Is History GCSE worth taking?

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Prof. Tocher
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#1
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#1
It's only a matter of weeks before I choose my GCSE options. We take 3 subjects and I have already chosen for my first 2 geography and french. Those are set in stone. however, I am really torn between choosing history or economics GCSE. Economics is fascinating and easier than history and history, which I find equally fascinating is hard but I am willing to put effort in. Unfortunately, I have not booked the parents presentation on history so I will be heading into the course if I decide to take it with a blind eye. Recently I have just recieved a message from my History teacher where she said I am really good at history and have the necessary skills to succeed in it at GCSE. My mum really doesn't want me to take history and would probably rage at me if I did. She is open about economics but I'm really not sure on which one to take I could probably do well in both but History is probably more respected and more of my friends are taking it. Please help and dont be biased
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parmezanne
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#2
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Yeh, why not. It's pretty easy; I got a 7 and I was sort of average at it with a TERRRRRRRIBLE teacher I kid you not! It's also super respected by uni's and it shows you can do essay writing so hey, why not.
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jbrdodd
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#3
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#3
I managed to get an A in it and it was my favourite subject, so I’d say go for it
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username3434964
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#4
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#4
Take whichever you prefer

How 'respected' they are doesn't come into it at all

One point though - it may be slightly easier to find revision materials etc online for history compared to economics.
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Emma:-)
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#5
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#5
History is a pretty good subject to take (i dont know much about economics so cant really comment on that).
Do whichever you enjoy most and think you will get a better grade in.
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Sinnoh
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#6
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#6
Take the more interesting one. Neither subject is needed in order to take it at A-level, if that's a consideration.

Don't get why your mum's so opposed. It's just a GCSE, it's like 10% of your subjects.
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DJTrump
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#7
I took both Economics and History, so here's my 2 cents.

Exam style wise, economics is far less time-pressured and far less technique based. For AQA, 25% of the Economics GCSE is multiple choice - free marks essentially if you've done your revision. However, microeconomics is completely boring. Macroeconomics is somewhat more fascinating, but can get confusing at times. If you're able to do hardcore revision, economics should be a walk in the park for you. Also try to consider what career paths you want to follow. If you're looking to go into accountacy, business management, or finance - it might be helpful (but not necessary) to take economics to GCSE and A-level. Oh, and there also aren't very many essay questions. The longest mark answer for AQA Econ is 6 marks.

HOWEVER - as someone mentioned, econ is a relatively new spec. There will be more resources for History. Although, assuming you're in Yr.9, by the time you come to do your GCSEs - you'll have 2 sets of past papers, and your teachers will be versed with grade boundaries and teaching techniques. No real reason to worry.

History I find fascinating. Your school will pick 4 units, but this can range from Nazi Germany, to Norman England, to the recent war in Afghanistan. I'd suggest finding out with your History department what GCSE will entail - and then figure out if it'll interest you. History is significantly more workload than Econ, you need to understand both content and exam style. Each question will have a vastly different mark scheme and structure, and each needs to be practised individually. Also, if you're bad with essays, go towards Econ; the longest mark question in History is 20 marks. However, History is really gripping - and can be taken as an entertaining 4th A-level later on down the line. I also failed to mention that AQA recently added 15 minutes to each History paper (they used to be 1h45m - now it's 2 hrs for each paper) - making it far less time pressured than it was before.

In conclusion, take econ if you're better at maths, memory, and/or want to go into finance. Take history if you want an entertaining subject, but don't mind the longer essays/strenuous exam questions.
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Tolgash
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#8
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(Original post by DJTrump)
History I find fascinating. Your school will pick 4 units, but this can range from Nazi Germany, to Norman England, to the recent war in Afghanistan. I'd suggest finding out with your History department what GCSE will entail - and then figure out if it'll interest you.
A pretty comprehensive response with a good focus on the question, if I say so myself. I do, however, think that it must be mentioned that if the OP does not like the topics being studied in their history GCSE route, but is good essay writing, the OP should still avoid history. History can become a f*cking disaster if someone isn't a fan of even two out of the four units being studied. These are quite content-dense chapters we're talking about, and revision can become an absolute bloody living nightmare, which is just so hellish when compounded with the pressure of the exams. I learnt this the hard way.
Last edited by Tolgash; 3 years ago
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username4469564
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#9
In essence, a GCSE isn't respected at all by universities and doesn't demonstrate the necessary complex essay writing a degree would presumably entail

(Original post by yzanne)
Yeh, why not. It's pretty easy; I got a 7 and I was sort of average at it with a TERRRRRRRIBLE teacher I kid you not! It's also super respected by uni's and it shows you can do essay writing so hey, why not.
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parmezanne
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#10
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#10
(Original post by logical_nonsense)
In essence, a GCSE isn't respected at all by universities and doesn't demonstrate the necessary complex essay writing a degree would presumably entail
But no GCSE is respected by universities... plus, often you need to have studied a subject at GCSE level to be able to take it at A-level, and A-level history is well respected for the skills that it teaches you. 'In essence', history teaches you evaluative and development skills which are the bases of every essay you write. No GCSE is degree level - that's the point of it. Its appropriate for 15-16 year olds?
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chlo_bel
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(Original post by yzanne)
But no GCSE is respected by universities... plus, often you need to have studied a subject at GCSE level to be able to take it at A-level, and A-level history is well respected for the skills that it teaches you. 'In essence', history teaches you evaluative and development skills which are the bases of every essay you write. No GCSE is degree level - that's the point of it. Its appropriate for 15-16 year olds?
There is little difference in content and depth between GCSE and A-Level History
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Ðeggs
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#12
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#12
Yes it’s such an important gcse to take.
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parmezanne
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#13
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(Original post by chlo_bel)
There is little difference in content and depth between GCSE and A-Level History
I am aware of this, I have studied both. But many colleges require a certain grade in the subject to allow you to study it further for A level is my point. There is however a big difference between A level and degree level history which is the idea. So, as you say, GCSE and A level History are very similar, but it is appropriate for 16 year olds, not degree level students. No GCSE is degree level.
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