_.maddz.x
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Hi,
I am currently in year 11 and am thinking about what to take for A-levels.
My passion, without a doubt, is history and I hope to be able to teach it someday.
As of right now I am thinking of taking:
History-110% not subject to change
French- I do quite well in it since my mother is a native speaker, but I do honestly find it quite difficult, my listening is really good, but my writing not so much
And Classic Civilisation- I don't know too much about it but from what I've seen it looks really interesting

I've considered swapping either of the last 2 out for;
English Lit
Theology/ Religious Studies
and Psychology

Would people who are taking any of the mentioned choices be able to give me information about the reality of choosing that subject, what you (dis)like about it and any advice on options you took/ think would be helpful for me to consider?
Thanks )
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historynerd47
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Hi there, history uni student here. I'll do my best to help and chat things through with you but obviously everyone is different you you may have a totally different experience to me doing the same a-levels.

I took History, English Literature and French- with an EPQ. English Lit was brilliant- it felt like a natural step-up to a-levels, there were no weird surprises. My class loved it too and we all agreed it had the least dramatic jump from GCSE to a-level: the depth of analysis went further, knowledge of the contexts of the texts had to be broader, the coursework took a lot of independent work, and we looked a lot at the sounds within the words, such as plosives and sibilance etc. much more than GCSE. But if you enjoyed it at GCSE, I honestly think you would at a-level; there is no big change really.

French on the other hand... our class (of 10) were divided. Some loved it so I don't want to put you off completely, however I got an A* at GCSE and actually enjoyed the exams (yes, I know, weird) but I really hated the a-level.
To summarise it, I begun the a-level hoping to improve my French ability (to write better, speak better, communicate and understand more effectively) but was immediately out of my depth. The people that did well at the a-level were already very confident writing and speaking and wanted to speak like a native speaker (this aim was drilled into us).
Accordingly, the a-level was focused on writing essays on French politics, literature and social issues and holding debates and presentations on these. Speaking was also a huge deal and I was very shy which didn't help me personally, so I had to get over that as well as trying to communicate fluently.
I think in my personal experience to do well at the a-level (from seeing who in my class succeeded) was to begin the a-level chattering away in French, to be confident enough to frequently speak it in class or in front of the class presenting, and to have a genuine interest in speaking like a native. Honestly, for me I wanted to be good at French but I really just wanted good grades to go and study history and therefore wished I had done something like politics or philosophy- a more straightforward essay subject that I knew I could succeed in.

Obviously some people love the a-level, I am just literally sharing my experience- you may be one of the ones that loves it, many do.

Overall, I would absolutely recommend History and English Lit as a combination. They marry together beautifully and are both well-respected, facilitating subjects that give you skills that will help with a history degree. I would then pick between the others. My only other point would be that psychology is content-heavy like history, the others less so if that makes a difference.

Sorry for the essay, hope this helps!
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_.maddz.x
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(Original post by historynerd47)
Hi there, history uni student here. I'll do my best to help and chat things through with you but obviously everyone is different you you may have a totally different experience to me doing the same a-levels.

I took History, English Literature and French- with an EPQ. English Lit was brilliant- it felt like a natural step-up to a-levels, there were no weird surprises. My class loved it too and we all agreed it had the least dramatic jump from GCSE to a-level: the depth of analysis went further, knowledge of the contexts of the texts had to be broader, the coursework took a lot of independent work, and we looked a lot at the sounds within the words, such as plosives and sibilance etc. much more than GCSE. But if you enjoyed it at GCSE, I honestly think you would at a-level; there is no big change really.

French on the other hand... our class (of 10) were divided. Some loved it so I don't want to put you off completely, however I got an A* at GCSE and actually enjoyed the exams (yes, I know, weird) but I really hated the a-level.
To summarise it, I begun the a-level hoping to improve my French ability (to write better, speak better, communicate and understand more effectively) but was immediately out of my depth. The people that did well at the a-level were already very confident writing and speaking and wanted to speak like a native speaker (this aim was drilled into us).
Accordingly, the a-level was focused on writing essays on French politics, literature and social issues and holding debates and presentations on these. Speaking was also a huge deal and I was very shy which didn't help me personally, so I had to get over that as well as trying to communicate fluently.
I think in my personal experience to do well at the a-level (from seeing who in my class succeeded) was to begin the a-level chattering away in French, to be confident enough to frequently speak it in class or in front of the class presenting, and to have a genuine interest in speaking like a native. Honestly, for me I wanted to be good at French but I really just wanted good grades to go and study history and therefore wished I had done something like politics or philosophy- a more straightforward essay subject that I knew I could succeed in.

Obviously some people love the a-level, I am just literally sharing my experience- you may be one of the ones that loves it, many do.

Overall, I would absolutely recommend History and English Lit as a combination. They marry together beautifully and are both well-respected, facilitating subjects that give you skills that will help with a history degree. I would then pick between the others. My only other point would be that psychology is content-heavy like history, the others less so if that makes a difference.

Sorry for the essay, hope this helps!
thank you so much!

I'll definitely look more into english lit after what you said- it always seemed interesting but I honestly thought it would be really difficult at A- level (I have no idea why)

Thanks for the advice
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McGinger
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Lots of TSR advice here - Applying for History - https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/History_Degree
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_.maddz.x
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Thank you!
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