IDK.345
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I will be starting sixth form in September and I am wondering if A Level Art will be hard. I am predicted a grade 8 at GCSE level for art. However, I would like to know how much time goes in to A Level Art so I can start to manage my time now. I know there is a 15 hour exam as well and I was wondering about how sixth form students experienced that and their advice/ time management for the exam.
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emvuilleumier
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Not taking a level art, but i do know students taking it, and i know that they spend most of their hours after school in the art block.
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Plymouth College Of Art
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(Original post by IDK.345)
I will be starting sixth form in September and I am wondering if A Level Art will be hard. I am predicted a grade 8 at GCSE level for art. However, I would like to know how much time goes in to A Level Art so I can start to manage my time now. I know there is a 15 hour exam as well and I was wondering about how sixth form students experienced that and their advice/ time management for the exam.
Hi there!

I studied GCSE and A-Level art before coming to Plymouth College of Art. I personally found that there wasn't too big of a stepping stone between GCSE and A-Level art in terms of difficulty, as your artistic abilities will naturally progress. The way the modules were run was very similar and it was quite seamless. It is a lot of work and will require a more of your time than GCSE, but because at A-Level you study only 3 or 4 subjects, you proportionally balance it all out and it is manageable. Before taking A-Level Fine Art, I heard a lot about it being really demanding as a course and overwhelming. I actually found that it wasn't as bad as people made out, and if you go into the course with the mindset that you can do it, then honestly it will be fine! I did A-Level Fine Art, Maths, and Psychology - and it was a struggle at times between Psychology and Fine Art, as both are very time-consuming courses. However, as long as you time manage well, then it's nothing you can't handle!

My biggest advice for managing it all is to write everything down. Write down the bigger tasks that you need to do, and by which date. Then break that down into much smaller tasks that can be ticked off incrementally - this will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by it all. Instead of just saying 'complete painting of X', break it into smaller tasks like 'complete outline sketch', then 'complete this section of the painting' (or however your process works). Also, make sure to ask for help if you ever find yourself struggling! It's what your lecturers are there for and I wish I had asked for help sooner in my course as I was quite stubborn in Year 12.

The 15 hour exam was stressful, but it's just about enough time to get everything done. Make sure that you don't get hung up on any details and get the base of your work done as soon as possible, and then adjust your detailing/refinements according to how much time you have left. Have a few quick/rough practice runs before your exam so you know exactly what approach you'll take Also, if you're allowed to, then bring headphones and lots of water (and some emergency pain-killers in case you get a tension headache in the exam)!! They were a life-saver.

I hope this helps and please feel free to ask me any questions!
Lauren
Student Ambassador and Second Year Animation Student
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IDK.345
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(Original post by Plymouth College Of Art)
Hi there!

I studied GCSE and A-Level art before coming to Plymouth College of Art. I personally found that there wasn't too big of a stepping stone between GCSE and A-Level art in terms of difficulty, as your artistic abilities will naturally progress. The way the modules were run was very similar and it was quite seamless. It is a lot of work and will require a more of your time than GCSE, but because at A-Level you study only 3 or 4 subjects, you proportionally balance it all out and it is manageable. Before taking A-Level Fine Art, I heard a lot about it being really demanding as a course and overwhelming. I actually found that it wasn't as bad as people made out, and if you go into the course with the mindset that you can do it, then honestly it will be fine! I did A-Level Fine Art, Maths, and Psychology - and it was a struggle at times between Psychology and Fine Art, as both are very time-consuming courses. However, as long as you time manage well, then it's nothing you can't handle!

My biggest advice for managing it all is to write everything down. Write down the bigger tasks that you need to do, and by which date. Then break that down into much smaller tasks that can be ticked off incrementally - this will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by it all. Instead of just saying 'complete painting of X', break it into smaller tasks like 'complete outline sketch', then 'complete this section of the painting' (or however your process works). Also, make sure to ask for help if you ever find yourself struggling! It's what your lecturers are there for and I wish I had asked for help sooner in my course as I was quite stubborn in Year 12.

The 15 hour exam was stressful, but it's just about enough time to get everything done. Make sure that you don't get hung up on any details and get the base of your work done as soon as possible, and then adjust your detailing/refinements according to how much time you have left. Have a few quick/rough practice runs before your exam so you know exactly what approach you'll take Also, if you're allowed to, then bring headphones and lots of water (and some emergency pain-killers in case you get a tension headache in the exam)!! They were a life-saver.

I hope this helps and please feel free to ask me any questions!
Lauren
Student Ambassador and Second Year Animation Student
Thank you for taking time to respond and replying. In A Level Fine Art, do you focus on certain skills as a class, for example if the whole class do biro work or is it specifically tailored to each students weaknesses to improve on ?
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Plymouth College Of Art
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(Original post by IDK.345)
Thank you for taking time to respond and replying. In A Level Fine Art, do you focus on certain skills as a class, for example if the whole class do biro work or is it specifically tailored to each students weaknesses to improve on ?
Hi again, no problem at all I can only speak from my experience at my Sixth Form as I am sure every College/Sixth Form will teach their students differently. At the start of modules, we were set blanket work for the class, such as everyone doing a biro/graphic pen piece. Our teacher would give us all these tasks so that we all ticked the criteria for displaying different techniques. However, this would normally only be at the start of each module because we would soon branch off into our own areas of interest, which is when the tasks/guidance became much more tailored. I was lucky as I was in a very small class of 6 or 7, so there was a lot of one-to-one contact with my teacher. I would imagine that a lot of schools would teach in a similar way, where there's a mix of blanket teaching and more independent guidance. The most important thing is that you ask for help if you feel that you need it, and to be open and honest to your teacher about your weaknesses in art, or ask them where they think you could improve
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