ShadesOfAcademia
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#1
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#1
I am currently in Year 11 and hoping to study Law at university. I have done some research on A-Level choices online about which subjects would be best for Law, and History is apparently a useful one to have. For GCSE, I am not doing history, but I used to enjoy it and did very well before. I have some questions about A-Level History; if you are doing it now or know anyone who has, I would appreciate it greatly if you would share your experiences.

1) How much coursework is involved?

2) Is it possible to still get an A* even if you did not do GCSE History?

3) What are your favourite aspects of the course or anything you particularly enjoy about the subject?

4) What do you find challenging about it, and what do you do to overcome those challenges?

5) Is there anything you wished you knew before you picked this subject?

6) Do you have any general advice for A-Level History (e.g revision tips)?

7) In comparison to other A-Levels, how heavy is the workload?

8) What skills do you need to be successful in A-Level History, and what skills will you develop from doing it?
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JA03
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#2
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#2
(Original post by ShadesOfAcademia)
I am currently in Year 11 and hoping to study Law at university. I have done some research on A-Level choices online about which subjects would be best for Law, and History is apparently a useful one to have. For GCSE, I am not doing history, but I used to enjoy it and did very well before. I have some questions about A-Level History; if you are doing it now or know anyone who has, I would appreciate it greatly if you would share your experiences.

1) How much coursework is involved?

2) Is it possible to still get an A* even if you did not do GCSE History?

3) What are your favourite aspects of the course or anything you particularly enjoy about the subject?

4) What do you find challenging about it, and what do you do to overcome those challenges?

5) Is there anything you wished you knew before you picked this subject?

6) Do you have any general advice for A-Level History (e.g revision tips)?

7) In comparison to other A-Levels, how heavy is the workload?

8) What skills do you need to be successful in A-Level History, and what skills will you develop from doing it?
1) How much coursework is involved?
As far as I know. There's no coursework involved but it really depends on the exam board. There's usually no coursework in A-Level History.


2) Is it possible to still get an A* even if you did not do GCSE History?
I think it is still possible. If you are really putting in the effort and committing to it then I think YOU can get an A* because you seem really determined.

3) What are your favourite aspects of the course or anything you particularly enjoy about the subject?
I don't do A-Level History but my friend does, she likes German History but thinks Russian History is a bit hard but she loves the subject overall.

4) What do you find challenging about it, and what do you do to overcome those challenges?
The hardest thing about any exam-based subject is the essay writing. There's a lot of it in History so that may be scary but you can get some help on it. Ask your teacher (when you get into a-level history) for some past paper essay questions and practice your skills and ask them to mark it for you and give you feedback on what you've done well and what you need to practice.

5) Is there anything you wished you knew before you picked this subject?
My friend knew essays were a big thing but I think the one thing that really threw her off was the amount of content that she has to know and the terms she needs to know (She's currently doing German History and there are a lot of German words she has to know).

6) Do you have any general advice for A-Level History (e.g revision tips)?
I do A-Level Geography which is also essay-based and 80% exam-work. Practise past papers, especially essays. Make flashcards from your notes when you get home everyday so the flashcards you're making build up over time and not leaving it to the last minute.
Do the pomodoro technique when revising - 25 minutes work and 5 minutes break to prevent burnout.
Do active recall. Look at the stuff you don't know or need practise with and revise those. DO NOT revise the things you already know.
And get enough sleep. Sleep can help you consolidate knowledge in your brain.
Revise regularly. That's important for every A-Level. Make a revision timetable and motivate yourself by giving yourself prizes for completing a task or getting an A on a test.
But before your A-Levels find out what revision tactics work for you.

7) In comparison to other A-Levels, how heavy is the workload?
I do A-Level Biology, Chemistry and Geography. There's a lot of work in A-Level History but if you're determined to pass, you will succeed.

8) What skills do you need to be successful in A-Level History, and what skills will you develop from doing it?

You need to be able to recall dates and amendments and laws in History. You need to know names, terms and events. All this info builds up to the key thing you need to know and that is essay writing.

ESSAY WRITING is a huge part of A-Level History and it's a skill that needs to be learnt over time.
If you struggle with essays. Ask your teacher for an acronym or a structure to remember, I find that really works for me.

Hope that helps! <3
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anadumbrava
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#3
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#3
Hey!
I'm currently in year 13 studying A level History so maybe I can help you out!
1) We have started our coursework recently so depending on the school you go to, you are likely to do it in year 13 and focus on content for yr12. It is worth 25% of your whole grade and consists of a 3000-4000 word essay on a topic of your choice. (my school let us choose, I am not sure about anywhere else.
2) Studying History at GCSE is something that has helped me with the jump at A level. It was useful to have an idea of general knowledge and often things are repeated at A level but just in much more depth. You will find it difficult to manage the jump but if you keep on top of it, manage your workload and do some extra work in your own time, it is more than possible. Although I must warn you, A level History is a nightmare to get an A* in. But that also depends on your teacher and how generous with marks they are. I find that official examiners are much more generous than mine lol
3) Depending on your exam board you are likely to do slightly different modules (I do Edexcel) but what I particularly enjoy learning about is the First and Second World War and 20th century Germany. Also, interpretations and historiography are very interesting to me
4) The workload is massive and there is a lot of content to get through however making sure to stay on top of it and keep making your revision resources as you go is something that has tremendously helped me
5) You really need to enjoy the subject otherwise the workload and stress will make you hate it (this was not a problem for me however as I'm also planning to do a History degree)
6) Mindmaps, flashcards, blurting. And repeat.
7) Very heavy. I do three other subjects (English Lit, Sociology and Drama) and I can confidently say that History has the most content and requires the most attention to keep my grade up
8) You will develop the skills needed for History as you go as it is one of those subjects which provides you with general skills. For me, History has made me pay more attention to details and become more analytical and evaluative (crucial skills when studying History)


Hope that helps
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Sinnoh
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#4
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#4
I think with history A-level you can succeed in it without having done the GCSE. After all, you probably won't be studying the same historical periods, so you're not building on GCSE knowledge like you would be with maths or chemistry. And the question style will be different - GCSE questions are fairly short and some are just on recalling information. In A-level, not the case.

In A-level essays, you could memorise every fact in the textbook and still get a mediocre mark, because what matters most of all is your argument and how you present it, backing it up with relevant evidence and qualifying it with other evidence - like, the extent to which A was an important turning point in X, due to B and despite C, which made it a bigger turning point than E where B was not the case. Nuance is everything. You can fall into a trap of just saying everything you know about a topic rather than sticking to the point of the question. I often wrote much shorter essays than other people in my class but did just as well - a bit like when cooking a meal. 80% of it is how you're cooking your ingredients, not what you're cooking.

(Original post by JA03)
1) How much coursework is involved?
As far as I know. There's no coursework involved but it really depends on the exam board. There's usually no coursework in A-Level History.
I think there is, usually. In OCR and AQA for sure.
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JA03
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#5
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#5
I think there is, usually. In OCR and AQA for sure.

Ah, yes there is. My friend does AQA. I just checked my school prospectus because they give us loads of info on examinations on it. AQA A-Level History requires a 4500+ word essay based on research of a topic of your choice.
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ShadesOfAcademia
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#6
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#6
(Original post by JA03)
1) How much coursework is involved?
As far as I know. There's no coursework involved but it really depends on the exam board. There's usually no coursework in A-Level History.


2) Is it possible to still get an A* even if you did not do GCSE History?
I think it is still possible. If you are really putting in the effort and committing to it then I think YOU can get an A* because you seem really determined.

3) What are your favourite aspects of the course or anything you particularly enjoy about the subject?
I don't do A-Level History but my friend does, she likes German History but thinks Russian History is a bit hard but she loves the subject overall.

4) What do you find challenging about it, and what do you do to overcome those challenges?
The hardest thing about any exam-based subject is the essay writing. There's a lot of it in History so that may be scary but you can get some help on it. Ask your teacher (when you get into a-level history) for some past paper essay questions and practice your skills and ask them to mark it for you and give you feedback on what you've done well and what you need to practice.

5) Is there anything you wished you knew before you picked this subject?
My friend knew essays were a big thing but I think the one thing that really threw her off was the amount of content that she has to know and the terms she needs to know (She's currently doing German History and there are a lot of German words she has to know).

6) Do you have any general advice for A-Level History (e.g revision tips)?
I do A-Level Geography which is also essay-based and 80% exam-work. Practise past papers, especially essays. Make flashcards from your notes when you get home everyday so the flashcards you're making build up over time and not leaving it to the last minute.
Do the pomodoro technique when revising - 25 minutes work and 5 minutes break to prevent burnout.
Do active recall. Look at the stuff you don't know or need practise with and revise those. DO NOT revise the things you already know.
And get enough sleep. Sleep can help you consolidate knowledge in your brain.
Revise regularly. That's important for every A-Level. Make a revision timetable and motivate yourself by giving yourself prizes for completing a task or getting an A on a test.
But before your A-Levels find out what revision tactics work for you.

7) In comparison to other A-Levels, how heavy is the workload?
I do A-Level Biology, Chemistry and Geography. There's a lot of work in A-Level History but if you're determined to pass, you will succeed.

8) What skills do you need to be successful in A-Level History, and what skills will you develop from doing it?

You need to be able to recall dates and amendments and laws in History. You need to know names, terms and events. All this info builds up to the key thing you need to know and that is essay writing.

ESSAY WRITING is a huge part of A-Level History and it's a skill that needs to be learnt over time.
If you struggle with essays. Ask your teacher for an acronym or a structure to remember, I find that really works for me.

Hope that helps! <3
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and advice; it helps a lot <3
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ShadesOfAcademia
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#7
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#7
(Original post by anadumbrava)
Hey!
I'm currently in year 13 studying A level History so maybe I can help you out!
1) We have started our coursework recently so depending on the school you go to, you are likely to do it in year 13 and focus on content for yr12. It is worth 25% of your whole grade and consists of a 3000-4000 word essay on a topic of your choice. (my school let us choose, I am not sure about anywhere else.
2) Studying History at GCSE is something that has helped me with the jump at A level. It was useful to have an idea of general knowledge and often things are repeated at A level but just in much more depth. You will find it difficult to manage the jump but if you keep on top of it, manage your workload and do some extra work in your own time, it is more than possible. Although I must warn you, A level History is a nightmare to get an A* in. But that also depends on your teacher and how generous with marks they are. I find that official examiners are much more generous than mine lol
3) Depending on your exam board you are likely to do slightly different modules (I do Edexcel) but what I particularly enjoy learning about is the First and Second World War and 20th century Germany. Also, interpretations and historiography are very interesting to me
4) The workload is massive and there is a lot of content to get through however making sure to stay on top of it and keep making your revision resources as you go is something that has tremendously helped me
5) You really need to enjoy the subject otherwise the workload and stress will make you hate it (this was not a problem for me however as I'm also planning to do a History degree)
6) Mindmaps, flashcards, blurting. And repeat.
7) Very heavy. I do three other subjects (English Lit, Sociology and Drama) and I can confidently say that History has the most content and requires the most attention to keep my grade up
8) You will develop the skills needed for History as you go as it is one of those subjects which provides you with general skills. For me, History has made me pay more attention to details and become more analytical and evaluative (crucial skills when studying History)


Hope that helps
That helps greatly - thank you very much!
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username4729656
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#8
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#8
(Original post by ShadesOfAcademia)
I am currently in Year 11 and hoping to study Law at university. I have done some research on A-Level choices online about which subjects would be best for Law, and History is apparently a useful one to have. For GCSE, I am not doing history, but I used to enjoy it and did very well before. I have some questions about A-Level History; if you are doing it now or know anyone who has, I would appreciate it greatly if you would share your experiences.

1) How much coursework is involved?

2) Is it possible to still get an A* even if you did not do GCSE History?

3) What are your favourite aspects of the course or anything you particularly enjoy about the subject?

4) What do you find challenging about it, and what do you do to overcome those challenges?

5) Is there anything you wished you knew before you picked this subject?

6) Do you have any general advice for A-Level History (e.g revision tips)?

7) In comparison to other A-Levels, how heavy is the workload?

8) What skills do you need to be successful in A-Level History, and what skills will you develop from doing it?
Hey! I am a Year 13 doing History A-Level and I am predicted an A*.

1) For the exam board AQA, coursework is worth 20%. It is very common to do A-Level History coursework (I do not know any exam board which does not), so I am not sure why another person commented that it isn't, but seeing as they do not actually do A-Level History that may be why. The coursework is an independent research project - my school made us do a particular historical topic but other schools sometimes let you choose any topic! Honestly, I find it super fun researching and it is really nice as it takes some pressure off of the actual exam. The coursework can be time-consuming though!

2) It isn't impossible but may be challenging. I did do History GCSE and achieved a 9 - there is no one in my class who did not do GCSE. I would question why you want to do History just for the sake of studying law: if you didn't pick it at GCSE, do you really like it enough to do it for A-Level. To succeed in your subjects, you want to love them. Your Year 7-9 performance in History won't be at all similar at A-Level. That being said, even the GCSE is not that similar, but there are certain useful skills you pick up there. If you are really dedicated to studying history (and not just for a career path - this is the biggest mistake people make in choosing A-Levels, plus Law isn't usually too specific as long as you do something like English/History/Geography/Politics/Psych/Sociology/Crim etc.) then you will succeed.

3) History is my passion. I am particularly interested in the historical periods we study, one module we do I have been interested in and researching myself since I was in Year 7. I already know a lot about it so it makes the exam easier and the course more interesting.

4) The essay technique is challenging at first, but it can be overcome. I just did several practice essays and listened to my teacher's feedback until I did improve.

5) It is not as much work as people make out. It is hard work but it is not impossible.

6) Mindmaps written from the textbook and class notes. Flashcards for bits of info you tend to forget. Making essay plans for the key topics is useful too.

7) I think it is comparative. I do English Literature and RS alongside it. English probably has the most workload and RS the least as there is no coursework. That should make history fairly medium?

8) All you need is passion! You will develop analytical skills and critical thinking skills.
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ShadesOfAcademia
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Sinnoh)
I think with history A-level you can succeed in it without having done the GCSE. After all, you probably won't be studying the same historical periods, so you're not building on GCSE knowledge like you would be with maths or chemistry. And the question style will be different - GCSE questions are fairly short and some are just on recalling information. In A-level, not the case.

In A-level essays, you could memorise every fact in the textbook and still get a mediocre mark, because what matters most of all is your argument and how you present it, backing it up with relevant evidence and qualifying it with other evidence - like, the extent to which A was an important turning point in X, due to B and despite C, which made it a bigger turning point than E where B was not the case. Nuance is everything. You can fall into a trap of just saying everything you know about a topic rather than sticking to the point of the question. I often wrote much shorter essays than other people in my class but did just as well - a bit like when cooking a meal. 80% of it is how you're cooking your ingredients, not what you're cooking.



I think there is, usually. In OCR and AQA for sure.
Thank you for sharing this information I have just checked on my school website for the exam board, and there is coursework for OCR.
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ShadesOfAcademia
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#10
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#10
(Original post by JA03)
I think there is, usually. In OCR and AQA for sure.

Ah, yes there is. My friend does AQA. I just checked my school prospectus because they give us loads of info on examinations on it. AQA A-Level History requires a 4500+ word essay based on research of a topic of your choice.
Okay, thanks for letting me know. I have just checked on my school website for the exam board, and there is coursework for OCR (the exam board that we do).
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username4729656
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#11
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#11
(Original post by ShadesOfAcademia)
Thank you for sharing this information I have just checked on my school website for the exam board, and there is coursework for OCR.
Are you sure your school hasn't left it out on the page? OCR definitely have A-Level History coursework (the school might call it an NEA or Non-Exam Assessment), so I do not see how this is possible!
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username4729656
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#12
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#12
(Original post by louisecarter01)
Are you sure your school hasn't left it out on the page? OCR definitely have A-Level History coursework (the school might call it an NEA or Non-Exam Assessment), so I do not see how this is possible!
Scroll down to where it says 'topic-based essay' on the OCR website. This is coursework

https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualification...n-at-a-glance/
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ShadesOfAcademia
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#13
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#13
(Original post by louisecarter01)
Hey! I am a Year 13 doing History A-Level and I am predicted an A*.

1) For the exam board AQA, coursework is worth 20%. It is very common to do A-Level History coursework (I do not know any exam board which does not), so I am not sure why another person commented that it isn't, but seeing as they do not actually do A-Level History that may be why. The coursework is an independent research project - my school made us do a particular historical topic but other schools sometimes let you choose any topic! Honestly, I find it super fun researching and it is really nice as it takes some pressure off of the actual exam. The coursework can be time-consuming though!

2) It isn't impossible but may be challenging. I did do History GCSE and achieved a 9 - there is no one in my class who did not do GCSE. I would question why you want to do History just for the sake of studying law: if you didn't pick it at GCSE, do you really like it enough to do it for A-Level. To succeed in your subjects, you want to love them. Your Year 7-9 performance in History won't be at all similar at A-Level. That being said, even the GCSE is not that similar, but there are certain useful skills you pick up there. If you are really dedicated to studying history (and not just for a career path - this is the biggest mistake people make in choosing A-Levels, plus Law isn't usually too specific as long as you do something like English/History/Geography/Politics/Psych/Sociology/Crim etc.) then you will succeed.

3) History is my passion. I am particularly interested in the historical periods we study, one module we do I have been interested in and researching myself since I was in Year 7. I already know a lot about it so it makes the exam easier and the course more interesting.

4) The essay technique is challenging at first, but it can be overcome. I just did several practice essays and listened to my teacher's feedback until I did improve.

5) It is not as much work as people make out. It is hard work but it is not impossible.

6) Mindmaps written from the textbook and class notes. Flashcards for bits of info you tend to forget. Making essay plans for the key topics is useful too.

7) I think it is comparative. I do English Literature and RS alongside it. English probably has the most workload and RS the least as there is no coursework. That should make history fairly medium?

8) All you need is passion! You will develop analytical skills and critical thinking skills.
Thank you for your reply and advice
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ShadesOfAcademia
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#14
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#14
(Original post by louisecarter01)
Scroll down to where it says 'topic-based essay' on the OCR website. This is coursework

https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualification...n-at-a-glance/
Many thanks for sending the link
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Sinnoh
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#15
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#15
(Original post by louisecarter01)
Are you sure your school hasn't left it out on the page? OCR definitely have A-Level History coursework (the school might call it an NEA or Non-Exam Assessment), so I do not see how this is possible!
Read their response again
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