Really struggling with A-Levels help!!!

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MedievalWitch
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I'm doing AQA Geography and English literature and BTEC IT. Geography units are: Plate Tectonics, Weather and Climate and World Cities. English Literature texts are: Wuthering Heights, The White Devil and Doctor Faustus. I am getting through the IT fine, even if I am doing two years in one because I dropped Maths and Spanish. However, with English and geography I am failing really bad.

For geography, I know the course content and can tell you perfectly well how the ITCZ and STA work to create the Hadley Cell etc. but when it comes to the questions I always get really low grades and don't answer the question properly. At GCSE I got A*'s on two of the papers, an A on the other and B on the human paper but we were with Edexcel and I understood what they wanted in the answer. With AQA I find them so confusing and the essays impossible my latest score is 16/40 on a weather and climate essay.

With English Literature it is exactly the same. I can tell you the plot, themes and characters but when I do the questions 1. I don't know what they are exactly asking for and 2. when I think I do I get told I'm not answering the question or only talking about one aspect of the book. I got the second part of my mock back (other half hasn't been marked yet) today and got 12/40 and told
"some good points, but they need developing and exploring more...you need to consider the dangerous forces (lust, violence, ambition) that are unleashed in the texts...take a broader approach to the texts' exploration of fear of unknown forces."
Call me stupid but I don't know what this means I actually have to do. I never could grasp the concept of PEE paragraphs at GCSE and forced to take English because head of sixth form thought BTEC IT or Health and Social Care would have been to easy for me - turns out I can't do A-Levels. It's alright my English teacher saying you need to explore this more or you need to talk about the lust and violence but I don't know what this means and how that does show fear of unknown forces or what that force actually is.

I wanted to do Education and History at notts trent university starting September 2016 but I'm not going to get the 260 UCAS points they are asking for. I really need help, I tried speaking to a careers advisor and she just said keep looking for apprenticeships and knuckle down at the subjects - I am doing I just don't know what I'm doing wrong and how to improve and when I go to ask the English teacher I just get told the plot of the book again told to explore it in more detail. I'm so stuck I just want to drop out but then I won't get anywhere in life. :mad::confused:
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cfahy311
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I wouldnt get too stressed about it, you've still got plenty of time to improve. Im an A Level student studying Geography as well (CCEA). Im just wondering what your teachings are saying? like if you know the content, are they explaining to you why you are not getting high marks?
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MedievalWitch
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(Original post by cfahy311)
I wouldnt get too stressed about it, you've still got plenty of time to improve. Im an A Level student studying Geography as well (CCEA). Im just wondering what your teachings are saying? like if you know the content, are they explaining to you why you are not getting high marks?
I'm not really told other than the ticks on the mark scheme I got saying:
Knowledge of content - relevant and accurate, reasonable knowledge, imbalanced theories
critical understanding of the above - reasonable critical understanding of concepts and principles with some use of specialist vocabulary
use of examples/case studies to support argument - examples show imbalances and lack detail and depth
evidence of synopticity - limited
connections between different aspects of the subject - some ability to identify, interpret and synthesise some of the material
'Thinking like a geographer' - limited ability to understand the roles of values, attitudes and decision making processes
quality of argument - arguments are not fully developed, nor expressed clearly, and the organisation of ideas is simple and shows imbalances. some sense of focus of task.

It doesn't actually tell me what I need to do to improve it and actually do it right. :/

And I have a mock tomorrow and am missing bits of the course content due to illness absences and apparently what I missed is on the paper (other did it on Wednesday but I was at university open day)
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jamesg2
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(Original post by MedievalWitch)
I'm not really told other than the ticks on the mark scheme I got saying:
Knowledge of content - relevant and accurate, reasonable knowledge, imbalanced theories
critical understanding of the above - reasonable critical understanding of concepts and principles with some use of specialist vocabulary
use of examples/case studies to support argument - examples show imbalances and lack detail and depth
evidence of synopticity - limited
connections between different aspects of the subject - some ability to identify, interpret and synthesise some of the material
'Thinking like a geographer' - limited ability to understand the roles of values, attitudes and decision making processes
quality of argument - arguments are not fully developed, nor expressed clearly, and the organisation of ideas is simple and shows imbalances. some sense of focus of task.

It doesn't actually tell me what I need to do to improve it and actually do it right. :/

And I have a mock tomorrow and am missing bits of the course content due to illness absences and apparently what I missed is on the paper (other did it on Wednesday but I was at university open day)
I am a little stunned at the example of feedback. It may cover the teacher, but it tells you nothing. The underlying principle of constructive feedback to two fold:-
a) To point out the strengths - as well as weaknesses.
b) To point out how improvement can be made.

Well your feedback party - and only partly - passes on (a) and abysmally fails on (b).

O.k. Quick and dirty.

First:- Everything is generated by the question or task set. That determines what is being sought - from you - to respond to. It tells you what you can use and - equally important - what you cannot use. So in your mock tomorrow read the question/task carefully. Try to determine what the task wants from you and what it does not want. Answering on the first will gain you marks, answering on the second will loose you marks.

Suppose the task is discuss whether Macbeth is a tyrant or hero, then your essay has three parts:-
1 How Macbeth could be seen as a Tyrant
2. How Macbeth could be seen as a hero
3. And most important - how do you see him.

What is not being asked and what you must not include is:-
a) a summary of the story
b) a description of the history of the play
c) or anything else that is not implied by the question.

Effectively you will be junking 90% of what you know about the play.

At best you will only have time for at maximum two points for each side.
So your next task is to wisely choose which two points will best support the tyrant and which two the hero.

Now you have your essay:-

Introduction:-
What is the play. Who wrote it. Why - and in around 10 to 15 words why Macbeth could be seen as a tyrant and the same for why he could be seen as a hero. and certainly not your conclusion.

Section 1. The two reasons why you feel Macbeth could be seen as a tyrant. Here you will need quotes. And - most important - your quotes must show how Macbeth could be seen as a tyrant.

Section 2 For the other side of the argument.

Section 3. Is where you make clear how you see the character.

Now as I say, that is quick and dirty. It is not a perfect outline, but with your task tomorrow it ought to help.

Most teachers - and I am hoping yours has also done so - give suggestion ( some more detailed than others ) as to where you might wish to concentrate. If you have been given that hint, then plan out how you would respond.

On the premise you have not been given that help. Then:

1) read the task carefully.
2) Decide what you are being asked and what you are not being asked.
3) Think of up to 3 to 4 points you could use to answer.
4) and structure them as I have shown.

Now that is not waterproof, but hopefully it is of help.
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MedievalWitch
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(Original post by jamesg2)
I am a little stunned at the example of feedback. It may cover the teacher, but it tells you nothing. The underlying principle of constructive feedback to two fold:-
a) To point out the strengths - as well as weaknesses.
b) To point out how improvement can be made.

Well your feedback party - and only partly - passes on (a) and abysmally fails on (b).

O.k. Quick and dirty.

First:- Everything is generated by the question or task set. That determines what is being sought - from you - to respond to. It tells you what you can use and - equally important - what you cannot use. So in your mock tomorrow read the question/task carefully. Try to determine what the task wants from you and what it does not want. Answering on the first will gain you marks, answering on the second will loose you marks.

Suppose the task is discuss whether Macbeth is a tyrant or hero, then your essay has three parts:-
1 How Macbeth could be seen as a Tyrant
2. How Macbeth could be seen as a hero
3. And most important - how do you see him.

What is not being asked and what you must not include is:-
a) a summary of the story
b) a description of the history of the play
c) or anything else that is not implied by the question.

Effectively you will be junking 90% of what you know about the play.

At best you will only have time for at maximum two points for each side.
So your next task is to wisely choose which two points will best support the tyrant and which two the hero.

Now you have your essay:-

Introduction:-
What is the play. Who wrote it. Why - and in around 10 to 15 words why Macbeth could be seen as a tyrant and the same for why he could be seen as a hero. and certainly not your conclusion.

Section 1. The two reasons why you feel Macbeth could be seen as a tyrant. Here you will need quotes. And - most important - your quotes must show how Macbeth could be seen as a tyrant.

Section 2 For the other side of the argument.

Section 3. Is where you make clear how you see the character.

Now as I say, that is quick and dirty. It is not a perfect outline, but with your task tomorrow it ought to help.

Most teachers - and I am hoping yours has also done so - give suggestion ( some more detailed than others ) as to where you might wish to concentrate. If you have been given that hint, then plan out how you would respond.

On the premise you have not been given that help. Then:

1) read the task carefully.
2) Decide what you are being asked and what you are not being asked.
3) Think of up to 3 to 4 points you could use to answer.
4) and structure them as I have shown.

Now that is not waterproof, but hopefully it is of help.
I didn't make that clear that is the feedback from geography but your advice will be used in the resit mock I have to do next Tuesday thank you so much.

The main problem I have with English Literature is, the teacher keeps telling me I need to explore and give more detail and expand on what I am saying. The problem is I don't really know what I am saying in response to the question and I don't know what he means by add more detail and explore it more :/ could you help with this???

So, I did my English mock on Tuesday and have section B marked. I'm doing Wuthering Heights, The White Devil and Doctor Faustus and answered the question on the fear of unknown forces and I got this feedback:
"Some good points, but they need developing and exploring more...you need to consider the dangerous forces (lust, violence, ambition) that are unleashed in the texts... take a broader approach to the texts exploration of fear of unknown forces." the problem with this feedback is that I didn't write about the lust and violence because I didn't know how this linked to the question and I don't know what he means by explore it more :/
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jamesg2
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No problem.

PM me with a copy of the essay as well as the question.

It is not rocket science writing literature essays. Once you know how to achieve good grades, they are not a difficult task.
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Vav Sartrean Po
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(Original post by MedievalWitch)
Call me stupid (:mad::confused:
Stupid.
You are stupid.

You are welcome.
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MedievalWitch
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(Original post by jamesg2)
No problem.

PM me with a copy of the essay as well as the question.

It is not rocket science writing literature essays. Once you know how to achieve good grades, they are not a difficult task.
I have sent you a copy thank you
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