Neuth's Grade Growing Greenhouse! Watch

Neuth
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:hoppy:Hello and welcome to Neuth's Grade Growing Greenhouse! :hoppy:
A little introduction:
Last year my As exams didn't go as well as I'd hoped for a variety of reasons, including a stressful life at home and some issues with my mental health. Despite doing brilliantly in all my mocks I let my anxiety get the better of me (once again) when it came to the real exams, and ended up with grades that I wasn't happy with at all :sadnod:

This year things are looking better and I'm resitting 4 As exams in order to hopefully end up with some A2 grades to be proud of! Keeping this blog updated should be a good way of keeping myself motivated, and I plan on making regular posts about what I'm doing to make sure I get the grades I'm after. Along the way I'll share my tips and tricks for revision too :awesome:


What am I studying and what do I hope to do in the future?
This year I'm studying A2 Biology (Edexcel), A2 Chemistry (OCR A) and A2 English Literature (Edexcel).
Last year I took As Maths (AQA).

I hope to study Biochemistry at University starting in 2017 (I'm taking a Gap Year), and go on to study for a Masters degree and PhD if I can. Scientific research is where my passion lies :love:

Grade aims:
A2 Biology - A
A2 English Literature - A
A2 Chemistry - B
As Maths - b

The exams I'm taking this year:
Biology: Unit 4, Unit 5 & Unit 6 (coursework).
English Literature: Unit 3 & Unit 4 (coursework).
Chemistry: F321 (resit), F322 (coursework, resit), F323 (resit), F324, F325 & F326 (coursework).
Maths: Core 1 (resit), Core 2 (resit).



Next post... 2016 Mocks Update :fluffy:
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Bethaaaaany
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Good luck! I'm resitting F322 as well, hoping to bring the paper from a D to an A but we will see You're doing so many exams but you sound super committed so I hope it all goes well for you - I also hope things at home and with your health are a little better too. Will be following with interest!
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Kevin De Bruyne
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:eek4: planning as far ahead as a PhD? Very impressive

Good luck! :rave:
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panda14
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Welcome to the GYG journey!

Sorry to hear about your AS results - your A2s are looking really good though! I'm doing Edexcel biology A2 as well, and the dreaded OCR Salters B Chemistry! Not sure whether I'd rather be doing your spec though, I've grown to like Salters, if maybe not the total lack of good resources online for it!

I'm going to (eventually) be posting any advice/tips/comments on my GYG thread here - I'll PM you if I put anything biology related on there which people think is useful.

Good luck!!

Panda :sadpanda:
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z33
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(Original post by panda14)
Welcome to the GYG journey!

Sorry to hear about your AS results - your A2s are looking really good though! I'm doing Edexcel biology A2 as well, and the dreaded OCR Salters B Chemistry! Not sure whether I'd rather be doing your spec though, I've grown to like Salters, if maybe not the total lack of good resources online for it!

Good luck!!

Panda :sadpanda:
OCR B chemistry is killing me ;_;
No resources whatsoever ¬_¬
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Kvothe the Arcane
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Good luck. Might borrow your formatting when my thread is unlocked .
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Neuth
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Today's Topic is...
:hoppy:My 2016 Mock Results!:hoppy:
Introduction:

The Christmas holidays were hectic for me and I struggled quite a lot with balancing revision with things going on at home (I'm a Young Carer). I did manage to get some revision done, but on reflection I didn't split my free time equally between my 3 subjects (if only I'd made a revision planner), which meant that when it came to one mock I completely failed (literally) :erm:

This year my College was trying out something new (yay for being the human guinea pigs) so instead of being on our normal timetables for the first week back we had a set "mock timetable" in which each subject was given a single 3 hour lesson that week, resulting in oh-so-many frees. In each "block" you sat a mock, and if there was enough time left you did normal work. I was lucky enough to have Monday, Wednesday and Friday off :awesome:

My mock timetable was as follows:
Monday: Day off.
Tuesday: 0900-1200 = A2 English Literature, 1300-1600 = A2 Biology.
Wednesday: Day off.
Thursday: 0900-1200 = A2 Chemistry, 1300-1600 = As Chemistry.
Friday: Day off.

How did the mocks go?

A2 English Literature:
This was our first attempt to tackle the 'unseen' questions of the Unit 3 exam. Our teachers felt that it would be good to combine both questions (prose and poetry), as it would be a better use of those 3 hours, so that's exactly what we did... which felt odd as in the real exam you get the choice, and only do one.Usually I ignore the prose question completely (is that bad to admit?) so it was also a little annoying :giggle:

I felt confident with the poetry ('A Scherzo: A shy person's wishes' by Dora Greenwell for those of you who are interested) but not so much with the prose (an extract from 'Moo' by Jane Smiley), as I'd half-expected. I'd done a lot of revision and at the end of the exam I wasn't feeling too bad about the paper. I didn't feel rushed towards the end, and even had time to re-read my essays and correct all of the shocking spelling and grammar mistakes I'd made whilst writing Does anyone else find this? My handwriting is virtually illegible by the end.

What did I get?
I got an A - 67/80! :woo: This means I'm on target.
I got 36/40 in the poetry, and 31/40 in the prose (quelle surprise), which reinforces the idea that there's obviously room for improvement in the prose questions. I'm not too concerned about this though as I do only have to choose one question to answer in the real thing and I'm 90% sure that'll be the poetry question as it comes much more naturally to me.


A2 Biology:
This was our first attempt at a full Unit 4 mock under exam conditions. I'd done quite a lot of Biology revision over the holidays, so was feeling positive about the exam and unlike in Chemistry my exam technique for Biology is good. I find Edexcel papers are much nicer than other exam boards, too. The paper was... fine. Not oh-my-gosh-that-was-easy fine, but a kind of I-think-I-did-okay fine :giggle: With Biology exams you never know if you've read the questions in the right way and understood them the way the examiners want you to, so always come out unsure of how the exam went.

During the exam I did realise there were some gaps in my knowledge, mostly As content I hadn't revised. My worst fear also came up - Global Warming and The Carbon Cycle (*internal screaming*). I don't know why I hate those topics... I just do :lol: There was a really bizarre question featuring a Henssge nonogram too, which threw me a little bit.

What did I get?
Drumroll please...
72/90 (an A) which, believe it or not, was 120/120 UMS! :woo:
Again, on target. I was so, so pleased with this result and it just shows that hard work pays off


As Chemistry:
My college has been really nice to the As Chem resitters in the year group by providing us with timetabled revision sessions every week where we work on our As knowledge and exam technique, in order to boost our As grades (and therefore the A2 grade!). Getting homework set in those lessons also means I am constantly going back over the topics and working on exam questions and past papers at home, which gives me no excuses for doing badly. I've found the sessions incredibly useful and love having time each week dedicated to my resits in college time. It's made things so much easier than how things are with my Maths resit work (non-existent :erm:).

Anyway, back to the mock... we did a Unit 2 (F322) mock and marked it in the rest of the 3 hour block. As I'm now halfway through the A2, As questions look much easier, and I surprised myself with how much I knew (it's all in the back of my head somewhere...) :giggle:

What did I get?
I got a B, so I'm on target. I was 1 mark off an A
I had hoped to get an A, but at the point of doing the mock we'd only done Unit 1 (F321) revision, so that mock was more of a reflection of my knowledge without help from a teacher and I'm pleased I got a B. The main reason I lost marks was down to useless exam technique (which I'm working on), so I'm confident that with more help I can be even better.
Onwards and upwards, eh?


A2 Chemistry:
Without a doubt this is the subject that causes me the most stress during exams and revision. Despite having the knowledge and getting As in every homework, I always somehow manage to end up doing badly in mocks. I have the knowledge but let the wordings of questions put me off completely, which means I often end up writing the opposite of what I know, purely in the heat of the moment. Timing is also an issue for me. Stupidly, I did the least revision for this subject over half term, which was a big mistake and I realise that now.

The mock was... how can I put it... awful? :cry2:
It was on Unit 4 Module 1 (Rings, Acids and Amines), Unit 5 Module 1 (Rates, Equilibria and pH) and the first half of Unit 5 Module 2 (Energy). I was fine with all of the Maths stuff, but let anxiety get the better of me for the organics. I didn't even manage to finish the paper. I knew it had gone badly and to be honest this was probably inevitable as I'd gone into the exam with a negative attitude about the whole thing.

What did I get?
I got a U.
I'll be honest and say that I wasn't even close to the grade boundary for an E, either. I'm devastated about getting a U, but did expect it...


As Maths:
I obviously didn't do a Maths mock as I haven't got round to relearning the content yet.
I'll be starting that soon


Did I meet my targets?
A2 Biology - Yes! :woo:
A2 English Literature - Yes! :woo:
As Chemistry - Yes! :woo:
A2 Chemistry - No... :cry2:


Posts coming soon...
  • Revision Tip #1 :fluffy:
What's that I hear you say... "What is it?" ... Well :iiam:
Oh the suspense :giggle:
  • Post-mock ramble :fluffy:
What I'm working on since getting feedback from mocks - what I'm working on since getting my mocks back, how I'm doing it, and some new aims.
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Neuth
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(Original post by Bethaaaaany)
Good luck! I'm resitting F322 as well, hoping to bring the paper from a D to an A but we will see You're doing so many exams but you sound super committed so I hope it all goes well for you - I also hope things at home and with your health are a little better too. Will be following with interest!
I'm aiming to bring mine from an E to an A!
Have you started working on it yet?

Thank you and good luck! :hugs:

(Original post by SeanFM)
:eek4: planning as far ahead as a PhD? Very impressive

Good luck! :rave:
The perks of Nuffield Research Placements... you aim too high :giggle:

Thank you! :fluffy:

(Original post by panda14)
Welcome to the GYG journey!

Sorry to hear about your AS results - your A2s are looking really good though! I'm doing Edexcel biology A2 as well, and the dreaded OCR Salters B Chemistry! Not sure whether I'd rather be doing your spec though, I've grown to like Salters, if maybe not the total lack of good resources online for it!

I'm going to (eventually) be posting any advice/tips/comments on my GYG thread here - I'll PM you if I put anything biology related on there which people think is useful.

Good luck!!

Panda :sadpanda:
:wavey:

How are you finding Biology?

Your thread looks awesome! Good luck - Medical Panda has a certain ring to it :giggle: :hugs:



Thanks for the support everyone! :blush:
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bluemadhatter
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I love the way you set up your blog, the format is so cool with all the colours and little emoji's and subheadings etc :awesome:

Good luck
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Bethaaaaany
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(Original post by Neuth)
I'm aiming to bring mine from an E to an A!
Have you started working on it yet?

Thank you and good luck! :hugs:
I have done a little bit - there's two other girls in my class resitting the same paper as me so my teacher has allocated us a study period that we can spend in her classroom doing resit work and that's been massively helpful. Otherwise I've not started any proper revision yet...struggling to find the time but I need to get a wiggle on really Chemistry really is my bugbear - I absolutely love the subject and I am desperate to come out with a B overall but it's one of those subjects where you can go into the exam feeling prepared and then just panic. I also find OCR's timings nearly impossible - F324 is so tight for time!

I saw that you're a young carer - ditto! My mum is (as of recently) single parent and my two youngest siblings both have a genetic condition causing various cognitive disabilities which means I've really taken on a parenting role with them, especially the littlest one who is two. It's really tough sometimes - I adore my family and love my little brothers to bits and I would prioritise caring for them over my education any day of the week but it does mean that your grades suffer when you have such a lack of time and often energy for revision. I do often wonder what it would be like to have the freedom to study as and when! Are you looking into getting extenuating circumstances for your A2s? I stupidly didn't tell anybody at school about my home situation (I see school as my respite and a chance to forget everything else) until recently when I confessed all to my chemistry teacher who is looking into getting me some help for my A2s. I wish I'd asked for help sooner!

That was a ramble...apologies for totally hijacking your blog!
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Neuth
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(Original post by bluemadhatter)
I love the way you set up your blog, the format is so cool with all the colours and little emoji's and subheadings etc :awesome:

Good luck
Hehe, thank you! Organisation is the one thing I do well :fluffy:
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Neuth
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(Original post by bethaaaaany)
That was a ramble...apologies for totally hijacking your blog!
I'm going to PM you an even bigger ramble tomorrow - please don't feel I'm ignoring you for not responding tonight!

:hugs:
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Mihael_Keehl
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lol doing f324 now hf
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panda14
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(Original post by Neuth)

:wavey:

How are you finding Biology?

Your thread looks awesome! Good luck - Medical Panda has a certain ring to it :giggle: :hugs:



Thanks for the support everyone! :blush:
Thank you - it certainly does!

Biology isn't too bad for me atm, I've been kind of addicted with human physiology since I started with St John (6 years ago next week! :eek: It's making me feel old!) so most of unit 5 is quite interesting for me and I can quite easily revise that for hours (or narrate through casualty/silent witness when I can find time between school and SJA stuff) and the same with the forensics stuff. The main problem I have is that plants exist - plant biology just makes me want to switch off! :sleep:

Do you have any areas which are particularly boring? Apparently it's just me in my class, but I'm really not sure how!

:sadpanda:
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Neuth
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Today's Topic is...
Study/Revision Tip Number 1:
:hoppy:THE POMODORO TECHNIQUE :hoppy:


What is it?

The Pomodoro technique was created in the 1980s by a rather clever man called Francesco Cirillo, who was inspired by one of those funny tomato shaped kitchen timers whilst studying at University. It's a popular time management 'hack' which aims to keep the user focused and productive, allowing them to complete tasks faster without mental fatigue :yawn:

It's simple: you plan your free time and tasks to be completed into 25 minute long 'pomodoros' (the Italian for tomatoes). After you've completed a pomodoro (by working continuously without being tempted by distractions), you take a short 5 minute break. After four pomodoros have passed (100 minutes of working and 15 minutes worth of breaks) you take a longer 15-30 minute break. Every time you complete a Pomodoro you can mark your progress in a way that keeps you motivated, such as writing an X on a calendar or post it note, or even giving yourself a sticker (pshh, as if I'm that childish :teehee:).

How does it work?

Here's a little video to do the talking...



Summary:
1) Find out who much effort an activity requires of you by monitoring how many pomodoros you need in order to complete a specific task.
A.K.A Time how long it takes you to complete your homework in pomodoros.
2) Learn to protect your pomodoro from internal and external distractions.
A.K.A Don't check facebook/Twitter/Instagram/etc.
3) Make accurate estimations about how many pomodoros you need for a certain activity.
A.K.A If your English homework took you 1/2 a pomodoro last time, why not set other tasks to complete for the rest of that pomodoro this time?
4) Use your pomodoro time wisely.
A.K.A Do a little recap at the start of the session, and review at the end.
5) Set a timetable according to your to-dos/time/mood/whatever you feel.
A.K.A If you know you have an hour long free at College, convert that into 2 pomodoros with a little 5 minute break inbetween.
6) Find your own personal objective.
A.K.A Set yourself something to achieve - maybe being more efficient or improving the quality of your work.

Timings...
0-25: Pomodoro 1.
25-30: 5 minute break.
30-55: Pomodoro 2.
55-60: 5 minute break.
60-85: Pomodoro 3.
85-90: 5 minute break.
90-115: Pomodoro 4.
115+: 15-30 minute break.

Tips and tricks...
1) Don't carry a kitchen timer around with you all the time? Yeah, me neither.
Download an app on your phone/tablet etc. to help you with timings.
I use 'Clockwork Tomato' - it helps you time and log pomodoros, as well as proving you with cute personalisable widgets :awesome:

2) Not sure what to do with your breaks?
First things first, don't spend them thinking about work - it's your break!
Try getting up and moving around, grabbing a glass of water or a bite to eat :yum: ... if you feel like it, do a quick chore, such as making your bed or packing your bag for the neck day.

3) Writing a task into your planner/homework diary/phone?
Try estimating the number of pomodoros you'll need to complete it there and then to save time later on.

4) Guilty of going on social media too often, or maybe gaming or similar?
Why not set yourself a daily pomodoro for it? 25 minutes to dedicate to it. During the day, try to avoid temptations to carry out this task, and remind yourself that you have 25 minutes a day to spend on it - when the pomodoro ends time's up!

I hope this tomato-themed tip helps you all stay focused!
~ Neuth

Posts coming soon...
  • Revision Tip #2 :fluffy:
Something to help you stay focused...
  • Post-mock ramble :fluffy:
What I'm working on since getting feedback from mocks - what I'm working on since getting my mocks back, how I'm doing it, and some new aims.
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Neuth
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(Original post by panda14)
Thank you - it certainly does!

Biology isn't too bad for me atm, I've been kind of addicted with human physiology since I started with St John (6 years ago next week! :eek: It's making me feel old!) so most of unit 5 is quite interesting for me and I can quite easily revise that for hours (or narrate through casualty/silent witness when I can find time between school and SJA stuff) and the same with the forensics stuff. The main problem I have is that plants exist - plant biology just makes me want to switch off! :sleep:

Do you have any areas which are particularly boring? Apparently it's just me in my class, but I'm really not sure how!

:sadpanda:
Congrats on being with St John's so long! I'm quite enjoying all of the Physiology too - we started Respiration on Friday and I've already made flow charts with all of my favourite stationery on A3 paper
I'll take some photos this week.

Plants are a bit of a bore to me too
If they had eyes I'm sure they'd appeal to me more :giggle:

I dislike Global Warming/The Carbon Cycle etc. - it's not that it's hard as such, I just find it so boring... :moon:
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jamestg
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(Original post by Neuth)

:hoppy:Hello and welcome to Neuth's Grade Growing Greenhouse! :hoppy:
A little introduction:
Last year my As exams didn't go as well as I'd hoped for a variety of reasons, including a stressful life at home and some issues with my mental health. Despite doing brilliantly in all my mocks I let my anxiety get the better of me (once again) when it came to the real exams, and ended up with grades that I wasn't happy with at all :sadnod:

This year things are looking better and I'm resitting 4 As exams in order to hopefully end up with some A2 grades to be proud of! Keeping this blog updated should be a good way of keeping myself motivated, and I plan on making regular posts about what I'm doing to make sure I get the grades I'm after. Along the way I'll share my tips and tricks for revision too :awesome:


What am I studying and what do I hope to do in the future?
This year I'm studying A2 Biology (Edexcel), A2 Chemistry (OCR A) and A2 English Literature (Edexcel).
Last year I took As Maths (AQA).

I hope to study Biochemistry at University starting in 2017 (I'm taking a Gap Year), and go on to study for a Masters degree and PhD if I can. Scientific research is where my passion lies :love:

Grade aims:
A2 Biology - A
A2 English Literature - A
A2 Chemistry - B
As Maths - b

The exams I'm taking this year:
Biology: Unit 4, Unit 5 & Unit 6 (coursework).
English Literature: Unit 3 & Unit 4 (coursework).
Chemistry: F321 (resit), F322 (coursework, resit), F323 (resit), F324, F325 & F326 (coursework).
Maths: Core 1 (resit), Core 2 (resit).



Next post... 2016 Mocks Update :fluffy:
Okay this is my favourite OP for grow your grades!

Good luck!!
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Neuth
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Sorry for the lack of updates everyone, I've been really ill the past week and a bit :sadnod:
I'll be posting lots soon :fluffy:


(Original post by jamestg)
Okay this is my favourite OP for grow your grades!

Good luck!!
Eeeek, thank you :blush:
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Neuth
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Today's Topic is...
:hoppy:My Half Term Plans!:hoppy:
Introduction:

I'm not the biggest fan of half terms, I'll be honest
I always waste the time I have free and spend it procrastinating even more than usual (which is somewhat of an achievement in itself... if only we could be examined on not doing we're supposed to, I'd have brilliant grades :moon:).

Anyway... this half term I've set myself lots of little goals which I hope to achieve and I'm making a revision planner starting from today in the hopes of sticking to it and getting lots done


What have I got planned?

A2 English Literature: :work:
  • Complete essay on The Wife of Bath (titled "Comment critically, with quotations from the originaltext, upon the Wife of Bath/Alisoun’s representation of her five husbands inher Prologue to her Tale." - 1000 words ish.).
  • Complete essay on Behind the Scenes at The Museum (titled "Behind the Scenes at the Museum focuses on a young female protagonist engaged in a quest for identity. Hoe does Atkinson present ideas about identity in the novel?" - 1000 words ish.).
  • Read Great Expectations.
  • Make A3 posters on key quotations from all three texts about Identity.

A2 Biology: :work:
  • Catch up with the work missed (self-teach all of Aerobic and Anaerobic Respiration).
  • Make A3 posters on all main processes and topics from Topics 5, 6 and some of 7 using SNABonline for pictures, the textbooks and other resources (far too many posters to list on here, but I have made a list!).
  • Finish making revision cards on Topic 6 and start ones on Topic 7.
As Chemistry: :work:
  • Make 1 A3 poster for each As Module (7 in total), using the syllabus as a guide and the textbook, online resources etc. too.
  • Make flashcards for definitions.
  • Revise for As Quantitative task resit.
A2 Chemistry: :work:
  • Make 1 A3 poster for each A2 Module (6 in total), using the syllabus as a guide and the textbook, online resources etc. too.
  • Make flashcards for content.
  • Make flashcards for definitions.
  • Revise for A2 Qualitative task.
As Maths: :work:
  • Start re-learning content from both Units (Core 1 and Core 2).
  • Make flashcards for methods.
Fingers crossed I can get as much of this done as possible! :awesome:
Being a visual learner (and a stationery addict) making posters should be fun :fluffy:

Posts coming soon...
  • Revision Tip #2 :fluffy:
Something to help you stay focused...
  • Half Term Updates :fluffy:
How I'm getting along with all my tasks and goals...
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Nisr123
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Can I see the list you have for A2 biology? I have a similar goal to make loads of posters for A2 Bio but have yet to specify what topics within the spec to cover. That list would definitely be helpful ☺️

Also I am also revising for AS Chem, and I recommend going through the legacy papers if u already did the current spec ones last year. Just a tip if you didnt know those exist ☺️
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