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Advice for someone who's just started A-Level revision Watch

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    You are better starting now than later, and universities should see that you had extenuating circumstances.

    But, it can be done, I went from a C to an A in a level chemistry

    Have a routine for revision so you have plenty of breaks inbetween so your head doesn't get frazzled. Small and often revision worked best for me, I shortened down all my notes to key points and went over and over them, so one topic I would revise for 20 minutes, take a small maybe 5 minute break and then recap to make sure I knew it. Keep building on this and it gets easier to recall

    Also, past papers are your best friend! Keep practicing them so you know the styles of questions and you know what the examiner wants to see.

    I would also recommend getting books relevant to the board, and as mentioned there are some good websites that help too.

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by LadyEcliptic)
    You are better starting now than later, and universities should see that you had extenuating circumstances.

    But, it can be done, I went from a C to an A in a level chemistry

    Have a routine for revision so you have plenty of breaks inbetween so your head doesn't get frazzled. Small and often revision worked best for me, I shortened down all my notes to key points and went over and over them, so one topic I would revise for 20 minutes, take a small maybe 5 minute break and then recap to make sure I knew it. Keep building on this and it gets easier to recall

    Also, past papers are your best friend! Keep practicing them so you know the styles of questions and you know what the examiner wants to see.

    I would also recommend getting books relevant to the board, and as mentioned there are some good websites that help too.

    Good luck!
    I got a B in AS and I'm doing all of the A2 modules by self-study. Would you say these resources are enough to help me learn the content by myself without the assistance of getting tutors etc? What board did you do, if you don't mind me asking?
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    (Original post by JustBeing)
    I don't know how good the resources are on TSR but if anyone knows, then you could subscribe to TSR and access them, i believe as a member you can also do other cool things that are helpful like study groups or something

    When i get my own money i'm going to subscribe, it's one nice big community full of help

    So i did AS Chemistry (got a bad grade so dropped it), i think the main reasons were i didn't revise early enough, i didn't do enough practice questions (do looads, and under timed conditions too), because even if i understood the content, the exam questions weren't as easy as knowing the content, also i reccommend you go to the site called 'chemguide' particularly for halogen topics, they have explained it 10 times better than the textbook! And a lot of other things too

    For biology i basically write my notes in condensed form, but i create a margin on the right, in there you make questions out of all your notes, so you can test if you can recall everything
    then just do the whole past papers stuff, read examiners reports too!

    I haven't done maths, but i guess the big factor would be to understand the meaning behind the numbers, i heard somewhere it becomes wordier at A2? And of course practice
    So for biology it really is about the past papers and revision of mark schemes/examiner reports/extra resources more than the learning of the actual content? The notes I've got for Bio are fairly extensive and hefty covering a lot of content, but I'm not sure whether I should learn every single word on it?
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    (Original post by JamboGooner)
    I got a B in AS and I'm doing all of the A2 modules by self-study. Would you say these resources are enough to help me learn the content by myself without the assistance of getting tutors etc? What board did you do, if you don't mind me asking?
    Yes, I did the entire A level, self taught on a gap year after I finished my a levels. It depends on entirely how you learn, for me it was enough, you may need less or more, whatever you feel comfortable with. If you need assistance is your school there to provide it?

    I did chemistry with CCEA
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    (Original post by LadyEcliptic)
    Yes, I did the entire A level, self taught on a gap year after I finished my a levels. It depends on entirely how you learn, for me it was enough, you may need less or more, whatever you feel comfortable with. If you need assistance is your school there to provide it?

    I did chemistry with CCEA

    Unfortunately my school has refused to provide assistance for private candidates and they didn't take me on. They've gone as far as saying teachers won't be allowed to help me either this year. I'm already revising quite a bit each day and almost finished my revision for CHEM1 and S2 so there's that, so I'll just have to see

    Since my school isn't giving any help I'm having to consider tutors
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    (Original post by JamboGooner)
    Unfortunately my school has refused to provide assistance for private candidates and they didn't take me on. They've gone as far as saying teachers won't be allowed to help me either this year.....
    Have you sorted out the exam centre where you'll sit these exams? What arrangements are available to retake Chem6X?
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    (Original post by JamboGooner)
    Unfortunately my school has refused to provide assistance for private candidates and they didn't take me on. They've gone as far as saying teachers won't be allowed to help me either this year. I'm already revising quite a bit each day and almost finished my revision for CHEM1 and S2 so there's that, so I'll just have to see

    Since my school isn't giving any help I'm having to consider tutors
    Thats a shame I had the offer of help but I couldn't get to the school a lot of the time and I wasn't actually a student, so I didn't get a lot. I didn't get a lot in he first place anyway

    But you should be fine. You have sites like this to help and if you are really stuck you could get a tutor, or talk to other students from the school/friends who did the same subject?
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    (Original post by Holmstock)
    Have you sorted out the exam centre where you'll sit these exams? What arrangements are available to retake Chem6X?
    Yeah fortunately my old sixth form does allow external candidates to sit exams there for a marginal extra fee, so I will be sitting my exams there. Thankfully this includes EMPA examinations so I'll be doing CHEM6X there.
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    (Original post by LadyEcliptic)
    Thats a shame I had the offer of help but I couldn't get to the school a lot of the time and I wasn't actually a student, so I didn't get a lot. I didn't get a lot in he first place anyway

    But you should be fine. You have sites like this to help and if you are really stuck you could get a tutor, or talk to other students from the school/friends who did the same subject?
    Yeah hopefully, I'm just going to see how things go for the next month and take it from there I'm just concerned and hoping I can cover anything in the space of 3-4 months that's all.
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    (Original post by JamboGooner)
    So for biology it really is about the past papers and revision of mark schemes/examiner reports/extra resources more than the learning of the actual content? The notes I've got for Bio are fairly extensive and hefty covering a lot of content, but I'm not sure whether I should learn every single word on it?
    It's definitely good to have all the content in, you need to be comfortable with explaining processes etc. and more importantly for sure is to make links, ensure you understand how things interact and affect one another. In past papers, they tend to say one thing, and you bring in something else that you'd never think of. Also, knowing the keywords and terminology, make sure you get that into your revision. There are probably only a few areas where you don't need to memorise things like there's a few random rules on the triplet code which i'm hoping i'll know without going over it. If you're worried about going overboard with content, remember to check over the spec, i never do this but this year i am, particularly because we have a new teacher who only seems to know about OCR and we're doing AQA.

    But once you're done with the content just move on to papers, don't keep going over content, probably every couple weeks recheck you haven't forgotten stuff, you'll notice this when there's gaps in any marks from doing past papers though anyway
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    (Original post by JamboGooner)
    Hi,
    I'm resitting some A-Level modules in a third year as a private candidate after experiencing extenuating circumstances while I was at sixth form last year causing horrendous exam performance (I ended up with CCD after getting ABBC at AS). I've been dealing with some personal problems since September along with my UCAS application and now that my offers have come back I'm getting my head down with revision.

    My highest offer is AAB and that's what I'm aspiring to get this year. I've been out of the studying game since June so my motivation's at an all time low and chances are I've forgotten a lot of course material in that time. I'm looking for tutors, but pricing's a problem and my parents can't afford good tutors so I'm really on my own. I'm resitting 9 modules in June:

    • AQA Biology: BIOL2, BIOL4
    • AQA Chemistry: CHEM1, CHEM2, CHEM4, CHEM5,CHEM6X
    • OCR MEI Maths: C3, C4, S2


    Since I've only just started now and I've only got up until the end of May to cover everything, how would you guys suggest I go about things considering I'm self-studying? Thanks in advance.


    EDIT: For clarity purposes, I got a C in Biology at AS (203/300 UMS) and that's the subject I'm planning to just get the B on because I only need 165/240 UMS to get a B overall.

    In Chemistry I got a B at AS (233/300) and I'm resitting most of the modules there to get an A overall.

    In MEI Maths I got a decent A at AS (266/300) and I need a B this year to get an A in that overall (at least 214/300).
    Hey, I did Maths & Bio (same exam boards) too. I went from BB (at AS) to A* in Maths and A in Biology.

    For Maths, once I had basic understanding of everything, I literally just drew out a table, with C3 C4 S2 along the top row and everyyy single exam season (starting Jan '05, June '05, Jan '06.....until June '13) along the vertical row. Start at the top and make your way through the table, writing your percentage mark as you go. I didn't even make notes from my past papers, it started off as trial and error (I was getting ~40% in my early C4 papers) and my marks just gradually got higher and higher until I ended up getting 100UMS in the actual C4 exam. When I really didn't understand something, I looked it up on examsolutions.net or consulted my CGP revision guide. Remember what's actually in the formulae booklet so you don't waste time memorising - I wouldn't really recommend rote learning anything except maybe for KISS (CIS/cos integrates to sine) and SINK (sinc/sine integrates to negative cos). Oh and don't bother practising the C4 comprehension papers, they just vary too wildly each year.

    For Biology you just need to go through the Nelson Thornes textbook, make notes, make sure you understand what's going on, and do the summary questions. Then, memorise the key points like they're vocab for a French test or something. After that, go through ALL of the past paper questions relevant to that topic, and memorise the answers. When you've done that, just do all of the past papers again like with the Maths papers. Since you're not doing BIOL5, this should be a doddle - memorise Respiration, Photosynthesis and the Nitrogen cycle and you should be fine!

    I'm in no way a sciencey person (I study English at uni) but these methods got me great grades, so I'm confident that basically ANYONE can do well in these subjects if they put the effort in! Best of luck
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    (Original post by JamboGooner)
    What subjects would you recommend Youtube for? I've tried my hand with youtube before but often there's a lack of verified/decent material out there specific to A Level, let alone my exam board. Quite a lot of the time they pander to American users.
    biology has good stuff and there should be good videos for maths and maybe chemistry. Sometimes it helps if you write the exam board and subject other times its better to write the topic e.g photosynthesis/photosynthesis revision and watch a few different ones. Bozeman is decent and this other guy had a good video too but cant recall the name. Ill pm you when I look it up
 
 
 
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