CIE English A Level


Hi I’m looking at self studying the CIE english A level this year. I’m a year 12 ncea student. Could anyone give me some tips or advice? I’m aiming for top of NZ levels if possible. Also as a strong humanities student is it worth also taking CIE history/classics A levels?



I don’t really see the point of self-studying CIE english A-Level if you already do NCEA english. You should be concentrating on NZQA scholarship English or even english competitions.

Getting top in NZ is unrealistic given that so many people take the subject. It’s also different to NCEA, so you’ll defenitely struggle to compete.

Self-studying history and classics seems more realistic if you want to do well as these are less competitive and specialised.

Hope that helps!


Pssssst, speaking of essay competitions:


Hey there, great to see your enthusiasm! A bit of background on AS English - it’s a real challenge, even for CIE students, and there are a lot of texts to learn, so it’ll be a substantial workload to commit to! Of course if you’re aware of this and you’ve got a school who is willing to help you with this (and plenty of help!) then there’s no reason why you can’t.

Classics is often self studied, but History is in the same category as English in that there’s a lot of content to learn. What I’d recommend is looking at the relevant syllabi on the CIE website and making a judgement call based on how much time you can commit to it. Another option to consider is sitting Scholarship exams - these are also a fantastic challenge :slight_smile: