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β€’ 10/11/2020 at 09:50AM[edited]

Should I take English first language or second language?

I am a student studying in the British curriculum, I recently received a choice to choose between English iGCSE first language and literature/second language. I am planning to apply to very selective colleges but I have no plans to study in law, literature, writing etc. I can handle first language but if it has no advantage then I would choose second language. I would really appreciate it if someone could tell me if taking iGCSE first language and literature gives me an advantage over second language. In summary, I want to ask if taking English first language affects my chances for applying to extremely selective colleges with an acceptance rate around 10.

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1 answer

β€’ 10/12/2020 at 09:48PM

Is English your native language? If not, congratulations because you clearly understand the language quite well and I don't think anyone would be able to tell it's not your first language.

Being fully transparent, I don't have concrete numbers or articles to back up my answer here and I'm not as familiar with the iGCSE as I probably should be. Having said that, based on previous knowledge and some research I did to answer this question I'm fairly confident that Admissions Officers would agree with me. If English is your first language than I think it only makes sense you take the iGCSE first language and it would probably affect you negatively if you decide to take the iGCSE second language instead. If English is not your native language you might have a bit more leeway in what you choose and could probably get away with taking the second language class but I think it would benefit you more to take the first language class. If you are going to be applying to extremely select schools like you say then you need to challenge yourself academically as much as possible. Taking the first language class will do this as well as let you demonstrate you have a strong grasp of the English language and overall it will look better to colleges and universities. When applying to selective schools your application essays are expected to be well written and free of any mistakes and it sounds like the first language class will help with that. In addition, if you were to be accepted into one of these selective schools you will be expected to do a lot of reading, note taking, essay writing, etc. I'd imagine the first language class will leave you significantly more prepared to handle this workload compared to the second language class. So while I can't concretely say with 100% certainty that taking iGCSE first language and literature will give you an advantage I'm 99% certain that it is in your best interest to do so.

Accepted Answer
[🎀 AUTHOR]@H.650210/13/2020 at 10:19AM

Thanks for the answer! Helped me out as I was really unsure about which option to take.