Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

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

Announcements
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    read up on the subjects you're planning to take and make sure you understand what you're in for! (a mistake i made was take a subject i THOUGHT i'd like, with no knowledge of the syllabus...)

    also, constantly write things down. write down key words/sentences/quotes/etc and it will keep your mind on task. also, you're able to read back through them in your own words and it may place you back in the classroom. it lets you focus much more than if it was someone else's incomprehensible notes.

    finally - good luck. keep your goals in mind so you can rationalise the hard work. sometimes the work seems pointless but just remember what you're working towards
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Make sure that you stay on top of all the work that you get set, as if you let it stack up, you're stuffed. Don't spend every moment doing the work though, enjoy your self but don't slack off your work.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    The assignments you don't complete on time (or at all) will be the content of the questions you fail to answer in your exams.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    It's a MASSIVE leap from GCSE's, don't assume it's easy and fail like I did. I will now have to make up for it in year 2, which I cry about.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Time management is key to doing well in your A-levels. If you can plan your study time and stick to it as much as possible, you will make life much easier for yourself.
    Making effective notes that you keep in good order makes life much easier when you are revising or looking for references for assignments. I colour coded certain phrases with a highlighter pen for ease of recollection.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    As with anything, it's a game. You have to know the rules of the game. And the rules are plainly written in the examiners reports and in the mark schemes. If you want to do well in the A-Level examinations, exam technique combined with class knowledge is the key. If you want to be good at your subject, then just doing this won't be enough; you would need to add in external and wider reading.

    In general, keep up with homework, make notes, go through important derivations and proofs for maths and physics. Keep your interest alive for the subject you're taking, no point studying something you don't enjoy. Most importantly, don't over stress. There is such a thing as too much revision especially at A-Level, unless you want to hit 100% in exams there's not much point in spending hours every day churning out past papers. Go slowly at first and build yourself up to the exam so you peak in performance at the exam. A common myth is that A-Levels take up a lot of time and effort and truth be told, it can if you study inefficiently. Study effectively, targeting weak spots all the time.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Protoxylic)
    As with anything, it's a game. You have to know the rules of the game. And the rules are plainly written in the examiners reports and in the mark schemes. If you want to do well in the A-Level examinations, exam technique combined with class knowledge is the key. If you want to be good at your subject, then just doing this won't be enough; you would need to add in external and wider reading.

    In general, keep up with homework, make notes, go through important derivations and proofs for maths and physics. Keep your interest alive for the subject you're taking, no point studying something you don't enjoy. Most importantly, don't over stress. There is such a thing as too much revision especially at A-Level, unless you want to hit 100% in exams there's not much point in spending hours every day churning out past papers. Go slowly at first and build yourself up to the exam so you peak in performance at the exam. A common myth is that A-Levels take up a lot of time and effort and truth be told, it can if you study inefficiently. Study effectively, targeting weak spots all the time.
    The first two sentences are exactly what my A Level Psychology teacher used to say.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Captivated)
    The first two sentences are exactly what my A Level Psychology teacher used to say.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    It's true if you think about it. The exam board sets specific exams with specific targets a particular student needs to get in order to achieve a set band. Learn the rules to get the top band. It couldn't be simpler than that, the hard bit is learning the rules. But that is A-Levels in a nutshell.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Protoxylic)
    It's true if you think about it. The exam board sets specific exams with specific targets a particular student needs to get in order to achieve a set band. Learn the rules to get the top band. It couldn't be simpler than that, the hard bit is learning the rules. But that is A-Levels in a nutshell.
    I agree. It was all about the technique the examiner wanted. To be honest though, I think the rigid structure of it all made those who could've done well, not do well because they srructured their essays differently etc. You can have the knowledge of a subject but if you can't 'play the game' it can all go wrong.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Captivated)
    I agree. It was all about the technique the examiner wanted. To be honest though, I think the rigid structure of it all made those who could've done well, not do well because they srructured their essays differently etc. You can have the knowledge of a subject but if you can't 'play the game' it can all go wrong.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    I not really qualified to comment on the humanities side of things other than I did Economics which was a pseudo essay subject at best and I agree.

    Much different picture for the sciences, you get given exactly what the examiner wants.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Protoxylic)
    I not really qualified to comment on the humanities side of things other than I did Economics which was a pseudo essay subject at best and I agree.

    Much different picture for the sciences, you get given exactly what the examiner wants.
    I didn't do bio, chem or physics but I knew people who did and it does seem that way, yes.

    I did English Language and the only thing I was doing 'wrong' was not following the structure the examiner wanted. I'd structure my essays the way I thought was logical and the comment I'd get was 'the knowledge is there but the structure isn't'. God, I'm so glad that at university there's none of this rigidity.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Captivated)
    I didn't do bio, chem or physics but I knew people who did and it does seem that way, yes.

    I did English Language and the only thing I was doing 'wrong' was not following the structure the examiner wanted. I'd structure my essays the way I thought was logical and the comment I'd get was 'the knowledge is there but the structure isn't'. God, I'm so glad that at university there's none of this rigidity.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Agreed. But I guess they have to standardise it somehow.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Protoxylic)
    Agreed. But I guess they have to standardise it somehow.
    I suppose so but there are definitely better ways of doing so

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    If you can come up with a flow chart try and take a picture of it in your mind and jot it down the minute you can open that exam paper up will help you sail through even just picturing it in your head if you don't think you have enough time. Also don't stress, yea study but have a break go out and enjoy life. NOTE - my biology teacher last year gave us a hint for stress eating, allow yourself any snack you want WHILE YOU STUDY. That way you can stay focused while studying and when you aren't you can prepare a healthy meal so you get the best of both worlds. Stay motivated by thinking about that feeling on results day and eat well, good luck!!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I did all 3 sciences and maths - this is probably the combination that will give you the most work. However, I managed to keep om top of my work as well as having (a bit) of a social life. This combination is doable, but if you aren't a science nerd like me then it will find it harder to keep up with the work load

    However, if you work hard, keep on top of homework, do lots of past papers, you should pass A levels in these subjects, The thing is, doing past papers is always a good idea, as you get a feel for what the examiner wants to see when marking papers,

    Make sure you remember key formulas, as many will not be given to you in exams, unlike GCSE. (Physics is an exception, you get a formula booklet will most of the formulae you need, plus some you won't use in AS).

    Finally, make sure you get a load of stationary! You get through a lot of paper and ink in A level, especially if you do essay-based subjects (I can't offer a great opinion there). Also, you may want things like flashcards to remember the formulas that you are not given, plus some definitions. I think that was what helped me in the exams.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Math and physics are subjects that you can ace by one simple way... Don't ever leave work or reading for later!! Even in the first month of the course when it's 'easy' as its essential you are confident with the basics because later you will be expected to know these basics and they won't be taught. They will then deeply expand on these so I recommend that you should spend an hour everyday just for summarising your notes and consolidating concepts.This should be done from day 1. Then do ALL Homework and possibly a few practice questions, strongly recommend doing this in your frees so you have more chill out at home.

    Many seem like effort and everyone will want to do nothing and chill in frees or go to town but it's worth it, you'll be less stressed when it comes to exams and will ace them.Also mocks will be more relaxed for you. I know this because I failed AS then redid the year and was more mature but still was chilled,even though I passed AS it wasn't all A or B (think about uni! These results help them decide when choosing) so in my A2 I revised from day 1 and even read ahead of the class for maths(strongly recommend for trig and integration in c3/c4 as there is not enough time to master the whole course)

    Do NOT leave revision 1 month before your exams or less like GCSE.Alevel will Wrek you.Start past papers as soon as you finish a module as they are the best revision resource for the exam. Christmas time is the latest you should start past paper questions. Good luck and this is just advice if you want top grades, do whatever you wish and suites you best
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Only choose subjects that you actually enjoy.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Just really think them through, it also helps if you've studied the course at GCSE, too.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by She-Ra)
    Your A-levels are done, you're now officially a little bit older and a little bit wiser :moon:

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

    This is a golden thread. Join in with the discussion before 26 August 2016 to be in with the chance of winning an iPad air 2!

    Other golden threads:

    1. List the fibs your teacher told you at school

    2. What's your ultimate summer tune?

    3. Which GCSE subject can you not wish to ditch?

    4. Sum up how you’re feeling about results day in a meme or gif

    5. How do you plan to celebrate your exam results?

    6. Starting uni: what are you most excited about?

    7. One essential piece of advice you'd give to someone starting their A-levels

    8. What's the one thing will get you through results day?


    The competition runs from 3 August to 23:59 on 26 August 2016. The random draw will be made on 30 August 2016.
    Biggest advice would be to start revising as early as possible, like start from week 2 for example because revising is what it all comes down to, not how well you pay attention in class or if you do your homework, the advantage of starting early is that hopefully after a few months you would have tried many revision methods and found out what works best for you. Once you have found that you need to start revising exam by exam do not mix up revision, that is a mistake. Finish revising an exam, then move on to the next making you closer to the top of the mountain. A tip for revision is identify your weak topics and then after do everything in your power to make those topics your strenghts rather your weaknesses, that is what its all about.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Revise little and often to keep your memory in check and so you don't stress out and get overloaded before exams! I wish I was reminded of this
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    How are your GCSEs going so far?
    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
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • 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

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