Uyirpeariel
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#1
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I took Spanish for GCSE and I did really well so I'd love to take it for A level, but after doing some research, lots of people are saying it's really hard and so different from GCSE.

So what's Spanish like as an A level? And what are the assessments like, especially the ones on speaking do you have to think on the spot and make it up on the spot? If it depends on the exam board, I think my school switches to OCR for languages for some reason, unless I heard incorrectly and we carry on with AQA.

Thanks for your help
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FMartin
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I did fast track at college, so last year I did gcse and this year I've done AS and A level. It's definitely been a hard A level but I would say it'll be easier for you (especially because you liked GCSE) because the longer you do a language the more of an instinct you get in it. I do german as well which I did at school and I find German a lot easier than spanish.

The grammar and change in speed of learning topics is a big step up from GCSE but it's definitely worth it. If you really like learning spanish you'll love it, I would say you get a lot more from it than other subjects at A level because it's something you'll actually use.

As for the speaking it's nothing like GCSE, it's a lot more like a natural conversation which you make up on the spot which sounds so scary at first but is actually fine. You'll probably have a conversation class every week so by the time of the exam you'll be able to react spontaneously (and you'll have practiced topics so much that you'll know a lot of phrases off by heart). Me and one of my friends used to Skype each other every night the last two weeks before the exam and that really helped with feeling prepared, so I'd say find yourself a partner to speak with.

I hope this all helps you decide- I would definitely recommend spanish even if just to AS.
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Uyirpeariel
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(Original post by FMartin)
I hope this all helps you decide- I would definitely recommend spanish even if just to AS.

Thank you so much it's been really helpful!
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emilysiena
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It's definitely important that you enjoy whatever subjects that you are doing at A level as much of your time is devoted to them. However, the gap between GCSE and A level language is rather considerable, though it should be less if you do iGCSE. You are expected to be much more proficient and independent eg. AQA GCSE oral, you could just memorise the answers to questions you knew beforehand whereas at AS, you'll spend 5 minutes discussing a chosen topic, 5 minutes responding to a stimulus card, and then open conversation. At A2 it's even more independent; you will be given a stimulus card and then you are expected to debate an issue, followed by open discussion of the work(s) of say, a film director, and a piece of Spanish literature.
I took French, Spanish and Latin GCSE and got A*s in all and continued Latin to AS, and Spanish to A2. While I love languages, when considering my university offers, I'm cautious as to whether I made the right decision. It is notoriously difficult to score highly in languages, eg about 20% of A level maths candidates receive A*s, compared to 6-7% in modern languages. This is a problem that has been addressed for a number of years and they are just beginning to make changes, but it's a work in progress. If you take the example of AQA, the writing section of the paper is more heavily weighted than all the other skills so you need to master the writing in order to get A*/A. On top of this, there are native/semi-native/bilingual speakers mingled in with candidates who generally have unparalleled knowledge to that of a candidate whose first language is English - the exams are designed for people learning modern languages as a second language but there are people sitting these papers for whom it is their first language. (There are really detailed reports on this if you really want to know, just google!). Moreover, the grade boundaries are ridiculously high - in my Spanish A2 mock, I got 95/110 which is 86% and that was a B. So, it's something to think about when considering the grades you'll need to get into your firm/insurance university choices. Obviously if you want to continue languages to degree level then an A level would be essential and it's a great skill to have for life. Elements are enjoyable, but it's tough! That said, if you enjoy it then that is sufficient reason enough.
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username457532
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I did A2 Spanish and loved it. But after 4 years I can hardly speak a work. This saddens me.
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notafail
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pls understand that there is no coursework.none.

other than that you do actually learn the language but i do regret making the choice as it is very difficult
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