What is the A-level History and English lit workload like?

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vanillacoke
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I chose the wrong subjects for A-level and completely went against my natural abilities (Essay and humanities subjects) and instead chose hard sciences with hopes of doing a STEM degree for the money which lead me to perform badly at sixth form. I know my results are going to be awful and I am thinking of effectively redoing year 13 through a distance learning course and sitting the exams next summer as a private candidate.

I plan to keep one of the three subjects I did at A-level (Biology) and start new with two of the subjects I should have done originally, History and English lit.

My question is, is it possible to get History and English lit done in one year, including coursework, with one to one tutoring? Or is the workload too much?

(I achieved an A and two 8s in History and English Lang and lit respectively at GCSE).
If anyone could help me would be appreciated.
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georgiarose2000
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to be honest, im about to start a levels and im a naturally gifted in essay writing yet I have taken physics, chemistry, English literature and maths. I like physics though. im gonna follow this thread in hopes that someone can answer
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vanillacoke
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(Original post by georgiarose2000)
to be honest, im about to start a levels and im a naturally gifted in essay writing yet I have taken physics, chemistry, English literature and maths. I like physics though. im gonna follow this thread in hopes that someone can answer
I wouldn't want to discourage you from what you want to do but I can only speak from experience. If you're doing four A levels sounds like you're quite capable so maybe go for it.

What I can tell you is that I heard from people that did both physics and maths that physics helped quite a bit with the mechanics side of maths.
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GoodGirlFaith
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I did history and English lit together, along with sociology. I didn’t find the English workload too bad actually, history was worse for that imo. It would be a lot but tutoring would help that. A lot of the skills overlap anyway (essay writing and text analysis for example) so while there would be a lot of content I think it would definitely be doable.
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JockstrapAttack
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I know exactly how you feel. I retook Year 12 because I had previously picked Biology, Chemistry and English Lit but was awful at the first two. I retook Year 12 with English Lit, History and Sociology and it was the best decision I ever made.
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PetitePanda
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How are you gonna do coursework as a private candidate? (Not being rude, just a bit worried and wanted to know if you have it prepared)
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PetitePanda
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(Original post by georgiarose2000)
to be honest, im about to start a levels and im a naturally gifted in essay writing yet I have taken physics, chemistry, English literature and maths. I like physics though. im gonna follow this thread in hopes that someone can answer
What are you worrying about specifically?
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PetitePanda
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(Original post by vanillacoke)
I wouldn't want to discourage you from what you want to do but I can only speak from experience. If you're doing four A levels sounds like you're quite capable so maybe go for it.

What I can tell you is that I heard from people that did both physics and maths that physics helped quite a bit with the mechanics side of maths.
Nah it’s the other way round. Maths mechnaixs make physics mechanics so easy.
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nightedworld
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history is ridiculous for the workload and it is really difficult because i have 3 topics and coursework which takes 3 months. i doubt you could do it in a year. also i got an 8 in history at gcse and i’m barely scraping a C so it doesn’t really mean anything. i don’t do english lit so i can’t comment on it.

i feel like that came across as really aggressive, sorry i didn’t mean for it to come across like that. if you feel that you will be able to do it then it is up to you
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vanillacoke
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(Original post by PetitePanda)
How are you gonna do coursework as a private candidate? (Not being rude, just a bit worried and wanted to know if you have it prepared)
My distance learning course will help me do the coursework but it will have to be sent to a private candidate exam centre to be entered with my written exams.
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PetitePanda
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(Original post by vanillacoke)
My distance learning course will help me do the coursework but it will have to be sent to a private candidate exam centre to be entered with my written exams.
That's good then. Tbh History workload is a lot, excluding the NEA, so I would worry if you were also studying English on top of it as well. What examboard are you doing?
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vanillacoke
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(Original post by PetitePanda)
That's good then. Tbh History workload is a lot, excluding the NEA, so I would worry if you were also studying English on top of it as well. What examboard are you doing?
Edexcel. I am planning on redoing biology as well as starting new with English and History but I've covered the content before and just need to put a bit more effort into learning all of it.

I'm also considering doing English Lang/lit instead of just English lit as it appears to be a bit less content and could relieve the pressure a bit.
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PetitePanda
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(Original post by vanillacoke)
Edexcel. I am planning on redoing biology as well as starting new with English and History but I've covered the content before and just need to put a bit more effort into learning all of it.

I'm also considering doing English Lang/lit instead of just English lit as it appears to be a bit less content and could relieve the pressure a bit.
I suggest getting checklists for everything and see if its doable and maybe organise a plan to see if it will be alright for you.
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CoffeeAndPolitics
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(Original post by vanillacoke)
I chose the wrong subjects for A-level and completely went against my natural abilities (Essay and humanities subjects) and instead chose hard sciences with hopes of doing a STEM degree for the money which lead me to perform badly at sixth form. I know my results are going to be awful and I am thinking of effectively redoing year 13 through a distance learning course and sitting the exams next summer as a private candidate.

I plan to keep one of the three subjects I did at A-level (Biology) and start new with two of the subjects I should have done originally, History and English lit.

My question is, is it possible to get History and English lit done in one year, including coursework, with one to one tutoring? Or is the workload too much?

(I achieved an A and two 8s in History and English Lang and lit respectively at GCSE).
If anyone could help me would be appreciated.
Hey. I did history A-Level over two years and I would definitely say that it's content-heavy - you definitely need to learn how to structure your essays according to the type of question, i.e. interpretations, sources or just extended essay with AO1 knowledge. With the coursework on top and to complete that in one year alongside English Lit A-Level is going to be rather demanding and difficult to be entirely honest with you (though I didn't study the latter myself but know my former classmates did).

I think the best course of action here is to effectively repeat Year 12. If you're currently performing okay in biology A-Level, it would probably make sense to progress to the A2 content (Year 13 content) and sit your exams in biology next summer. As for English Lit and history A-Level, you're much better off doing it over 2 years because both subjects are content-heavy and you need time to learn how to structure your essays for both subjects. You also need time to prepare for the coursework element of both courses and eventually start writing your coursework essays. Overall, this would make your workload more manageable and there's absolutely nothing wrong with being held back a year/repeating the year if you get the grades you need for uni or whatever else.

Hope this helps!
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vanillacoke
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(Original post by CoffeeAndPolitics)
Hey. I did history A-Level over two years and I would definitely say that it's content-heavy - you definitely need to learn how to structure your essays according to the type of question, i.e. interpretations, sources or just extended essay with AO1 knowledge. With the coursework on top and to complete that in one year alongside English Lit A-Level is going to be rather demanding and difficult to be entirely honest with you (though I didn't study the latter myself but know my former classmates did).

I think the best course of action here is to effectively repeat Year 12. If you're currently performing okay in biology A-Level, it would probably make sense to progress to the A2 content (Year 13 content) and sit your exams in biology next summer. As for English Lit and history A-Level, you're much better off doing it over 2 years because both subjects are content-heavy and you need time to learn how to structure your essays for both subjects. You also need time to prepare for the coursework element of both courses and eventually start writing your coursework essays. Overall, this would make your workload more manageable and there's absolutely nothing wrong with being held back a year/repeating the year if you get the grades you need for uni or whatever else.

Hope this helps!
I appreciate what you're saying and you are right but unfortunately due to other circumstances I need to have A-levels by next year or I can't do them at all. I'm starting to think that yes, English lit and History will be too much and might swap lit for Lang/lit as it's a bit less content heavy.
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CoffeeAndPolitics
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(Original post by vanillacoke)
I appreciate what you're saying and you are right but unfortunately due to other circumstances I need to have A-levels by next year or I can't do them at all. I'm starting to think that yes, English lit and History will be too much and might swap lit for Lang/lit as it's a bit less content heavy.
That's fair. It would definitely be wise to liaise with your school regarding your circumstances and see what they can do to support you in your studies.
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georgiarose2000
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(Original post by PetitePanda)
What are you worrying about specifically?
That I wont get high enough grades or keep up with the work...
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PetitePanda
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(Original post by georgiarose2000)
That I wont get high enough grades or keep up with the work...
It's fine if you dont get high grades from the get go - it's what you get in the end that's important so it's fine if you take your time improving as long as you get there. Honestly, you might get overwhelmed with a new environment but you will get used to it quickly and I'm sure you will be able to keep up with the work. If you are nervous you wont be able to, your teachers are there for you if something like this happens. I do physics, maths and history - tbh, homework wise, it would probably be english lit that will be a lot but long term wise, it will be physics and chemistry that you will constantly working on. Defo use your frees if you feel like you cant keep up with the work
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