Difference Between Revising for A Levels Compared to GCSE?

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Yagami Lightuh
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So I just started my A Levels after doing well at GCSE. My subjects are Bio, Chem, Geog, and Economics (AS). When studying for my GCSEs I just used the CGP textbook for all of my science exams and just wrote notes from it which I memorised weeks/days before the exam and I did a lot of past papers. Can I use this technique for A Level Science too? As in, just using the CGP textbook and writing notes to memorise, and then do past papers. Or are the CGP books too vague for A Levels? I really don't want to use different textbooks because they have like 250 pages and I can't write and memorise that many notes. Plus, any other differences between revising for A Levels compared to GCSEs? Apart from revising way more.

Thanks
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I-Hate-Edexcel
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A level is hell. The CGP textbooks will be helpful as quick revision but you will need to do in-depth research on educational websites to get an A or B.
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user 42005
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All I did was make condensed notes from the textbook, read them over and over again and did past papers and ended up with A*AA. I think it's really the best method tbh, you just have to start early and be consistent. For example, I started at Easter and read them and did past papers every day until the end of exams on the 28th June... It's pretty exhausting after a while

Definitely worth the effort in the end though, good luck with your subjects!
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kagawa88
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(Original post by JRKinder)
All I did was make condensed notes from the textbook, read them over and over again and did past papers and ended up with A*AA. I think it's really the best method tbh, you just have to start early and be consistent. For example, I started at Easter and read them and did past papers every day until the end of exams on the 28th June... It's pretty exhausting after a while

Definitely worth the effort in the end though, good luck with your subjects!
Those were brilliant results. Could I ask what subjects were they in and any specific subject revision.
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Yagami Lightuh
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Did you use CGP ones? or the actual ones from the exam board
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poppyb787
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i have the cgp revision guides for physics chem bio and maths and they are far too vague to do complete revision from, just compare it to the textbook and you'll see how much they miss out. they're perfect for refreshing your mind on a topic you've already learnt but you can't revise fully from them if you want to get a decent grade, use your textbook and class notes at the very least
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user 42005
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(Original post by kagawa88)
Those were brilliant results. Could I ask what subjects were they in and any specific subject revision.
Thanks; I got an A* in Maths and A's in Physics and Politics. For Maths and Physics I wrote my own notes from the textbook to cut the crap out, as well as some examples for the mathematical methods. As I was going through I also did some of the exercises from the book as practice, but this was at the start of the year until about January (not part of revision). For Politics I didn't bother writing my own notes since the revision guide is huge and had too much detail for small notes, so I just read through half the revision guide (it was split into two exams) on my Politics revision days. I made a list of some examples to use to illustrate my arguments too, which is important in an essay subject. For all three subjects, starting from around April, I then did past papers after I'd finished reading my notes/revision guide. For Maths and Physics I'd do one or two whole papers on each day I was revising those subjects, whereas for Politics I only did one big question or three smaller ones since writing essays is tedious and boring lol. So my typical weekly schedule would be:

Mon: Maths C3
Tue: Maths C4
Wed: Maths S2
Thur: Physics G484
Fri: Physics G485
Sat: Politics 1
Sun: Politics 2

I literally repeated that from Easter until the end of June, no breaks. Each day I'd keep going until I'd finished doing the whole unit (obvs with rest periods), and then stop for the day.
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3121
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You don't leave it till the last minute, revise after each topic because exam revision should be brushing up and recapping not learning or else you'll do even worse
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user 42005
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(Original post by Yagami Lightuh)
Did you use CGP ones? or the actual ones from the exam board
Textbook for writing notes, and the official exam board one for revision guides. I really hate CGP if I'm being honest, the pages are so cluttered.
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kagawa88
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(Original post by JRKinder)
Thanks; I got an A* in Maths and A's in Physics and Politics. For Maths and Physics I wrote my own notes from the textbook to cut the crap out, as well as some examples for the mathematical methods. As I was going through I also did some of the exercises from the book as practice, but this was at the start of the year until about January (not part of revision). For Politics I didn't bother writing my own notes since the revision guide is huge and had too much detail for small notes, so I just read through half the revision guide (it was split into two exams) on my Politics revision days. I made a list of some examples to use to illustrate my arguments too, which is important in an essay subject. For all three subjects, starting from around April, I then did past papers after I'd finished reading my notes/revision guide. For Maths and Physics I'd do one or two whole papers on each day I was revising those subjects, whereas for Politics I only did one big question or three smaller ones since writing essays is tedious and boring lol. So my typical weekly schedule would be:

Mon: Maths C3
Tue: Maths C4
Wed: Maths S2
Thur: Physics G484
Fri: Physics G485
Sat: Politics 1
Sun: Politics 2

I literally repeated that from Easter until the end of June, no breaks. Each day I'd keep going until I'd finished doing the whole unit (obvs with rest periods), and then 's stop for the day.
I'm wanting to take similar subjects to you. I wish to take:
Maths
Economics
Further maths (AS)
Physics/Chemistry/Politics

I am not sure about Physics. I got an A* in GCSE but found it quite difficult, espeically unit 3. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the Chemistry exams as they were a memory game. I also have the option to do Politics as a 5th option. Do you have any recommendations?
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user 42005
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(Original post by kagawa88)
I'm wanting to take similar subjects to you. I wish to take:
Maths
Economics
Further maths (AS)
Physics/Chemistry/Politics

I am not sure about Physics. I got an A* in GCSE but found it quite difficult, espeically unit 3. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the Chemistry exams as they were a memory game. I also have the option to do Politics as a 5th option. Do you have any recommendations?
I have to say I found A Level Physics to be much more difficult than GCSE. I got an A* at GCSE without too much difficulty and really love Physics as a subject, but AS has a lot of focus on electricity and waves which I found to be a bit dull. A2 improved though because we did topics on planets, satellites, particles etc. I'd say you need to be quite comfortable with maths in the sense of stringing a series of equations together. The hardest the maths gets is logarithms (which are fairly easy), but sometimes it can be a bit obscure as to what to do. Overall I found it very interesting, but I'd only recommend people do it if they are really passionate about physics because if you aren't then you may struggle. As far as I know Chemistry is a bit easier, but I didn't study it myself so I can't give you my personal experience. Everyone I know who did it really enjoyed it though, they said it was much better than GCSE.

As for Politics it's basically just memory and essay writing ability. None of the content is that hard to understand, there's just a bloody lot of it to remember (especially at A2), including tens upon tens of specific examples if you're aiming for top grades. If you can do all that and coherently write it down then I don't think you'll have too many problems with it, but just be prepared to put more time to it than your other subjects due to the volume of content. If you want my advice though, don't bother doing a 5th subject. Universities won't care in the slightest and you're just giving yourself less time to revise for your other subjects. If you want to learn the content for it then by all means do it, just don't bother sitting the exams for it (I did this with Further Maths so I had the knowledge but none of the exam stress).
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kagawa88
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(Original post by JRKinder)
I have to say I found A Level Physics to be much more difficult than GCSE. I got an A* at GCSE without too much difficulty and really love Physics as a subject, but AS has a lot of focus on electricity and waves which I found to be a bit dull. A2 improved though because we did topics on planets, satellites, particles etc. I'd say you need to be quite comfortable with maths in the sense of stringing a series of equations together. The hardest the maths gets is logarithms (which are fairly easy), but sometimes it can be a bit obscure as to what to do. Overall I found it very interesting, but I'd only recommend people do it if they are really passionate about physics because if you aren't then you may struggle. As far as I know Chemistry is a bit easier, but I didn't study it myself so I can't give you my personal experience. Everyone I know who did it really enjoyed it though, they said it was much better than GCSE.

As for Politics it's basically just memory and essay writing ability. None of the content is that hard to understand, there's just a bloody lot of it to remember (especially at A2), including tens upon tens of specific examples if you're aiming for top grades. If you can do all that and coherently write it down then I don't think you'll have too many problems with it, but just be prepared to put more time to it than your other subjects due to the volume of content. If you want my advice though, don't bother doing a 5th subject. Universities won't care in the slightest and you're just giving yourself less time to revise for your other subjects. If you want to learn the content for it then by all means do it, just don't bother sitting the exams for it (I did this with Further Maths so I had the knowledge but none of the exam stress).
Thank you. I am leaning more towards Chemistry at the moment. Which do you think is more of a memory test out of chemistry and physics. If I want to do further maths, I need to do it with 4 other subjects. However I think I only want to do further maths to AS. So A2s in Maths, Economics, Politics and Chemistry I want to do a degree to do with economics so Further maths AS is highly preferred.
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user 42005
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(Original post by kagawa88)
Thank you. I am leaning more towards Chemistry at the moment. Which do you think is more of a memory test out of chemistry and physics. If I want to do further maths, I need to do it with 4 other subjects. However I think I only want to do further maths to AS. So A2s in Maths, Economics, Politics and Chemistry I want to do a degree to do with economics so Further maths AS is highly preferred.
If you want to do an Economics degree then honestly just do whichever science you prefer as they won't have a preference. I'm going to make an assumption that Chemistry has more memorisation than Physics, but you may want someone who has done both to verify that. I'm saying that on the basis that Physics will have more maths in it than Chemistry, although Chemistry does have mathsy parts too. If you have to do 5 subjects in order to do FM then it's your call, I'm just warning you it'll be a lot of extra work. I'm applying for Economics at university this year actually haha
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Rachel58
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Do a lot of past papers. A-Levels are more applied questions, rather than knowledge, so past papers are a must.
E.g.
GCSE: What is X?
A-Level: Using your knowledge of X, explain the results of this experiment.
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kagawa88
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(Original post by JRKinder)
If you want to do an Economics degree then honestly just do whichever science you prefer as they won't have a preference. I'm going to make an assumption that Chemistry has more memorisation than Physics, but you may want someone who has done both to verify that. I'm saying that on the basis that Physics will have more maths in it than Chemistry, although Chemistry does have mathsy parts too. If you have to do 5 subjects in order to do FM then it's your call, I'm just warning you it'll be a lot of extra work. I'm applying for Economics at university this year actually haha
Good luck! I really enjoy Economics and I definitely feel a Science is good as it adds variety. Thanks for your advice and I'll ask you how it goes in the future.
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HopelessMedic
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(Original post by I-Hate-Edexcel)
A level is hell. The CGP textbooks will be helpful as quick revision but you will need to do in-depth research on educational websites to get an A or B.
Definitely not true. I got AAB in chem,physics and bio using just the CGP guide and around 3-5 past papers for each
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redbronze1
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A Level is a much higher step up compared to GCSE, I would say that from GCSE to A Level is definitely a bigger jump than from A-Level to degree level. There's lots of good study advice in this thread already, so I'll just say that being consistent is the most important thing. Go through your notes and attempt lots of practise questions of what you've covered, right from the start.
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