A good idea to pick English Lit, History and RS at A level?

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09tig
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Hi,
I'd like some advice on the difficulty level of those courses and whether my workload could be handled. I've been told that combination may pile a lot of stress on me due to the workload.
I'm undecided. I'd welcome any advice.
Thanks.
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nelizabeth_
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(Original post by 09tig)
Hi,
I'd like some advice on the difficulty level of those courses and whether my workload could be handled. I've been told that combination may pile a lot of stress on me due to the workload.
I'm undecided. I'd welcome any advice.
Thanks.
I did all three of those alongside Spanish for AS (just started A2 yesterday). I would say it depends what your 4th subject is; I had four essay subjects and when it came to revision it was quite difficult to remember so much information, not to mention the fact that all my exams were in the space of seven days. So I would advise picking an easy 4th subject like psychology or something. History was my 4th subject and I managed a C; I would much rather have done politics or psychology and achieved an A.

In terms of the actual courses, I found RS to be really interesting, nothing like GCSE and it's not too hard, though I was disappointed with my result at the end (a very low B) as I achieved full marks in pretty much all the essays throughout the year .
English Literature was alright, not really very enjoyable but then again the course was based on war poetry. Definitely try and get near 100% in the coursework and that will boost your grade. I only did one night's intense revision for the exam and somehow managed 90% (I swear the examiner made a mistake). It's about effective revision.

How much you enjoy history and the probability of achieving a good grade is dependent on the actual units, on my opinion. I did well on the Nazi Germany exam, because I'd studied it at GCSE and it was interesting. On the other hand, studying the Reformation in Europe in the 1500s was dire and so I didn't do too well on that exam. I know that if sixth form had offered a module on America (i.e. prohibition, the foreign policy) then I would be looking at a much higher grade.

I say go for it and if you don't think it's for you then you can always change in the first few weeks.
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Punkrockfan
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Well, I'm only doing lit and history (politics and geography too) and I think that RS would be difficult which Is why I didn't do it so pick 2 that are easier, maybe bio?or a language?
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09tig
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(Original post by nelizabeth_)
I did all three of those alongside Spanish for AS (just started A2 yesterday). I would say it depends what your 4th subject is; I had four essay subjects and when it came to revision it was quite difficult to remember so much information, not to mention the fact that all my exams were in the space of seven days. So I would advise picking an easy 4th subject like psychology or something. History was my 4th subject and I managed a C; I would much rather have done politics or psychology and achieved an A.

In terms of the actual courses, I found RS to be really interesting, nothing like GCSE and it's not too hard, though I was disappointed with my result at the end (a very low B) as I achieved full marks in pretty much all the essays throughout the year .
English Literature was alright, not really very enjoyable but then again the course was based on war poetry. Definitely try and get near 100% in the coursework and that will boost your grade. I only did one night's intense revision for the exam and somehow managed 90% (I swear the examiner made a mistake). It's about effective revision.

How much you enjoy history and the probability of achieving a good grade is dependent on the actual units, on my opinion. I did well on the Nazi Germany exam, because I'd studied it at GCSE and it was interesting. On the other hand, studying the Reformation in Europe in the 1500s was dire and so I didn't do too well on that exam. I know that if sixth form had offered a module on America (i.e. prohibition, the foreign policy) then I would be looking at a much higher grade.

I say go for it and if you don't think it's for you then you can always change in the first few weeks.
I'm only picking 3 courses (History (English and American), Eng Lit and RS).
I'm getting worried the workload may be too much for me to get straight A's. What did you think of the workload? How early do you recommend I start revision for straight A's?
Thanks.
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nelizabeth_
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(Original post by 09tig)
I'm only picking 3 courses (History (English and American), Eng Lit and RS).
I'm getting worried the workload may be too much for me to get straight A's. What did you think of the workload? How early do you recommend I start revision for straight A's?
Thanks.
It's quite hard to say how you'll find it, but did you do well in your GCSEs?

It will be much easier to get 3 As in three subjects rather than four, so that's a good idea. In terms of workload, history was the most content heavy and I would say exam technique is so important - you can't just know the facts, you need to know how to apply them in an essay. That's the barrier to the A grade for a lot of people.

English literature wasn't too stressful; the workload wasn't really heavy or anything. Again, it's more about technique and it's really subjective so sometimes it depends on your examiner. Like I said before, one nights revision was enough because I pretty much knew the texts and my friends sent me their revision resources, which were really concise, so I didn't waste any time. Definitely make some resources throughout the year (key quotes, themes, etc.). My teacher was pretty lazy and we didn't have loads of essays to do for homework, but it might be different for you.

Thinking about it now, I did find the workload for RS pretty heavy at the beginning of lower sixth. We had to write an essay (or two) every week but once I started to get a hang of the subject it was fine.

For straight As I think starting in January is more than enough. I was lazy and didn't really 'properly' start revising until the week before my exams, the start of study leave. I regret that a bit. Perhaps treat your mocks like the real thing; make sure you know everything by then and use the time between mocks and actual exams as a period of consolidation. I made the mistake of basically teaching myself one half of the history course in May, because I didn't already know it; I had sort of sailed through the year without concentrating on it too much because it was so boring.

Hope that helps?
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09tig
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(Original post by nelizabeth_)
It's quite hard to say how you'll find it, but did you do well in your GCSEs?

It will be much easier to get 3 As in three subjects rather than four, so that's a good idea. In terms of workload, history was the most content heavy and I would say exam technique is so important - you can't just know the facts, you need to know how to apply them in an essay. That's the barrier to the A grade for a lot of people.

English literature wasn't too stressful; the workload wasn't really heavy or anything. Again, it's more about technique and it's really subjective so sometimes it depends on your examiner. Like I said before, one nights revision was enough because I pretty much knew the texts and my friends sent me their revision resources, which were really concise, so I didn't waste any time. Definitely make some resources throughout the year (key quotes, themes, etc.). My teacher was pretty lazy and we didn't have loads of essays to do for homework, but it might be different for you.

Thinking about it now, I did find the workload for RS pretty heavy at the beginning of lower sixth. We had to write an essay (or two) every week but once I started to get a hang of the subject it was fine.

For straight As I think starting in January is more than enough. I was lazy and didn't really 'properly' start revising until the week before my exams, the start of study leave. I regret that a bit. Perhaps treat your mocks like the real thing; make sure you know everything by then and use the time between mocks and actual exams as a period of consolidation. I made the mistake of basically teaching myself one half of the history course in May, because I didn't already know it; I had sort of sailed through the year without concentrating on it too much because it was so boring.

Hope that helps?
Thanks. I'll definitely take what you've said on board. What grades did you get for these courses btw?
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nelizabeth_
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(Original post by 09tig)
Thanks. I'll definitely take what you've said on board. What grades did you get for these courses btw?
English Lit - A
Religious Studies - B
History - C

(And then an A in Spanish)
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09tig
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(Original post by nelizabeth_)
English Lit - A
Religious Studies - B
History - C

(And then an A in Spanish)
Good luck with A2.
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socialist96
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I did these alongside psychology and was fine.Beware of English though it's very subjective and so easy to drop a grade if you don't sound convincing.


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oswalds
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I did all of these at AS, and will be carrying them on for A2 with the grades AAA, then a B in Psychology which was my 4th subject. I loved those three subjects, and would really recommend them to anyone. The workload is quite heavy, but it isn't too bad if you manage it well. It is also really good to take more than one essay subject as you start developing your language and technique for other subjects.

Try and get your essays done as soon as possible, because then you aren't worrying about it the night before, and you don't get loads of essays to do at once. I know sometimes I had two or three due in for the same day, but then I would go ages without being given another essay. A planner was pretty vital for me as well, just for keeping track of the essays I was given.

As well as knowing the content (There is quite a lot for History, a reasonable amount for RS and English is mainly quotes from your wider reading), it is a good idea to be comfortable with the structure that you are told to use as this will make it come more naturally to you when you are writing. See if you can have a look at Examiner's Reports or Guides and the Mark Schemes as these tell you exactly what you get marks for and what the markers are looking for.


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Adlucinor
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As above, I am also studying these three subjects, now at A2 level, after having received an A in all of them, and a B in my fourth, French. Do not be deterred by what other people say, if you believe yourself to be capable of managing those subjects, then take them. They are hard work, but manageable, without doubt, and if you enjoy the subjects also, that will make things a lot easier. As for levels of stress, I've found that these subjects have caused me no more stress than I found in my GCSE's. The key is to keep on top of work; to meet deadlines; to conduct as much research around your subject as well as within your subject as you can, and you'll be absolutely fine.
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