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    i previously wanted to do a language at a level but as of this year (im in year 11) ive really been put off with all the speaking and writing assessments because theyre really stressful for me lol. the biggest thing thats put me off are the speaking assessments because theyre whats going to stop me from getting an a* overall so i dont want this to be the case at a level.
    what is it like at a level in regards to coursework etc is it the same as gcse where you do coursework at different points around the year or is it different?? thanks!
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    Hi,

    Currently I'm at Sixth Form doing A levels and before I start, I'll say that I'm no genius, I got an A in GCSE French but that was with a lot of extra help and support. Last year, I took AS Level French and got an E overall (E in the Speaking exam and a U in the Writing, reading and listening exam which is two hours for the 3 parts). For me, it was extremely hard and stressful (I ended up having anxiety because I was failing) so I dropped it but I did also take maths which I was awful at so I struggled to spread my time over the two. However, if I continued it for another year (and dropped maths) then I probably would have done a lot better overall as the people who were in the year above me also got grades like D's and E's at AS but then they resat their AS exams when doing their A2's and got A/B grades overall. Given that, like one of my teachers used to say, learning a language starts off as a slow up hill struggle but as soon as you get the skills, basic grammar and most importantly confidence, then you'll shoot up like a rocket in your grades. But I do not want to put you off it because although in my opinion A level modern foreign languages are hard, it is also a very interesting, beneficial A level. Even though I got an E in French overall, I feel that it, not only improved my translating skills, it also widened my English vocabulary (which I didn't expect but it did).

    Speaking exam: As every one has different strengths and weaknesses. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't nervous about the speaking exam- I struggle to speak anyway as I'm shy around people who I'm not close to, but the examiners know that everyone sitting the exam will probably be freaking out inside. Given that it is a step up from GCSE's where you could just learn a two pages of French off by heart, and they do take this into account. I mean, I really messed up in my exam (my friends didn't, just me) but I still managed to get an E! And if you heard the amount of mistakes I made (I mean I even spoke in English at one point accidentally!), you'd be surprised by how I didn't get 0. One of my mates got a B first time round though and he isn't a child genius, he just worked extremely hard on it (I did too, but he did also have more confidence). You'd be surprised how lenient the examiners are on speaking exams so please do not decide that you are not going to take a language just because of the speaking exam because otherwise, you'll miss out on the other 3 aspects.

    Also, for AQA A level French- I had no coursework- it was just 2 exams: 1 Speaking exam and 1 2hr long exam for reading, listening and writing. This may not be the case for OCR or WJEC though.

    As for writing, as soon as you start an A level language, they teach you the basics of the tenses, articles and everything you need to know to just express what you want. At GCSE, I could not form a sentence in the past tense without a book, but 4 months into a level lessons, I found myself writing grammatically complex sentences without a book for help (yes there were some errors but my skills had gone from like a 1 out of 10 at GCSE easily to a 5 out of 10)! Also, they do not expect perfect in the real exam as you don't really have a long time to write down an answer and you don't get to take a list of twenty words in with you to this exam.

    Sorry if I've put you off by what I said but this is just my view of A level Languages- others may thrive in these subjects but for me, I wasn't too great. But one piece of advice I can give is: revise daily and only take a language if you're passionate about it. Otherwise, you'll forget the vocabulary and you may find the lessons are dragging (if you're not that interested in the subject).

    Also, if you do take a language, I highly recommend Memrise. It's a website which tests you on vocab, grammar and all sorts of other things in tonnes of different languages.

    Sorry if this is just one confusing mess of a paragraph but I hope this helps. I'm probably not the best person to give advice but when I noticed this had no replies, I felt bad and wanted to try and help answer your questions.

    Good luck with your GCSE's and I wish you all the best in the future and when choosing your A-levels!

    (P.S. I went to France after AS level french had finished and I was able to order what food I wanted in French and was able to read sign posts- it felt amazing! )
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    Hello

    After getting an A* in GCSE German, I was adamant that I would do amazingly at A Level. I originally chose it along with drama, English literature and economics. I did it all the way through AS and was predicted an A and out in all my efforts, regularly revising and trying as hard as I could. It is a lot of hard work and requires huge amounts of effort but if you enjoy it and try really hard you should be okay. I came out with a C at the end of AS and dropped it coming out with an A in drama, A in economics and B in English literature.
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    well, not gonna lie, both posts have put me off even more taking a language haha i think im gonna just stick to art tbh its less stressful
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    (Original post by EvieEmerald)
    Hi,

    Currently I'm at Sixth Form doing A levels and before I start, I'll say that I'm no genius, I got an A in GCSE French but that was with a lot of extra help and support. Last year, I took AS Level French and got an E overall (E in the Speaking exam and a U in the Writing, reading and listening exam which is two hours for the 3 parts). For me, it was extremely hard and stressful (I ended up having anxiety because I was failing) so I dropped it but I did also take maths which I was awful at so I struggled to spread my time over the two. However, if I continued it for another year (and dropped maths) then I probably would have done a lot better overall as the people who were in the year above me also got grades like D's and E's at AS but then they resat their AS exams when doing their A2's and got A/B grades overall. Given that, like one of my teachers used to say, learning a language starts off as a slow up hill struggle but as soon as you get the skills, basic grammar and most importantly confidence, then you'll shoot up like a rocket in your grades. But I do not want to put you off it because although in my opinion A level modern foreign languages are hard, it is also a very interesting, beneficial A level. Even though I got an E in French overall, I feel that it, not only improved my translating skills, it also widened my English vocabulary (which I didn't expect but it did).

    Speaking exam: As every one has different strengths and weaknesses. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't nervous about the speaking exam- I struggle to speak anyway as I'm shy around people who I'm not close to, but the examiners know that everyone sitting the exam will probably be freaking out inside. Given that it is a step up from GCSE's where you could just learn a two pages of French off by heart, and they do take this into account. I mean, I really messed up in my exam (my friends didn't, just me) but I still managed to get an E! And if you heard the amount of mistakes I made (I mean I even spoke in English at one point accidentally!), you'd be surprised by how I didn't get 0. One of my mates got a B first time round though and he isn't a child genius, he just worked extremely hard on it (I did too, but he did also have more confidence). You'd be surprised how lenient the examiners are on speaking exams so please do not decide that you are not going to take a language just because of the speaking exam because otherwise, you'll miss out on the other 3 aspects.

    Also, for AQA A level French- I had no coursework- it was just 2 exams: 1 Speaking exam and 1 2hr long exam for reading, listening and writing. This may not be the case for OCR or WJEC though.

    As for writing, as soon as you start an A level language, they teach you the basics of the tenses, articles and everything you need to know to just express what you want. At GCSE, I could not form a sentence in the past tense without a book, but 4 months into a level lessons, I found myself writing grammatically complex sentences without a book for help (yes there were some errors but my skills had gone from like a 1 out of 10 at GCSE easily to a 5 out of 10)! Also, they do not expect perfect in the real exam as you don't really have a long time to write down an answer and you don't get to take a list of twenty words in with you to this exam.

    Sorry if I've put you off by what I said but this is just my view of A level Languages- others may thrive in these subjects but for me, I wasn't too great. But one piece of advice I can give is: revise daily and only take a language if you're passionate about it. Otherwise, you'll forget the vocabulary and you may find the lessons are dragging (if you're not that interested in the subject).

    Also, if you do take a language, I highly recommend Memrise. It's a website which tests you on vocab, grammar and all sorts of other things in tonnes of different languages.

    Sorry if this is just one confusing mess of a paragraph but I hope this helps. I'm probably not the best person to give advice but when I noticed this had no replies, I felt bad and wanted to try and help answer your questions.

    Good luck with your GCSE's and I wish you all the best in the future and when choosing your A-levels!

    (P.S. I went to France after AS level french had finished and I was able to order what food I wanted in French and was able to read sign posts- it felt amazing! )
    What did you get for maths AS in the end? Congrats on your GCSE French grade
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    (Original post by Rajive)
    What did you get for maths AS in the end? Congrats on your GCSE French grade
    Another E unfortunately. Core 2 was my downfall as I didn't spend enough time on that particular module.
 
 
 
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