Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SteamboatMickey)
    Some of my friends went from being disappointed when they got anything over an A* during Secondary school, to be elated when they got anything over an E at Sixth Form.

    Some of my friends went from being upset that they couldn't get any A grades in their GCSES, to being predicted three A grades in their AS Levels and on track to meet those predictions.

    I went from getting 3 A*s in Secondary for my GCSES, to being a potential Oxbridge applicant, and on track to get A*A*A by the time I finish A2 - given I revise enough etc.

    It really depends on how you cope with the workload, your teachers, if you're prepared to put in the effort, and if you have a natural flare for your chosen subjects.
    Yeah, I've heard doing A-levels from GCSE can really turn the tables! People can be absoloutely amazing at GCSE and then seem to stumble in comparison to GCSE! Congrats on your grades! Good luck with your results and thank you for the advice!
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by Edosawr)
    Yeah, I've heard doing A-levels from GCSE can really turn the tables! People can be absoloutely amazing at GCSE and then seem to stumble in comparison to GCSE! Congrats on your grades! Good luck with your results and thank you for the advice!
    You're welcome! Good luck in your AS levels!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by smc720)
    I haven't done any of your subjects so I can't offer you specific info, but I went into AS level convinced that there would be a HUGE step up from GCSE, so I really got my head down from September on, using my frees to make revision notes on what I'd done in class that day, etc. Because of this, I didn't really feel the jump as much, whereas I know other people who didn't take the step as seriously and struggled a lot this year. What I would say is that there is a jump inevitably, but if you start working hard from the get go, it's almost unnoticeable.
    Awesome! I was planning to start doing revision cards in my frees at the start of the year! Hopefully the step won't be too bad like you've experienced! Thanks a bunch for the advice!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    oh god I'm so ridiculously scared about this jump....
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Swifty139)
    I studied Maths, Further Maths, Physics, French and Classics and for me the jump was quite small. The biggest for me was French. I have never been a natural linguist and language learning has always been something i've really had to work with and as soon as we hit the AS classes, everything was in French. It's quite scary at first but if you push through it's a beautiful language and a brilliant skill to have.

    I did the Further Maths iGCSE so Maths AS didn't really scare me because i'd met things like Differentiation before and in all honesty, it's fine as long as you practice, practice and practice. I'd say the jump from AS to A2 maths was harder for me because you get tons of Trigonometry and Differentiation thrown at you in C3 (edexcel at least) but it's doable.I studied Maths, Further Maths and French at A2 and i've enjoyed them all so much, so they can't have been that horrendous :P
    Awesome! Yeah I'm a bit skeptical towards French but hopefully if i do lots of work, I'll be okay! Agreed - the French language is lovely! Yeah with maths - it's defo practice makes perfect after your initial understanding! I'm glad you enjoyed your A-levels! Thank you for replying!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SteamboatMickey)
    You're welcome! Good luck in your AS levels!
    Thank you!!
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    They're only as hard as you make them. Make sure all your work's completed on time and you revise thoroughly for exams (this is the biggest change, A Level exams are much much harder imo, and require A LOT more revision if you want do well).
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by beccaaX)
    oh god I'm so ridiculously scared about this jump....
    Omg ikr!! I'm feeling a lot better now tho cos of everyone's lovely advice! Good luck with your GCSE results and A-levels though! I'm sure we'll be absoloutely fine!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Elastichedgehog)
    They're only as hard as you make them. Make sure all your work's completed on time and you revise thoroughly for exams (this is the biggest change, A Level exams are much much harder imo, and require A LOT more revision if you want do well).
    Yes defo! And god I'm not looking forward to A-level exams but I guess it's a big motivater and an incentive to revise and do well! Thank you for the advice!
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Edosawr)
    Yes defo! And god I'm not looking forward to A-level exams but I guess it's a big motivater and an incentive to revise and do well! Thank you for the advice!
    You'll be fine! It's really not as bad as some people make out. The free time is definitely nice, you'll be wondering how you lived without it before :lol:
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Elastichedgehog)
    You'll be fine! It's really not as bad as some people make out. The free time is definitely nice, you'll be wondering how you lived without it before :lol:
    Oh okay! Thank you for the reassurance! AHH I'm so looking forward to some more free time but I'll defo have to use some free periods for studying!
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Edosawr)
    Hiyaa!

    I jus finished my GCSE's and I'm gonna do Biology, Chemistry, Maths (full A-level) and French (AS) next year. I was just wondering if the jump from GCSE to A-level is actually as awful as everyone says or is it just to scare us newbies or is it a bit of both?

    I know it definitely won't be easy but I am excited to start A-levels!

    Thanks guys!
    I'm doing the same subjects as you, but Psychology instead of French. Are you possibly looking to do Medicine like I am at uni? Tbh this is a good thread because I want to know too. I would imagine these subjects have quite heavy content in alot more depth at GCSE so it is definately a step up, but as you're on top of your workload then you should be good I presume.
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Stxlla_j10)
    I'm doing the same subjects as you, but Psychology instead of French. Are you possibly looking to do Medicine like I am at uni? Tbh this is a good thread because I want to know too. I would imagine these subjects have quite heavy content in alot more depth at GCSE so it is definately a step up, but as you're on top of your workload then you should be good I presume.
    *than at GCSE
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Stxlla_j10)
    I'm doing the same subjects as you, but Psychology instead of French. Are you possibly looking to do Medicine like I am at uni? Tbh this is a good thread because I want to know too. I would imagine these subjects have quite heavy content in alot more depth at GCSE so it is definately a step up, but as you're on top of your workload then you should be good I presume.
    I'm looking at Veterinary Medicine/Science and not really jus medicine. And yeah hopefully I'll be on top of the work! Good Luck for results day! Thanks for the advice!
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I suppose just to echo what others have said, by the sounds of it you will be absolutely fine.
    This is my second time doing AS subjects as I moved after last year, and whilst some subjects are definitely harder than others and it is a lot of work, it is in my opinion nowhere near as hard as those "A-Level problems" Twitter accounts make it out to be!

    It is really all down to how much work you put into it. Especially with the sciences, you can't expect to be able to cram all your revision in the night before and not struggle. Just make a plan now for revision techniques and exam practice, it's never too early to do an essay question or past paper once you know the content. But you sound really dedicated, so I'm sure you'll do really well!
    My advice would be to start early by learning the sections of the paper, how many marks etc and what learning objectives they will be assessing you on and make notes of that to leave in your file.

    Good luck with your GCSE results and in starting your AS year. :-)
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    If you want a first hand experience of a transition bit by bit through the year then read this. I will try not to write a novel.

    I am going to based this answer soley based on how I found the transition, which is the same as others and also different from others. Everyone will have a different transitioning experience. For referance, I took Law, Business, Psychology and Biology. I also stayed at my same school but we had a purpose built building made for my first year, so we had a completely different learning environment but the same people and teachers.
    When I first started, I found all of my subjects very interesting. I had never taken Law and Psychology but had done GCSE Biology and Business. I really enjoyed biology GCSE and I was very good at business but didn't particularly love it.
    For me, the first 3rd of the year or so, I didn't really feel like it was a 'jump'. I found it very different because it was a new place, different subjects and a completely different way of learning. After a few months I began to realise that my grades were averaging at an E and I averaged between A-C in GCSE. I also realised that I was really struggling with Biology, the work load was comparible to all of the coursework I did in GCSE combined (although Biology isn't a coursework subject). I also started noticing that the rest of my subjects were suffering as a result. I asked my teachers to let me off the course but they became very difficult to deal with and started kicking me out of 40% of my biology lessons. (Before you question my behaviour, my attitude and behaviour wasn't to blame at all, I have never ever been rude to a teacher before and even through this time was scoring A in my behaviour records. The reason they stopped letting me in was that I couldn't keep up with the workload, therefore they'd send me out to complete it during the lesson to catch up, then when I went back they'd moved on even more and that created a cycle of me having to learn most of the course by myself despite the fact I was struggling even with teachers help.) I virtually begged my teacher in charge of letting people drop subjects to let me out which was a long struggle but I eventually did it.
    Once Biology was gone, it was like a massive weight had been lifted and I had a lot more space to do other work for other subjects. Quickly I started to notice that Biology had taken a massive chunck of time for so long that I had been slacking in my other subjects and found myself spending the next 3rd of the year playing catchup. (Despite this, don't think that this is a 1 off and won't apply to you, I would estimate that about a 3rd of students in my year done exactly the same thing after realising that 4 subjects was too much). By the time that I had completely caught up with everything and had gotten to where I needed to be, I was already half way through the revision part of the year and I also had insane amounts of paperwork, i'm talking 3 large folders that were bursting at the seems, 3 pencil cases and countless workbooks and text books that took up a very large tote bag and another large bag that I dragged from my car after tutor (the 2 were too heavy to carry at once). I also had a large locker that I couldn't fit all of the work into at any one time. At this point I hadn't even started making revision materials which would take up even more space so something had to be done.

    My lessons finished most days at 3pm, I found that for about 2 weeks I would stay in our common area until around 5pm to go through the amounts of paperwork to reduce it, get rid of materials I no longer needed and file the materials into the right places. I was also doing this in my free periods. (over my entire timetable I had 50/50 lessons to free periods, don't let this fool you, even though you aren't in nearly as many lessons as GCSE, there is a lot more content which is harder and you'll need to use every single one of those frees to get half decent grades). Once this was done, I was able to fully throw myself into my classes and free periods and my grades made a noticable improvement. It takes a lot more time and effort to prepare for exam at AS than GCSE and it's something you'll just have to learn on your own. I done my exams with not to much worry.

    To answer your question about the jump, when people say its a jump, it is but not in the way that I imagined the jump to be. Grades are different. I was achieving As and A*s in Biology all the way through GCSE and got to AS and fell flat on my face. Getting a C in AS is a similar level of difficulty to getting an A* in a subject that you're average at in GCSE.

    Revision is different, you can't wing it, there is simply to much to know in too much detail so you have to spend a long time getting to know it all by heart. Therer is a LOT more revision to do. It is very memory based. Having all new specifications will make this harder - but the grade boundaries will be lower.

    The layout of learning is different, you need to have a lot more self motivation, that motivation you have during the holidays and first week to do well and perserveer, KEEP THAT!!! You'll need it.

    Exam preperation is harder and longer and has more detail, start early, revise as you go. My biggest tip is to make revision material as you go along while it is raw rather than wait until April to cram it in. It won't work, you need to start revising by January at the latest, follow this tip and BELEIVE. You will thank me.

    Finally, plans will change, most of us walk into year 13 having dropped an option in year 12. Don't let that put you off taking 4 to start, it is a blessing to have the option to drop if you hate one, otherwise you're stuck. Don't be afraid to drop one early and if you do drop, do it as early as you possibly can and you'll have the best chance of catching up.

    Good luck everyone. It sounds hard now but it grows with you like the difficulty has your entire luck. Have fun! Don't waste time! Don't spend more than 9 hours working a week or you'll fail at AS as you won't have time to breathe. (I'm not joking)
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Edosawr)
    I'm looking at Veterinary Medicine/Science and not really jus medicine. And yeah hopefully I'll be on top of the work! Good Luck for results day! Thanks for the advice!
    Oh okay, good luck with your results too, I'm sure you'll do well 😊
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by brxvebird)
    I suppose just to echo what others have said, by the sounds of it you will be absolutely fine.
    This is my second time doing AS subjects as I moved after last year, and whilst some subjects are definitely harder than others and it is a lot of work, it is in my opinion nowhere near as hard as those "A-Level problems" Twitter accounts make it out to be!

    It is really all down to how much work you put into it. Especially with the sciences, you can't expect to be able to cram all your revision in the night before and not struggle. Just make a plan now for revision techniques and exam practice, it's never too early to do an essay question or past paper once you know the content. But you sound really dedicated, so I'm sure you'll do really well!
    My advice would be to start early by learning the sections of the paper, how many marks etc and what learning objectives they will be assessing you on and make notes of that to leave in your file.

    Good luck with your GCSE results and in starting your AS year. :-)
    First of all, good luck with your results too! Thank you for your advice, it's really grounded me (it's made me feel like I can defo do it) so big thank you! And I'll defo do exam practice and not last night cramming! Thanks again!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Stxlla_j10)
    Oh okay, good luck with your results too, I'm sure you'll do well 😊
    Thank you!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Morgii)
    If you want a first hand experience of a transition bit by bit through the year then read this. I will try not to write a novel.

    I am going to based this answer soley based on how I found the transition, which is the same as others and also different from others. Everyone will have a different transitioning experience. For referance, I took Law, Business, Psychology and Biology. I also stayed at my same school but we had a purpose built building made for my first year, so we had a completely different learning environment but the same people and teachers.
    When I first started, I found all of my subjects very interesting. I had never taken Law and Psychology but had done GCSE Biology and Business. I really enjoyed biology GCSE and I was very good at business but didn't particularly love it.
    For me, the first 3rd of the year or so, I didn't really feel like it was a 'jump'. I found it very different because it was a new place, different subjects and a completely different way of learning. After a few months I began to realise that my grades were averaging at an E and I averaged between A-C in GCSE. I also realised that I was really struggling with Biology, the work load was comparible to all of the coursework I did in GCSE combined (although Biology isn't a coursework subject). I also started noticing that the rest of my subjects were suffering as a result. I asked my teachers to let me off the course but they became very difficult to deal with and started kicking me out of 40% of my biology lessons. (Before you question my behaviour, my attitude and behaviour wasn't to blame at all, I have never ever been rude to a teacher before and even through this time was scoring A in my behaviour records. The reason they stopped letting me in was that I couldn't keep up with the workload, therefore they'd send me out to complete it during the lesson to catch up, then when I went back they'd moved on even more and that created a cycle of me having to learn most of the course by myself despite the fact I was struggling even with teachers help.) I virtually begged my teacher in charge of letting people drop subjects to let me out which was a long struggle but I eventually did it.
    Once Biology was gone, it was like a massive weight had been lifted and I had a lot more space to do other work for other subjects. Quickly I started to notice that Biology had taken a massive chunck of time for so long that I had been slacking in my other subjects and found myself spending the next 3rd of the year playing catchup. (Despite this, don't think that this is a 1 off and won't apply to you, I would estimate that about a 3rd of students in my year done exactly the same thing after realising that 4 subjects was too much). By the time that I had completely caught up with everything and had gotten to where I needed to be, I was already half way through the revision part of the year and I also had insane amounts of paperwork, i'm talking 3 large folders that were bursting at the seems, 3 pencil cases and countless workbooks and text books that took up a very large tote bag and another large bag that I dragged from my car after tutor (the 2 were too heavy to carry at once). I also had a large locker that I couldn't fit all of the work into at any one time. At this point I hadn't even started making revision materials which would take up even more space so something had to be done.

    My lessons finished most days at 3pm, I found that for about 2 weeks I would stay in our common area until around 5pm to go through the amounts of paperwork to reduce it, get rid of materials I no longer needed and file the materials into the right places. I was also doing this in my free periods. (over my entire timetable I had 50/50 lessons to free periods, don't let this fool you, even though you aren't in nearly as many lessons as GCSE, there is a lot more content which is harder and you'll need to use every single one of those frees to get half decent grades). Once this was done, I was able to fully throw myself into my classes and free periods and my grades made a noticable improvement. It takes a lot more time and effort to prepare for exam at AS than GCSE and it's something you'll just have to learn on your own. I done my exams with not to much worry.

    To answer your question about the jump, when people say its a jump, it is but not in the way that I imagined the jump to be. Grades are different. I was achieving As and A*s in Biology all the way through GCSE and got to AS and fell flat on my face. Getting a C in AS is a similar level of difficulty to getting an A* in a subject that you're average at in GCSE.

    Revision is different, you can't wing it, there is simply to much to know in too much detail so you have to spend a long time getting to know it all by heart. Therer is a LOT more revision to do. It is very memory based. Having all new specifications will make this harder - but the grade boundaries will be lower.

    The layout of learning is different, you need to have a lot more self motivation, that motivation you have during the holidays and first week to do well and perserveer, KEEP THAT!!! You'll need it.

    Exam preperation is harder and longer and has more detail, start early, revise as you go. My biggest tip is to make revision material as you go along while it is raw rather than wait until April to cram it in. It won't work, you need to start revising by January at the latest, follow this tip and BELEIVE. You will thank me.

    Finally, plans will change, most of us walk into year 13 having dropped an option in year 12. Don't let that put you off taking 4 to start, it is a blessing to have the option to drop if you hate one, otherwise you're stuck. Don't be afraid to drop one early and if you do drop, do it as early as you possibly can and you'll have the best chance of catching up.

    Good luck everyone. It sounds hard now but it grows with you like the difficulty has your entire luck. Have fun! Don't waste time! Don't spend more than 9 hours working a week or you'll fail at AS as you won't have time to breathe. (I'm not joking)
    Omg thank you so much for this! Firstly, it's awful that your school wouldn't let you drop biology sooner - it did not sound fun! I will be definitely usin up my free periods and not wasting them (i'll probs do revision cards in them or work set by my teachers or independent study). I wasn't quite sure when to start revising for actual exams - January or a bit later? I'll probably start around January... you and many others have given me this valuable advice! I'm gonna try and stay as motivated as possible... I managed to for all of my GCSEs over the 2 years so hopefully I'll be able to do the same for A-levels! I really do like my subjects that I've chosen!

    Thanks a bunch for this! Good luck if you're picking up results and with whatever you're doing in life!
 
 
 
Poll
Do you agree with the PM's proposal to cut tuition fees for some courses?
Help with your A-levels

All the essentials

The adventure begins mug

Student life: what to expect

What it's really like going to uni

Rosette

Essay expert

Learn to write like a pro with our ultimate essay guide.

Uni match

Uni match

Our tool will help you find the perfect course for you

Study planner

Create a study plan

Get your head around what you need to do and when with the study planner tool.

Study planner

Resources by subject

Everything from mind maps to class notes.

Hands typing

Degrees without fees

Discover more about degree-level apprenticeships.

A student doing homework

Study tips from A* students

Students who got top grades in their A-levels share their secrets

Study help links and info

Can you help? Study help unanswered threadsRules and posting guidelines

Sponsored content:

HEAR

HEAR

Find out how a Higher Education Achievement Report can help you prove your achievements.

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.