Just how hard are languages at A-level? Watch

trabajadora
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I'm planning to do A-level Spanish come September, but after reading what people have to say about it on here I'm slightly terrified. I know every subject is going to be a step up no matter what it is, but just how big is the step up for languages? I got an A* at GCSE (which I know isn't a very good indicator at how you'll do) and I'm willing to devote a lot of time and practise in to it. People who have done languages, how hard did you find it?
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Gnatt27
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(Original post by trabajadora)
I'm planning to do A-level Spanish come September, but after reading what people have to say about it on here I'm slightly terrified. I know every subject is going to be a step up no matter what it is, but just how big is the step up for languages? I got an A* at GCSE (which I know isn't a very good indicator at how you'll do) and I'm willing to devote a lot of time and practise in to it. People who have done languages, how hard did you find it?
VERY HARD-I got an A at gcse french and just got a D in AS french. But if you got an A* your probably more gifted than me so I won't put you off doing it.
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JourneyToSuccess
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(Original post by Gnatt27)
VERY HARD-I got an A at gcse french and just got a D in AS french. But if you got an A* your probably more gifted than me so I won't put you off doing it.
I'm not really sure, but I would recommend surrounding yourself with the language, maybe you should find a few internet language exchange partners (I would recommend interpals, it's quite good). Good luck!
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Juedjegfewo
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I'll use this opportunity to ask about my own situation as well!

I too got an A* in GCSE Spanish BUT I did it a year early. In order to keep us from going rusty if we wanted to do A-Level Spanish, we had a few lessons each week however they were not particularly helpful as many students in them couldn't really be bothered. As such, I have forgotten a lot of vocabulary and grammar structures.

Will I be at too much of a disadvantage doing A-Level Spanish in a week? I am going to look over revision books to remind myself but will I be way out of my depth.

I thought that since there are no examinations until 2018, I should be okay and be able to catch up after school if I were to stay behind, and with revision, etc.
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citibankrec
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Native speakers screw you over with the grade boundaries.
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trabajadora
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(Original post by Gnatt27)
VERY HARD-I got an A at gcse french and just got a D in AS french. But if you got an A* your probably more gifted than me so I won't put you off doing it.
May I ask how much time you spent revising for it compared to your other subjects? Did it have the heaviest workload?
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Charles Dupiau
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(Original post by trabajadora)
I'm planning to do A-level Spanish come September, but after reading what people have to say about it on here I'm slightly terrified. I know every subject is going to be a step up no matter what it is, but just how big is the step up for languages? I got an A* at GCSE (which I know isn't a very good indicator at how you'll do) and I'm willing to devote a lot of time and practise in to it. People who have done languages, how hard did you find it?
If you really are "trabajadora" than a-level spanish should be no problem for you.
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Gilo98
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If you have an A or A* at GCSE you should be fine. Yes it's a step up - probably the largest step of most A Levels - but its not meant to be impossible. The big difference is the importance on vocab and the spontaneous speaking but you get the hang of it eventually. Spanish, at least on Edexcel, tends to get quite a lot of A2s retaking their AS exam which naturally increases grade boundaries - this isn't as bad for french., but both have native speakers who boost GBs too.


With that being said, knowing how to play the game at GCSE can bag you an A/A* in languages without having to actually be any good. Rest assured, the quicker these types crack on with learning the vocab etc the better. Just be confident when doing speaking practice and you'll be fine.
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JourneyToSuccess
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(Original post by Charles Dupiau)
If you really are "trabajadora" than a-level spanish should be no problem for you.
:giggle:
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PLL+GG28
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(Original post by trabajadora)
I'm planning to do A-level Spanish come September, but after reading what people have to say about it on here I'm slightly terrified. I know every subject is going to be a step up no matter what it is, but just how big is the step up for languages? I got an A* at GCSE (which I know isn't a very good indicator at how you'll do) and I'm willing to devote a lot of time and practise in to it. People who have done languages, how hard did you find it?
Personally I didn't think that there was too much of jump from GCSE to AS if you are a hardworking student who is used to putting in effort for Spanish. My GCSE Spanish teacher taught us lots of extra stuff like the subjunctive to help us get extra marks so it wasn't new to me at AS but it is still quite confusing.

Essays are harder and more advanced than before and it could also be difficult with the reformed A-level course this year, but I don't think you should have much to worry about if you are a capable student.
Just make sure to stay on top of everything from day 1.
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trabajadora
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(Original post by PLL+GG28)
Personally I didn't think that there was too much of jump from GCSE to AS if you are a hardworking student who is used to putting in effort for Spanish. My GCSE Spanish teacher taught us lots of extra stuff like the subjunctive to help us get extra marks so it wasn't new to me at AS but it is still quite confusing.

Essays are harder and more advanced than before and it could also be difficult with the reformed A-level course this year, but I don't think you should have much to worry about if you are a capable student.
Just make sure to stay on top of everything from day 1.
What do you mean by that? I still have no idea how these reformed A-levels work
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ilovephysics99
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Native speakers do screw you up unless you are as good as a native speaker. Like for me, I smashed both my AS and GCSE Chinese just because I am a native speaker. (A* and A) It is easy when you use it more and spend time on it. Listening to news in those languages are the best option to improve in my opinion. Going to do my A2 as well just to bank in the grades. I hope this helped! A little..
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PLL+GG28
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(Original post by trabajadora)
What do you mean by that? I still have no idea how these reformed A-levels work
It's just a different syllabus so I can't judge how hard it will be as I haven't studied it. You'll also do your exams in year 13 which is the main difference. They have some different topics that I didn't study but they seem really interesting and more up to date.

I probably revised for Spanish the least when it got close to exams (after getting the oral exam out of the way) because I worked hard throughout the year and kept up with all the vocab and homework. I got an A* at GCSE and an A at AS
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Gnatt27
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(Original post by trabajadora)
May I ask how much time you spent revising for it compared to your other subjects? Did it have the heaviest workload?
Well I was taking a LOT of time on my early essays as that was the hardest thing intially as you could no longer use translate or a dictionary to write an essay and then learn it word for word. However after my 5th or 6th I was taking less time and getting mark around 23,24 out of 35 in about an hour. For me the speaking was the hardest at GCSE for me so I put in TONS of work for that writing 3 points for about 100 questions (I did get 41/60 for the oral which was 1 mark of a B so I guess I wasn't a total fail at French lol) For the reading and listening it was vocab and past papers which personally I didn't find to bad. But yeah overall I put in the most work for French and even went to France in Easter for oral practice. Ironic seeing as it was my worst grade...
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Juedjegfewo
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odjack Thanks for the advice!
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