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    I'm thinking of taking English Literature in A Levels but I am a bit intimidated by the amount of material you have to read. My board is CIE and they have four papers each asking questions from two texts - 8 texts in total. And one of these texts is an entire anthology of 36 poems. Now I love reading (I try to read at least one book per month) but that is a very passive process. Reading for an exam might be a bit more difficult. I also haven't taken Literature at GCSE. I do wish to take it though to expand my horizons and because the Literature teachers at my school are really good. And, like I said before, I do love reading.

    People who have taken Literature: how hard was it? Did you enjoy it? What were your other subjects and were you able to easily balance Literature along with them? Thanks.
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    The tagged person got an A* in English literature.
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    (Original post by 5audade)
    I'm thinking of taking English Literature in A Levels but I am a bit intimidated by the amount of material you have to read. My board is CIE and they have four papers each asking questions from two texts - 8 texts in total. And one of these texts is an entire anthology of 36 poems. Now I love reading (I try to read at least one book per month) but that is a very passive process. Reading for an exam might be a bit more difficult. I also haven't taken Literature at GCSE. I do wish to take it though to expand my horizons and because the Literature teachers at my school are really good. And, like I said before, I do love reading.

    People who have taken Literature: how hard was it? Did you enjoy it? What were your other subjects and were you able to easily balance Literature along with them? Thanks.
    Well, essentially, not very hard. I enjoyed it quite a bit, though I found it more stressful than my other subjects (largely because of the natural inherent subjectivity/lack of a "right" answer most of the time). At AS I studied it alongside Maths, Physics, History, and the Welsh Baccalaureate. At A2 I dropped History and ignored/skived Welsh Bacc till eventually dropping it and was basically doing Maths, Physics and Lit at A2 with Further Maths in full. I found that generally I could get away with not doing very much work for literature. Much of it was mental, thinking about themes and how they are showed by the author without writing essays all the time, but practice essays were definitely important. I worked a lot more on English around the time we had to do coursework, naturally. I revised fairly late but with reasonable intensity. In general I did about as much work as I did for Physics and far less than I did for Maths and Further Maths (at AS I probably worked more on History than English Lit also). I think the most important thing with Lit is understanding the assessment objectives, which can be found in the specification, and what is expected from you (Examiner reports are good for this, and teachers should be helpful of course).
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    (Original post by 5audade)
    I'm thinking of taking English Literature in A Levels but I am a bit intimidated by the amount of material you have to read. My board is CIE and they have four papers each asking questions from two texts - 8 texts in total. And one of these texts is an entire anthology of 36 poems. Now I love reading (I try to read at least one book per month) but that is a very passive process. Reading for an exam might be a bit more difficult. I also haven't taken Literature at GCSE. I do wish to take it though to expand my horizons and because the Literature teachers at my school are really good. And, like I said before, I do love reading.

    People who have taken Literature: how hard was it? Did you enjoy it? What were your other subjects and were you able to easily balance Literature along with them? Thanks.
    As long as you have a GCSE in English, and it's at grade B or above then I doubt you'll drown. But the vast amount of reading can be very hard. But if you're teachers are good, they will teach you how to read a lot quicker. At least our teachers did in my sixth form school.

    It's as hard as you make it. If you don't listen or act upon your teachers' feedback then of course you're going to struggle. The hardest element I found was the exam writing. For Literature, it's literally like jumping through hoops. You have to write what the examiner's what you to write. The new specs are more holistic (meaning they will rewards marks for what you write, rather than mark you down for what you haven't wrote). I would pick it if you enjoy reading but make sure you know what you're reading. Lit becomes VERY difficult if you have to read something you end up detesting. It becomes unbearable.

    I enjoyed it when we read something I liked. I did enjoy the analysing and class discussions. Lit is very boring if your teacher doesn't play the devil's advocate with their class, especially if you enjoy arguing like I do!

    at AS I studied History, English Lang and Religious Studies alongside Lit. It was tough. But History and RS had the most amount of work. And when I did my Lit A-level, we were required to read 12 texts instead of 8, so count yourself lucky!

    At A2, again Lit wasn't that hard compared to RS and Language just cause I didn't do the amount of reading I was supposed to. I did improve and worked hard on my coursework though. But RS was still had a ridiculous amount of content so it was easy to set aside a few chapters as long as you're a fast reader and use your frees wisely. I often used mine to catch up on reading chapters before the next lesson and so forth.

    As long as you improve your writing and essay technique as well as keep up to date with your reading, you'll be fine (take it from an English/Philosophy uni student!)
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    (Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
    Well, essentially, not very hard. I enjoyed it quite a bit, though I found it more stressful than my other subjects (largely because of the natural inherent subjectivity/lack of a "right" answer most of the time). At AS I studied it alongside Maths, Physics, History, and the Welsh Baccalaureate. At A2 I dropped History and ignored/skived Welsh Bacc till eventually dropping it and was basically doing Maths, Physics and Lit at A2 with Further Maths in full. I found that generally I could get away with not doing very much work for literature. Much of it was mental, thinking about themes and how they are showed by the author without writing essays all the time, but practice essays were definitely important. I worked a lot more on English around the time we had to do coursework, naturally. I revised fairly late but with reasonable intensity. In general I did about as much work as I did for Physics and far less than I did for Maths and Further Maths (at AS I probably worked more on History than English Lit also). I think the most important thing with Lit is understanding the assessment objectives, which can be found in the specification, and what is expected from you (Examiner reports are good for this, and teachers should be helpful of course).
    How much impact did the coursework have on your final grade? freaking out for mine
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    (Original post by toetothunder)
    How much impact did the coursework have on your final grade? freaking out for mine
    Since I was well over 80% overall, my AS coursework wasn't particularly significant. My A2 coursework was only just an a*, whereas my A2 essay was just over; in any case, I scraped it. So I guess I kinda got what I might have expected to get in it and it didn't really do much either way (though for WJEC the boundaries were a bit harsh: I got 38/40 but this went down to 90% UMS). Just make sure you smash the assessment objectives and otherwise it's all about writing well and giving a convincing argument. Hell, that's not really necessary, but it helps.
 
 
 
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