blitzchika
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I'm thinking of doing Spanish for A Level. My school are doing Spanish with AQA and I was wondering whether you get any time before writing exams to prepare (as in knowing the topic beforehand) like you do in GCSE.

I also heard Speaking is extremely difficult as you need to talk about real life issues. Is this true?

Finally what's the overall structure of AS Spanish?

Thanks
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blitzchika
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Anyone?
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xhazeleanor
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Heya,

I have just got my AS results, studying:

AQA Spanish
AQA English Lit
EDEXCEL Maths
OCR Economics

I took spanish because I enjoyed it basically. I got A*s across the board having taken both German and Spanish at GCSE I considered myself a 'languages' person.

Any subject GCSE to AS is a massive jump but personally for me Spanish was the most stressful and hardest to settle in to. AQA has 4 topics with 3 subtopics in each topic, with each subtopic having 3 separate sections, and you study everything and you are tested on every topic in the Oral and it will all pretty much come up in the exam too.

The sheer content got to me, but the most daunting aspect was the difference in the oral exams. you have 20 mins to prepare a stimulus card, you can kinda learn another section, but then you are left with two sections you have to have spontaneous conversation in. I hated the oral, and was convinced I messed it up so badly. I got all the subtopics I didn't want in the spontaneous conversations and my examiner wasn't allowing me to direct the conversation in a different direction so that I could talk about one of the subtopics I was more confident in.

By the time of the exam I hadn't really revised. I was fed up considering I thought I had completely messed up the oral, and so I focused on my other subjects as they are easier to revise and see progression in than language subjects (if you get me, like you can see the difference in 1 hr of maths revision compared to 1 hr of vocab learning). You are tested on listening, reading, grammar and then an essay which you can't prepare for because you could get anything. Listening and reading are much harder than GCSE and grammar, well you learn more rules throughout the course but they try and slip you up really badly and the questions are always hard. Time management is hard. You get 2 hrs, and should spend 1 on the essay meaning you only have 1 for the 3 other sections. It was such a rush for me in the real thing. I actually left out a whole reading question and questions throughout the listening, which is something I NEVER do, ever. You do not know anything about the essay before hand, teachers will give you past paper essays to prepare but the real thing could be anything, you get 3 choices all from different topics but often one is very bizarre and it is likely you will not like multiple subtopics and so if more than one you hate comes up you're in a sticky situation. I had only revised one essay on a very specific question (pros and cons of advertising so it was in the media and communications topic, and the advertising subtopic) in the vague hope it came up, as I say I was fed up with spanish and focused more on my other subjects having decided I was going to drop it for A2. By some miracle the exact question came up and so I drew what I could remember from my essay I had done for homework and put it in the essay in the exam.

I wasn't confident having left the exam, but I wasn't too bothered. The year had kind of killed spanish for me. It's so sad to say but I lost my love for it due to the extensive analysis of grammar and boring topics covered. Learning the essay structure was so specific and so boring and I found myself completely ignoring the subject because it was easier for me to do my other subjects being someone who can learn reels of info my heart and enjoys just splurting out all I know in the exam.

Anywayyyyyyy I got an A at AS level somehow. After my year constantly getting low marks in practise essays we did in class and for homework, and despite my AWFUL oral exam. I think it was my luck with the essay question but I'm still dropping it for A2.

I really don't mean to put you off, do it if you want to, but I just want to give my honest opinion. It is harder to revise and prepare for than any other subject, and I found it very stressful throughout the year. The oral made me very anxious and the layout of the exam didn't suit me at all. I should have realised before I chose my options but I just loved spanish so much and was considering a joint honours with Econ at Uni. Personally for me, if I could go back I would have taken Geography. Learning lots of info doesn't scare me because you know that once you have learnt it you will be fine. It's not the same with languages. More than in any other subject, if the questions don't suit you in either the oral or the exam you can really mess up.

What else are you considering taking, and what do you hope to do at Uni and career-wise. Consider the option and take time with the decision, if you are confident go for it. I got an A, it can be done!! It's just how you would cope with the course structure really!
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blitzchika
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(Original post by xhazeleanor)
Heya,

I have just got my AS results, studying:

AQA Spanish
AQA English Lit
EDEXCEL Maths
OCR Economics

I took spanish because I enjoyed it basically. I got A*s across the board having taken both German and Spanish at GCSE I considered myself a 'languages' person.

Any subject GCSE to AS is a massive jump but personally for me Spanish was the most stressful and hardest to settle in to. AQA has 4 topics with 3 subtopics in each topic, with each subtopic having 3 separate sections, and you study everything and you are tested on every topic in the Oral and it will all pretty much come up in the exam too.

The sheer content got to me, but the most daunting aspect was the difference in the oral exams. you have 20 mins to prepare a stimulus card, you can kinda learn another section, but then you are left with two sections you have to have spontaneous conversation in. I hated the oral, and was convinced I messed it up so badly. I got all the subtopics I didn't want in the spontaneous conversations and my examiner wasn't allowing me to direct the conversation in a different direction so that I could talk about one of the subtopics I was more confident in.

By the time of the exam I hadn't really revised. I was fed up considering I thought I had completely messed up the oral, and so I focused on my other subjects as they are easier to revise and see progression in than language subjects (if you get me, like you can see the difference in 1 hr of maths revision compared to 1 hr of vocab learning). You are tested on listening, reading, grammar and then an essay which you can't prepare for because you could get anything. Listening and reading are much harder than GCSE and grammar, well you learn more rules throughout the course but they try and slip you up really badly and the questions are always hard. Time management is hard. You get 2 hrs, and should spend 1 on the essay meaning you only have 1 for the 3 other sections. It was such a rush for me in the real thing. I actually left out a whole reading question and questions throughout the listening, which is something I NEVER do, ever. You do not know anything about the essay before hand, teachers will give you past paper essays to prepare but the real thing could be anything, you get 3 choices all from different topics but often one is very bizarre and it is likely you will not like multiple subtopics and so if more than one you hate comes up you're in a sticky situation. I had only revised one essay on a very specific question (pros and cons of advertising so it was in the media and communications topic, and the advertising subtopic) in the vague hope it came up, as I say I was fed up with spanish and focused more on my other subjects having decided I was going to drop it for A2. By some miracle the exact question came up and so I drew what I could remember from my essay I had done for homework and put it in the essay in the exam.

I wasn't confident having left the exam, but I wasn't too bothered. The year had kind of killed spanish for me. It's so sad to say but I lost my love for it due to the extensive analysis of grammar and boring topics covered. Learning the essay structure was so specific and so boring and I found myself completely ignoring the subject because it was easier for me to do my other subjects being someone who can learn reels of info my heart and enjoys just splurting out all I know in the exam.

Anywayyyyyyy I got an A at AS level somehow. After my year constantly getting low marks in practise essays we did in class and for homework, and despite my AWFUL oral exam. I think it was my luck with the essay question but I'm still dropping it for A2.

I really don't mean to put you off, do it if you want to, but I just want to give my honest opinion. It is harder to revise and prepare for than any other subject, and I found it very stressful throughout the year. The oral made me very anxious and the layout of the exam didn't suit me at all. I should have realised before I chose my options but I just loved spanish so much and was considering a joint honours with Econ at Uni. Personally for me, if I could go back I would have taken Geography. Learning lots of info doesn't scare me because you know that once you have learnt it you will be fine. It's not the same with languages. More than in any other subject, if the questions don't suit you in either the oral or the exam you can really mess up.

What else are you considering taking, and what do you hope to do at Uni and career-wise. Consider the option and take time with the decision, if you are confident go for it. I got an A, it can be done!! It's just how you would cope with the course structure really!
Thanks for the detailed reply . Spanish seems to be extremely tough :/ I'm taking Biology, Psychology and Maths and I was deciding between History and Spanish. I want to go on to be a psychologist so I'll obviously be doing Psychology at uni
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