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Is anyone doing really badly at A(S)-level and not really knowing why? watch

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    Hi, I'm new here. I don't want this to seem like a sob story but I've been feeling so frustrated this past year. I have always had pretty low confidence in my abilities, but at least have always done fairly well. I got A*s at GCSE bar Maths, which given the state of affairs in my life under which I took them was way better than I could ever have expected. Now, I understand that AS levels are a completely different ball-park, but I've been doing so badly. I'm predicted BCCCD, and this is not a case of teachers under-estimating me. I have felt like the work is too hard, and no matter how much effort I put in, I can't get anywhere. I've worked 10 times harder than I did last year, but there's little indication in my work that I have. I have tried to find out what I'm doing wrong, but there's such discrepancy between accounts of my failure that I don't know where to begin. One teacher says my work is "too much like GCSE" whereas another couple say my work is "setting the bar too high". I've done my AS exams now, so it's too late to go back on them (at least until January), but I was wondering:

    - Has anyone else had these sorts of difficulties? How did you deal with them? - I know GCSEs are supposed to be no reflection on ability because of their lack of depth and comparative simplicity to A level, but is there really absolutely no correlation between GCSE scores and A levels?
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    I wouldn't say there's no correlation between GCSEs and A-levels because obviously someone with a string of A*s at GCSE is more lilely to do well at A-level than someone with mostly Cs, but they are completey different. All I can think of is that maybe you chose the wrong subjects. I know I wouldn't be doing anywhere near as well as I am had I chosen sciences because I have absolutely no interest in them and my skills lie elsewhere. Have you actually enjoyed your subjects? If not, maybe you should consider resitting Year 12 with subjects you actually like and hopefully you'll do better. If it's not the subjects, maybe you should have a chat with your head of sixth form or someone to see if they know what the problem is or can advise you on what to do. A lot of students find the transition from GCSE to A-level difficult to manage, and it may just be that you need some hlep adjusting There are always January resits if you need them.
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    I do enjoy my subjects to a certain extent. I wouldn't say I love them, because I've never particularly liked formal education, but I have always tried my best in whatever I've done. I think I chose subjects that I "ought" to be good at. I got my highest A* grades in English Literature and Geography at GCSE, but now am predicted B and D in them respectively. Media Studies is supposed to be "easy", especially for someone whom is supposedly okay at English, but I'm only predicted a C in that. I knew Philosophy would be a challenge, but I would say I do enjoy the lessons more than any other and have done more work in it than any other subject, but still I am only predicted a C. I'm even only estimated to get a C in General Studies. General Studies! Seeing everyone's predicted grades on here makes me seem like such a fool! I've tried talking to my form tutor but my college is so impersonal (2000 students doing A-level) that he doesn't know me so he can't exactly help me.
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    It could just be a real lack of motivation - your success at GCSE, presumably through hard work, may have had that wasted/worn-out effect on you.

    On top of things- I can't really see how someone who got all A*s at GCSE could find AS levels that much more difficult. As Kellywood mentioned, it may be the subject choice - what AS subjects did you take?
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    I don't feel un-motivated at all! I've handed in all my work on time, turned up every day and tried to do everything. Obviously knowing that I'm doing badly has not helped my confidence, but I still try my best regardless. I took English Literature, Media, Geography, Philosophy and General Studies.
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    Do you think these predictions are a true reflection of how you performed in your exams?

    Predicted grades don't work for a lot of people.
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    If you don't actually know your results, then you may have done better, especially if you have turned up every day and done all the work set, becuase in my college no-one fails if they have attendence of more then 95%, and general studies is a nothing exam, theres little point in even turning up for it.
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    From my experience: maybe some people are just more naturally cut-out for AS/A levels. There is obviously a correlation between gcse's and A levels. But in such a way that if someone gets a C at gcse they are likely to get an E at AS level. And in some subjects, even an A* at gcse doesn't guarantee an A at AS level. I think this is mostly about technique, if you were an amazing essay writer you'd be aceing most of your subjects.
    I don't do any of your subjects, but i have been told geography is really easy, (comparatively, most of my friends are science-subject people) and i would assume its mainly factual recall. Eng lit, philosophy and media are (i believe) essay based. I just think you need to refine your study techniques. This is emphasised by the GS predicited C, which is a 'subject', for which you need common sense and good writing skills. I think its these skills you probably need to improve.
    Anyway theres 2 opportunities to retake these AS levels (jan+june), you could change a subject, but definitely talk to subject teachers to ask how to improve.
    EDIT:it might also be that you had gcse teachers spoon-fed you everything and now your new teachers aren't so thorough in preparing you for exams/ coursework (btw thats not meant in an offensive way)
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    I am not really doing badly in Physics, but it just I feel I wont get the grade I deserve in physics, when it come to answering wordy qs I am not good, even though I know it.
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    I think I probably did the same as my predicted grades in Media, General Studies and Philosophy, but worse in English Literature and Geography. I felt all my English exam answers were falling apart at the seams and not vaguely coherent, let alone of any substance. Then Geography was a nightmare. No matter how much I revised, when I got into the exam everything I had studied was gone and it was just me and a pen. I had to try answering questions based on a few floating thoughts and no Geographical knowledge, but it was impossible.
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    could it just be the stress of the exams then?
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    By the way guys.. thanks for your support as I fret at my keyboard here and ramble!

    I feel so useless at this point because up to now I thought the one thing I had was good essay-writing skills. I thought I did so well at GCSE so well because I can write (I think) coherently the majority of the time, and I could bluff my way through subjects like History and Science where I didn't have the slightest degree of knowledge or appreciation for the course. I guess if I am doing so badly then it means I can't have these skills, like you say. It's weird because throughout my life the one subject that I've always been told I'm good at is English. If I don't even have this, then what am I left with?
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    I don't think it's stress induced. I do get very, very stressed but I'm sure that's normal. When I'm in exams I am generally very focused. Like today, my friends were talking about how a teacher kept walking past us and aggravating them, but I didn't even notice.
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    If I were you, I'd talk to your subject teachers, and ask them to give you in-depth analysis of how you could do better and raise your grades. Remind them that you were an A* student at GCSE and that you want to be doing better, and I'm sure they'll help you. Our school gives out, on occasion, examples of past essays and even exam answers so you could ask to see this, to look at the standard that's expected. Also, you could ask for indicative content/mark schemes (and extended versions) if they haven't been given yet, and ask the teachers exactly what it means.

    What Loopz said is true... Eng Lit is all about knowing how to write an essay, and jam it all in. Our teachers gave us a five-point formula. Whatever the essay title, focus on five main points, write a medium-length paragraph (or long, as the mood strikes) on each of those points (exploring them thoroughly, etc) and have at least two quotes in each paragraph. Then you have an introduction and conclusion, which both make some sort of point about the essay title. I've used this since the start of the year and have never gained lower than an A in an essay, so it does seem to work.

    Right. Hope it goes ok on results day. If it doesn't, you do have re-sits and a lot of people's marks rocket up.
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    (Original post by yelwalkietalkie)
    By the way guys.. thanks for your support as I fret at my keyboard here and ramble!

    I feel so useless at this point because up to now I thought the one thing I had was good essay-writing skills. I thought I did so well at GCSE so well because I can write (I think) coherently the majority of the time, and I could bluff my way through subjects like History and Science where I didn't have the slightest degree of knowledge or appreciation for the course. I guess if I am doing so badly then it means I can't have these skills, like you say. It's weird because throughout my life the one subject that I've always been told I'm good at is English. If I don't even have this, then what am I left with?
    you don't have to be perfect all the time, and just because you aren't immedietely amazing at something, doesn't mean you can't become brilliant at it!
    You have amazing gcse results and you will get great A Levels come a years time!! The framework is there! You obviously are hardworking, perservere and you should do well. Seriously i was heading for a D in chemistry AS and then over half term i revised loads for it and now i hopefully got an A/B.
    Read lots of books over summer, it won't even feel like your working, maybe read ahead necessary books for eng lit and around some of the philosophy syllabus. (if your continuing them)
    you will be fine
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    .... tell u wat... i was in ur state when i was in O Levels...im a guy from an Arab family... yeah...and when i was in O Levels.. i didnt get support from my family at all... by this i mean.. to .. extreme extends...i was always disturbed at home.. due to circumstances... life was a mess.. cuz i didnt have right friends... i didnt have.. right people to live with.. i didnt have that confidence....as a student should... this made my grades go really down.. cuz when ur depressed u really.. cant do work... is it the case with u... ??.... then try changing ur surrounding if u can... and i used to feel that same.. i was brilliant in my Art and designs...i can say this.. cuz.. many ppal.. used to be amazed looking at my final creations.... but that ability started to fade... as time was passing.. and i still cant find out y?... so there r things.. that u jus cant find solutions... now i finished my AS... i got.. jus 2As.. and rest Bs and Cs.. for O levels.. but when i moved to AS.. i did try to change ppal around me.. that was effective... im doing very well... by helping myself... yeah this is true.. ppal can come and talk to u.. bout so many things.. but U r the only one hu knows.. whats exactly inside u.. so prolly.. ur the only one hu can help urself... jus try to identify .. whats mentally.. disturbing u.. im predicted with AAAB... and mate.. AS is not like GCSEs... AS requires... technique.. and organization... u have to organize ur time SO well..in every move u take.. then only u get the right results u deserve... and its a matter.. of.. hardwork as well...with everything coming .. by the side.. ur diet.. ur exercises.. and ur lifestyle.. im happy now.. cuz i helped myself.. improve... my .. thinking ... jus try to be positive..and i reckon.. u could repeat.. AS.. or resit.. AS with the correct study guides.. books and.. positive thinking.. good luck..
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    Yeah, I know it shouldn't be about grades, and it's not the grades themselves that motivate me. I think I would have given up by now if they were the only thing keeping me going. However, I must face the fact that the only subject I have ever wanted to do at University, English, is probably not going to be possible because it demands such high entry grades across the board. Pretty much all my stress is about not being able to get onto an English degree course and just feeling so unintelligent generally rather than the grades in themselves.
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    yeah but your not unintelligent :hugs: and your current predicted grades will go up with resits!! GS doesn't count for anything so if you get a bad grade in that, don't cash it in and you'll never have to admit you have it on your UCAS form to universities. Drop your worst subject- i'm guessing geography, most universities only look at 3 A levels and 1 AS level (sometimes less than that). You will of course be able to do english at university! Even if it isn't one of the top uni's in the country, apply to a range, get a range of offers, choose from that a high one you like as your firm and a low insurance choice. You have to believe in yourself or other people won't. Problem sorted :rolleyes:

    (usman i cannot read your post, i'm not totally anti-text language but could you instead use commas and full stops, i.e making sentences instead of "..." between every idea)
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    I think I have the opposite, I have been predicted A, B, C and C/D but I feel like I have got maybe AAA and history could be anything from fail to A, everything always seem to click for me at the right time, like a week or day before the exams.
 
 
 
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