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Starting A-Level work in the summer holidays? Watch

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    Hello! I start sixth form this September, and I was wondering if I should begin to prepare for it in some way as I am determined to put in a lot more effort than I did at GCSE. I'm not the most intelligent person but I am above average and hope to get a mixture of A's and B's at A-Level and get into a good university to study either psychology or biology. The subjects I'm doing at AS are biology, chemistry, religious studies and psychology, and I am going to a grammar school sixth form so I don't want to lag behind the more capable students. Would it be beneficial to begin going over the syllabus (and if so what textbooks would you recommend), or would it be a waste of time? Thank you!
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    (Original post by ChloeNR)
    Hello! I start sixth form this September, and I was wondering if I should begin to prepare for it in some way as I am determined to put in a lot more effort than I did at GCSE. I'm not the most intelligent person but I am above average and hope to get a mixture of A's and B's at A-Level and get into a good university to study either psychology or biology. The subjects I'm doing at AS are biology, chemistry, religious studies and psychology, and I am going to a grammar school sixth form so I don't want to lag behind the more capable students. Would it be beneficial to begin going over the syllabus (and if so what textbooks would you recommend), or would it be a waste of time? Thank you!
    I believe revising the sciences will be beneficial and quite necessary! Good luck
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    (Original post by JayJay-C19)
    I believe revising the sciences will be beneficial and quite necessary! Good luck
    Thank you! Are there any particular revision resources you recommend? (I'm doing AQA sciences)
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    Yep, i strongly advise you to do any induction work set. Also read online or on the sixth form website about your subjects. Especially biology, it would be very beneficial to you if you are already familiar with stuff when you start in september!
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    (Original post by ChloeNR)
    Thank you! Are there any particular revision resources you recommend? (I'm doing AQA sciences)
    I did AQA at GCSE but I'm doing OCR Biology at AS. I think you should perhaps invest in the CGP Head Start books (http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&k...l_7jffbr9ihe_e).

    However, some say that Biology is the only one worth buying out of them. You should therefore, perhaps invest in just the textbooks and read over them. Revising GCSE content to refresh your memory is never a bad thing to do!
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    (Original post by Afghan Warrior)
    Yep, i strongly advise you to do any induction work set. Also read online or on the sixth form website about your subjects. Especially biology, it would be very beneficial to you if you are already familiar with stuff when you start in september!
    Thank you this was very helpful
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    (Original post by JayJay-C19)
    I did AQA at GCSE but I'm doing OCR Biology at AS. I think you should perhaps invest in the CGP Head Start books (http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&k...l_7jffbr9ihe_e).

    However, some say that Biology is the only one worth buying out of them. You should therefore, perhaps invest in just the textbooks and read over them. Revising GCSE content to refresh your memory is never a bad thing to do!
    Ah this sound like a good idea, I will definitely be buying the biology one! That is very true, thank you so much for the help
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    Whilst this is all good advice, remember to relax a little :P There is no point starting AS with your brain still frazzled from GCSE.
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    (Original post by ChloeNR)
    Ah this sound like a good idea, I will definitely be buying the biology one! That is very true, thank you so much for the help
    That's my pleasure!

    Also, take the advice of the person who posted above me about relaxing - enjoy yourself and just make yourself familiar a few weeks before you begin. You can always just read through the books and syllabus at night or when you have nothing to do but when you are set to have fun, leave that day for your enjoyment solely. You will need all of the headspace and energy you can get for these courses!
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    (Original post by InvertedMountain)
    Whilst this is all good advice, remember to relax a little :P There is no point starting AS with your brain still frazzled from GCSE.
    This is a good point, I'm spending the majority of the summer holidays relaxing and in the few weeks before we go back I think I'll start to go over things thanks!
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    (Original post by JayJay-C19)
    That's my pleasure!

    Also, take the advice of the person who posted above me about relaxing - enjoy yourself and just make yourself familiar a few weeks before you begin. You can always just read through the books and syllabus at night or when you have nothing to do but when you are set to have fun, leave that day for your enjoyment solely. You will need all of the headspace and energy you can get for these courses!
    Okay! I'm definitely not going to do any hardcore work, I'm going to leave the revision for when I have nothing much to do or closer to when I start sixth form. Thank you for all the advice, it has been very helpful
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    (Original post by Afghan Warrior)
    Yep, i strongly advise you to do any induction work set. Also read online or on the sixth form website about your subjects. Especially biology, it would be very beneficial to you if you are already familiar with stuff when you start in september!
    I agree
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    (Original post by ChloeNR)
    Hello! I start sixth form this September, and I was wondering if I should begin to prepare for it in some way as I am determined to put in a lot more effort than I did at GCSE. I'm not the most intelligent person but I am above average and hope to get a mixture of A's and B's at A-Level and get into a good university to study either psychology or biology. The subjects I'm doing at AS are biology, chemistry, religious studies and psychology, and I am going to a grammar school sixth form so I don't want to lag behind the more capable students. Would it be beneficial to begin going over the syllabus (and if so what textbooks would you recommend), or would it be a waste of time? Thank you!
    This question is asked every year.

    I'm going to disagree with the other posters and say no, you don't need to do A-level work to give yourself a headstart before September. I don't think it'll make a great deal of difference. A-level is much more difficult (I actually think the AS to A2 gap is bigger than the GCSE to AS gap, but that's subjective and depends on the subject) - it'll require more of your time after school, I don't think it makes a difference if you're studying from textbooks before September - it'll still be difficult, it'll still require your time and dedication. I say enjoy your holidays while you can, and brace yourself, because it's going to be quite painful especially if you want to do well.

    That said, if you've been given any prep work to do for September - definitely do that! Definitely. I just don't think looking through A-level textbooks would give you a headstart - it'll be a struggle regardless. You'll need to dig deep when you start.

    It'd be interesting to see if anyone else agrees with what I'm saying, or any strong disagreers (quote me).

    (Original post by ChloeNR)
    Ah this sound like a good idea, I will definitely be buying the biology one! That is very true, thank you so much for the help
    No. Don't buy it, it's a waste of money! You don't need a headstart.
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    Can anyone give me some reccomendations on how to prepare for these Alevels:

    Psychology AQA B (I have the textbook)

    English Literature AQA (Victorian Literature, I have Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Dolls House and John Clare Poetry which are some of the texts we study)

    Geography AQA

    Maths OCR

    Thanks in advance!
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    (Original post by MidnightSleeper)
    Can anyone give me some reccomendations on how to prepare for these Alevels:

    Maths OCR

    Thanks in advance!
    Are you doing maths ocr mei? I'd say make sure your algebra is spot on, like all the simultaneous equations, rearranging and whatever other algebra there is at gcse.

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    (Original post by Pride)
    This question is asked every year.

    I'm going to disagree with the other posters and say no, you don't need to do A-level work to give yourself a headstart before September. I don't think it'll make a great deal of difference. A-level is much more difficult (I actually think the AS to A2 gap is bigger than the GCSE to AS gap, but that's subjective and depends on the subject) - it'll require more of your time after school, I don't think it makes a difference if you're studying from textbooks before September - it'll still be difficult, it'll still require your time and dedication. I say enjoy your holidays while you can, and brace yourself, because it's going to be quite painful especially if you want to do well.

    That said, if you've been given any prep work to do for September - definitely do that! Definitely. I just don't think looking through A-level textbooks would give you a headstart - it'll be a struggle regardless. You'll need to dig deep when you start.

    It'd be interesting to see if anyone else agrees with what I'm saying, or any strong disagreers (quote me).



    No. Don't buy it, it's a waste of money! You don't need a headstart.
    Ah okay, so do you think solidifying my GCSE knowledge instead would be more beneficial to give me a strong foundation to build on at AS level? Or just leave it and wait until September? I'm just really worried that I'm going to be thrown into the deep end and not understand anything, and just embarass myself in front of my smarter classmates really :/ Thank you, it's good to have a variety of opinions!
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    (Original post by Afghan Warrior)
    Are you doing maths ocr mei? I'd say make sure your algebra is spot on, like all the simultaneous equations, rearranging and whatever other algebra there is at gcse.

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    Do you mean me1? I'm not sure of the spec :3
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    (Original post by ChloeNR)
    Ah okay, so do you think solidifying my GCSE knowledge instead would be more beneficial to give me a strong foundation to build on at AS level? Or just leave it and wait until September? I'm just really worried that I'm going to be thrown into the deep end and not understand anything, and just embarass myself in front of my smarter classmates really :/ Thank you, it's good to have a variety of opinions!
    I did OCR bio, boy that was painful. Anyway...

    Well I don't even think revising your GCSE will make much of a difference. GCSE covers a broad range of content but to very little depth. If you were to revise GCSE, you'd look over things you won't really look at until A2, and there'd be no point to that. I personally did find that when we covered topics at A-level that we had done at GCSE, it was nice to have a foundation, the familiarity made things slightly easier. But I don't think it's essential to actually get the books back out and compare your upcoming AS syllabus to your GCSE one to work out which GCSE topics to revise over the summer holidays. I personally think the foundation you'll already have, just from completing your GCSEs, is enough. You will be studying content to much greater detail, and sometimes using different terminology anyway.

    You keep mentioning smarter students. Sure there will be 'smarter' students, but seriously. With A-levels, whether you achieved high GCSEs or not, you can't get good grades without committing time and dedication to them - especially subjects like biology. They won't be successful unless they put in the time to study, whether they're gifted and can take in lots of info in a short period of time, or not. There will always be strong people in the class, it's not embarrassing to not be there amongst them. But hey, anyone up there has worked hard to get there, (for most people) it's not possible to get there without hard work (unless it's maths or something, where it's such an easy A if you're one of those lucky enough to have a mathsy brain). You can get there.
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    (Original post by ChloeNR)
    Ah okay, so do you think solidifying my GCSE knowledge instead would be more beneficial to give me a strong foundation to build on at AS level? Or just leave it and wait until September? I'm just really worried that I'm going to be thrown into the deep end and not understand anything, and just embarass myself in front of my smarter classmates really :/ Thank you, it's good to have a variety of opinions!
    solidify GCSE knowledge! you won't look stupid in front of new classmates because you're all in the same position. Starting now is pointless because likeliness is you won't understand properly to actually learn it. However when you do start, I'd advise going over all of your teaching and notes at the end of every few days/every week to make sure you fully understand, it'll make revision and understanding a lot easier! It means that you'll recognise what you don't understand quick enough to get help
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    (Original post by MidnightSleeper)
    Do you mean me1? I'm not sure of the spec :3
    Nope I meant ocr mei, because the first unit called C1 is all mainly algebra. So it would be great if you're on the ball with gcse algebra

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