A Veterinary Wannabe's guide to A-levels
The revision, the rants, the dreams, the truths. The good, bad, and the ugly.
The Stage is set - Friday 4th November 2016
As a general note, this is actually my first ever post here on the student room, I've followed it for some time, but never actually made it into the forums - so I think that deserves something of a high five in itself.
Anyway, having got a notification about a thread called "Grow your grades", my initial thought was to move on but then I remembered that, no, I really am trying to do better, and promptly found myself intrigued after arriving at the thread. I'm going to be honest - and in fairness I'm sure all of you reading this will agree with me because you've done it yourself - trying to keep a diary has always failed. However, as a frequent role player on the awesome story writing site 'Advanced Scribes', I'm used to regularly trying to put something on the laptop screen, whether it be a paragraph or a one thousand word monologue (that's a good day though, I only like to think I'm literate).
So here's how my blog is going to work (as well as my first ever student room post, this is also my first ever blog - exciting stuff!). Every day that I do some revision, whether that be at sixth form college or at home, I'm going to upload something here. You'll get a date, and no doubt whichever single I was listening to when I began writing the post that day. And hopefully, given that I've been revising (or should have been!!!) I'll give you a run through of what I've consolidated and revised that day, while its not actually beneficial for you - though I hope you'll be interested by the topics I'm covering - it will be for me in that I can think through it in my mind. And because I'm a teenager, you might even get the run through of what ever drama that day has happened.
To set the scene, or my reality as it it, AS levels were the worst exams of my life. With results respectively being, CCCDD (Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Classics, General Studies). GCSEs were a breeze and I came out with 2 A*s, 6 A's and 4 B's, considering I'm the girl that gets frequently told to "blow her own trumpet more often" I would say GCSEs went pretty darn well! And then I met A-levels, I'm now currently in Year 13 and have applied to uni and have you ever heard the phrase "It will just click"? Well it hasn't. Crap. I found it particularly hard in the months following the dreaded results day of AS, and in honesty I would say I was depressed to a degree. This by far was my favourite metaphor given how many times I've said it, but I summed up my AS levels as "Having run on a treadmill. All that effort but I've not moved anywhere". Well, hopefully I'm off the treadmill and steadily running now, I've had my papers back and know where I've been falling down.
Just for the record since I don't believe I've said so yet, I study: OCR Biology, OCR Chemistry, AQA Classical Civilisation. I wisely left Maths behind at AS.
Despite the flop at AS and walking in with full knowledge I probably won't get the grades I want of AAB, I'm still trying for Veterinary Medicine at Nottingham. At current, I have a conditional offer at Nottingham for Animal Science, Nottingham Trent for Animal Biology, an interview at Nottingham for Vet med, and a interview at Writtle for an integrated masters in Vet physiotherapy. I'll let you know how the interviews go when they come (eee!)
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A Veterinary Wannabe's guide to A-levels watch
- Thread Starter
- 04-11-2016 22:21
- 04-11-2016 23:33
You're going to have to work super hard and I know you can get AAB or even higher tbh, but you need to be special esp with the past papers and applying knowledge for sciences I've heard.
- 05-11-2016 09:22
Hello fellow veterinary wannabe! However I'm in Year 12 haha, but either way good luck this year! I'll definitely be watching this thread for advice of application through the year
- Thread Starter
- 05-11-2016 15:57
In fairness I was fully going to take Maths onto A-level and I did actually grade higher in AS for Maths than Classics. However after I talked it through with teachers the ability to move up through the grades is easier to do in Classics than Mathematics so that is my justification behind it, and even now I see how much time it would have taken me away from Biology and Chemistry.
I know its hard work and I know its unlikely, but I've put myself in a position that even if I don't get medicine, I can go in the secondary route and that route is still one of my favourite aspects of veterinary!
Good luck to you too! And I hope you do better than me in AS levels xD You are more than welcome to ask me any questions about my application and experiences for it c=
- Thread Starter
- 05-11-2016 23:43
Day 1 - Saturday 5th November 2016
Currently no revision music as I can hear my parents binge watching "Humans" in the background. I'm smirking a lot given that I can hear them theorising when I watched some of it when it initially came out and therefore know quite a few answers.
Okay so I have no idea if that set of three photos worked but I really hoped it worked, if not I'll explain anyway and its quite possible they went to the bottom of this post - I have no idea how this coding business works yet so if you know how to make photos stay where you want them then please do message me!
Anyway, for those than cannot see my photos - I made three A4 sized posters of the process of respiration. The use of the poster is that whenever I'm doing something in my room e.g straightening my hair in the morning, I've got something to look at. Even if I just happen to walk past the poster I'll still be seeing words that trigger further memories of what I learnt. A sort of subliminal learning tactic, but I find it works for me which is the important bit to this.
Whatever your GCSE teacher said, it might as well be a lie!!! Respiration is not as simple as Glucose + Oxygen ---> Carbon Dioxide + Water (+ Some energy), in fact is a four step process of Glycolysis, the Link Reaction, the Krebs Cycle and Oxidative Phosphorylation. While I'm 90% what I've done here is correct (all is textbook other than Glycolysis), the process of Glycolysis contains a little more than required by the specification for the OCR Biology A course. Glycolysis is in fact a ten stage process but according to the specification I only need to know Glucose --> hexose biphosphate --> triose phosphate x2 --> Pyruvate x2. I added in Fructose because I had learnt it in class and found out it came from hexose monophosphate by the catalyse of an isomerase enzyme. I've emailed my teacher since I added in the step of Fructose by cross referencing what I learnt in my lessons with my textbook outside of class, so hopefully I'll know what's what soon enough.
Don't tape your revision notes to a wall papered wall - your mum will kill you.
(Hence why they are now stuck to the side of a cupboard)
Glucose enters the cytoplasm of a cell where by phosphorylation, 2 ATP are converted into ADP and inorganic Phosphate groups by hydrolysis. This release of energy converts Glucose into Hexose Biphosphate, this is a six carbon molecule that when split into two three carbon molecules, is called Triose Phosphate, Dehydrogenation, producing reduced NAD (which goes on to Oxidative Phosphoylation), and the phosphorylation of 4 ADP + Pi to ATP, produces a net production of 2 ATP for every glycolysis of glucose, with the end product being two molecules of Pyruvate (one for each Triose Phosphate). Glycolysis also happens to be the only stage of respiration that occurs under anaerobic conditions.
Pyruvate is transported into the mitochondria by carrier proteins and the following stages take place inside the mitochondrial matrix.
The Link Reaction
Stage two of respiration - where oxygen is a must from now on. Each Pyruvate is decarboxlyed (the resulting CO2 diffuses out of the matrix, out of the cell into the blood to be transported away), and dehydrogenated, producing reduced NAD. This reaction is catalysed by Coenzyme A, to produce end product Acetyl CoA. When Coenzyme A releases, and will be recycled into the next link reaction, it leaves just the Acetyl Group which moves into the Krebs Cycle.
And given the time is 23:29pm, I am going to bed and leaving my consolidation of Krebs Cycle and Oxidative Phosphorylation until tomorrow. Sleep is as important to exams as revision!
- Thread Starter
- 23-11-2016 22:33
Day 2 - Wednesday 23rd November 2016: An update
Zero to Hero - Ariana Grande
Apologies for everyone for it having been so long, therefore tonight's post will be simply an update about the situation rather than an in depth sight into my revision of the day or week.
In the past two weeks, as well as dealing with the usual stress that us youngsters deal with these days, I've had two interviews, one today for Writtle University's Veterinary Physiotherapy and one last Wednesday for Nottingham's Veterinary Medicine. For reasons I'm sure you can understand I cannot give any specifics about the Nottingham Interview process but if you have an questions then I will answer them as best I can.
The interviews were difficult, the Nottingham one more so than Writtle, but I felt we were put through two very different experiences which would be why I found the Nottingham interview such a difficult experience.
The exam I've had over the fortnight was for Biology, which was a week ago on Tuesday and I was thrilled with the result. It meant a lot to me because following the devastatingly low AS results I received, my mental health deteriorated so in a following interim exam, I only achieved a D grade. But in this exam, which was on the hormones, neuronal communication and respiration modules - I achieved a B! And was second in my class by only one mark, so considering across the year group only one person got an A, I was really pleased.
Most of my revision for this exam considered of diagrams drawn but the labels consisted of "trigger" words, so as an example, if I saw the word actylcholine, I would be thinking: neurotransmitter, synapse, sodium ions, action potentials, nerves.
Hope to post soon and hear from people if you have an questions about my interview experiences or university opinions! =)
- 24-11-2016 10:33
Hey - just found this! I'm a vet wannabe in year 11 so will be watching this thread