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Is there a big step up from AQA GCSE French to a-level French? watch

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    I'm thinking about doing a language at a-level but keep hearing it's a huge step up, is it really?
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    (Original post by Lucywalker)
    I'm think about doing a language at a-level but keep hearing it's a huge step up, is it really?
    Speaking as a teacher, I can confirm that it is a big step up.

    If you want to do a language at A level you can help reduce the gap by revising all your grammar, and particularly your verbs, over the summer holidays. Make sure you know your conjugations by heart, including the most common irregular verbs.
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    It depends really how hard you worked at GCSE; if you done little work or didn't do the best that you could have done, it's going to be more difficult. I have had the thought that GCSE, although it doesn't cover much in terms of grammar etc, sets a very good foundation for AS. The vocabulary learnt is very useful for when you experiment with the new grammar rules.

    Seems I worked very hard for German at GCSE (the only subject I did really work for) I found the difficulty quite small. Generally people say that the gap is massive though, so it might just be my niche for German.

    I'll now digress a bit, and say some tips if you do take it; I done German, not French, but I would advise when you write essays throughout the year, write them really thoroughly. When you write an essay for e.g. smoking or sport (I'm assuming the syllabuses will be somewhat similar) formulate all your own points & find all your own vocabulary, so all the vocabulary is relevant to you.

    When you write an essay, apply all the grammar rules learnt, at least once (this should be fine though) and check it a gzillion times. Once you think that all the mistakes are corrected, then submit it to get it marked. Trust me, doing this and actually investing a lot of your time, makes you know the grammar rules innately and on the back of your hand, and then it's ridiculously easy to formulate sentences.

    I spent like over 5 hours on one essay (even though it should only take like one or something) but then it was far easier to manipulate those arguments. Do everything to the best of your ability, and all you'll really need to do is work hard on essay homeworks.

    I didn't get essays all that often either. So it wasn't the end of the world.

    Don't be afraid either to spam the teacher with questions about grammar, or learn grammar rules further ahead, if you want to. You can always research the meaning of a word you've encountered as well. I find that the more grammar rules learnt, makes it easier to express yourself, and what you say sounds far more natural.

    So just, invest your time in essays (don't botch job) with vocabulary relevant to you, not the teacher or any on line list, and you should be fine for a lot of it.

    This is just tips, not the only things you should do, but the above will help immensely with grammar and the writing (& speaking to a slightly lesser extent) part of it.
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    I just completed French at A level and I think it is quite a big step up. In GCSE, you could just memorise everything that you were going to say for the speaking or writing exams, whereas this is impossible at A level. You need to be quite good at grammar and have a good knowledge of vocabulary - also, you have to write many essays based on a variety of subjects. I do recommend taking A level French though if you liked it at GCSE
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    It also depends on the other subjects that you're thinking of doing. If you're doing many essay based subjects then French may be a problem as you'll get at least an essay per week plus lots of other work (that's how it was at my school). 3 people out of 7 are dropping french for A2 next year and they all take essay based subjects whilst the rest of us don't.

    And yes it is a huge step but so is all you're other subjects, however yes with french their is a greater gap compared to the others. I think it also depends on how hard you work and also how good you are at your other subjects, for instance I did maths, further maths, economics and french, my maths and economics were good so i could focus on french, so this year wasn't so bad for me.

    I couldn't speak spontaneously when i did gcse but at the end of AS level i could, and i think it's a pretty big achievement. In the beginning of the year it would take me between 5-8 hours to do an essay (they're kind of like those writing assessments you get at gcse but just every week), but by March i could write my essays within an hour.

    I chose to do french not because i liked it but because i was good at it (which was a very risky thing to do because with Alevels it's important to be passionate about your subjects, but i was willing to drop it within the first month for a different subject) , but i obviously didn't drop it and ended up loving it. French is my favorite subject now, and if you told me that when i was doing my gcses i would probably have a heart attack. Everyone who took french this year including the people who dropped it love french, it's not like maths or science where it requires heavy thinking, it's quite chilled and fun.

    If you're going to take french for AS level then make sure you do lots of grammer this summer because i didn't and i wish i did since essays would have taken me only 2-3 hours to do. Memorise all the rules, use youtube to learn the different tenses, and also use this website called 'memrise; (just sign up it's free), the link is below, it helps you learn all the different tenses and verbs, it's realllllly useful.http://www.memrise.com/course/131350...h-conjugation/
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    It is a massive step up, I got an A* at GCSE and in my January mock for AS I got a D, that was before I had learnt the grammar which is sooo important at A level, in the March mock I got a B. My advice is that if you do it then learn the grammar as soon as possible, then you can have the rest of the year to practice it, there were 16 in my AS class and there's only going to be 4 of us for A2 because others left the grammar learning too late and gave up
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    I actually found the step up from AS to A2 worse than the step up from GCSE to AS.

    From GCSE to AS, some of the topics are broadly similar to some of the GCSE ones (or at least that was the case with Edexcel IGCSE to AQA A Level), although the grammar and vocabulary are a step up and you need to know far more.

    Grammar is really important; for AQA you could get 10 marks just for conjugating verbs/agreeing adjectives correctly in one part of the AS exam. Knowing a variety of structures is really important for good marks in the essay and speaking exam.

    You need to be prepared to put in a lot of work, but ultimately I really enjoyed it and I would really recommend taking it at A Level. There is definitely a step up, but that's the same for each and every subject you take and if you don't let it scare you, you'll probably be pleasantly surprised.
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    (Original post by Lucywalker)
    I'm thinking about doing a language at a-level but keep hearing it's a huge step up, is it really?
    In September, I will start A-Level French (Also Spanish) and I have started preparing as my teacher gave me some books and stuff, we use the Elan course for AQA and it has a unit called 'Passerelle' which is something that is harder than GCSE but a bit easier than AS, so its good to stretch and challenge but not scare yourself by jumping straight in.

    I dont think it will be too hard as 2 years of GCSE French was soooooooooooo easy it was a doddle!
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    I didn't notice a massive step up tbh it's quite straight forward really, a bit more grammar intensive albeit. The jump from AS to A2 is mind boggling, however :erm:

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