The Student Room Group

What is WJEC A-Level English Literature like?

Could someone please explain what the course is like?
(In terms of how enjoyable, or what the course content is like)
What are lessons typically like? Is there any coursework, and if so, what is it, and what is it like? What kind of things are you asked in the exams, and how are the exams split? Do you enjoy it? What are the positive and negative things about it? How is the workload? How does it compare to GCSE English (obviously it is harder and everything - but in what way, and also what are the general similarities and differences)?

Sorry about all of the questions - I am in Year 11 and having doubts about the A-Levels that I have chosen, and I am considering switching one for English.
Any kind of tips, advice, opinions, or personal experiences would be greatly appreciated.
Reply 1
I don't know about WJEC, I do edexcel, BUT i think all of the courses are somewhat similar, but for english in general, you need to really like reading (obvi) cause as well as your set texts, reading around your subject is a must. you also have to be prepared to write long essays, with much more detail than is needed at gcse! hope this helps a little x
Reply 2
i just finished wjec english lit today!
it was by far my favourite subject, but it had been a favourite at gcse too.
Don't go into it assuming it's an easy course, lots of people in my year did and after the first term they were completely overwhelmed and lost. BUT those of us that picked it because we were into english lit/literary history and were willing to cry over a poem from 30 years ago had an absolute blast. I think WJEC is by far one of the kinder exam boards (last year's grade boundaries on paper 3 were 53% for an A*!!) and the papers are really nicely split. In terms of actual exam content, My school did:
-Christina Rossetti for the pre-1900 section of the poetry paper,
-Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes for the post-1900 section,
-Hamlet for the Shakespeare section of the drama paper,
-A Streetcar Named Desire and The Duchess of Malfi for the comparative section.

I personally found the pre-1900 poetry and comparative drama sections the hardest, but that's because the subjects and themes were explored in a way i really really struggled to understand ("Rossetti wasn't a feminist. She was a feminist, but she wasnt." -an actual note from my notebook. ???)

In terms of coursework, my class had to compare one post-2000 book (of our choice) to The Great Gatsby, but the other class had to compare their post-2000 novel to A Handmaid's Tale. I particularly struggled with the coursework because I picked a book myself instead of one of the books that my teachers recommended (and i picked a book solely based on the fact it was set in a similar period, which is something my teacher told us NOT to do.) They gave us about 5(?) months to complete the coursework, which had a word count of about 2500-3000 words. Personally i tended to struggle with coursework because i am HORRID at planning ahead, (but it turns out if you're good at working under timed conditions, you can just treat it like an exam and bang out 1500 words in a single day and still get a really high mark for it lol - that being said probably don't do this.)

generally it's a really nice middle a-level, as it balances academics (being right about something) with free thinking (spinning absolute lies). My other two were History and Drama, and i really liked how it gave a different insight into both subjects.
Hope this helped! :^)

Quick Reply