508836
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For those who got an A/A* in chemistry, can you please tell me the best way to obtain and A*/A. I'm on a Gap Year, I previously took chemistry as an A-level but ended up with a C grade. I want to boost this mark to hopefully an A/A* through independent learning. At the start of sixth form my prediction was an A but it nicely fell to a C due to the fact that I was lazy, a procrastinator and couldn't for the life of me figure out the best way to get an A/A*. I'm determined to achieve the very best grade this time round. I intend to re-sit all 4 AQA Chemistry modules (no ISAs got A's in them thank God) in May and June. I haven't started yet, I don't even know where to start...
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Chemhistorian
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Get a textbook, get help whenever you need it. Do practice and past paper questions..learn exam technique, learn reaction conditions/definitions and do more past papers
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gingerbreadman85
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(Original post by T-Toe)
For those who got an A/A* in chemistry, can you please tell me the best way to obtain and A*/A. I'm on a Gap Year, I previous took Chemistry as an A-level but ended up with a C grade. I want to boost this mark to hopefully an A/A* through independent learning. At the start of sixth form my prediction was an A but it nicely fell to a C due to the fact that I was lazy, a procrastinator and couldn't for the life of me figure out the best way to get an A/A*. I'm determined to achieve the very best grade this time round.
OK, first things first, for a student to re-sit and improve their overall grade by more than one step isn't terribly common. There is a massive gulf between a C and an A/A*, so you have a veritable mountain to climb. I'm not telling you it's impossible, however you do need to realise that it's a bit of an ask.

Secondly, you have already identified what you did wrong last time around, strangely enough the traits you need to get an A/A* are the opposite (something i'm sure your teachers told you at some point).
-You need to pay attention and make appropriate notes.
-These you need to look over in your own time and do questions to test your understanding.
-Where you still dont understand thing you need to talk to classmates or your teacher.
-Periodically re-visit old notes to ensure they are retained in long-term memory.
-Use past papers to revise come exam time.

Even with all this, you aren't guaranteed an A/A*.

Remember, on average in 6th form you should have been spending an hour a day in chemistry lessons, plus homework and revision on top. If you are talking about compressing this into 5 months, you are looking at the better part of 3hrs a day worth of work, plus "homework" time. Not just a case of looking through the book from time to time.
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508836
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(Original post by gingerbreadman85)
OK, first things first, for a student to re-sit and improve their overall grade by more than one step isn't terribly common. There is a massive gulf between a C and an A/A*, so you have a veritable mountain to climb. I'm not telling you it's impossible, however you do need to realise that it's a bit of an ask.

Secondly, you have already identified what you did wrong last time around, strangely enough the traits you need to get an A/A* are the opposite (something i'm sure your teachers told you at some point).
-You need to pay attention and make appropriate notes.
-These you need to look over in your own time and do questions to test your understanding.
-Where you still dont understand thing you need to talk to classmates or your teacher.
-Periodically re-visit old notes to ensure they are retained in long-term memory.
-Use past papers to revise come exam time.

Even with all this, you aren't guaranteed an A/A*.

Remember, on average in 6th form you should have been spending an hour a day in chemistry lessons, plus homework and revision on top. If you are talking about compressing this into 5 months, you are looking at the better part of 3hrs a day worth of work, plus "homework" time. Not just a case of looking through the book from time to time.
Thanks. However I just thought I'd let you know that I'm not attending sixth form. I'll be studying on my own with the help of a private tutor. I'll only be re-sitting 4 chemistry modules as a private candidate in the summer.
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watchthis
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The best advice I can give you is know the syllabuses inside out. The first module just needs practicing, get an AQA-endorsed text book and work through the exam style questions at the end of each chapter. I, personally, used a text book and a student support book as well.
I recommend these for AQA;
http://www.amazon.co.uk/AQA-Chemistr...4014819&sr=8-2

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Student-Supp...4014845&sr=1-1

However there is one student support book for each unit.
And for the rest of the tougher units, you have to know your stuff inside out, especially definitions.
And when you encounter a problem, you can always ask on TSR
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508836
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(Original post by watchthis)
The best advice I can give you is know the syllabuses inside out. The first module just needs practicing, get an AQA-endorsed text book and work through the exam style questions at the end of each chapter. I, personally, used a text book and a student support book as well.
I recommend these for AQA;
http://www.amazon.co.uk/AQA-Chemistr...4014819&sr=8-2

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Student-Supp...4014845&sr=1-1

However there is one student support book for each unit.
And for the rest of the tougher units, you have to know your stuff inside out, especially definitions.
And when you encounter a problem, you can always ask on TSR
So you recommend the student guide over the CGP book?
Should I just buy the student guide book for the Chem 1 and Chem 2 modules?
Ideally, when should I revising?
Sorry to bombard you with and these questions
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watchthis
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(Original post by T-Toe)
So you recommend the student guide over the CGP book?
Should I just buy the student guide book for the Chem 1 and Chem 2 modules?
Ideally, when should I revising?
Sorry to bombard you with and these questions
I have never used the CGP books, but I have had a look through them and I think they are more 'straight to the point' if you know what I mean, which can be good, but sometimes may lack information, so i'll let you decide on that.

Well, really, you would probably be needing it more for the tougher units, but it's up to you really.

And when should you be revising? It's tough to say really since you aren't actually attending any lessons. And you should probably work through it bit by bit starting soon since you're actually taking all 4 exams in may/june.

No worries, happy to help
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508836
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(Original post by watchthis)
I have never used the CGP books, but I have had a look through them and I think they are more 'straight to the point' if you know what I mean, which can be good, but sometimes may lack information, so i'll let you decide on that.

Well, really, you would probably be needing it more for the tougher units, but it's up to you really.

And when should you be revising? It's tough to say really since you aren't actually attending any lessons. And you should probably work through it bit by bit starting soon since you're actually taking all 4 exams in may/june.

No worries, happy to help
Thank you
Out of interest what grade did you get for your AS Chem?
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watchthis
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(Original post by T-Toe)
Thank you
Out of interest what grade did you get for your AS Chem?
Got an A working towards my A2's now :P
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mooniibuggy
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Hi

Have a look at this. It's aimed at uni students, but the tips are useful for us too!
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508836
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(Original post by watchthis)
Got an A working towards my A2's now :P
Well Done! Keep it up
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508836
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(Original post by watchthis)
The best advice I can give you is know the syllabuses inside out. The first module just needs practicing, get an AQA-endorsed text book and work through the exam style questions at the end of each chapter. I, personally, used a text book and a student support book as well.
I recommend these for AQA;
http://www.amazon.co.uk/AQA-Chemistr...4014819&sr=8-2

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Student-Supp...4014845&sr=1-1

However there is one student support book for each unit.
And for the rest of the tougher units, you have to know your stuff inside out, especially definitions.
And when you encounter a problem, you can always ask on TSR
Thanks so much for this. I actually brought all 4 student support books.
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508836
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(Original post by mooniibuggy)
Hi

Have a look at this. It's aimed at uni students, but the tips are useful for us too!
Cheers :top:

I actually haven't started revising, I've been so fixated in trying to find a job. How bad am I
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watchthis
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(Original post by T-Toe)
Thanks so much for this. I actually brought all 4 student support books.
Great, hope they prove to be useful, and good luck!
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hellochem
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What the Ums needed for A*?
Or is it An average of 90ums in a2's?
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solenoid
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(Original post by hellochem)
What the Ums needed for A*?
Or is it An average of 90ums in a2's?
270/300 UMS at A2 and 480/600 UMS across the whole A-level; for AQA, at least.
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Disney0702
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Hi there!

I got an A grade for AS Chemistry and I owe to the CGP guide, it was really helpful.
I currently use the A2 version now and it still pretty damn good with explaining mechanisms and reactions.

Here are the links:
https://www.cgpbooks.co.uk/Student/b...ageFlip_CATB51
https://www.cgpbooks.co.uk/Student/b...ageFlip_CATB61
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