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    So since it is the last day of entry for Grow your Grades I thought I could give it a shot...

    Hi, I'm Molly!

    I'm a university applicant who's trying hard to get A*AA and get onto a Pharmacology course!

    Background
    GCSE's - A*A*A*AAAAAAB
    AS-Levels - AAAB
    A2 Target - A*AA

    University
    I have three offers as of now, from Liverpool, Nottingham Trent and UCLan. Still awaiting replies from Edinburgh and Leeds.
    I had an interview at Leeds last week, so should hear a response in the next week or so (hoping sooner rather than later as it is my favourite university!) and I know from speaking to other applicants last week that nobody has heard a response from Edinburgh.

    January Mocks
    So, grade wise I fluctuate a lot. I do Maths, Biology and Chemistry - with biology being my favourite and me finding maths the easiest in terms of hours put in to grades achieved. However, mocks went badly - as always.
    Chemistry - BB
    Biology - CD
    Maths - AD (resitting Core 1 which is my A, Core 3 is the D)

    So, how do I plan to achieve?
    I plan on nightly revision, which I normally start around January time for exams. I gradually build up how many hours I do and reduce the breaks until I can efficiently work for a few hours straight without needing a break. I also plan on attending revision sessions at my sixth form, which is essentially a one-to-one session due to the small class sizes and people not doing revision.

    What else do you do?
    I work two jobs, one is casual labour packing for a supplier of tree surgeon equipment. My other job is at a bargain clothing retailer as a sales assistant. I'm also on the student council for my sixth form and I like running when I have the time. However, at the minute the thought of doing anything other than work makes me feel guilty!! (although I do enjoy spending money on holidays and festivals as a reward for depriving myself for 6 months) I also love body modification, with the hope of getting more tattoos and piercings in the near future.

    I hope I can grow my grades, would love to read some other threads too and see if we can all get the grades we deserve
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    (Original post by mollyjoy1998)
    So since it is the last day of entry for Grow your Grades I thought I could give it a shot...

    Hi, I'm Molly!

    I'm a university applicant who's trying hard to get A*AA and get onto a Pharmacology course!

    Background
    GCSE's - A*A*A*AAAAAAB
    AS-Levels - AAAB
    A2 Target - A*AA

    University
    I have three offers as of now, from Liverpool, Nottingham Trent and UCLan. Still awaiting replies from Edinburgh and Leeds.
    I had an interview at Leeds last week, so should hear a response in the next week or so (hoping sooner rather than later as it is my favourite university!) and I know from speaking to other applicants last week that nobody has heard a response from Edinburgh.

    January Mocks
    So, grade wise I fluctuate a lot. I do Maths, Biology and Chemistry - with biology being my favourite and me finding maths the easiest in terms of hours put in to grades achieved. However, mocks went badly - as always.
    Chemistry - BB
    Biology - CD
    Maths - AD (resitting Core 1 which is my A, Core 3 is the D)

    So, how do I plan to achieve?
    I plan on nightly revision, which I normally start around January time for exams. I gradually build up how many hours I do and reduce the breaks until I can efficiently work for a few hours straight without needing a break. I also plan on attending revision sessions at my sixth form, which is essentially a one-to-one session due to the small class sizes and people not doing revision.

    What else do you do?
    I work two jobs, one is casual labour packing for a supplier of tree surgeon equipment. My other job is at a bargain clothing retailer as a sales assistant. I'm also on the student council for my sixth form and I like running when I have the time. However, at the minute the thought of doing anything other than work makes me feel guilty!! (although I do enjoy spending money on holidays and festivals as a reward for depriving myself for 6 months) I also love body modification, with the hope of getting more tattoos and piercings in the near future.

    I hope I can grow my grades, would love to read some other threads too and see if we can all get the grades we deserve
    Congratulations on your offers and Good luck on achieving the grades! balancing work and study plus doing pretty well is great!

    Hahaha my mock results were just horrible :/ yours are better than mine! (in my defence though, I was jet lagged when taking them)

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    (Original post by wolfmoon88)
    Congratulations on your offers and Good luck on achieving the grades! balancing work and study plus doing pretty well is great!

    Hahaha my mock results were just horrible :/ yours are better than mine! (in my defence though, I was jet lagged when taking them)

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    Thank you! Mocks are stressful too and I think when you know it doesn't matter it can be easy to slip into that cycle of not revising over the holidays. But if you were jetlagged I bet that was a pain... Good luck on getting the grades you want!
    Are you planning on going to university then?
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    (Original post by mollyjoy1998)
    Thank you! Mocks are stressful too and I think when you know it doesn't matter it can be easy to slip into that cycle of not revising over the holidays. But if you were jetlagged I bet that was a pain... Good luck on getting the grades you want!
    Are you planning on going to university then?
    Hahaha yep definitely, I fell asleep during my Chemistry mock because of jet lag. :/

    Yeah I am if you want to see my courses and such, you can check out my gyg thread for details.

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    Weekly Log – Week Beginning 30/01

    Monday

    Maths - Did a Core 3 paper – January 2009

    Score – 62 which is a grade A!

    Was only 3 into the boundary, and did not drop a mark until question 8, where I made a silly mistake and lost 11 marks on question 9 by overcomplicating things and differentiating ln wrong. Know now to pay attention when ln has an x value in the bracket.

    I also attended an after school revision session on integration, made silly mistakes but luckily got some support on how to correct these. Integration in core 3 is my weakest area so I feel a lot more confident now and know not to rush things.

    This is also the day I help tutor some low achieving year 7 students. This was a stressful lesson, sometimes the students are highly motivated and they listen and understand really well. However, this lesson did not turn out to be one of those. Luckily the students tend to relate to me more and be curious asking me questions about sixth form life, so I try and motivate them saying that if they work hard now then they will get into the sixth form and achieve what they want to do in life.

    Chemistry - Thermodynamics

    I wrote some notes on Quizlet listing the definitions on the first few pages of thermodynamics. I also did some practise questions in Task 1 of the Thermodynamics 2 booklet on CHEMSHEETS. The questions I’m struggling with are the Hess Cycles and any questions where a change of state is assumed. Does anybody know how I can tackle this? Any help would be great.

    Tuesday

    Maths – Vectors

    Did some practise on vectors as I missed the previous lessons. As I loved vectors at GCSE I love this scheme of work at the minute! It’s a shame to go back to binomials and triple angle formulae.

    Biology – Exam practise

    Our entire biology class (other than my Med School friend!) have bad exam technique, so the department were kind enough to comprise a huge bank of questions for us. Managed to do 9 questions, need to mark the answers at some point. I am hoping to improve by doing a couple of questions a day along with my usual revision.

    Wednesday

    I did no work on Wednesday! I went to my double maths lesson and then went into the city with a friend. I got my septum pierced (which really hurt! Don’t believe the videos on YouTube!!!) with a retainer so nobody can tell I have it done, then when it heals I can change the piercing whenever I want. (I can do an experience post if anybody is interested)

    Thursday

    Biology – Gene Expression

    I made some Quizlet notes on the sections of gene expression we have done so far. Our project is for each class member to do one topic and teach the rest of the class. With our teacher teaching 20.6 and we all teach one another the rest (there are 5 of us in the class). I have already made my PowerPoint on Gene Expression & Cancer so I made more notes on that to solidify the knowledge. I also made notes on gene mutation and the stem cells section (which was taught in lesson today).

    I also made some notes on homeostasis. Although we have only had two lessons I have a feeling I will find this topic harder than expected. The exam questions are especially hard for this topic – positive feedback will be a major fall back for me in the exam if I don’t keep on top of this.

    I also did 5 questions of a Core 3 paper, so I will mark the paper when I finish it.

    Friday

    Nothing!

    This is my worst day on timetable, four lessons (double Chemistry) and then work afterwards. On top of that I forgot I had a concert to go to, so I had to go into Manchester straight from work. I didn’t get home until gone 11 and was exhausted, so I slept instead of working myself silly.

    Saturday

    I was at work from 12-4 so did nothing in the morning before work. I then came home and napped.

    Maths – Finished the Core 3 paper – June 2015

    Score – 66 which is a grade A*!

    My first A*! Super proud of myself, I know I am only two into the boundary but I have been stuck at A/B for so long that it felt like an impossible journey. Considering I find Core 3 the hardest out of all the core modules, I am happy that I was able to get to my goal. I just need to keep on top of this now, especially as we are coming up to completing Core 4 in lessons so will need to double up the number of papers I complete.

    Other than that I created documents to list all of the past papers I have completed and the corresponding grade to that. From what I can see so far my average grade in maths is an A and my average grade in chemistry is at a C.

    Sunday

    Again, I worked from 12-4.

    Maths – Core 3 paper – June 2014

    Score – 52 which is a grade C.

    I feel like it is very much luck of the draw with these core 3 papers. Anything involving mod just ruins me. Also anybody who has done this paper and could do question 5 please can you help me to understand this? I found the whole question really difficult. Other than that it is my common mistakes such as ln differentiation, which I will get some help with on Tuesday.

    Overall this week has been quite productive, but still not where I want to be. I’m hoping to stop with the yo-yoing of maths papers and start to do some biology past papers considering I haven’t done any all year. This is the only way I will improve my exam technique! I am also hoping to hear from Leeds to see if I have an offer or rejection. The letter they gave us at the interview said we would hear a response back in approx. two weeks. It has been 10 days now so I should hear soon, fingers crossed! I’m hoping that an offer off them will give me some hard motivation to get the grades I want. I don’t know what I will do if I get a rejection, so I’m trying not to think about it. If anybody has any advice on how to improve how I write these, please let me know, I am new to blog styles of writing! Also, if anybody has any study tips and tricks, please let us know. Thank you
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    (Original post by mollyjoy1998)
    Weekly Log – Week Beginning 30/01

    Monday

    Maths - Did a Core 3 paper – January 2009

    Score – 62 which is a grade A!

    Was only 3 into the boundary, and did not drop a mark until question 8, where I made a silly mistake and lost 11 marks on question 9 by overcomplicating things and differentiating ln wrong. Know now to pay attention when ln has an x value in the bracket.

    I also attended an after school revision session on integration, made silly mistakes but luckily got some support on how to correct these. Integration in core 3 is my weakest area so I feel a lot more confident now and know not to rush things.

    This is also the day I help tutor some low achieving year 7 students. This was a stressful lesson, sometimes the students are highly motivated and they listen and understand really well. However, this lesson did not turn out to be one of those. Luckily the students tend to relate to me more and be curious asking me questions about sixth form life, so I try and motivate them saying that if they work hard now then they will get into the sixth form and achieve what they want to do in life.

    Chemistry - Thermodynamics

    I wrote some notes on Quizlet listing the definitions on the first few pages of thermodynamics. I also did some practise questions in Task 1 of the Thermodynamics 2 booklet on CHEMSHEETS. The questions I’m struggling with are the Hess Cycles and any questions where a change of state is assumed. Does anybody know how I can tackle this? Any help would be great.

    Tuesday

    Maths – Vectors

    Did some practise on vectors as I missed the previous lessons. As I loved vectors at GCSE I love this scheme of work at the minute! It’s a shame to go back to binomials and triple angle formulae.

    Biology – Exam practise

    Our entire biology class (other than my Med School friend!) have bad exam technique, so the department were kind enough to comprise a huge bank of questions for us. Managed to do 9 questions, need to mark the answers at some point. I am hoping to improve by doing a couple of questions a day along with my usual revision.

    Wednesday

    I did no work on Wednesday! I went to my double maths lesson and then went into the city with a friend. I got my septum pierced (which really hurt! Don’t believe the videos on YouTube!!!) with a retainer so nobody can tell I have it done, then when it heals I can change the piercing whenever I want. (I can do an experience post if anybody is interested)

    Thursday

    Biology – Gene Expression

    I made some Quizlet notes on the sections of gene expression we have done so far. Our project is for each class member to do one topic and teach the rest of the class. With our teacher teaching 20.6 and we all teach one another the rest (there are 5 of us in the class). I have already made my PowerPoint on Gene Expression & Cancer so I made more notes on that to solidify the knowledge. I also made notes on gene mutation and the stem cells section (which was taught in lesson today).

    I also made some notes on homeostasis. Although we have only had two lessons I have a feeling I will find this topic harder than expected. The exam questions are especially hard for this topic – positive feedback will be a major fall back for me in the exam if I don’t keep on top of this.

    I also did 5 questions of a Core 3 paper, so I will mark the paper when I finish it.

    Friday

    Nothing!

    This is my worst day on timetable, four lessons (double Chemistry) and then work afterwards. On top of that I forgot I had a concert to go to, so I had to go into Manchester straight from work. I didn’t get home until gone 11 and was exhausted, so I slept instead of working myself silly.

    Saturday

    I was at work from 12-4 so did nothing in the morning before work. I then came home and napped.

    Maths – Finished the Core 3 paper – June 2015

    Score – 66 which is a grade A*!

    My first A*! Super proud of myself, I know I am only two into the boundary but I have been stuck at A/B for so long that it felt like an impossible journey. Considering I find Core 3 the hardest out of all the core modules, I am happy that I was able to get to my goal. I just need to keep on top of this now, especially as we are coming up to completing Core 4 in lessons so will need to double up the number of papers I complete.

    Other than that I created documents to list all of the past papers I have completed and the corresponding grade to that. From what I can see so far my average grade in maths is an A and my average grade in chemistry is at a C.

    Sunday

    Again, I worked from 12-4.

    Maths – Core 3 paper – June 1024

    Score – 52 which is a grade C.

    I feel like it is very much luck of the draw with these core 3 papers. Anything involving mod just ruins me. Also anybody who has done this paper and could do question 5 please can you help me to understand this? I found the whole question really difficult. Other than that it is my common mistakes such as ln differentiation, which I will get some help with on Tuesday.

    Overall this week has been quite productive, but still not where I want to be. I’m hoping to stop with the yo-yoing of maths papers and start to do some biology past papers considering I haven’t done any all year. This is the only way I will improve my exam technique! I am also hoping to hear from Leeds to see if I have an offer or rejection. The letter they gave us at the interview said we would hear a response back in approx. two weeks. It has been 10 days now so I should hear soon, fingers crossed! I’m hoping that an offer off them will give me some hard motivation to get the grades I want. I don’t know what I will do if I get a rejection, so I’m trying not to think about it. If anybody has any advice on how to improve how I write these, please let me know, I am new to blog styles of writing! Also, if anybody has any study tips and tricks, please let us know. Thank you
    Just want to say straight off the bat man (Please don't take this negatively, I call everybody man and bruh haha) that I'm seriously impressed with all the work that you're putting in. It's a beautifully thorough blog, and I can honestly say hand on heart that I enjoyed reading about your week.

    With the grades that you've been predicted, and the grades you received at AS, I don't think anybody in their right mind can doubt that you'll get a place at all of your university choices. And if it came down to the wire, I can say without a doubt that you are definitely somebody who deserves to have that place. I'm going to also tell you that if you get a rejection, that it is okay.

    I originally applied for Dentistry with a prediction of AA(A)B, and I was rejected from all 4 of my Universities (Kings, Queen Marys London, Bristol and Manchester), however I got a reduced offer to my local University (Portsmouth). Not only that, but I was offered a chance to get some funding for my MD. So not all hope is lost when it comes to rejections. But, as I said before, I seriously doubt that you will receive any kind of rejection.

    On the topic of Motivation, I am a motivational speaker haha, so if you ever needed some help finding the drive or the will to do something, please contact me on here or by DM, and I would be more than glad to see how I can help!

    One final thing, I saw that you needed some help trying to get your head around Thermodynamics, so what I'll do is I shall post several links for resources that I use, and I hope that you'll find them as useful as me

    Take care of yourself, Molly.

    Big A.

    AQA A Level Chemistry Revision (From 2015)

    Edexcel A Level Chemistry Revision (From 2015)

    OCR A A Level Chemistry Revision (From 2015)

    WJEC A Level Chemistry Revision (From 2015)
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    (Original post by theonecenter)
    Just want to say straight off the bat man (Please don't take this negatively, I call everybody man and bruh haha) that I'm seriously impressed with all the work that you're putting in. It's a beautifully thorough blog, and I can honestly say hand on heart that I enjoyed reading about your week.

    With the grades that you've been predicted, and the grades you received at AS, I don't think anybody in their right mind can doubt that you'll get a place at all of your university choices. And if it came down to the wire, I can say without a doubt that you are definitely somebody who deserves to have that place. I'm going to also tell you that if you get a rejection, that it is okay.

    I originally applied for Dentistry with a prediction of AA(A)B, and I was rejected from all 4 of my Universities (Kings, Queen Marys London, Bristol and Manchester), however I got a reduced offer to my local University (Portsmouth). Not only that, but I was offered a chance to get some funding for my MD. So not all hope is lost when it comes to rejections. But, as I said before, I seriously doubt that you will receive any kind of rejection.

    On the topic of Motivation, I am a motivational speaker haha, so if you ever needed some help finding the drive or the will to do something, please contact me on here or by DM, and I would be more than glad to see how I can help!

    One final thing, I saw that you needed some help trying to get your head around Thermodynamics, so what I'll do is I shall post several links for resources that I use, and I hope that you'll find them as useful as me

    Take care of yourself, Molly.

    Big A.

    AQA A Level Chemistry Revision (From 2015)

    Edexcel A Level Chemistry Revision (From 2015)

    OCR A A Level Chemistry Revision (From 2015)

    WJEC A Level Chemistry Revision (From 2015)
    Thank you so much!! I will definitely have a look at the link when I get back to doing some Chemistry! Hoping I can keep up with the work haha
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    My pleasure! It's tough huh? Haha

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    Weekly Log – Week Beginning 06/02

    Monday

    Biology
    Unit 1 Paper – January 2010
    Score – 46 which is an A!
    I think I have done this paper before or at least some of the questions before, because I felt at ease with the questions and knew the key words well enough. So I know this paper is not exactly representative with how I’m doing. However, my strongest point is most of the AS content in biology. It is my A2 knowledge that I struggle with, just because of the sheer step up in content. I also know that the exams are completely different this year so the papers I do will not reflect how I would do in the real exam. But at least I have finally done a paper!
    I found that some throwback R&B was helping me to concentrate during this exam. I think it’s because it reminds me of my childhood so gave me a nostalgic feeling. I have also noticed that I have been getting dry skin, which is my initial sign of stress. During exam season last year my palms were so damaged it took over a month for them to go back to normal, so I assume the onset is early this year. Need to stop thinking about grades and think about just doing my best.

    Chemistry
    I did some notes on Quizlet summarising chapters 25-28. So I only have the other half of A2 organic chemistry left to make flash cards on. It’s not too bad making notes, either, because of how small the content is in each chapter minus the mechanisms. That is why I love organic chemistry so much more than inorganic – it is logical and requires understanding rather than relying on memory alone.

    Tuesday

    Maths
    Core 3 Paper – June 2009
    Score – 52 which is a B.
    OMG I’m annoyed with how many small mistakes I make in these papers. I can do the hardest parts of core 3 with no issues, yet small things like the quotient rule and modulus I keep messing up. It cost me a grade, which I’m disappointed about. I guess the good thing to draw from this is that I have finally got my head around the rotation around axes and finding the areas of such rotations. Tame Impala was keeping me going after I marked this.
    Core 3 Paper – January 2013
    Score – 64 which is an A. 5 off the A* boundary
    The same thing happened in this paper, this time it was my ln integration and most of question 5. It caught me out as the domain was strictly less than or equal to 0 with a square value in it. But dropping 11 marks on the entire paper isn’t too bad. I think it’s good that I’m not messing up little bits on one question each time, but messing up a lot on one specific question. It was the same for both papers, which I prefer because tomorrow when I look over the things I have done wrong I know that although they are little bits on that one question, it is a much smaller topic to focus on. Note my major mood swing from my first paper to the second .
    My friend and I always have this discussion about grades. It’s almost as if we are never satisfied until we can get the highest grades possible. As we have always achieved highly throughout our education we feel that the gratification of good results is one of the best feelings to have. But as we are gluttons for high grades we don’t know what it’s like for those who strive for lower grades. We also don’t want to come across as arrogant when we say this, either. We are just obsessed with doing well I guess. Can anybody else relate? I’m sure it’s the same even if you have a lower target grade, but I would be interested in knowing anyway.

    Wednesday

    Maths
    Vectors homework
    I find the concept of vectors quite simple, so getting through this only took me around 10 minutes. I think I have a slight advantage considering I did mechanics as my extra module last year, so I understand the concept better than someone who doesn’t have the experience of mechanics. This is the first time I’m grateful to be forced into doing mechanics (still gives me nightmares!!)

    Biology
    I knew I didn’t have the motivation to write notes, so instead I watched a few videos on YouTube about muscle contraction to refresh my memory. Luckily, wherever you seem to go there is no change in content – which is rare for biology specs. I find this helpful to recite processes in my head whilst watching the video to confirm if I’m right or not. Then if I’m not right I know that I can change my notes appropriately.

    Chemistry
    I wrote some notes on Quizlet about the transition metals so far – there are SO MANY colours!!!!! Like, an insane amount of colours to learn, how many shades of purple do they want? I’m hoping the flashcards will help me to call the colours off the bat. Fingers crossed!

    Thursday

    Chemistry
    Colours! So many colours. I spent around three hours making different activities to memorise all of the colours, what makes it harder is that the specification says to learn all known compounds, so even though there aren’t that many in the textbook, there are a lot more to learn! And to be honest, it didn’t go in and once I learn them and I’m out of that last chemistry exam, I refuse to try and retain this ridiculous knowledge.

    Friday

    Chemistry
    Unit 1 Paper – January 2010
    Score – 57 which is an A
    Made some silly mistakes, but it was just poor exam technique that I’d lost from not doing old papers. Other than that I was so glad to be doing some easier content again! It’s like when I do revision for my C1 resit I realise how lucky we were one year ago and how much A2 hits you. I’m hoping to get to this stage with unit 4 and unit 5 when we have finished all of the content!
    I also received my monitoring today – ABB in chemistry, maths and biology respectively. Which I’m quite happy with! Although I am hoping to improve these, I’m glad that my grade at the minute has not dropped too low from the poor mocks.

    Weekend

    Work! Other than work I celebrated my grandma's 70th birthday, she ended up belly dancing at the Turkish restaurant - which was funny to see!!

    I found out that some people are getting their Leeds replies now, so although I'm still waiting, I'm expecting a rejection in the next few days considering how offers came through last week. It's a shame but I guess that's life. Need to find some motivation from somewhere and get out of this sad rut that I'm in - the thought of not having the university experience I dreamed of it really sad. Sorry to end on a sad note but it's the reality I'm in at the minute
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    Weekly Log – Week Beginning 13/02

    Monday

    Chemistry – Thermodynamics homework

    I did the practice questions in the A2 AQA textbook for homework to consolidate everything in thermodynamics. It’s great to do this at the end of the chapters to bring about closure to that topic. I feel better knowing we only have three full chapters to go in the book and then we just need to get all of our practicals done and go straight into revision! At the minute chemistry is going so smoothly, I just need to keep doing practise papers to ace that exam technique on longer questions.

    Biology – Epigenetics notes and experiment write-up

    I made some more notes on Quizlet about the epigenetics topic, including oestrogen control of transcription and the processes of acetylation and methylation. Because I find biology much more fun at the minute, I find that I’m spending less time on it. So I know that it will become more of a focus soon – especially with this week off.

    The write up is for an experiment involving Daphnia. We did a practical last week and will be repeating it again, so doing a write up of the method and table will help us in the next one to be more efficient and remove random error. Again, this didn’t take long because the experiment is simple, as long as the Daphnia stay still!

    Maths – Core 3 Paper

    Score – 68, which is an A*!

    This time I was exactly on the boundary, I could have secured my grade more if I didn’t get caught out so easily! I also need to invest in a graphics calculator so that I can use it and get used to it when I’m at home. Other than that it is (again!) my shoddy integration skills that are letting me down! I lost two marks because I simplified incorrectly so integrated incorrectly as a result. Let’s just pray for lots of trig in the exam to make it better.

    Tuesday

    Chemistry – Unit 2 Paper, January 2011

    Score – 68, which is a B

    I’m happy with this because there were a few questions I missed out from lack of revision; I know I need to have a look at my inorganic chemistry again. But overall I was happy that I managed to retain 68 marks of knowledge without a single bit of AS revision. Obviously some of the skills I use in A2, but it is nice to know that I am still retaining content without having to look back on the specifics of it. I need to remember all of the inorganic tests again.

    Biology – Unit 2 Paper, January 2012

    Score – 59, which is an A!

    I’m very pleased with this mark. Every time I do well in biology I tend to believe in myself more. I think it’s due to my love for the subject that keeps me going, and although I don’t spend as much time on it, I feel so happy when I remember content. It’s basically the same feeling as the Chem 2 paper I did. However with biology past papers you notice a lot of spec changes so I accommodate for that by skipping those questions and taking them away from the grade boundaries and total marks in the exam, which is a shame because the papers will never be full representative of how I’m doing.

    Wednesday

    GETTING ORGANISED AND OFFERS

    Today I decided to get a bit more organised. I finally filed all of my past papers and recent notes into the appropriate files. I have a small space next to my desk that holds my textbook and recent notes which I know I will need as a reference for later. Clearing this out and putting notes into my larger files makes me feel more organised. I can also feel the stress starting to creep in for exams. I know they’re coming and the thought of not doing well is scaring me into doing more work.

    When I was working today I received another offer! This time it was from Edinburgh! The offer was ABB, which I’m super pleased about. I didn’t think I would hear off Edinburgh until around March/April time so to get one a month earlier than expected is always a positive. Still nothing from Leeds though, I’m trying to be patient, as it is three weeks since my interview so I should have heard back by now – but patience is a virtue and only time will tell. Hopefully by the end of next week I will have all of my replies and be planning a visit to one of the unis for my firm/insurance!!!

    Chemistry

    I watched a couple of videos by E Rintoul about entropy and Born-Haber cycles. I love this topic! Along with acids and bases I love so much of physical chemistry, it is so logical and well laid out, this is something that Biology cannot compare to. It makes me very happy when I fully understand any of these advanced topics.

    I actually haven't done any work for the rest of the week! I rang Leeds and was told that they would reply to me soon, but that was it. Other than that I was working so didn't really feel up to doing any work. Gave myself a well deserved rest
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    Weekly Log – Week Beginning 20/02

    Monday

    I GOT MY OFFERS THROUGH!!!!!!

    Wahooo! Leeds gave me an offer of AAA today! So over the moon, will make my decisions with my mum later once she is home from work!!!!!!! (Note: I will be making my decision once I have visited Liverpool and had another chat with my mum)

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    Tuesday

    No work done again here – did a shift at work from 8-5, then went out with my dad until 7 so by the time I got home I was too exhausted to do work. So spent my evening playing 8 ball and got myself an early night.

    Wednesday

    My only day off this week

    Biology

    Paper 1 and Paper 2 – 47 and 57 respectively, which are two As.

    Happy with this! Been feeling stressed from a lack of work so this has made me feel a lot better about myself. Finding that the stress is more real not I have my offers through, getting AAA is going to be really hard, I should have worked harder before – but it’s too late now. I’m hoping to get some more work done this week. I’m also hoping to have more of a rest from maths and get more biology and chemistry focussed – I’m sick to death of maths! That’s why I’ve done two papers today, to give me a bit of a break.

    Another thing stressing me is how much content we have left to cover in Biology. I can’t do any practise papers for this year because we haven’t covered an entire papers worth. I know the spec has changed, but I would love to just get the content out of the way and focus on past papers.

    Maths

    Vectors and Differentiation Homework

    Now this was stressful. I think vectors is a very logical topic but sometimes I cannot get my head around it at all… And today was one of those times. I may or may not have cried because of how frustrated I was getting… Hoping to stop this crying issue I seem to have.

    Thursday

    I went to Liverpool for the day! Sounds great right? Wrong.

    It was when storm Doris decided to arrive – I spent over 6 hours on trains that day. Not to mention getting lost in such a huge, new city. I found the university and didn’t like the atmosphere; neither did my friend who was with me, who is also an offer holder for them.

    All in all this day was so stressful, being unable to get the right trains home and a lot of complaining to different train companies. Although, I did get my rook pierced which was the redeeming part of the day!

    ACEEPTING OFFERS

    So I have decided my firm and insurance choice. As soon as I got home from my crazy day, I logged onto track, accepting Leeds as my Firm choice and UCLan as my insurance choice. These are both universities that I have visited myself, both around an equal distance from home, and I was very happy when I was at each of these. Of course I would love to get into Leeds, but I thought it was a safe option to choose a low insurance offer in case I mess things up during exam season.

    Not only that, but I also completed my student finance application, this only took around 15 minutes and will take around 6 weeks to process. If anybody else is a university applicant, don’t forget to get your student finance sorted and get your parents to do their part too!

    Friday

    Another unproductive day – working from 1-5. I find in the mornings I don’t have enough time to get any work done before my shift starts so I just find myself sitting around for a few hours, not knowing what to do. If anybody has any advice on what to do with spare time like that without going off track of time and being late, please let us know.

    Saturday

    Something bizarre happened. I woke up as usual, knowing that I had work from 12-4 as usual. I went downstairs to make myself some breakfast and a broke into a hot sweat and my vision went blurry. I knew this was the feeling of fainting as I have experienced it before, but I was so scared because last time I fainted was because I didn’t eat before getting a piercing (don’t do this, would not recommend) and this time there was nothing to provoke it.

    I ended up having to call in sick and spent the day lying in bed feeling sorry for myself. Every time I tried to stand, I kept on starting to faint. My mum bought me some multivitamins and made me eat a lot so I could get some more strength back.

    Luckily at night my friend came round to cheer me up, we just sat and watched TV, complained about our Liverpool episode and then he went home.

    Sunday

    I woke up with a headache, knowing my body was still affected from yesterday, so I rang in sick again. I focussed on getting myself back to normal and getting organised for the start of college tomorrow. When my headache subsided I managed to get through a few papers.

    Chemistry – Unit 1 and Unit 4

    Scores – 64 and 65, so an A and a B

    I was so happy with this! The B especially because the section B on this paper was hard, I only got 1 mark on one of the questions so thought I would be getting no higher than a D. Luckily my aid and bases knowledge didn’t let me down, I finally got full marks on one of the questions! And the unit 1 papers come quite naturally to me now, unfortunately for us the actual exam papers we sit now are a lot less generous.

    I decided to not do any more work after this because I am still not feeling 100% and it’s better to not make myself more ill.

    I also decided that I will quit one of my jobs when the next school holidays start so I can focus on my studies. This way I will have enough money to sort out my festival tickets and holiday spending money, I will have time to have a rest and I can see my friends/have a night out without going into work the next day super hungover. It’ll make my life a hell of a lot easier. I’ve planned out the notice I will give to them, so that I don’t rush and panic nearer the time. My family also think this is what’s best for me.
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    Hi guys! Sorry I won't be able to do my usual format for last week as I have kept on forgetting to note down what work I have done.

    However, a lot of my revision time has been taken up by starting a summary of A2 Biology so far. I have been trying to condense my notes onto a small number of pages so that when it comes to revision nearer the time I am not panicking myself. So far I have summarised all topics up to the point of homeostasis. Hopefully we will be completing homeostasis soon so that I can finish that section and move onto the next one, which we have already learned. Luckily we only have around 3.5 chapters of the textbook left to complete! I think at the minute I am stressing about how difficult the biology questions are at A2, and what experiments we need to learn for the third exam.
    If anybody has any tips and advice as to how they are approaching that third exam then I would be very grateful to hear it! I know we are all in the same boat so sharing revision tips would be great. Luckily the first 6 required practicals are quite self explanatory, especially surrounding the risks and what could possibly go wrong. It's just the next six that I need to look at, also because we have yet to do these in class (prioritising the content first!).

    Another chunk of my revision has been those Chemistry colours! The number of colours is actually stressing me out. There could be over 17 marks of a question simply based on identifying colours from different solutions, at the moment I am getting around half marks on these questions. So I am making some progress. If anybody is wondering how I am learning these, I am using some sheets from Chemsheets. Hopefully most colleges have access to the full set of resources, so ask your tutors if you could have a copy of the summaries if you think it may help. They are just diagrams showing the complexes, colours and what reaction needs to occur to allow for these complexes to form.

    I also completed my first core 4 paper this week. I managed to get a C! I was one off a B too, so I am extremely proud of myself, this was also including some of the topic I had forgotten and just skipped out on. But for a first attempt I am not complaining. My favourite part of core 4 at the minute is setting values equal to Rcos(x+α) (or any of those similar forms) and using the double angle formula from that. Obviously trig will always be my absolute favourite thing about maths, but I'm enjoying core 4 more than I am enjoying core 3, I feel like we are learning more content rather than scraping the bucket with integration and differentials.
    I found out that I will be doing stats 1 as my applied module this year. My best friend did this last year and got full marks, he assured me that I will be fine as long as I know how to read the tables in the formula book... Is that how most people feel about stats? Let me know!

    And finally... A uni update!!!!
    My student finance has been fully approved, so I know how much I'm entitled to for my course. I have also already received my declaration form and letter telling me about how much I am entitled to, which is actually quite scary now I come to think of it. The declaration form is full of all these different things telling me how the loan works. But I still have to sign so I can actually go. Hello lifetime of debt!!

    Other than doing work this week, I went to my friends 18th which was at a club in town. It was good! I also didn't drink too much so didn't have a hangover the next day (which is a mega plus, especially when I thought I could have been a lot worse). I hadn't seen her since one of my own house parties in September time, so it was great to see her!
    My new rook piercing has been a pain this week though. I woke up to it bleeding severely, with it taking over an hour to stop the bleeding. So I have diligently spent the rest of my week sleeping on the other side and it has not bled since. Hoping that it will heal quite nicely now it has stopped bleeding a lot. I can also change my septum piercing soon... which I'm super excited about! I know it is generally a disliked piercing, but I think they're super cute and find girls with septum rings can wear them really nicely. As somebody who likes those sort of things I cannot wait for all of my piercings to heal - because I think my ears are complete! I will never risk a helix piercing again because my body hates them, but I'll probably change my mind over and over again anyway haha.

    I hoped you enjoyed reading about my week. What has everyone been up to? Any other A-level students here, lets share our thoughts!!
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    Weekly Log – Week Beginning 27/02

    Monday

    Maths – Core 4 Papers

    Scores – 43 and 63 so a D and an A*!

    Very disappointed with the D. However, I did do this one late at night so I know fatigue would have had a lot to do with it. I will also be redoing the paper because I know I am better than that. The A* however was so exciting! I thought the grade boundaries must be really high but luckily for this paper there was an insane 6 marker on vectors that brought down the grade boundaries. I know that vectors bring me down because I have become a lot less confident in them.

    Updates

    I received my exam timetable too, and the exams are so close together it makes me quite sad. It’s unfair that exam boards put biology, chemistry and maths together even though there is a high probability that students will do all three. However, I am lucky because no exams fall on the same day! Glad that I at least have an evening to revise rather than going from one exam to the next. Most of my GCSEs were like that and I remember them being a nightmare.

    I also sent off my declaration form for student finance! So all that should be done and dusted soon. Will need to apply for my accommodation, but I think that I will wait a bit longer because allocation is completely random at Leeds as long as you have applied by the deadline.

    Tuesday

    Biology – Notes

    Since I have barely written any notes on biology this year (I have neglected in in favour of chemistry revision, even though biology is my favourite subject) I decided to do an entire summary of the year so far, also catching up on things I’m a bit rusty on. Since we have learned about osmoregulation and the nephron I decided to make some notes on these. I love how interesting all of these biological processes are – there’s just a lot of them!!!! Thankfully I managed to do a lot of these notes and condense them into a manageable chunk.

    I also watched some videos set by one of my teachers to introduce us to the final chapter of the textbook. So far I love it! This is no surprise since I have enjoyed most of biology this year.

    My baby cousin was also born today! She is called Poppy and we received a phone call late at night saying she is finally here. I’ve never been so excited to meet someone!!!!

    Wednesday

    Meeting Poppy!!

    This was the craziest experience ever. Her hands were so tiny and wrinkly like an old lady (but 10x smaller) and she is just adorable!!! My auntie is still in the hospital due to having a caesarean, but she is okay, not in any pain and is already on paracetamol and off the morphine. It must run in the family us being strong and resilient hehe… She is a very quiet baby, but when they are only a couple of days old they won’t make much noise unless they are hungry. But (I know I’m biased) she is the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen! We don’t have a large family so I was the last baby to be born into it, meaning none of us have seen a baby up close for years and in my case ever. So this tiny addition to the family was exactly what we have all been waiting for. I’m so excited to be chief babysitter J J

    After the little hospital visit, I came home and went straight to bed. This week has gone so slowly and it’s about time I gave myself a rest. Only 8 more shifts at work… only 8.

    Thursday

    Maths – Mock!

    We had a C4 maths mock at 8:15; which went terribly. I think it was fatigue and the feeling of being in an exam that made me mess up; I get really bad anxiety when it comes to exams so I know that the feeling of being in exam conditions affects me. The frustrating thing was that I knew I could do it, but my brain was drawing a blank each time I tried to think of something new.

    So I went home and re-did the paper – I got 56 which is an A (3 from A*). I felt okay about this grade, but it wasn’t exactly a true reflection of how I would do if it was the real thing, but I need to get used to sitting in exam conditions.

    I also did a core 1 paper. I got 67, which is an A. But I still feel disappointed because I am capable of getting 100 UMS and still not getting it. I want it so that I will bump up my average grade!!! Oh well, need to slow down and stop rushing things!!!!

    Friday

    SURPRISE MOCK!!!

    I have never been so mad to receive a mock. Not only was it a Chem 4 paper, it was the 2016 paper. The paper that “will definitely make your cry” according to my chemistry teacher. So, I actually gave up. I did not care about this paper one bit, I will be prepared for my exam because I know the exact date of my exam, what content is in it and how I will be revising for said exam. I will NOT have my real exam sprung upon me all of a sudden. Even thinking about it is getting me mad.

    Instead of staying for the entire exam, I left after an hour because I was done with her and this ridiculous unfair exam. It seems like I’m throwing my toys out of my pram – but I do have a point. I understand that we need to be prepared, but these exams will not just appear. I have them written down and my entire life revolves around these exams, so of course I will prepare myself for them. I told my teacher to not expect a grade from me, handed her the paper, she asked me if I was being serious (for leaving so early) I said yes, I left.

    I know this isn’t how you should approach things, but I have my own limits on what I can and cannot tolerate. I have never been so stressed in my life, yet more stress is added on to us with numerous mocks and other life things going on – I physically and mentally cannot deal with it. Let alone deal with a teacher that just laughs whenever we make a mistake. I personally learn by having a teacher tell me how I have gone wrong, and having a teacher that helps me to analyse my own papers. I do not learn when I am being belittled by someone who finds the content easy because they have a degree. If it was that easy, I would not be struggling so much.

    ANYWAY. Rant over. Let me know if you agree!!!

    (I didn’t do any work because of how low I felt hehe, thanks Miss)

    Weekend

    Biology

    I did some of a Unit 5 paper. Some of which I couldn’t do as we haven’t learned that content yet (final chapter of the textbook) and another question is no longer on the specification. I also missed out the essay so only did 7 questions (53 marks). I managed to get 70% though, which is good considering I haven’t done much practise recently of exam questions.

    It is a case of learning all the key terms and stating the obvious that has always been an issue. For example one of the questions was talking about the p<0.01 value of a test, I failed to say there was a significant difference between the two values, but I explained the rest of the answer using probability and chance. You would think I would forget the other bit but somehow I remember the long winded bits!! Oh well, At least these errors are easy to spot and easier to fix.
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    (Original post by mollyjoy1998)
    Weekly Log – Week Beginning 27/02

    Monday

    Maths – Core 4 Papers

    Scores – 43 and 63 so a D and an A*!

    Very disappointed with the D. However, I did do this one late at night so I know fatigue would have had a lot to do with it. I will also be redoing the paper because I know I am better than that. The A* however was so exciting! I thought the grade boundaries must be really high but luckily for this paper there was an insane 6 marker on vectors that brought down the grade boundaries. I know that vectors bring me down because I have become a lot less confident in them.

    Updates

    I received my exam timetable too, and the exams are so close together it makes me quite sad. It’s unfair that exam boards put biology, chemistry and maths together even though there is a high probability that students will do all three. However, I am lucky because no exams fall on the same day! Glad that I at least have an evening to revise rather than going from one exam to the next. Most of my GCSEs were like that and I remember them being a nightmare.

    I also sent off my declaration form for student finance! So all that should be done and dusted soon. Will need to apply for my accommodation, but I think that I will wait a bit longer because allocation is completely random at Leeds as long as you have applied by the deadline.

    Tuesday

    Biology – Notes

    Since I have barely written any notes on biology this year (I have neglected in in favour of chemistry revision, even though biology is my favourite subject) I decided to do an entire summary of the year so far, also catching up on things I’m a bit rusty on. Since we have learned about osmoregulation and the nephron I decided to make some notes on these. I love how interesting all of these biological processes are – there’s just a lot of them!!!! Thankfully I managed to do a lot of these notes and condense them into a manageable chunk.

    I also watched some videos set by one of my teachers to introduce us to the final chapter of the textbook. So far I love it! This is no surprise since I have enjoyed most of biology this year.

    My baby cousin was also born today! She is called Poppy and we received a phone call late at night saying she is finally here. I’ve never been so excited to meet someone!!!!

    Wednesday

    Meeting Poppy!!

    This was the craziest experience ever. Her hands were so tiny and wrinkly like an old lady (but 10x smaller) and she is just adorable!!! My auntie is still in the hospital due to having a caesarean, but she is okay, not in any pain and is already on paracetamol and off the morphine. It must run in the family us being strong and resilient hehe… She is a very quiet baby, but when they are only a couple of days old they won’t make much noise unless they are hungry. But (I know I’m biased) she is the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen! We don’t have a large family so I was the last baby to be born into it, meaning none of us have seen a baby up close for years and in my case ever. So this tiny addition to the family was exactly what we have all been waiting for. I’m so excited to be chief babysitter J J

    After the little hospital visit, I came home and went straight to bed. This week has gone so slowly and it’s about time I gave myself a rest. Only 8 more shifts at work… only 8.

    Thursday

    Maths – Mock!

    We had a C4 maths mock at 8:15; which went terribly. I think it was fatigue and the feeling of being in an exam that made me mess up; I get really bad anxiety when it comes to exams so I know that the feeling of being in exam conditions affects me. The frustrating thing was that I knew I could do it, but my brain was drawing a blank each time I tried to think of something new.

    So I went home and re-did the paper – I got 56 which is an A (3 from A*). I felt okay about this grade, but it wasn’t exactly a true reflection of how I would do if it was the real thing, but I need to get used to sitting in exam conditions.

    I also did a core 1 paper. I got 67, which is an A. But I still feel disappointed because I am capable of getting 100 UMS and still not getting it. I want it so that I will bump up my average grade!!! Oh well, need to slow down and stop rushing things!!!!

    Friday

    SURPRISE MOCK!!!

    I have never been so mad to receive a mock. Not only was it a Chem 4 paper, it was the 2016 paper. The paper that “will definitely make your cry” according to my chemistry teacher. So, I actually gave up. I did not care about this paper one bit, I will be prepared for my exam because I know the exact date of my exam, what content is in it and how I will be revising for said exam. I will NOT have my real exam sprung upon me all of a sudden. Even thinking about it is getting me mad.

    Instead of staying for the entire exam, I left after an hour because I was done with her and this ridiculous unfair exam. It seems like I’m throwing my toys out of my pram – but I do have a point. I understand that we need to be prepared, but these exams will not just appear. I have them written down and my entire life revolves around these exams, so of course I will prepare myself for them. I told my teacher to not expect a grade from me, handed her the paper, she asked me if I was being serious (for leaving so early) I said yes, I left.

    I know this isn’t how you should approach things, but I have my own limits on what I can and cannot tolerate. I have never been so stressed in my life, yet more stress is added on to us with numerous mocks and other life things going on – I physically and mentally cannot deal with it. Let alone deal with a teacher that just laughs whenever we make a mistake. I personally learn by having a teacher tell me how I have gone wrong, and having a teacher that helps me to analyse my own papers. I do not learn when I am being belittled by someone who finds the content easy because they have a degree. If it was that easy, I would not be struggling so much.

    ANYWAY. Rant over. Let me know if you agree!!!

    (I didn’t do any work because of how low I felt hehe, thanks Miss)

    Weekend

    Biology

    I did some of a Unit 5 paper. Some of which I couldn’t do as we haven’t learned that content yet (final chapter of the textbook) and another question is no longer on the specification. I also missed out the essay so only did 7 questions (53 marks). I managed to get 70% though, which is good considering I haven’t done much practise recently of exam questions.

    It is a case of learning all the key terms and stating the obvious that has always been an issue. For example one of the questions was talking about the p<0.01 value of a test, I failed to say there was a significant difference between the two values, but I explained the rest of the answer using probability and chance. You would think I would forget the other bit but somehow I remember the long winded bits!! Oh well, At least these errors are easy to spot and easier to fix.
    What exam board do you do for maths and chemistry?
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    (Original post by HappyGirl908)
    What exam board do you do for maths and chemistry?
    I'm on AQA for all my subjects ☺
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    (Original post by mollyjoy1998)
    I'm on AQA for all my subjects ☺
    How do you find them? I do Edexcel for maths and OCR chem.
    Are they harder compared to other exam boards?
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    (Original post by HappyGirl908)
    How do you find them? I do Edexcel for maths and OCR chem.
    Are they harder compared to other exam boards?
    I'm not really sure to be honest. I know that Edexcel is supposedly the hardest for maths but I haven't done any papers on other exam boards. I've heard that AQA are hard for the other sciences though. How do you find your exam boards?
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    Weekly Log – Week Beginning 13/03

    Monday

    Biology – Notes and Essay

    I love the topic we are doing at the minute – in vivo cloning of genes. So I decided to see if I could write the notes from the top of my head. I think because I worried that previous years have found this section of biology the hardest out of the whole spec I expected to not understand but I find this some of the most interesting parts of biology. I know the later parts of the chapter are harder, but this is a very nice introduction to it.

    I also wrote an essay on the title “The importance of responses to changes in the internal and external environment of an organism”. I am going to ask my teachers to mark it because I know I will be biased and give myself higher marks. I’m hoping to get more than 15 this time – last time I didn’t have a theme so was restricted in the number of marks I could get. But let’s hope now that I’ve introduced a theme to my essay that I can pick up more marks. Especially because last time I was complimented on how well I know my content knowledge – I know I’m very meticulous with learning biology content.

    Maths – Core 4 Paper

    Score – 53, which is an A.

    I’m quite pleased with this mark. I found this to be a particularly difficult paper, but that is simply because there was a decay question, and I’m pretty dire at them. But you can only practise more and more! And for some reason, my trig question went really badly. Those questions where you have to prove that one side equals another and QED the answer are really difficult to me. I’m going to ask for more practise questions off my teachers so I can focus on those styles of questions for a bit.

    Tuesday

    Chemistry – Notes, Homework and a Paper

    I summarised the amines topic, I know that I did badly on the mock because of Friedel-Craft’s acylation and the formation of the catalyst. So making the notes helped to jog my memory and memorise other general equations. I need to remember that the mechanisms are substitution mechanisms not addition mechanisms!!

    The homework involved redox titrations – that is our experiment at the minute. I can grasp the easier questions with simple ratios, but questions with numerous factors such as rusting iron is a bit inconvenient for me. I can get the general grasp but my calculations need a lot more practise.

    Paper

    Score – 67, which is a B.

    I’m really happy with this mark! I did a little bit of refreshing, and I found that it was small things that added up to bring the overall mark down. It was things like learning the tests and how to do conversions etc. But overall I found it a good paper! I’m glad to be back on it with the chemistry now.

    Wednesday

    Maths – Core 1 Paper

    Score – 74, which is an A.

    WOOO!! We got close!! Only one mark dropped is pretty darn good if I do say so myself. I’m so happy with this if I reflect this in my exam because it will bring my average up a lot (considering I was on 70 ish UMS in my first sitting of it) so then I can afford to do less well on stats. Apparently as long as your combined AS and A2 modules and cores (minus C3 and C4) average at an A, you are on track to get an A* - providing you get A* in C3 and C4.

    I also started a biology paper but gave up because I was exhausted and needed some sleep.

    Thursday

    Biology – Notes and Essay

    I spent some time summarising the nitrogen cycle and did a synaptic transmission summary. This took longer than expected, but I am glad to be getting this done. I forget little bits of some topics so I’m glad to have refreshed my memory.

    Oh, I also made some PCR notes because I love it so much – give me more genetic technology!!!!!

    My essay was from the 2009 paper on “DNA and the transfer of information”. My theme was survival and my main points were:

    • - DNA, its structure and stability
    • - DNA replication
    • - Entire protein synthesis
    • - Synaptic transmission
    • - PCR
    • - Cardiac cycle (justified by saying transported hormones which is information for cells)


    If anybody is struggling on essay marking, let us know and we can do an essay swap!! I’d love to see some other essays to see what other people do, because in reality I have no idea what I’m doing – I’ve not written an essay for almost two years!

    Chemistry – Notes and Exam Practise

    I HATE coloured ions with a burning passion. My teacher is giving us a test tomorrow so going over the colours again seemed like a good idea. My main issue is the contradiction between the internet, my textbook and the notes provided to us by the teacher. They all seem to contradict and it’s stressing me out that there is no outlet in which a final answer can be given. I think even the mark schemes make it up for fun. I really cannot grasp this. The exam questions are just stupid because they do not reflect real life, in which we would have a colorimeter and would have a chart to identify the coloured ions.

    So – slight mood change. My friend found a document that perfectly lists every reaction we need to know for our spec! I had no idea the exam board provided you with resources like that, so now I’ve learned we have to learn 8 colours instead of 26!!!!!! I have never been so relieved and had so much stress taken off me in a long time. And, to make matters even better – I can remember these! I’m hoping to test myself tomorrow to see if they have actually stuck, but definitely a large improvement from earlier on in my night. Always check the spec guys! (don’t trust teachers when they say you have to learn all if the spec doesn’t say the same thing)

    Friday

    Biology – Notes

    I tried to make some notes off the top of my head, just so I knew if I memorised the information in enough detail. I summarised:

    • - The kidney; ultrafiltration, selective reabsorption and the counter-current multiplier, along with the regulation of blood water potential
    • - The nitrogen and phosphorous cycle
    • - Aerobic and anaerobic respiration
    • - Diabetes and glucoregulation
    • - Stem cells, totipotency, oestrogen, epigenetics and gene expression


    I’m feeling pretty proud of myself, considering I was just going to have a nap and a rest for the night. But I knew I would want to do that on Saturday and would feel guilty having two rest days. It was nice to just focus on the bits of biology I enjoy – I hope I can do something like this but for AS content pretty soon.

    It’s also two months until my first exam!! It’s time for all the true hard work to kick in. Hope everyone is coping with the stress okay

    Weekend

    Nothing! As always, however I handed in my notice! Soon enough my weekends will be for revision too.
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    Elevate Education Seminar Summary

    So today Ben from Elevate Education came into our sixth form to give a talk called “Ace Your Exams”. This was a practical guide to help you to improve your grades by even just a small amount. I’m under the impression that these seminars by this company are relatively expensive to fund – so let’s talk about it!

    The presenter, Ben, was a lovely Australian man who had a lot of charisma and confidence. I think this is the first thing that made the talk good. We have all been there – in lectures and seminars where someone has dusset tones and we just want to fall asleep. But Ben gave us little anecdotes and had a lot of involvement with us throughout. Before our seminar we were all asked to fill out a questionnaire and Ben had looked through these and analysed them to tailor the talk to our group, we really felt involved and like he really cared about us improving.

    The talk went on for around 90 minutes; it was crammed with information presented in an informal and positive way. Ben wasn’t saying “if you don’t do this you will fail” he was trying to raise our confidence to try new learning techniques in the next few weeks in preparation for exams.

    The main mistakes displayed by people who do not achieve as highly are as follows:
    • Not leaving enough time to prepare
    • Not correcting previous mistakes
    • Doing the wrong type of work
    • Not having a plan
    • Not having a goal
    • Not doing enough practise papers


    Ben asked us to write down how many we identified with – I identified with three!!

    Ben also told us that 80% of how it goes on exam day is due to preparation. Giving us a 7 step guide to achieving in exams:

    • Give yourself adequate time to prepare
      • Finish notes by examining the specification for each subject and fill in the blanks
      • Memorise your notes
      • Start doing past papers at least 2 weeks before your exam
    • Go through past papers and identify where marks were lost
      • Know that mistakes = a lack of knowledge
      • Circle where marks were lost
      • Identify these areas
    • Get teacher’s advice
      • Ask where you lost your marks specifically
      • Ask how to make the corrections specifically
      • Create a checklist of improvements
      • Make sure you understand what you need to do
    • Learn from the people around you (he DID say this was the most controversial one, but the one that works best for him)
      • Get papers from people above you in class
      • Copy what they did well
    • Fix the mistakes
      • Redo any questions you got wrong
      • Get these remarked
    • Use an exam planner, setting out your goals, to do list and deadlines for each subject
    • Complete practise papers
      • Do at least 5 papers per subject
      • Start the first few exams as open book exams, then gradually decrease exposure to textbooks and notes
      • Get each paper marked
      • Repeat this process


    After listening to these tips, I felt a lot more motivated to get organised with my work and start to correct my mistakes. As those of you who read my forum know, I focus a lot on my score and my overall grade. Instead of focussing on the grade I will start to look more at where I went wrong and how I can improve from there. So let’s say goodbye to looking at grade boundaries!

    At the end of the talk we also discussed stress and the three steps to exam room excellence:

    • Stay calm
      • Get into a routine that works for you (is this having the same breakfast or walking to school down a specific road?)
      • Avoid the speculators and stress merchants
      • Breathe (in for 5, hold for 8, and out for 5)
    • Ration your time
      • Use the formula marks = minutes/marks to calculate how long you should be spending on what questions then you know when you are spending too long on certain questions of the exam
    • Consider all answers
      • Read each question twice
      • Underline key instructions (define, explain, analyse etc.)
      • Write down all the key information from the question straight away
      • Don’t second guess yourself


    This was probably the most important thing for me. I am one of these so called “stress merchants” who pass stress onto other people, and this is a bad habit that I need to stop. Revising on exam morning will do nothing to improve my grade. This preparation that I’m doing is all for the exams so an extra ten minutes will not make a bit of difference – focussing on staying calm will make a difference though.

    I also like the ration your time point because it is very easy to say to yourself “just two more minutes” when in reality you spend at least another five on that question, ultimately stressing you out more and making you feel worse about the other questions.

    So, what did I learn about myself from this?

    I learned that I need to make a plan for each of my subjects and each of the things I am going to do and when. I may get a planner sorted out because I discarded mine a while ago and I know this will help reduce stress. I also learned that I need to be more effective with my time. I spend a lot of time looking at my grade and not focussing on where I went wrong. As I said previously, I will be stopping that as of now. I need to aim for improving my marks and the grade will just come with it.

    I also learned that worst of all I am a major stress merchant. I want to be more calm and collected on the day of the exam. I know that in myself I have to let myself get nervous for exams – otherwise the nerves begin in the middle of an exam and I break down. So I will let myself have stress and nerves, but try not to let it show as much because passing it onto others isn’t fair and doesn’t alleviate my stress anyway.

    I wanted to summarise the talk for you guys so that you could learn from it. I know I did. A lot of talks bore me because I always think “I know how to revise, if I don’t then I’m in for some bad luck in June” but now, rather than feeling the need to completely change my revision, I have more things I would like to add to my revision to enhance my efforts. I hope this helped some of you guys, I will keep you posted about my organisation soon!

    If anybody has any questions, feel free to ask! And if anybody is interested in the company Elevate Education their website is: http://uk.elevateeducation.com/ where you can find little videos that can help you and if you are a teacher you can find out more about the talks. I genuinely found this a very useful seminar and would love to receive another session on some of their other topics.
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    Weekly Log – Week Beginning 20/03
    Monday
    Chemistry – Notes
    I watch E Rintoul on YouTube for a lot of my revision. So I decided to watch a summary of the group 2 and group 7 chapters. Watching him makes the content a lot smaller and condenses everything you need to know for the top marks. He is also very blunt with you when it comes to answers, like he will tell you if an answer is stupid or not and that helps the content stick more for me because I’ll feel stupid otherwise.
    Maths – Core 4 Paper
    Score – 46, which is a B.
    I’m actually quite happy with this result because there were some stinky integration questions on there! I need to go and ask my teachers about decay again, because I’m so bad at it!!! I have new teachers now too so I forget that I have to go to my other teachers when I’m stuck on other topics from earlier in the year. I could also do with doing another core 3 paper at some point soon.
    Tuesday
    Getting Organised
    After the talk today, I decided to take the advice of Ben. So I now have two planners, each has a page to each day from now until my last exam. In each day I have put things I want to do in each of the days leading up to exams and how I will approach each stud session. It’s acting as a guide so that I have an idea as to what I will be doing. I won’t be super strict, because I am predicting how well I will be doing in two months’ time, which could change a lot. However, I would like to stick to it and if I don’t then I have to replace what I didn’t do with something else that takes up the same amount of effort (e.g. if I didn’t want to do a C3 paper, I would do a C4 one instead).
    I feel very motivated right now, I think I’m just happy because I’m not going to give myself another grade and results day will be the next grade I see that isn’t a mock. I need to focus on fixing old mistakes not just looking at a grade!!!!!!!!
    Believe it or not, this actually took me about 4 hours to make and plan because of all the factors that need to be considered; all the different past papers coordinating with how the new exams work and considering when I will have a rest day, a day off college or am on study leave. I have also included ingoing and outgoing money, including time off for nights out and birthdays.
    Even if this doesn’t do much for me in terms of organisation, at least I have a very concise plan to follow around exam season!
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    Wednesday
    Biology – Unit 4 Paper
    Score – 41
    I feel okay about this, because a lot of the improvements can be made very easily. For example I need to say what I see and don’t second guess what the question is asking! Lots of improvements to be made but nothing too drastic.
    Chemistry – Inorganic Notes
    I managed to summarise the entire A2 inorganic chemistry. I am so pleased with myself! Especially all the colours (I know, colours again). I have some tests on Friday but a concert tomorrow so need the notes ready for in class revision in the morning.
    Thursday
    I went to see Circa Waves! They were so good!! We are really bad when going to concerts for missing the support acts. Luckily we got there with 2 minutes before Circa Waves came on. To add to that, some girls were pushing to get to the middle of the crowd, we followed them and managed to get into the middle where the atmosphere was better. Not been to such a high intensity concert in so long - my neck was dying!!! But so worth it to see such a good group.
    Friday
    Maths - Core 4 Paper
    Score - 54 and 56.
    I spent my time doing these exams and redoing all of the questions I got wrong. I am hoping to improve my marks a lot on core 4 now. I have spent a lot of time improving my vectors and paying attention to small mistakes which I frequently make. I was quite unhappy with these marks because I want to get into the 60s at least for most of my papers! But patience is a virtue and I will get there one day.
    Weekend
    I was working again! Only two shifts to go and then I will be free! I am glad to be leaving, but I will miss the place so much. I made so many friends and hope I stay in contact with them.
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