A level government and politics

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isabel12144
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#1
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#1
I'm starting sixth form in September and deciding my options to see if I want to change any. I originally chose maths, chemistry, history and psychology. I've now changed psychology to further maths but now I'm considering changing it to politics. Is this a good a level? Is it difficult? What sort of material do you cover? What is the exam like? Is it interesting?
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username2488767
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#2
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(Original post by isabel12144)
I'm starting sixth form in September and deciding my options to see if I want to change any. I originally chose maths, chemistry, history and psychology. I've now changed psychology to further maths but now I'm considering changing it to politics. Is this a good a level? Is it difficult? What sort of material do you cover? What is the exam like? Is it interesting?
I took Gov & Politics and got a B this morning. I am slightly disappointed that I didn't get the A but I am still happy with a B overall.

They're slightly changing the course next year to include ideologies but most of the course will be the same as it is now.

I really enjoyed it as it was great to learn about (US more than UK, though) and there were some brilliant debates held in our class as we all had very differing views on issues. It's difficult if you don't take an interest outside the classroom as you have to be up to date on the political news to use in your exams. There's lots of different topics to cover but the college chooses which ones to do. We did things like the constitution, judiciary of the US, UK parliament, US Senate, voting behaviour, voting systems, etc. The exams are very time-limited so you're constantly writing but good questions can be quite interesting. I wouldn't take it if you don't have an interest in it, though, as it can be potentially dull and just another boring subject.
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isabel12144
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(Original post by greghayes)
I took Gov & Politics and got a B this morning. I am slightly disappointed that I didn't get the A but I am still happy with a B overall.

They're slightly changing the course next year to include ideologies but most of the course will be the same as it is now.

I really enjoyed it as it was great to learn about (US more than UK, though) and there were some brilliant debates held in our class as we all had very differing views on issues. It's difficult if you don't take an interest outside the classroom as you have to be up to date on the political news to use in your exams. There's lots of different topics to cover but the college chooses which ones to do. We did things like the constitution, judiciary of the US, UK parliament, US Senate, voting behaviour, voting systems, etc. The exams are very time-limited so you're constantly writing but good questions can be quite interesting. I wouldn't take it if you don't have an interest in it, though, as it can be potentially dull and just another boring subject.
I think I do have an interest but I don't think I'm obsessed with politics. I think it does genuinely interest me and I do look at things that happen in the news but do you need to be obsessed with it to do well?
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isabel12144
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(Original post by greghayes)
I took Gov & Politics and got a B this morning. I am slightly disappointed that I didn't get the A but I am still happy with a B overall.

They're slightly changing the course next year to include ideologies but most of the course will be the same as it is now.

I really enjoyed it as it was great to learn about (US more than UK, though) and there were some brilliant debates held in our class as we all had very differing views on issues. It's difficult if you don't take an interest outside the classroom as you have to be up to date on the political news to use in your exams. There's lots of different topics to cover but the college chooses which ones to do. We did things like the constitution, judiciary of the US, UK parliament, US Senate, voting behaviour, voting systems, etc. The exams are very time-limited so you're constantly writing but good questions can be quite interesting. I wouldn't take it if you don't have an interest in it, though, as it can be potentially dull and just another boring subject.
Well done by the way and thank you for you advice! Is that for as or a2? What do you want to do at university? Where are you going?
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username2488767
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#5
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#5
(Original post by isabel12144)
I think I do have an interest but I don't think I'm obsessed with politics. I think it does genuinely interest me and I do look at things that happen in the news but do you need to be obsessed with it to do well?
I wouldn't say that you have to be obsessed with it, just genuinely interested enough to be reading about politics in the news etc. We had one guy in our class who seemed to know the name of each MP and their constituency, whether they had been in the (shadow) cabinet on what position... It was a little obsessive!
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username2488767
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#6
(Original post by isabel12144)
Well done by the way and thank you for you advice! Is that for as or a2? What do you want to do at university? Where are you going?
Thank you and you're welcome! I took AS and A2 at the same time and got a B in both so a B overall. I'm studying psychology at York in September
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isabel12144
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(Original post by greghayes)
I wouldn't say that you have to be obsessed with it, just genuinely interested enough to be reading about politics in the news etc. We had one guy in our class who seemed to know the name of each MP and their constituency, whether they had been in the (shadow) cabinet on what position... It was a little obsessive!
Ok I think I can do that. Not sure if be able to be like that guy though! Would you say it's a soft subject or is it genuinely quite difficult?
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username3489684
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#8
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#8
(Original post by isabel12144)
I'm starting sixth form in September and deciding my options to see if I want to change any. I originally chose maths, chemistry, history and psychology. I've now changed psychology to further maths but now I'm considering changing it to politics. Is this a good a level? Is it difficult? What sort of material do you cover? What is the exam like? Is it interesting?
I just did my AS and I got a C manly due to the fact that I didn't put enough effort in to it. I think it is quite easy and the concepts are fairly easy to grasp. For the exa you just need to memorize the important info and do lots of exam papers However I will say that it will require you to have a good interest in current British affairs and honestly that stuff bore me to death. If you can maintain an interest you can try it out otherwise avoid because like me you'll just end up getting distracted in class and not concentrate.
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isabel12144
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(Original post by greghayes)
Thank you and you're welcome! I took AS and A2 at the same time and got a B in both so a B overall. I'm studying psychology at York in September
Good luck for September!
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isabel12144
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(Original post by justanotherchica)
I just did my AS and I got a C manly due to the fact that I didn't put enough effort in to it. I think it is quite easy and the concepts are fairly easy to grasp. For the exa you just need to memorize the important info and do lots of exam papers However I will say that it will require you to have a good interest in current British affairs and honestly that stuff bore me to death. If you can maintain an interest you can try it out otherwise avoid because like me you'll just end up getting distracted in class and not concentrate.
Ok thank you! Did you find any of it interesting or was it just boring the entire year?
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Laurenmartin48
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#11
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#11
(Original post by isabel12144)
I'm starting sixth form in September and deciding my options to see if I want to change any. I originally chose maths, chemistry, history and psychology. I've now changed psychology to further maths but now I'm considering changing it to politics. Is this a good a level? Is it difficult? What sort of material do you cover? What is the exam like? Is it interesting?
It depends what exam board your sixth form does, but i do aqa and in year 12 we studied British politics and in year 13 we study American politics. If you go onto AQA's website the full specification with all the modules should be on there. This will be the same for all exam boards. Bear in mind that it all changes in September so your course will be slightly different from the course that current year 12's sat.

One thing I would note is that you have to be impartial in your exams, but other than that it is a very enjoyable topic- i'll be doing it at university now!! The content is not difficult in my opinion, but there is a lot of it so if you are put off by lots of essays and dense information it is not the right a level for you. It is thoroughly interesting especially with all that is going on currently, and the ability to add in current examples as well as old examples is something examiners really like to see (from my experience)

I think if you can then try to speak to the politics teacher at your sixth form and students too if possible.

Good luck!!
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isabel12144
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#12
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(Original post by Laurenmartin48)
It depends what exam board your sixth form does, but i do aqa and in year 12 we studied British politics and in year 13 we study American politics. If you go onto AQA's website the full specification with all the modules should be on there. This will be the same for all exam boards. Bear in mind that it all changes in September so your course will be slightly different from the course that current year 12's sat.

One thing I would note is that you have to be impartial in your exams, but other than that it is a very enjoyable topic- i'll be doing it at university now!! The content is not difficult in my opinion, but there is a lot of it so if you are put off by lots of essays and dense information it is not the right a level for you. It is thoroughly interesting especially with all that is going on currently, and the ability to add in current examples as well as old examples is something examiners really like to see (from my experience)

I think if you can then try to speak to the politics teacher at your sixth form and students too if possible.

Good luck!!
I think my school does aqa with British and us politics. I'm aware it changes slightly but I just wanted a general opinion from current students. I'm not particularly put off by logs of information so I think that should be fine. Good luck at uni and thanks for your advice 😊
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Laurenmartin48
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#13
(Original post by isabel12144)
I think my school does aqa with British and us politics. I'm aware it changes slightly but I just wanted a general opinion from current students. I'm not particularly put off by logs of information so I think that should be fine. Good luck at uni and thanks for your advice 😊
In that case I can give you a more in depth description!

In year 12 we studied the way people vote, political parties and their evolution, electoral systems and pressure groups (unit 1), the judiciary, multi level governance (the EU and devolved assemblies), parliament and the core executive (govt) (unit 2)

In year 13 (American) we did the electoral process, political parties, voting behaviour and pressure groups (same as year 12 unit 1 but american), the constitution, the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. (unit 2)

This is very much a whistlestop tour of my course, and i urge you to check the new spec but at least this may give you a bit more info on the type of content you will be learning
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isabel12144
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#14
(Original post by Laurenmartin48)
In that case I can give you a more in depth description!

In year 12 we studied the way people vote, political parties and their evolution, electoral systems and pressure groups (unit 1), the judiciary, multi level governance (the EU and devolved assemblies), parliament and the core executive (govt) (unit 2)

In year 13 (American) we did the electoral process, political parties, voting behaviour and pressure groups (same as year 12 unit 1 but american), the constitution, the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. (unit 2)

This is very much a whistlestop tour of my course, and i urge you to check the new spec but at least this may give you a bit more info on the type of content you will be learning
Ok thank you. Where do you want to go to university if you don't mind me asking and what grades did you need to get for the course?
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Laurenmartin48
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(Original post by isabel12144)
Ok thank you. Where do you want to go to university if you don't mind me asking and what grades did you need to get for the course?
Sheffield and York are my main two (politics and international relations) , both of which are AAB, I did consider Cambridge too which is A*AA. (human social and political sciences)

Sheffield do in some cases offer to drop a grade to ABB if you get an EPQ grade B or above in a relevant topic. I'm not sure if it applies to all courses but it worth bearing in mind that some unis will lower boundaries depending on your circumstances.

It's not something you have to think about yet, but throughout the next year check for open days and also think about what you may want to study/ where
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isabel12144
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(Original post by Laurenmartin48)
Sheffield and York are my main two (politics and international relations) , both of which are AAB, I did consider Cambridge too which is A*AA. (human social and political sciences)

Sheffield do in some cases offer to drop a grade to ABB if you get an EPQ grade B or above in a relevant topic. I'm not sure if it applies to all courses but it worth bearing in mind that some unis will lower boundaries depending on your circumstances.

It's not something you have to think about yet, but throughout the next year check for open days and also think about what you may want to study/ where
Ok thank you!
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3mmz
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(Original post by greghayes)
I took Gov & Politics and got a B this morning. I am slightly disappointed that I didn't get the A but I am still happy with a B overall.

They're slightly changing the course next year to include ideologies but most of the course will be the same as it is now.

I really enjoyed it as it was great to learn about (US more than UK, though) and there were some brilliant debates held in our class as we all had very differing views on issues. It's difficult if you don't take an interest outside the classroom as you have to be up to date on the political news to use in your exams. There's lots of different topics to cover but the college chooses which ones to do. We did things like the constitution, judiciary of the US, UK parliament, US Senate, voting behaviour, voting systems, etc. The exams are very time-limited so you're constantly writing but good questions can be quite interesting. I wouldn't take it if you don't have an interest in it, though, as it can be potentially dull and just another boring subject.
I'm taking a gap year and might retake
The syllabus is changing? You can't retake what we sat in June?
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isabel12144
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#18
(Original post by 3mmz)
I'm taking a gap year and might retake
The syllabus is changing? You can't retake what we sat in June?
You might be able to resit for one year but for my year group most of the a levels are reformed so you can no longer do an as in a subject and then an a2. You can do an as or an a2 I think as far as I'm aware
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3mmz
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#19
(Original post by isabel12144)
You might be able to resit for one year but for my year group most of the a levels are reformed so you can no longer do an as in a subject and then an a2. You can do an as or an a2 I think as far as I'm aware
Huh I'm confused
So for those of us that sat the ideologies paper this summer...we cannot retake them if we want to boost our grade?
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isabel12144
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#20
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#20
(Original post by 3mmz)
Huh I'm confused
So for those of us that sat the ideologies paper this summer...we cannot retake them if we want to boost our grade?
I'm really not sure sorry. I'm just considering taking it. Maybe check with your school or ask someone at the exam board to be sure?
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