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    :koala:buzzyambee's GCSE journey:koala:

    Why, hello there.

    Here you fall upon another generic TSR "moderately high achieving GCSE student's journey to achieving highly" blog. Enjoy.








    Some useless information me:
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    - I will be studying a-level biology, chemistry, french and politics next year at sixth form.

    - My ambition is to study veterinary medicine at university.

    - I am a member of the TSR Labour Party and my political views are liberal centre-left and intersectional feminist.

    - My second language is french and my nationalities are british and french.

    - My main hobby is horse riding with an interest in dressage. The horse I ride at the moment is called Tara. She's sassy and opinionated but also the best in the world - you may hear about her in the blog

    - I also like to sing and recently got a merit in my grade 5 exam.

    - I have 2 rescue cats called Hugo and Henry and a dwarf hamster called Beanie.

    - My first words were "le chat" ('the cat' in french) which is highly reflective of my mindset

    - Contrasting to my rather introverted personality, I'm into rock, punk, indie and alternative music and the bands I listen to the most at the moment are Slaves, Darlia and Royal Blood.


    GCSE Subjects and Target Grades
    So, my ideal grades would be 5A*s, 5As in:
    Mathematics (AQA) - 7 (A equivalent)
    English Language (Edexcel) - 8 (A* equivalent)
    English Literature (Edexcel) - 7
    Biology (OCR 21stC) - A*
    Chemistry (OCR 21stC) - A*
    Physics (OCR 21stC) - A
    French (Edexcel) - A*
    History (Edexcel) - A*
    Music (AQA) - A
    Drama (OCR) - A

    Results Day
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    Maths - 7
    English Language - 7
    English Literature - 9
    Biology - A*
    Chemistry - A*
    Physics - A*
    French - A*
    History - A*
    Music - A
    Drama - A*


    Oh, cool. All in all, I got 7 A*s and 3 As. Not bad I guess





    Mock/Pre-Public Exam Results
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    December Mock Exams
    Maths - 6
    English Language - 7
    English Literature - 7
    Biology - A
    Chemistry - A
    Physics - A
    French - A*
    History - A*
    Music - C

    Key: Target Reached/ Exceeded, Ok but needs practice, Oops.

    So, my mock results weren't 'TSR standard' but they weren't bad either. I wouldn't mind receiving these results in August but I can do better; time to put in the hard work!

    March PP Exams
    Maths - n/a
    English Language - 8
    English Literature - n/a
    Biology - A*
    Chemistry - A*
    Physics - A
    History - A*
    French - A*



    Controlled Assessments
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    Science
    Biology (Breathing rate) - A*
    Chemistry (Endothermic reactions) - A*
    Physics (Resistance in a wire) - A

    History
    Vietnam War - A*

    French
    Speaking - A*
    Writing - A*

    Music
    Composition 1 (Popular Music) - TBC
    Composition 2 (Classical) - TBC
    Performance - TBC

    Drama
    Unit 1 (Scripted) - A*
    Unit 2 (Devised) - A*
    Total mark: 120/120


    Revision resources
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    Maths
    CGP MathsBuster
    CorbettMaths

    English
    Edexcel Language Revision Guide
    CGP Literature Text Guides
    BBC Bitesize

    Science
    CGP Revision Guides
    Bitesize
    SAMLearning

    History
    Edexcel textbooks


    Work Experience
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    Since it's such a key part in applying to vet school, I thought I could keep record of what I have so far in terms of work experience.

    Obainted/Booked WEX
    - 1 week small animal practice
    - 1 week small animal practice
    - 2 weeks animal rescue centre
    - 1 week dog grooming salon
    - 2 weeks small animal practice
    - 1 week riding school
    - Help with lambing 3-4 evenings/week (TBC)
    - 1 week riding school
    - 1 week alpaca stud (BOOKED)
    - 1 week kennels (BOOKED)
    - 2 days pig farm (BOOKED)
    - 1 week donkey sanctuary (BOOKED)
    - Part-time holiday work at kennels
    - Part-time cover work at dog groomers
    - 2 years volunteering at equestrian business (2013-2015)
    Non-Veterinary related
    - 3 days Oxford biomedical lab
    - 2 years cafe/bakery
    - 2 years babysitting (children aged 8 months - 9 years)

    Placements I'm on the search for
    - Dairy farm
    - Large animal practice
    - Zoo/wildlife parks
    - Abattoir
    - More of what I already have
    Target amount: 15 weeks+


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    Good luck 😉
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    Good luck this year!

    I'm sure you have, but have you had a look at our Vet Med forum? They'd be loads of useful info in there for you
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    (Original post by nisha.sri)
    Good luck 😉
    Thanks!

    (Original post by Fox Corner)
    Good luck this year!

    I'm sure you have, but have you had a look at our Vet Med forum? They'd be loads of useful info in there for you
    Thank you! And yes I have - it's very good
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    Update 03/11/2016
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    Oh, what a beautifully untidy desk :P
    This week I've been quite busy after school with after-school coursework sessions. I've nearly finished my chemistry coursework

    So today most of my evening consisted of persuading myself not to procrastinate (and has been for the past week). But after a while aimlessly scrolling through social media on my phone, I dragged myself upstairs, stopped to pet one of the cats and sat myself at my desk. It finally hit me that it is just over a month till my mocks so I went on a manic rampage making myself a revision timetable which just about fits in everything before mocks starts (hurray for multicoloured biro pens).

    Work wise, I managed to start and complete:
    • History (Medicine): completed a 16 mark exam question on Roman medicine due for tomorrow. To help familiarise myself with the topic, I read through the textbook and my class notes.
    • Chemistry (C1): made notes from the revision guide.

    Excuse the slight ramble - I hope you've enjoyed this anyway! I'm fairly satisfied for today's work
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    Update 07/11/2016

    During our school Elevate session on Friday, we were advised make a study timetable where we fill in our hobbies/jobs/commitments in first and added in study sessions in the time in between. I quite like this idea, it's not good being completely stressed out with revising 24/7 and also have time to fit in my horse riding, singing practice, job and not shutting myself away from humanity. Happiness leads to success, remember (:

    Over the weekend, I have:
    • Biology (B1): completed my notes on the module.
    • Chemistry (C1): completed my notes.
    • Physics (P1): completed notes.
    • English Lit (Romeo and Juliet): made a quotation bank for Act 2 of the play.
    • History (Germany): read through a couple of pages in the textbook to familiarise myself with the Weimar Republic.

    My motivation so far has been pretty good - I feel neither over-worked or procrastinating too much!

    Non-school wise, I've also been practicing for my Grade 5 singing exam (on 3rd Dec) which have been nice yet productive breaks from revising. I just need to do more work on the dreaded sight-reading...

    See you soon!
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    Hello Ambee!

    I'm currently in Year 12 and also wanting to study VetMed! I just want to say how astounded I am at your current WEX arrangements. I've only done one week WEX and have literally NOTHING planned, which has you can imagine right now is stressing me out, so really good on you for being proactive! Good luck this year, and if you want any advice etc, don't hesitate to get in touch

    - Kate
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    (Original post by katerebecca)
    Hello Ambee!

    I'm currently in Year 12 and also wanting to study VetMed! I just want to say how astounded I am at your current WEX arrangements. I've only done one week WEX and have literally NOTHING planned, which has you can imagine right now is stressing me out, so really good on you for being proactive! Good luck this year, and if you want any advice etc, don't hesitate to get in touch

    - Kate
    Thanks! Try not to stress about the WEX though - I'm sure you'll find lots if you need any help with it, message me too
    Amber x
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    Update 08/11/2016

    I've been quite busy today and didn't have loads of time to do some proper revision :/
    I stayed behind after school to continue with my chemistry coursework until 4.30pm. I'm currently at an A grade with it and still have one or two more sections of it to stitch up to get the A* but I think I will have finished it (finally) by next week Straight afterwards I had my singing lesson which again was preparing for my exam in a month's time.

    I looked at the time after eating some food after getting home and it was already 7.30pm - WHERE DOES THE TIME GO??! I've just managed to do an hour of maths revision, though, using the CGP Maths Buster (which I find great!).

    The rest of the day was spent trying to not to fall asleep in exhaustion and distract myself from stress woooooo XD
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    Update 10/11/2016
    Slightly unproductive day today - managed to make notes on EM radiation for physics but that was about it as I had to go to a sixth form open evening o.O
    We also got given our first Year 11 report this morning which tells us our current grades, attendance and general attitude in school - mine was pretty positive but I obviously have some areas I need to work on:

    Current Grades:
    Mathematics - 7
    English Language - 7
    English Literature - 7
    Biology - A*
    Chemistry - B
    Physics - B
    French - A*
    History - B
    Music - A
    Drama - A

    (On track, needs some work, priority)

    My priorities for now are (in order of importance) Chemistry, Physics, English and History.

    In other mildly interesting news, I went to my school's sixth form open evening. I'm still not entirely sure what I am going to choose for my A-Level subjects but I know my definite choices are Biology, Chemistry and French and my other possible choices are Politics, Drama & Theatre Studies and Psychology. I'm also considering taking Core Maths along side my 4 subjects. There is no exam for it; it would simply help with my science subjects

    Amber
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    Update 14/11/2016

    Since last posting, I have been cramming as much of everything as I can! The fact that mocks are just over 3 weeks away has finally sunk in...

    So far, I have mostly been taking notes from textbooks, bitesize and revision guides and making sure I understand everything (so I'm not just writing down blahbblahkherigig). As I was revising different white blood cell types for biology, I came across the most satisfying video on youtube of a phagocyte basically chasing after a bacteria cell and engulfing it - I found myself playing it over and over. That's one thing I really like youtube for at the moment (apart from one of my many ways of procrastinating), it's really good for if I'm stuck on a certain topic in science or maths. It has lots of detailed videos of teachers explaining a certain concept and... well... videos of a cell chasing another cell XD

    Another proud moment this weekend: I managed to have a revision session with a friend without getting disctracted at all! I always assumed that if I were to have "revise" with friends we'd just end up chatting but on this occasion, it worked very well. It's nice to be able to discuss things together and it's more enjoyable and generally takes a bit of stress off.

    Excuse the waffle...

    Amber
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    Update 15/11/2016

    I think the biggest achievement of today was finishing my chemistry coursework with an A*! So happy and relieved - I don't have to look at it ever again . Now, I just need to patch up a few sections on my physics coursework to switch that A to an A* and finish off my biology...

    Revision wise, I have just finished making notes and finding key quotes from Act 4 of Romeo and Juliet for English lit, made notes on the terms of the Treaty of Versailles (Germany paper) for History, made notes on B2 (Core Biology) and will start making notes on C2 very shortly.
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    Update 20/11/2016

    I haven't been overly productive over the past few days because it was my birthday on thursday so my motivation to not spend time with family and eat cake was 1% XD

    So, today is my first proper revision session since wednesday and I've just died of panic looking at my 'to do' list for the weekend. My aim is by the end of the day to have done:
    • Notes on antimicrobials, antibiotic resistance and the circulatory system (of module B2, biology) COMPLETED
    • Notes on crude oil, polymerisation and polymers (module C2, chemistry)
    • Quotation bank for Act 5 on Romeo and Juliet and flashcards on themes (English lit)
    • Notes on the Reichstag Fire and Nazi Propaganda (History)
    • Notes on the carbon cycle and global warming (module P2, physics)
    • Flashcards on themes of An Inspector Calls (English lit)

    *inhales* *exhales*
    I'll try my best

    I've alo got a PC mounted rally in an hour and need to practice my sight reading for my singing exam in 2 weeks.... aghahgfsdhkfwroh

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    In other news, I applied for sixth form! My subjects I have applied for are:
    1st Choice: Biology
    2nd: Chemistry
    3rd: French
    4th: Politics
    Reserve: Psychology
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    The amount of work experience you've done is insane well done !!!! x
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    (Original post by nisha.sri)
    The amount of work experience you've done is insane well done !!!! x
    Thanks! x
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    Update 23/11/2016

    Oh, the joys of having a rotten cold. I have felt quite poorly for a few days now

    Despite this, I managed to get myself to school (with several mugs of lemon and honey) and do plenty of revision everyday. Over the past two days, I have done:

    • English Literature (Romeo and Juliet) : Made flashcards on themes and quotations.
    • English Literature (An Inspector Calls) : Got a feel for it again (as this was the first time I revisited it since year 10) and explored themes and made flashcards for quotes
    • Maths: Attended a revision session at school and practiced quadratic equations
    • Biology: Made notes and flashcards on antimicrobials, antibiotic resistance and the circulatory system (B2)
    • Chemistry: Made notes on crude oil, polymerisation and polymers
    • Physics: made notes the carbon cycle and global warming
    • History (Germany 1918-1945): made notes on the role of women in Nazi germany
    • History (Medicine): made flashcards on William Harvey and the NHS.

    I got my exam timetable yesterday for our mocks in two weeks. I have 14 exams *gulp*.
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    Update 26/11/2016

    My motivation hasn't been great over the past few days - I've been ill with a nasty virus which led to me being sent from school on on thursday. It's so tempting to not revise when your mum is telling you to rest and let yourself heal XD

    Even so, I have done some light revision this afternoon, accompanied by my endless and painful coughing fits:
    - Biology (B2): Made notes on heart rate, blood pressure and heart disease
    - Maths: practised solving quadratic equations and factorising on 'Maths Buster'
    - Chemistry (C2): Made notes on nanotechnology and completed some activities on SAMLearning

    I've been using Maths Buster a lot to revise maths - I've found it invaluable
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    Update 27/11/2016

    Today has been a productive day! Except I did have to cancel my riding lesson due to this ongoing virus that is making me feel dead

    Anywayy, I completed the following:
    • Physics (P2): revised EM waves and communications. I wasn't overly confident on this at first so I started off with reading through my class notes and watched a video BBC bitesize. I then made notes from the revision guide, making sure I understood everything.
    • English literature (Romeo and Juliet): revised the characters. I read up and looked at my notes on each character. I then chose 3 important quotes for each one and made flashcards from them.
    • Biology (B2): revised homeostasis. Went on bitesize and read the page on the revision guide. I made notes from the revision and flashcards on different automatic control systems.
    • History (Germany): revised the Wall Street Crash. Read the page on the text book and made flashcards.

    Here is my not very tidy desk while revising biology

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    Update 29/11/2016

    So it turns out I have glandular fever, hence why I haven't been feeling well this past week. I had a day off school yesterday and a complete break from revision - it was nice just to have a day to rest and get better (:

    Today I have done some light revision to get myself back into the swing of things. I'm still not feeling great so I think this is quite an achievement

    • Biology (B2): revised water balance and ADH. I read through the pages from the revision guide and bitesize (making sure I understand everything) and made pretty notes. I then took a mini test on bitesize to test - I got 100% yay
    • History (Medicine): revised problems in public health 1350-1700. Read through the pages in the textbook, highlighting important points, and made flashcards to summarise.
    • Music: using a past paper I completed a little while ago, I made flashcards on the topics covered I found difficult


    Mocks start in under week - got to keep revising!
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    Update 30/11/2016

    My glandular fever finally seems to be getting better - yay! I'm still feeling very exhausted from it though, it's been very hard staying awake during the day

    Today, I have done:
    • Maths: attended revision session after school. I decided to revised venn diagrams, which for some reason I always make mistakes on in tests! I did some practise questions and got help from a teacher when I got stuck.
    • Biology (B3): revised adaptation and variation. I find this topic fairly easy and enjoyable - I just read the page in the revision guide and made notes. I also made a flashcard for the definition of a species, which is: a group of organisms that can breed together to produce fertile offspring.
    • Chemistry (C3): revised tectonic plates. This isn't my favourite topic to be honest, nonetheless I need to learn it (and it's not at all complicated)! I read the revision guide and made more pretty notes.
    • History (Germany): revised Nazi propaganda. Read a few pages in the textbook, highlighting key information and made some notes. I'm actually enjoying this unit more than I remember which is a nice surprise (:

    I leave you with a picture of my little helper during my revision sessions today - revision is always better with cats

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