Tip - Remember to hand in homework, coursework, essays etc. before the deadline. It saves some trouble, it really does.
Tip - Think of A-levels as a race of endurance. Make sure you don't slack off and fall behind the group. Even doing so a bit can set you back significantly, as you need to catch up and you'll likely jeopardise the final result. Of course, if the group is going too slowly for you, feel free to pick up the pace a bit and get ahead. At the same time, make sure you don't exhaust and go a sustainable pace, so that you can go for the sprint finish during your final weeks of revision.
Also, make sure you've perfected your technique. Get a good start and when you're coming to the finish line, make sure you... uhh, dip your head.
It may feel like you’re only racing against those in your class, but you're essentially racing against everyone sitting that exam. Some of them might have it a bit easier if they've got... privately manufactured trainers or something, but that doesn't mean the race is over!
Become independent and start revising early. Don't start the year thinking A-levels are so much harder than GCSE's, even though they are
. Be confident from the start and motivate yourself throughout the whole year. However much work you need to put in each subject you yourself know, the classic 1-hour of homestudy for every class is crap in my opinion. It also helps if your school does exams in January and June, that way there is not a ton of work load to do before exams in June and you get the chance for resits from the January exams. But try to avoid resits in the first place by doing the work before.
Tip - If you need to do a resit, get a remark or request a photocopy of your exam paper, it is more than likely that you need to pay for it yourself. Do not miss the deadline for this.
Tip - Get it right first time – Resits take the piss!
Tip - For almost any subject (perhaps not ones like art though), do loads of past papers and learn how to play the exam game. You can know everything there is to know about the human body but if you don't know how to play the biology exam game then you won't do nearly as well!
Tip - Make sure you understand how UMS points work so you can calculate how many points you are off a certain grade (this becomes most useful coming up to your summer exams at A2)!
Tip - If you're doing 3 A-Level subjects, do 15 hours a week of independent study (outside of class). Do 20 hours a week if you're doing 4 subjects. If you use as many 'free periods' as possible to study, then you won't have to do as much at home.
Tip - Work hard. DO question papers + exercises from books (it really helps..). Stay motivated. Make revision notes early, it will make revisions very easy.. And maintain a schedule...
Tip - Try as hard as you can in the first year. The exams are so much easier than in the second year , and by doing well in the first year will make the second alot easier for you.
Tip - Work hard from the start, resits mess everything up.
Even on modules that are easy revise lots. I got 76/100 on c1 maths due to the fact it was relatively easy so i didnt revise. I then went and got low a's on the rest of the modules and another 76 on core 3 and missed an a by a couple of marks, would have got an a if i revised properly for c1.
Work hard at coursework. Exams are easy to mess up, even if it is just a few marks lower than you expected. Good coursework could mean a lot, work hard to get every last mark, don't just settle for the grade you want at the end of the year, it is the only time that you can get some help from your teacher and others make use of this.
Tip - give all homework in on time and stay motivated. I know plenty of people who simply aced their GCSE's and when it came to as-levels, they only got C's, D's E's and even U's. Don't get complacent and too over-confident. Don't revise at the last minute and revise along the way, however boring and tedious, and unsociable it may sound- it helps tons during exam time when you've got lots of revision. Learning along the way helps especially for fact-based subjects, such as Biology, (I haven't done this subject but my friends have told me there's loads to remember!) and Psychology, (which I do) can be aced if everything is remembered and regurgitated in the exam- well, that's my opinion. Oh yes, work hard and play hard! get as many extra-curriculars done as you can. It'll pay off!!
Tip - Become an exam pro. Not only do ALL the practice papers available, search outside the box for questions. Also, get into a good regime early. For me I made sure I got enough sleep before morning exams. When I felt a dip in energy when revising I ate energy bars to keep me going. If all else fails, retake anything you don't do well on, managed to pull my grades up from ABBC at AS to AAAB at A2 (History, English Lit, Biology, Chemistry).
Tip - Try as hard as possible at AS modules as they are weighted equally to A2 but a lot easier!
Tip - Don't give up... esp towards the end. Sometimes you are going to want to just give up and burn every book you have but don't, you can do it, it's worth it in the end. AND don't throw away your rev notes after the exam... you may need them for retakes.
Tip - for goodness sake, do the work! you may think you understand it as well as you can possibly, but you don't. Don't assume that because you've been doing well all year, it means you don't have to revise for it, either. :|
Tip - Try your best in your coursework ALWAYS. It's one of the easiest things to do well in if you are willing to put in the work.
Tip - Do pay attention in classes.
Tip - Learn to master the exam technique in your subjects!
Tip - If you're doing essay subjects (I did English Literature, Religious Studies and History) practice writing essays in timed conditions and then give them to your teacher to mark!
Tip - Work hard in AS as it makes it easier for going into year 13
Tip - If you don't get such great ASs resits are your answer! They can pay off tremendously and you can improve eg I have a friend who got a D in History As and moved up to a B. I know someone who moved up from a U in an English module to an A.
Tip - Find out what revision method works for you early on. If you liked coloured revision cards in GCSE and they worked for you carry on using them!.
Tip - Pukka Pads can be your best friend.
Tip - Finally revisie as you see fit, just because someone else like revising a week before the exams it doesn't mean it'll work for you.
Tip - Make sure you get along with your teachers, they'll be more willing to write you a lovely reference !
Tip - Try not to neglect some subjects in favour of others which you prefer. I loved revising for History but revising for English made me feel physically sick but it had to be done!
Tip - Ermm work hard! I found it a huge jump at first but I gradually got used to it.
Remember, it's a few months of your life for what may give you a better future. You won't look back when you're much older and regret not watching that TV programme and not going for that single day trip out with friends, however, you may regret not studying your hardest for your exams and subsequently missing out on the opportunity to do something you may love with your life.
Don't waste countless hours doing beautiful revision notes- especially if you're running out of time. Summarise the information in a quick way and a way that is understandable to yourself. The actual learning of the notes is important, not the creating. You won't believe how many people I've seen sat in the library or at the computers at college decorating their notes with word art or beautiful images. Maybe it looks pretty, but it's effectively useless. Using colour on your notes can help you remember it, but don't spend a ridiculous amount of time doing this.
Please make sure you learn the entire syllabus for a subject, there is no use in cutting corners because a certain topic never comes up in the exam or it came up in the last exam, you just can't guess, and it'd be a shame to waste all the rest of the work you did to get a good grade just because you can't answer questions on one topic.
Do past exam papers for practice, and actually pay attention to what it says in the mark scheme. Doing the papers is always good for getting exam technique etc, but the mark scheme is important to make sure you're hitting the marks because often it's just a matter of phrasing that people lose marks on. Especially in science subjects (you have to be very precise).
Listen to your teacher, but also listen to yourself. I've had many teachers on my back about the way I learn, saying I should do it another way. However, I listen to them, but also know the way I learn. I'm not condoning not doing homework, but if I had something more important I needed to do, for example, doing the revision, I would maybe hand it in later. I am a firm believer that your own learning of the subject is more important than doing some of the pointless projects they ask you to do, however, often some of the projects aren't pointless and I'd realise this and do them.
For class tests, practice essays and practice exam papers, I'd always do my best. I think this is one of the keys to good grades. If you try your hardest throughout, you will succeed and improve and class assessments are a good way of measuring your performance throughout the year and evaluating your work and what you need to improve on.
Tip - If you're one of those people who can juggle a dazzling social life and still get the grades, good on you. You're a minority. If you're not, don't try and kid yourself that you are-do what the rest of us did and knuckle down when you have to.
Tip - Don't be daunted by the step between GCSE/AS and AS/A. Everyone else is probably feeling the same.
Tip - Fair enough, AS/A levels are two extremely important years (and A level year is even mroe of a hassle because you've got UCAS applications to deal with). But don't let yourself get tooooo overwhelmed-it's your last year in school, after all-you need some good memories!
Tip - Nobody warned me that A Levels need so much more work than GCSEs. I got 10A* at GCSE with barely any work so I though A Levels would be a breeze. WRONG!!!
Seriously, read through textbooks/notes after every lesson, even if you think you understand it. I know that sounds really geeky, but please do it!!! I got results that I am fairly happy with, after realising half way through the year that I needed to work harder, but it was so late by then that I was working every minute of the day that I was awake and I know I could have done better in couple of maths modules.
Anyway, I can't stress enough that you need to work hard, I wish someone had let me know.
Tip - Use your frees! I used them a little bit in y12, but not enough, so I did do quite a bit of work outside of school. When I got to y13 I decided to rectify this and use my frees to my advantage. I completed all my homework and coursework in school time as a result, which meant I had time for work, college and also a social life. It also meant that I had quite a few of ym revision notes ready for my exams before we even started study leave.
Tip - Don't leave things to the last minute. This will almost inevitably happen, but try to avoid it if you can. The relief that comes with it is so so good and you'll feel much better for it. Being able to take your time over things as well is useful, and you can cocnerntrate mroe on what you need and what you don't!
Tip - Check out examination reports and specifications. Knowing what an examiner wants is always beneficial and will help you loads! Also check out past paper questions. There are usually questions that come up quite a lot, so make sure you know the topics of popular questions! Though always revise everything thoroughly.
Tip - Write Revision Notes Before It's Too Late! Making revision notes is probably the most tiem consuming part of revision. It took me a long time to make proper notes that had all the information on them and were in a good format. If you do these before you need to start hardcore revision you'll be ahead of the game! Making them as well also drums some information into your head; they're very worthwhile!
Tip - DO have a social life! Dpnt just sit around studying all day. Studying is good and I;m certainly not telling you to not do it! But you need a balance of will just end up beign drained and friendless. You need friends there to celebrate with you or commiserate with you at the end. Sixth form and going out with friends also made me develop a lot more asa person; confidence wise and with social skills.
Tip - Pariticipate in things within your school/college. Don't just sit on the side. Pariticpating in activites, becoming a prefect or anything like that will help ypou as a person, an will also improve your personal statement and reference!
Tip - DO THE WORK that you get told to do, and revise a lot earlier than you did for GCSE's, almost no one does as well as they could in the AS year because they think it'll be as simple as GCSE's!
Just enjoy it! It could be the last two years before you're thrown into the working world!