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    I'm considering it for my A-Levels but I want to know what I'm going to get myself into without having a biased teacher nag into my ear about why I should do it (I definitely was going to do it but they p*issed me off).
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    (Original post by Against_Systems)
    I'm considering it for my A-Levels but I want to know what I'm going to get myself into without having a biased teacher nag into my ear about why I should do it (I definitely was going to do it but they p*issed me off).
    OK- Maybe not the best person to answer this question as I only did it at AS Level but I will try.

    History is OK- not easy but OK. Personally I really enjoyed the stimulating time out it provided at AS as my other subjects are Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry. Things I would say about History to you:

    1)You get out what you put in- Personally I bought a First Year Undergrad book covering one of my AS History Units and read the relevant parts. No need to do this but was the best thing I ever did. Why? It acclimatised me to academic writing and how to integrate you points, facts and analysis into a smooth flowing structure. This helped me hugely as I am severely dyslexic as well as hyperlexic and probably Autistic so my essay writing could be a bit random in structure and very disorganised with poor spelling. Investing the time in reading this book (and quite a lot of it) transformed that and I got 92/100 UMS for this Unit. As I say was not necessary as most the facts were listed in the Textbook book the analysis bought by this book depend my thinking and clarified my thought.

    2) You need both Understanding and Facts- in answering questions you do need to understand the chronology of events and how one influcend the next as much as you need to regurgitate facts, which is a large step up from GCSE. As such (as I said above) its worth adding time to your study to clarify your understanding of causes and effects/ chronology and clarity in expressing it to other. This might sound obvious but I know people who learnt events in isolation and facts arbitrary and fully flunked.

    3)You say you changed you mind because the teacher pissed you off- You do not need a teacher for A level History in its essence. All learning I did happened through self teaching by identifying the key skills required for successful essays in history and using the specification. Actually this is quite a important point of understanding- you will go to history lessons not to be taught the material (this should be your responsibility) but to debate, challenge and question the material. As this is where you stand to gain the most as a group. As I say most my Learning happened outside the classroom, the classroom was used to voice my opinion on the significance of events and have it challenged by others. The better your class is at this the more succinct and clear your essays will be.

    4) At A2 there was a big piece of coursework on our exam board, as I say I did not do A2 but the Coursework was a comparable size to the EPQ that I did - if not slightly smaller. This coursework will be the bain of your life. for months and a such if you continue on to A2 History make a real good start on researching your over the summer holiday after your AS. For us we were given autonomy over the title of the History Coursework (I started A2 then changed my mind) just we got told which period we would be covering. So even if the title is not set, research he related period as soon as possible. This is also very important as when you get back investing time in the coursework will prove more challenging with your other subjects. Ultimately something that worked well with my EPQ was to take 2hrs of my study periods and allocate those to it so it had its own dedicated time. I know this piece of coursework caused some real stress for the disorganised students- and generally speaking their grades on it were lower. So real self- discipline is required.

    5) Ask the teacher what History you cover in your A level and research consider if you find that interestingersonally at AS we did fifty years of British Foreign Policy and Depth Study on African American Civil Rigts in the 1960"s. I loved one loathed the other. Grades reflected that. Given that at A2 they covered another 50 Years of British Foreign Policy which I despised and Tsarist Russia which I knew nothing about nor did it cultivate any interest with the first few lessons, I backed out of A2. As I say check which topics your doing and invest 2-3 hrs looking them up and see if you think you will find it Interesting.

    6) What would you do instead? Personally I wanted to do Geography as I am obviously more science inclined but my Sixth Form could not timetable it. Ask yourself which you think you might enjoy most and why. Important question because to succeed at history you have got to enjoy it due to its more often than not lack of relevancy.

    Sorry I know this is wishy washy, but I hope you got from it- History is accessible to most and but takes time investment and was a little helpful
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    Loved it still miss it. Depends waht your syllabus is though becayse some periods ae more interesting than others.
    How people used to love and what issues they faced and how they dealt with them. Also helps if you have a good teacher that likes their subject.
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    (Original post by Against_Systems)
    I'm considering it for my A-Levels but I want to know what I'm going to get myself into without having a biased teacher nag into my ear about why I should do it (I definitely was going to do it but they p*issed me off).
    Well, the system's changing in a lot of British schools (maybe all? not sure) so my experience won't be the same as future ones, but I'll give it a go. I'm doing History A2 now with AQA, and I've applied to do History at uni.

    1 - You need a lot more analysis than at GCSE. It's fine once you've got the hang of essay structures etc, but you have to completely relearn how you answer the questions, or at least you do with AQA. Then you use a different system at A2 than you did at AS, so you need to change again. It's fine once you've done a couple of practice ones and got the hang of it though.

    2 - Don't underestimate the amount of work involved. You won't be studying multiple topics like you did at GCSE - it's only two at AS and one at A2 (again, that's how it is for AQA, can't speak for anyone else). Don't make the same mistake I did and think that means you don't have to revise as much. I did that, and then got a B at AS rather than the A I was targeted. Revise a LOT - not just the facts, but the analytical side as well - which factors were the most important etc.

    3 - Make sure you've at least got a mild interest in the topics you'll be covering - your grades will probably reflect it. At AS we did Wars of the Roses/Henry VII/Henry VIII, which I loved and got an A for, but the other topic was Antisemitism in Nazi Germany, which I hated - basically I was sick of war history, since four out of the six GCSE topics were on the two World Wars. That's the one I got a B in. This year I'm doing British history 1951-2007, which I'm not a big fan of, but I find it interesting enough in certain areas to do well (I hope).

    So yes, it is worth it, but don't underestimate the jump from GCSE to AS, or AS to A2, and the extra work you'll have to do.
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    (Original post by ElspethC)
    Well, the system's changing in a lot of British schools (maybe all? not sure) so my experience won't be the same as future ones, but I'll give it a go. I'm doing History A2 now with AQA, and I've applied to do History at uni.

    1 - You need a lot more analysis than at GCSE. It's fine once you've got the hang of essay structures etc, but you have to completely relearn how you answer the questions, or at least you do with AQA. Then you use a different system at A2 than you did at AS, so you need to change again. It's fine once you've done a couple of practice ones and got the hang of it though.

    2 - Don't underestimate the amount of work involved. You won't be studying multiple topics like you did at GCSE - it's only two at AS and one at A2 (again, that's how it is for AQA, can't speak for anyone else). Don't make the same mistake I did and think that means you don't have to revise as much. I did that, and then got a B at AS rather than the A I was targeted. Revise a LOT - not just the facts, but the analytical side as well - which factors were the most important etc.

    3 - Make sure you've at least got a mild interest in the topics you'll be covering - your grades will probably reflect it. At AS we did Wars of the Roses/Henry VII/Henry VIII, which I loved and got an A for, but the other topic was Antisemitism in Nazi Germany, which I hated - basically I was sick of war history, since four out of the six GCSE topics were on the two World Wars. That's the one I got a B in. This year I'm doing British history 1951-2007, which I'm not a big fan of, but I find it interesting enough in certain areas to do well (I hope).

    So yes, it is worth it, but don't underestimate the jump from GCSE to AS, or AS to A2, and the extra work you'll have to do.

    Shall i take History for A level?I didn't take it for GCSE's.

    PS:I'm excellent at essay writing,and History seems interesting,plus seems like a good choice with another of my definite A level choice(English literature)
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    (Original post by Blancosdos)
    Shall i take History for A level?I didn't take it for GCSE's.

    PS:I'm excellent at essay writing,and History seems interesting,plus seems like a good choice with another of my definite A level choice(English literature)
    In terms of knowledge it doesn't matter, since you'll be doing different topics to the GCSE ones. I think there's a couple of people at my school that took a subject when they hadn't done it at GCSE (I know geography was one, and things like business) but you'll have to check with your sixth form college to see if they let you take a subject that you didn't do earlier. I know that at my school they let you do it if they were confident that it wouldn't hold you back - so if you can demonstrate that you're skilled at writing essays and at analysing knowledge, I don't see why not.
 
 
 
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