Asmithy
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Welcome!


About myself
Hey, I'm Alex. I'm an A-level student living on the border of Wales and like others I wanted to create this blog in order to focus and improve my grades.

Last year, for AS I took Psychology, Biology, Chemistry and Maths. I ended up with a very disappointing BCEU. I regretted taking Maths, as I knew my passion for Drama would have probably taken me down a happier route, but, wanting to be a scientist of some sort at the time, with the added peer pressure from my parents, I took it anyway. I was not surprised to had failed it. But in hindsight, it some-what helped me in chemistry.
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I cried and cried for days upon finding my results! In my GCSE's, without much effort I got 6A's and 6B's, so seeing anything below a B really gave a massive blow to me
So at A-level, I took up Psychology, Biology and Chemistry. During that year, I realized what route of science I wanted to go down; Radiotherapy and Oncology, which is the study and treatment of cancers. After applying to 5 different uni's through track, I'm extremely fortunate enough to have received 5 offers back. However, here's my problem... All of my offers are asking for the same thing - that is BBB/ 300 Tariff points. That does not leave much room, if any at all for error.

That's why I need to knuckle down, and realistically hoping to get in with an A in Psychology, B in Biology and a C in Chemistry (300 tariff points.) However, my top choice is asking for BBB. This means I'm going to have to change my E grade in Chemistry to a B this year. I'm resitting all of AS chemistry from last year in order to help me do this, as well as resitting unit 1 biology and resubmitting my AS coursework.

This blog will mostly focus on improving my Chemistry, including study tips that I've found helpful for revising the subject.

I hope you will enjoy your journey to success with me! Let's keep positive and do this!!
:yeah: :yeah: :yeah:
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Asmithy
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I'm going to try and update this blog on a daily basis, or at least every 3 days.

Here are some sites I've found really helpful for Chemistry:
Click here - A-level Chemistry
Great for printing out notes and the spec, testing yourself with questions and has a helpful 'tick box' for all you need to know for AQA Chemistry.
Click here - Chemrevise
Found these notes very easy to read and easier to understand than hardcopy Chemistry books.
Click here - Chemistry AS and A-level videos
He is a trained A-level chemistry teacher and his videos are honestly a God-send, check him out if you haven't already!
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Asmithy
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Exam Timetable - IMPORTANT!
Hi guys,
So if you haven't already, I would check out the raw date of your exams in the skeletal timetables. I've checked mine and it helped clear my mind and have an expectation at hand of what it's going to me like in May/June (HELL!). My first exam is Bio unit 1, and last exam is Bio unit 5

At the moment I haven't done much Chemistry revision, but have been preparing for an essay in Psychology (Sleep), however I know my weak points are the calculations mostly seen in Unit 2 and Unit 4. I'm going to write down my areas of weakness in all my subjects, and hopefully become more confident with those topics by the end of the month.
I'll keep you posted,
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Tank Girl
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This is looking great!

If you're looking for Chemistry help in particular- I hear this guy is good.
And there's loads here if you haven't already seen them


best of luck with your revision- Radiotherapy and Oncology sounds like a really interesting, and rewarding, career option!
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Asmithy
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(Original post by Tank Girl;[url="tel:62657399")
62657399[/url]] x
Those links look really helpful, thank you so much!
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Asmithy
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Hello guys, sorry for not posting recently but a lot of things have been going on (ambulances, driving lessons, uganda trip, valentines coming up) so honestly I haven't been doing much lately. I got my Psych mock back and I was just 1 mark off a B which I'm kinda annoyed about as I could've easily got it if I hadn't waffled on about the wrong stuff! But never mind, I'm going to try and make this half term a productive week - only 103 days until my first exam! The panic is setting in

Over the half term I want to:
-Effectively revise Chemistry unit 4&5 (typing up notes in my own words, looking at resources, flash cards I won't lose)
-Make a start on relearning Bio unit 1, and do past papers
-Make sense of Neurons and muscles in Bio5 (struggling on this topic!)
-Go over psychology revision guide, scribble down and memorize studies.
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Louanneee
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Hello!
I'm in the same boat as you (although I'm doing different subjects), I need to get from an E to a B too!
I heard this quote, 'don't count the time, make the time count' and I think it's a pretty good one to remember. Study hard and I'm sure you'll get the grades you want.

Stay positive, you can do it! :danceboy:
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Asmithy
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(Original post by Louanneee)
Hello!
I'm in the same boat as you (although I'm doing different subjects), I need to get from an E to a B too!
I heard this quote, 'don't count the time, make the time count' and I think it's a pretty good one to remember. Study hard and I'm sure you'll get the grades you want.

Stay positive, you can do it! :danceboy:
Ahh cool ^^ What subjects are you taking?
Thank you, and that's a good quote!! Best of luck to you
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Asmithy
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Update(s)

Hellooo, so my boyfriend stayed over mine for half term whilst my parents were away - so nothing has gotten done UNTIL TODAY!!! (I hope)
I have made an exam timetable and have stuck to it for about a month (I made it very early on in November), but I haven't lately as I need to update it (only incorperates Chemistry and Biology - Psychology needs some lovin too I've found out!)
I've also printed out some Chemistry mechanisms that have been stuck on my wall, and tried to draw out what my teacher calls the 'London Underground' (basically a map of all the reaction mechanisms and what they create) but I may need to re-draw it as well as it's just a mess and I can't make sense of it!

I've found that, although my subjects are mostly about recalling information - flash cards just don't do it for me. I make them, look at them, try to recall but just get bored in the process and never use them again (hence why my room is littered in mess at the moment)
I downloaded a kindle app on my iphone a while ago to download a book called 'How to ace your A-levels' - it was an okay read (definitely not worth the money!) that did motivate me, about how this person went from U's and D's to A's by using something called the scribble technique as one of his techniques- which is basically where when revising, instead of just reading you read and retain as much information as possible before scribbling it all down again, then looking back over to see what you've missed. This is what I normally do when revising for a test or learning something (particularly better for essay subjects like Psychology) - so I just wanted to share that with you!

As I said before, a while ago I got my mock results back -
C - Psychology (1 mark off a B)
A* - Biology unit 4 (I was amazed!)
C - AS Chemistry unit 1 resit (pretty happy with this, but still not the B I'm working for!)
U- A2 Chemistry unit 4 ( 47/100, needed 52 for an E! Although the high grade boundaries I was disappointed in this as I worked really hard for it, but I know how close I was to achieving a grade so I'm going to try out as many revision techniques as possible to help me.)

I'm also looking at Chemistry tutors around the local area, and have found one in Gloucester. My parents don't seem to mind paying for a tutor for me, so watch this space and hopefully I'll get her, or someone.

Also, for the time being I'm practicing for my driving test which is super soon and I'm pooing myself for it D: so wish me luck!
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Asmithy
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Quick update but I've taken some ideas from around the student room and made my own revision tracker in Microsoft excel, hopefully will be full of stuff by the end of March - wanted to share with you incase you're like me and don't plan on counting how many hours you spend on a subject (and be lead to believe you understood it), but actual put the work in, understand it, and see the outcome!
Attached files
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Asmithy
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Update

Greetings beans

It's first day back at school and I'm already tired Over the past two days I've done 3/4 of a Chem2 paper that I'm still working my way through on, and have managed to get some chemistry tuition which starts next week friday I've also done quite a few notes on neurons for my biology unit 5 test on friday, have downloaded some flash card apps to see if that will get me to like flash-cards any better (so far... not really XD). Also hopefully going to try the pompodoro technique on some of my revision to see if the technique actually works.
Wish me luck!
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Ara8311a
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Luck!
Flashcards are great once you get into them. I used to hate them but since I've started putting questions on them, I've found that they're a lot better. I also put 'perfect' answers on the back from the mark scheme so I know what they're asking for. I hope this helps. I know I'm only doing GCSE, not A-levels, at the moment but I know what you mean by flashcards. Personally I don't like using other people's flashcards either but that might be because I don't trust them to have included everything.
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Asmithy
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(Original post by Ara8311a)
Luck!
Flashcards are great once you get into them. I used to hate them but since I've started putting questions on them, I've found that they're a lot better. I also put 'perfect' answers on the back from the mark scheme so I know what they're asking for. I hope this helps. I know I'm only doing GCSE, not A-levels, at the moment but I know what you mean by flashcards. Personally I don't like using other people's flashcards either but that might be because I don't trust them to have included everything.
Thanks for the luck!
Ah yeah glad you know where I'm coming from! Thanks for that, I'll be sure to put mark scheme perfect answers on the flashcards ^^
Good luck with your GCSE's!
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Ara8311a
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(Original post by Asmithy)
Thanks for the luck!
Ah yeah glad you know where I'm coming from! Thanks for that, I'll be sure to put mark scheme perfect answers on the flashcards ^^
Good luck with your GCSE's!
Good luck with your A-levels!
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Asmithy
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Update:

Hullo, sorry it's been a while! I've been busy with Dept. head meetings, driving lessons (my test next week) and uganda fund-raisers, so revisions had to take a backseat for a while which I hate.
I've had one half unit 5 paper back and got 17/29 - which I'm pretty meh about, would have definitely gotten much higher if I revised and understood it properly. Still waiting to get the other half on neurons back.
At the moment I'm preparing for (little late be it) a psychology timed essay tomorrow and learning the show me tell me questions for my driving.

I need to set some goals for myself so I don't accidently sway off the track, so goals for this and end of next week:
- COMPLETE Chem2 past paper
- COMPLETE Bio1 past paper
- Review and consolidate work each day
- Have a coolio dress up day (going as cat in the hat )
- Complete student fianace forms
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Asmithy
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Update:

Hey guys, just thought I'd let you know I had my first Chemistry tutor session yesterday and it went very well!! He said that I actually lack confidence, and over-think about what the question is asking me (We did redox half equations), so as it's been explained and went through it, I'm feeling much more confident about redox topics now
My driving test is on wednesday, and I've printed off 2 bio unit 1 past papers, and many chemistry 1,2,4 and 5 papers
Catch you soon
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Ara8311a
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(Original post by Asmithy)
Update:

Hey guys, just thought I'd let you know I had my first Chemistry tutor session yesterday and it went very well!! He said that I actually lack confidence, and over-think about what the question is asking me (We did redox half equations), so as it's been explained and went through it, I'm feeling much more confident about redox topics now
My driving test is on wednesday, and I've printed off 2 bio unit 1 past papers, and many chemistry 1,2,4 and 5 papers
Catch you soon
Yay! I'm glad it went well for you! Good luck with your driving test! I'm sure you'll ace it!
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Asmithy
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(Original post by Ara8311a)
Yay! I'm glad it went well for you! Good luck with your driving test! I'm sure you'll ace it!
Thank you!! We're pleased to announce that I passed first time, phew!! One less stress out of the way now can finally put all my attention to my subjects!
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Asmithy
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Update:

Hullo guys, so unfortunately really not been a productive week. I've realized I'm just getting more and more complacent about exams, which is worrying as it was that same about this time last year! I do have a good excuse as on Wednesday I passed my driving test (first time!! yaayyy!) and we spent the night out celebrating, then got some bad food poisoning the day after XD This week I have completed a unit 1 biology paper (with the help of notes, and untimed...), STILL haven't yet done a full unit 2 paper (kinda get halfway through then lose the paper forever) - but that is on my list of prioritizes !
Today was the last parents evening, and all was well - I'm getting loads of support in chemistry which is great, psychology said to keep doing what I'm doing but to keep bringing her essay questions, and biology said I was doing really well, getting and A* in my unit 4 mock, and an A in the last mock we did (nervous system and things), and said I should aim for A* (Although, that is very ambitious!).
Tomorrow we're gonna dress up for world book day, and I've just gotta find my tuxedo and go as one sexy cat in the hat

PRIORITIZES:
UNIT 1 BIOLOGY - ONLY 76 DAYS UNTIL EXAM!!!
Must: Revise by making notes, flash cards, going over topic, looking over past exam questions (first, apply own knowledge to question, then use notes and then textbook in a different colour, then mark scheme in another colour.)

UNIT 2 CHEMISTRY - ONLY 77 DAYS UNTIL EXAM!!!!
Must: Revise by making notes, flash cards, going over topic, looking over past exam questions (first, apply own knowledge to question, then use notes and then textbook in a different colour, then mark scheme in another colour.), ask for help if don't understand!

Unit 5 chemistry
- Prepare for upcoming ISA
- Work and revise on ligands and transition metals (because I have no clue what's going on in class!)

Psychology
Give Mrs a timed essay of topic I find difficult, or paper I found difficult. Give her methodology to mark.
Go through topics and memorise essays

Biology
Consolidate work, keep going through unit 4 past papers, learn everything!
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Ara8311a
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(Original post by Asmithy)
Thank you!! We're pleased to announce that I passed first time, phew!! One less stress out of the way now can finally put all my attention to my subjects!
Congrats!
As for becoming complacent, I don't think you are. Anyone who plans what they're going to do in a week isn't sitting back and letting everything pass them by,
Also wasn't world book day last Wednesday?????
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