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Things you wish you had known about A-Levels.. Watch

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    Hey, I'm hopefully starting my A-Levels after Summer. I was wondering if you made any mistakes that you wish you could correct, or found out any useful knowledge or information concerning A-Levels, which could help the people starting A-Levels now. It could be exam tips, organisation, revision, friends - anything! Thank you.

    Another question. Ignoring the actual content of the A-Levels, what did you actually learn? (how you learn best, how to manage your time etc)
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    (Original post by fortunesfool)
    Hey, I'm hopefully starting my A-Levels after Summer. I was wondering if you made any mistakes that you wish you could correct, or found out any useful knowledge or information concerning A-Levels, which could help the people starting A-Levels now. It could be exam tips, organisation, revision, friends - anything! Thank you.

    Another question. Ignoring the actual content of the A-Levels, what did you actually learn? (how you learn best, how to manage your time etc)
    Not starting revision early enough, having to cram near the end which meant I had to base my revision on predictions- very risky lol
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    That you can't just coast through them like gcse's and come out with A*'s!
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    (Original post by random1234567)
    Not starting revision early enough, having to cram near the end which meant I had to base my revision on predictions- very risky lol

    How early do you wish you had started revision? Bear in mind, there are no January exams anymore.
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    Work your butt off and smartly to get into what you want. After that, no one talks of A-levels at Uni.

    Best of luck x
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    (Original post by fortunesfool)
    How early do you wish you had started revision? Bear in mind, there are no January exams anymore.
    To be honest as soon as possible, when you go over the content in class, make sure you go over the content when you go home and understand it fully!
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    Knowing exactly what the course content is e.g. for A Level music our teacher failed to tell us that we needed to know basically the entire history of music until 2 weeks before the exam, so know exactly what you will be examined on. Also, if you plan on going to uni, get all of the research done (and uni visit days) and ideas for the UCAS form done in the break between AS and A2 so that you aren't panicking to get it all done when you start your final year of A Levels as lots of my mates did, and then struggled with keeping up with college work at the same time.

    What did I learn: time management I guess, you need to prioritise your weakest subjects so that you understand everything you could be faced with on an exam, but also make sure that you don't neglect your strongest/most confident, just in case you think you know something but in reality you don't know it as well as you thought you did.
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    I wish I would have taken them more seriously, and I wish I would have had more guidance and support from my parents and college.
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    I didn't know that AS counted for 50% of the whole A-Level

    Pretty stupid of me haha
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    Thank you everybody. Keep them coming.
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    Wish I knew that I chose the wrong subjects. Wish I knew the grammar school I go to makes us do quite tricky exam boards, and is somehow unable to hire decent chemistry teachers. ._.

    I guess I learnt how to revise, as I did a bunch of past papers this year, something I never did for GCSE, and I think these have worked.
    Time management improved, but still could get better.
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    Knowing exactly how much work you had to put into certain subjects and you can't just turn up 50% of the time and do no revision and still get As like at GCSE. I've never been organised and managed to do well on all my GCSEs by doing very little work and literally no revision (other than memorizing 2 quotes for RE ), on top of that I am a great procrastinator lol

    Seriously, I regret doing A Levels at 6th Form, for one of my subjects you had a right or wrong answer to most questions and it was standard learning of go to class, pay attention, make a few notes and re-read those notes later, you maybe did a few hrs a week of essays etc. I chose 2 art/design subjects, if you were organised you'd have no problem doing the work lol but having to do 8 10hr studies on top of classwork on top of a 3k essay for 1 subject was crazy to balance with other subjects/revision.

    The fact that all teachers seem to forget that you can't dedicate your life to one subject because you have about 3 others to work on and how you're expected to do extra-curricular activities to make yourself look more attractive when you write a personal statement. Social life? What social life? lol
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    Forgot to add, wishing I'd mentioned to teachers that I was struggling with A Levels instead of keeping quiet because I didn't want to bother them! Advice to future A Level students, if you're struggling... SAY SOMETHING! You are not alone lol. Better to catch it and sort it early than to wait until the end of A2s and realise you're screwed
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    (Original post by fortunesfool)
    Hey, I'm hopefully starting my A-Levels after Summer. I was wondering if you made any mistakes that you wish you could correct, or found out any useful knowledge or information concerning A-Levels, which could help the people starting A-Levels now. It could be exam tips, organisation, revision, friends - anything! Thank you.

    Another question. Ignoring the actual content of the A-Levels, what did you actually learn? (how you learn best, how to manage your time etc)
    I wish I'd known to revise as I go along. Don't leave it until a month before the exams; when you have a lesson, at the end of that day go over that lesson's notes and try and remember them. We got told a lot of rampant b/s by teachers (synoptic links?!), but consolidation is the one I wish I'd listened to. It would have made it so much easier.
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    At the start of each subject, find out the exam board and full course name and print out the specification for each. Then when you've learnt something new, you can tick it off if you understand it, or put a question mark next to it if you need to go back and take a look later on. Obviously don't just ignore the parts you do understand, as you will still need to revise them later, but it gives you an idea of what you need to work on.
    Also, teachers talk about revision timetables, but in order to make sure you do enough work outside of lessons throughout the year, plan a term timetable for outside of school, and stick to it. You're guided to do an hour outside if school for every hour you do in school, so if you can fit all of them from one day in that evening, then things will be fresh in your head and you will still have weekends free. You can then use this time to complete homework and coursework, making sure you won't end up cramming before the deadlines!
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    That sometimes you'll be asked questions that bear no relevance whatsoever to what you've been learning the ins and outs of for the past year, and you'll come out of the exam thinking, "I should've just spent the past year reading out of an Argos catalogue..."
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    If you are doing coursework subjects, focus on your coursework in your evenings and frees up till December, you want it to boost your marks as much as possible! To let pressure off for the exams! Then I personally revised on Sundays the notes from the week.

    Then December onwards revise at home and the weekend and do coursework in your frees.

    Once course works done, revise!!!!

    (That's just a tip)

    Make a glossary of terms and theories and keep it in front of your folder so you can just revise from that instead of filing through your notes for definitions

    (That's just another tip)


    What I wish I had learnt:
    The importance of past papers!!

    This wasn't emphasised to me till April and they are excellent to see the key words that the exam boards are looking for.
    Start using them from November onwards or so, once you've got a fair bit of the content covered
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    Getting decent practice applying your knowledge (mainly by doing past-papers) is a lot more important at A-level; simply learning the theoretical content won't do, because the exam questions are a lot more quirky and confusing. This mainly applies to the sciences, I'm unsure about the other subjects.

    Also, you have to start revision earlier as the longer the information's been in your head, the easier it will be to apply it. If you cram, you'll be good at recalling information but not applying it. I started revising for A-level exams in mid-March and I think it worked well, though I revised several hours every day.

    Learning theoretical content is best done straight from a good textbook. I had teachers who kept telling us about the importance of using class notes, doing internet research and collecting information from different sources so that we weren't being 'spoon fed' information, and would even check to see we've got enough notes. None of this really mattered in the end as the resource I relied most heavily on by far was a highlighted and annotated textbook.

    In general, I found lessons/class to not be as helpful at A-level as they were at GCSE. The ability to study independently is a lot more important.
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    Just because you did well at the subject at GCSE does not mean you will automatically do well at A Level. That was my mistake with French.
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    Edexcel and OCR are ****ers nuff said /thread
 
 
 
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