Astraea.l
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I'm debating on which 2 to take out of French, History and Latin .
I took my French and History GCSEs in year 9 and achieved good grades but I haven't done any work for those subjects since then, so it's been 2 years. However I spent year 11 learning the GCSE Latin course before exams got cancelled so the content for Latin is much fresher in my mind than French.
I like French and Latin equally and with history I'm apprehensive about not having the same knowledge as other students.
I'm probably taking History so would it be too much work to spend the summer re-learning the both the French and History courses or should I just continue with my Latin course as one of the options as it is less catch up work?
My biggest fear is just being behind the other students in my classes who did the 3 year GCSE structure and are up to date with their subjects.
I'm thinking of going into a career in publishing or something like that (not sure yet) so I'm not really sure which subjects would be more beneficial for that kind of path?
For reference I can only take 3 options and the one is definitely English lit.
Thanks so much for any advice!!
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theredwoman
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Honestly, with A-Levels you don't usually need to relearn GCSE content, you learn the syllabus in a lot more detail than you did for GCSEs. From the sounds of it, you've done other analytic subjects like English Lit more recently, and those skills are pretty transferable to History A-Levels.

For reference, I was an absolute mad person who did four A-Levels (History, English Lit, Sociology, Politics) so believe me when I say you're using the same skills. That's not a bad thing, just to be obvious - if anything, it means you get twice the practice with those skills between them.

I'll admit, I don't know quite as well about French or Latin - Latin wasn't an option at my secondary school, and I failed French GCSE, but I imagine it's a lot easier if the content's fresher in your mind. However, I don't think that's the deciding factor in doing it for A-Level. The real question is, which do you think you'll enjoy more?

Since you said your Year 11 exams were cancelled, I'm guessing you're just going into sixth form, and that means you'll being doing whatever courses you pick for the next two years. Some of my friends picked A-Levels because they thought they'd be good for a specific career over actually enjoying the subject, and they found sixth form absolutely miserable because of that.

Also FYI, as I've graduated from uni and I'm looking into publishing jobs - publishers don't really care about your A-Levels. Nowadays, they don't even really care that much about whether you've got a degree, like Penguin hasn't required a degree for their publishing jobs for the past few years. Penguin actually had a livestream the other day aimed at students considering publishing, so I think that's worth checking out.
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username402722
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French will be useful for all of your life.
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Astraea.l
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(Original post by theredwoman)
Honestly, with A-Levels you don't usually need to relearn GCSE content, you learn the syllabus in a lot more detail than you did for GCSEs. From the sounds of it, you've done other analytic subjects like English Lit more recently, and those skills are pretty transferable to History A-Levels.

For reference, I was an absolute mad person who did four A-Levels (History, English Lit, Sociology, Politics) so believe me when I say you're using the same skills. That's not a bad thing, just to be obvious - if anything, it means you get twice the practice with those skills between them.

I'll admit, I don't know quite as well about French or Latin - Latin wasn't an option at my secondary school, and I failed French GCSE, but I imagine it's a lot easier if the content's fresher in your mind. However, I don't think that's the deciding factor in doing it for A-Level. The real question is, which do you think you'll enjoy more?

Since you said your Year 11 exams were cancelled, I'm guessing you're just going into sixth form, and that means you'll being doing whatever courses you pick for the next two years. Some of my friends picked A-Levels because they thought they'd be good for a specific career over actually enjoying the subject, and they found sixth form absolutely miserable because of that.

Also FYI, as I've graduated from uni and I'm looking into publishing jobs - publishers don't really care about your A-Levels. Nowadays, they don't even really care that much about whether you've got a degree, like Penguin hasn't required a degree for their publishing jobs for the past few years. Penguin actually had a livestream the other day aimed at students considering publishing, so I think that's worth checking out.
Thanks so much for your response and the link to the livestream! They're both really insightful!
As you did History, did you find that there was a lot of wider reading or that other students in your class had done lots of it? How much awareness of history outside of the set specification is necessary? As I did History quite some time ago I fear that going into A levels I'll be behind the other students in my class or I won't have the same awareness of wider history as they do. Do you think that over the summer it would be possible to read around enough to be on par with the other students who will be in my class?
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Astraea.l
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(Original post by barnetlad)
French will be useful for all of your life.
Thanks for your reply. I think so too but part of me also thinks that as I'm competing against native speakers in the exam it would be difficult to get a high grade with grade boundaries and French is easily spoken by its natives so compared to them I wouldn't really have an extra skillset?
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teilchen
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(Original post by Astraea.l)
Thanks for your reply. I think so too but part of me also thinks that as I'm competing against native speakers in the exam it would be difficult to get a high grade with grade boundaries and French is easily spoken by its natives so compared to them I wouldn't really have an extra skillset?
In regards to languages yes it’s almost impossible to get an A* bcz of the native speakers but getting an A or B is very achievable if you work hard, almost no uni courses expect 3A*s so this isn’t something to worry about and will be more useful to you than Latin most likely, but if you love Latin the most ofc pick that. History is a good one in general so I would probably also recommend that over Latin, Latin will also likely have grade boundaries that are high as only “smarter” or super keen students will pick Latin alevel this is even true at GCSE so that’s also one to think about
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username402722
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(Original post by Astraea.l)
Thanks for your reply. I think so too but part of me also thinks that as I'm competing against native speakers in the exam it would be difficult to get a high grade with grade boundaries and French is easily spoken by its natives so compared to them I wouldn't really have an extra skillset?
The skill for life is if you visit France, parts of Canada, Switzerland or Belgium.
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PetitePanda
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You don’t need to relearn history. I literally don’t do any of the topics I learnt for History A level. Definitely do some work on French and you can choose how much you can revise since burning out before yr 12 is very bad. I would research what topics you will be learning if you did any of those subjects before you relearn the gcse content so you defo know which you’ll pick. I don’t suggest A level history if you don’t enjoy the topics or find them interesting. Publishing doesn’t really care about what a levels you do tbh but it’s worth researching.
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PetitePanda
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(Original post by Astraea.l)
Thanks so much for your response and the link to the livestream! They're both really insightful!
As you did History, did you find that there was a lot of wider reading or that other students in your class had done lots of it? How much awareness of history outside of the set specification is necessary? As I did History quite some time ago I fear that going into A levels I'll be behind the other students in my class or I won't have the same awareness of wider history as they do. Do you think that over the summer it would be possible to read around enough to be on par with the other students who will be in my class?
I did a lot of wider reading as it was set by my teachers so others did - it depends on your teacher’s teaching style. Wider reading is so useful though, especially historians’ work for that histography. You just need to know what the spec wants you to know but it is helpful getting some contextual evidence as it helps you understand why things happen - for example, revolutions in early Weimar Germany was so popular due to the communist revolt in Russia. Literally didn’t use any of my gcse knowledge for a level history. If you read over the summer, you’ll be more than on par with the other students in your class - tbh I recommend you watch documentaries or YouTube videos of the context of the time periods you will be learning instead.
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