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What's the secret to success in Science and Maths A levels? Watch

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      (Original post by dada55)
      Past papers. The only revision for all 6 of my maths modules (AS maths and AS further maths) was to do every single past paper (roughly 14 papers for each module = 84 papers) . Got 100% ums in 3/6 and lowest was 93/100
      I don't do biology or chemistry but I do physics and again, I did all the past papers and wrote out all the answers to the most popular questions on the textbook and the CGP revision guide.

      Truly and honestly, Exam boards are lazy and they recycle questions very often, AQA used the same picture in 2 physics exams with only 3 years inbetween, the question was slightly different but still. Maths, I can still remember some questions that came up that I had already done.

      And don't do all of the past papers during the year, Do most of them first time like 2 weeks before the exams, that way, you have answered pretty much 90%+ of what is going to come up in your exam, just with different wording and situations.

      Mark schemes are like cheat codes, they tell you what you need to write to get the marks so you don't waste time writing useless working out or information. Most explain questions that are 1 or 2 marks can usually be gained with a phrase or a very short sentence.
      Lol, they are so lazy they used the same picture?! :rofl:
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      (Original post by im so academic)
      Lol, they are so lazy they used the same picture?! :rofl:
      I got bored enough to recheck, and its not exactly the same but very similar:

      Jan 2009:
      http://www.freeexampapers.com/index....W-QP-JAN09.PDF
      Question 2b


      Jan 2012:
      http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/subjects...2-QP-JAN12.PDF
      Question 1
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      (Original post by alygirl)
      That's what I'm doing. I was wondering whether if you have any tips for the ISA/EMPA?
      Yes definitely, find out some other school that's done it before yours and get the general topic. I remember there was a question on the A2 chem empa this year on column chromatography and if I hadn't been told about it I would have lost 5 marks easily. But then again you may be the first to do it or not have anyone to speak to so really again it's about doing the past papers. If you look at mark schemes for different years they contain a lot of the same answers which shows that it is the same stuff phrased differently (mainly). Don't do the old to keep it a fair test blah blah either they don't seem to give that sympathy mark any more, read the text enough times until it becomes information you have processed - not just words on a page!


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      There is no single secret to revising for science and maths; each subject is individual and requires a slightly different tack. I'm not the smartest of people, but I revised well and got AABC in maths, biology, physics and chemistry respectively,with ABBC in January. I regret not doing more work for chemistry but I focused on biology and physics.

      For maths I firstly flick through my exercise book for the module to make sure I understand all the different bits, then do past papers to practise the techniques.

      For biology I do one past paper to warm up and see what I struggle with. Then I go through the entire text book/ revision guide and make a short few pages of notes, maybe supplement them with your own work from classes. Print this off, staple it into a booklet and take it everywhere with you, reading it as much as possible. You might want to highlight bits. Do a few more past papers to see if you still have problems.

      For chemistry it's similar, but I did more past papers to practise the technique for longer answer questions. I put only definitions in my booklet, and drew out all the mechanisms lots of times.

      For the practicals our teacher would tell us the vague topic it was on, so then I read everything the text book said about the matter. In the actual test I spent extra-long [longer than everyone else] reading the method and making sure I did the practical exactly how it was described. I learnt that there's no shame in continuing the practical longer than everyone else, because there's effectively no time limit. I got 42 for my biology and 44 for my chemistry (both B)
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      thanks for all the help,but to be honest i can understand the topic and do all the work needed and do well in the past papers,but when it comes to the real exam i struggle.Has nothing to do with nerves because i felt i did brilliant in the majority of summer exams at AS,but how do people know the specific keywords to write down in an answer in an exam ?
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      (Original post by Bloxorus)
      I've just got my AS results which included maths, further maths and physics and I got all As and an average of 88% ums across these three subjects.

      How I revise is just jump straight into practising questions, I skip all the revision card/poster bull**** as it just doesn't work. For me I just do past papers and mark them harshly, if I don't understand why I got something wrong, I look back through my notes and read through that topic. Repeat that for ALL the past papers, and I mean all of them.
      That's all there is to it really.


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      Wouldnt that mean you run out of questions quite early before the exam? then you dont know what else to practice with? :/ Thats just an issue i had..
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      (Original post by Mistee M)
      Wouldnt that mean you run out of questions quite early before the exam? then you dont know what else to practice with? :/ Thats just an issue i had..
      If you do you can always go through the other exam boards or previous specifications.
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      First of all, do as well as possible in the coursework. That might seem really obvious, but coursework is often extremely long winded and tedious so people leave it until the last minute or put in minimal effort and end up losing unnecessary marks.

      Start revision early and make sure you understand the topics rather than just memorising. Science exam questions (particularly biology) usually involve an experiment being described followed by a set of questions based on the results of the experiment. You have to understand the science and apply the information from the textbook rather than just quoting it.

      I'm not familiar with MEI maths, but Edexcel had a list of proofs for formulas which we were supposed to learn. Learn these. Proofs very rarely come up but are always worth a good number of marks when they do.

      If you find anything you don't understand while revising, make sure you ask your friends or teachers to explain it. Don't be tempted to leave that topic and hope it doesn't come up.

      And I'm sure everyone else has already said this, but past papers. Do all of them, mark them and make a note of any corrections because exam boards are known to reuse questions. If you get to the stage where you've done every past paper and there are still a few weeks before exams start, redo them. If you find yourself remembering the exact answers to questions, that's a good thing. Because if that question comes up again in the exam, you have those marks.

      Good luck
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      There is no secret; just work hard and work smartly
     
     
     
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