senrab15
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My AS Journey to Success!

Hey! It seems you've stumbled upon my thread I am a seventeen year old girl attending a sixth form somewhere in Wales! Currently I'm in year twelve studying three subjects: BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY AND GEOGRAPHY. I've seen so many Grow your Grade threads [ that most appear to work and be successful ] that I decided to give it a crack myself.
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I actually had another thread, but it was in the wrong forum and I neglected it... I decided to make a new one and STICK to it rather than trying to revive the other.






A SMALL SECTION ABOUT ME:
  • At GCSE, I never struggled with the work and subsequently didn't revise to my potential. Nonetheless, my grades were decent - but I was not over the moon as I knew I could've achieved greater.
  • I don't want the same feeling of disappointment on the 17th August 2017. I want to know that whatever grades I got, I deserve because I worked my backside off for them!
  • MY GCSE GRADES: A*, A*, A, A, A, A, A, B, B, B[BIOLOGY - A/A, CHEMISTRY - A/A, GEOGRAPHY - B ]
  • My aspirations are....NOT A CLUE!
  • AS Predicted grades: B B D [ BIOLOGY, GEOGRAPHY, CHEMISTRY]
  • AS Mock grades: [1/02/17] A, C, U [ BIOLOGY, GEOGRAPHY, CHEMISTRY]
  • Personal target: B B B
  • FUN FACT - I missed just under three months of school due to illness at the end of last year - not to make excuses!

I aim to post updates twice a week. Pretty notes, exam questions and updates will be provided!

Motivating messages, tips, tricks, links, note exchanges, exam question help is ALL WELCOME![please]
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senrab15
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All of my exam / test results to date:

BIOLOGY
BIOLOGICAL MOLECULES - B
ENZYMES - C
CELL STRUCTURE AND ORGANISATION - C
MOCK - A

CHEMISTRY
GCSE ADDITIONAL CHEMISTRY "KNOWLEDGE CHECK" - A*
VALENCY QUIZ - 15/20
MOCK - U

GEOGRAPHY
MOCK - C
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senrab15
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:cyber::cyber::cyber:.............23 / 02

It's Thursday...which means half term is ALMOST over:cry:And to be honest, I feel like I have doneNOTHING!!!
I promised myself [after practically dragging myself around the last week of lessons] that I would get on top of all my work. I don't know if I mentioned but I'm behind on work after missing a LOT of school last year...:facepalm:Motivation PLEASE!

GEOGRAPHY - In total, I've done three hours of revision this week. Not awful..but I could've done way more :grumble:. I've re-wrote some notes [I tend to scribble in lessons on MANY pieces of paper, so this is my attempt to salvage them. Also helps me learn!] on the Human side about "the homeplace". It's a weird topic:hmmmm2::hmmmm2::hmmmm2:..I'm not sure if I really understand what's going on. I think my teachers struggling too because it's a new spec so there's not much material for it. I also went over the topics from the very start of the year in Tectonics as I feel like it's a weaker point for me.

BIOLOGY- Only two hours...my parent's have kind of told me to concentrate on the other two more for a few days. I feel like I :heart:love:heart: Biology so much I could revise it all day! :giggle::grin: Again, nothing spectacular going on. I re-wrote some scribbles on the Heart. I've drawn a flow-chart of the electrical impulses in the heart - and its SO much clearer to see what's going on! I spent half hour on Dentition, and half hour revising Digestion. I also answered some questions. I missed a whole booklet of work on Nutrition, Digestion, Dentition whilst I was ill, and I have a test next week on Biodiversity AND Digestion. UGH!:no::no::no::no::no:

CHEMISTRY - After receiving the big fat U grade...feeling a bit down. I'm going to speak to my head of year to try and request some extra help or something. This subject has suffered the most as a result of my time off - I feel like I missed so much content and math-based skills [which I suck at] and my teacher doesn't have the time to catch up with me...:grumble:SUCKS!
I've revised from some YouTube videos and made notes. I've probably spent about six hours on Chemistry this week! I've studied Nomenclature [probably my favorite topic], Ideal Gas equations, Mole calculations and Ionization energies. I've got a resit :yucky::yucky::yucky: next week and I'm praying to the Chem gods I don't fail...:noway::noway:





So not a productive week. I have been super busy with family....hopefully I'll get some more done by the end of the week!



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username2982648
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Good luck with your revision! . Chemistry is a very difficult subject, so try not to feel too downhearted about it at this stage. Practice makes perfect!
I LOVE the formatting of your posts by the way- they look so pretty!!
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username2312801
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GOOD LUCK !! You do similar subjects as I do ! Be sure to check my blog out too x
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senrab15
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(Original post by LeCroissant)
Good luck with your revision! . Chemistry is a very difficult subject, so try not to feel too downhearted about it at this stage. Practice makes perfect!
I LOVE the formatting of your posts by the way- they look so pretty!!
Thanks! Downhearted is an UNDERSTATEMENT. I dread every lesson! Hopefully, if I keep working, I can overcome it! :danceboy::danceboy:

(Original post by nisha.sri)
GOOD LUCK !! You do similar subjects as I do ! Be sure to check my blog out too x
I'll be sure to check it out! Thanks!
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senrab15
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:cyber::cyber::cyber:.............28 / 02

It's Tuesday...day two back in full-time study and I'm already drained. BRING ON NEXT HALF TERM!

GEOGRAPHY - Looked over my mock paper, which I got a C in. I actually did [to my surprise]better than I originally thought. My downfall, which as my teacher told me "prevented me from getting a higher grade", was LEAVING OUT [ ] three ten mark questions. STUPID MISTAKE, I KNOW! I just panicked because I thought I'd done so badly...I also didn't revise the case studies. I also half answered another ten mark question and scored 4/10. So it's safe to say, I know which area I need to work on...
So I made some flashcards for my case studies!:banana::banana: [ GO ME! ]
They're actually useful and I managed to learn the whole case studies on Haiti and Iceland in under five minutes.. so it's safe so say they're a success!
MISSION PLAN BY THE NEXT TIME I POST -
[ x ] Produce case study flash card sets for Coasts
[ x ] Produce case study flash card set for Human [Changing Places]
[ ] Practice analyzing and drawing diagrams on erosional land forms

BIOLOGY- Reviewed my biology mock. I achieved 79% - which I'm quite happy with for my first attempt at a WHOLE past paper. I just checked the markscheme and added all the correct answers in, and my downfall was silly mistakes. I labelled a nucleus as a vacuole on an electron micrograph...:banghead::noway::noway::nn:
I also got prokaryotes and eukaryotes the wrong way around...and thus lost 3 marks. I also lost 2 marks on my 9 marker essay question which was about inhibitors.Silly, FRUSTRATING MISTAKES! But at least I know where I'm going wrong now! It's corrected, and ready for me to get 100% when I re-attempt it...
Today I had three hours of Biology. My brain hurt by the last lesson to say the least... I revised cell structure and organisation[which is one of my weak points] and then moved on to the last section of the Circulatory system..which I need to go over...and then finally finished the day studying Osmosis and Active Transport. I also condensed my biodiversity notes on to one page!#success.
My teacher also very kindly pointed out that I only have 15 lessons before my exam...MAXIMUM! Meaning, 15 lessons without interventions, her being off, or me missing lessons...Scary.
MISSION PLAN BY THE NEXT POST:
[ ] Answer exam questions on movement across membranes
[ x ] Condense digestion notes on to one diagram







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senrab15
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:cyber::cyber::cyber:.............01/03

I wasn't planning on posting today...but I enjoy updating this! I'm not a confident person in real life and find it hard to speak to people, so this "blog" is working wonders for my stress levels:clap2::clap2::clap2: This is going to be mainly chit-chat.Today a motivational speaker came in to speak to Year 12's. I say motivational speaker, he was actually teaching us about exam techniques and how to revise. IT WAS SO USEFUL.

At first I was quite annoyed..I would much rather be revising, than learning HOW to revise. When he started speaking, he was funny and easy to relate too as he was not much older than us, and had recent experience of A-Levels and University. Nonetheless, I felt like what he was telling us, I already knew. I've had so many of the same old talks, and none of them seem different from any other. The usual "don't stress, just breathe" techniques, "make sure you get on top of your work"...but then he started talking about how to revise. I was expecting the usual "notes, mindmaps" ect...but INSTEAD he suggested making a CHECKLIST. As a person who likes to feel accomplished [doesn't everyone?], a checklist seemed like an amazing idea. I also love making plans and having structure!!
So yeah, long story short, I've found a new revision technique.

I've also been requesting prospectuses recently. Some teachers in my school have put so much stress on looking at university courses sooner rather than later. At first I was like, I'M TRYING TO STUDY AS LEVELS. LEAVE ME BE!! But after thinking about it, what harm can it do? I love to have a goal in mind, and university entry grades are the perfect thing for it. I'm not really sure about a course, but I'm thinking in the Biology / Science field...

Prospectuses I have got:
Royal Veterinary College
University of Surrey
University of South Wales
Cardiff Metropolitan University
Cardiff University
Liverpool University
Liverpool John Moores University
Bournemouth University
University of York
Coventry University
University of Sheffield

I've been looking at Biology, Zoology, Marine Biology, Veterinary Science and Forensic Science/Biology. My favourite university out of the above was the ones in Liverpool... I've visited before and I have family nearby. It also offers almost all of the courses I want to do! Idk yet though. We'll see...

CHEMISTRY - Also managed to get some Chemistry work done today! I've found writing notes for Chemistry super hard...so instead I've decided to ASK QUESTIONS to test my knowledge on the notes. For example, 1.8 is The Periodic Table...so I've written 30 questions on the topic to test my basic knowledge for recall. My plan is to do some for every topic, and practice them until I can't get them wrong, then start adding questions where you have to apply knowledge on to the end.
MISSION PLAN BY 10/03
[ ] Look over Bond Energies
[ ] Revise Oxidation Numbers (AKA LEARN BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE A CLUE!)




Sorry if this was a SUPER boring entry. I wasn't planning on posting two days in a row, but I just felt like updating today! I'm off to training tonight, then hopefully I can catch atleast seven hours sleep ready for a FULL DAY of lessons tomorrow! Yay [not].

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senrab15
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:cyber::cyber::cyber:.............02/03

Another entry from the person who didn't want to update more than twice a week...:curious::crown::crown:

So, after I thought all my prospectuses had arrived, Bangor and Durham arrived earlier today . I've also looked at Edinburgh and Glasgow today, which I'm interested to look more into BUT it seems a bit far from home. I don't like Durham, purely because it doesn't offer any courses I love, so I'll have to pass on that. Bangor - I like! Some really interesting courses, and some good facilities and opportunities available. I've been thinking about what I want to do more and more lately. I feel like I want to go down a Veterinary route but feel as though the grades are NOT achievable..what do you guys think?

CHEMISTRY - I ACTUALLY UNDERSTOOD SOMETHING IN CHEMISTRY TODAY!IT'S A MIRACLE! I'm flying through all of the 2.8 Instrumental Analysis work [Mass Spectrometry, NMR,] and even got to try to test my own sample to produce my own results. My teacher told me we will finish the course soon, so we will have lots of revision time before the exam. Actually feeling a bit positive! Now to complete some work...


GEOGRAPHY - Geography work is going down hill. I have two teachers, and one of them hasn't been in since before Christmas.:argh::argh::argh: I'm doing the Human section at the moment and it's SO boring. Feel like it's just reading and memorizing. Anyone have any suggestions on what I can do? Currently looks like we're going to finish the work JUST before the exam, which is super stressful for me!
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niamhdoesmaths
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Hello there! :wavey:

Reeeeally liking this! To say you've had so much time off you're certainly doing very well to stay on top of things! I'm sure you'll do really well in your exams and get the grades you want

I'm in Year 12 too, although our subjects are a little bit different. Feel free to post on my GYG if you want to, we can motivate each other to get work done

Best of luck with everything!
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senrab15
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(Original post by NiamhM1801)
Hello there! :wavey:

Reeeeally liking this! To say you've had so much time off you're certainly doing very well to stay on top of things! I'm sure you'll do really well in your exams and get the grades you want

I'm in Year 12 too, although our subjects are a little bit different. Feel free to post on my GYG if you want to, we can motivate each other to get work done

Best of luck with everything!
Thanks! I don't like to make excuses, but in all honesty I feel like it was a huge set back. I missed so much work that I'm not sure I've caught up on everything because my teachers are so busy with the rest of the class I can never catch them on their own!

I'll be sure to check out the thread!! :heart::heart::heart:
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Hey senrab15,

Sorry to jump in here, but hopefully I have some advice that might help. I did my Irish Leaving Certificate (the Irish equivalent to A levels) in 2012 and then went on to study at Surrey. I also did Biology and Geography for my exams, and got an A in both. The courses might be a bit different for A level than they are for the Leaving Cert, but hopefully I have some advice that will be of help to you

First off, I really wasn't a fan of 'traditional' studying (just sitting there reading a book for hours on end). I didn't really 'study' as such until January/February of my final year, except for class tests/Christmas and summer exams. What I focused on was doing my homework as if I was actually answering each question in the exam. I thought about what the marking scheme would be, and what points I needed to make in order to give a 'full marks' answer to the question. In Ireland we do 7 subjects for Leaving Cert, so often I'd spend a good 3-4 hours a night completing my homework, with more time spent on it at the weekend.

For my geography case studies, I found it really useful to take each case study and do about 10-20 bullet points summarising the key information from the case study. The bullet points might only have been a word or two....just enough to jog your memory on a point. This worked fairly well for biology too.

For me, getting good grades in your exams is about knowing what the examiner wants from you - do you need to include a diagram with your answer, what key points do you have to mention to get full marks, how much detail do you need for a 10 mark question versus a 15 mark question etc.? It's also helpful to distinguish between the different words used in a question eg. compare, contrast, deduce, evaluate. There's a nice explanation of the different 'question words' on the AQA website here.

Hopefully your teacher will be going through the structure of the exam with you already. If not, then ask them to, even if it means having to stay behind at the end of class for a few extra minutes. Same advice for if you don't understand something completely - most teachers are more than willing to meet you for a couple minutes at lunch or after class to help talk you through bits you don't understand. After all, how their pupils perform during exams can reflect a lot on them as teachers!

Maybe this will be of some use to you, or maybe not.... To be honest, everyone has their own methods of studying, you just have to find out which method works best for you and go with that

I also saw that you have received our prospectus! Just wanted to know if you have any feedback on that - we're always keen to know how we can improve As you're interested in veterinary medicine, our new vet school might be of particular interest. We have Open Days coming up this summer (30 June and 1 July), and I'm always happy to answer any of your questions about the uni, applications, what it's like to live in Surrey etc

I hope this helps you in some way!

All the best,
Ashley
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senrab15
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(Original post by University of Surrey)
Hey senrab15,

Sorry to jump in here, but hopefully I have some advice that might help. I did my Irish Leaving Certificate (the Irish equivalent to A levels) in 2012 and then went on to study at Surrey. I also did Biology and Geography for my exams, and got an A in both. The courses might be a bit different for A level than they are for the Leaving Cert, but hopefully I have some advice that will be of help to you

First off, I really wasn't a fan of 'traditional' studying (just sitting there reading a book for hours on end). I didn't really 'study' as such until January/February of my final year, except for class tests/Christmas and summer exams. What I focused on was doing my homework as if I was actually answering each question in the exam. I thought about what the marking scheme would be, and what points I needed to make in order to give a 'full marks' answer to the question. In Ireland we do 7 subjects for Leaving Cert, so often I'd spend a good 3-4 hours a night completing my homework, with more time spent on it at the weekend.

For my geography case studies, I found it really useful to take each case study and do about 10-20 bullet points summarising the key information from the case study. The bullet points might only have been a word or two....just enough to jog your memory on a point. This worked fairly well for biology too.

For me, getting good grades in your exams is about knowing what the examiner wants from you - do you need to include a diagram with your answer, what key points do you have to mention to get full marks, how much detail do you need for a 10 mark question versus a 15 mark question etc.? It's also helpful to distinguish between the different words used in a question eg. compare, contrast, deduce, evaluate. There's a nice explanation of the different 'question words' on the AQA website here.

Hopefully your teacher will be going through the structure of the exam with you already. If not, then ask them to, even if it means having to stay behind at the end of class for a few extra minutes. Same advice for if you don't understand something completely - most teachers are more than willing to meet you for a couple minutes at lunch or after class to help talk you through bits you don't understand. After all, how their pupils perform during exams can reflect a lot on them as teachers!

Maybe this will be of some use to you, or maybe not.... To be honest, everyone has their own methods of studying, you just have to find out which method works best for you and go with that

I also saw that you have received our prospectus! Just wanted to know if you have any feedback on that - we're always keen to know how we can improve As you're interested in veterinary medicine, our new vet school might be of particular interest. We have Open Days coming up this summer (30 June and 1 July), and I'm always happy to answer any of your questions about the uni, applications, what it's like to live in Surrey etc

I hope this helps you in some way!

All the best,
Ashley
I've been summarising my case studies into bullet points and making flashcards! It seems to be working, but I'm going to keep trying some new techniques I'll be sure to message you if I have any inquiries!



Sorry I haven't been posting! I've been revising for my Chemistry re-sit today...If I don't pass I'll be prevented from sitting the summer exam. Wish me luck! I'll update later tonight, or maybe tomorrow...
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senrab15
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:cyber::cyber::cyber:.............23 / 02

Thursday's - my LONGEST day of school, but only ONE MORE DAY TO GO BEFORE THE WEEKEND! :bhangra::danceboy::dance::dance:

GEOGRAPHY - We've been working on 2.1.3 - 5 the past few lessons, which is the Human side of the course. Honestly I'm enjoying what we're doing right now, regarding out of town shopping centres to link back to the Clark Fisher Model. I've got so much homework to do BUT I've been revising for Chemistry, so not much going on really.
By the next time I post...
[X] Mindmap on Gentrification
[ ] Keywords and Definitions for 2.1.3 - 2.1.5
[X] Evaluate out of town retail
[X] Evaluate economic and demographic drivers of new developments in central urban areas

BIOLOGY- There was only five people in my class so we did a revision based session. Kind of useful, but not really...I had some homework to finish. Again, haven't done any revision because I've been doing my Chemistry ready for my mock.

CHEMISTRY - So yesterday I re-sat my mock grade. If I get another U, they WON'T enter me into the summer exam. I was so so so so SO scared and broke down Tuesday night. I revised a little but not as much as I needed to. I'm struggling with motivation at the moment. My moods are all over the place - one minute I'm ready to work hard, I want to go to university, the next minute I've given up and it all seems impossible. I was so pleased by the exam paper - it was so much NICER than the first one, so I was optimistic. FOR A MINUTE. Then a moles calculation came up - I was like cool, easy, I can do this. Wrote the equation, inputted some numbers, picked up my calculator...IT DIDN'T TURN ON. MY CALCULATOR BROKE! For a good thirty minutes I answered the rest of the questions, but I feel like my head wasn't really in it. I was stressing about the calculator - what would I do if I couldn't get another one?! I kept counting how many marks I would miss. There was nobody near by who I could ask. I tried to work them out in my head [ stupid idea ], but it was too hard and frazzled my brain even more. Five minutes before the end, a women passed me and I managed to stop and ask for a calculator. She gave me a really basic calculator which kept deleting numbers, and to be honest I'm not sure if it gave me the right answer. I'm so nervous to get my results now.




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senrab15
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:cyber::cyber::cyber:.............21 / 03

Having a bad week...I'm sorry for the lack of updates, but I haven't due to a lack of time and... effort. Honestly struggling to go to lessons lately. Feel like nothings going right at the moment - for example, today my phone completely broke. I missed a text regarding EMA, and also for an extra shift at work - lost out on about £100! ARGH!!!

GEOGRAPHY - I panicked a couple days ago because I realized that this time in two months I'll have sat my Geography exams! ARGH! How has it come around so quickly?! We're almost finished on the whole course I think...just need to write up my Physical fieldwork and do my Human fieldwork. I've made flashcards for all my case studies but I still wasn't feeling confident...so I made a website - it sounds stupid, but a single address with every important note on it has helped MASSIVELY. I've learnt stuff from my folders that I didn't know
By the next time I post...
[ ] Keywords and Definitions for 2.1.3 - 2.1.5
[ ] Key facts for risk and vulnerability

BIOLOGY- WHAT is going on in this lesson? I think my teacher is panicking because mock's took up a lot of our lessons, and now we're looking at finishing just before the exam. We're currently looking at Gaseous Exchange, Mass Movement and Nucleic Acids. It's too much information!
By the next time I post...
[ ] Transport PPQ
[ ] Mass Movement Notes
[ ] Nucleic Acid Notes
[ ] Nucleic Acid PPQ

CHEMISTRY - Still haven't received my mock grade. Looks like I'll be getting it Thursday. I'm really nervous. I think we're really close to finishing the whole course - I'm sure we only have two topics to go, and my teacher said they're both short. Not confident at all. I've been writing notes for 2.2 Rates of Reactions...but not much else is going on. My weakness, I've found, is answering questions about experiments. Any tips?
By the next time I post...
[ ] Periodic Table Notes
[ ] 1.7 Simple Equillibria and Acid-base reactions notes
[ ] Nucleic Acid PPQ
[ ] PPQ in Lab Book 3
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