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Catus' Bumpy Road to Exam Sucess Watch

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    I am currently studying AS French, English Literature, Business Studies and Law.
    My predicted grades are AAAA and I am aiming to achieve this, or at least get 2 or 3 As. My mock results were as follows:

    French - B (2 marks from an A)
    English Literature - B
    Business Studies - C (1 tiny mark away from a B)
    Law - A

    I am looking at applying to Oxbridge (I'll decide which one after I visit both Oxford and Cambridge in the summer), so I am going to use this blog to track my progress.

    I'm not expecting it to be easy and I imagine there will be times when I struggle to find motivation, but with a bit of determination and a lot of hard work, I should be able to grow my grades into As!
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    (Original post by CatusStarbright)
    I am currently studying AS French, English Literature, Business Studies and Law.
    My predicted grades are AAAA and I am aiming to achieve this, or at least get 2 or 3 As. My mock results were as follows:

    French - B (2 marks from an A)
    English Literature - B
    Business Studies - C (1 tiny mark away from a B)
    Law - A

    I am looking at applying to Oxbridge (I'll decide which one after I visit both Oxford and Cambridge in the summer), so I am going to use this blog to track my progress.

    I'm not expecting it to be easy and I imagine there will be times when I struggle to find motivation, but with a bit of determination and a lot of hard work, I should be able to grow my grades into As!
    1 mark :eek4: you were robbed!

    What subject are you hoping to study?

    Those are pretty good mock results best of luck with the A grades!
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    (Original post by SeanFM)
    1 mark :eek4: you were robbed!

    What subject are you hoping to study?

    Those are pretty good mock results best of luck with the A grades!
    Haha yeah, my teacher said I may as well class it as a B, but I like to be realistic with myself. I am hoping to study Law at university and go into the legal profession.
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    (Original post by CatusStarbright)
    Haha yeah, my teacher said I may as well class it as a B, but I like to be realistic with myself. I am hoping to study Law at university and go into the legal profession.
    Better in the long run to be absolutely strict with yourself now

    :eek4: competitive stuff there. Fair play.
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    (Original post by SeanFM)
    Better in the long run to be absolutely strict with yourself now

    :eek4: competitive stuff there. Fair play.
    Yes, really competitive, which is a worry, but if you don't try you'll never know what the outcome would have been.
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    I think it's time for my first update!

    To start, I will say that this month I am beginning to kick off revision for the exams in May, although it will be in small amounts whenever I can manage it, as mainly I'm just trying to keep on top of homework. I was going to do some revision today, but the business homework took twice as long as anticipated (2.5 hours to do it all!) which messed up my plans.

    Not a lot of results/grades to report, but I did get 12 marks in a business 16-marker, which is 3 up from the 9/16 I achieved in my mock. This works out as a B for that question, but I'm happy as according to my teacher it was the second highest mark out of 3 classes (approx. 45 students).

    In order to boost my motivation and keep track of my productivity day-to-day, I have created a private group on Facebook for just me and my friend, where each day we state our goals and at the end of each day we review what we got done, what we didn't and give each other praise or a 'pull your socks up!' where necessary. I must say that so far it's been a success, it's really encouraging me to complete what I set out to do every day.
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    In the Catus news this week, I've now broken up for half term!

    My aim this next week is to properly start my revision for the exams by prepping my revision resources by typing up my notes, making flashcards, Quizlets, etc. Tomorrow I'm going to work through most of my homework to leave me the rest of the week to do revision and any extra study I want to do.

    The break is also going to give me an excellent chance to do some reading for pleasure and get caught up with all the TV I've missed while doing homework!

    I have big plans for this week and hopefully I'll be able to achieve most, if not all of them, but we shall see.
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    Half term was relatively productive, I got some French and law revision done, as well as created character pages for Othello and found quotes for the various themes.

    I also completed all the homework I was set for the holidays and still managed to have a day out with my grandparents.

    Now we have completed the French AS course, so all my lessons and homework are devoted to revising vocab, grammar and practicing for the speaking exam. I have also been typing up my notes for law on a semi-regular basis and will very soon be starting revision for business. English Literature is more or less being revised as we go along, although I will be endeavoring to complete character profiles for Death of a Salesman and complete pages on themes for each text.
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    I'm beginning to properly start revising hard now. I've created a list of everything that I need to do for each subject and so my mission is to get through all of these things in the next month and a half.

    We have now finished the course for Law, French and the course for Business and Lit are very nearly done, meaning that there's a lot of extra revision time to be had in lessons.

    Regarding results, I recently achieved an A in my French essay about living together versus living alone and I also got an A in an essay I did for Lit about Robert Frost's poem 'Out, out -'. In Business, we completed a 16-marker for homework and I managed to score 14 marks, which I'm very happy with. I also got full marks in two 9-mark questions, meaning my exam technique is improving.

    My French speaking exam is on the 27th April - just over a month away and so I'm starting to get quite nervous! We're doing a mock tomorrow and hopefully I will be able to achieve at least a B grade.

    I have also begun to plan my revision strategy for Easter and after a chat with my mum, I have decided to set aside four days (one per subject) where I do revision activities from 9am-3pm (or equivalent) with an hour for lunch. I think this is achievable and means that I can get my head down to get a serious amount of work done. This week and in the weeks following Easter, I shall do an hour and a half of revision per subject, not including homework tasks - revision or not - and not including revision time in lessons.

    In other news, I have my parent's evening tomorrow, which hopefully will be good fun.
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    I realise that this study blog has been neglected somewhat. To reflect on my last post, I didn't quite manage 40 hours of revision over Easter, but I did manage 31 hours, which I am quite pleased with nevertheless.

    College life is crazily busy at the moment. We've now finished all the course content for all of my subjects. In fact, I've already had my first exam - French speaking, which I felt went quite well, but I can't provide details as not everyone nationally has sat the exam yet.

    In English Literature we're focusing heavily on exam technique and are writing essays all the time now. In fact, I have 3 to write today to hand in on Tuesday. I should then get the marks back from last week's essay for Tess of the d'Urbervilles, so I can see how well I should do in the exams that are a mere two and a bit weeks away! :eek:

    Exam technique has been an important focus in business lately and we've been learning how to tackle our largest question - the dreaded 20-marker! I've also been given some questions to hand in after the bank holiday, so it is yet to be seen how much my technique has improved lately.

    Regarding law, I feel quite confident with this subject, although I know I need to revise the cases, as I know case names and case facts, but those don't necessarily match up correctly in my head. This is to be my focus now until the exams.

    Overall, I can't believe how fast the exams have come round again. It feels like not long ago I was sitting my GCSEs! Hopefully this years' results will be just as pleasing as they were last August and will set me in good stead for my university applications.
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    I have now completed all of my exams but one, which I will sit on Monday. Here is a quick summary of how I feel the exams went:

    French (Speaking): I was happy with how this one went and I only stumbled on one, maybe two of the questions. I also managed to fit in quite a bit of the subjunctive, so fingers crossed!

    Law 1: I was very happy with how this one went and managed to write almost 11 pages, but all will be revealed in August.

    Business 1: This one went quite well and from comparing my answers with others' for the short answer questions, I haven't gone far wrong at least.

    English Literature (Drama): I thought the extract for Othello was good, plenty to talk about and the question for Death of a Salesman didn't present too many issues. There was a lot of scope and I feel like there was loads more I could have written about, but I chose the best points in the limited amount of time given in the exam.

    Law 2: I am happy with what I wrote, I feel I could answer all of the questions well. I wrote more than most, as I finished 3 minutes from the end having written nearly 12 pages and when I looked up, nearly everyone else appeared to have been finished quite a while.

    Business 2: but at the same time. I found the last two questions a bit of a pain, but I am content that I did my best in the circumstances. Hopefully it was enough to secure at least a B overall, but only time will tell.

    English Literature (Prose and Poetry): I thought that the poetry question was a good one and I was able to set up a debate that came to an appropriate conclusion. The question on Tess of the d'Urbervilles was not obscure and so I was able to plan quickly and write plenty.

    Hopefully French on Monday will go smoothly too - then I'm all done with regards to my AS levels!
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    Realised I absolutely forgot to add on how I thought the French (Listening, Reading and Writing) exam went, thinking I had evaluated all of my exams, so here we are:

    French (Listening, Reading and Writing): I thought that this exam went well, the listening was not too difficult, although the reading was a bit harder than usual, with a question that was in a format never seen before. The essay went well, in fact the one I chose was similar to one I had written the day before as practice!
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    The results are in!

    Business - A (linear so no UMS) - I can now drop this happily!
    Law - A (172/200)
    French - B (158/200 - 160 is an A so a re-mark may be on the table)
    English Literature - B (linear)

    Overall I am really happy. I feel like I worked hard this year and will definitely be able to reach AAA at A2! Hopefully my French may get re-marked at an A, but with the reforms to the system it's a gamble. I have paid for my paper to be sent back so my teacher and I can discuss whether it's worth a shot or not.
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    How are your results?
    Good, I achieved AABB, with a possibility of a boost to AAAB if a remark occurs
    Have you 'grown your grades'?
    Yes, I would say so. My mock results were ABBC, so I have improved there.
    If so, what were the keys to success?
    Revising early, ensuring I understood the content and knew my exam technique.
    What lessons have you learned for the future?
    In education, and indeed in life, you get out what you put in. The more work you do, the better the grade. I know people who didn't work hard this year and have really suffered for it, a few of my friends got Es or Us because they didn't work.
    What methods of study worked for you?
    Going over past papers were very useful, and if they weren't there due to a new specification, then doing the specimen papers helped. It's invaluable to familiarise yourself with the format of the exam and to know what you have to do. Flashcards also help, as you are writing out information, but can also get people to test you on them, or even test yourself.
    Which were less effective?
    Re-reading notes is a useless method, for me, as I usually get bored and my mind drifts. I have to do active revision, making a resource or doing some practice questions.
    What advice would you give to someone trying to nail the grades they need next year?
    From the very start of the year, be proactive. Make sure your notes are going to make sense at the end of the year, maybe make some revision materials after a topic has been covered. Take onboard the advice from your teachers and don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it - A Levels are hard and they are supposed to be! Definitely don't fall behind on your homework and keep your tutors sweet - if your results aren't what you expect then you will need their support! Finally, I would say don't work too hard. Work hard but make sure you don't burn out. It can be easy to be overwhelmed, so be kind to yourself.
 
 
 
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