The Student Room Group

a level options / is english lit a good a level

i really don’t know what i want to do a to do as a 4th a level anymore. originally i’d picked maths fm physics and biology, but i’ve realised that i don’t really love physics (nor understand it tbh) enough to do it a level - despite being good at gcse level.

so now i have the problem of choosing a 4th a level. i want to do an essay based subject, but the problem is there are a lot of subjects i want to do and thus i am very stressed.

the three i’ve been considering are english lit, history and class civ - mainly because i know they’re subjects i’d find interesting, but idk which would be the best.

english lit: i’ve always loved english, since primary school - i’ve recently actually started getting 9s in the subject (got a 7, 1 mark off an 8, in my mock but it was my first mock and i was SO anxious over everything that i couldn’t focus) and have developed a critical essay style and renewed my passion for the subject through literally just analysing the books i study by myself? i’ve found some really unique and interesting analysis and i think in a level getting to analyse texts on my own and actually be encouraged to share my ideas would really benefit me, alongside the fact i want to just add more diversity to my options because 4 stem subjects is all good - but i wouldn’t want to close off my options entirely. i always get 9s in lang too, if that helps in judging my english ability.

history: i love history, it’s one of my favorite and best subjects but i just don’t know if i could handle the amount of content. i already find it the subject i have to revise for the most (which isn’t a bad thing but yk) and i just dont think history as a fourth a level is a very wise choice and would just be too much for me to handle.

class civ: i think greek mythology and culture is so interesting and i would love to study it, but i don’t really know enough about the subject and how it’s taught to want to take it fully.

i also planned on doing an epq, but i think if i were to do an essay based subject i probably wouldn’t do one because there’s at least some course work element to english lit, which is half the reason i wanted to take an epq - to work on something by myself, alongside becoming more critical in the process which i think english lit a level would help with.

overall, i’m more inclined to take english lit bc i think it would be a subject that actually lets me think for myself yk? but if anyone could let me know how hard the jump from gcse to a level is - and whether me not getting straight 9s atm would mean i couldn’t do well at level bc i think my current grades (more the inconsistency in them, despite the fact the lowest i get is a 7) is what’s deterring me from picking it. :smile:

but also if you take history or classic civilisation i’d love to know how you find it! because i think they both seem really interesting, i just don’t know if they’re for me.

or if anyone thinks i should just take physics and not do an essay based subject that would help too - any advice welcome!
Hi!
I love love love english lit as an a level. I was in a similar position to you - when I was in year 11, I got a 7 on my mock (also 1 mark off an 8!). And then, suddenly after that, I was just getting 9s, similar to you. The 'inconsistency' of your grades will not be problem.

The jump from GCSE to A Level shouldn't be too hard. The reason why is because you are already finding analysis for yourself - this is genuinely that best thing you can do for the subject. This is because you'll have high AO1 (knowledge) marks, where you'll showcase your perceptive thinking/ ability to think outside the box, and the examiners love that. they really enjoy reading unique ideas, not the ones regurgitated by teachers all over the country.

Coursework was my favourite thing ever. I loved my texts and the independence of my writing, and the fact that I could write everything that I was interested in, because my question allowed as such. I never saw my coursework as a chore.

sorry if this was a ramble, this was just me trying to convince you that you'll be great at english a level!! if you have anymore specific questions just let me know :smile:
Reply 2
Original post by aloevera4
Hi!
I love love love english lit as an a level. I was in a similar position to you - when I was in year 11, I got a 7 on my mock (also 1 mark off an 8!). And then, suddenly after that, I was just getting 9s, similar to you. The 'inconsistency' of your grades will not be problem.
The jump from GCSE to A Level shouldn't be too hard. The reason why is because you are already finding analysis for yourself - this is genuinely that best thing you can do for the subject. This is because you'll have high AO1 (knowledge) marks, where you'll showcase your perceptive thinking/ ability to think outside the box, and the examiners love that. they really enjoy reading unique ideas, not the ones regurgitated by teachers all over the country.
Coursework was my favourite thing ever. I loved my texts and the independence of my writing, and the fact that I could write everything that I was interested in, because my question allowed as such. I never saw my coursework as a chore.
sorry if this was a ramble, this was just me trying to convince you that you'll be great at english a level!! if you have anymore specific questions just let me know :smile:

thank u this has convinced me !! i wanted to do english when i was originally considering my options, but i quite quickly wrote it off because i hadn’t been getting 9s on every test like some of the people i know have been - but i realised that i love english (much more than physics especially) so it shouldn’t really matter whether i’ve been doing amazing at it since the start of y10
Hi, I just thought I'd chime in here with my views. I absolutely love A level English lit - I took a bit of convincing by my GCSE teacher to get me to pick it - it was a late decision and I hadn't spoken to anyone at my sixth form about English because I convinced myself I was a STEM person. I also had (and still have to an extent) some imposter syndrome surrounding English as I went from low 6s-7s at GCSE to a 9 (lit) and an 8 (lang) in my GCSEs so I convinced myself I wasn't going to maintain those grades, however I found the jump from GCSE to A level so manageable because of the work I put in in y11. Anyway, fast forward to now, picking English lit was the BEST decision I made re: A Levels. I do bio and maths so it is a brilliant balance to those and a way of making me think more creatively.
As the poster above said, coursework is so much fun, and from what you've said, I think it would be a great part of the course for you! English is my "fun" subject, the one where I genuinely love every lesson and really don't see it as a chore to revise! Best of luck with picking your options!

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