Non-Arab doing A level Arabic Watch

Hirsty97
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Okay so background: I need four As to get into the university I want by 2018 and I'm already doing two in Maths and Business. While also resitting my history next year. My intention is to study PPE at LSE

Naturally I thought the best option for my 4th A level would be a modern foreign language and Arabic would be my best choice because outside of native English it's the language I'm most familiar with having been learning it on and off since I was 16. Moreover I find Arabic a lot more interesting than any other language.

But hearing about how challenging A level Arabic could be I'm starting to reconsider. Given that getting an A is critical for the university I wish to attend, I'm mot sure if me as a non Arab would be feasibly able to get an A. Perhaps a B but that would not suffice. Also considering how I don't have the financial means to pay for much tuition most of it is going to have to be self-taught.

I'm just interested in what other people have to say I'm yet to talk about it with my college and will have to wait until Thursday until I am able to.
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Hirsty97
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(Original post by f999)
good website for arabic notes
http://arabicnotes.jigsy.com/
That's not helpful

I need advice from someone who sat the edexcel exam to tell me whether it is feasible that someone with rudimentary knowledge of the language could get an A at A level by the time of the exam

Also more on criteria advice I see we get a choice of the text we want to study
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CounTolstoy
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(Original post by Hirsty97)
That's not helpful

I need advice from someone who sat the edexcel exam to tell me whether it is feasible that someone with rudimentary knowledge of the language could get an A at A level by the time of the exam

Also more on criteria advice I see we get a choice of the text we want to study
Hi there,
I speak fluent Arabic and it is my first language. But I still struggled with A level Arabic and just about got an A. In my personal opinion, unless you were tutored weekly, it is unlikely you will get an A. It's an extremely difficult language to learn in a short period of time and the grammar is horrifying. Considering your financial circumstance, i think it is not a good idea! French or Spanish would be significantly easier! Plus, for A level exam in Arabic, you're expected to answer more difficult questions. The ability of a student sitting an A level Arabic exam is expected to be higher than that of someone sitting one in another language..
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Emz99
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(Original post by Hirsty97)
That's not helpful

I need advice from someone who sat the edexcel exam to tell me whether it is feasible that someone with rudimentary knowledge of the language could get an A at A level by the time of the exam

Also more on criteria advice I see we get a choice of the text we want to study
Do something more relevant to your course like Philosophy.I highly highly doubt you will get an A in Arabic. I am quite optimistic like you can maths in a year self-study but I am sceptical about this. Sorry but I am trying to give and honest answer while not putting you down.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Hirsty97)
Okay so background: I need four As to get into the university I want by 2018 and I'm already doing two in Maths and Business. While also resitting my history next year. My intention is to study PPE at LSE

Naturally I thought the best option for my 4th A level would be a modern foreign language and Arabic would be my best choice because outside of native English it's the language I'm most familiar with having been learning it on and off since I was 16. Moreover I find Arabic a lot more interesting than any other language.

But hearing about how challenging A level Arabic could be I'm starting to reconsider. Given that getting an A is critical for the university I wish to attend, I'm mot sure if me as a non Arab would be feasibly able to get an A. Perhaps a B but that would not suffice. Also considering how I don't have the financial means to pay for much tuition most of it is going to have to be self-taught.

I'm just interested in what other people have to say I'm yet to talk about it with my college and will have to wait until Thursday until I am able to.
Isn't the standard offer at LSE 3 A Levels? If so, what's the value of doing a fourth A level, particularly in something as difficult as Arabic? If someone who's fluent struggled to get an 'A' in it (q.v.), then it's highly unlikely you're going to get one, even accounting for differing abilities etc.

I wouldn't personally jeopardise my aims for PPE - A levels are a means to an end after all, rather than an end in themselves. I'm sure you could study Arabic as a leisure course at LSE anyway, once you'd got the place in the bag for PPE.
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Hirsty97
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Isn't the standard offer at LSE 3 A Levels? If so, what's the value of doing a fourth A level, particularly in something as difficult as Arabic? If someone who's fluent struggled to get an 'A' in it (q.v.), then it's highly unlikely you're going to get one, even accounting for differing abilities etc.

I wouldn't personally jeopardise my aims for PPE - A levels are a means to an end after all, rather than an end in themselves. I'm sure you could study Arabic as a leisure course at LSE anyway, once you'd got the place in the bag for PPE.

Yeah but I'm not sure if a DD in business diploma counts.

Let's say I get in A* in maths, A in history and double distinction in the business diploma I don't know if that will be enough to get in.

Thing is I'm really interested in studying events in the Arab world and all matters pertaining to Arab culture. I will be doing my AS maths 2017 and A2 in 2018 as well as finishing my business diploma. So I want to get to the university by 2018. I don't want to overestimate my abilities but I pick up things fast. I feel that by exam season I could be competent enough to get an A in both as and a2 if you can sit them in the same year? Otherwise I won't take this gamble and just do something I'm already very well read in such as economics or philosophy at A level.

This is what happens when you join the army but get medically discharged leaving me with no qualifications but having to pay and teach myself rather than working for As when education was free
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Hirsty97)
This is what happens when you join the army but get medically discharged leaving me with no qualifications but having to pay and teach myself rather than working for As when education was free
How unfair! You must feel a bit sore about that.

(Original post by Hirsty97)
Yeah but I'm not sure if a DD in business diploma counts. Let's say I get in A* in maths, A in history and double distinction in the business diploma I don't know if that will be enough to get in. Thing is I'm really interested in studying events in the Arab world and all matters pertaining to Arab culture. I will be doing my AS maths 2017 and A2 in 2018 as well as finishing my business diploma. So I want to get to the university by 2018. I don't want to overestimate my abilities but I pick up things fast. I feel that by exam season I could be competent enough to get an A in both as and a2 if you can sit them in the same year? Otherwise I won't take this gamble and just do something I'm already very well read in such as economics or philosophy at A level.
Hmm, I wonder how a combination of the diploma and A levels would work? Have you contacted some universities you're interested in applying to (including LSE) to ask their opinions on this? I think the first thing is to ascertain what subjects/qualifications you're going to need to offer to make a competitive application.

I understand that you have a great interest in the Arabic world and language, and that is always a great start to any A level. However, I do think that you're taking on a HUGE challenge with it and, because of my previous reasoning about A levels being a path rather than a goal, I do wonder whether it is worth the risk. For instance, if LSE offered you on A*/A at A level and wanted a further A or AS at A, you'd be much better advsied doing something like economics (where you've got the maths to help you) and be sure of the grades, and then place.

It's your decision, of course. But a lot of it is playing the numbers game, and maximising your chances of being offered a place at your chosen uni. I would suggest that should be your focus for now.

Happy to help further if you need it.
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Hirsty97
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(Original post by Reality Check)
How unfair! You must feel a bit sore about that.



Hmm, I wonder how a combination of the diploma and A levels would work? Have you contacted some universities you're interested in applying to (including LSE) to ask their opinions on this? I think the first thing is to ascertain what subjects/qualifications you're going to need to offer to make a competitive application.

I understand that you have a great interest in the Arabic world and language, and that is always a great start to any A level. However, I do think that you're taking on a HUGE challenge with it and, because of my previous reasoning about A levels being a path rather than a goal, I do wonder whether it is worth the risk. For instance, if LSE offered you on A*/A at A level and wanted a further A or AS at A, you'd be much better advsied doing something like economics (where you've got the maths to help you) and be sure of the grades, and then place.

It's your decision, of course. But a lot of it is playing the numbers game, and maximising your chances of being offered a place at your chosen uni. I would suggest that should be your focus for now.

Happy to help further if you need it.
I'm going to try contact someone tomorrow about the diploma a level qualification. So do you know if I could do both AS and A level Arabic in the same year (2018). Because six months from now and the exam is not enough time.

I'm thinking of doing Economics or philosophy at a level doing the AS next year and will revise Arabic at the same time. Obviously prioritising maths and economics/philosophy doing an hour a day and more on weekends for each. While spending a couple of hours a week on Arabic, I have native speakers that can help me a bit.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Hirsty97)
I'm going to try contact someone tomorrow about the diploma a level qualification. So do you know if I could do both AS and A level Arabic in the same year (2018). Because six months from now and the exam is not enough time.

I'm thinking of doing Economics or philosophy at a level doing the AS next year and will revise Arabic at the same time. Obviously prioritising maths and economics/philosophy doing an hour a day and more on weekends for each. While spending a couple of hours a week on Arabic, I have native speakers that can help me a bit.
As far as I know, this is a transitional period for A levels from the current AS/A2 structure to just A levels taken at the end of 2 years. The Edexcel page is here:

http://qualifications.pearson.com/en...acets=news-all

I think the AS will still be available in 2018, but don't quote me on it.
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