Unsure about a-levels

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blueham1
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#1
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#1
I loved English Language GCSE, the balance between creative writing and analysing texts. But really didn't like English lit; I enjoyed Macbeth, but found my other texts difficult and the essay-writing format difficult too. I dont want to leave English behind at a-level but its either that or taking English lit (which I just have a gut feeling i wont like). Any advice/opinions would be massively appreciated on whether I should take it or not.(right now I'm deciding between history, geo, maths, english lit, and psychology - need to get rid of one)
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study bee
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(Original post by blueham1)
I loved English Language GCSE, the balance between creative writing and analysing texts. But really didn't like English lit; I enjoyed Macbeth, but found my other texts difficult and the essay-writing format difficult too. I dont want to leave English behind at a-level but its either that or taking English lit (which I just have a gut feeling i wont like). Any advice/opinions would be massively appreciated on whether I should take it or not.(right now I'm deciding between history, geo, maths, english lit, and psychology - need to get rid of one)
My initial response to this would be to not take a subject you do not like or you think you would not enjoy! As you only do 3 or 4 subjects, it can be tedious doing something you don't enjoy for long periods of time, which could then result in lower grades, etc.

However, if you are reluctant to take English lit because of its difficulty, remember you can always seek help. In A-Level English Lit, you tend to have more freedom in how you write- as long as you are exploring all the assessment objectives in your essay, you can write however you want. Do you know what texts you would do, if you did take English lit?

How do you feel about all the other subjects you're thinking about right now? Do you know what you would like to do at uni?
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username3944114
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I was in a somewhat similar position to you (liked English Lang but not Lit) but I ended up taking Lit for A level anyway. What I would say is that English Lit becomes much more interesting at A-level; it is more about analysing the ideas expressed by a certain text, how they are expressed, and looking at why such ideas are expressed (historical/biographical context), rather than memorising quotes and writing generic responses to them (GCSE English). If this appeals to you then I'd say go for it.
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PetitePanda
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#4
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#4
What’s your ranking of preference of those a levels and why?
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emma543
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Similar to what others have said, drop the subject you hate. Also a tip is DO NOT take a subject simply because you did well in it at GCSE, there is so many people who got top grades and have significantly dropped grades since.

I had the same problem when I started A-Levels, I began year 12 taking Biology, Psychology, English Language and History (as well cores maths) and the workload was too much but I couldn't decide what to drop. In the end it came down to practicality- Biology, Psychology and History are all extremely content heavy, there is lots to memorise, whilst English Language isn't (I take OCR which I have realised is quite a rarity!). In the end I dropped History, because I simply realised I had little to no background knowledge on prime ministers and the history of Russia. I kept Biology because I could apply the revision techniques I used for GCSE to A-level and Psychology simply because I love it. So really, if you like them all equally, then look at the content.

If I was to put some strengths and weakness to Psychology as this is the only subject that your interested that I can talk about then:

Strengths-
1) Interesting topics- OCD, schizophrenia, aggression, phobias, depression, memory, attachment, biopsychology (nervous system, endocrine glands etc).
2) Questions are easy to answer once you get a grasp of the technique.

Limitations-
1) Research methods are boring.
2) Lots to memorise- case studies, names of researchers.
Last edited by emma543; 2 years ago
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username3944114
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(Original post by emma543)
Similar to what others have said, drop the subject you hate. Also a tip is DO NOT take a subject simply because you did well in it at GCSE, there is so many people who got top grades and have significantly dropped grades since.

I had the same problem when I started A-Levels, I began year 12 taking Biology, Psychology, English Language and History (as well cores maths) and the workload was too much but I couldn't decide what to drop. In the end it came down to practicality- Biology, Psychology and History are all extremely content heavy, there is lots to memorise, whilst English Language isn't (I take OCR which I have realised is quite a rarity!). In the end I dropped History, because I simply realised I had little to no background knowledge on prime ministers and the history of Russia. I kept Biology because I could apply the revision techniques I used for GCSE to A-level and Psychology simply because I love it.

Basically what I'm saying is, you don't want to burden yourself with too much to memorise. English Language has theorists and terminology but if you were good at English at GCSE then you should pick up the new terminology quite quickly, whereas English Lit is more content heavy. If you love to read English Lit may be more for you. But, I can't really speak for English Literature as much as I haven't taken it. One of my friends began with English Lit and Lang and dropped Lit as she said it was boring.

If I was to put some strengths and weakness to both Psychology and English Lang (the subjects your interested in)

Psychology:

Strengths-
1) Interesting topics- OCD, schizophrenia, aggression, phobias, depression, memory, attachment, biopsychology (nervous system, endocrine glands etc).
2) Questions are easy to answer once you get a grasp of the technique.

Limitations-
1) Research methods are boring.
2) Lots to memorise- case studies, names of researchers.

English Language

Strengths-
1) I haven't found myself having to revise for its loads, unlike I have been for my other subject's mocks.
2) The coursework is really fun.

Limitations-
1) The unknown really- for example the creative writing task there are soo many possible topics it could up with.
2) TIMINGS- AAHHHH!
3) Homework- you'll have find yourself getting set lots of essays.

Hope this helps- if you have any questions about either Psych or Eng Lang- ask a way!
This person's school/college doesn't offer English Lang.
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emma543
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(Original post by jpink2001)
This person's school/college doesn't offer English Lang.
I didn't realise that! I have just re-edited by answer!! Woops
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blueham1
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#8
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Thanks everyone who replied, been reflecting on what all of you have said and come to a conclusion!!!

(Original post by emma543)
Similar to what others have said, drop the subject you hate. Also a tip is DO NOT take a subject simply because you did well in it at GCSE, there is so many people who got top grades and have significantly dropped grades since.

I had the same problem when I started A-Levels, I began year 12 taking Biology, Psychology, English Language and History (as well cores maths) and the workload was too much but I couldn't decide what to drop. In the end it came down to practicality- Biology, Psychology and History are all extremely content heavy, there is lots to memorise, whilst English Language isn't (I take OCR which I have realised is quite a rarity!). In the end I dropped History, because I simply realised I had little to no background knowledge on prime ministers and the history of Russia. I kept Biology because I could apply the revision techniques I used for GCSE to A-level and Psychology simply because I love it. So really, if you like them all equally, then look at the content.

If I was to put some strengths and weakness to Psychology as this is the only subject that your interested that I can talk about then:

Strengths-
1) Interesting topics- OCD, schizophrenia, aggression, phobias, depression, memory, attachment, biopsychology (nervous system, endocrine glands etc).
2) Questions are easy to answer once you get a grasp of the technique.

Limitations-
1) Research methods are boring.
2) Lots to memorise- case studies, names of researchers.
This was so helpful tysm, could you tell me what you find a strength and limitation for bio??

(Original post by jpink2001)
I was in a somewhat similar position to you (liked English Lang but not Lit) but I ended up taking Lit for A level anyway. What I would say is that English Lit becomes much more interesting at A-level; it is more about analysing the ideas expressed by a certain text, how they are expressed, and looking at why such ideas are expressed (historical/biographical context), rather than memorising quotes and writing generic responses to them (GCSE English). If this appeals to you then I'd say go for it.
i liked doing research and analysing texts, so this breakdown was great thankss

(Original post by maahum)
My initial response to this would be to not take a subject you do not like or you think you would not enjoy! As you only do 3 or 4 subjects, it can be tedious doing something you don't enjoy for long periods of time, which could then result in lower grades, etc.

However, if you are reluctant to take English lit because of its difficulty, remember you can always seek help. In A-Level English Lit, you tend to have more freedom in how you write- as long as you are exploring all the assessment objectives in your essay, you can write however you want. Do you know what texts you would do, if you did take English lit?

How do you feel about all the other subjects you're thinking about right now? Do you know what you would like to do at uni?
im still choosing between two schools (which use different texts) - its mainly the poetry texts im worried about tbh, no matter what kind of poetry ive always found it difficult. But there's always a process right, even if im rubbish with analysing and understanding poems it gradually gets better? Is there any method you can recommend to become better at understanding poems (throughout GCSE i found it very hard to come up with points cos a) couldnt understand what was going on, and b)there were no obvious techniques; unseen poetry was a nightmare) that have twisted/difficult language?
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blueham1
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#9
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Also, ive usually stuck with not so challenging books (i liked some of the challenging texts we were given in class, but i wouldnt read those outside of school) - do you have challenging book recommendations (that were also enjoyable, as in not too much of a hard read)?? any genre
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emma543
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(Original post by blueham1)
Thanks everyone who replied, been reflecting on what all of you have said and come to a conclusion!!!


This was so helpful tysm, could you tell me what you find a strength and limitation for bio??


i liked doing research and analysing texts, so this breakdown was great thankss



im still choosing between two schools (which use different texts) - its mainly the poetry texts im worried about tbh, no matter what kind of poetry ive always found it difficult. But there's always a process right, even if im rubbish with analysing and understanding poems it gradually gets better? Is there any method you can recommend to become better at understanding poems (throughout GCSE i found it very hard to come up with points cos a) couldnt understand what was going on, and b)there were no obvious techniques; unseen poetry was a nightmare) that have twisted/difficult language?
For biology as strengths and limitations I would say...

1) Strengths
- The content is relatively easy to grasp.

2) Limitations
- It is the most difficult exam I do- in that you have to really learn the mark scheme as it is sooo specific! So you could go into an exam feeling like you know it all and then come out with an E because you didn't use a particular word so you lost the mark.
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