Anonymous #1
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Hi there!

I know this is quite late seeing as the Oxbridge deadline is next week but I'm suddenly worrying that my personal statement isn't academic enough for Cambridge's MML course. For my literature section, I've compared two French books, one of which is a 19th-century text, and discussed the historical context and cultural perspectives of two other French books and a German film. I've also linked in two French films however I've only recently realized that three out of the four books I've discussed are on the syllabus for different exam-boards at A2. Seeing as I've already sat my A-Levels I'm worried that I'll be penalized for not having explored a variety of literature. I've also read some poetry by Victor Hugo but I haven't mentioned it because I'm already short for space on my statement and I've been advised by my teacher not to add any more literature. Any advice?
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Paralove
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I think there's a bit of a difference between a text you had to read for your A-Levels and ones you've read because you wanted to, not because you had to. If that's the case, I wouldn't worry, but do keep reading more literature after you send it off - it's not wholly unlikely that you'll be asked what you're reading at the moment or have read recently. (From someone caught out by said question!)
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Paralove)
I think there's a bit of a difference between a text you had to read for your A-Levels and ones you've read because you wanted to, not because you had to. If that's the case, I wouldn't worry, but do keep reading more literature after you send it off - it's not wholly unlikely that you'll be asked what you're reading at the moment or have read recently. (From someone caught out by said question!)
Hi! This is reassuring. Everything that I've mentioned on my personal statement has been read/watched outside of school. Will there be space in the SAQ to mention the modules and set texts that we've studied at A-Level? I haven't made it explicit in my personal statement that I've read these texts independently, mainly because I'm pushing the character count. Also, I'll definitely keep up my wider reading soI I'll have more to discuss if I hopefully get called to interview (fingers crossed!).
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Paralove
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi! This is reassuring. Everything that I've mentioned on my personal statement has been read/watched outside of school. Will there be space in the SAQ to mention the modules and set texts that we've studied at A-Level? I haven't made it explicit in my personal statement that I've read these texts independently, mainly because I'm pushing the character count. Also, I'll definitely keep up my wider reading soI I'll have more to discuss if I hopefully get called to interview (fingers crossed!).
Well it's usually only normal for students to have to do one text or film at A-Level so it would be fairly obvious you won't have had to do all of them for school.

The SAQ could be a place to mention it if you really feel you need to/will feel happier in doing so. When you fill in the SAQ it does ask for module/content detail (though not much space for it, should be short descriptions so just mentioning the text name is fine).

What texts, out of interest, for French? I never actually did a text at A-Level, the three of us in our A2 class were just gonna do a film and then persuaded our teachers to let us do Intouchables rather than Les Choristes lol. I massively struggled to get a hold of any texts in French at the time. I think I only read Bonjour Tristesse and another one which was lots of slang. I've read l'étranger but I can't remember at what point! Don't think it was 6th form. For context: I took French classes at a partner school in the sixth form, and was the only person from my own school to have done a language post-16 in at least a decade. There were only 11 of us in our GCSE french... So, getting hold of anything at all was next to impossible and not the money to buy any myself!
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Paralove)
Well it's usually only normal for students to have to do one text or film at A-Level so it would be fairly obvious you won't have had to do all of them for school.

The SAQ could be a place to mention it if you really feel you need to/will feel happier in doing so. When you fill in the SAQ it does ask for module/content detail (though not much space for it, should be short descriptions so just mentioning the text name is fine).

What texts, out of interest, for French? I never actually did a text at A-Level, the three of us in our A2 class were just gonna do a film and then persuaded our teachers to let us do Intouchables rather than Les Choristes lol. I massively struggled to get a hold of any texts in French at the time. I think I only read Bonjour Tristesse and another one which was lots of slang. I've read l'étranger but I can't remember at what point! Don't think it was 6th form. For context: I took French classes at a partner school in the sixth form, and was the only person from my own school to have done a language post-16 in at least a decade. There were only 11 of us in our GCSE french... So, getting hold of anything at all was next to impossible and not the money to buy any myself!
Oh wow, that's amazing! So I've mentioned Bonjour Tristesse, Le Silence de la Mer, and Un Sac de Billes and discussed them respectively. I've linked Bonjour Tristesse to a 19th-century text too.


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My A-Level French class tried to convince our teachers to let us study Intouchables but we had already spent half of the year studying Les Choristes! We also read No et Moi which I really enjoyed, but I'm more interested in French history so I didn't want to discuss it in my personal statement
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Paralove
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Oh wow, that's amazing! So I've mentioned Bonjour Tristesse, Le Silence de la Mer, and Un Sac de Billes and discussed them respectively. I've linked Bonjour Tristesse to a 19th-century text too.


Spoiler:
Show
My A-Level French class tried to convince our teachers to let us study Intouchables but we had already spent half of the year studying Les Choristes! We also read No et Moi which I really enjoyed, but I'm more interested in French history so I didn't want to discuss it in my personal statement
All sounds good tbh. If you're looking for some cheap second hand books you should try AbeBooks! If you have a Kindle too that can be good to get some 'classics' very cheap or even free but the quality of the copy is a little mixed ngl. I'm actually reading in French for the first time in years, certainly since my degree, atm (graduated 2018), bit of a sci-fi novel (in fact, written by my 6th form pen-friend's mum! Meant to get to it years ago and yet), which is a common go-to genre for me.

If you want some fairly straightforward contemporary reading I really enjoyed Bridgitte Aubert, anything by Camus I'd say is quite accessible too. I mostly focussed on 18 century French lit which is a bit philosophical at times tbh but Voltaire's Contes are also v popular at every level of study - and can be quite amusing reads! Candide is a common one studied at A-Level.

Unfortunately other language was Spanish (ab initio), so I can't help with German suggestions!
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Paralove)
All sounds good tbh. If you're looking for some cheap second hand books you should try AbeBooks! If you have a Kindle too that can be good to get some 'classics' very cheap or even free but the quality of the copy is a little mixed ngl. I'm actually reading in French for the first time in years, certainly since my degree, atm (graduated 2018), bit of a sci-fi novel (in fact, written by my 6th form pen-friend's mum! Meant to get to it years ago and yet), which is a common go-to genre for me.

If you want some fairly straightforward contemporary reading I really enjoyed Bridgitte Aubert, anything by Camus I'd say is quite accessible too. I mostly focussed on 18 century French lit which is a bit philosophical at times tbh but Voltaire's Contes are also v popular at every level of study - and can be quite amusing reads! Candide is a common one studied at A-Level.

Unfortunately other language was Spanish (ab initio), so I can't help with German suggestions!
Thank you for the recommendations! I'll definitely check out AbeBooks too, it sounds great.
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