Sixth form starter pack

All you need to know about starting your A-levels

Once the waiting is over and you've got your GCSE results, your mind is sure to skip forward to the next step.

For many students, that's going to be college or your school's sixth form to take A-levels.

We know what you're thinking: 'come on, I've only just got one set of exams out of the way - I can't even think about A-levels yet'.

But make no mistake, a bit of preparation over the next couple of weeks will make all the difference when you start your course.

Here we present the TSR sixth form starter pack: all you need to know about getting started with A-levels.

Before you start

Things you should know before starting college or sixth form
All the things no one thinks to tell you before starting A-levels, from planning your bus route to dealing with independence.

What to take on your first day of sixth form
Sticky notes, memory sticks, power snacks... make sure your bag is packed with the essentials on your first day.

How do A-levels work?
How your A-level course is designed, how marking works and more...

What it's like

Starting Sixth Form
"While sixth form might be cushy in some ways, it means you're no longer allowed to be a baby - you are in charge of your life... no one else."

A day in the life of a sixth form student (AS)
"Lessons are a zillion times more interesting! It's been awesome to get closer to other people in the year who I never really spoke to before, since the year's smaller and we're all in one place. I love it."

A day in the life of a sixth form student (A2)
"I think I like sixth form because the atmosphere is so relaxed, and my subjects really provoke deep thought and sensitivity. My largest class size is seven, and I find myself surrounded by passionate, exciting individuals."

Once you're studying

A-level revision notes
Study help for once you've started your course.

Get Revising
TSR's sister site, offering help and resources to improve your revision techniques.

Marked By Teachers
TSR's coursework site - thousands of teacher-marked essays you can use to learn from.

More resources on TSR

Thread: going from year 11 into sixth form
TSR users talk about their own experiences of starting sixth form.

Forum: A-levels, ASs, A2s, VCEs
Here's where to go to chat about all things A-level.

And finally, advice some TSR students (who have already done their A-levels) would give to themselves if they were starting year 12 tomorrow...

"Don't be distracted by the pool table at the sixth form and the gossip that occurs during frees and instead use the free periods to actually work." Funkyhouse

"For goodness' sake, work for AS. They're the easier modules, and they're worth the same as A2." Catherine.

"Do subjects you enjoy and are good at. If you have no interest or natural aptitude at a subject it will drag your grades down no matter how hard you work in that subject." 0000fw 

What would you change about the GCSE system? Have your say in our survey.

"Revise every free period even if you think you have nothing to do, go over the lessons and just learn it all again of you need to. You might feel like it isn't doing anything but come exam time you will so much more prepared." Beanbengo

"You need to work HARD. Really, really hard. Everyone will tell you to work hard (especially your teachers) and you'll be really tempted to ignore them because you got good GCSE results and "don't need their advice" - THIS IS A BAD IDEA. You need to work harder than you ever thought you could if you want to get top grades. Trust me, the payoff is so worth it when you get the university place you wanted." tallen90

"Force yourself to think one thing...RESITS DO NOT EXIST. If you end up resitting a module chances are you won't do much better than you did first time round and it will mean you lose time revising for the exams you're sitting for the first time." Cait..

"Don't be too proud to go to study support. As I wasn't really struggling I thought it wasn't the place for me until I realised that lots of very clever people go too. They go to pick up on topics they're less strong in, it's not only for if you're bad at something! Just works as a pick-me-up sometimes." RunLikeAFairy

"Buy a memory stick so you can carry any revision notes, books and even music (to help you concentrate assuming your school has computers) with you wherever you go." geditor

"Back EVERYTHING up. Have one physical copy if possible, keep one on a memory stick/harddrive and one in 'the cloud'. You DO NOT want to be the person who loses all their work and has to do it again because of computer problems or careless teachers.." Xenite

"Remember to make time for yourself too! Studying is all well and good, but you're gonna be miserable if you don't take some time off." joan2468

"Content learnt in classes disregarded, the most important thing you will learn during your A Levels will be how to effectively work independently. This will be what helps you at university and to grow into an adult also." glousck

Read the rest of the thread these posts came from: A-level advice you would give to your younger self? 

Do you know an inspirational student? Are they one in a million? Tell us their story.

Show us your pics! We want to see your best photos from results day.