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What's the secret to success in Science and Maths A levels? Watch

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    Bit of background.Worked voluntarily for the past 2 years at two pharmacies and a hospital.Started a job part time on saturdays as a counter assistant in a pharmacy last year and now awaiting to be acreddited with a qualification in being a counter assistant too.Whilst doing this,with the obvious aspiration of studying pharmacy.I started college and took Biology,Chemistry (all OCR),Business Studies (AQA) and Mathematics (MEI).I just finished AS,and whilst working hard during my exams.I ended up with BCDD respectively.I was gutted.I thought I genuinely deserved better grades,at least B's.Now I'm in the gutter wondering where to apply to.

    My question is this.I'm dropping business studies and continuing maths,biology and chemistry to A2.I realize my teachers might not predict me the best of grades but I'm thoroughly eager to try and get as high as I can,I'm resitting 1 module in bio and chem and c1 and c2 in maths.I want to aim for the highest possible,basically A* if i can.I've tried so many techniques for revsion but obviously it's not working hence my grades at AS.Does anyone,who has an A in biology,chemistry or/and even maths have any specific revision tips for studying for these subjects,and also the exams e.g how to know the keywords for a science based exam question ? Would be greatly appreciated.Thanks
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    Thought you'd tell me the secret...
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    Past papers. The only revision for all 6 of my maths modules (AS maths and AS further maths) was to do every single past paper (roughly 14 papers for each module = 84 papers) . Got 100% ums in 3/6 and lowest was 93/100
    I don't do biology or chemistry but I do physics and again, I did all the past papers and wrote out all the answers to the most popular questions on the textbook and the CGP revision guide.

    Truly and honestly, Exam boards are lazy and they recycle questions very often, AQA used the same picture in 2 physics exams with only 3 years inbetween, the question was slightly different but still. Maths, I can still remember some questions that came up that I had already done.

    And don't do all of the past papers during the year, Do most of them first time like 2 weeks before the exams, that way, you have answered pretty much 90%+ of what is going to come up in your exam, just with different wording and situations.

    Mark schemes are like cheat codes, they tell you what you need to write to get the marks so you don't waste time writing useless working out or information. Most explain questions that are 1 or 2 marks can usually be gained with a phrase or a very short sentence.
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    I've just got my AS results which included maths, further maths and physics and I got all As and an average of 88% ums across these three subjects.

    How I revise is just jump straight into practising questions, I skip all the revision card/poster bull**** as it just doesn't work. For me I just do past papers and mark them harshly, if I don't understand why I got something wrong, I look back through my notes and read through that topic. Repeat that for ALL the past papers, and I mean all of them.
    That's all there is to it really.


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    I mean I'm in the process of studying my A Levels too and I wouldn't say I'm an ideal student or that I was during AS but taking maths and science subjects (Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Physics) and having looking at threads on TSR I see people constantly seem to emphasise one thing: past papers. I think sometimes you can understand the content but there's a certain style/phrasing which the exam board likes that will get you the marks, especially for definitions I've noticed in my experience. So doing lots of practice familiarises yourself to that and I suppose it becomes second nature or hopefully will do before you take the exam.

    I think also understand the content is important and not starting too last minute. From my experience those are areas where I went wrong. Another thing from my experience I regret is not taking all my tests/mocks too seriously, I wish I had.

    For the following year those are some areas I'm going to work on OP so hopefully something came in use to you.

    I wish you all the success in your exams OP
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    Work hard! Do you think that if there really were some magic, simple technique of easily learning all of the course content your teachers would have kept it from you? Learn the course content back to front and learn how to answer exam questions by using past papers, that's all there is to it.

    You're not going to get anywhere if you try to avoid hard work and simply look for a quick fix. There's a thread here on revision techniques but if you don't have the will power to succeed you're not going to.
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    I just had an A* maths, A* further maths, A biology and an A chemistry at a level and to be honest I din't really have any awesome revision schedule :P I wrote loads of for chemistry and biology and read over topics until I knew them fully, literally hours of work, also check out the questions on past papers as questions are often re used! Whereas with maths modules I stuck to the past papers and just kept doing them until I got the hang of the topics
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    (Original post by krishkmistry)

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    For Biology: LEARN THE MARK SCHEME.

    I did everysingle bio past paper from 2001-2013 and literally learned the mark schemes by heart. (not every question- just the main points required for each type) and I got full UMS so it must be working.

    go to xtremepapers for the old papers.
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    Oh and check out the mark schemes for Biol and Chem, it can be very picky on time with how you word things! For questions that kept coming up on past papers I usually learnt the answer from the mark scheme
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    Edit the title to

    What's the secret
    to success in Science and Maths A levels?

    I would say 1 hour minimum for every lesson, past papers and as many sources of information as possible
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    (Original post by chelseafan)
    Thought you'd tell me the secret...
    well maybe if you read the first post you would have known!
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    Just do past papers, the same questions come up every couple of years especially with biology and chemistry and they very rarely throw in a curve ball (maybe one notoriously hard question every couple of years). I got an A* in both, so as well as putting the textbooks by the toilet so you have a good twenty minutes each night id say that's the best advice I could give!


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    (Original post by Alex 721)
    Just do past papers, the same questions come up every couple of years especially with biology and chemistry and they very rarely throw in a curve ball (maybe one notoriously hard question every couple of years). I got an A* in both, so as well as putting the textbooks by the toilet so you have a good twenty minutes each night id say that's the best advice I could give!


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    I was just wondering what board did you do for CHEM?
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    AQA


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    thanks everyone for all the USEFUL advice
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    That's what I'm doing. I was wondering whether if you have any tips for the ISA/EMPA?
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    Do every past paper and don't make mistakes in the C1 exam
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    Understand the topics at hand.

    Find the best method of learning for you.

    Apply your knowledge to past papers and learn the past paper answers and the exam mark scheme. I believe OCR are even more notorious with their strictness to adhere to the model answer. Key words and phrases, etc.
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    Bloody hard work. Endless past papers. OCD practice of mechanisms and energy diagrams.
 
 
 
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