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Scared of A levels :(

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    I have heard some horror stories about the subjects I want to choose for A levels...now I am really scared I won't be able to cope.

    I chose:
    History
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Psychology

    My teachers think I will cope all right but I really don't want to fail. I know A-levels are difficult and I am willing to put in a lot of effort.

    How difficult are these subjects?
    What are your GCSE grades on the subjects? and what are your grades/predicted grades at AS/A2?
    I also want to know the workload of each subjects?


    I want to hear your personal experiences
    Thanks in advance
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    You'll be fine, just make sure that you keep on top of your work from the start
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    Im doing the top 3 subjects that you've chosen but instead of psychology I do english lit.

    Tbh, I agree with what Pogiberto said.
    & Make sure you revise properly for Jan exams because re sitting is the last thing you want to do, trust me

    Dw, you'll be fine
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    (Original post by estmick)
    I have heard some horror stories about the subjects I want to choose for A levels...now I am really scared I won't be able to cope.

    I chose:
    History
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Psychology

    My teachers think I will cope all right but I really don't want to fail. I know A-levels are difficult and I am willing to put in a lot of effort.

    How difficult are these subjects?
    What are your GCSE grades on the subjects? and what are your grades/predicted grades at AS/A2?
    I also want to know the workload of each subjects?


    I want to hear your personal experiences
    Thanks in advance
    I cope and I do Bio, Chem, Physics, and History, and got ABBC in the jan exams... Resitting one or two though, hopefully to get AABB...
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    I took Maths, English, Music and Economics for AS.

    Didn't do Economics at GCSE, got an overall 95% for AS - predicted an A*.
    Got a low B in Maths GCSE, I received 97% for C1 and 93% for C3 - predicted an A*.
    Received an A in Music GCSE, I got 92% - predicted an A*.
    Got an A in English Lit GCSE, received a low B - dropped as AS.

    My other GCSE grades were Bs to Ds. And my point is, if I can do it, you can too.
    It's just quite a bit of work but you'll be fine.
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    For A2 im doing maths, physics and chemistry and i had biology at AS, i dropped that one because i didn't do great in it. A levels are hard, theres no doubt about that. And the subjects you've chosen are hard. But if you are willing to put in the effort for it there shouldn't be a problem.

    However, Chemistry isn't something that you're going to be able to pick up straight away, so make sure that during it, you don't give up AT ALL. So you are going to need to be able to put in the effort to keep yourself going

    As for Biology, I did OCR and the majority of the AS was pretty much just memorising facts, so theres not really much to understand in that one, in my opinion anyway. Just don't make the mistake i did and give up on trying to memorise everything halfway through the course.

    Some of my friends do psychology and theres some saying its easy some saying its hard. There are loads of theories that you're going to need to learn along with the person that came up with the theories.

    From what I've heard, History is going to include A LOT of essays (so make sure you're good at writing essays). You're also going to need to learn the dates of wars and be able to compare multiple sources and things like that.

    Im predicted ABC at A2 level. But after my retakes, if we go with putting predicted grades 1 grade above AS, its at ABB now.
    Whether you have a good GCSE grade or not won't determine whether you'll be good at the subject or not. I got a B in science and additional science. Now i've got straight B's through all my chemistry modules. As long as you work hard, you shouldn't have a problem. But when I say work hard I mean there are going to be some weekends where you're not going out

    But like the others said, make sure you put in the effort. Stay on top of all of your subjects from the start, and you should do great. Hope that helped.
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    (Original post by Yumnaarrhhh)
    Im doing the top 3 subjects that you've chosen but instead of psychology I do english lit.

    Tbh, I agree with what Pogiberto said.
    & Make sure you revise properly for Jan exams because re sitting is the last thing you want to do, trust me

    Dw, you'll be fine
    Same! Am doing the top 3 but English lit not psychology I agree, revise hard for January but don't worry too much if you need to retake, its not the end of the world and you'll have experience
    I worried a lot about the work load but its not as horrific as you think - make sure you keep on top and donate a reasonable amount of time each day to revision even if you dont have homework.
    Chemistry is a lot to understand but as long as you revise in between lessons, so you know what you learnt previously, you'll be fine Believe me, if I'm coping you definitively will!

    Good luck and enjoy this oppurtunity! So many people would love to have to get these chances.
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    (Original post by winter17)
    Same! Am doing the top 3 but English lit not psychology I agree, revise hard for January but don't worry too much if you need to retake, its not the end of the world and you'll have experience
    I worried a lot about the work load but its not as horrific as you think - make sure you keep on top and donate a reasonable amount of time each day to revision even if you dont have homework.
    Chemistry is a lot to understand but as long as you revise in between lessons, so you know what you learnt previously, you'll be fine Believe me, if I'm coping you definitively will!

    Good luck and enjoy this oppurtunity! So many people would love to have to get these chances.
    I actually find Chemistry harder than biology
    I cant do application questions!! :mad:
    & :woo: you do the same a levels as me What are you thinking of applying for in uni?
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    I do chemistry. I got an A* at GCSE and on track for an A at AS (didn't do January modules, but got an A in a mock.) I don't do as much work as I should for chemistry, and that's making it harder :blush:
    Really make sure you understand the concepts and go over them after the lesson if you don't.
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    I greatly underestimated the amount of work I would need to put in in order to take two sciences at A-Level, and now understand why teachers tend to discourage students from taking more than one: I went into Sixth-Form and took AS Chemistry and Biology -- confident that I would get a decent grade due to my GCSE grades being C and B respectively -- and finished the year with an E and a U.

    In comparison, I took English Language and got an A. My Sociology and Psychology have been A and C respectively. There is a difference between the science subjects and the social and humanities subjects, definitely. You'll need to be on top of your revision at all times, and never for one moment assume that you'll definitely pass: I had a friend who got As in her Chemistry, Maths and Biology in AS and spent every evening in Sixth-Form until 6pm, but still came out with Ds in the second year.

    It is the one thing people take for granted about A-Levels: that they can go right into them having done okay at GCSE without having done much work. You really need to work your socks off to do well, even more so with the sciences.
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    (Original post by Yumnaarrhhh)
    Im doing the top 3 subjects that you've chosen but instead of psychology I do english lit.

    Tbh, I agree with what Pogiberto said.
    & Make sure you revise properly for Jan exams because re sitting is the last thing you want to do, trust me

    Dw, you'll be fine
    Heya
    I've chosen English Literature aswell, but how is it and what do you study from the course? My teacher said that I will cope but im not so sure...
    Thanks x
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    (Original post by estmick)
    I have heard some horror stories about the subjects I want to choose for A levels...now I am really scared I won't be able to cope.

    I chose:
    History
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Psychology

    My teachers think I will cope all right but I really don't want to fail. I know A-levels are difficult and I am willing to put in a lot of effort.

    How difficult are these subjects?
    What are your GCSE grades on the subjects? and what are your grades/predicted grades at AS/A2?
    I also want to know the workload of each subjects?


    I want to hear your personal experiences
    Thanks in advance
    I think because you're willing to put in the effort you'll do just fine. I didn't do any of these at A level but I did History at AS and that was very difficult because of the sheer amount of content you had to learn. I spent ages writing everything out again and again learning it all off by heart. I hated it but I got an A in the essay paper in the end
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    At GCSE, it often seems to be a case that the people with more "natural ability" will come out on top, rather than those who necessarily revise their socks off for it. As such, people often end up going into A Level off of good grades and then failing, which seems to lead to a lot of stigma about the difficulty of A Levels. However, in my opinion the problem is that in A Level, work ethic matters. You can get away with doing little revision at GCSE, you can't at A Level. A girl at my school who achieved 9 A*s at GCSE recently came out with ABDD in her January modules because she thought she didn't need to revise and spent her time partying instead.

    The only reason you need to be scared of A Levels is if you lack the motivation to put the work needed in. If you don't then your A Levels should go fine. The greater subject specialisation in comparison to GCSE helps as well - I spend at least an hour at home in addition to school each day doing homework and revision, something I never did at GCSE. However, the fact that I chose the right set of subjects means that I enjoy doing it, and am far more motivated at A Level than at GCSE.

    In other words:
    - Pick subjects you're going to enjoy working at - if you don't you'll lack motivation which is a killer at A Level
    - Don't take your GCSE's as the sole indicator of success at A Level
    - Be prepared to put in work outside of school, whatever your subject is.

    If you do those, you'll be fine.
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    It's a good thing to be scared of your exams, as long as this translates into hard work towards them to get the results. The people who don't do as well as they wanted at A-levels are often those who leave their preparation to the last minute or are overly complacent. You'll be fine if you keep up a good level of work.
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    (Original post by justanotherindigo)
    Heya
    I've chosen English Literature aswell, but how is it and what do you study from the course? My teacher said that I will cope but im not so sure...
    Thanks x
    I actually think out of the a levels I have chosen that English lit. is my easiest subject..(I hope I dont regret saying that )

    We're doing AQA English lit. B,
    so we study 2 novels (I've done The Great Gatsby & Small Island..but there's a whole list of other novels)..we also do 3 poems by John Keates..
    The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Coleridge..
    (All these are for the exam only which is 60%)

    For the coursework, you study 2 plays..I dont know if you have a choice but we studied, The Crucible and Othello..= 40%

    So, make sure you do well in your coursework!! & also if your college/6th form give you a pre reading list for the summer, make sure you read atleast some of them!! Because in class we still havent finished doing some of the poems..!!
    & also in class you might not practice a lot of essays..but at home in your spare time, make sure you practice answering past paper questions because it is quite difficult to analyse certain texts.

    ALSO, do not pick it just because you have done well at GCSE, take it because you actually like it..because I know people that have A* at gcse but right now they're getting C/D's and I got an A and a B at GCSE and I'm happy that i'm on the A/B boderline so far

    Spoiler:
    Show
    Sorry it was quite long I though I might as well tell you everything from point of view..because I know atleast 1/3 of my class are regretting that they've picked english..soo I dont want you to end up like that too
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    My personal experiences are that A Levels are hard work, but if you're willing to put the work in (as you say you are) then you will be fine. I was lucky up until GCSE level to be able to get good grades by doing very little work- so A Levels were a shock to me when I realised that listening in class and doing your homework just isn't enough anymore. But if you learn that right from the beginning then you will be fine. Make sure you grab hold of any help you can.. revision guides, extra classes, chance to hand past papers in to be marked etc.. all will help.
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    I took Psychology from one of your four there. Probably the best decision I made as I'm now going to do it at University. At first I thought, ok I'm going to get E's and I didn't.. Theres an awful lot to remember but its manageable and its really interesting so that will help Usually the teachers will try and scare you into dropping it due to the amount of people taking the subject (They do at my school anyway..)

    As for GCSE's, I got 3 A's, 6B's and 2C's so I'd say it was faily average.. My predicted grades for Psychology was C/D.. In my AS exams I got a B and an A.. My targets then went up to B's and I've just done my Jan exams and got all A's.

    Psychology really is a fantastic subject, you have to remember studies etc but its great.. One thing that I messed up on was my first AS Jan exams - I didn't revise. It was a week before the exam and I just started to revise and I got BCD in my results. So my advice to you is just to revise early enough if you want to do well. Especially with psychology, just rewrite the stuff over and over again and it will stick in your head

    I dropped Biology after the first lesson so I can't say I know anything about that! I stupidly took on 4 A2 levels, currently struggling to keep on top.

    All the luck in the world, hope you do well in your GCSE's :-)
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    A-Levels are a step up, and I honestly know where you're coming from. Last year when I was in year 11 the year above me kept saying how 'A-Levels were going to hit us like a brick wall'
    They are manageable though. I do Biology, Chemistry, Maths and German and at times you do worry, but it is hard work that beats natural ability without a doubt and you will get there.

    If you keep on top of work and keep going, for the sciences, past papers are your best friends, after you've learned the content, that's the best way to make sure you understand. At my school we get lots of mocks and tests, and if you start picking out the questions you can do on a paper cos you've covered it, you'll soon get used to the way they ask the questions at A-Level.

    My advice is work hard for the January exams, I knew I didn't want to have to retake if I didn't have to and the hard work pulls off. I got an A* in Chemistry and Biology at GCSE and touch wood on track for A's at AS, it is possible to get the top grades. Work hard and pick subjects you love. You'll be fine, work hard for your GCSE's and have an amazing summer holiday. Don't worry about 6th form until september
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    (Original post by estmick)
    I have heard some horror stories about the subjects I want to choose for A levels...now I am really scared I won't be able to cope.

    I chose:
    History
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Psychology

    My teachers think I will cope all right but I really don't want to fail. I know A-levels are difficult and I am willing to put in a lot of effort.

    How difficult are these subjects?
    What are your GCSE grades on the subjects? and what are your grades/predicted grades at AS/A2?
    I also want to know the workload of each subjects?


    I want to hear your personal experiences
    Thanks in advance
    Honestly GCSE grades do not directly reflect on how well an individual will do at A levels, while it is true that someone who got straight A*'s at GCSE is obviously quite academically able and motivated to do well hence they are more likely to success at A-levels.

    There are several people with relatively weak GCSE's who will probably get A's in my lessons, primarily due to their effort and motivation.
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    (Original post by estmick)
    I have heard some horror stories about the subjects I want to choose for A levels...now I am really scared I won't be able to cope.

    I chose:
    History
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Psychology

    My teachers think I will cope all right but I really don't want to fail. I know A-levels are difficult and I am willing to put in a lot of effort.

    How difficult are these subjects?
    What are your GCSE grades on the subjects? and what are your grades/predicted grades at AS/A2?
    I also want to know the workload of each subjects?


    I want to hear your personal experiences
    Thanks in advance
    A level exams are fairly easy once you go over lots past papers. You don't even have to revise everyday, just need to pay attention in lessons and understand the concepts rather than learn so that you can apply it to unfamiliar questions. In the sciences, the main difference between GCSE and A-level is that A-level consists of much more application questions. So as long as you start revising a month before the exams you will be fine.

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