The Student Room Group

Should I take politics at A-Level

Hi!
I have chosen to take politics at a-level and i start the course next week. I have a reservation about my choice because I know nothing about UK politics! I don't really keep up with current affairs and I have no idea how to form my own political opinion.
Although I don't know much, I want to be interested in politics and I am keen to learn about and understand UK politics. It's important to me to be able to critically think about what i see on the news.
I was wondering, because I may be at a disadvantage as i don't know anything, is politics the right choice for me?
I don't want my class to realise I don't know anything if i'm called upon by the teacher.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Original post by kaayb7
Hi!
I have chosen to take politics at a-level and i start the course next week. I have a reservation about my choice because I know nothing about UK politics! I don't really keep up with current affairs and I have no idea how to form my own political opinion.
Although I don't know much, I want to be interested in politics and I am keen to learn about and understand UK politics. It's important to me to be able to critically think about what i see on the news.
I was wondering, because I may be at a disadvantage as i don't know anything, is politics the right choice for me?
I don't want my class to realise I don't know anything if i'm called upon by the teacher.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


You're not expected to have any in-depth prior knowledge of politics, but there is an expectation that you're interested in politics and want to learn more about it. It's not very encouraging when you say 'I don't really keep up with current affairs' though.

If you're interested in it (genuinely), and enjoy writing critically, learning about theories and like reading, it should be a good choice for you.
Original post by kaayb7
Hi!
I have chosen to take politics at a-level and i start the course next week. I have a reservation about my choice because I know nothing about UK politics! I don't really keep up with current affairs and I have no idea how to form my own political opinion.
Although I don't know much, I want to be interested in politics and I am keen to learn about and understand UK politics. It's important to me to be able to critically think about what i see on the news.
I was wondering, because I may be at a disadvantage as i don't know anything, is politics the right choice for me?
I don't want my class to realise I don't know anything if i'm called upon by the teacher.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Hey!! I've just finished my a levels and I did Politics, history and photography (if it helps i got A* in politics and I am off to do a politics degree so you can probably tell I love it!).

Honestly I was in the exact same position going into year 12 and felt like I had no idea about any of it except for that I wanted to know more. Now that I look back I really did have no idea about anything to do with politics beginning of year 12 (and even now I've only just touched the surface of it!!) as it is such a complex subject. But regardless of me knowing basically nothing, everything in my course (I did edexcel if that helps) was explained from a beginner level so I wouldn't worry about not knowing much going into it - it all becomes very clear within the first module.

Keeping up with current affairs isn't a must going into year 12 and I didn't keep up properly until halfway through year 13!! As long as you're learning what the course is teaching you in year 12 you're good, bc at the end of the day that's all they can test you on come exams. And forming your own opinion isn't exactly something to worry about! If you're looking to do well, being able to form an arguement is important but in person isn't something you should worry ab. But then again depends if you have very feisty people in your class!! Mine was only 3 people lol but even so we loved a good debate, and even though I knew hardly any of the information we learnt before going into my a level, I came out of it not only with the knowledge of the a level but with my opinions about it too - it will come naturally trust me!

I wouldn't say you're at a disadvantage at all!! And honestly at this point nobody is at one either. You haven't started yet, and everyone else is in the exact same position as you. If you are called upon by the teacher and you have no idea what's going on, either you haven't been listening or you teacher isn't great. As long as you work hard you will be absolutely fine!!

Being 100% honest, there were plenty of moments I thought "why tf did I pick a level politics" but then again my teacher was quite strict on us (but in a good way lol) and I had that thought about everything during sixth form lmao. It was by far my hardest a level because it was something I loved but wanted to do very well in so i grinded my butt off in year 13, but tbf in year 12 I didn't try extremely hard. Personally I'd say go for it, it made me love politics so much more and I'm now off to uni to study it. Don't get me wrong, it's very complex!! and still I don't understand a lot of it, but at the end of the day that's what makes me want to carry on studying in an attempt to understand it if ygm.

What do you think? Lmk if you have anymore questions or anything queen 😙
slay couldn't agree more
Original post by Reality Check
You're not expected to have any in-depth prior knowledge of politics, but there is an expectation that you're interested in politics and want to learn more about it. It's not very encouraging when you say 'I don't really keep up with current affairs' though.

If you're interested in it (genuinely), and enjoy writing critically, learning about theories and like reading, it should be a good choice for you.
Reply 4
Original post by eloiselily
Hey!! I've just finished my a levels and I did Politics, history and photography (if it helps i got A* in politics and I am off to do a politics degree so you can probably tell I love it!).

Honestly I was in the exact same position going into year 12 and felt like I had no idea about any of it except for that I wanted to know more. Now that I look back I really did have no idea about anything to do with politics beginning of year 12 (and even now I've only just touched the surface of it!!) as it is such a complex subject. But regardless of me knowing basically nothing, everything in my course (I did edexcel if that helps) was explained from a beginner level so I wouldn't worry about not knowing much going into it - it all becomes very clear within the first module.

Keeping up with current affairs isn't a must going into year 12 and I didn't keep up properly until halfway through year 13!! As long as you're learning what the course is teaching you in year 12 you're good, bc at the end of the day that's all they can test you on come exams. And forming your own opinion isn't exactly something to worry about! If you're looking to do well, being able to form an arguement is important but in person isn't something you should worry ab. But then again depends if you have very feisty people in your class!! Mine was only 3 people lol but even so we loved a good debate, and even though I knew hardly any of the information we learnt before going into my a level, I came out of it not only with the knowledge of the a level but with my opinions about it too - it will come naturally trust me!

I wouldn't say you're at a disadvantage at all!! And honestly at this point nobody is at one either. You haven't started yet, and everyone else is in the exact same position as you. If you are called upon by the teacher and you have no idea what's going on, either you haven't been listening or you teacher isn't great. As long as you work hard you will be absolutely fine!!

Being 100% honest, there were plenty of moments I thought "why tf did I pick a level politics" but then again my teacher was quite strict on us (but in a good way lol) and I had that thought about everything during sixth form lmao. It was by far my hardest a level because it was something I loved but wanted to do very well in so i grinded my butt off in year 13, but tbf in year 12 I didn't try extremely hard. Personally I'd say go for it, it made me love politics so much more and I'm now off to uni to study it. Don't get me wrong, it's very complex!! and still I don't understand a lot of it, but at the end of the day that's what makes me want to carry on studying in an attempt to understand it if ygm.

What do you think? Lmk if you have anymore questions or anything queen 😙


Hi! I just wanted to say thank you for the time you spent writing your answer. I have been struggling with anxiety about year 12 and my choice to study politics and you have given me the confidence to give it a go. I'm really grateful.

You perfectly touched upon all my concerns about taking the subject, and I'm feeling more assured and hopeful about it as a subject. Thank you.

Also congrats girlie on your A*! That's an amazing achievement, and I'm wishing the best for your in your studies next year!
Reply 5
Original post by Reality Check
You're not expected to have any in-depth prior knowledge of politics, but there is an expectation that you're interested in politics and want to learn more about it. It's not very encouraging when you say 'I don't really keep up with current affairs' though.

If you're interested in it (genuinely), and enjoy writing critically, learning about theories and like reading, it should be a good choice for you.

Thank you for your reply! This was very reassuring for me and i assure you that I am going to start keeping up with the news lmao.
Original post by kaayb7
Hi! I just wanted to say thank you for the time you spent writing your answer. I have been struggling with anxiety about year 12 and my choice to study politics and you have given me the confidence to give it a go. I'm really grateful.

You perfectly touched upon all my concerns about taking the subject, and I'm feeling more assured and hopeful about it as a subject. Thank you.

Also congrats girlie on your A*! That's an amazing achievement, and I'm wishing the best for your in your studies next year!

Thank you too haha! Do you know what board you're doing? I can give you some of my essay plans or whatever if you want some help with anything 🤠 and also I did global politics but you might be doing USA so lmk if you need any help! <33
omg I was also gonna ask what else are you taking?
Reply 8
Original post by eloiselily
Thank you too haha! Do you know what board you're doing? I can give you some of my essay plans or whatever if you want some help with anything 🤠 and also I did global politics but you might be doing USA so lmk if you need any help! <33


Hmm i'm pretty sure i'm with AQA next year, but don't hold me to that.

That's so kind of you thank you queen, but honestly because i haven't started the course yet so it probably won't help me much, but thank you!

Unfortunately at my school we do USA not global politics. Thanks for offering so much help, I'll let you know how I get on.

and next year I'm studying Chemistry, Philosophy, politics obvs and AS maths. wish me luck lmao. :smile:

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