A Level German honest opinions

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renee_e
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#1
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#1
Hi

I'm considering german (aqa) for my fourth a level, alongside bio chem and maths. i am hoping to do medicine at uni but i have no idea how hard german a level will be but I've heard its one of the harder MFLs. I'm predicted 8s and 9s for GCSEs and my teacher is encouraging me to take it claiming i can cope with it and "universities like it." However, they are incredibly biased and wants everyone to take the subject.

currently, i will not say i find german the easiest subject but i definitely like it. do you think i'm better off taking an easier 4th a level (it's required to do 4 at my school) or a subject i like?

could anyone doing german a level give me their honest opinions of the subject (workload, how it impacts other subjects, is it very time consuming, etc.) is bcm and german a sensible combination if i want to focus on bcm mainly?

thank youu
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black tea
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I didn't do German for A-Level but I did do another language (though mind it was in the old system and I don't know how different things are now). The step up between GCSE and AS Level didn't feel huge and I was spending roughly the same time on it as at GCSE. The step up between AS and A-Level was a lot bigger though and I was having to spend a lot more time studying. This is the case for everyone I know who studied a language so don't expect it to be as easy as it was at GCSE (I found languages by far the easiest subjects when I did GCSEs).

I don't know what bcm is so I can't comment on whether it is a sensible option but Imo, learning another language to a good standard is always useful. A good grade at A-Level is equivalent to about B2 - I speak German at roughly that level and I feel I could get by if I chose to move to a German-speaking country.
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t4pedeck
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German A Level is absolute hell. I got a 9 at GCSE, full marks in the GCSE, been doing A Level work since year 10 and it's really difficult. The vocabulary, grammar and overall content is massively more advanced than at GCSE and my peers and I all find that we have to do a huge amount of independent study to get A*/A, and this is at a grammar school where all of us are fairly intellectually gifted to start with. I enjoy the course and languages are a passion of mine, but it's by far my most tiring subject (I do 4 A Levels in Philosophy and Ethics, Sociology, Politics and German, and an EPQ) and if I'm honest, I wouldn't recommend taking it for anyone unless you're hell-bent on it and/or it's absolutely necessary for your future plans.
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thegeek888
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#4
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(Original post by renee_e)
Hi

I'm considering german (aqa) for my fourth a level, alongside bio chem and maths. i am hoping to do medicine at uni but i have no idea how hard german a level will be but I've heard its one of the harder MFLs. I'm predicted 8s and 9s for GCSEs and my teacher is encouraging me to take it claiming i can cope with it and "universities like it." However, they are incredibly biased and wants everyone to take the subject.
I will be taking A-Levels in German, French and Spanish all with AQA. There are so many similar words between the 3 languages that it almost seems like doing 2 subjects. lol If you can get an A* grade at GCSE, then you should be able to comfortably manage to achieve an A grade but the A* grade all depends on your exam techniques. For example, Paper 1 is Listening, Reading and Writing and is worth 50% of the marks of the A-Level in German and it is not too difficult if you have studied the specification well and used the official textbooks.

You need to be very careful with the 40 mark questions in Paper 2, which are based on either 2 novels or 1 film and 1 novel. I have not decided which ones I am doing yet, but I will probably stick to 2 novels. More importantly, the mark schemes seem very simple. So as long as you can write a short essay in German in the exam for both novels then you should get an A* or A grade. The paper is worth 20% of the marks.

Paper 3 is worth 30% of the marks and is conducted by a visiting examiner from AQA. Speaking on a topic given from cards from the specification. Also, you must submit an Individual Research Project with a bibliography of resources used in preparing your IRP report.

currently, i will not say i find german the easiest subject but i definitely like it. do you think i'm better off taking an easier 4th a level (it's required to do 4 at my school) or a subject i like?
German A-Level is in decline and hardly anybody studies it beyond GCSE level. So it will look more impressive to the admissions tutors. Also, you could work in Germany, Austria or Switzerland later in your career if you choose to!

could anyone doing german a level give me their honest opinions of the subject (workload, how it impacts other subjects, is it very time consuming, etc.) is bcm and german a sensible combination if i want to focus on bcm mainly?

thank youu
I will be producing a website, mobile apps on iOS and Android for £4.99 covering the entire specification hopefully and encourage lots more people to study languages. It is not too difficult, but you need to learn about 5,000 words or so. Also studying German is best done in small bite-size chunks, as you brain simply can't cram all the data required for German.

Good luck with German Frau Renee!!!
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black tea
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(Original post by thegeek888)
If you can get an A* grade at GCSE, then you should be able to comfortably manage to achieve an A grade
I'm sorry but this is just not true. For any subject, let alone languages.
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thegeek888
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(Original post by black tea)
I'm sorry but this is just not true. For any subject, let alone languages.
There is a correlation between A* and A grade success at GCSE and A* and A grade success at A-Level surely?
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black tea
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(Original post by thegeek888)
There is a correlation between A* and A grade success at GCSE and A* and A grade success at A-Level surely?
Well yes, because if you got a D at GCSE, you are highly unlikely to get an A* at A-Level... But plenty of students who get As and A*s at GCSE struggle to get the same grades at A-Level - GCSEs are much, much easier then A-Levels.
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thegeek888
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(Original post by black tea)
Well yes, because if you got a D at GCSE, you are highly unlikely to get an A* at A-Level... But plenty of students who get As and A*s at GCSE struggle to get the same grades at A-Level - GCSEs are much, much easier then A-Levels.
Yes, I totally agree with you that GCSEs are much easier than A-Levels. But some A-Levels are easier than others due to more resources available, especially online. For example, Maths and Science A-Levels have about 100 different youtube channels to view and revise and learn too. But languages can't compete with that luxury. It is harder to achieve an A* in French, German and Spanish than Maths, Chemistry and Biology.

Also, the 20% written paper, where you must write in German for 2 essays of 300 words or so in length, is not easy. It takes many months of practice to get better.
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black tea
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#9
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(Original post by thegeek888)
Yes, I totally agree with you that GCSEs are much easier than A-Levels. But some A-Levels are easier than others due to more resources available, especially online. For example, Maths and Science A-Levels have about 100 different youtube channels to view and revise and learn too. But languages can't compete with that luxury. It is harder to achieve an A* in French, German and Spanish than Maths, Chemistry and Biology.

Also, the 20% written paper, where you must write in German for 2 essays of 300 words or so in length, is not easy. It takes many months of practice to get better.
Precisely why I am saying that getting an A* at GCSE does not mean that you comfortably manage to achieve an A grade at A-Level....
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