What is A level English Literature like?

Watch this thread
Grace Appleby
Badges: 12
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#1
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#1
What is English Lit like at A level? I don’t know weather to take it because I heard some people hate it and it was really difficult. I know we’re with AQA and we study, THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD, ATONEMENT AND CRIME ANTHOLOGY, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, TWELFTH NIGHT AND COMEDY ANTHOLOGY. I don’t particularly enjoy reading, but I’ve read into the texts and they all seem interesting and I’ve watched the film versions and I really enjoyed them, so I’m unsure what to do?

Has anyone took English Literature and got any advice, like what are the lessons like and what is the workload/homework like?

I’m thinking of taking it alongside History and Philosophy.
0
reply
justjas33
Badges: 19
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#2
Report 2 years ago
#2
I don’t know if you should take it if you don’t like reading....I’m currently studying a level English lit on AQA and you do need to read quite a bit, and if you want to really excel you should read around your texts. Plus you take more texts in A2, and you have coursework where you’ll have more to read! So definitely have a think about that. The main thing I can tell you tho is that it’s SO different and harder than GCSE. I was an A* student at gcse, and in my last English exam in January I got a D so it’s rough lol. But I also take history, and the jump from gcse to a level was pretty small and I’m doing pretty well. So it might depend on the person? But I feel like most people will agree with me when I say think very hard about taking it! I adore English and loved it at gcse - now I lowkey dislike it😅 it’s an enjoyable subject and pretty rewarding but it’s difficult. So since you said you don’t like reading, English might not be for you as the reading is the easiest part! I go to a sixth form college, so my workload and teaching style might be a little different to what you might experience, but (as is the case with all a levels) you’re expected to be more independent. Workload does increase quite a bit. AQA requires more historical context than other exam boards for English lit I think so be aware of that! But as you’re thinking of history a level I’m sure you won’t mind. As you’ve said you’re thinking of taking it alongside history and philosophy be prepared for loads of essays! I take three essay based subjects too (law, history + eng lit) and it does get a little exhausting but I’m not a fan of sciences so I suppose I was destined for this route hahaha. For advice, READ ALL YOUR TEXTS BEFORE YOU START. Good thing is that you have plenty of time to do that! I wasn’t planning on taking eng lit, I decided to in week 2 of college, so I didn’t read the texts before hand and that ended up being such a pain and added to my workload so make sure you get that out if the way. Start making revision resources as early as possible - as soon as you start really - so when you have exams all you have to do is crack on with revision and not worry about making resources. Focus on context. Focus on critical thinking/analysis a whole lot more. And don’t be disheartened if your grades are low in the beginning! It’s the same for the majority of people - you’ll eventually find your rhythm with it.
Hope this helped, let me know if you have any more specific questions
0
reply
Keels25
Badges: 16
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#3
Report 2 years ago
#3
(Original post by justjas33)
I don’t know if you should take it if you don’t like reading....I’m currently studying a level English lit on AQA and you do need to read quite a bit, and if you want to really excel you should read around your texts. Plus you take more texts in A2, and you have coursework where you’ll have more to read! So definitely have a think about that. The main thing I can tell you tho is that it’s SO different and harder than GCSE. I was an A* student at gcse, and in my last English exam in January I got a D so it’s rough lol. But I also take history, and the jump from gcse to a level was pretty small and I’m doing pretty well. So it might depend on the person? But I feel like most people will agree with me when I say think very hard about taking it! I adore English and loved it at gcse - now I lowkey dislike it😅 it’s an enjoyable subject and pretty rewarding but it’s difficult. So since you said you don’t like reading, English might not be for you as the reading is the easiest part! I go to a sixth form college, so my workload and teaching style might be a little different to what you might experience, but (as is the case with all a levels) you’re expected to be more independent. Workload does increase quite a bit. AQA requires more historical context than other exam boards for English lit I think so be aware of that! But as you’re thinking of history a level I’m sure you won’t mind. As you’ve said you’re thinking of taking it alongside history and philosophy be prepared for loads of essays! I take three essay based subjects too (law, history + eng lit) and it does get a little exhausting but I’m not a fan of sciences so I suppose I was destined for this route hahaha. For advice, READ ALL YOUR TEXTS BEFORE YOU START. Good thing is that you have plenty of time to do that! I wasn’t planning on taking eng lit, I decided to in week 2 of college, so I didn’t read the texts before hand and that ended up being such a pain and added to my workload so make sure you get that out if the way. Start making revision resources as early as possible - as soon as you start really - so when you have exams all you have to do is crack on with revision and not worry about making resources. Focus on context. Focus on critical thinking/analysis a whole lot more. And don’t be disheartened if your grades are low in the beginning! It’s the same for the majority of people - you’ll eventually find your rhythm with it.
Hope this helped, let me know if you have any more specific questions
Hi

I did AS Level English Lit (AQA). I personally really enjoyed it, but English Lit was one of my best subjects at GCSE (A*) so it came very naturally to me. However, not liking reading is a bit of a red flag. On my first day of AS English Lit, my English tutor gave us two novels (The Great Gatsby and Small Island) and told us to read them in two weeks. I read Gatsby in a day because it was really short (just over 100 pages I think). But Small Island was pretty fat and at the time I was a very slow reader. I was also doing 5 AS levels so I felt very swamped. However, I found it good overall. From what I can remember, we looked at two plays and two poets as well. I enjoyed discussing the texts and writing essays so it was really the perfect subject for me. I got an A in the AS exam and was pretty happy about it.
0
reply
justjas33
Badges: 19
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#4
Report 2 years ago
#4
(Original post by Keels25)
Hi

I did AS Level English Lit (AQA). I personally really enjoyed it, but English Lit was one of my best subjects at GCSE (A*) so it came very naturally to me. However, not liking reading is a bit of a red flag. On my first day of AS English Lit, my English tutor gave us two novels (The Great Gatsby and Small Island) and told us to read them in two weeks. I read Gatsby in a day because it was really short (just over 100 pages I think). But Small Island was pretty fat and at the time I was a very slow reader. I was also doing 5 AS levels so I felt very swamped. However, I found it good overall. From what I can remember, we looked at two plays and two poets as well. I enjoyed discussing the texts and writing essays so it was really the perfect subject for me. I got an A in the AS exam and was pretty happy about it.
I suppose it’s a different experience for everyone. I got A* (8) at GCSE as well, but the change from GCSE to a level was difficult for me. It depends on the person ahaha same with Gatsby. We were told to read it by next week but I read it in a day, my table were shook but it’s honestly not that hard of a task it’s a small book! How are you feeling about starting A2?
0
reply
Keels25
Badges: 16
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#5
Report 2 years ago
#5
(Original post by justjas33)
I suppose it’s a different experience for everyone. I got A* (8) at GCSE as well, but the change from GCSE to a level was difficult for me. It depends on the person ahaha same with Gatsby. We were told to read it by next week but I read it in a day, my table were shook but it’s honestly not that hard of a task it’s a small book! How are you feeling about starting A2?
I actually finished my A-levels nearly five years ago now! I've been to uni and graduated already! I didn't take English Lit to A2.
0
reply
justjas33
Badges: 19
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#6
Report 2 years ago
#6
(Original post by Keels25)
I actually finished my A-levels nearly five years ago now! I've been to uni and graduated already! I didn't take English Lit to A2.
Ohh ahaha sorry!
0
reply
JD200256
Badges: 9
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#7
Report 2 years ago
#7
You need to ask yourself one question; are you prepared to put a hell of a lot of independent study into it? if not, then English literature is definitely not the subject for you. I'm studying it at the minute, and under quarantine, the emphasis on independent learning could not be more apt. You obviously have to like reading. The structure for answering questions is a lot different too, as you continue studying the course, you go from using a set structure that's common at GCSE level, to developing your own style of essay writing. For certain bits, you need to include the interpretations of critics, there's a lot more emphasis on context behind the works too. Wish my advice was more useful!!
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How did your Edexcel A-level Economics Paper 1 go?

Loved the paper - Feeling positive (51)
15.74%
The paper was reasonable (163)
50.31%
Not feeling great about that exam... (79)
24.38%
It was TERRIBLE (31)
9.57%

Watched Threads

View All