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Getting the grades for Oxford Watch

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    Core 2 resit mock today went well, just one question I struggled with which was annoying because after I came out I realised what I needed to do, but at the end of the day the point of mocks is to see what you need to work on.
    I've spent some time today going through past papers for the EMPA task 1 which is on Friday. I spent today practicing the types of questions in task 1 and then tomorrow I can spend revising synapses and the nervous system.

    35 days aka 5 weeks..
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    Feeling pretty annoyed at myself - my core 2 mock came back and I actually got a worse mark than I did last summer. Half of it was stupid mistakes - my teacher said if I hadn't made those I would have easily got an A. Definitely shows that even though I find the content easy now I shouldn't be complacent. I'll keep working at past papers and maybe work through slower to try and avoid this in the future.
    On the plus side, I feel well prepared for the EMPA task one tomorrow. I've gone back over my notes for reflexes, the nervous system, nervous impulses and synaptic transmission. Rewritten some notes super short hand, tested myself, memorised the reflex arc with some acronyms (Seven Really Sexy Irish Men Enter Rapidly anyone?) and then made sure I know the processes for resting potentials, action potentials and synapses, as well as memorising what can effect nervous transmission and why reflexes are important. I've thought about questions that could come up based on past papers and planned answers, especially focusing on the 2015 paper as it's a similar style practical.
    34 days, or 0 days if I count the Empa!
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    Apologies for no updates over the weekend, so I've got some catching up to do..
    - Firstly, the EMPA I felt went pretty well, there were two questions I didn't like but hopefully will have gotten at least one out two marks for both of them.
    - I had my biology unit 5 mock back today - A*! Really happy with this as I wasn't massively prepared and could have done lots more revision. Hopefully I can do as well in the real thing!
    Weekend work
    - English Lit section B question, timed conditions
    - Maths core 4 jan 2013 which I worked through with a friend
    - Biology AS EMPA resit revision - mind maps, notes, relearning tests and things I might need.
    - Psychology - started a mind map for addiction which we finished on Friday. I like to make detailed mind maps then from that do short hand cue cards.

    30 days
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    Revision yesterday was mainly for my EMPA resit, so going back over past papers and revising all the key topics. It went pretty well today, both A2 paper 2 and AS paper 1, so hopefully I can keep it together for the last few bits now.
    Today I did Mechanics 2014 paper and I'm working through core 4 jan 2013 as well as going back through my notes in prep for tomorrows mock.

    28 days/4 weeks
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    Work over the past 2 days:
    - psychology biological explanations/treatments of schizophrenia revision and practice essay
    - core 3 jan 2009. Some stupid mistakes because I wasn't really focused but I can do all the questions with the right method now! Finally practice is starting to pay off...
    - English lit critical quotes for Faustus and Frankenstein: I found a bunch of critical opinions and analysed when and how I would use them.

    I had mixed feelings about my core 4 mock, I found the first 6 questions ok but I didn't really do the last 4 - I knew what I had to do but couldn't apply it to the question. I'm probably not going to get the best mark but if it's anything like core 3 the more papers I do the better I'll get. I've done about 6 core 3 papers now in exam conditions and I've gone up from a D to A's now, so I just need to keep practicing core 4 too.

    I have no idea what days I'm on, I'm gonna say 26?
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    I haven't had much opportunity for revision today as I've been out all day. What I managed this evening was to go back over all the EMPA revision and do some practice questions - I'm trying to practice more application questions as these are what I'm not so good at. I'm going to try and do some task 3 section B questions to help with answering questions too.
    I've also started looking at critical quotes for The Bloody Chamber - I have some already for Frankenstein and Faustus. Apparently these help get you an A* in the exam so worth looking for!
    25 days
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    Bank holiday work:
    - maths: core 2 paper and 2 maths core 4 papers. Core 2 is going fine, managing about 5/6 questions fine on the core 4 papers. I'm finding differential equation questions are normally pretty tough but the papers I've done are quite similar, hopefully the more I practice the better I'll get at these.
    - biology: I've done every question on the unit 5 past papers about the nervous system/neurones/synapses/eyes etc. I've also downloaded the gojimo app which is good for revising in any spare moments just to make sure I know all the content. I've started back on unit 4 stuff since I haven't done any unit 4 for ages! Once the EMPA's done with I'll start doing unit 4 past papers again.
    - English lit: found a good collection of critical quotes for the Bloody Chamber, analysed them and considered when I could use them
    - Psychology: big A3 mind maps on the PSYA4 content. One for research methods, one for schizophrenia and one for addiction. Pretty of course!

    Now it's May I guess we're officially into exam season? 23 days for me *internal screaming*
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    Today's work:
    - with the EMPA task 3 tomorrow I've been revising synapses, the nervous system and other associated topics such as muscle contraction. I've also looked back through past papers for common questions, and been checking out the mark scheme for any specific terminology they like. I've answered every single question I can find on the nervous system in the text book, past papers, online and on the Gojimo app. I've also made up my own questions, both on knowledge and on practical questions (for example how did you standardise your procedure).

    I also got my core 4 mock back today. As expected I got a pretty rubbish grade (D, whoops) but looking positively I only needed 15 more marks for an A. Since doing 2 more past papers I've realised the implicit differentiation question I could now get full marks on (I got 0/6 in the mock lol), and I dropped 4 marks in the first 6 questions through silly mistakes - this would have brought my grade up to a B I think. Hoping its the same situation as core 3, which I now find much easier than when I first started writing this blog and believe I can definitely get an A - after the empa stuff is over I'm going to really crack down on core 4 to feel the same way!
    22 days!
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    So I've now finished the A2 EMPA and just have the written part of the AS resit left. I don't know how I've done, the knowledge based questions on the a2 paper were fine but it was a bit of guess work on some of the others. Hopefully I can get a good mark in the other units to bring my marks up, so hard work on that is in order.
    Other revision-wise, I've gone back through my core 4 mock and worked on the questions I couldn't do. Having done some more practice questions I could now do most of them except the differential equations one, so this is what I'm planning on working on in terms of maths.
    I've finished a big A3 mindmap for psychology research methods and I'm working through past paper questions now to practice getting the right key words and ideas in my answers. I've also been revising schizophrenia ready for practice essays in our next few lessons.
    Finally, in English I've been trying to keep up doing past questions for both section a and b, and alongside this I've been revising key elements of the gothic genre and the context behind each text. Generally my marks and feedback from practice essays has been good, although I have been a bit lazy when writing them by not keeping to exam conditions. I'll aim to do at least a couple more in proper exam conditions to make sure I'm fine with timings and the pressure.
    20 days...
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    I realised I started to neglect this when it got closer to exam time, but I thought I would share how I actually did in the end which turned out to be better than expected!

    Psychology - A* (with 100 UMS in PSYA4!!)
    English Lit - A*
    Biology - A (would have been an A* if it wasn't for my A2 EMPA where I only got a C..)
    Maths - A (a massive surprise as I thought C4 in particular went badly, but luckily my C2 resit brought up the Bs I got in C3 and 4)
    General Studies - A (the schools getting one paper remarked as everyone did badly, I got very high As in 3 papers and an E in that one haha!)
    EPQ - A*

    So that meant I got my offer for Oxford and I'm looking forward to starting in October. I felt quietly confident before getting my results but did wonder if I could have just missed it because of maths and biology. I think it goes to show hard work really pays off, especially in maths where I was scraping Ds at the start of the year, and biology too which was my worst subject at AS.
    Well done to everyone who got their results, and good luck to anyone who fancies applying to Oxbridge or for psychology in the future!
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    Nice grades & congrats on your offer! I know someone at Brasenose doing Experimental Psychology actually, she'll be going into her second year when they go back so you'll probably end up meeting each other haha. I hope you like stats though, because on her first day or something she got given a 60 page stats book to read through!

    I had an interview at Brasenose last December for PPE, sadly didn't get in though. Now I have my grades though I'm taking a gap year and am going to reapply
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    (Original post by tryingandfailing)
    I realised I started to neglect this when it got closer to exam time, but I thought I would share how I actually did in the end which turned out to be better than expected!

    Psychology - A* (with 100 UMS in PSYA4!!)
    English Lit - A*
    Biology - A (would have been an A* if it wasn't for my A2 EMPA where I only got a C..)
    Maths - A (a massive surprise as I thought C4 in particular went badly, but luckily my C2 resit brought up the Bs I got in C3 and 4)
    General Studies - A (the schools getting one paper remarked as everyone did badly, I got very high As in 3 papers and an E in that one haha!)
    EPQ - A*

    So that meant I got my offer for Oxford and I'm looking forward to starting in October. I felt quietly confident before getting my results but did wonder if I could have just missed it because of maths and biology. I think it goes to show hard work really pays off, especially in maths where I was scraping Ds at the start of the year, and biology too which was my worst subject at AS.
    Well done to everyone who got their results, and good luck to anyone who fancies applying to Oxbridge or for psychology in the future!
    Many many congratulations, and enjoy the brief respite before the hard work starts again!
 
 
 
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