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A-level Physics Blog: D at AS to an A in Year 13

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    Hey guys, I've decided to make a blog especially for A-level physics because I am currently majorly under-performing in it.
    I will be starting year 13 in just under two weeks and have been doing some preparation notes for A2 physics over the summer (not too much, just the further mechanics topic).

    Why did I pick A-level physics?
    Spoiler:
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    I picked this subject for the worst possible reason; because I did really well for GCSE. I got an A* for physics and this led me to believe that I would easily be able to excel in it for A-level. I was wrong.
    Fun fact: I also picked A-level chemistry for the same reason, ended up hating it and dropped it after Christmas last year, so I only ended up doing three AS-level subjects.
    As a result, I am now stuck with physics. I have considered dropping it and doing all of A-level biology (the science I enjoy the most but didn't pick because I did the worst in it at GCSE (still got an A though)) in one year but there's absolutely no way my sixth form would allow me to do that.


    Why did I get a D?
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    I'm not going to lie and say that I was constantly getting straight As in physics throughout year 12, but I was working at a B grade towards the end of the year. My teachers even predicted me a B. Therefore, it was quite a surprise when I saw that I had got a D in this year's AS exams. Luckily for me though, I am doing the new linear specification which means that my AS grade won't count towards my A-level grade.
    My main revision strategy was doing past papers from the old spec, and not even spending much time trying to understand the content. This is probably why I didn't do so well. The fact that my revision guide was for the wrong specification probably didn't help either. I also skipped a lot of the lessons. Okay, I'm really not helping my case here.


    How do I plan to get an A next year?
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    I'm going to be spending much more time understanding the content using my CGP 'Complete Revision & Practice' guide, which I'd 100% recommend to anyone. In addition, I'll also be answering all of the practice exam questions from this book which are actually relevant to the new spec.
    Also, I'll be making flashcards, which I have always found to be a useful revision tool since I was in year 9.
    I'll be dedicating 2-3 free periods a week reviewing AS topics that I found difficult last year.
    I want my attendance for physics lessons to be 100% this year.

    And this is where this blog comes in...
    On this blog, I'll be updating any physics revision that I have done, grades that I get in end of topic tests and also mock exam grades.
    In addition, I'll be including my progress with the M1 module that I'm doing as part of A-level maths, because it is technically physics, right?

    GRADE TRACKER:

    Mock Exams:
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    16/12/16:

    Past Papers:
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    CGP Textbook End Of Chapter Exam Questions:
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    Further Mechanics: 62%
    Gravitational & Electric Fields: 65%

    Last but not least, if there are any fellow A-level physics students out there who are reading this, feel free to comment with any tips on how to get a high grade in physics. Alternatively, we can offer each other moral support. I would offer to give you advice, but I doubt you'd want to trust someone who got a D in AS
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    Great! I'll be here as well

    I got an A at AS so if you want help/just wanna talk I'm here
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    01/09/16

    Yesterday I made some notes on Gravitational Fields and today I answered the exam questions on it.
    I find using equations in physics quite confusing because I usually either:
    (a) Get the symbols mixed up
    (b) Forget to covert quantities into the right measurements (E.g. Km to m).
    (c) Use the wrong equation.
    (d) All of the above.

    It is especially confusing when a letter can equal two different things. For example, in the gravitational fields topic, 'r' can either be the distance between two masses or the radius of a point mass. I guess its not so bad if I know which equation to use.

    Here are the notes I made:

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    Hey! We're in almost exactly the same situation because I got a D at AS physics too. I was completely devastated by my grade because I really want to study physics at University and I had been working at a B grade all year so it did come as a big shock. Like you I've been revising topics ahead of time; I'm currently focusing on circular motion and just starting particle physics 😊
    Wishing you the best of luck with your revision and hopefully at the end of the year we get the grades we want/deserve ahaha 👍
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    Those are some really pretty notes lol, well done, a lot of good work on your first day

    Btw what exam board are you on? (I'm doing edexcel)
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    (Original post by jessyjellytot14)
    01/09/16

    Yesterday I made some notes on Gravitational Fields and today I answered the exam questions on it.
    I find using equations in physics quite confusing because I usually either:
    (a) Get the symbols mixed up
    (b) Forget to covert quantities into the right measurements (E.g. Km to m).
    (c) Use the wrong equation.
    (d) All of the above.

    It is especially confusing when a letter can equal two different things. For example, in the gravitational fields topic, 'r' can either be the distance between two masses or the radius of a point mass. I guess its not so bad if I know which equation to use.

    Here are the notes I made:

    Name:  ImageUploadedByStudent Room1472749578.209040.jpg
Views: 534
Size:  186.1 KB



    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Great notes! But did you copy it out from the CGP guide?

    If you want some motivation for studying check out 'The Organised Student' on Tumblr. It's amazing!!!
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    Taking AS+A2 Physics this year, so I'll stay tuned into this thread :P
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    (Original post by jessyjellytot14)
    01/09/16

    Yesterday I made some notes on Gravitational Fields and today I answered the exam questions on it.
    I find using equations in physics quite confusing because I usually either:
    (a) Get the symbols mixed up
    (b) Forget to covert quantities into the right measurements (E.g. Km to m).
    (c) Use the wrong equation.
    (d) All of the above.

    It is especially confusing when a letter can equal two different things. For example, in the gravitational fields topic, 'r' can either be the distance between two masses or the radius of a point mass. I guess its not so bad if I know which equation to use.

    Here are the notes I made:

    Name:  ImageUploadedByStudent Room1472749578.209040.jpg
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    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Plz teach me how you write so neatly
    Good luck this year though
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    After you finish learning the content, I'd advise going through past papers alongside the markscheme and make note of all the points on the markscheme for any question you can't get the answer to straight away. You're essentially making your own markscheme so that if you were to sit that exam right now, you have a sheet of paper which would have anything that could trip you up in the exam, eventually you have 20-30 of these that cover all longer questions, definitions, calculations etc. It's also making notes on only things that earn marks in the exam, so that helps too.
    Just make sure to reword anything that might be different in the new spec, like in chemistry whether you use van der waals forces or london forces etc.
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    (Original post by book-obsessed)
    Hey! We're in almost exactly the same situation because I got a D at AS physics too. I was completely devastated by my grade because I really want to study physics at University and I had been working at a B grade all year so it did come as a big shock. Like you I've been revising topics ahead of time; I'm currently focusing on circular motion and just starting particle physics 😊
    Wishing you the best of luck with your revision and hopefully at the end of the year we get the grades we want/deserve ahaha 👍
    Do you happen to be doing AQA by any chance? And I guess the positive thing about our situation is that our grade can only improve from here (it's highly unlikely to go down to an E or a U), especially if we start working hard now. I thought circular motion looked pretty straightforward until I saw the questions in the textbook lmao. Good luck with your revision and exams too!!

    (Original post by Workangel_24)
    Great notes! But did you copy it out from the CGP guide?

    If you want some motivation for studying check out 'The Organised Student' on Tumblr. It's amazing!!!
    Thank you, I did use the CGP guide to write them but I'm trying to write them in my own words which is difficult because CGP have already condensed everything

    (Original post by hellomynameisr)
    Those are some really pretty notes lol, well done, a lot of good work on your first day

    Btw what exam board are you on? (I'm doing edexcel)
    Thanks! And I'm doing AQA.
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    (Original post by jessyjellytot14)
    Do you happen to be doing AQA by any chance? And I guess the positive thing about our situation is that our grade can only improve from here (it's highly unlikely to go down to an E or a U), especially if we start working hard now. I thought circular motion looked pretty straightforward until I saw the questions in the textbook lmao. Good luck with your revision and exams too!! .
    I do Edexcel 😭 I wish I did AQA, if only for the gcse memories lol. True if my grade went down I think I would legit give up on school haha. Circular motion is not too bad, I think its just a case of understanding the equations not just memorising them (which I used to do), then you can apply them in any situation.
    Do you mind me asking what other subjects you do? I do Maths and Chemistry( I plan on dropping English Literature lol).
    Also in terms of revision, have you made a revision timetable or are you leaving that for when you start school again?
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    (Original post by book-obsessed)
    I do Edexcel 😭 I wish I did AQA, if only for the gcse memories lol. True if my grade went down I think I would legit give up on school haha. Circular motion is not too bad, I think its just a case of understanding the equations not just memorising them (which I used to do), then you can apply them in any situation.
    Do you mind me asking what other subjects you do? I do Maths and Chemistry( I plan on dropping English Literature lol).
    Also in terms of revision, have you made a revision timetable or are you leaving that for when you start school again?
    I'm doing maths and psychology which are going so much better than physics haha.
    And I do sort of have a revision timetable- I have a planner/bullet journal thing where I plan ahead my revision weekly which I find so much more useful than having the same revision schedule for the whole year because I can plan to do less things on the days when I'm busy/have things planned and as a result, its much easier to stick to.
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    02/09/16


    I found my new timetable on my sixth form's VLE today and it looks pretty good. My favourite days are Monday and Friday. On Mondays, I have double physics from 9am-11am and that is it for the day. On Friday, I have no lessons at all apart from Tutor time where we'll be doing UCAS stuff. I'm really happy with the teachers that I'll have for physics as well

    I'll be going away for the weekend with my dad today so I won't be posting anything for a few days. I won't be doing much studying either, but I'm taking my revision guide and notes with me so that I can read over them whilst I'm there. I'm hoping to make some notes on 'Gravitational Potential' too, but my dad might get annoyed if he sees me studying on holiday haha, especially since I don't have exams any time soon.
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    I'm in the same position but got a B at AS.
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    05/09/16



    So... I am now back from holiday and have managed to make notes on 'Gravitational Potential' and have "attempted" the practice questions from the revision guide. I say "attempted" because I got all of the final answers wrong even though my methods were correct.
    I think this is because I need to actually think about the questions more rather than rushing them to get them over and done with
    Effortlessly plugging numbers into equations is no longer enough it seems...
    My old physics teacher actually used to say that if you draw out a diagram for each question and write a list of 'knowns and unknowns' before attempting to solve it, then you are highly unlikely to go wrong. I'm going to start following this advice.

    I spoke to one of my friends from my sixth form earlier and he said that lots of people in our year got a U in physics so me getting a D is quite good in comparison. I find it odd how so many people have under-performed in physics at my sixth form this year. I saw people on TSR who struggled with it just as much as I did and they came out with an A or a B... but at my sixth form, hardly anyone got an A or a B I don't think. And there are some really intelligent people in my year doing physics as well.
    If most people have got Us, then hopefully my class will be smaller next year.
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    07/09/16


    Currently reading through 'Orbits and Gravity' in my revision guide and highlighting the important parts. Look at how crappy my highlighter is lmao, you can barely see it

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    I'm not really in the mood to write notes today (too much caffeine + phobia of wasps + wasps = not good studying mood) so that's why I'm just reading through it. I also don't know where our teachers will start off from next week, so I don't want to get too far ahead.
    I wish I was starting year 13 this week tbh because I'm so bored.
    Making a start on my personal statement will probably be a more productive thing to do so I'm going to work on that over the next couple of days.

    I'm going to be applying for psychology btw, and I know physics is completely irrelevant to this . I should've picked biology but its too late to go back now.
    Oh well, I guess physics is sort of interesting and hopefully over the upcoming months, I'll learn to like it more! And tbf I need a good grade in it to get into university so...
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    Pick A-level subjects that you actually enjoy and are passionate about kids!

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    10/09/16



    I've decided to write up a list of all of the AS topics that I need to revise over the course of next year. I'm going to aim to spend about two weeks going over each topic (so about 4/5 hours per week) and hopefully, by Christmas, I'll have revised all of it.
    I'm going to start off with mechanics because i'm pretty shite at it atm and it will help for my M1 module in maths which i'll be starting soon.

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    I think i'm going to use a traffic light system for the checklist, so say if I revise a sub-topic and I fully understand it and get all of the practice questions correct, i'll colour the box in green. If I flop, it will be red and i'll make flashcards for the concepts I don't understand and keep practicing different questions.
    Of course, I'll do this for the A2 content as well.

    BTW- My revision guide has a code for a free online edition that you can use on a computer or tablet which I am not going to use because I'm fine with just using the book.
    So, if anyone would like the code, DM me and i'll give it to you.
    However, please only ask for it if you are doing AQA and do not already have the CGP revision guide and do not intend to buy it.

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    (Original post by jessyjellytot14)
    10/09/16



    I've decided to write up a list of all of the AS topics that I need to revise over the course of next year. I'm going to aim to spend about two weeks going over each topic (so about 4/5 hours per week) and hopefully, by Christmas, I'll have revised all of it.
    I'm going to start off with mechanics because i'm pretty shite at it atm and it will help for my M1 module in maths which i'll be starting soon.

    Name:  1473506887625.jpg
Views: 374
Size:  63.4 KB

    I think i'm going to use a traffic light system for the checklist, so say if I revise a sub-topic and I fully understand it and get all of the practice questions correct, i'll colour the box in green. If I flop, it will be red and i'll make flashcards for the concepts I don't understand and keep practicing different questions.
    Of course, I'll do this for the A2 content as well.

    BTW- My revision guide has a code for a free online edition that you can use on a computer or tablet which I am not going to use because I'm fine with just using the book.
    So, if anyone would like the code, DM me and i'll give it to you.
    However, please only ask for it if you are doing AQA and do not already have the CGP revision guide and do not intend to buy it.

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    Such a good idea, I'm the same I really need to consolidate my AS learning.Would you recommend CGP guide?
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    (Original post by busybee8)
    Such a good idea, I'm the same I really need to consolidate my AS learning.Would you recommend CGP guide?
    Yes! The CGP guide makes things much easier to understand than the textbook does in my opinion.
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    11/09/16



    Last day of my summer "holidays"!! 😁

    Lol i'm not really looking forward to tomorrow because we have to be in an assembly at 8:30 am and then we have tutor time for an hour (aka receive a planner and sit doing nothing for an hour).
    I'm still not sure what my actual timetable is but i'm pretty sure i'll have double physics at some point in the day.

    I've attempted some questions on circular motion from a textbook print out that my teacher gave me last year. I don't have the answers though. I'm kind of worried that we're going to have a test on the first lesson back- or is that too mean?


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    If someone could tell me if my answer for this question is correct or not, that would be much appreciated

    I'm going to do one more question now and then try to relax.





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