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Things you wish you had known about A-Levels.. Watch

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    (Original post by fortunesfool)
    Thank you, I just made a thread about part time work. Is it not advised? Bear in mind, I will have to travel over an hour to and from college.
    No worries, I think it depends on the kind of work you're going to be doing, how many hours you'd be working and the subject options you've chosen; for example I did English Lit and History as well as Econ and Business at AS and while there was a lot of reading I didn't have work due for the next day which meant I could handle it.

    Also I think you can usually balance school work with a job but would have to compromise elsewhere like socially, I didn't see my friends as much during weekends but they all had jobs too so that was always going to happen. If your (potential)workplace looks like it could be flexible with holidays or swapping shifts with people you know then that's a good sign.
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    (Original post by Ooooooo)
    No worries, I think it depends on the kind of work you're going to be doing, how many hours you'd be working and the subject options you've chosen; for example I did English Lit and History as well as Econ and Business at AS and while there was a lot of reading I didn't have work due for the next day which meant I could handle it.

    Also I think you can usually balance school work with a job but would have to compromise elsewhere like socially, I didn't see my friends as much during weekends but they all had jobs too so that was always going to happen. If your (potential)workplace looks like it could be flexible with holidays or swapping shifts with people you know then that's a good sign.
    Thank you! I'm going to see how well I (hopefully!) handle A-Levels first and go from there
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    Organise yourself - get a different folder for each subject, clearly title each piece of work and file it all in chronological order! It'll make it much easier when it comes to revision, because that way you can easily find the topic you want to revise


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    Learn the mark schemes. I foolishly thought that an actual understanding of the content is important, but really as long as you know the key words they want you will be fine in the sciences.
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    That study periods are called study periods for a reason
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    (Original post by fortunesfool)
    Hey, I'm hopefully starting my A-Levels after Summer. I was wondering if you made any mistakes that you wish you could correct, or found out any useful knowledge or information concerning A-Levels, which could help the people starting A-Levels now. It could be exam tips, organisation, revision, friends - anything! Thank you.

    Another question. Ignoring the actual content of the A-Levels, what did you actually learn? (how you learn best, how to manage your time etc)
    I wish I had known:
    Not to start proper revision a week before my first exam
    That past papers are the best form of revision for me
    To make sure that the first time I read the text book was the day before my mock
    Not to waste free periods
    That I'd never even look at the notes I made in class after the lesson
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    Thanks everybody. On average, how many free periods did you get in a day?
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    I think the best advice I can give is:
    -after every day go home and consolidate(go over) all the work you covered in that days lesson or do it at the weekend, this will just cement it in your head that bit more and make revision less stressful in exam season.
    -ORGANISE YOUR FILES/NOTES. I can't stress this enough. i.e. in chemistry for each topic have a file divider for it and within that put all the notes, homework and tests you do in that section. Makes revision much easier.
    -if you don't like your subject then CHANGE (if possible). I chose maths and physics but couldn't stand them so changed to english literature and ancient history and loved them! (I also did chemistry and biology so quite a diverse range).
    -Past Papers are literally the best way to revise although you may already know this from GCSEs. I really feel these are vital at a-level.
    -Starting revision early makes life easier. My college is rather strict and so we had mocks from january so technically i started revising then and continued throughout (only little bits though). My college also had weekly tests for each of my subjects and if you didn't get your target grade (mine was A/A*) then you had to do a re-sit test until you got your target grade - this really helped me see where I was going wrong so I could address it right at the time instead of having a long list of mistakes and issues at the end!
    -Teachers really are brilliant. If you feel you can talk to them then do. All of mine have gone above and beyond their call of duty to help me and this really did come in handy - any query I had I could just email them or go and see them and they'd help. - they're there for you so use them!

    Okay so I think I rambled on and didn't really go on about the exact thread title was on about but those are just some tips I think are helpful.

    N.B. One last personal anecdote. At the beginning of year 12 I was seriously failing biology and chemistry. Consistently getting Ds and Es in tests and homework because I never had, had to actively revise before - when I did start going over my notes after lessons my grades shot up and I knew what I had to do to get the top grades! Good luck! These two years are both the most stressful and enjoyable time I've had yet!
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    I wish I knew how **** business would be. I honestly regret taking it, should've taken Economics instead.
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    That even though I normally like history, the two periods I've studied for AS are not ones that I find interesting and should have never have picked it when I changed subjects. That the teacher would be nothing like my GCSE teacher, he is my favourite teacher of all time, and instead she seemed like she couldn't care less after about January.

    That deciding to take geography at the last minute would be a decision I still regret to this day as the topics we have studied weren't too bad but my teacher was just dull. My GCSE teacher was far better.

    That English Lit was good for the class I was in but the teacher that I wanted was nowhere as good as I thought they would be and the teacher I originally didn't like would turn out to be pretty good. Also the play we had to spend half the year reading was so boring that I wish I had changed to maybe English Language or something.

    That taking Religious studies was a great decision as I now am planning on studying it at uni and the teacher I had was actually pretty good and probably the best I had for AS.

    Finally general studies is a waste of time and I should have tried to have gotten out of it if I had known I would be forced onto it at enrolment.
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    After my first year of sixth form I now wish I'd known:

    1) Not to convince myself that I'll get just as much work done sitting with my friends in the sps room as I would working alone in the library.
    2) Past papers are vital. I'm sure it's no coincidence that I feel much less confident about how I did in French than in German when I was constantly doing past papers in German and never did a full one in French.
    3) Don't be afraid to ask for help. Even if you're too scared to do it in the lesson with the rest of the class there, do it afterwards as teachers are usually happy to find a time when you're both free to help you.
    4) If you're absent you're going to miss a lot more at GCSE. You need to be prepared for this, accept it and not let catching up get on top of you.
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    If you need support with a subject, ask for help. Even if you don't have the best rapport with a teacher. It's better to ask for help than to let stress consume you or to continue not understanding something.

    For languages, the best revision technique for oral exams is to practice every question from every past paper you can find. Practice answering the questions out loud in your target language without preparing an answer for them to see if you can talk for a sustained period without preparation. This definitely helped me.

    As for extracurricular activities, I think it depends on your time management skills. I was able to do 4 subjects and enrichment during my A2 year but I couldn't have swapped enrichment for a part time job as I needed my weekends and evenings to focus on homework/revision.

    Lastly, I wish I'd known which subjects were considered the most important for the degree I wanted to do at the top universities. I definitely paid for not consulting the universities prior to AS.
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    How useless they are.
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    (Original post by AlphaDog0127)
    Forgot to add, wishing I'd mentioned to teachers that I was struggling with A Levels instead of keeping quiet because I didn't want to bother them! Advice to future A Level students, if you're struggling... SAY SOMETHING! You are not alone lol. Better to catch it and sort it early than to wait until the end of A2s and realise you're screwed
    Funny I had the opposite problem. I asked for help and got kicked out! Apparently I was clueless, even though I wasn't, I just found it hard going to Sixth Form in a different school. I was too much hassle I was told, and took up too much time.

    I knew everything I needed. Just didn't have chance to settle in. Ended up on BTECs which I failed because I was too far behind. I now intent to do A-levels from home. School would have been easier as it was just make notes, do homework, revise and repeat. Independent is much harder, I think.
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    (Original post by fnatic NateDestiel)
    Edexcel and OCR are ****ers nuff said /thread
    How do you mean?
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    (Original post by fnatic NateDestiel)
    Edexcel and OCR are ****ers nuff said /thread

    How comes OCR?
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    (Original post by AlphaDog0127)
    Knowing exactly how much work you had to put into certain subjects and you can't just turn up 50% of the time and do no revision and still get As like at GCSE. I've never been organised and managed to do well on all my GCSEs by doing very little work and literally no revision (other than memorizing 2 quotes for RE ), on top of that I am a great procrastinator lol

    Seriously, I regret doing A Levels at 6th Form, for one of my subjects you had a right or wrong answer to most questions and it was standard learning of go to class, pay attention, make a few notes and re-read those notes later, you maybe did a few hrs a week of essays etc. I chose 2 art/design subjects, if you were organised you'd have no problem doing the work lol but having to do 8 10hr studies on top of classwork on top of a 3k essay for 1 subject was crazy to balance with other subjects/revision.

    The fact that all teachers seem to forget that you can't dedicate your life to one subject because you have about 3 others to work on and how you're expected to do extra-curricular activities to make yourself look more attractive when you write a personal statement. Social life? What social life? lol
    I agree with what I have put in bold above. I had this at A-level and BTEC in both Sixth Forms I attended, neither of which were my secindary school. I actually failed everything because I had to spread my time.
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    (Original post by KH94)
    I agree with what I have put in bold above. I had this at A-level and BTEC in both Sixth Forms I attended, neither of which were my secindary school. I actually failed everything because I had to spread my time.
    Things definitely went downhill from GCSE for me lol especially my last year of A Level.
 
 
 
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