The Student Room Group

This discussion is no longer active so you won't be able to reply.Check out other Related discussions

Is philosophy a difficult Alevel??

Someone told me it's impossible to get even a C
Reply 1
Philos & Ethics, not so much.

Pure philosophy? Yes. Absolutely. It is incredibly difficult to get an A/B in Philosophy - you need to 100% know your stuff, be absolutely specific on every single answer and show no sign of redundancies at all. Alongside English Literature, it is one of the most difficult essay-based subjects.
Original post by Sophie mac
Someone told me it's impossible to get even a C


The only exam board in the country which does a pure philosophy A level is AQA. All other boards only offer a variant on philosophy & ethics. Pure philosophy, which I did, is very very hard to do well in. A tiny percentage of students who take it manage to get an A or A*, as compared with other A levels. Chances are, your school only does philosophy and ethics which is much easier. Find out what exam board you would be doing and then you will know how hard it is likely to be.
(edited 7 years ago)
Reply 3
Original post by Platopus
The only exam board in the country which does a pure philosophy A level is AQA. All other boards only offer a variant on philosophy & ethics. Pure philosophy, which I did, is very very hard to do well in. A tiny percentage of students who take it manage to get an A or A*, as compared with other A levels. Chances are, your school only does philosophy and ethics which is much easier. Find out what exam board you would be doing and then you will know how hard it is likely to be.


May I ask (eugh u prob won't see this cause quotes aren't working so I'll rep you and hope that brings you back here lmfao) what grade you achieved for that in the end and any tips you have? I just resat the AS Philosophy and achieved 1 mark below a B and I really wanna push that up to an A at A2 level :tongue:

Awks if you didn't get an A lmao :frown:
Original post by Inexorably
May I ask (eugh u prob won't see this cause quotes aren't working so I'll rep you and hope that brings you back here lmfao) what grade you achieved for that in the end and any tips you have? I just resat the AS Philosophy and achieved 1 mark below a B and I really wanna push that up to an A at A2 level :tongue:

Awks if you didn't get an A lmao :frown:


Thanks for the rep. I got an A at AS and an A* at A2 with 99% UMS somehow! But, I am going to be studying it at uni so that wasn't typical of my cohort. Don't think anyone else in my cohort got over a C...

Well done on almost getting that B. If you work hard at A2, there's no reason why you can't push your grade up even to an A*. Are you doing AQA?

My tips would be not to just blindly read the textbook. I read the primary texts (i.e. The original works which are listed in all the textbooks' anthologies). That will help you to understand the different arguments much better, instead of just trying to memorise the textbook summaries. Also, you get a lot of marks, particularly in the essays at A2, for critiquing the arguments of the philosophers you have learned. Don't just trot out the criticisms listed in the textbook. You need to use your brain and come up with your own criticisms and replies to those criticisms.

If you're worrying about quotes not working and want to reply to this, you can always just tag me in your post :smile:
Reply 5
Original post by Platopus
Thanks for the rep. I got an A at AS and an A* at A2 with 99% UMS somehow! But, I am going to be studying it at uni so that wasn't typical of my cohort. Don't think anyone else in my cohort got over a C...

Well done on almost getting that B. If you work hard at A2, there's no reason why you can't push your grade up even to an A*. Are you doing AQA?

My tips would be not to just blindly read the textbook. I read the primary texts (i.e. The original works which are listed in all the textbooks' anthologies). That will help you to understand the different arguments much better, instead of just trying to memorise the textbook summaries. Also, you get a lot of marks, particularly in the essays at A2, for critiquing the arguments of the philosophers you have learned. Don't just trot out the criticisms listed in the textbook. You need to use your brain and come up with your own criticisms and replies to those criticisms.

If you're worrying about quotes not working and want to reply to this, you can always just tag me in your post :smile:


99% Blimey that's astonishing! Yes I'm doing AQA pure philosophy :smile:
--
Thanks for the tips, I definitely didn't put a lot of effort into reading original texts this year and I know I need to do that so I'll check that out and hopefully that can help me with criticisms. I think the reason I didn't do so well this year is because my knowledge was simply not specific enough and I found myself being so vague when trying to answer 9 mark questions on stuff like "explain Mitchell's view on religious language" and "explain Descartes' evil demon arguments"!

I'm trying to tag you I hope it works lmao. Thanks for the rep back.
(edited 7 years ago)
Original post by Inexorably
99% Blimey that's astonishing! Yes I'm doing AQA pure philosophy :smile:
--
Thanks for the tips, I definitely didn't put a lot of effort into reading original texts this year and I know I need to do that so I'll check that out and hopefully that can help me with criticisms. I think the reason I didn't do so well this year is because my knowledge was simply not specific enough and I found myself being so vague when trying to answer 9 mark questions on stuff like "explain Mitchell's view on religious language" and "explain Descartes' evil demon arguments"!

I'm trying to tag you I hope it works lmao. Thanks for the rep back.


@Inexorably

No worries. Good luck and I hope my advice pays off. Knowing your primary texts will also help you avoid making vague answers because you will be able to quote the philosophers themselves. Aim to memorise a key quote for most theories/arguments. That will keep your replies clear and concise and limit redundancy, which they mark down harshly.
Not really. I did AQA Philosophy, the exam questions can be quite erratic but if you know all the theories well enough it's simply a matter of essay practice. Your have to know how to evaluate arguments, people do badly in philosophy when they see opposing theories but cannot judge between them. Instead they say platitudinous things like "Locke believes this" but "Kant believes that" without making their own judgement. The only genuinely hard subject I encountered at A level was Philosophy of Mind, now that was tough.
Original post by JIRAIYA-ERO-SENNIN
Not really. I did AQA Philosophy, the exam questions can be quite erratic but if you know all the theories well enough it's simply a matter of essay practice. Your have to know how to evaluate arguments, people do badly in philosophy when they see opposing theories but cannot judge between them. Instead they say platitudinous things like "Locke believes this" but "Kant believes that" without making their own judgement. The only genuinely hard subject I encountered at A level was Philosophy of Mind, now that was tough.

Just because you found it easy, doesn't mean that the majority of candidates consider it so. If you look at the statistics for the percentage of students obtaining an A* or A grade in AQA philosophy, as compared to most other subjects, you will find that it is, in general, markedly lower. That is a good indication of how the country as a whole found it. Your subjective opinion that philosophy is easy is not an objective fact.