Best way to revise for A level Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology?

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ERdoctor
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Hi everyone,

I am finding it hard to find ways to revise for my a level subjects, mainly Chemistry and Physics - but also Maths and Biology.

For Biology I have started making notes at home on the topics we did the week before (so I am always a week behind, which I think is good to refresh myself).

For Maths I just do exercises from my C1 and M1 book - is it worth making notes or would that be pointless? Should I just stick to exercises and what not?

With Chem and Phys I basically have no idea what to do, I have CGP revision guides to read but thats about it - I wish there were books which gave you loads of exercises and a few worked examples like my C1 book with answers in the back. Is there any point in doing notes like I am for Biology? The only reason I do them for Bio is because its more of an english like subject with no maths involved - so notes and reading is really the only thing you can do.


I have plenty of time, I even have a timetable, but the Physics and chemistry parts of the timetable seem to go to waste because I can't find anything to do :|

Thanks for your help.
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vxrz
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For maths, i guess its just doing the excercises from each section. See if you can solve the hard ones correctly as well. If not, revise on how to do it. There is no point in making notes, because at the end of the day you are substituting numbers instead of the letters.
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gridlock
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Maths: http://examsolutions.co.uk/
Science: http://www.khanacademy.org/
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matthew769
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Keep up with the work throughout the year, that way you don't need to burn yourself out at exam time to cover things you slacked off during. Cramming before the exam is quite effective if you can do it
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Pride
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With chemistry, I think past papers are the way to go. Get through as many as you can.

Make sure you can recite the definitions of keywords in your textbook, assuming you've been given one. You know like 'isotope', 'first ionisation energy' or 'mole' - you can get questions just asking for definitions and these are easy marks if you know them.

Also, I'd say, practice calculations. Often you'll need to do particular calculations to do other calculations, there's lots of applying. Practice makes perfect, again, those are easy marks if you see them in the paper and you've practiced them.

I don't really know much about physics, and you seem to be alright with maths and biology.
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wrighty1994
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Hey,

For Chemistry, i use ChemGuide and A-Level Chemistry.
ChemGuide has a lot of diagrams of mechanisms and stuff that are very helpful when it comes to helping them stick. It also provides a lot of explanation behind the theory in your textbook.
A-Level Chemistry has practice questions made by the company which can help to improve your exam technique and they have topic notes as well as end of unit tests you can do. They also have the past papers on the website.

Hope This Helps
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Natalie21
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For chemistry, biology and maths I make flash cards.
So I'll write down all the chem definitions and the maths formulae etc that we need to know.
Have you got your chemistry textbook as I do OCR and I have the textbook and the revision textbook and they have lots of questions and answers in them, as do many websites online

For maths its just best to do all the exercises in the books and loads of past papers.

And past papers for biology because apparently the mark scheme is strict!

Hope that helps
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ERdoctor
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Thanks for all the information so far

Do you thing writing notes in Physics is useful?
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rozca
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(Original post by ERdoctor)
Thanks for all the information so far

Do you thing writing notes in Physics is useful?
Sam Davyson's website is a godsend for physics. also, the wiki pages are really helpful. what i did for physics was go through the topic taught in school in every revision guide you can get hold of. then all the a level physics help websites. then answer all the questions you can find (i couldnt answer the majority of them, dont worry, just try learn from the answers - write them down somewhere). Once youve done this for a few topics or subtopics its time to hit the past papers, just start really early. do a paper a week or something.. baring in mind you cant answer most of them at this stage because you havent even covered the content yet. but just keep it, you'll realise you may have to self teach yourself the majority of the content (or atleast this was true in my case, the teachers would miss out chunks, which would sometimes be adressed to in the last minute revision the day before the exam etc) so yeah, all the things you cant do in the past papers, look at the answers and just learn them off byheart. What you need to realise is at this you just want to be someone thats good at passing the exam rather than a good physicist. Anyway, this is what i did, over and over and over again. Managed to get an A by the end of it all. (im no genius, got a D in an exam before i kicked in this revision routine!)

Maths - just do past papers. nothing else helps. the ones your getting wrong, i didnt even try to make sense of the answer - get a teacher to explain it to you/pay more attention in class. attend atleast all the essential lessons when you start a new topic. other than that just do lots and lots of past papers, theres loads of resources for maths. this got me an A*.

Chemistry - theres a LOT of content here. give most of your time to this. for every half hour id spend on maths, id spend 1 hour on physics and 2 or 3 hours on chemistry. Make notes. Lots of them. Colour code them. Write out perfect exam style answers to popular questions. learn parrot-fashion. Make cards with important info on them: ie benzene reactions, group 7 reactions etc. MAke factsheets for each type of chemical like alkanes/alkenes/alcohols etc. Also do one of these for identification tests. Learn the outcome of pracs. Then do all the stuff i said for physics. Anyone can get an A in chemistry, its not like maths/physics.. you just need a good work ethic.

Chemistry isn't hard - theres just a LOT of it. Physics is hard. very hard - just keep at it. Maths is simples when you get the jist, but before you understand that topic its impossible to do by yourself, get someone who knows how to do that to explain it to you. Alevel chem and phys can be self-taught. so over like christmas break or half term - dedicate most of your time to the sciences, easily doable. maths - there isnt facts to remember, you need guidance here.

Oh also, make formula sheets for each subject. or if appropriate - each sub-subject. Like c1, c2, m1, c3 etc. Tape these on the wall.

Good luck :-)
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ERdoctor
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(Original post by rozca)
Sam Davyson's website is a godsend for physics. also, the wiki pages are really helpful. what i did for physics was go through the topic taught in school in every revision guide you can get hold of. then all the a level physics help websites. then answer all the questions you can find (i couldnt answer the majority of them, dont worry, just try learn from the answers - write them down somewhere). Once youve done this for a few topics or subtopics its time to hit the past papers, just start really early. do a paper a week or something.. baring in mind you cant answer most of them at this stage because you havent even covered the content yet. but just keep it, you'll realise you may have to self teach yourself the majority of the content (or atleast this was true in my case, the teachers would miss out chunks, which would sometimes be adressed to in the last minute revision the day before the exam etc) so yeah, all the things you cant do in the past papers, look at the answers and just learn them off byheart. What you need to realise is at this you just want to be someone thats good at passing the exam rather than a good physicist. Anyway, this is what i did, over and over and over again. Managed to get an A by the end of it all. (im no genius, got a D in an exam before i kicked in this revision routine!)

Maths - just do past papers. nothing else helps. the ones your getting wrong, i didnt even try to make sense of the answer - get a teacher to explain it to you/pay more attention in class. attend atleast all the essential lessons when you start a new topic. other than that just do lots and lots of past papers, theres loads of resources for maths. this got me an A*.

Chemistry - theres a LOT of content here. give most of your time to this. for every half hour id spend on maths, id spend 1 hour on physics and 2 or 3 hours on chemistry. Make notes. Lots of them. Colour code them. Write out perfect exam style answers to popular questions. learn parrot-fashion. Make cards with important info on them: ie benzene reactions, group 7 reactions etc. MAke factsheets for each type of chemical like alkanes/alkenes/alcohols etc. Also do one of these for identification tests. Learn the outcome of pracs. Then do all the stuff i said for physics. Anyone can get an A in chemistry, its not like maths/physics.. you just need a good work ethic.

Chemistry isn't hard - theres just a LOT of it. Physics is hard. very hard - just keep at it. Maths is simples when you get the jist, but before you understand that topic its impossible to do by yourself, get someone who knows how to do that to explain it to you. Alevel chem and phys can be self-taught. so over like christmas break or half term - dedicate most of your time to the sciences, easily doable. maths - there isnt facts to remember, you need guidance here.

Oh also, make formula sheets for each subject. or if appropriate - each sub-subject. Like c1, c2, m1, c3 etc. Tape these on the wall.

Good luck :-)
Thanks I have noticed that Chemistry (so far) isn't anywhere near as hard as Physics and Maths. Biology is just like Chemistry in the sense that it isn't hard but there is a lot to learn - but I think chemistry is a bit harder.

I might also try writing notes for Physics as some people say it helps, but i don't know :L
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hamzak93
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(Original post by ERdoctor)
Hi everyone,

I am finding it hard to find ways to revise for my a level subjects, mainly Chemistry and Physics - but also Maths and Biology.

For Biology I have started making notes at home on the topics we did the week before (so I am always a week behind, which I think is good to refresh myself).

For Maths I just do exercises from my C1 and M1 book - is it worth making notes or would that be pointless? Should I just stick to exercises and what not?

With Chem and Phys I basically have no idea what to do, I have CGP revision guides to read but thats about it - I wish there were books which gave you loads of exercises and a few worked examples like my C1 book with answers in the back. Is there any point in doing notes like I am for Biology? The only reason I do them for Bio is because its more of an english like subject with no maths involved - so notes and reading is really the only thing you can do.



I have plenty of time, I even have a timetable, but the Physics and chemistry parts of the timetable seem to go to waste because I can't find anything to do :|

Thanks for your help.

Hey
For maths i would say the more you practice the higher your grade will be. Just keeps practicing the exercises given in the book and you'll be fine. For physics you need to be able to grasp the concept and then apply it to the questions. You should read the book and then got through the exercises given in the book or you could do the past papers. As for chemistry you need to more concerned about the concepts rather than practice. You should read the book and make your own notes.
Good Luck
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ERdoctor
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(Original post by hamzak93)
Hey
For maths i would say the more you practice the higher your grade will be. Just keeps practicing the exercises given in the book and you'll be fine. For physics you need to be able to grasp the concept and then apply it to the questions. You should read the book and then got through the exercises given in the book or you could do the past papers. As for chemistry you need to more concerned about the concepts rather than practice. You should read the book and make your own notes.
Good Luck
Thanks You're all giving great advice!
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rozca
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(Original post by ERdoctor)
Thanks I have noticed that Chemistry (so far) isn't anywhere near as hard as Physics and Maths. Biology is just like Chemistry in the sense that it isn't hard but there is a lot to learn - but I think chemistry is a bit harder.

I might also try writing notes for Physics as some people say it helps, but i don't know :L
what board are you on for physics?
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ERdoctor
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(Original post by rozca)
what board are you on for physics?
OCR A.
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rozca
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(Original post by ERdoctor)
OCR A.
Ah ok. I was going to give you all my as/a2 phys material but your doing a different, better board
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aimeep13
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I did these subjects last year and found doing past papers really helpful- it helps you predict what kind of questions are going to come up as well as getting used to how the exam board words the questions.
I also made little quiz cards with questions on one side and answers on the other so I could quiz myself at times when I couldn't really do past papers like on bus journeys and stuff.
Good luck!
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ERdoctor
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(Original post by rozca)
Ah ok. I was going to give you all my as/a2 phys material but your doing a different, better board
Thats extremely kind! Its a shame we didn't both do the same exam board!

Thanks anyway
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ERdoctor
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(Original post by aimeep13)
I did these subjects last year and found doing past papers really helpful- it helps you predict what kind of questions are going to come up as well as getting used to how the exam board words the questions.
I also made little quiz cards with questions on one side and answers on the other so I could quiz myself at times when I couldn't really do past papers like on bus journeys and stuff.
Good luck!
Thanks

That quiz card Idea sounds great, especially, (like you said) when you can't do past papers.
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Sagacious
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Try and help friends/others with their homework/questions, by doing that it will enhance your understanding and you will find out if there's something you don't understand fully because you wont be able to explain it thoroughly. In other words, be in the hot seat and let your friends quiz you about the subject.

It's a win-win.

For maths, just do question after question until people start calling you Gauss.
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DanielleT192
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For maths, there's no real way of studying.

The only thing I done was practise, practise, practise, with the questions in the book and solutions.

The only 'revision' I done was write down the equations for different types of questions, kept up with the homework and the coursework and at the end, practised on past papers and challenged myself on the more difficult questions. If I didn't know how to do one thing, I'd ask the teacher to make sure I knew how to do it and helped my classmates if they didn't know how to do something!
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