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Your opinions of Classics A Level... should I take it? Watch

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    Hi,

    I'm going into the L6th this coming september and am still not sure of my subject choices. I know that I'm going to take History, English and French, and am considering Classics as a fourth option.
    I wondered what you who have taken it think of it. What subject combinations did you take and would you recommend it?
    I'm hoping for all A/A*s at GCSE, so am hoping to apply to a fairly good uni which is why I'm so anxious about my subject choices... I'm good at DT and really enjoy it, but I know it's a soft subject and I don't think I could carry French on to A2 so I would have to take whatever fourth choice I make on to A2, so I don't want a soft option that could disadvantage me.
    I was also considering biology, but figured that it would appear a fairly random choice and it wouldn't link in to anything...
    Any help would be really really well received,

    thanks x
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    Well what do you want to do at uni? Often people take 3 science and an art of vice versa, so biology may not "link" to your other subjects, but it really doesn't need to.
    However if you're considering doing something history at uni classics would be more helpful.
    Also think about which you would find more enjoyable though, it's much easier to do well if you actually like the subject :yes:
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    Thanks, history is what I'm currently planning on doing, which is why classics came to mind I suppose. I haven't taken it for GCSE though...
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    In my experience of Classical Civilisation (which is what I presume you mean by classics) GCSE, and from what I've heard from the people I know who do it A level, it's very much a learning of lifestyle, rather than events (like in history). You learn about festivals, plays, poems (the epic tradition, mainly - The Iliad and the Odyssey), religious beliefs etc. If this interests you, go for it - however, from my experience of the jump from GCSE to A level, you should take something that you're good at already
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    I did classics at GCSE and AS. I'm in a similar boat academically and I'm dropping it at A2 cos I wanna do chemistry at uni and my other subjects are physics, maths and chemistry. At GCSE it is very lifestyle based whereas at AS it is more like specific english literature. It is all literature based. It was 2 exams for me, Greek tragedy in context and Homer.

    We studied Medea, Oedipus Rex, Bacchae and The Agamemnon for tragedy and The Odyssey for Homer. It was good but I'm more of a sciencey person. It is very useful if you want to study classics or english at university. if you wanna do english, classics, englihs lit and probs history would be good choices.

    Hope that has helped. #

    You don't need GCSe to do AS, we had a few people who didn't do it at GCSE and have done fine at AS.
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    Go for it, taking a 'new' subject that you haven't studied before can be great, I found taking something I hadn't studied before made me more enthusiastic and less worried about making the leap between gcse and A-level.
    Classics looks good on a uni application, especially for some of the more prestigious universities.
    Wait to see what your subjects are like before you decide which you'll drop/carry on - you may change your mind!
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    (Original post by imi_b)
    Hi,

    I'm going into the L6th this coming september and am still not sure of my subject choices. I know that I'm going to take History, English and French, and am considering Classics as a fourth option.
    I wondered what you who have taken it think of it. What subject combinations did you take and would you recommend it?
    I'm hoping for all A/A*s at GCSE, so am hoping to apply to a fairly good uni which is why I'm so anxious about my subject choices... I'm good at DT and really enjoy it, but I know it's a soft subject and I don't think I could carry French on to A2 so I would have to take whatever fourth choice I make on to A2, so I don't want a soft option that could disadvantage me.
    I was also considering biology, but figured that it would appear a fairly random choice and it wouldn't link in to anything...
    Any help would be really really well received,

    thanks x
    Classics is widely seen as a 'soft' A-Level subject too, although probably not as much as DT.

    I'd go with Biology - although you might see it as 'random', it shows you have 'breadth' or whatever the latest hackneyed word is, and fo' sho' won't disadvantage you: all my friends who took an A-level unrelated to the others have done really well and were accepted by excellent unis.

    Do you have to take four A-levels anyway? Why not just stick with three?
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    DO IT - it's brilliant. I'm doing exactly the same subjects, and they go brilliantly together.

    And Classics is by no means a 'soft' option; Unis love it, especially Oxford and Cambridge. Classical Civilisation is a bit 'soft', but Classics (Ancient Greek and Latin) is actually very well respected and quite difficult - but really logical.

    DO IT!
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    (Original post by Zhou_Yu)
    DO IT - it's brilliant. I'm doing exactly the same subjects, and they go brilliantly together.

    And Classics is by no means a 'soft' option; Unis love it, especially Oxford and Cambridge. Classical Civilisation is a bit 'soft', but Classics (Ancient Greek and Latin) is actually very well respected and quite difficult - but really logical.

    DO IT!
    :eek:
    I thought OP was meaning Class Civ! I didn't know an A-level in Classics existed! So it's Latin and Greek lang/lit as well as historical stuff?
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    sounds boring!!!!!!!!! but if you like it and its associated with what you want to study at uni then do it

    I always associate people who study classics or latin as boring, might be a generalisation but..
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    (Original post by anandv05)
    sounds boring!!!!!!!!! but if you like it and its associated with what you want to study at uni then do it

    I always associate people who study classics or latin as boring,
    might be a generalisation but..
    :mad:
    Oi
    :rolleyes:
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    I wouldn't say Classics is seen as a soft option. Maybe it is compared to English Lit/History/Latin, but it's still very respected. Then again, maybe I'm biased :p:

    You don't need the GCSE at all, it's completely different at A Level. Like someone else said, it's really literature based (although it depends what modules you do, you might have a history module).

    Biology would be a better alternative than DT, although if you're thinking of History at uni then Classics A Level will be so much more useful and relevant. Take Classics!
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    (Original post by Zhou_Yu)
    DO IT - it's brilliant. I'm doing exactly the same subjects, and they go brilliantly together.

    And Classics is by no means a 'soft' option; Unis love it, especially Oxford and Cambridge. Classical Civilisation is a bit 'soft', but Classics (Ancient Greek and Latin) is actually very well respected and quite difficult - but really logical.

    DO IT!
    Thing is that I mean Classical Civilisation... I would take latin if I'd taken it for GCSE but I dropped it as soon as I could!
    I looked it up on the Cambridge 'blacklist' and it was one of the recommended subjects but I know that CC always used to be seen as soft in comparison to latin/ancient greek...


    oh i don't know!
    thanks for all feedback; anymore would be much appreciated!
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    It would depend what your eventual aim was. If you were looking to study English or History then Classical Civilisation would give you a firm interdisciplinary framework to work with; almost all literature is constructed from classical archetypal narrative structures, and you could apply this knowledge to psychology and philosophy too.
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    I really enjoyed Classics A level- but it is, as said, very much literature and lifestyle based- I did all literature modules, so it went well with English. It was nice to read something 'old', so to speak. I knew nothing about the subject before I started, but I loved it!
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    You don't need GCSE in Classical Civilisation at all to take AS: here at Chigwell School we offer Classical Civilisation AS and A2 but not GCSE, and that's never been a problem. And it's liked by (almost!) everyone who takes it.
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    Classiv is a brilliant A level to have and you definately need not have taken it for GCSE. (sorry i am way keen ) I also did History and English (and physics at AS... bleurgh i was crazy) and Classiv fitted in really well because you get to do a bit of background (like history!) and loads of literature (like english!). It is definately not considered a soft subject. I got an offer from Oxford (not to boast... results on thursday and i am making no assumptions...argh) but I am positive that classics helped me out there. Plus it is really interesting and not as much work as some of the weightier subjects (like history- be warned!!!) until year 13. Go for it and enjoy!
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    thanks all of you - i want to study history at uni so your feedback is really helpful
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    (Original post by othersideoftheworld)
    Hey,
    Sounds like we're twins- I've just started Year 12, and am doing English Lit, History, French and yep, Classics- with the aim of studying English at uni.

    I didn't do Classics at GCSE so was unsure what to expect, but thought that reading Classical literature like Oedipus, the Odyssey, etc. would complement my study of English. I wasn't concerned about not having done any Classics before, because I got all A* grades at GCSE and was pretty sure I could handle it.

    Well... I had my third lesson today, and have decided that I'm going to have to change from Classics. It's quite badly taught at my school, and is also apparently seen as something of a doss, ie. not that respected by universities. After talking to my head of sixth form, I made up my mind completely- it might not be the case in you school, but she told me that Classics is generally taken by students who don't actually really know what they want to study because they think it will be easy, and it's not very academically rigorous/stretching.

    Anyway, this is just my experience, and you may or may not want to take it into consideration- but on Monday morning, I have a meeting with my teachers to arrange the switch over to Government and Politics instead.
    It's pretty dissapointing that a prospective Lit student is giving up on a subject that would obviously be highly complimentary and relevant to your course.

    Maybe you should have a gander at this before you take the misleading advice of your teachers.
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    (Original post by othersideoftheworld)
    Hey,
    Thanks for helping me resurrect a pretty dead thread :-)
    I initially chose Classics for AS because I knew it would be complementary to Eng Lit- after all, literature is full of references/allusions to stories like Oedipus, Antigone, Electra, etc. I still would love to study these- but at my school, the subject just isn't taught all that well. In the latest GCSE results, not a single person got an A*, and only a small number achieved an A- in my school, which is very academic, this is kind of concerning, especially when you consider the results of other departments eg. Religious Studies, where around 70% of students got an A*.

    But that link about the "acceptability" of Gov and Politics at top unis is certainly making me think, though...
    Us Classicists are used to resurrecting dead things :cool:

    That's ok, I mean it's pretty fair to drop it if it's being taught poorly, and you feel uncomfortable with learning independently. There's nothing to stop you from reading and enjoying the texts in your spare time.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the respectability of Politics, you still have 3 very solid A Levels, and will have a decent chance getting into a top institution (providing you have the grades).

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
 
 
 
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