A-levels: Are they as tough as everyone says? Watch

jazzy11
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Hi Guys,

Basically i just wanted to know how hard alevels are because everyone says the step is so huge, especially in History! I just wanted to know your guys opinions on how you found it, and what advice you could give for us new AS students

Thanks xxx
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username638250
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It's harder to get an A/A* at A Level for sure but content-wise, as long as you put the effort into it, it's not too difficult as long as you picked the right subjects. I just entered my A2 year and it does get harder at A2 though since you have to remember AS material as well as learn the A2 material. I take Maths, Further Maths, Biology and Chemistry.
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Changing Skies
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(Original post by jazzy11)
Hi Guys,

Basically i just wanted to know how hard alevels are because everyone says the step is so huge, especially in History! I just wanted to know your guys opinions on how you found it, and what advice you could give for us new AS students

Thanks xxx
They're really not as bad as some people say, you just need to work a lot harder! Some subjects have more of a step up than others though. I did history and the step up wasn't too bad! The content increases by a lot and you need to ensure you get the essay technique right, but other than that it's absolutely fine, and an amazing subject

Organise yourself well, don't leave revision TOO late as you will get very stressed. Do practice questions and papers so you know what to expect when it comes to the exams. It'd probably be beneficial to go over your notes in any frees or after college/sixth form so you have less pressure to learn a great deal from scratch when it comes to revision. Stay positive as that'll help you and motivate you to try harder

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DeceitfulDove
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They're only hard if you don't put enough effort and time in, or if you're not sure your subjects are right for you. Being unorganised with bits of paper everywhere can also have a negative impact, but sorting it out and re writing notes can be a good activity. Keep at it, do whatever tasks you're given ASAP because falling behind can be stressful and make things worse. Read more than what you're given, if you have a spare hour one night just do a bit of googling, get some extra resources, you'll be fine.

My simple tip is to get a large whiteboard to write key dates/names/info/anything on and have it by the side of your bed at night. I wrote my homework tasks on one side and key info on the other. You can't really forget to do stuff when it's written in giant letters staring you in the face.
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Seb.
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Probably. I personally don't know as I have just started them this week, but if everyone says they are difficult, there probably is something that they know and we don't.

But I still don't believe the people that say things like "hurr durr you need to revise each subject at least an hour a day to get a good result hurr". That would be insane.

My plan is to pay attention in class, keep track of the content I will be doing in my subjects, revise each subjects for about 2 hours each week, and most importantly try my best.

And I believe that is enough to give me the results I want to.
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Badshah
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It's a big step up. I barely revised for my GCSE exams and still managed to scrape a few As and Bs, but in A levels, I did the same revision formula and had to repeat AS, because my grades weren't good enough to continue on to A2. You have to literally revise throughout the year, if you wanna get good grades and end up in a sic uni. And I did History for AS, and it was indeed very difficult in contrast to GCSE History. I still managed to get a C though.

Good luck.
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jazzy11
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Thanks for the replies guys, I guess I am just scared because year 10 history didn't go to well but i tried hard in year 11 and ended up with an A*, but I put in like 7 months of hardcore revision!

I guess I was just unsure whether I will be to do well in it knowing i tried so hard last year! But your advice was great and thanks a lot!
xxxx
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hajinator
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http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...20people%20say

There is already a thread like this, go check it out.
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hellomoto170
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(Original post by Seb.)
Probably. I personally don't know as I have just started them this week, but if everyone says they are difficult, there probably is something that they know and we don't.

But I still don't believe the people that say things like "hurr durr you need to revise each subject at least an hour a day to get a good result hurr". That would be insane.

My plan is to pay attention in class, keep track of the content I will be doing in my subjects, revise each subjects for about 2 hours each week, and most importantly try my best.

And I believe that is enough to give me the results I want to.
two hours a week won't cut it, trust me. Not when you're near exams especially.
Obviously an hour a night in october for june exams is absurd (or at least not necessary to get A's) but when you're a month or two from exams you'll want to be doing an hour per day per subject at least. Remember you'll have free periods at sixth form/college (i'd imagine) to sit in the library and study as well as time at home so it's doable.
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charliemac41
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They are definitely alot harder than GCSE's but it still more than possible to do fantastically if you are willing to put in the effort. It is certainly true that A levels are alot less forgiving for those who aren't willing to do the work. Im a prime example. AS level year, i put in alot of effort and ended that year with 5A's. This made me cocky, i did no work in year 13, and finished with 4bs and one A at a level, achieving cs and ds in all bar one exam. So whilst the step up is quite big, the correlation is alot stronger between work level and results, so in a sense they are alot fairer. So if you put in the work, you'll do great.
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charrey
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I did english lit, history, geography and psychology and i have to say they're not as hard as people say. As long as you revise on study leave and make sure you do the homework etc that your given, you'll be fine. Its stupid that people say you need to do hours of extra work everyday, because for me that simply wasn't true and i still ended up with good results. Its mostly exam technique so make sure you master that and you'll be fine
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jazzy11
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(Original post by charliemac41)
They are definitely alot harder than GCSE's but it still more than possible to do fantastically if you are willing to put in the effort. It is certainly true that A levels are alot less forgiving for those who aren't willing to do the work. Im a prime example. AS level year, i put in alot of effort and ended that year with 5A's. This made me cocky, i did no work in year 13, and finished with 4bs and one A at a level, achieving cs and ds in all bar one exam. So whilst the step up is quite big, the correlation is alot stronger between work level and results, so in a sense they are alot fairer. So if you put in the work, you'll do great.
This has made me feel a lot better thanks :')xxx
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onimusha370
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As charliemac41 talked about, the correlation between the work you put in and the grade you get is much more accurate than at GCSE. I put in a lot of work at GCSE and got a mix of A*'s and A's, and because I had to work hard it prepared me well for my A levels.
If you enjoy your subjects and work hard, there's no reason why you can't get A*'s and A's at A level
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MathMan
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I got straight A*s at a level and I think doing well at a-level boils down to a few things;

- Pick the right subjects for YOU and not your best friend. I know alot of people who have failed because they were indecisive on what to pick and just ended up doing the same subjects as their best friend.

- Work consistently throughout the year, I can't remember a single day (bar 2 or 3) where I didn't do at least 2 hours of work. Finish any homework or coursework you get straight away! it will start to pile up.

- Start proper revision EARLY around 10 weeks before the exam, finish and review every past paper (especially for maths/sciences), any greater than 10 weeks will cause you to 'burn out' (lose motivation).

- Have a deep interest in the subjects you study. Attend lectures at universities and read books. Lastly make sure you have something that takes your mind of studying regularly, spend some time with friends, exercise or whatevs

Good luck
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Seb.
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(Original post by hellomoto170)
two hours a week won't cut it, trust me. Not when you're near exams especially.
Obviously an hour a night in october for june exams is absurd (or at least not necessary to get A's) but when you're a month or two from exams you'll want to be doing an hour per day per subject at least.
When I think of it, what you said is probably true...

So throughout the year, how much should I be doing a day per subject? Half an hour?
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BlindingLight
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I didn't find them too hard..

As long as you put in the required hours they shouldn't be too difficult at all.
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hellomoto170
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(Original post by Seb.)
When I think of it, what you said is probably true...

So throughout the year, how much should I be doing a day per subject? Half an hour?
it depends massively on the subject. For example for economics, I had one exam in january and one in june. Each exam's unit was fairly small and I was able to write the revision notes for it in about a month, doing an hour of notes per day. I therefore didn't really do any economics revision from september to november (apart from homework and some reading here and there to get extra knowledge etc).

Another subject, biology, the specification is huge, and so I started my notes in september and just did a few pages a week so I got them done.
Maths, my school went through each topic at a time and it's vital you do lots of practise questions so you don't forget it.
ultimately it really depends on the subject, not very helpful I know!
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07emmshm
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I've just started A2 and yes, I would say that there is a pretty big leap in most subjects. I found that you should never underestimate how hard A levels really are, but as long as you keep up with the work and don't start falling behind it all works out ok. The thing about A levels especially is that the exams and grading at times are a bit unpredictable, as I do all essay writing subjects, and if you do not meet certain requirements in the way that you structure your responses, you actually lose marks. I was a bit lazy with mine and that's something I wouldn't recommend as although I did fine in my results, I am definitely not going to make that same mistake again this year. So keep up to date with your work and I'm sure you'll do well!
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Seb.
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(Original post by hellomoto170)
it depends massively on the subject. For example for economics, I had one exam in january and one in june. Each exam's unit was fairly small and I was able to write the revision notes for it in about a month, doing an hour of notes per day. I therefore didn't really do any economics revision from september to november (apart from homework and some reading here and there to get extra knowledge etc).

Another subject, biology, the specification is huge, and so I started my notes in september and just did a few pages a week so I got them done.
Maths, my school went through each topic at a time and it's vital you do lots of practise questions so you don't forget it.
ultimately it really depends on the subject, not very helpful I know!
What you said does actually help me to understand it all a bit better. Thanks, I really appreciate it!
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Pavzky
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They're not that bad. You just have to be ready for them and know what to expect. I didn't do that well at AS so I worked (a tiny bit) harder at A2. While they're not that difficult (just lots and lots of content) they generally make your life hell xD. I didn't enjoy them at all - except English - I liked writing essays.
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