username3168344
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#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
Hey everyone!

I recently started my A level philosophy course as I had a great fascination with philosophy throughout my teens. All of my friends called me this 'philosophical genius' even though I knew that I really wasn't. Still, I enjoyed thinking beyond other people, seeing things differently and from new perspectives. I thought I was really special as people kept praising me for the way I thought. But now, as I have started this course, I realised that I'm not a genius or different or smart. I'm just one of a class of about 25 students and I'm not the best anymore, in fact, I'm struggling quite a bit with this new knowledge and most of it is going over my head.

I don't feel good enough to be doing this course even though it is still something I am really passionate about. I'd hate to give up but i feel like right now, I'm not going to get any better at it. Every answer I have given in class has been completely wrong. It seems like my mindset is completely wrong.
Is this something I can change?
Should I keep going with this course or should I drop it and just pursue philosophy in my spare time?
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username3492572
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#2
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#2
Is it religious studies?
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username3168344
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#3
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#3
(Original post by seconda1)
Is it religious studies?
No. it's the AQA philosophy course.
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crocodile_ears
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#4
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#4
Maybe you're getting stuff wrong because you're trying too hard to be right. It's okay to be wrong, it's okay to be **** at things at first. Being bad is the first step to being good at something, because at least you're trying.

Talk to your teacher about how you feel, they'll help. It'll put things into perspective too.

Maybe look up some stuff about growth-mindsets. They used to bang on about it all the time in school, but even though I find it a bit annoying it definitely rings true.

I'm also talking philosophy so pm me if you have questions or need a study buddy!
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username3168344
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#5
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#5
(Original post by crocodile_ears)
Maybe you're getting stuff wrong because you're trying too hard to be right. It's okay to be wrong, it's okay to be **** at things at first. Being bad is the first step to being good at something, because at least you're trying.

Talk to your teacher about how you feel, they'll help. It'll put things into perspective too.

Maybe look up some stuff about growth-mindsets. They used to bang on about it all the time in school, but even though I find it a bit annoying it definitely rings true.

I'm also talking philosophy so pm me if you have questions or need a study buddy!
Thank you! This helps a lot. I'll try and talk to my teacher though I'm not sure there is much he can do. Apparently honesty goes a long way these days so i might as well try and see where it gets me.
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rosie.mn
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#6
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#6
I got an A at Philosophy AS. I can honestly say that philosophy is a hard subject and you do have to work hard to get good grades and develop your reasoning - it's not as simple as being a genuis. Sometimes it feels like you're getting nowhere with it, like you're not smart enough for it, but you are. It's just extremely complicated and not the same as RS at high school or your own research - exam technique is vital to this course, I can't stress this enough. I really struggled with epistemology personally, but in the end it turned out okay, I got an A with a high UMS because I practised. The reality of it is, you've probably never studied anything like this before. Ever. It's only the first few weeks, it's okay to feel out of your depth - often with philosophy it feels like you read a text that says something in such a complex way, and wonder why it can't have been written in simpler terms. This is very common. Don't panic! If you need any help with exam technique, direct message me! If you're struggling with class content, crashcourse philosophy on YouTube has amazing summaries of theories and thought covered in the AQA spec and is a lifesaver for revision.
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crocodile_ears
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Emsio8)
Thank you! This helps a lot. I'll try and talk to my teacher though I'm not sure there is much he can do. Apparently honesty goes a long way these days so i might as well try and see where it gets me.
There's no short term solution to this, but having an open dialogue with him will help in the long run. Keep trying, keep failing (there's nothing actually wrong with being wrong) and keep an open mind.

Also, make friends with the people who get the right answers! They can help you study, and you'll have some really cool and smart friends that you'll be able to learn from.
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Tartaglia
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Emsio8)
Thank you! This helps a lot. I'll try and talk to my teacher though I'm not sure there is much he can do. Apparently honesty goes a long way these days so i might as well try and see where it gets me.
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chloexe
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#9
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#9
Hi!

I had the same problem last year! I got an A at GCSE in ethics and enjoyed the course so much, so decided to take it as an AS/A-Level at sixth form.

The course content is quite challenging, but you can do so well if you complete extra reading. My teacher advised for me to read the puzzle of ethics, and it really helped with my understanding of a specific area of the course.

Don't give up on the course, at A-Level it is normal to struggle and maybe not do as well as you have done in the past, due to course content and structure. It is much more difficult to pick up marks, but once you get the exam technique, it can be quite easy.

I ended up being a couple of marks off a C at AS and I was very happy with that! I was the first year to do the new course and had barely any past papers to help, and I only got my textbook three weeks before the exam! I did this by going back to teacher and doing extended reading... it helps so much!

I am now studying A2 and the content is challenging, but so interesting. Keep going, ask your teacher for help, also use the specification closely and break down the course into simple notes that you understand clearer.

Hope this helps!
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221Breezeblocks
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#10
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#10
Hi thereeee - I've just left sixth form and I got an A in AQA A-level philosophy. If you have any questions about the course itself / phil study help do ask !!
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rachelrichards1
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#11
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#11
HI! I really need help, i am doing the new spec of AQA philosophy taking my A2 exam this year but also having to resit my AS as well. do you have any notes on the philosophy of mind and ethical theories topics?and do you have any notes on how to strcuture the essays as i am so confused and always dont do well on the essays- and i really need an A in this to get into my uni place!!thank you so much in advance!
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Joe312
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#12
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#12
Philosophy is a seriously hard subject. It's unfortunate your passion is not translating into grades. There could be many reasons for this. Perhaps the type of philosophy you are interested in is not the sort of philosophy in the A level. The AQA Philosophy A level is 'analytic' philosophy of the American and English tradition. It's quite specific, might not be your thing. Also, you might not be putting the work in because you expect your passion to do it for you.

If you want, you could post your understanding of some topics and I could try to diagnose your issue.


Ethics notes: http://www.routledgetextbooks.com/te...934/ethics.php

Philosophy of mind notes: http://www.routledgetextbooks.com/te...philosophy.php


As for how to structure essays - there are a few important things you've gotta do to get the top marks.

1 - integration. This means connecting the different parts of your essays in some way. The easiest way is to compare the arguments/philosophers/ideas you evaluated in one paragraph with those of a previous paragraph, at the end of each paragraph. Don't just have a bunch of unconnected paragraphs that just move from one topic to the next with a small attempt to link them together in the conclusion. You can't connect everything, but you need to connect some things.

2 - Weighing the strengths of different arguments. Let's say you put forward 3 arguments against something. Which argument is strongest, and why? Which is weakest, and why? For example, perhaps a counter argument only makes something impractical, rather than actually false, which would make it a weaker argument relatively. Or perhaps it argues against a part of a theory that the theory doesn't really rely on, making the counter argument less fatal to the theory than a different one that might argue against a core feature of the theory.

3 - arguing with intent. You must say what you are going to argue in the introduction and that must be shown throughout the essay and in the conclusion.

4 - evaluation. You must present the other side of the debate to the one you argue for sufficiently. The stronger and better you make your opponents case, the more impressive your argument becomes for defeating it.
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username3168344
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#13
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#13
I'm contemplating dropping Philosophy. I've been thinking about it for a while now. I know that the highest achievers usually take just three subjects and I really want to give my all to those subjects (Biology, Maths and Psychology). However, what is currently making me doubt my idea of dropping is how much I really admire my teacher. They are charismatic and funny and passionate. I don't mind the course content but I find it extremely hard to put into words in exams. I'm not looking for a career is philosophy but I just know that I will terribly miss the work environment and my teacher. What would you guys suggest I do?
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