly harder and shouldn't be underestimated. However, if you work steadily and effectively throughout the year (e.g. revising topics you went over in class, doing all the homework, revision technique and timetable), you will be well prepared for the exams and your chances of gaining top grades will be good.
I agree with this to a point, but the reality is that you don't have to work completely consistently. I would agree doing your homework regularly is important but I don't think you need to be revising topics done at school all year round or you'll just get really sick of them and then when you get to Easter and really do need to revise you just won't be able to.

A lot depends on natural intellect as well, lots of people can start revising at Easter having done nothing all year and get quite comfortable As, others have to work a bit harder throughout.
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Exhale3451
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(Original post by voxdock)
I agree with this to a point, but the reality is that you don't have to work completely consistently. I would agree doing your homework regularly is important but I don't think you need to be revising topics done at school all year round or you'll just get really sick of them and then when you get to Easter and really do need to revise you just won't be able to.

A lot depends on natural intellect as well, lots of people can start revising at Easter having done nothing all year and get quite comfortable As, others have to work a bit harder throughout.
Yeah certainly. You don't necessarily have to work all year to get good grades although you cant really go wrong doing so. As you mentioned, a lot depends on the individual's abilities as well as other factors such as subject choices
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username1560589
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(Original post by voxdock)
I agree with this to a point, but the reality is that you don't have to work completely consistently. I would agree doing your homework regularly is important but I don't think you need to be revising topics done at school all year round or you'll just get really sick of them and then when you get to Easter and really do need to revise you just won't be able to.

A lot depends on natural intellect as well, lots of people can start revising at Easter having done nothing all year and get quite comfortable As, others have to work a bit harder throughout.
Or you could work a bit harder and get A*s.
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binarythoughts
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A lot
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Burty123
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#18
Straight comparison, Alevel require much more work and 'advanced knowledge' of a subject. But the fact you only do 4/3 compared to 10/12 and you are older, with the experience of public exams and doing subjects you are more interested in, you are generally not going to struggle as much as people assume.
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fairlyemily
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#19
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Did any of you do further maths GCSE because I'm doing it atm. Is that anything like maths at A-level?
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Phoebe♥
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(Original post by fairlyemily)
Did any of you do further maths GCSE because I'm doing it atm. Is that anything like maths at A-level?
For me, the additional maths at GCSE helped a lot-with wjec a lot of work from C1 and parts of C2 we'd already covered in the additional GCSE so the jump didn't seem too bad

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