Redeeming CIE Grades with Scholarship


I got an A (87%) for A level literature, but received NZQA Scholarships in English (2 marks off outstanding) and Meda studies (and others).
Is there a need for me to further redeem my lack of an A* in literature and prove I enjoy and can handle the humanities at a high level by taking Classics or English Language this year?
Which one would you recommend? (I haven’t taken any other humanity subjects)


Great question! This depends on what your goals are. Even if you want to attend a top university, I wouldn’t worry too much about achieving one or two A grades at A2 level. What I’d look to focus on now is how you can building your academic candidacy, and like you say, there are a couple of ways of doing this.

Firstly, I’d definitely recommend taking AS Classics, if not full A Level Classics this year. I didn’t take it myself at school, but from what I’ve heard of those who did, everyone seemed to love it and do relatively well. It’s fairly easy to pick up, I believe, whereas you might struggle a bit more with picking up English Language. Like you say, it will help your application in proving that you can write well, and on a basic level it’ll broaden your knowledge and academic experience. It can also lead quite well into NZQA Scholarship Classics, which is quite popular and not too difficult if you know what you’re doing.

Leading on from this, NZQA Scholarship exams in general are a fantastic opportunity to take in your last year of school, especially for someone like you who has already achieved a couple. I got stuck into Scholarships in my last year of school, and I’d really recommend them - they definitely push you to a higher level of thinking and develop your skills, and also look good on an application. With your experience, I’d be pushing for an Outstanding Scholar award, if not higher.

Overall, the biggest thing I’d advise is not worrying about whatever has already happened - push yourself to be the best you can be this year, in all areas - academic and everywhere! Please let me know if you’ve got any other questions :slight_smile: