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Struggling with A levels (mostly science subjects) watch

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    Hi,

    At gcse i got a* for my science subjects (bio chem phys). But at a levels in the end of unit tests i am only achieving grades E's and D's. Now i dont necessarily find the theories of the subjects hard and during every test i answer all questions, but still find out my result was bad. Im aiming for A's in these subject which, god willing, i feel im definitely capable of getting.

    Any advise to anyone else who was in the situation!
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    maybe you should ask your teacher what you're doing wrong?
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    (Original post by stealth_writer)
    Hi,

    At gcse i got a* for my science subjects (bio chem phys). But at a levels in the end of unit tests i am only achieving grades E's and D's. Now i dont necessarily find the theories of the subjects hard and during every test i answer all questions, but still find out my result was bad. Im aiming for A's in these subject which, god willing, i feel im definitely capable of getting.

    Any advise to anyone else who was in the situation!
    I got A/A/A in Science at GCSE then an E/ and then a final grade of a U at Biology AS level.

    GCSE is not a good indicator of A level performance.
    Science subjects are hard, and theyre not for everyone.

    I found my ground with essay subjects, English, Politics, Critical Thinking and Sociology, when I originally wanted to do Biology.
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    End of unit test don't matter. I didn't do particularly well in them and managed AAAA

    Biology just requires reading and exam technique (and a lot of graph reading).

    You can get an B if not an A just by following the equations and using them correctly (Just practice a load of papers before your exam).

    Chemistry is a difficult one, it requires you to learn all the basic details of chemistry and combine them into concepts. Focus on the basics, learn how electrons and electronegativity works, then you can gut feel a lot of questions.
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    (Original post by Engineer31)
    End of unit test don't matter. I didn't do particularly well in them and managed AAAA

    Biology just requires reading and exam technique (and a lot of graph reading).

    You can get an B if not an A just by following the equations and using them correctly (Just practice a load of papers before your exam).

    Chemistry is a difficult one, it requires you to learn all the basic details of chemistry and combine them into concepts. Focus on the basics, learn how electrons and electronegativity works, then you can gut feel a lot of questions.
    Thanks, yeah i agree about this whole mark scheme revision technique. Especially with Biology.
    One question i have is a level exams like gcse exams in that they the same questions can come p again and again every year
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    (Original post by stealth_writer)
    Thanks, yeah i agree about this whole mark scheme revision technique. Especially with Biology.
    One question i have is a level exams like gcse exams in that they the same questions can come p again and again every year
    You do get similar style questions, you do get some tricky physics questions, and chemistry really gets you to think on your feet, you can't get a good mark in chemistry just by learning the textbook. You need to make sure you understand the basic theories really well, especially if you are going to take chemistry to A2.
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    (Original post by Engineer31)
    You do get similar style questions, you do get some tricky physics questions, and chemistry really gets you to think on your feet, you can't get a good mark in chemistry just by learning the textbook. You need to make sure you understand the basic theories really well, especially if you are going to take chemistry to A2.
    Engineer when did you start revising what subjects did you do?
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    (Original post by stealth_writer)
    One question i have is a level exams like gcse exams in that they the same questions can come p again and again every year
    But more difficult considering they changed the N.C at the beginning of 2009.
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    I did Maths Chem Phys and Biology.

    You don't want to follow my example, I literally didn't understand chemistry until around 3 weeks before the exam, due to generally not doing any work all year and not going to too much school during the first half of the year. The fact that your even making this thread makes you better at revision than me.

    PS: Do well at your practicals, and coursework, I got Bs and Cs in them, take them seriously, it will make getting the grades much easier.
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    Hey! I'm also in year 12 and doing chemistry and physics. I got 3 A's for sciences at GCSE, though in all honesty GCSEs' are the worst indicator of A level performance (unless you are got 10A*). I find for Physics, the best strategy is doing questions after question, past paper after past paper, just like maths. If you are doing OCR A, then around 50% of the exam is definitions. For Chemistry, the most important thing is understand the BASICS!! You need to understand the basics which are the fundamental foundation everything you will learn. Also I find the questions in chemistry require you to think more laterally, and there is a broader range of questions that may be asked, though this may be untrue.

    I understand your fustration with end of unit tests, which in Physics (being my favourite subject), I am getting Ds.
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    I'm in year 13, I think GCSE's are a very poor indicator of the likelihood of your success at A-level. Firstly the increase in content is massive. Second, its not just pure recall, which was almost entirely the case in GCSE. What's the solution? Lots of past paper questions, I find merely reading the book is useless as books don't tell you what you need to write to get the marks, you know most of the stuff through lessons, anything you missed or don't understand should be discussed with your teacher or friends who know that area well, so technically, you'd be better off studying mark schemes than books.
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    Cheers everyone please keep it coming
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    A lot of people know their stuff, but have really crappy exam technique. This is remedied with doing as many past papers as you can get your hands on. Questions get recycled with slight modifications so often that a model answer to an 8 mark question about action potentials can be recycled as well.
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    (Original post by stealth_writer)
    Hi,

    At gcse i got a* for my science subjects (bio chem phys). But at a levels in the end of unit tests i am only achieving grades E's and D's. Now i dont necessarily find the theories of the subjects hard and during every test i answer all questions, but still find out my result was bad. Im aiming for A's in these subject which, god willing, i feel im definitely capable of getting.

    Any advise to anyone else who was in the situation!
    I know this thread is old but I really need some advice. I'm in the exact same position, how did you manage to deal with the science subjects?
    I got A*s for GCSE triple science and A for maths and I'm doing SO bad, I never thought I would be doing this crap at the end of unit tests. :/
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    (Original post by HelloGoodbye)
    I know this thread is old but I really need some advice. I'm in the exact same position, how did you manage to deal with the science subjects?
    I got A*s for GCSE triple science and A for maths and I'm doing SO bad, I never thought I would be doing this crap at the end of unit tests. :/
    Make own thread.
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    Which exam boards are you doing?
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    (Original post by HelloGoodbye)
    I know this thread is old but I really need some advice. I'm in the exact same position, how did you manage to deal with the science subjects?
    I got A*s for GCSE triple science and A for maths and I'm doing SO bad, I never thought I would be doing this crap at the end of unit tests. :/
    The difference between GCSE & A Level is the workload and how to pass the exam. To be honest, it's good you are doing unit tests so you understand the importance of examination questions. This is what it all boils down to and I think you should accept it now than later and this is what you need to succeed. I can tell you - you can walk into the exam hall knowing the book inside out, if you have not worked on your exam technique - you are going to fail. Completely. Because there's a standard of answers that examiners want and the only way you do this is by practice. That's why end of unit tests are very important.

    Now, if you are going home and learning what you do in class, you're on a good track. But you really need to add examination questions from now and integrate into your studying so you are not overwhelmed in December. My best advice is to really use the half term wisely and catch up on all your work and do all past papers for the topics you covered so far, trust me you will not regret it. Because if you don't do that, you'll be far behind, feel more depressed and trust me it just won't work out. So use the half term to revise and do past papers on everything you covered and don't be afraid to go ahead of the class.

    Hope that helps
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    (Original post by LifeIsGood)
    The difference between GCSE & A Level is the workload and how to pass the exam. To be honest, it's good you are doing unit tests so you understand the importance of examination questions. This is what it all boils down to and I think you should accept it now than later and this is what you need to succeed. I can tell you - you can walk into the exam hall knowing the book inside out, if you have not worked on your exam technique - you are going to fail. Completely. Because there's a standard of answers that examiners want and the only way you do this is by practice. That's why end of unit tests are very important.

    Now, if you are going home and learning what you do in class, you're on a good track. But you really need to add examination questions from now and integrate into your studying so you are not overwhelmed in December. My best advice is to really use the half term wisely and catch up on all your work and do all past papers for the topics you covered so far, trust me you will not regret it. Because if you don't do that, you'll be far behind, feel more depressed and trust me it just won't work out. So use the half term to revise and do past papers on everything you covered and don't be afraid to go ahead of the class.

    Hope that helps
    thanks for the advice!
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    The posts above are very accurate. We've been given a few 'end of unit' tests. The teacher has made them insanely hard to scare us.

    After the test today, I told him that some of them questions were just weird and I didn't quite understand how to answer them/what it was asking me (even though I know AS Mechanics like the back of my hand/can answer every single question in lesson/achieved A*'s at GCSE).

    His response was, exam technique is key; you will only hit them A's if you know exactly what the question is asking you/how to answer it. Furthermore, I sometimes find myself running out of time, he said with a good exam technique I will be able to answer the questions as simple/short as possible (saves time) - yet still obtain all the marks. Like Einstein said; make things as simple as possible, but no simpler.

    I will definitely be working on my exam technique over this half-term holiday.

    I hope my post has helped you in some way Good luck.
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    (Original post by Sagacious)
    The posts above are very accurate. We've been given a few 'end of unit' tests. The teacher has made them insanely hard to scare us.

    After the test today, I told him that some of them questions were just weird and I didn't quite understand how to answer them/what it was asking me (even though I know AS Mechanics like the back of my hand/can answer every single question in lesson/achieved A*'s at GCSE).

    His response was, exam technique is key; you will only hit them A's if you know exactly what the question is asking you/how to answer it. Furthermore, I sometimes find myself running out of time, he said with a good exam technique I will be able to answer the questions as simple/short as possible (saves time) - yet still obtain all the marks. Like Einstein said; make things as simple as possible, but no simpler.

    I will definitely be working on my exam technique over this half-term holiday.

    I hope my post has helped you in some way Good luck.
    You'll do very well if you do this, your teacher is 100% correct. It's all down to exam technique. Good luck with your exams, sure you'll do well as you're heading down the right path
 
 
 
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