How should you prepare for A levels over the summer?

Thinking about a holiday

Starting A levels in September? Should you be preparing every day or doing absolutely nothing?

You've finished GCSEs, celebrated, relaxed and caught up with all the TV you missed. But the thrill is slightly fading as your attention turns to results and the start of your new courses. 

You want to smash your A levels but you want a good rest too.

So what do the best students do over the summer to get ready for A levels? 

Here's some advice from TSR users.


Do any work set by your school or college

Doing the work set

I'm just completing the bridging work that was set by my sixth form. I don't really want to focus a lot of time on preparing when I want to enjoy my summer

I'm just doing what I’ve been set and maybe a little bit of reading around my subjects. To be honest, I'd rather make the most of this summer while it's still here and just do what I feel I need to do and the things that I genuinely want to do, both academic and non-academic.

My sixth form set 20 pages of summer homework to prepare for A-level maths last year. Apart from that I didn’t do any work over the summer, just enjoyed the time off. 


If you really do want to get ahead …

getting ahead

My best advice would be to have a clear idea of the courses you're doing:

- Look at the information the exam board provides about your courses – specifications, past papers and so on.

- If you're going to do some reading then make sure you’re grasping the general ideas and background rather than trying to learn specific pieces of knowledge. This is more about understanding than knowing.

- Remember that the goal is to feel prepared to face the learning, not being prepared to sit the exam in September. Don't burn yourself out.

If you're desperate to do something, just buy some folders and dividers and prepare them.
But seriously guys – RELAX



But mostly … just enjoy a really well-deserved rest


I've just done Year 13 and, trust me, you don't need to do lots of preparation unless your college has specifically set some. Enjoy your summer, you earned it!
If you want to do something, maybe get a job instead


As a current year 12, here's my advice to you - don't burn yourself out. This summer after GCSEs will be your last summer to be free from any work and just enjoy yourself before you go to uni or become an adult. Please just relax and enjoy the summer! 

How are you preparing for A levels or is the summer a time for total relaxation?

More on TSR
Summer bucket list challenge
Results advice


Thanks to @Honour for her help with this article