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Should I do A level Chinese if I'm planning on doing AMES?

I'm currently picking my A level options, and want to know whether I should do A level Chinese. I've been studying Chinese since year 7, and am predicted a 9 in my GSCEs. However, previous knowledge in Chinese isn't required for AMES. But if I don't do A level Chinese, then I think the university will put me with the beginners, wasting my 5 years of Chinese. I really love doing it, but I'm wondering if I have the time for it. If I do do it, I'll most likely be the only person in my year.
Original post by Rice_Pudding66
I'm currently picking my A level options, and want to know whether I should do A level Chinese. I've been studying Chinese since year 7, and am predicted a 9 in my GSCEs. However, previous knowledge in Chinese isn't required for AMES. But if I don't do A level Chinese, then I think the university will put me with the beginners, wasting my 5 years of Chinese. I really love doing it, but I'm wondering if I have the time for it. If I do do it, I'll most likely be the only person in my year.

As a side note, I've talked to the people in my year who are fluent speakers. They did A level Chinese earlier, in year 9 and 10, and they all say it's very hard and basically English Lit in Chinese.
hi!! i actually had a chat about this with manch uni for chinese and politics ba - i'm pretty sure that as a general rule you have to do a level/ib higher chinese to get advanced pathway for ames. however double check with the ames faculties of uni's you want to go to!!

a level is defo more culturally focused rather than the actual language apparently, but my school only does ib anyway (which is like an extension of gcse, so just more language but slight cultural aspect i believe) so it depends what you want to get out of it, but i'd personally choose ib.

hope this helps :smile:
Original post by claudiawinkleman
hi!! i actually had a chat about this with manch uni for chinese and politics ba - i'm pretty sure that as a general rule you have to do a level/ib higher chinese to get advanced pathway for ames. however double check with the ames faculties of uni's you want to go to!!
a level is defo more culturally focused rather than the actual language apparently, but my school only does ib anyway (which is like an extension of gcse, so just more language but slight cultural aspect i believe) so it depends what you want to get out of it, but i'd personally choose ib.
hope this helps :smile:

Thank you so much! I’m actually considering doing IB anyway, so this makes it a little bit easier to decide!
well surely the question is do you WANT to do chinese?
Original post by jamsparkle
well surely the question is do you WANT to do chinese?

Yes, I do want to do it. Sorry, I think I'll re-word my question: it's just more about whether a good score in A level Chinese will be attainable and the benefits I'll get compared to the effort I put in. I looked into it a bit more and A level Chinese isn't required at any of the universities I'm thinking about, although they have said it's helpful. A level Chinese is hard, and it will most likely be the most challenging A level I'll take. I also know that my school's A level Chinese homework is a substantial amount. However, the teachers are good and I can get a good grade if I try hard, but will that mean my other subject grades will drop? I'm very busy with extracurriculars, so taking an A level of this difficulty might be too much.

Pros to doing the A level is that I'll get more recognition maybe? Possibly a higher chance of getting into the AMES course by showing my interest (and of course learning Chinese in depth). I'm just worried that if I do do A level Chinese, as I'll be the only one in my year group, I'll be more separated from them, and if I do go to the AMES course I want, I could be separated from most of my peers by taking the more advanced course, if A level Chinese isn't required. I could, on the other hand, take another A level and still be able to do the AMES course.

Sorry about the massive essay (that was me organising my thoughts). I DO enjoy Chinese very much, so I think I'll take a risk and study it for A level. Thank you both for your advice! I really appreciate it. Worst comes to worst I'll ask one of the fluent speakers in my year to tutor me :smile:.
Original post by Rice_Pudding66
Yes, I do want to do it. Sorry, I think I'll re-word my question: it's just more about whether a good score in A level Chinese will be attainable and the benefits I'll get compared to the effort I put in. I looked into it a bit more and A level Chinese isn't required at any of the universities I'm thinking about, although they have said it's helpful. A level Chinese is hard, and it will most likely be the most challenging A level I'll take. I also know that my school's A level Chinese homework is a substantial amount. However, the teachers are good and I can get a good grade if I try hard, but will that mean my other subject grades will drop? I'm very busy with extracurriculars, so taking an A level of this difficulty might be too much.
Pros to doing the A level is that I'll get more recognition maybe? Possibly a higher chance of getting into the AMES course by showing my interest (and of course learning Chinese in depth). I'm just worried that if I do do A level Chinese, as I'll be the only one in my year group, I'll be more separated from them, and if I do go to the AMES course I want, I could be separated from most of my peers by taking the more advanced course, if A level Chinese isn't required. I could, on the other hand, take another A level and still be able to do the AMES course.
Sorry about the massive essay (that was me organising my thoughts). I DO enjoy Chinese very much, so I think I'll take a risk and study it for A level. Thank you both for your advice! I really appreciate it. Worst comes to worst I'll ask one of the fluent speakers in my year to tutor me :smile:.

good luck!! not sure what exam board you do but if you make anki decks with all the words from the spec + the textbook it makes the paper 1 (or whatever the reading and listening equivalent is in ur a level) quite easy so you can focus on the writing and speaking
Original post by jamsparkle
good luck!! not sure what exam board you do but if you make anki decks with all the words from the spec + the textbook it makes the paper 1 (or whatever the reading and listening equivalent is in ur a level) quite easy so you can focus on the writing and speaking

Thank you! I'll do that!
Original post by Rice_Pudding66
Yes, I do want to do it. Sorry, I think I'll re-word my question: it's just more about whether a good score in A level Chinese will be attainable and the benefits I'll get compared to the effort I put in. I looked into it a bit more and A level Chinese isn't required at any of the universities I'm thinking about, although they have said it's helpful. A level Chinese is hard, and it will most likely be the most challenging A level I'll take. I also know that my school's A level Chinese homework is a substantial amount. However, the teachers are good and I can get a good grade if I try hard, but will that mean my other subject grades will drop? I'm very busy with extracurriculars, so taking an A level of this difficulty might be too much.
Pros to doing the A level is that I'll get more recognition maybe? Possibly a higher chance of getting into the AMES course by showing my interest (and of course learning Chinese in depth). I'm just worried that if I do do A level Chinese, as I'll be the only one in my year group, I'll be more separated from them, and if I do go to the AMES course I want, I could be separated from most of my peers by taking the more advanced course, if A level Chinese isn't required. I could, on the other hand, take another A level and still be able to do the AMES course.
Sorry about the massive essay (that was me organising my thoughts). I DO enjoy Chinese very much, so I think I'll take a risk and study it for A level. Thank you both for your advice! I really appreciate it. Worst comes to worst I'll ask one of the fluent speakers in my year to tutor me :smile:.

I have just completed Chinese A-Level this year (so I don't know my grades and how that reflects my experience) but I have really enjoyed it and I must say the progress you make from GCSE to A-Level is huge. Someone previously said it is more culturally focused and whilst you do learn stuff about the culture, you learn the language alongside it and therefore are able to use more specialised vocabulary for certain things. I do 4 A-Levels and whilst i do enjoy it, it is the subject that requires the most time. Not necessarily because it is really hard, but just because there is a lot of work - the number of characters you have to learn is a lot more than GCSE (as expected).

You mentioned that your teachers are good and that you enjoy the subject and I think that is such a huge benefit to it. Since my year was the first for majority of non-native speakers to do the Edexcel spec rather than Pre-U so it was a bit difficult for my year to find materials and stuff but I must say that by the time you do your A-Levels there will be a lot more resources available, plus there will be a better understanding of how the papers are marked now that there are a lot more non-native speakers.

Personally, I felt pressure to drop an A-level in Y12 and I am really glad I didn't. That's my experience and whilst the beginning of Y12 was really quite tough, I would say might as well take it up now and see how it goes. I dont't know the AMES course so I'm not too sure how it compares. I also know for some uni Chinese courses, you can take a placement test regardless of what academic certification and they can then decide whether you can join a higher level class, but just emial up some of the unis you are interested about this if it worries you.

Hope his helps!

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