General tips you learnt during A-levels - Pass them on!

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Jakko247
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Mine are:

General Studies: If you're taking General Studies, a little tip I have found out from experience is;
-Use real life examples, upwards of 5 real life examples related to the question and throw in terminology you have learnt from your other subjects, i.e. if I was doing businss studies and got a question on businesses which I did, Tescos, just mention specific terminology 'the profit motive', 'economies of scale' these are impressive to the examiner and will get you top marks, my essay really wasn't anything to go by, but I got 100% UMS marks on the exam.

History:Master essay writing and structure really early on. Also, try to get experience in evaluating sources.
Best way to revise is to imagine a question, a broad question, one that isn't even going to be on an exam, research the period you need, then write an essay that incorporates the most factors in, and re-read it every few weeks, make sure you master Cause and Effect.....
A big thing in history is accounting for why things happened and this brings you to pressures in the past
You need to offer judgements in history 'how far' ..'to what extent'...

Government & Politics:
Well just something I've learnt, not trying to scare you, I found AS really easy, learning about the government and how it operates, but then I was shocked in A2 at the step up in difficulty, I am not sure for other specifications but I found the political ideologies a real pain to learn, there is just to much information to take in.
If you like to study though, this can be really interesting.
The main thing examiners are looking for is evidence that you follow and understand politics in general....so keeping up with the three main parties and their every changing policies is a must, you have to then place their latest policies into context, be able to identify what stand of ideology the policy is from
i.e. Cameron's opposition to big government is clearly Thatcherite.

Business Studies: Well, you need to be able to do some maths, master ratios. Basically, you need an element of numeracy, you will get a calculator but you really need to know formulae.
Other than that, you can get away with definition answers, as long as you're able to put them into context in the exam and relate them to businesses on the exam paper and explain them well, you should do well.


Well that's my subjects, does anyone else have anything to add on another subject or the ones I've done...feel free to add below.
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WBoy92
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OCR Biology - burn your exercise book because itll give you better results than you would get by revising.
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Manitude
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Maths/Further Maths

Three Words - Practise, Practise, Practise.
(I wonder...should that be practice instead of practise?)

Geography

Case Studies - learn em well and get an A. The theory is basically common sense.

Physics

Think about the question in a simplified manner, learn the theory, learn the formulae. Done.
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ElfManiac
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(Original post by Manitude)
Maths/Further Maths

Three Words - Practise, Practise, Practise.
(I wonder...should that be practice instead of practise?)
Practise, cause it's a verb.

Practice is a noun. eg. I did my maths practice. :yes:
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Ollie53
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(Original post by Manitude)
Maths/Further Maths

Three Words - Practise, Practise, Practise.
(I wonder...should that be practice instead of practise?)

Geography

Case Studies - learn em well and get an A. The theory is basically common sense.

Physics

Think about the question in a simplified manner, learn the theory, learn the formulae. Done.
I think practise is OK. Practise is normally used as a verb, and practice as a noun.
Edit: Hahaha 3 different people replied in the space of a couple of minutes.
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Blu3j4yw4y
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Don't do A-Levels, but I imagine some stuff is relative...

History - Memorise a lot of excess information so that you can stick loads of facts into a crammed and busy answer, instead of trying to stretch what you know into an strained answer. And have a strong opinion (that you can back up) on everything.

Physics - understand what's going on. A lot of it is common sense and logical if you make the effort of understanding why its happening, just memorising is much more difficult.

English - pretend the novels/plays have changed your life and are the most striking things you've ever experienced. Ever.
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Manitude
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(Original post by Ollie53)
I think practise is OK. Practise is normally used as a verb, and practice as a noun.
Edit: Hahaha 3 different people replied in the space of a couple of minutes.
I quit English after year 11, you can probably tell :yep:

Also it#s quite funny how many people rushed to comment on my grammar :P
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midnightmushrooms
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Art: Be prepared for your soul to be crushed and disregard both sanity and sleep...
Learn from my mistakes and drop it like it's hot!
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miss_maddy
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Maths - Practice papers and do like a million questions from day 1!

Geography - Need to learn case studies and theories.

Sociology - That's just common sense most of the time.

A levels in general: Practice loads of questions.
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Will1692
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Maths/Further Maths - Past papers, be commited and when the exams come, you will find the questions the same, just with different numbers

Business - Common sense, the hardest bit is remembering what time and where the exam is!, the subject is very basic to be honest. Although i know some people who fail it............ I should of taken Economics

Physics - Formulas + theory. I find it hard, but im surrounded by nerds who think physics is really exciting and fun, so i get lost in what they are on about. But when it comes to the exam, get a revision book and memorise the formulas. If you do maths its a doddle

General Studies -Who cares right?
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BlueSheep32
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Biology - learn everything, and make sure your exam technique is spot on - be really precise with your wording in exams. That's something I have a bit of a problem with. Practice How Science Works questions, although that didn't really get me anywhere with them, it might work for some.

Chemistry - when it comes to things like calculations & organic reaction mechanisms, make sure you can apply your knowledge to unfamiliar situations in questions. Also, make sure that you understand everything properly, as it can get really confusing if you don't.

Geography - learn case studies. Examiners really like them.

History - make sure you can write a good essay under a lot of pressure. I'm not looking forward to my AS history exams, 1hr 15mins to write the equivalent of 3 essays in unit 1, 15 mins more to do the same in unit 2 . Make sure you know the content inside out and that your arguments are always balanced, and that you don't sit on the fence in your conclusion - examiners love to see that you've made a judgement. Always make links between factors, it's something I keep forgetting to do in my short answer questions because I'm under so much pressure.

Physics - erm. If you're doing OCR, expect the unexpected. Like Chemistry, make sure you understand everything, that you're comfortable with the maths aspect, especially re-arranging formulae & trigonometry. Practicing with past papers is good, but I still got a bit of shock with the unit 1 exam in January, so, like I said, expect the unexpected.

Just a general tip - always read every bit of info given to you in a question. It can sometimes help you with an answer, particularly in Biology, and it will mean that you answer the question and not what you thought the question was.
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bananacake14
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Graphics - Pick a topic you enjoy and don't leave the work to the last minute every time!
Psychology - Don't bother, unless your head is a sponge
ICT - Might as well be called buisness studies in the second year.
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Philosopher-of-sorts
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History: Write notes on all material in exam format, with each section--e.g. for me economic factors influencing Tudor policy--written in the style you would write that paragraph in an essay. But as long as it needs to be to get all the MAIN info in.
e.g. I've written 8 pages of notes total and it was more than enough for the exam. One page for some factors, 2 pages for some. Got me through my mock (last week) without a hitch.

Economics: It's easy. Seriously. Revise the case study as much as you need if you have one, then spend the day before the exam learning (and drawing) the graphs and other theory, and you'll find it a piece of piss. Make sure you know and understand the graphs and the rest of the theory just flows easily from there.

English lit: Learn the essay technique, then after that, lists of quotes is all you need. Learn enough for an essay on each key theme, plus some random useful-seeming ones. I literally just wrote out a list of quotes that were useful, then categorised them into themes, and read them over and over.

All around: When it comes to revision time, write yourself a list of things to do each day. Seriously. You accomplish double as much because you guilt yourself into finishing the list each day. I usually set myself one task more than I think I'll manage, to really motivate myself.
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Motorbiker
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Maths/Chem/FMaths.

Practise paper, look at everywhere you lose marks, Revise that section then repeat.

Simples
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jamz0770
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Business Studies - Its a joke really, I didnt take any notes at AS or do .. anything to be honest and got 95 UMS

Maths - Death by Past Papers

Government and Politics - Learn those examples, hundreds of the bloody things, they love knowing you've been following whats going on.
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Signe_x
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Psychology - (OCR) - for the 15 core studies just write the method, aim, etc several times (it sticks) stick the notes on your wall. For the background and approaches, link to each study in the style you would answer your questions. Make sure you use pscyh exchange for resources! It's great. And past papers! It's an absolute must! There's only so much that can come up for Psychology.

English Lit - (WJEC) - For all the poems learn key themes, learn some historical/social context, possible linking poems with partner and core. LEARN LITERARY TECHNIQUES! LOTS OF THEM!
English you can blag if you know a few terms, tecniques, and theme.
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researchcat
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Psychology

Learn how to structure essays, then practice as many questions as you can on a variety of topics.
Exam questions might just ask about one small part of the syllabus, and you need to know how to answer the question and connect it with other areas. Spider diagrams are your friends for doing this when revising.

Knowing to eloquently argue your point in writing is invaluable, support everything you say with research. Same goes for course work; although rigorous research is good, make any written work concise and to the point.

Do some independent study to go beyond the notes they give you in the lessons and you can get a better background on the subject.

If you’ve found something on the internet rather than a book be wary; unless you can track it back to a reputable peer accredited journal don’t use it.

Coursework.

If you have to replicate an experiment avoid using other psychology students as the only participants, especially if you all have to do the same experiment.
They will be more likely to know the experiment and how it is ‘suppose’ to go, so you might find your results are a little iffy or bizarrely perfect. Particularly if they try to ‘help’ by giving you the ‘correct’ results to the conditions.

Referencing (yes we all know it’s a fiddly nightmarish nuisance but you have to learn how to do it)

Write the reference down first! Do not loose it.
Back up your digital copies, remember if you don’t have the reference for a study you can not use it.

Keep a separate record of all books/ journals you use including where you got them from, even if they don’t go in the finished coursework. You may find that you need one of them later for another project.

Find out what is used as the standard for referencing in your course, APA, Harvard ect make sure you learn how to do it properly. Ask your lecturer how to if your not sure, alternatively there are books out there that show you how to reference everything.

Although yes; admittedly Word in Windows 7 does have a feature that will create a correct reference list for you. However; as far as I know this feature only has certain referencing styles and you still need to input all the citation information anyway.

Primary sources are the best to use. Secondary sources while perfectly acceptable and extremely useful are second hand, ie someone else’s interpretation of the study and events. So if you can go for the original material.


Can’t get hold of a paper? It’s worth doing a internet search for the author; some psychologists have their own home pages where you can look at their past/ present research.

If you are doing the project in a group, but writing individual reports be very careful if you are sharing all your background research and sources of information.
I'd recommend writing the report on your own rather than continuing to have group sessions.
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TurkeyProphet
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If you have any coursework do it all in one weekend and you'll feel like a champion for the rest of the year when you spend lessons doing nothing.

Don't try to sound schmancy in your writing style. Nobody cares and you sound pretentious and it usually leads to large sections of superfluity in your essays that don't earn points. Points mean prizes.

Don't assume the teachers know what they are doing.

That young stuffs the best.

English Lit: Pick novels/plays/poems that cover broad spectrum - novels like Brave New World are good because they are about society in general and so will cover nearly any topic that can come up.
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DJ AgnieszkaA
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general studies : advice - dont bother. what i learned - people are ******ed, to the extent of not knowing e.g. which party thatcher belonged to.

maths : advice - learn why you are doing what you are doing. it then becomes a lot easier.

economics : same, pretty much. incidence of tax models etc made no sense until i demanded someone explain to me why it is like it is.

classical civ : not much to say. learn it. think about motivation and character profiles, and if your teacher is like mine ( very apparently didnt take any sort of degree on even the time period in question, knows nothing outside the syllabus at all ) dont trust what they say, and dont take their "this shows x about y" or "x is a y sort of character" without making them tell you exactly why its true (or finding out yourself). making unsubstantiated claims is never good.

law: advice - turn up to lessons. average level of applicant must be special, its bordering on outrageous how easy it is to come out with high ums.
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LowRider
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A nice short one

One can still do late revision and do well

Though I would add geography as i didnt see it.

Use lots of case studies I remember my teacher making a big deal about them and when revising had some for each part within a topic. It might be hard for some people to remember so many but just try to use case studies which are interesting read a bit about them and youll remember them. Another thing which has resulted in messing up quiet a few exams even now at uni is not reading the question properly. This can happen even if you know all your stuff as youll see some keywords think you know what they want and rush into it. Just take your time read the question properly and ask yourself what the examiner would like. When it comes near to the exams have a look on the news for recent cases of the topic like earthquakes, tropical cyclones, weather and other topics relevant for human geography. And obviously if you enjoy the topic youll find writing about it quiet easy so as I said keep up to date with relevant news look at geography within the uk as its more intresting as it applies to you and have possibly seen it.
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