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    Hi guys! Sorry for the late update, recently I've been really bad at updating my thread. I'm thinking of transitioning to daily updates rather than doing a weekly schedule. I didn't do much last week and a lot of different things happened.

    I pretty much did one day of solid work - on the Monday

    Maths – Vectors and Core 1 Paper

    Score – 73

    I went to my afterschool revision session on vectors and I think I’m picking it up a lot more. I understand which equations to use; I just keep on missing those pesky double negatives so it brings my mark right down! I’ve done most past paper questions now, so I will need to find an alternative to do even more practise. I just need as much as possible, but there aren’t many questions to go around. The C1 paper was fine, I just need to remember how to prove that things don’t have real solutions (I didn’t mention that you can’t root a negative).

    Biology – Skeletal Muscle question

    I find that my exam technique is the worst in biology, although I love it so much. The questions are too vague for my liking – if they were more specific I would understand what is going on and would answer the questions to a higher standard. So, unfortunately I didn’t get many marks. But it is all a learning curve and I just need to start doing the questions instead of doing notes. Slowly, slowly – we can do this.

    Then on the Tuesday my friend and I went into Manchester for a concert - but our ticket seller didn't show up so we ended up waiting around for nothing! I was a pretty rubbish night, I don't see why ticket sellers would waste our time when we can get our money back anyway.

    I went to work on the Wednesday and tidied my room - so no actual progress there. And on Thursday I didn't do anything other than my lessons.

    On Friday I did the 2016 Core 1 Paper - it was horrid. I don't think I've ever struggled so much on a core 1 paper before. I know I need to do one of the questions again because I got it completely wrong! Then I will mark it and see how I do.

    The weekend were my final shifts at work - it was quite sad but at the same time I will be glad to get my weekends back and stop being so unorganised (if you couldn't tell from my last few weeks of posts).
    However, the first episode of season 2 of Attack on Titan came out and I watched that. I am still shook writing this I need to watch it again to gather my thoughts :desu:.

    And then yesterday - my first days rest (from work and school) since Christmas! It was so good to sit and do completely nothing, I pottered around the house but other than that I did no work and got a complete rest!!!

    So yeah that was my week. I'll start posting more frequently on here and give it some more attention, I also won't post on days where I've done no work unless something interesting has happened.
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    Today was quite productive! I managed to summarise most of the inorganic section as revision. I found a couple of things I had forgotten. For some reason I feel better writing the notes because I know that the information is definitely refreshed in my head. So I decided to do the spec paper 1 for A2. We haven't done all the electrode potentials content yet so I got 71/99. I'm not really happy with this to be honest. A lot of my mistakes were just silly and a case of not stating the obvious, which is always my improvement but when it comes to the questions I just think "surely they don't want something that simple?" and then around 8 marks are lost.
    Some of it is just lack of knowledge when it comes to my practical skills, but we have been told that it will be our priority when we get back after half term - so I'm not too worried about that. But hoping to go over this stupid exam mistake of mine
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    I really want to get an A in AS Biology but in my mocks all year I've been getting Bs and Cs. I really struggle with exam questions and memorising all the small details. Do you have any advice? Amazing thread btw
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    (Original post by AnALevelStudent)
    I really want to get an A in AS Biology but in my mocks all year I've been getting Bs and Cs. I really struggle with exam questions and memorising all the small details. Do you have any advice? Amazing thread btw
    Thank you! I was in the exact same position as you this time last year, my highest grade in class was actually a C. In terms of the memorising try different techniques, trying the same thing over and over will not suddenly make it work for you. A common thing that people tend to do is stick notes in random places (on your bedroom wall, in the fridge, the back of the bathroom door etc.) and read them whilst they are doing other things. Eventually it will stick. Just try not to be too hard on yourself either because panicking will make you forget.
    Exam technique can always be improved by memorising the mark scheme - e.g. when analysing data you know you have to state the trend and for which values this trend occurs. In an explain question you need to explain each change in a set of data, no matter how trivial. Certain questions which involve probability and chance also must include "no significant difference" OR "significant difference" depending on the data shown.
    It is also a thing to note that you need to state the obvious - if there is a DNA question for 6 marks, mention things like hydrogen bonding and which bases are complementary to one another. It's little things like that which will build up your marks - before you know it you have 10 more marks and your grade A you've been looking for!
    If these don't work, try and find a friend who does the subject (or someone who is top in the class) and get them to quiz you. If you don't understand a certain detail ask them to explain it to you. Sometimes a different perspective from your teacher can help you understand better. I found this a lot when it came to the Mass Transport section, and it helped me with my explanation.

    Hope this helps! Let me know how it's going for you
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    I just completed the 2016 Core 1 Paper in practise for my resit. The paper is the hardest C1 paper I have ever come across but I don't think I should have cried in my exam. I have sent it off to my teacher for a mark because the Mark Scheme isn't allowed to be distributed around. Sometimes I laugh at how I overcomplicate matters. But I managed to complete the paper in just over an hour - with a break in between which is pretty good going. I need to keep my head above the water for C1, because I don't want a repeat of last year. Does anyone else get this? Worrying about repeating past mistakes. I just need to keep telling myself that as long as I try my best it doesn't matter, that's how I managed after that initial exam.
    In the past few days I've also found a lot of music that keeps me chilled out during my revision. Normally I like indie/punk but I find that it is too intense for me when I'm revising. I've found a few soul/R&B/pop songs that are a bit more chilled and stop me from worrying so much which is great. So now Spotify have made me some pretty good playlists.


    I also forgot to mention! The other day I was doing some Chemistry and Biology.
    I find E Rintoul to be the best Chemistry resource on the internet for AQA - he is very specific and tells you exactly how to phrase things to get the marks. Not to mention he goes through exam questions and explains why some questions are different to others. Not only that, he isn't as bland as the rest of the tutors on YouTube so I'm glad that there is at least one person who doesn't make me hate chemistry. I did notes on the coloured ions section and all of the colour changes, it was another relief for me.
    For Biology I did some Section 5 practise questions. Some of my mistakes were a lack of understanding the question and others were exam technique. I really need to stop neglecting Biology but I'm so unenthused by it at the minute. I'll just have to work hard at it and hopefully my enthusiasm will return
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    Just finished answering the Section 6 Summary Questions from my Biology textbook - Very happy I got 27/33!
    A lot of questions are quite repetitive when it comes to muscle contraction and any diabetes questions. There were not questions surrounding the kidneys, though, so I am planning to answer some more if I can find any.
    I think that this section is actually my favourite in the biology spec this year (other than all the cool gene technology bits, which I'd love to learn more about outside of college). So I don't find it too hard to problem solve. Some of my mistakes were a lack of understanding the question however, it doesn't deter me from trying to strive for even better marks.
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    (Original post by mollyjoy1998)
    Thank you! I was in the exact same position as you this time last year, my highest grade in class was actually a C. In terms of the memorising try different techniques, trying the same thing over and over will not suddenly make it work for you. A common thing that people tend to do is stick notes in random places (on your bedroom wall, in the fridge, the back of the bathroom door etc.) and read them whilst they are doing other things. Eventually it will stick. Just try not to be too hard on yourself either because panicking will make you forget.
    Exam technique can always be improved by memorising the mark scheme - e.g. when analysing data you know you have to state the trend and for which values this trend occurs. In an explain question you need to explain each change in a set of data, no matter how trivial. Certain questions which involve probability and chance also must include "no significant difference" OR "significant difference" depending on the data shown.
    It is also a thing to note that you need to state the obvious - if there is a DNA question for 6 marks, mention things like hydrogen bonding and which bases are complementary to one another. It's little things like that which will build up your marks - before you know it you have 10 more marks and your grade A you've been looking for!
    If these don't work, try and find a friend who does the subject (or someone who is top in the class) and get them to quiz you. If you don't understand a certain detail ask them to explain it to you. Sometimes a different perspective from your teacher can help you understand better. I found this a lot when it came to the Mass Transport section, and it helped me with my explanation.

    Hope this helps! Let me know how it's going for you
    Thank you so much! I'll be sure to try all these tips
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    Made some notes on gas exchange in fish, insects and mammals. To be honest this was more of a refresher than anything though. Section 3 is by far my favourite topic in AS Biology, basically all of the content related to human physiology is my forte. I should probably do some more biology, since I've complained about being unmotivated but I'm not really sure where to start. Especially when I have made all of my notes that I can so far, I also can't do the spec papers as we are doing them when we are back from college so I'm unsure as to what I can do. I'll probably do some questions from my textbook again and make like a mini mock for myself. Updates to follow...
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    I did the mini mock!
    If anybody else wants to follow along I used the AS and A2 Biology books by Oxford for AQA using the questions from:
    Section 1 Summary Q2
    Chapter 5 Practice Q4
    Chapter 7 Practice Q2 and Q4
    Section 4 Summary Q4
    Section 5 Summary Q7
    Chapter 16 Practice Q2
    Section 7 Summary Q2
    Section 8 Summary Q1

    Overall this has 78 marks, which coincidentally has the same number of marks as Paper 3! I managed to score 62! Which is good, but a lot of these questions were on the easier side. I guess it's hard to do a mock test when you have free reign over the questions you want to do. A lot of the mistakes were my typical dumb self kicking in. I actually forgot to write e-s complex in an answer so I'm kicking myself. But it's a lot better than I expected. I also need to remember when there is a question regarding gas exchange, I actually need to talk about gas exchange instead of going into an A2 style answer - because I'm not actually answering the question. But I'll get there. Glad I did some work because I was bumming myself out with my lack of work recently. Hoping to get back on track like I was when I first started this thread. Hope you guys are getting motivated!
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    I just completed the second Chemistry Specimen Paper. Scoring 74/105. I'm not over the moon with this score because I made a lot of silly mistakes. I can't believe I got a mechanism wrong, and some of my wording was just poor. I think I just need a bit more revision and need to perfect my exam technique. A lot of the time chemistry can be explained using a diagram and for some reason I didn't utilise this fully. Other times I completely misunderstood the question.

    But I know now that my proton NMR needs drastic improvement or I could miss out on a grade. It's something I need a teacher to sit down and explain it all over again to me. The thing is, my chemistry teacher is very patronising when it comes to proton NMR so I will need to try and keep my cool when she patronises me about how easy it is and how obvious the answers are. She's probably more of a challenge than the content is.
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    I've finally done all of the Specimen papers for Chemistry!
    Here's my summary:
    Paper 1: 71/99 (not done EMF so not including that)
    Paper 2: 74/105
    Paper 3: 49/90 (with 19 on multiple choice and 30 on the remaining marks)

    Overall: 194/294 so around 66%.

    I'm not too happy with this overall. I'm quite happy with my first two papers in comparison to my third. But I just think overall I'm not up to scratch. It's quite frustrating when you know how much effort you put in. But this means I just need to refine my knowledge even more. This is especially when the questions are practical related, and also when there are long calculations involved. Sometimes my calculations are good and I get all of the marks. Other times I suck and just got 0 - which we have seen now can cost almost 10 marks in an exam.
    I think for me to be happier with my result I want to be able to pick up at least 30-40 marks. If I could pick up 50 I would be very happy, so that's the goal for when I do the other spec papers in class!
    How are you guys doing with spec papers? If anyone could offer me some help on sorting out my Paper 3 that would be great!!!!
    :bumps::bumps::bumps:
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    Whoops! Keep on forgetting to update here.

    I've been doing Core 4 Papers - all of which I am unhappy with. I keep on doing different things in each paper and going wrong as a result. I don't really understand why but it's getting really frustrating. Think I just need to go back and speak to my teachers about it - especially decay because I can't get my head around it

    Scores - 58, 58, 55 and 53.

    I'm off to do another one now - I'll let you know how it goes.
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    I scored 51 - so pretty bummed out. Just gonna stop working because my revision is obviously stressing me out more
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    I did a couple more C4 papers yesterday - scoring 52 and 74. The 74 was when the A-levels were a lot easier, so it did make me feel good about my abilities, but did not represent how well I would actually do.

    My main concern however... this General Election!!!
    I can't believe May went back on her word - just so she can have a stab at getting more power. But I will still exercise my right regardless.
    Up to now I am torn between the Lib Dems and Labour - it depends what the manifestos are and what changes they will offer locally for me before I select a candidate.
    All this time of never being able to vote and then I get to vote twice in one year! Exciting!!!!!!
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    I forgot how tiring it is to be back at college. Although I have managed to do some work - mainly focussing on the core practicals in biology.

    Other than that I have been doing some stats work on Normal Distribution. I find it hard to think of the logic behind it, especially when you are trying to find a with the whole -a business. However, I think I'm getting there now.

    I also did some practise questions on electrochemical cells. We have pretty much finished the topic it only took us two lessons so I'm trying to do the questions to see if I fully understand. Luckily the chem teacher that does this section is chilled out so even if I struggle he won't make me feel panicked about it.

    I'm hoping to get some organic revision in as I have a mock on Tuesday, but I also really need to get on it with my biology revision. I think I'm okay with Photosynthesis and respiration, all the genetic stuff and the kidneys. But I need to focus on everything else. I wish all the content was as interesting as the kidney
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    I have been doing some focus on proton NMR and I think I'm understanding it a bit more. I spoke to my teacher and explained how I don't understand, and she simply said that I could do it. So I knew I couldn't see change with her, so I decided to just bite the bullet and teach it myself. I've always struggled with it, but I find that worrying at the questions simply make me worse at it.

    I've only done a few exam questions so far, but I'm starting to spot trends and patterns in the data (i.e. a triplet and quartet are more likely to be next to each other, especially a CH2CH3 group) and I know how to form the fragments, which I couldn't do before.

    If anybody doing AQA Chemistry feels like they need some help, I'd check out E. Rintoul. My absolute saviour
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    Last night I did a summary of all of organic chemistry up until the synthetic routes section in order to revise for my test today.
    The exam was the second spec paper and oh god it went terribly. To the point where my friend and I were sobbing in the exam. It's getting to the point now where I am trying to stay motivated but just being scared off.
    So I went home, had a cry, and made some notes. I managed to summarise all of the synthetic routes - including reagents and mechanism name's. I'm hoping tomorrow to switch to biology and start my A2 masterpost which I have been putting off for so long. Somebody on another thread prompted me about it so I'm hoping to see what I've got and use it! Need to get on the ball now, I can't be crying!!!! We can all do this, yes it's hard, but it's not impossible!!!!!!!
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    This is my current position. Focussing on biology for the day!
    I have started my masterpost, there are quite a few missing bits, but not I have completed 7 out of the 11 chapters! Luckily I had quite a few typed up notes previously.
    My plan is to hopefully finish this in the next few weeks, get it printed off and start highlighting all the key parts for me to focus on - as I am better at some things than others.
    I'd also like to do another chapter tonight and then get my head down. I feel like today has been quite productive if I say so myself!

    I get my results back for my Chemistry paper I sat yesterday, so hopefully I can bring something away from it. Trying not to focus too much on the negatives
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    Here they are! My AS and A2 Masterposts! Spent so much time on these, so anybody can use then at your own free will. I'd love to hear what you guys think of it
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  1. File Type: pdfYear 1 Biology Masterpost.pdf (733.8 KB, 17 views)
  2. File Type: pdfYear 2 Biology Masterpost.pdf (727.6 KB, 18 views)
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    Update - 30/04/2017

    The last few days I have been focussing on all of my subjects.
    AQA have finally made their 2016 papers public, so I have been able to do the 2016 Core 3 and Core 4 papers.
    I have gone back to looking at grade boundaries again (shock!) and I managed to scrape an A in both papers. I will be doing them both again closer to the exams, because if we can do those C3 and C4 papers, we've basically mastered those topics. I have never seen such hard papers, so if anybody is doing these please don't feel down if you get a lower score than you usually do, that is why the grade boundaries are so low!

    I did pretty badly in some of my recent mocks, scoring a C in my Biology Spec 2 Paper 2 and a B in my Chemistry Spec 2 Paper 2, so I have been trying to improve on my behaviour during exams. I get super stressed out to the point where I give up and just cry. So instead, I have purposely been doing timed exams at home without the music on and found the source of my issue - music.
    Normally the music will relax me and the silence as well as an added time pressure adds to my stress, which I didn't know about before. So, whilst I'm revising I will carry on with the music, but any tests at home now will be in set exam conditions and in complete silence.

    I have also been focussing on improving my proton n.m.r skills again. I thought I understood it, but I have been learning about the different trends and identifying symmetry etc. within the compound. We all had to come up with a way of remembering how to complete and n.m.r questions (a bit like OIL RIG). And my friend came up with Neil Is Carrying Minestrone Soup. I guess it sounds weird if you're not in my class, but it works for us!

    Niel - No. of ineqiv. Hs
    Is - Integration ratio
    Carrying - Coupling
    Minestrone - Mr check!! (this is where I go wrong usually)
    Soup - Structure (of compound)

    I've also been focussing on my Biology Master Posts. Going through and highlighting key parts, and mostly jut doing AS refreshing. As much as I need to focus on A2 content, the exams are half AS too so I need to be focussing on that.
    Today I will be focussing on the masterpost of AS and writing down some key bits, a mini quiz if you will. Just to calm the nerves and stress hehe.

    I also haven't mentioned a lot of life stuff recently, but I have also been having chilled nights with friends (like last night was wine night with one of my best pals). I think anyone reading these Grow your Grades threads could easily think all the people do on it is revise, but we all have different life commitments too. Like I always have gatherings and days out with the family, and just general down time slobbing and watching trashy TV. It's important to get lots of sleep too, not just spend your life revising. I still love doing things like watch anime and prep for Leeds fest and my holiday etc.

    Hope everyone's revision is going well!!
 
 
 
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