Questions about moving up to A-Level

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Aprils_Renegade
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So I received my GCSE results today and I'm interested as to how Sixth Form differs from Secondary School in terms of education, the environment, teaching etc. For starters, the sixth form is internal - it's a part of my secondary school, so the environment and the teachers will be the same. Some of the questions I had were:

How big is the step up from GCSE to AS & A2 in terms of work load?

How difficult are the courses? (Picking Maths, Physics, Psychology and
Computing)

How does the classroom environment differ, in terms of student count and the atmosphere of the lesson? i.e. is it more serious, relaxed, detailed, intense, is it a lecture or school-type teaching?

How does the professional relationship between the student and the teacher differ?

Do you have any general tips or advice for sixth form?
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username2088165
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The step up from GCSE to A Level is different for each subject, generally the workload starts off being similar to GCSE, and gets progressively higher as the complexity of the work increases.

I didn't do any of the courses you're doing so I can't comment on their difficulty

I found the classroom environment generally more relaxed as people will often being doing the subjects they enjoy, and so will be more focused and pay attention more, therefore teachers will usually get angry less often. Some of my subjects were taught like they were in school and teaching methods were varied, for example geography, but others, like ICT and geology, were taught more like lectures with each lesson being spent going through a powerpoint and making notes from it.

The relationship between students and teachers is generally more relaxed as well, as some teachers will allow you to call them by their first name, which makes you feel like you're talking to a friend rather than a teacher.

As for general tips and advice, I'd probably just recommend working hard throughout the year and not leaving revision too late, as there is a lot more content to know at A Level than GCSE, so be prepared for that.

If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask
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Aprils_Renegade
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(Original post by Leviathan1741)
The step up from GCSE to A Level is different for each subject, generally the workload starts off being similar to GCSE, and gets progressively higher as the complexity of the work increases.

I didn't do any of the courses you're doing so I can't comment on their difficulty

I found the classroom environment generally more relaxed as people will often being doing the subjects they enjoy, and so will be more focused and pay attention more, therefore teachers will usually get angry less often. Some of my subjects were taught like they were in school and teaching methods were varied, for example geography, but others, like ICT and geology, were taught more like lectures with each lesson being spent going through a powerpoint and making notes from it.

The relationship between students and teachers is generally more relaxed as well, as some teachers will allow you to call them by their first name, which makes you feel like you're talking to a friend rather than a teacher.

As for general tips and advice, I'd probably just recommend working hard throughout the year and not leaving revision too late, as there is a lot more content to know at A Level than GCSE, so be prepared for that.

If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask
Thanks a lot - really helpful advice!

I like to play PC Games for my free time, which i'll be honest - I probably did a bit too much during my GCSEs. I'm all for changing my work schedule to be more focused for my studies, as I kind of drifted through my GCSEs. Would you say it's possible to have free time and do what you like, while maintaining good grades and getting some revision done? I fear that i'll have to go cold turkey and just be all work and no play.
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username2088165
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(Original post by Aprils_Renegade)
Thanks a lot - really helpful advice!

I like to play PC Games for my free time, which i'll be honest - I probably did a bit too much during my GCSEs. I'm all for changing my work schedule to be more focused for my studies, as I kind of drifted through my GCSEs. Would you say it's possible to have free time and do what you like, while maintaining good grades and getting some revision done? I fear that i'll have to go cold turkey and just be all work and no play.
Yes, definitely. I would recommend creating a revision timetable and trying hard to stick to it. For example, revise in blocks of 45 minutes with a 15 minute break, then repeat until you have covered what you need to. You can also set a time when you will stop revision, for example revise until 6pm and then stop for the night, so you can play PC games/have dinner/whatever without worrying about revising. Obviously if you know you won't be able to stick to a timetable, going cold turkey may be the best solution
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AR_95
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(Original post by Aprils_Renegade)
Thanks a lot - really helpful advice!

I like to play PC Games for my free time, which i'll be honest - I probably did a bit too much during my GCSEs. I'm all for changing my work schedule to be more focused for my studies, as I kind of drifted through my GCSEs. Would you say it's possible to have free time and do what you like, while maintaining good grades and getting some revision done? I fear that i'll have to go cold turkey and just be all work and no play.
It's more then possible yes. Just make sure you do all of your homework AND go over topics you're unsure of. If you start from September, then 2 hours a day is more than enough. Around Jan/Feb you want to knuckle down and do around 4 hours and then more the closer you get to exams.
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a-98
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(Original post by Aprils_Renegade)
How big is the step up from GCSE to AS & A2 in terms of work load?
I'm not going to deny it's a big jump, but I think it's fairly manageable (at least at first) so I wouldn't get too worried at this point.
I haven't taken any of your subjects so I don't know how bad they are...
(Original post by Aprils_Renegade)
How does the classroom environment differ, in terms of student count and the atmosphere of the lesson? i.e. is it more serious, relaxed, detailed, intense, is it a lecture or school-type teaching?
How does the professional relationship between the student and the teacher differ?
Most of the teachers are a bit more laid back. At the school I go to, we usually sit around a small table in a group of about 8-12 students with the teacher at one end. There isn't much of that writing-on-the-board-style teaching
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