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Completely Overwhelmed! Studying complications and crisis - help needed! watch

    • Thread Starter

    Hey guys,
    So it's 95 days until my exams. And I'm drowning in work.
    I am currently studying two full A-levels (AS and A2 in Human Biology and Chemistry), alongside a 90 credit diploma in medical science.

    The diploma is okay, because I am able to pace myself with assignments...however I am petrified about my A-level exams as I'm fully aware I'm not studying nearly effectively enough as I need to be.

    This may be due to a few circumstances - firstly, I am in the middle of a stressful court case, testifying as a witness. This has been going on since August last year and is terribly draining and emotionally distressing.
    I am also suffering from a chronic disease with onset complications (loss of vision, kidney functions etc) which make life generally pretty difficult. And thus, I am re-taking my A-levels this year as a result, as I was unable to do well in them last year. (Note: I have grades CC at AS and DE at A2. I am retaking all of my exams.)

    I have received offers from four universities, with my first choice requiring me to achieve grades AB, something my college also believe is in my capacity. I have already covered the content over my previous two years, but have huge difficulty in studying effectively so that I can remember the content in the long run, and also struggle with the 'do past papers' technique as I'm not yet even at a point where I can understand a past paper enough to answer it!

    Would anyone be able to give me a time-frame per day/week as to how many hours I should be revising, and the best way to retain information in the long run? Is achieving AB even achievable? I'm in desperate need of help, this is the most important thing I have ever needed to do. Thank you so much!

    I'm sure you can get an AB. Don't worry too much about the "do part papers" technique, it is something that you should do after your revision to figure out where you are still lacking. Plus it helps you figure out how to answer questions in a way that will give you marks. It's fine if you can't do that yet, I don't think many people are actually that far in, but instead they are just using exams and solutions as revision.

    It will be hard for anyone to make a time frame for you since we don't know how much free time you have, exactly how many hours you spend in school etc. Something I was always told though was to do an hour of individual work for each hour in school, so maybe you could start doing that? That of course doesn't mean getting home from school and doing a repeat of all the lessons, I would assume you have the weekend free to do a good part of your revision on. Honestly, you could probably ask one of your teachers for help in creating a revision timetable/ time frame, I'm sure they would be happy to advise you.

    As for retaining information, what works well does depend on the individual people. Personally I like to make a new version of notes for revision, even if I already have good notes available. By rewriting it differently, you force yourself to think about what you are currently going through, and you need to be able to understand it to actually make a new version of the notes. Flash cards is another popular thing that works for people because you only look at a small piece of information at a time - I normally use this for equations and definitions. You can also do questions from textbooks, or redo your old homeworks. These you would do with your notes to actually practice things you don't know yet. Something else you can do is carry some of your notes around with you. Not all of them because that would be too much, but every day bring some to school with you and just re-read them once every while, maybe before a lesson or just while waiting. It would be useful to in general go over all of your notes regularly, maybe try doing that every evening? Basically every time you revise, finish by just reading through everything you have done so far to remind yourself. Or rather, after taking a break go back to read everything over. Apparently looking over notes right before sleep is good too. Just some ideas for you, but again you can also ask a teacher for more.
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