Help! How much harder is English lit. A level than GCSE?

  • 0 votes

I need to decide whether or not I should choose English literature AS level next year but I still am undecided. Is there a lot of coursework or is it mostly exam based? And is it similar to GCSE? Also, is there a lot on poetry?

I'd really appreciate it if you could answer any of my questions!!! :D 

Posted Sat 12th May, 2012 @ 22:41 by furuba fan

5 Answers

  • 1 vote

Its sorta the same as GCSE but more work. You'd most likely be studying a play, novel and poetry. For my board (AQA) we did 2 pieces of coursework and I have my exam on wednesday and it requires you to have a lot of wider reading prepared but you'd probably study this with your teachers. Overall it is really interesting and yes, there is a lot on poetry and theres only one exam for it which is 2 hrs and 90 marks (half on poetry, half on the unseen text and wider reading). I recommend you take it if you like to read, don't do the same thing I did and ignore the teachers telling you in the induction day ''if you don't read, don't take eng lit''- I ignored this and I don't read much so it didn't really help! Its really interesting and the poetry is pretty good! So good luck if you take it and enjoy!

Answered Sat 12th May, 2012 @ 22:52 by Warda
  • 1 vote

English Literature was my favourite subject at GCSE and is one of my favourite subjects at AS-Level, however, it is a difficult subject. It requires independent reading and a flair for writing and reading. Depending how your college/Sixth Form decides to teach the subject you will do coursework for half the year and exam study for half the year. Your coursework is the study of a novel with a partner text (in my case 'A Passage To India' with the partner text 'The Go-Between') with a 1,500 word essay and the writing and commentary of your own short story/opening to a novel.

The exam is based on a play and poetry. You will study a play in depth - I am studying 'Oleanna' by David Mamet - and then have an exam (1 hour 15 mins) answering 1 of 2 questions relating to the play. The poetry will be an in-depth analysis of one poet, in my case Sylvia Plath and then a partner poet e.g Ted Hughes. You will do an exam consisting of the same length of time as the play and the choice of one out of two questions.

If you thoroughly enjoy reading and analysing literature you will enjoy the subject, however if not you may be better off looking in to the English language AS subject.

All the best with your subject choices, I hope you enjoy all your subjects. 

Answered Sun 13th May, 2012 @ 12:52 by Jasmine Rose
  • 1 vote

It depends what unit you do etc. I'm doing English Lit B - we did two pieces of coursework (one on Hamlet, another on Streetcar Named Desire) and we did Browning poetry (7 of them - beware these poems are A LOT longer than what you're used to at GCSE level) we also did the Rime of the Ancient Mariner which is a short book/poem in itself. We also read two other books (The Kite Runner and The Road) in which we are being tested on, on Wednesday. You'll learn a lot of narrative techniques and you'll feel yourself slowly and unconsciously analysing your work or others as you become further entwined into the course. The marking is a lot more concise and it's a lot harder to get the good grades at A-level (obviously) but it's a lot more work, if you enjoy it though then it's something some people find easy!

Answered Sun 13th May, 2012 @ 14:32 by Ruby Woo
  • 1 vote

AS LIt is harder than GCSE, however i personally found it more interesting, as you examine the texts in more detail. In the first year, we done 2 pieces of coursework on Othello and Death of a Salesman, as well as studying poems by Rosetti and Cloeridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, along with two novels: The Great Gatsby and Enduring Love. It is harder than GCSE, but if you enjoy English its definitely worth it. However, if it's a subject you're not so keen on, you may not enjoy it as much as another subject. I'm currently studying the course at A2 and it really is interesting, although it can be hard work. If you decide to take the course, don't be afraid to ask your teachers for help if you're stuck. Sometimes a text can look daunting, but it may just take a simple explanation to assist our understanding. :)

Answered Sun 13th May, 2012 @ 23:23 by Samantha
  • 0 votes

Thanks everyone for taking your time to reply to my numerous questions! :) It's much more informative than what my teacher told me on induction day...

I think my school does AQA Spec B. How much coursework is involved and how much of it is exams? I'm finding that from doing the GCSE, I tend to do much better in coursework than in the exams which I find much harder because I just can't think of what to write in time!

@ruby I read the kite runner last year! I really enjoyed it although it was very sad. What did you think of it? If you liked it, you should read 'A thousand splendid suns' by the same author if you haven't already! Good luck on that test!

Answered Tue 15th May, 2012 @ 16:29 by furuba fan