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    I was wondering how people who will be going to college/sixth form in September may (or may not) be preparing over the summer for As levels. I was thinking of looking over the syllabus for my subjects (Biology, Chemistry, Maths and English literature) a little bit so I can hit the ground running.
    Is this is a good or bad idea?
    What are other students doing?

    Advice on the first year of college would also be great!
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    I did bio, chem, physics and geog.

    My advice would be, when your tutors tell you about how big of a step up a levels are from gcse, believe them! I went from straight A's at gcse to DDEU in first year of a levels simply because I thought I would stroll through like I did at gcse! I then re took my first year again and worked my arse off, you need to match the hours you spend in lessons with the amount of time you spend doing work out of lessons, it paid off but I wish I had put in the same amount of effort and didn't have to end up doing 3 years!

    Also especially for science subjects past papers are a must, they run out of ideas for questions and end up using pretty similar ones in your exams!

    Good luck!
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    Definitely look over the syllabus and try borrowing textbooks from the library and reading over them so you get a good idea of what will be covered in the lessons. Most people at our school treated the lessons as sort of revision, they looked over the topic beforehand and then went over it in class, this is because there is just not enough time to cover everything and the teachers went so fast it was difficult to scribble down everything. Also you are meant to do "independent study" so doing it early makes everything a lot easier.

    These are my notes for bio and chem which you might find useful, instead of buying a textbook:
    http://nickmynotes.wordpress.com/as-biology/

    After this I would start reading interesting books around your topic, e.g. Dawkins, Attenborough, Steve Jones etc. (these are just bio ones), if you google suggested reading lists then there are loads online or ask your new college to send you one. These are good to put on UCAS and talk about on your personal statement. if you know what you want to uni ( if you want to go that is) then I would read books around this topic. Also writing mini reviews will allow you to remember what they were about as if you write about them in your PS they might ask about them at interview. Further reading is expected at some places so i would get a head start.

    Also ask what you literature texts will be next year and get hold of copies of those and start reading, cause the more you read them the better understanding you will have.

    I would also look into work experience if you have time cause this is difficult to organise when you are stressed with exams and again a great thing for UCAS.

    YOU MUST BE VERY ORGANISED, its awful cause i am not at all. So make sure you get files, sticky notes, exercise books and a very good planner before you start. and keep on top of filing throughout the year.

    Use your frees wisely, don't do what i did and mess around in them until you get your mock grades (which were rubbish) and then realise you need to work harder, work from the beginning (go over things after lessons and make sure you understand everything and do hw and extra reading - i promise it pays off because you will be less stressed while everyone else who messed around will be cramming at the end of the year).

    Lastly, get involved in as many things as you can while you don't have exams, these will be brilliant for UCAS and will make you stand out!

    good luck, if you have any more questions you can just ask

    its nice to see that someone else cares as much about school as me, cause most of my friends say i work too hard, be warned, most people will try and put you off working this hard and although you need a break (something i struggle with) you can't go too much in the other direction and not work at all either. GCSE to AS is a big step up
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    Thanks for the great advice!

    Although I have always worked hard at school, I too am not as organised as I should be, so am trying to ingrain the behaviour as much as I can before I start college.

    I care a lot about my education, and it is always nice to talk to those who feel the same way

    Thanks again!
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    Thank you! I have asked my cousin to lend me her old text books, so I am planning on reading through them and possibly working through a few past papers so I can get a feel for how the exams work.

    My brother also had to take a third year because he didn't work as much as he could have in the first year, even though he is incredibly gifted in the subjects he took, so I hope to learn from his mistakes!

    Thanks again for the advice!
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    (Original post by Spongebob0303)

    These are my notes for bio and chem which you might find useful, instead of buying a textbook:
    http://nickmynotes.wordpress.com/as-biology/
    These notes are fantastic! Thanks so much.
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    A levels are a big step up from GCSEs. A big massive step. Not to fret though, as your teachers, examiners and people analysing grades no this.

    Ive found that if you take how good a GCSE grade is- that level is a Grade below for A level.
    I e an A-Level B would be as good works as GCSE A.

    Don't fret over one subject. I was rubbish rubbish RUBBISH at Biology and I only concentrated on that at AS level. Turned out that I got a U in it anyway, and it effected my other grades to which sucked.
    Im in my third year of uni now, and I got Ds and Cs basically at A level. But I get 2:1s now. This kinda illustrates exactly what I mean by the ridiculous step up, but how much uni lecturers looking at your profile are aware of how hard the A levels are.

    Good luck

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    Thanks! I'm aware of the step up - my college made it very clear! My brother also got mostly D's in his first year, but has still attained a variety of offers from universities, which is reassuring.
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    (Original post by B.K.S)
    These notes are fantastic! Thanks so much.
    Your welcome
    I wish someone had done that for me, would have saved so much time
    Plus, it sort of seemed a waste for them to sit here on my computer.
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    Same position/ thanks!

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    I didn't do any work over the summer, and was just fine. However, if you feel like you want to get ahead, then do it! I read ahead maybe once in my Yr 12 and the next lesson I felt very smug as I knew everything. It did make the lesson quite boring, though, as I was only going over stuff I'd already learnt.
    tl;dr: It's not a requirement, so you don't have to.

    As for first year, I didn't find the content a step up as much the amount of content and the difficulty of exams. I was told that I'd drop two grades going from GCSE to A-level and was prepared for that, but honestly if you managed to just glide through your GCSEs (as I did), it's more like "you will drop to a U and you have to fight for every grade upwards".

    Overall, the main advice I can give is get your revision technique correct early, and stay on top of your work. If you can manage them both, there's very little reason to not get good grades at the end of your AS levels.
 
 
 
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