JRB7
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JRB's GYG 2017 - THE AS JOURNEY



Hi everyone,

Long-time reader of Grow your Grades, and after my mock results from January, I decided that I would need to start my own thread to inspire me to work hard again.

You might have guessed from the title, but I'm targeting myself to get 4 As, I really think it's within reach, but I just need to motivate myself to work for it.

My GCSE results (June 2016):
Spoiler:
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9 A*s and 1 A
A*s in Maths, Core and Add. Science, English Language, French, German, Italian, Computer Science and History
A in English Lit





My January 2017 mocks and subjects:
Maths + FM:
Spoiler:
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C2: 30/30
FP1: 66/75 A
M1: 29/34
S1: 28/35
D1: 37/39

For my maths mocks, I did a full FP1 paper, then two 90 minute exams made up of half papers in the other units. I'm very pleased with my results, a little bit annoyed that I missed the last questions in M1 and S1, which each cost me 4 marks, but apart from that, very very pleased.




French:
Spoiler:
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Listening, Reading & Translation: 48/64
Writing & Translation: 51/60
Speaking: Not got back yet

Again, I'm delighted with my result, a particular highlight was the writing paper where I got 34/40 and 17/20 in the essay and translation sections. However, in the first paper, I only 58% translating French to English, so I need to work on making my translations more natural.




History:
Spoiler:
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Breadth Study - Germany: 28/40 B (18 and 10)
Depth Study - Italy: 24/40 C (5, 3, 16)

This was a bit of a disaster for me! I did both of these on the same day, and I knew I did very badly in the Germany paper, which really had a knock on effect on my other paper. My problem in both papers was being unable to focus on questions that I didn't find interesting. My whole class struggled with the source questions at the start of the Italy paper, but I did particularly badly.




If anyone else is doing these exams with Edexcel, I'd love to find out what your plans for revision are. I think I'm going to focus on learning the MASSES of content for history, and gradually learning relevant French vocab.

Outside of lessons, I'm currently writing a novel, learning Ruby programming, and running a Young Enterprise company, where we wrote our own children's book to teach about the values of friendship and protecting the environment.

I'm not really too sure what I'd like to do after sixth form; a maths degree seems to be the natural option, and I'm interested in the idea of studying in France. :confused::confused:

What I'm Reading:

Spoiler:
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Currently reading:
Titan by Ron Chernow
Nomad by James Swallow
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Ulysses by James Joyce
The Laughing Monsters by Denis Johnson
Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Future Reading list:
Think Like a Freak by Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner
Discourse on Method by Rene Descartes
Why the West Rules - For Now by Ian Morris
How Not to be wrong by Jordan Ellenberg
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
The First Bad Man by Miranda July



Online Resources
Spoiler:
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Physics and Maths Tutor - not only maths past papers, but also notes and even organised revision sheets!

Youtube - mainly for practicing my French listening skills

Anki - Excellent flashcard software that keeps all your vocab organised

This thread - Great techniques for maths and languages (although I can't understand the German bit), as well as economics

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JRB7
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Okay, now I'll just go through my plan for revising for each subject.

Maths (and FM):
I'm thinking that I'll start going hard on the past papers around Easter, when I'll have finished all of my courses. Before then, all I need to do is keep my FP1 fresh because I don't want to have to learn that for a third time!

French:
I'm trying to learn vocab everyday using the anki flashcard software (available free online), which works fine except that most days I "forget" to do my review, and it's a while since I've added new vocab, so I need to really focus on this. I have a collection of French newspapers and paraphernalia that I'll pull out a bit closer to the exams to get my reading and translation skill up to scratch. I'll be practicing my listening by watching a few French TV shows to help. I also need to have a really strong knowledge of my studied films, Intouchables (a great film btw, I thoroughly recommend it).

History:
This is where the biggest problem is: I have so much history content to revise, it's crazy! I'm studying Germany and West Germany, 1918-1989, and the topics are Weimar Republic (1918-33), Nazi Germany (1933-45), West Germany (1945-89), and historical interpreations of the outbreak of the Second World War. I'm also studying the Rise and Fall of Fascism in Italy, 1911-46. The sections for this part are: the Liberal State (1911-19), the Rise of Fascism (1919-25), the Fascist Dictatorship (1925-40), and the Fall of Fascism (1935-46).

My plan here is to make mind maps with my class notes, and then fill them in with a bit of extra detail from the textbook. I'm simply not sure where the time for all this is going to come from
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JRB7
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Week 1 Goals (25/02 - 05/03):
*Complete all homework
*Complete notes on the Fascist Dictatorship
*Complete exercise 41-43 of Zed Shaw's Learn Ruby the Hard Way
*Complete notes on Economics in Weimar

If I get a chance, I'll also do an FP1 paper
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JRB7
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Monday 27th Feb
Today was a decent day revision wise.

Statistics (S1): Quite a boring lesson, we were doing linear regression with coded data, I understood it all fine, it's just quite a time-consuming process.

Free period: Managed to finish my notes on the Mussolini dictatorship, and got started on my Mechanics homework, which I finished later.

Core maths (C2): Did a whole lesson of setting up and solving log equations, not too bad.

History (Italy): We've officially finished the Italy course now , onto Life in Wartime Germany. We had a review lesson today to summarise the Italy course, and worked on some source questions after the whole class flunked them.

After school: I did my French homework discussing use of language in our film, and finished the M1 homework from before. No other revision but a fairly successful day.
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Vanilla Cupcake
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will definitely be following this 😆
your subjects are quite similar to mine (I do physics instead of history) so it'll be nice to see how you revise. what modules are you doing for maths and fm?

i also use anki, and I'm working through a deck of the 5000 most common words I think I've got nearly 1000 done which really makes me happy haha. it can be really terrible when you miss a day of reviews as they all pile up - i have 100 reviews on that deck and 50 on one I've created for vocab i have to learn for tests oops. do you have any suggestions for generally improving my french? my reading and writing ability are fairly good, it's the other two skills I need to work on

good luck for the months ahead! 🌟🌟🌟
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JRB7
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(Original post by Vanilla Cupcake)
will definitely be following this 😆
your subjects are quite similar to mine (I do physics instead of history) so it'll be nice to see how you revise. what modules are you doing for maths and fm?

i also use anki, and I'm working through a deck of the 5000 most common words I think I've got nearly 1000 done which really makes me happy haha. it can be really terrible when you miss a day of reviews as they all pile up - i have 100 reviews on that deck and 50 on one I've created for vocab i have to learn for tests oops. do you have any suggestions for generally improving my french? my reading and writing ability are fairly good, it's the other two skills I need to work on

good luck for the months ahead! 🌟🌟🌟
Thanks! I'm doing M1, S1, D1 and FP1 this year, then FP2-3, M2 and S2 next year. What about you?

I've been really bad with putting new words into my deck recently, the good thing about this is that my reviews are short, but I'm not improving my French as much. :/ In terms of listening I would say listen to French songs and I'm wracking my brain for a one minute news show that I'm sure I'm not making up. For speaking, I am often thinking how I would translate and phrase English things in French, I'm not sure if that helps or its just me being weird. :confused:

There's some good Maths and Language advice here. What book/film are you doing?
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JRB7
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Tuesday 28th Feb (Pancake Day!!)

Not quite such an effective day.

Further maths (D1): Finished off the route inspection algorithm in our lesson, and I managed to do half the homework before tea, it's just a bit cumbersome.

Mechanics (M1): We did a fairly easy lesson on momentum, it seems fairly simple, and like we'll be pretty much finished by Easter.

History (Germany): We wrapped up the content on our historical interpretations topic, I had a massive homework to do for tomorrow. It hasn't been the most interesting unit, so I'm looking forward to moving onto the FRG.

French: We had a good lesson looking more at the characters of Intouchables, although I'm pretty sure we spent the whole lesson on a listening exercise... c'est la vie! I may have neglected my French homework for the history I'll have to do that in the morning because I'm going in late .

Apart from homework, I did no revision today, although I suppose I could do a C1 paper now...
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Vanilla Cupcake
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(Original post by JRB7)
Thanks! I'm doing M1, S1, D1 and FP1 this year, then FP2-3, M2 and S2 next year. What about you?

I've been really bad with putting new words into my deck recently, the good thing about this is that my reviews are short, but I'm not improving my French as much. :/ In terms of listening I would say listen to French songs and I'm wracking my brain for a one minute news show that I'm sure I'm not making up. For speaking, I am often thinking how I would translate and phrase English things in French, I'm not sure if that helps or its just me being weird. :confused:

There's some good Maths and Language advice here. What book/film are you doing?
C1, C2, S1, S2, D1, FP1 this year, FP2, C3, C4, M1-3 next year.

I feel as if my listening isn't improving very much because it's much easier to just read something as I can understand a lot more... but then my listening will never improve this way

I'll check that thread out, thanks! we've done La Haine and currently working through Béni ou le Paradis Privé, then next year we do something by Voltaire I think?

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EstelOfTheEyrie
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Yay, someone else taking history!

Are you doing OCR?
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JRB7
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(Original post by EstelOfTheEyrie)
Yay, someone else taking history!

Are you doing OCR?
Yay! Go history!

I'm doing Edexcel though

What are your topics? I'm doing Germany and Italy in the 20th Century
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EstelOfTheEyrie
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(Original post by JRB7)
Yay! Go history!

I'm doing Edexcel though

What are your topics? I'm doing Germany and Italy in the 20th Century
Oooooh they sound so interesting(and definitely in my favourite period of history - 1840s to 1945 pretty much!)

I'm studying: The Crusades and Crusader States, The Mid-Tudor Crisis (Henry VII to Mary I), and Russia and It's Rulers (1855-1964)
For coursework I picked the First World War.

Does Edexcel have coursework? And if so, do you know what you might pick?
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JRB7
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(Original post by Vanilla Cupcake)
C1, C2, S1, S2, D1, FP1 this year, FP2, C3, C4, M1-3 next year.

I feel as if my listening isn't improving very much because it's much easier to just read something as I can understand a lot more... but then my listening will never improve this way

I'll check that thread out, thanks! we've done La Haine and currently working through Béni ou le Paradis Privé, then next year we do something by Voltaire I think?

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Oh right, you're not doing FP3?

I'm the same with listening and text! We had to do a listening in class yesterday because the computer room wasn't free. We got the transcript though, and I just relied on that. I think just getting used to listening to french words might help, bof.

That's quite efficient :eek: we've been doing Intouchables for a few weeks, I'm not sure what we're doing next year except that it's a book. What exam board are you for your subjects?
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JRB7
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(Original post by EstelOfTheEyrie)
Oooooh they sound so interesting(and definitely in my favourite period of history - 1840s to 1945 pretty much!)

I'm studying: The Crusades and Crusader States, The Mid-Tudor Crisis (Henry VII to Mary I), and Russia and It's Rulers (1855-1964)
For coursework I picked the First World War.

Does Edexcel have coursework? And if so, do you know what you might pick?
Oh yeah I forgot! For the a level next year the topics are Tudor rebellions and we all do coursework on Civil Rights, but I'm probably going to drop history, the workload is just too much for me.

The Germany section has been really interesting, especially the Weimar Republic. We've just finished the Italy section and it's been OK, but I think that's just because my Germany teacher is soooo amazing, and every other lesson seems average in comparison.
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EstelOfTheEyrie
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(Original post by JRB7)
Oh yeah I forgot! For the A level next year the topics are Tudor rebellions and we all do coursework on Civil Rights, but I'm probably going to drop history, the workload is just too much for me.
Fair enough! And I can see what you mean - I do 3 essay based subjects (history, literature, and Classical Civilisation) and it can be difficult at times with the amount of facts etc. And you're doing two lots of maths and French, holy hell. That's got to be a lot of work!

And the Tudor rebellions are pretty interesting - we cover most of those in our module (besides Mary Queen of Scots and The Spanish Armada)
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(Original post by EstelOfTheEyrie)
Fair enough! And I can see what you mean - I do 3 essay based subjects (history, literature, and Classical Civilisation) and it can be difficult at times with the amount of facts etc. And you're doing two lots of maths and French, holy hell. That's got to be a lot of work!

And the Tudor rebellions are pretty interesting - we cover most of those in our module (besides Mary Queen of Scots and The Spanish Armada)
The maths isn't actually too bad, I understand all of it well and most of my teachers aren't too hard on homework. The French can be a pain but I haven't had a lesson with one of my teachers since half term because we've been doing speaking exams during lesson time

The history is kind of tearing at me because I love the subject, but I love the others more, and there's no way I could do 4 A2s :laugh:
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JRB7
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Wednesday 1st March
Bit of a bleurgh day day, didn't really do any revision, but I did manage to complete the main part of a STEP preparation question, so I was pretty proud! Until I couldn't do the proof part afterwards ah well it's progress, I still have a year for that.

Free period: I had a free first thing, so I went in late today . At home, I got halfway through an IAL FP1 paper, before I felt I was in the mood for another crack at my first STEP question, and I made serious progress. It just required total concentration to avoid algebra errors.

Maths (C2): The end of C2 is nigh, we've moved onto the penultimate chapter and were using derivatives to calculate maximums and minimums of curves.

History (Germany): After my homework cram yesterday, we finished our Historical Interpretations unit by looking at an exam question, and now I have a source-based essay to write. My friend challenged me to use the words braggadocio, indefatigable, and pre-lapsarian in my answer, so this could be interesting.

I also had a French lesson but it was so boring I'm not going to write more than this about it.
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JRB7
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Okay, so the past few days haven't been particularly productive, but I'm back on track now and I have a revision plan to take me right up to study leave.

Tonight, I'm going to finish my notes on Mussolini's early foreign policy.

Tomorrow, I'm going to complete notes on Mussolini's later foreign policy and Italy in WW2.

On Monday, I'm going to complete my notes on the fall of Mussolini and fascism.

Then, next weekend, I can make notes on Themes 1-3 in Weimar (politics, opposition and economics).

I feel like I've been a bit terrible at procrastinating this week, but I think I might be back to work now
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JRB7
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Back on track today!

I've started using the pomodoro method, of 30 minute 'pomodoros', where I work for 25 minutes, then have a break for 5 minutes. After 4 'pomodoros' I get a longer break of 20 minutes.

Today, I've almost finished my notes on Italy on WW2, I just have 4 paragraphs left to summarise. As well, I've made some nice progress on my coding, and kind of understand object-oriented programming now.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend
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JRB7
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And now my goals for this week (6-12th March):
  • Finish my notes on the Fall of Fascism topic (that means I'm halfway through the Italy part!)
  • Make notes on Politics, Opposition and Economics in Weimar Germany
  • Write something every day
  • Do some programming every day
  • Go for a run 3x in the week
  • Write my Section C exam question up
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JRB7
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Tuesday 6th March (European Day of the Righteous)
So, I'm pretty much done for today except for maybe an FP1 paper, and it's been a reasonably effective day.

I only had two lessons today so I managed to finish my notes on the Fall of Fascism in Italy, so I'm halfway through the Italy section, WOO! But the bad news is that my French teacher gave my whole class work to do for the lesson we missed, and I'm going to have to do it at break because the listening files are on the school computers.

I probably could've done a little bit more but I'm still really happy with this progress!

I hope everyone else's work is going A-OK! Let me know if you have any questions about my revision or just anything really.
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