Should I choose English Literature for A levels if I’m currently achieving a 5?

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Alisha2355
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Hi I am currently taking English literature for my GCSE’s and I’m achieving a 5 nearly a 6. I want to ask a series of questions: How difficult is A level English literature in comparison to GCSE’s? How can I raise my GCSE English literature grade before my exams in 4 months? If I choose English literature for a levels, are the chances of me getting a minimum of a B high if I put the work in? If I choose not to do English literature as an a level, will sociology, law and history be a good combo to study instead? Thanks
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Rainb11
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History law and sociology are good a levels to take I was predicted a 6 for gcse English literature however I was getting 3s and 4s ap year, when it came to my results day I got a seven! I would write my poetry quotes on sticky notes and stick them all around the house (including the loo) so that I had to remember and repeat them. I recommend doing that! Posters on your bed room wall is also great. Goodluck
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scxr.lett
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Hey - if you really love English I would say yes, however it was my best subject at GCSE and I struggle so much now I barely get Bs (in A2) and I feel like I work hard.
Maybe thats just me, but I would say its a huge step up and I really havent enjoyed it as much as GCSE its sooooo different and so much harder and abstract. I think Law, Sociology and History sound like a really good combo !!
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Alisha2355
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(Original post by Rainb11)
History law and sociology are good a levels to take I was predicted a 6 for gcse English literature however I was getting 3s and 4s ap year, when it came to my results day I got a seven! I would write my poetry quotes on sticky notes and stick them all around the house (including the loo) so that I had to remember and repeat them. I recommend doing that! Posters on your bed room wall is also great. Goodluck
Wow a 7 that’s amazing, well done! Yes I will do thank you so much for the advice it’s really given me hope to try harder now
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ohdearstudying
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I got a 7 in Literature at GCSE and I am predicted an A. I will caveat that with I taught myself English Literature and the vast majority of top scorers in my class got 9s and 8s at GCSE. Those who were much lower on the entry requirement to take the subject struggle and admit to the rest of the class they did not anticipate the workload or...well...just how much reading is involved.
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naeology
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English Literature A Level is a lot of work. For the most part it’s quite similar to gcse but you really are expected to analyse most of your book on your own. You also have to read around your texts for typicality. If you don’t like reading, especially the classics like Frankenstein, I wouldn’t take it. But if you enjoy reading and interpreting you’ll enjoy English lit A Level and you could easily get an A with practised writing technique.

The best way I can think of to improve your English grade is just to know your texts really well and I know that sounds like rubbish advice, but you need to keep reading your texts over and over again. Each time you read you’ll find an interesting quote maybe you missed the time before. But honestly don’t put to much pressure on yourself, I was constantly getting 6s in year 10, 7s in year 11 and came out with an 8, 1 mark off a 9 in gcse. It’s a process and you’ll get there! And examiners aren’t as harsh as you think good luck!

Sociology, history and law sound like a good combo though!
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Alisha2355
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(Original post by scxr.lett)
Hey - if you really love English I would say yes, however it was my best subject at GCSE and I struggle so much now I barely get Bs (in A2) and I feel like I work hard.
Maybe thats just me, but I would say its a huge step up and I really havent enjoyed it as much as GCSE its sooooo different and so much harder and abstract. I think Law, Sociology and History sound like a really good combo !!
Aw keep working hard you will get there once again thank you
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Alisha2355
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(Original post by ohdearstudying)
I got a 7 in Literature at GCSE and I am predicted an A. I will caveat that with I taught myself English Literature and the vast majority of top scorers in my class got 9s and 8s at GCSE. Those who were much lower on the entry requirement to take the subject struggle and admit to the rest of the class they did not anticipate the workload or...well...just how much reading is involved.
Wow a 7 is amazing well done!
yeah I mean it’s so stressful because despite working hard, I feel like I’m getting nowhere as I’m still achieving the same grades I got in the previous mock. Thank you for your advice
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Alisha2355
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(Original post by Dani—)
English Literature A Level is a lot of work. For the most part it’s quite similar to gcse but you really are expected to analyse most of your book on your own. You also have to read around your texts for typicality. If you don’t like reading, especially the classics like Frankenstein, I wouldn’t take it. But if you enjoy reading and interpreting you’ll enjoy English lit A Level and you could easily get an A with practised writing technique.

The best way I can think of to improve your English grade is just to know your texts really well and I know that sounds like rubbish advice, but you need to keep reading your texts over and over again. Each time you read you’ll find an interesting quote maybe you missed the time before. But honestly don’t put to much pressure on yourself, I was constantly getting 6s in year 10, 7s in year 11 and came out with an 8, 1 mark off a 9 in gcse. It’s a process and you’ll get there! And examiners aren’t as harsh as you think good luck!

Sociology, history and law sound like a good combo though!
Wow well done an 8 is amazing! I do enjoy reading it’s just that worry that I’m not going to end up not doing well in English lit since I’m achieving a 5 and my GCSE’s are in 4 months. Thank you I am considering these options heavily now.
Are you in college now, if so, what a levels have you taken and how are they going?
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username4347578
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If you’re passionate and willing to put in effort go for it. At GCSEs I got a 7 and it was a very painful subject. I was getting 3s throughout the year and my teachers lost hope in me. Literature was my most disliked subject because I was getting bad grades. Otherwise I enjoyed learning about stuff but it was difficult for me. But I proved them all wrong in the end
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Alisha2355
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Wow well done for achieving a 7 and proving your teachers wrong. Hopefully I can have the same outcome thank you for the advice
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naeology
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(Original post by Alisha2355)
Wow well done an 8 is amazing! I do enjoy reading it’s just that worry that I’m not going to end up not doing well in English lit since I’m achieving a 5 and my GCSE’s are in 4 months. Thank you I am considering these options heavily now.
Are you in college now, if so, what a levels have you taken and how are they going?
Yep! I’m currently in Sixth Form and am studying English Literature, sociology and psychology. They’re going okay, currently predicted AAB! A levels are stressful though.

What texts are you studying for English by the way?
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Alisha2355
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(Original post by Dani—)
Yep! I’m currently in Sixth Form and am studying English Literature, sociology and psychology. They’re going okay, currently predicted AAB! A levels are stressful though.

What texts are you studying for English by the way?
Wow what an awesome combo! I’m studying Romeo and Juliet, a Christmas Carol and blood brothers
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naeology
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(Original post by Alisha2355)
Wow what an awesome combo! I’m studying Romeo and Juliet, a Christmas Carol and blood brothers
Woah, I’ve never heard of blood brothers, is it interesting??

Ah I didn’t study Romeo and Juliet, but I think I still have my notes on Christmas Carol
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Tolgash
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Here's the thing, I was twenty-one marks over the grade-nine threshold when I sat the exams for GCSE English literature. However, this made me indolent, and my performance in the lower sixth was beginning to slip. I got a B at the end of my first year in sixth form. There was a sting that definitely felt like the sign of underachievement. Now, a pupil that got a grade seven also got a B at this time. What did this starkly tell me? If you actually apply yourself, you can verily defy the odds and ameliorate any disappointing results in the past. Also, if you succeed too early and dupe yourself into thinking that you are immune to decreasing ability, you will likely be buried under the sombre grounds of failure with nothing much to show for any glories of yore.

A grade five certainly isn't ideal when stepping into the A Level course. It does not, however, preclude you from achieving your goals two years down the line. That being said, you must work like a Trojan to compensate for the slightly underwhelming capacity in the presence of this pre-university course

You must also consider just how fervent you are about this discipline. Is it truly enough to inspire you to slog away for hours? If writing copious amounts of literary critique just isn't your schtick, I'd be raising serious doubts about whether A Level literature is truly the right course for you.
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absolutelysprout
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a level literature's tough, i'd only recommend taking the subject if you actually enjoy it otherwise you'll be miserable whilst putting that work in. it's a rewarding subject, at times though.
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Alisha2355
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
Here's the thing, I was twenty-one marks over the grade-nine threshold when I sat the exams for GCSE English literature. However, this made me indolent, and my performance in the lower sixth was beginning to slip. I got a B at the end of my first year in sixth form. There was a sting that definitely felt like the sign of underachievement. Now, a pupil that got a grade seven also got a B at this time. What did this starkly tell me? If you actually apply yourself, you can verily defy the odds and ameliorate any disappointing results in the past. And if you succeeded too early and duped yourself into thinking that you were immune to atrophying ability, you would likely be buried under the sombre grounds of failure with nothing much to show for any glories of yore.

A grade five certainly isn't ideal when stepping into the A Level course. It does not, however, preclude you from achieving your goals two years down the line. That being said, you must work like a Trojan to compensate for the slightly underwhelming capacity in the presence of this pre-university course

You must also consider just how fervent you are about this discipline. Is it truly enough to inspire you to slog away for hours? If writing copious amounts of literary critique just isn't your schtick, I'd be raising serious doubts about whether A Level literature is truly the right course for you.
Oh I see I am now reconsidering my options and I am fairly off the edge of taking English literature for A level after reading the advice I received on here. Thank you for your advice, personally I think a B is still pretty good.
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Tolgash
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(Original post by Alisha2355)
Oh I see I am now reconsidering my options and I am fairly off the edge of taking English literature for A level after reading the advice I received on here. Thank you for your advice, personally I think a B is still pretty good.
I appreciate your kind words, but even teachers, who I've known for a while and truly trust, made the observation that my standard had decreased.
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Alisha2355
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Aw that must suck because you had a certain expectation you couldn’t reach but don’t worry about it as there are still so many options open for you regardless. Whether it was an A or a B you still did amazing.
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skittish
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(Original post by Alisha2355)
Hi I am currently taking English literature for my GCSE’s and I’m achieving a 5 nearly a 6. I want to ask a series of questions: How difficult is A level English literature in comparison to GCSE’s? How can I raise my GCSE English literature grade before my exams in 4 months? If I choose English literature for a levels, are the chances of me getting a minimum of a B high if I put the work in? If I choose not to do English literature as an a level, will sociology, law and history be a good combo to study instead? Thanks
Hi, year 13 here (Studying English, History, Psychology and Art)

It's fairly obvious but it's important to think about why you want to study English in the first place- do you enjoy it or do you think it's a good subject to have? With English it's really important to enjoy it and most of the people I see struggling at A-Level aren't less intelligent, they just don't have the passion to engage with the texts as much.

I personally think that English A level isn't too much harder than GCSE but opinions vary. The texts are a little more challenging and there are a lot more, but the main difference is the level of understanding you are expected to have/level of arguments you are expected to produce. If you are willing to work hard then go for it.

In order to raise your grade I would consider working out where you usually lose marks and trying to practice e.g. if your arguments aren't complex enough, talk to other people more to try and understand how other people think, or if you don't know your texts in enough detail try and practice those. Whilst quote banks and essay planning is goof, its important to develop your analytical reasoning skills (especially for English language), so I would suggest reading an unseen passage every so often and giving yourself 15 minutes or so to annotate it and think about what you find interesting. After those 15 minutes, try to find some commentary on it i.e. on sparknotes or another similar website and see if any of your analysis is the same. Similarly, try to find sample papers and mark schemes (examiner's reports are often useful) as they will allow you to understand what the examiners are looking for.

In terms of A Level grades, my exam board has generous marking but high grade boundaries- in order to achieve an A you often need 90% and for an A* it can be as high as 95%. I achieved full marks (so grade 9) at GCSE, but my grades currently fluctuate between a B and an A*. I'm mentioning this to scare you or anything, as the marking at A Level is more generous than at GCSE in my experience (the boundaries are simply higher to compensate), it's just important to consider.

Also, I don't know about sociology or law but I study history and find it rather intense. Whilst I sincerely enjoy it, I found the step up from GCSE to be much larger than for any other subject, both in terms of the amount you have to learn and the way in which you're expected to think. It's definitely worth doing if you're interested, just something to bear in mind. In terms of subject combinations, I know many people who take a combination similar to the one your considering who thoroughly enjoy it- History and Law go especially well together. In generally, doing lots of essay subjects can be quite work-intensive, but it forces you to develop key skills which will prove exceptionally useful come your exams.

Ultimately, essay writing is largely about confidence; if you feel like you know the course content, you'll be able to construct an argument with more skill (and hopefully enjoy the process).

Best of luck!
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