English Language or Spanish?

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rohaw
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#1
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So I'm in year 11 right now, and my school is making each person give them a rough idea of what we want to do at A level.

I have decided on politics, because it's super interesting to me and I already learn about it in my free time. And also economics, because it's also interesting to me and my school teaches it very well apparently.

But then I'm undecided on my final option, I first wanted to go for English Lit, but people adviced me that if I didn't 'love reading' and read everyday then I shouldn't go for it. So I then wanted to choose English Language but a lot of people also told me that it's not really very highly regarded. And finally I might choose Spanish but apparently it's super hard and you need to be very good to get an A*.

I guess what I'm asking is some advice on what A levels best suit my current ones, and if anyone had any personal experience with any of them and can tell me what they're like to help me make a good decision. Thanks
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artful_lounger
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English language is perfectly well regarded by anyone. That said unless you have a particular interest in linguistics or writing, it might be a bit tedious. Modern foreign language A-levels tend to be a lot of work I gather so you need to be prepared to spend a lot of time keeping on top of all the grammar and vocab.

If you are interested in potentially doing economics at uni you should aim to take A-level Maths (and, if you want to aim for LSE/Cambridge/Warwick/UCL, further maths), as it is required by the vast majority of economics degrees.

However if you're more interested in the applications of economics in considering questions about society and current affairs and want to do a degree in e.g. politics or something, geography might be a very thematically compatible option in terms of the human geography side of it (and very topical in terms of the physical geography side).
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mardlingja
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#3
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(Original post by rohaw)
So I'm in year 11 right now, and my school is making each person give them a rough idea of what we want to do at A level.

I have decided on politics, because it's super interesting to me and I already learn about it in my free time. And also economics, because it's also interesting to me and my school teaches it very well apparently.

But then I'm undecided on my final option, I first wanted to go for English Lit, but people adviced me that if I didn't 'love reading' and read everyday then I shouldn't go for it. So I then wanted to choose English Language but a lot of people also told me that it's not really very highly regarded. And finally I might choose Spanish but apparently it's super hard and you need to be very good to get an A*.

I guess what I'm asking is some advice on what A levels best suit my current ones, and if anyone had any personal experience with any of them and can tell me what they're like to help me make a good decision. Thanks
Hi, I'm currently doing History, Spanish and Politics A Levels and I would definitely recommend politics and spanish!
Spanish is nice because it's quite different from other subjects (so a break from all the essay writing) and the topics are A LOT more interesting than GCSE - Franco's dictatorship, women's role in society, immigration, politics in the hispanic world. Don't be worried about the difficulty because the transition from GCSE to A level is really smooth + you spend a lot of year 12 going over GCSE content + grammar and then building on it. The IRP is also really interesting and a great thing to write about on a personal statement!
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t394n
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(Original post by mardlingja)
Hi, I'm currently doing History, Spanish and Politics A Levels and I would definitely recommend politics and spanish!
Spanish is nice because it's quite different from other subjects (so a break from all the essay writing) and the topics are A LOT more interesting than GCSE - Franco's dictatorship, women's role in society, immigration, politics in the hispanic world. Don't be worried about the difficulty because the transition from GCSE to A level is really smooth + you spend a lot of year 12 going over GCSE content + grammar and then building on it. The IRP is also really interesting and a great thing to write about on a personal statement!
Heya, I'm currently doing Art, English Lit and Spanish and I completely agree, Spanish is so much more interesting at A-Level as you learn relevant culture and politics. I really love it (doing it at Uni!) but honestly, at the end of the day, it really is what you like the most- very cliche but it's true! Every A-Level is a lot of work so you wanna make sure you are putting work into something that you properly enjoy. I would say just reflect on what subject you currently enjoy doing the most and go with that!!

But if you don't have a particular favourite and still struggling + wanna ask me any specific questions about Spanish or English Lit, lemme know !!
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rohaw
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(Original post by t394n)
Heya, I'm currently doing Art, English Lit and Spanish and I completely agree, Spanish is so much more interesting at A-Level as you learn relevant culture and politics. I really love it (doing it at Uni!) but honestly, at the end of the day, it really is what you like the most- very cliche but it's true! Every A-Level is a lot of work so you wanna make sure you are putting work into something that you properly enjoy. I would say just reflect on what subject you currently enjoy doing the most and go with that!!

But if you don't have a particular favourite and still struggling + wanna ask me any specific questions about Spanish or English Lit, lemme know !!
Could I ask with English Lit is there a lot of reading around required to get the highest marks? For example of you want to get an A*, then do you have to read a lot more books by the same author in your free time, rather than just the ones given to you by school.
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rohaw
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
English language is perfectly well regarded by anyone. That said unless you have a particular interest in linguistics or writing, it might be a bit tedious. Modern foreign language A-levels tend to be a lot of work I gather so you need to be prepared to spend a lot of time keeping on top of all the grammar and vocab.

If you are interested in potentially doing economics at uni you should aim to take A-level Maths (and, if you want to aim for LSE/Cambridge/Warwick/UCL, further maths), as it is required by the vast majority of economics degrees.

However if you're more interested in the applications of economics in considering questions about society and current affairs and want to do a degree in e.g. politics or something, geography might be a very thematically compatible option in terms of the human geography side of it (and very topical in terms of the physical geography side).
Thanks! I'm definitely interested in the societal aspects of economics, not maths. This is also why I'm doing politics as I plan to study politics or a politics related subject at uni. Could you please elaborate how Geography compliments this? Because if it does I'd be very interested in choosing it as it's probably my strongest subject at GCSE.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by rohaw)
Thanks! I'm definitely interested in the societal aspects of economics, not maths. This is also why I'm doing politics as I plan to study politics or a politics related subject at uni. Could you please elaborate how Geography compliments this? Because if it does I'd be very interested in choosing it as it's probably my strongest subject at GCSE.
Well, all the social/human geography stuff relates to geopolitical and socioeconomic influences and effects - for example how population changes might affect economies and environments, how environmental change might affect economic policy, and how international relations may affect the usage of the environment (a topical example are the north sea fisheries and Brexit - what was gained and what was lost in Brexit for that?).

The physical geography side is granted somewhat more remote although with the current issues surrounding global climate change and how this is finally becoming more of a political hot button, it definitely fits in a bit more now than ever.That said on both sides, I am not a geographer so that is just what seems to be relevant from the outside to me (I haven't done geography in a long time, but it definitely always seemed very closely related to political and economic issues!).

If you are good at geography I'd definitely recommend going with that, I think it will compliment your other subjects well and your interests in those subjects, and it sounds like you'll also likely do well in it
Last edited by artful_lounger; 1 month ago
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t394n
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#8
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(Original post by rohaw)
Could I ask with English Lit is there a lot of reading around required to get the highest marks? For example of you want to get an A*, then do you have to read a lot more books by the same author in your free time, rather than just the ones given to you by school.
No, not in my experience!
I haven't read any other books by the authors we study (and I don't know anyone who has). However, there is an extent of extra critical and contextual reading surrounding the texts through articles, anthologies etc. which you have to incorporate into essays. A lot of the articles are provided by teachers but you might need to do your own research into context and different critical interpretations to gain a higher mark, rather than reading other books by the same author.

I've never found this reading excessive and it directly relates to the text you are studying, so I wouldn't worry!
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