Should I do History A Level without having done the GCSE?

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username2059805
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#1
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#1
Someone had previously asked this question, but they were an A level student, and I'm still doing my GCSEs. The difference here also is that the Sixth Form I want to go to says that you need either a B in History GCSE or English Language. Most teachers are saying that it would've been better to do History GCSE before the A level, even though I'm expected an A* in English Language. Frankly, I'm confused with the link of English Language and History, and can anyone tell me whether I'll truly struggle or not in my circumstances?

All comments are appreciated, thank you.
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math42
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(Original post by MA1999ms)
Someone had previously asked this question, but they were an A level student, and I'm still doing my GCSEs. The difference here also is that the Sixth Form I want to go to days that you need either a B in History GCSE or English Language. Most teachers are saying that it would've been better to do History GCSE before the A level, even though I'm expected an A* in English Language. Frankly, I'm confused with the link of English Language and History, and can anyone tell me whether I'll truly struggle or not in my circumstances?

All comments are appreciated, thank you.
Although I did take history at GCSE and AS I didn't notice any particular (unique to history) transferable skills per se even though I did both with the same exam board. If you can get an a* in English Language you have the necessary skills for AS History. It's just doing source analysis and long pieces of writing essentially.
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monocleman1
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#3
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The link between English Language is most likely referencing the fact that both involve an analysis of sources (text in the case of English Language, but for A-level history this is primarily the medium through which sources are presented) and language, and that both also require a good ability to write (which is essential for essay based subjects, of course).

I believe that, with a proficiency for writing (and analysing language), as (perhaps) evidenced in a potential A* in English Language, History as a subject shouldn't be too difficult to pick up. Of course, History is a distinct subject; there are skills in History which are not required in English Language. You will, for instance, have to compare the relative significance of individuals, events and factors, and to do this well you will have to use links between such 'things'. I don't think this is too difficult, again, with some prior experience (and skill) with an analysis based subject such as English Language (and others, perhaps) to attain.


I'd say, therefore, to give it a shot, if it is something that interests you. I would recommend talking to a sixth form teacher if at all possible, though I'm sure advice presented on here will also be of use.
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Cinnamon_Fairy
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#4
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#4
I did gcse history and am now doing a level and personally I don't see any reason why you would need to do gcse to do a level. However it depends on the similarities between the gcse and a level syllabuses. For example I studied the world wars from the engish perspective at gcse and the german perspective for a level and whilst my gcse gave me some background knowledge I would by no means say it is knowledge that is wholy necessary just that it gives you a certain understanding of events as soon as you begin. And as for the link between english language and history it has to do with the analytical and analysis skill set that both require (e.g source based questions)
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username2059805
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#5
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(Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
Although I did take history at GCSE and AS I didn't notice any particular (unique to history) transferable skills per se even though I did both with the same exam board. If you can get an a* in English Language you have the necessary skills for AS History. It's just doing source analysis and long pieces of writing essentially.
Thank you, I really needed to hear something like that.
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username2059805
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#6
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Sorry, I meant to thank everyone. 😊
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desmoulins
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#7
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Hey, I took history at GCSE and A-level but I've got a friend who didn't take it for GCSE.
As far as I'm aware she's had absolutely no trouble, lots of the skills that you might use for english language & literature are almost exactly the same as history- analysing sources and texts, writing essays- so if you're predicted an A* in English language I'm sure you'll be fine. I'm pretty sure she's predicted an A, so yeah. I'd say go for it.
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Rebeccalc988
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If you're good at English and I mean naturally good and don't mind reading you should be fine
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username2059805
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#9
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(Original post by Rebeccalc988)
If you're good at English and I mean naturally good and don't mind reading you should be fine
Thank you
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Rebeccalc988
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#10
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(Original post by MA1999ms)
Thank you
good luck with it though it is challenging but it's really enjoyable too I would say maybe do some reading in the summer if you want to get a head start
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username2059805
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#11
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#11
(Original post by Rebeccalc988)
good luck with it though it is challenging but it's really enjoyable too I would say maybe do some reading in the summer if you want to get a head start
I would do that, but the course changes every year, so I'm not exactly sure what to expect, until I talk to a Sixth Form teacher. OKay, I know what to do now, thank you hopefully I'll enjoy it
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dauntlesstraitor
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#12
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#12
I would definitely go for it! History is a wonderful A Level to have- I've just finished AS, and there's a boy in my class who always got very high marks even though he didn't take it at GCSE
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The Room Student
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#13
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I'd say yes: a friend of mine, who is mathematically-minded and only got a B in GCSE English Language, took AS History (having not done History at GCSE) and got a solid A in it.

Only one specific example, sure, but it can be done. If you want to take it then go for it...
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