A Level Politics or French with A Level Economics? Watch

yagmaya
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So, I'm currently filling in my sixth form and college applications for this September and I'm adamant on my choice to do Economics (although I've never studied it because my school had not offered it) but I know I want to do it and is something I'm genuinely interested in ( A-Level Maths and History with it). The only thing I'm struggling with is picking my fourth option. I'm trying to decide between politics and French as I've been doing French since year 7 and absolutely love it (estimated final grade - 8) and I've never done Gov + Politics but it looks easier and I think I'd be really stressed during A levels doing French as people do say it's really hard, I'm stressed at GCSE and it's not that bad compared to A Levels. The only thing keeping me from going straight for Politics is that I don't really keep up with the news, somewhat I do but I find it really interesting when we talk about it in classes.
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ttomato
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(Original post by yagmaya)
So, I'm currently filling in my sixth form and college applications for this September and I'm adamant on my choice to do Economics (although I've never studied it because my school had not offered it) but I know I want to do it and is something I'm genuinely interested in ( A-Level Maths and History with it). The only thing I'm struggling with is picking my fourth option. I'm trying to decide between politics and French as I've been doing French since year 7 and absolutely love it (estimated final grade - 8) and I've never done Gov + Politics but it looks easier and I think I'd be really stressed during A levels doing French as people do say it's really hard, I'm stressed at GCSE and it's not that bad compared to A Levels. The only thing keeping me from going straight for Politics is that I don't really keep up with the news, somewhat I do but I find it really interesting when we talk about it in classes.
I've recently started my A Level Studies and am taking 4 subjects: Maths, History, French and Economics. I highly recommend taking subjects you truly enjoy; at my college we have 5 contact hours per subject, per week. This means that the bulk of your A Level study will be done in your own time, and for this reason it's extremely important that you are genuinely engaged by it. I'm biased but I would say take French as opposed to Government + Politics. In AQA French, we are studying a French film and the content feels a lot more relevant than what was covered at GCSE. I don't at all regret my choice to do French, and while I've only been at college for a few months, the workload is manageable as long as you consistently consolidate your learning (e.g. go over vocab and grammar every week). Government and Politics is a difficult subject, and if you're not passionate about the political foundation of our country, you are not going to enjoy it. Extensive wider reading will be necessary, and with three other A Levels, this will be overwhelming. You will need to keep up with the news (this will be necessary for economics as well), while also being comfortable debating in class. A factor that was particularly overriding for me was the realisation that you can lose proficiency in a language very easily. I learnt German for 5 years, and now, after dropping it at A Level, I find it difficult to string together sentences. Universities really value foreign languages, and if you're considering doing a year abroad, this will be a huge advantage. I hope this is somewhat helpful and feel free to ask me any questions
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yagmaya
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(Original post by ttomato)
I've recently started my A Level Studies and am taking 4 subjects: Maths, History, French and Economics. I highly recommend taking subjects you truly enjoy; at my college we have 5 contact hours per subject, per week. This means that the bulk of your A Level study will be done in your own time, and for this reason it's extremely important that you are genuinely engaged by it. I'm biased but I would say take French as opposed to Government + Politics. In AQA French, we are studying a French film and the content feels a lot more relevant than what was covered at GCSE. I don't at all regret my choice to do French, and while I've only been at college for a few months, the workload is manageable as long as you consistently consolidate your learning (e.g. go over vocab and grammar every week). Government and Politics is a difficult subject, and if you're not passionate about the political foundation of our country, you are not going to enjoy it. Extensive wider reading will be necessary, and with three other A Levels, this will be overwhelming. You will need to keep up with the news (this will be necessary for economics as well), while also being comfortable debating in class. A factor that was particularly overriding for me was the realisation that you can lose proficiency in a language very easily. I learnt German for 5 years, and now, after dropping it at A Level, I find it difficult to string together sentences. Universities really value foreign languages, and if you're considering doing a year abroad, this will be a huge advantage. I hope this is somewhat helpful and feel free to ask me any questions
Oh my god thank you. You're doing exactly what I want to do. Thing is, some colleges don't have French as part of their curriculum, so i think maybe I should drop it and go for French for the ones that do, and for the one that doesn't i guess i'll just do maths, history and economics. If you don't mind me asking what did you get at GCSE for each a level, and how re you getting on with Maths (Maths is my main concern because i'm just below the entry requirement but I definitely think come gcse time i'll be at at least an 8.)
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_Mia101
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(Original post by ttomato)
I've recently started my A Level Studies and am taking 4 subjects: Maths, History, French and Economics. I highly recommend taking subjects you truly enjoy; at my college we have 5 contact hours per subject, per week. This means that the bulk of your A Level study will be done in your own time, and for this reason it's extremely important that you are genuinely engaged by it. I'm biased but I would say take French as opposed to Government + Politics. In AQA French, we are studying a French film and the content feels a lot more relevant than what was covered at GCSE. I don't at all regret my choice to do French, and while I've only been at college for a few months, the workload is manageable as long as you consistently consolidate your learning (e.g. go over vocab and grammar every week). Government and Politics is a difficult subject, and if you're not passionate about the political foundation of our country, you are not going to enjoy it. Extensive wider reading will be necessary, and with three other A Levels, this will be overwhelming. You will need to keep up with the news (this will be necessary for economics as well), while also being comfortable debating in class. A factor that was particularly overriding for me was the realisation that you can lose proficiency in a language very easily. I learnt German for 5 years, and now, after dropping it at A Level, I find it difficult to string together sentences. Universities really value foreign languages, and if you're considering doing a year abroad, this will be a huge advantage. I hope this is somewhat helpful and feel free to ask me any questions
Hi!
I know I'm not OP, but how do you find Economics at A-level? I'm thinking of picking it too.
Thanks
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ttomato
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(Original post by yagmaya)
Oh my god thank you. You're doing exactly what I want to do. Thing is, some colleges don't have French as part of their curriculum, so i think maybe I should drop it and go for French for the ones that do, and for the one that doesn't i guess i'll just do maths, history and economics. If you don't mind me asking what did you get at GCSE for each a level, and how re you getting on with Maths (Maths is my main concern because i'm just below the entry requirement but I definitely think come gcse time i'll be at at least an 8.)
That sounds like a solid plan! I didn't do GCSE Economics, but got 9s in History, Maths and French. In Maths we've been building off of GCSE knowledge; right now, we're doing an advanced form of trigonometry. I do find it difficult, and it does need a lot of revision. I was similar to you in that I was very apprehensive about taking Maths, especially seeing as I had never achieved a 9 in maths before the actual GCSE exam. I would really recommend the CGP Grade 8/9 Targeted Workbook. I worked through the workbook in the period between Maths Paper 1 and Maths Paper 2 and it made a huge difference. If you're on track to get an 8, then I think you'll be fine with the A Level syllabus; in fact some of the grade 9 GCSE questions are harder than what I've met so far.
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(Original post by _Mia101)
Hi!
I know I'm not OP, but how do you find Economics at A-level? I'm thinking of picking it too.
Thanks
I'm enjoying Economics so far; it's a very logical and relevant subject. I will admit that at first, I did find it quite boring. One of my teachers is a bit dull which affected my perception of the subject. Microeconomics is very graph/data based, but it's not as complicated as it looks. I definitely enjoy macro more because you can link it to the real world very easily. If you're interested in human geography, I think you'll really enjoy economics (particularly macro). I would recommend economics because if your mind works in that logical way, you'll find it quite easy, and it is very engaging.
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_Mia101
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(Original post by ttomato)
That sounds like a solid plan! I didn't do GCSE Economics, but got 9s in History, Maths and French. In Maths we've been building off of GCSE knowledge; right now, we're doing an advanced form of trigonometry. I do find it difficult, and it does need a lot of revision. I was similar to you in that I was very apprehensive about taking Maths, especially seeing as I had never achieved a 9 in maths before the actual GCSE exam. I would really recommend the CGP Grade 8/9 Targeted Workbook. I worked through the workbook in the period between Maths Paper 1 and Maths Paper 2 and it made a huge difference. If you're on track to get an 8, then I think you'll be fine with the A Level syllabus; in fact some of the grade 9 GCSE questions are harder than what I've met so far.
OP, this is solid advice. I did maths last year and the CGP grade 8/9 targeted workbook is one of the main reasons I got a 9.

(Original post by ttomato)
I'm enjoying Economics so far; it's a very logical and relevant subject. I will admit that at first, I did find it quite boring. One of my teachers is a bit dull which affected my perception of the subject. Microeconomics is very graph/data based, but it's not as complicated as it looks. I definitely enjoy macro more because you can link it to the real world very easily. If you're interested in human geography, I think you'll really enjoy economics (particularly macro). I would recommend economics because if your mind works in that logical way, you'll find it quite easy, and it is very engaging.
Ah okay, thank you. If you've done any how do you find the exams? I looked at some and there is a lot of writing. Is it as bad as it looks?
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yagmaya
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(Original post by ttomato)
That sounds like a solid plan! I didn't do GCSE Economics, but got 9s in History, Maths and French. In Maths we've been building off of GCSE knowledge; right now, we're doing an advanced form of trigonometry. I do find it difficult, and it does need a lot of revision. I was similar to you in that I was very apprehensive about taking Maths, especially seeing as I had never achieved a 9 in maths before the actual GCSE exam. I would really recommend the CGP Grade 8/9 Targeted Workbook. I worked through the workbook in the period between Maths Paper 1 and Maths Paper 2 and it made a huge difference. If you're on track to get an 8, then I think you'll be fine with the A Level syllabus; in fact some of the grade 9 GCSE questions are harder than what I've met so far.
Damn! Thank you, you’ve been so helpful, do you have any other tips apart from the workbook? I mean my teacher is amazing he gives us a lot of hw but its really good we do the huge hw pack with only grade 7-9 questions and then we do a test and he goes through the ones we couldnt do, and that’s already gotten me from achieving like grade 3/4s to like a 7 in about 8 months, and since then i’ve really enjoyed maths, and i really want to get a good grade. If you dont have any tips its fine you’ve been really supportive anyway!🙂 ALSO WITH HISTORY PLEASE i love history and i want a 9 really bad but i got a 7 in my paper 3 mock my teacher is giving me an EFG 8 though!
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ttomato
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(Original post by _Mia101)
OP, this is solid advice. I did maths last year and the CGP grade 8/9 targeted workbook is one of the main reasons I got a 9.


Ah okay, thank you. If you've done any how do you find the exams? I looked at some and there is a lot of writing. Is it as bad as it looks?
The exams that I've done so far have been suspiciously easy so I have achieved 30/31, 34/34 and 16/16. I really doubt this is what my real exams will be like, but I would say that the format of economics exams is really straight-forward. There isn't too much writing, and the essay questions are very focused. They are looking for very specific points to be made, which makes the longer questions a lot easier to answer. Additionally, you can illustrate your points with graphs which makes things a lot easier if you're not as comfortable explaining with words.
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ttomato
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(Original post by yagmaya)
Damn! Thank you, you’ve been so helpful, do you have any other tips apart from the workbook? I mean my teacher is amazing he gives us a lot of hw but its really good we do the huge hw pack with only grade 7-9 questions and then we do a test and he goes through the ones we couldnt do, and that’s already gotten me from achieving like grade 3/4s to like a 7 in about 8 months, and since then i’ve really enjoyed maths, and i really want to get a good grade. If you dont have any tips its fine you’ve been really supportive anyway!🙂 ALSO WITH HISTORY PLEASE i love history and i want a 9 really bad but i got a 7 in my paper 3 mock my teacher is giving me an EFG 8 though!
So for Maths, I first went through my CGP guide. Paper 1 going so badly gave me a massive kick up the bum, so I was going through that guide at about 25 pages a day. If you start preparing now, it'll be so much easier for you. I went through every page, and completed every single exercise in it. It was almost painful doing this, as I found that some of the things I hadn't understood in Paper 1 had been covered in detail in the revision guide. After doing this, I answered as many questions as I could in the Targeted Workbook. The questions in it are all quite hard, and representative of the last few questions you would see in a paper. After this, I went through almost every past paper that was out there. I used past papers from almost every single exam board. If I didn't understand the question, I would go on Youtube and find the worked solutions to work from. I would recommend the website "Onmaths" for their topic busters and demon questions, as well as their predicted papers and youtube videos. After Paper 1, I worked through all of the predicted papers I could find. If a topic came up that I wasn't comfortable with, I would revise it again. My school had a subscription to "Mathswatch" which was really good for revision questions and videos.
For History, I went through all of the Seneca for my topics. This isn't amazing active revision but it was good to jog my memory. I read through my CGP guide, and skimmed through the subject textbook. I found a lot of helpful videos on Youtube; I don't know what specification you're doing, but for Medicine Through Time, BBC Teach had an amazing series on Youtube. The Youtube channel, Walton History was useful for exam technique and an overview. If "Revise GCSE History" on Youtube has your topics, I would really recommend it. The videos are super detailed and they composed 50% of my revision. Record all of the key dates and statistics and put them in a quizlet, as this will give you the evidence needed to support any points you make. Also, don't be scared to irritate your teacher. If you get an exam back and you're not happy with the mark, ask for specific advice and note it down. Ask the teacher what they think you need to do to get that 9. If you have time, you can even rewrite the answers. If I think of anything else, I'll add it, but I hope this is useful for now.
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_Mia101
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(Original post by ttomato)
The exams that I've done so far have been suspiciously easy so I have achieved 30/31, 34/34 and 16/16. I really doubt this is what my real exams will be like, but I would say that the format of economics exams is really straight-forward. There isn't too much writing, and the essay questions are very focused. They are looking for very specific points to be made, which makes the longer questions a lot easier to answer. Additionally, you can illustrate your points with graphs which makes things a lot easier if you're not as comfortable explaining with words.
Ah okay! Do you not do edexcel economics? Because when I looked at those papers, it seemed to be all essay writing.

So it is more about exam technique then? Perhaps you are just really good at econ, well done on those results! :thumbsup:
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ttomato
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Perhaps my perception is slightly skewed; I'm comparing it to History. I do Edexcel, and the first half of the exam is mainly short 2 mark questions and calculations. It isn't all essay writing, but many of the questions are formatted with a lot of lines for writing, while the questions can look quite wordy. The short + longer essay responses make up a large chunk of the exam, but good exam technique makes these questions a lot less daunting. If the prospect of writing essays referencing given data is unattractive for you, you might not enjoy Economics. Paper 3 is full of longer questions (25 markers), and you will be given a relatively long extracts to read. If it's any consolation, in Economics you're marked on your knowledge, application, analysis and evaluation. In this sense, it's very different to the kind of essay writing we're used to in English; you are not marked for the style of your essay, rather your understanding of key economic concepts. I'm quite new to the subject myself, having only studied it for 4 months, but I hope this is somewhat helpful.
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_Mia101
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(Original post by ttomato)
Perhaps my perception is slightly skewed; I'm comparing it to History. I do Edexcel, and the first half of the exam is mainly short 2 mark questions and calculations. It isn't all essay writing, but many of the questions are formatted with a lot of lines for writing, while the questions can look quite wordy. The short + longer essay responses make up a large chunk of the exam, but good exam technique makes these questions a lot less daunting. If the prospect of writing essays referencing given data is unattractive for you, you might not enjoy Economics. Paper 3 is full of longer questions (25 markers), and you will be given a relatively long extracts to read. If it's any consolation, in Economics you're marked on your knowledge, application, analysis and evaluation. In this sense, it's very different to the kind of essay writing we're used to in English; you are not marked for the style of your essay, rather your understanding of key economic concepts. I'm quite new to the subject myself, having only studied it for 4 months, but I hope this is somewhat helpful.
Thank you! This is very helpful

At GCSE in biology whenever we are given data and told to analyse it for 6 marks I tend to get 1/2. I apparently go off on a tangent on things that aren't on the marks scheme. Like I overlook the most obvious things and start doing things that are deeper and require manipulation of the data and stuff.

The literal writing aspect does seem quite unappealing to me, however I don't know whether I will be good at manipulating the data, considering how things are in biology. Showing my understanding of key economics concepts however, I do think I can do.

Do you think I'd enjoy economics, from what I've said? I'm worried that I'll like the actual classes and learning about macro and micro economics, however I won't like/ want to put in the practice for exams due to the amount of writing.


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Even know for English I kind of make short cut was by writing essay plans instead of doing actual essays. Although the actual essays still come out fine. Similarly, I rarely practice history questions, but I try to make sure my knowledge is solid. And I know the rules for exam technique, even if I don't practice them outside of the exams.
Do you think that this means that I probably wouldn't want to practice for the economics exams, like past paper questions and stuff? It'd be my only essay based A-level.
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fifiloumay
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I take A-Level History and Politics - combined they work so well together but they also add up to a lot of content to revise. I'd say they're definitely subjects that require commitment (and serious time management skills) but they're by far my most enjoyable subjects! Personally, I found Politics fairly easy to pick up on in Year 12 and carrying it through into Year 13 was essentially the same concepts just with a different country, and the exam questions are pretty 'easy' once you figure out your personal exam technique and keep going over the content. Politics doesn't necessarily mean you have to watch the news every night, it's more about learning how the political system works, as well as features of government and the role of political ideologies. It's pretty good if you like a bit of a debate too!

History's definitely a great subject as well, pretty easy in terms of GCSE to A-Level transition. The only thing worth checking is what modules your Sixth Form/College offer, as there is lots of variation, but overall I'd absolutely recommend History (+ Politics).
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ttomato
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(Original post by _Mia101)
Thank you! This is very helpful

At GCSE in biology whenever we are given data and told to analyse it for 6 marks I tend to get 1/2. I apparently go off on a tangent on things that aren't on the marks scheme. Like I overlook the most obvious things and start doing things that are deeper and require manipulation of the data and stuff.

The literal writing aspect does seem quite unappealing to me, however I don't know whether I will be good at manipulating the data, considering how things are in biology. Showing my understanding of key economics concepts however, I do think I can do.

Do you think I'd enjoy economics, from what I've said? I'm worried that I'll like the actual classes and learning about macro and micro economics, however I won't like/ want to put in the practice for exams due to the amount of writing.


Spoiler:
Show
Even know for English I kind of make short cut was by writing essay plans instead of doing actual essays. Although the actual essays still come out fine. Similarly, I rarely practice history questions, but I try to make sure my knowledge is solid. And I know the rules for exam technique, even if I don't practice them outside of the exams.
Do you think that this means that I probably wouldn't want to practice for the economics exams, like past paper questions and stuff? It'd be my only essay based A-level.
With everything you've described, it's impossible to be sure of whether you'll enjoy economics. It might be worth going on Youtube and watching a few videos on the channel "Econplusdal." He goes through the whole A Level Economics syllabus; sometimes it works out that if you love the subject enough, the rest falls into place. The mark schemes in economics can be quite rigid, but in comparison to biology, there is probably more flexibility. If you like data manipulation, then you will likely enjoy the more mundane parts of the specification. I don't know if you're at all similar to me, but I really hated writing English essays throughout Year 10 and 11. I remember getting bored of writing in the actual exam as well! On the other hand, I was happy to write pages for History; the subject content can really change how you view the exams and necessary practice. Essay planning can be just as beneficial (and more efficient) than writing a whole essay out, and this is especially the case for economics, where you're not being judged on your writing skills. For the first Economics question I answered I got 5/10 (D) because I had waffled and strayed from the mark scheme. Precision is imperative, but it's just a skill and can be improved so don't worry about that yet.
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(Original post by ttomato)
With everything you've described, it's impossible to be sure of whether you'll enjoy economics. It might be worth going on Youtube and watching a few videos on the channel "Econplusdal." He goes through the whole A Level Economics syllabus; sometimes it works out that if you love the subject enough, the rest falls into place. The mark schemes in economics can be quite rigid, but in comparison to biology, there is probably more flexibility. If you like data manipulation, then you will likely enjoy the more mundane parts of the specification. I don't know if you're at all similar to me, but I really hated writing English essays throughout Year 10 and 11. I remember getting bored of writing in the actual exam as well! On the other hand, I was happy to write pages for History; the subject content can really change how you view the exams and necessary practice. Essay planning can be just as beneficial (and more efficient) than writing a whole essay out, and this is especially the case for economics, where you're not being judged on your writing skills. For the first Economics question I answered I got 5/10 (D) because I had waffled and strayed from the mark scheme. Precision is imperative, but it's just a skill and can be improved so don't worry about that yet.
Okay, thank you so much! Yes I have watched some videos by Econolusdal. About 5 in micro and 5 in macro. Some parts I find interesting and others I feel like why am i even watching this, like I don’t really care.

I’m thinking maybe I’ll do economics for the first two weeks of school and if I don’t like it do further maths instead (four subjects are compulsory for year 12), however i feel if I don’t like economics at a level then there’s no point doing it at uni. But even then apparently further maths a level is more useful for econ at uni.

Thanks!
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yagmaya
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(Original post by ttomato)
So for Maths, I first went through my CGP guide. Paper 1 going so badly gave me a massive kick up the bum, so I was going through that guide at about 25 pages a day. If you start preparing now, it'll be so much easier for you. I went through every page, and completed every single exercise in it. It was almost painful doing this, as I found that some of the things I hadn't understood in Paper 1 had been covered in detail in the revision guide. After doing this, I answered as many questions as I could in the Targeted Workbook. The questions in it are all quite hard, and representative of the last few questions you would see in a paper. After this, I went through almost every past paper that was out there. I used past papers from almost every single exam board. If I didn't understand the question, I would go on Youtube and find the worked solutions to work from. I would recommend the website "Onmaths" for their topic busters and demon questions, as well as their predicted papers and youtube videos. After Paper 1, I worked through all of the predicted papers I could find. If a topic came up that I wasn't comfortable with, I would revise it again. My school had a subscription to "Mathswatch" which was really good for revision questions and videos.
For History, I went through all of the Seneca for my topics. This isn't amazing active revision but it was good to jog my memory. I read through my CGP guide, and skimmed through the subject textbook. I found a lot of helpful videos on Youtube; I don't know what specification you're doing, but for Medicine Through Time, BBC Teach had an amazing series on Youtube. The Youtube channel, Walton History was useful for exam technique and an overview. If "Revise GCSE History" on Youtube has your topics, I would really recommend it. The videos are super detailed and they composed 50% of my revision. Record all of the key dates and statistics and put them in a quizlet, as this will give you the evidence needed to support any points you make. Also, don't be scared to irritate your teacher. If you get an exam back and you're not happy with the mark, ask for specific advice and note it down. Ask the teacher what they think you need to do to get that 9. If you have time, you can even rewrite the answers. If I think of anything else, I'll add it, but I hope this is useful for now.
Thank you so much, you've been honestly so helpful! Straight after you told me about the book I bought it and paid for next day delivery, honestly the questions look like really good practise. I'm going to follow allll those tips for Maths. For history, I do Weimar and Nazi Germany, Cold War, Elizabethan England and Crime and Punishment Through Time but I'm sure your tips will come in handy. Is there a sort of summary you can give of what you learn in economics so far, the best and the worst, how you're doing etc?
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yagmaya
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D

(Original post by fifiloumay)
I take A-Level History and Politics - combined they work so well together but they also add up to a lot of content to revise. I'd say they're definitely subjects that require commitment (and serious time management skills) but they're by far my most enjoyable subjects! Personally, I found Politics fairly easy to pick up on in Year 12 and carrying it through into Year 13 was essentially the same concepts just with a different country, and the exam questions are pretty 'easy' once you figure out your personal exam technique and keep going over the content. Politics doesn't necessarily mean you have to watch the news every night, it's more about learning how the political system works, as well as features of government and the role of political ideologies. It's pretty good if you like a bit of a debate too!

History's definitely a great subject as well, pretty easy in terms of GCSE to A-Level transition. The only thing worth checking is what modules your Sixth Form/College offer, as there is lots of variation, but overall I'd absolutely recommend History (+ Politics).
damn, now i have no idea but I've already applied for french for one of the colleges but i put politics as my reserve, i definitely LOVE debating, I'm also a drama student lol, so speaking and all that jazz comes naturally to me. I guess I'll apply for politics for the rest of them. Thank you!
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