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What's the essential piece of advice you'd give to someone starting their A-levels? Watch

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    Make sure you enjoy your subjects, revise revise revise revise revise, start looking up uni stuff towards the end of year 12 (esp for medicine & oxbridge), and any time you don't understand something, go to your teacher (or even a different teacher in the same department) and get them to spend some time explaining it to you. Do some extra curriculars in year 12 to make friends and build up personal statement, but I wouldn't recommend continuing all of them into yr 13 (time is precious)
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    There is going to be a jump between GCSEs and a level, do not expect to be able to get through with a laissez-a-faire attitude.
    But the key for me was to keep organised and up to date with notes as a little time spent throughout the term saved a lot of time during revision.*
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    (Original post by samiz20891)
    There is going to be a jump between GCSEs and a level, do not expect to be able to get through with a laissez-a-faire attitude.
    But the key for me was to keep organised and up to date with notes as a little time spent throughout the term saved a lot of time during revision.*
    Merci pour le info, c'etait trés util


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    Run. Run far and run fast.
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    (Original post by hopefuldentist10)
    This is aimed at hopeful medicine students

    * Don't have your heart set on getting multiple A* grades, you're just setting yourself up for disappointment.

    * Don't take psychology as your fourth, it's seen as soft. Don't take physics with the EPQ, choose between the two unless you're hardcore.

    * Do not go to your sixth form common room. Literally just don't step foot in there once. Spend your break and lunch time wisely.

    * Don't underestimate these exams, at all, ever. It doesn't matter if you're breezing through the past papers, these exams are very unpredictable and you could be in for a smack if you get big headed.

    * Make sure you've made notes on literally EVERYTHING in the syllabus. This year there was a 6 mark biology question on something that had only a paragraph in the revision book.

    * Your past paper ratio should be split 65/30/5 ... maths/chemistry/biology. You need to understand what mental capabilities the subjects require. Biology is heavily memory based and therefore you need to recall your NOTES rather than doing past papers. Mathematics is almost entirely problem solving, therefore you need to PRACTICE with many, many past papers. Do literally every single maths past paper there is. Before doing that, look up the past grade boundaries and omit the easy ones. Chemistry is in the middle and will be half memory half intuition.

    * Read, cover, look is the age old revision technique taught to you from primary school. It is essential that you can memorise the material learnt and be able to RECALL the material at any time off the top of your head. You can't be reliant on some sort of prompt.

    I could have probably come up with a few more, but here's a last one:

    If your revision isn't making you hate life, then you're probably not revising properly.
    Truly inspirational
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    Never bunk lessons
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    (Original post by AdeptDz)
    Merci pour le info, c'etait trés util


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    thanks for that, it's been a long while since I did my a levels, think I finished physics,economics and maths in 2009 and it's been almost 4 years since I finished my degree in economics. Nice to see it has been of some help.
    *
    Another key piece of advice I see often is try to get as many practice papers done as possible, even if they are prior to your current syllabus as this will be very useful. Good luck.*
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    (Original post by samiz20891)
    thanks for that, it's been a long while since I did my a levels, think I finished physics,economics and maths in 2009 and it's been almost 4 years since I finished my degree in economics. Nice to see it has been of some help.
    *
    Another key piece of advice I see often is try to get as many practice papers done as possible, even if they are prior to your current syllabus as this will be very useful. Good luck.*
    Merci, je vais faire beacoup de passé examens.
    C'est d'accord, tu fait quelle maintenant?
    Aussi, est economics difficile à universitie?


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    (Original post by AdeptDz)
    Merci, je vais faire beacoup de passé examens.
    C'est d'accord, tu fait quelle maintenant?
    Aussi, est economics difficile à universitie?


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    I do apologise if I didn't understand this correctly, been years since studied any French.
    *I think it really depends if you enjoy a course at uni tbh, I feel if you like your degree, you tend to do better. I did Bsc economics and found the calculus and core economics fairly straightforward but thought that the third year econometrics in particular was challenging. Well econometrics overall was probably the hardest part but I did okay and got a first overall..
    I am studying my professional accountancy qualification atm and working as a management accountant.*
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    (Original post by samiz20891)
    I do apologise if I didn't understand this correctly, been years since studied any French.
    *I think it really depends if you enjoy a course at uni tbh, I feel if you like your degree, you tend to do better. I did Bsc economics and found the calculus and core economics fairly straightforward but thought that the third year econometrics in particular was challenging. Well econometrics overall was probably the hardest part but I did okay and got a first overall..
    I am studying my professional accountancy qualification atm and working as a management accountant.*
    Yh you got it 👍🏾; thanks for the reply, I'm going to do economics at a-levels never done it before and I also considered a course called "maths with economics" for degree
    How much do you earn? (If you don't mind me asking)



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    (Original post by AdeptDz)
    Yh you got it 👍🏾; thanks for the reply, I'm going to do economics at a-levels never done it before and I also considered a course called "maths with economics" for degree
    How much do you earn? (If you don't mind me asking)



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    My brother does the degree. What A-levels are you going to do?
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    (Original post by OGGUS)
    My brother does the degree. What A-levels are you going to do?
    Maths further maths economics biology
    Where does he do it? And do you know his career goal?


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    (Original post by AdeptDz)
    Maths further maths economics biology
    Where does he do it? And do you know his career goal?


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    He studies at Aston and he doesn't know what he wants to become. He's on placement these days. Working. He's done 2 years
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    (Original post by OGGUS)
    He studies at Aston and he doesn't know what he wants to become. He's on placement these days. Working. He's done 2 years
    Cool, good luck to him
    How about you?

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    DO NOT tell yourself that you'll get your work done later, or that you'll learn what you don't understand/catch up on what you missed later, DO IT NOW!!
    Also, if you've started your a levels and found that one of the subjects that you're studying isn't enjoyable, switch it ASAP. You won't begin to enjoy it later, no matter what you think. Studying that subject will be dreadful and creates a negative impact on other subjects too.
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    (Original post by AdeptDz)
    Cool, good luck to him
    How about you?

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    I'm in college, gonna do engineering ideally mechinal or mechatronics or something.
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    (Original post by OGGUS)
    I'm in college, gonna do engineering ideally mechinal or mechatronics or something.
    Cool cool, good luck to you to


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    (Original post by AdeptDz)
    Cool cool, good luck to you to


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    Thanks
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    1. If you don't really enjoy a subject, drop it early and try something else.. Or if you are finding it particularly difficult, ie not just a little challenging.. Definitely drop it or change it. I tried to carry on with maths and ended up learning the whole spec then dropping it, afterwards my other subjects improved and I felt a lot better about my AS grades, however I didn't do as well as I could've and wish I'd have swapped/dropped maths sooner.

    2. Use your time wisely, my first year I spent my free blocks talking with friends, going into town etc.. I didn't really start my revision until quite late etc and because of this my grades suffered (ADD). 2nd yeah I started my revision at the start of the year, using my frees to go over everything, rewrite notes etc.. I ended up rewriting everything I learned in biology and psychology at least twice, with full books of hand written notes. I came in early and stayed late when it got to around March, and for me this made all the difference. The very end of exam time I spent entire days rewriting everything, I did every past exam I could find, made up my own essays and wrote them and got them marked etc.. I had to do 3 resits which I paid for out of my own money and if I had a better work ethic in first year I probably wouldn't have had to. This year my past papers are consistently A* and I'm looking at getting a much better set of grades, which I worked my a** off for haha.

    3. If there is a teacher you think isn't up to par, don't just sit and moan about them to your friends/classmates, make a formal complaint. We had a very new inexperienced teacher for history who wouldn't take feedback on board and barely knew the spec, really damaging all our grades.. I spent quite some time just hoping things would get better but in the end I just had to do the right thing and tell the subject leader what was going on, getting others to voice their problems too. I also told my tutor what the problems were, just to try and make sure something could be done. After they'd received all the feedback, lessons were better and the teacher actually paid attention to the comments we were making.. Unfortunately this took so long, it happened once the spec had been fully learned and we were all doing independent revision. If you have a serious problem, tell someone as soon as you can!

    4. Get to know the UMS system pretty well, it'll help you in the long run (At least it did for me). Every past paper you do, look up the UMS to raw marks conversion for that particular paper and see how close you were to the next grade boundary, in the end UMS are all that matters :/. Find out how many UMS each unit is worth, for me in 2nd year I could estimate how many UMS I needed in certain exams to get the grade I wanted, such as for history.. learning that with my other grades for AS and my coursework, I'd be able to get a B overall just by getting a D in the A2 exam, which definitely took some of the pressure off. I'm not sure if it's the same for the new spec but it'll at least help when you're doing past papers and want to know exactly what grade it would be.. It also shows you easily how many marks are needed for an A*, and how many marks would get you max UMS.

    Enjoy your time at college/sixth form and even if you do screw up there's always something you can do to try improve your situation, be that exam resits, an EPQ, or spending a year doing work after to improve your prospects for university .
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    (Original post by kerryrevie)
    1. If you don't really enjoy a subject, drop it early and try something else.. Or if you are finding it particularly difficult, ie not just a little challenging.. Definitely drop it or change it. I tried to carry on with maths and ended up learning the whole spec then dropping it, afterwards my other subjects improved and I felt a lot better about my AS grades, however I didn't do as well as I could've and wish I'd have swapped/dropped maths sooner.

    2. Use your time wisely, my first year I spent my free blocks talking with friends, going into town etc.. I didn't really start my revision until quite late etc and because of this my grades suffered (ADD). 2nd yeah I started my revision at the start of the year, using my frees to go over everything, rewrite notes etc.. I ended up rewriting everything I learned in biology and psychology at least twice, with full books of hand written notes. I came in early and stayed late when it got to around March, and for me this made all the difference. The very end of exam time I spent entire days rewriting everything, I did every past exam I could find, made up my own essays and wrote them and got them marked etc.. I had to do 3 resits which I paid for out of my own money and if I had a better work ethic in first year I probably wouldn't have had to. This year my past papers are consistently A* and I'm looking at getting a much better set of grades, which I worked my a** off for haha.

    3. If there is a teacher you think isn't up to par, don't just sit and moan about them to your friends/classmates, make a formal complaint. We had a very new inexperienced teacher for history who wouldn't take feedback on board and barely knew the spec, really damaging all our grades.. I spent quite some time just hoping things would get better but in the end I just had to do the right thing and tell the subject leader what was going on, getting others to voice their problems too. I also told my tutor what the problems were, just to try and make sure something could be done. After they'd received all the feedback, lessons were better and the teacher actually paid attention to the comments we were making.. Unfortunately this took so long, it happened once the spec had been fully learned and we were all doing independent revision. If you have a serious problem, tell someone as soon as you can!

    4. Get to know the UMS system pretty well, it'll help you in the long run (At least it did for me). Every past paper you do, look up the UMS to raw marks conversion for that particular paper and see how close you were to the next grade boundary, in the end UMS are all that matters :/. Find out how many UMS each unit is worth, for me in 2nd year I could estimate how many UMS I needed in certain exams to get the grade I wanted, such as for history.. learning that with my other grades for AS and my coursework, I'd be able to get a B overall just by getting a D in the A2 exam, which definitely took some of the pressure off. I'm not sure if it's the same for the new spec but it'll at least help when you're doing past papers and want to know exactly what grade it would be.. It also shows you easily how many marks are needed for an A*, and how many marks would get you max UMS.

    Enjoy your time at college/sixth form and even if you do screw up there's always something you can do to try improve your situation, be that exam resits, an EPQ, or spending a year doing work after to improve your prospects for university .
    I like reading these long posts, always helpful! Thanks for the advice and I'm guessing you're awaiting your A2 results so good luck!


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