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A Levels & Sixth Form study: managing work and revision - tips needed. Watch

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    Hello! Thanks so much for opening my post. So I've finished my GCSEs and am on Summer break. Of course, I've watched just about every YouTube video on Sixth/A Level advice (it makes me feel like I'm doing something productive from the comfort of my own bed 😂).
    Anyway, they all boil down to the same message: organisation with folders etc. and revising as you go along.
    I would really appreciate current and former Sixth Formers telling me how exactly they managed the latter in detail, with the main focus on these:

    - How often do you make revision notes (eg: weekly/fornightly/monthly/half termly basis) or do you make them at the end of each day? Which of these do you find most effective and realistically possible to manage?

    - How do you balance your continuous revision throughout the 2 years with homework?

    - Free periods: do you use them for homework or revision?

    - How late do you think it's healthy to stay up working each night?

    Any other tips or tricks you found helpful on this element of study time management would be really helpful. Also, I'll be doing History, Economics, French and Italian - so if you have any subject specific related tips, they would be most appreciated too (especially for History and Economics because they're fact and concept based).

    Thank you so much! Have a lovely Summer and good luck in September.
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    Hi there! Considering you've watched lots of advice videos already, I'll try to avoid giving the usual advice.
    For factual subjects use tons of flashcards and try to review them regularly, especially in dead moments like waiting for the bus etc. I hung some around my room and above my desk and found it useful. For the languages - use quizlet! Try to find vloggers or other videos in the languages and watch them a lot. Also applies to movies, songs etc. Try to find ones where they don't speak too fast to not demotivated you - it'll be super useful either way.

    One thing I don't hear people talking about a lot - start thinking of what you want to study at uni later, and participate in relevant activities. That will make it much easier to write your personal statement later on. Lots of unis offer free or very cheap summer schools, there are lots of organisations that offer relevant programmes, and the number 1 important thing is research early what you want to so and not miss the deadlines! Some are as early as january/march of year 12. Off the top of my head, things like sutton trust/uniq summer schools, nuffield research placement and linguastars for languages in Leeds. Also lots of oxbridge colleges offer residentials which are worth checking.
    Good luck!
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    (Original post by no2573571)
    Hello! Thanks so much for opening my post. So I've finished my GCSEs and am on Summer break. Of course, I've watched just about every YouTube video on Sixth/A Level advice (it makes me feel like I'm doing something productive from the comfort of my own bed 😂).
    Anyway, they all boil down to the same message: organisation with folders etc. and revising as you go along.
    I would really appreciate current and former Sixth Formers telling me how exactly they managed the latter in detail, with the main focus on these:

    - How often do you make revision notes (eg: weekly/fornightly/monthly/half termly basis) or do you make them at the end of each day? Which of these do you find most effective and realistically possible to manage?

    - How do you balance your continuous revision throughout the 2 years with homework?

    - Free periods: do you use them for homework or revision?

    - How late do you think it's healthy to stay up working each night?

    Any other tips or tricks you found helpful on this element of study time management would be really helpful. Also, I'll be doing History, Economics, French and Italian - so if you have any subject specific related tips, they would be most appreciated too (especially for History and Economics because they're fact and concept based).

    Thank you so much! Have a lovely Summer and good luck in September.
    Hi, I've finished year 12 and seem to be doing quite well (been predicted A*s for Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry (and A in AS Biology) after a set of internal assessments), hopefully you can get something from what I do.

    I've found that the best way to learn is through a simple method. As soon as I got the textbooks for my subjects and my lesson timetable, I asked my teachers what we were going to be taught/in what order. With this knowledge, I then read ahead in the textbooks and essentially self-taught some of the material. This meant that when I got to the lesson, I would be able to clarify anything I hadn't understood by myself by asking focused questions on those areas. This also helped the class, as it meant that I was getting the teacher to clarify the hard bits, essentially. During class I wrote notes too. Then every evening, I reread the textbook, my notes and (if I had time) an additional source, to help me remember.

    This method, while seemingly very time-intensive, meant that when it came to revision, I actually found that I didn't really need to do it. I could just do a quick overview, skimming through my notes, and everything would just come back to me, because I had taken the time during the whole of term time to really understand and remember all the content. So while others were stressing about cramming in revision, I could go play piano / go swimming and generally relax, and get good sleep (as well as revise a bit). This meant I was well-rested (and well-revised), so I could quickly answer the easier questions and think properly, pulling in all sorts of facts, when faced with tougher questions.

    That's not to say that I spent all of term constantly revising though! For the subjects I did, it might only take 10-15 mins to read/review a topic before/after class. And for the science subjects, everything you learn builds on what you've learned before, so it's actually all quite straightforward as long as you understood what you'd done before. So all in all, I think this saved me time (and I had time during all of term time to be in school orchestra/choir, take part in concerts... hell, I was even pianist for our school musical, and that took up at least 50 hours with rehearsal and all our performances... [though being a mega-nerd, I still found time to revise during rehearsals lol]). I should also add that I did not work earlier than 7am or later than 9pm.

    Had I been doing essay subjects (history, English etc...) I may not have had as much time, as I think essays take up a lot of homework time for those subjects.

    Anyway, TLDR:
    Read content before class, ask good question in class to clarify, review after class. Do extra-curriculars to relax and get good sleep. Repeat. Then you won't need to revise religiously just before exams (still revise though), and you'll be mentally stable and ready for whatever the exams can throw at you!
    Note, I haven't really said how long I revised for, because I don't revise for a set time: instead, I revise until I am certain that I know what I need to know, and then go do other things to relax.

    Long post, sorry, hopefully you can get something out of this.
    Good luck!!
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    (Original post by no2573571)
    Hello! Thanks so much for opening my post. So I've finished my GCSEs and am on Summer break. Of course, I've watched just about every YouTube video on Sixth/A Level advice (it makes me feel like I'm doing something productive from the comfort of my own bed 😂).
    Anyway, they all boil down to the same message: organisation with folders etc. and revising as you go along.
    I would really appreciate current and former Sixth Formers telling me how exactly they managed the latter in detail, with the main focus on these:

    - How often do you make revision notes (eg: weekly/fornightly/monthly/half termly basis) or do you make them at the end of each day? Which of these do you find most effective and realistically possible to manage?

    - How do you balance your continuous revision throughout the 2 years with homework?

    - Free periods: do you use them for homework or revision?

    - How late do you think it's healthy to stay up working each night?

    Any other tips or tricks you found helpful on this element of study time management would be really helpful. Also, I'll be doing History, Economics, French and Italian - so if you have any subject specific related tips, they would be most appreciated too (especially for History and Economics because they're fact and concept based).

    Thank you so much! Have a lovely Summer and good luck in September.
    - How often do you make revision notes (eg: weekly/fornightly/monthly/half termly basis) or do you make them at the end of each day? Which of these do you find most effective and realistically possible to manage?

    In sixth form, I started off trying to make notes every night (i.e. typing up my class notes from each day). I soon gave up doing this though as it was difficult trying to get the notes done as well as my homework. Therefore I'd recommend using the weekend to catch up on note-making, when you'll have more time to make sure you understand everything and supplement your class notes with textbooks etc.

    - How do you balance your continuous revision throughout the 2 years with homework?

    When I did A Levels, they were still split up into AS and A2 with exams at the end of both years, so things are a little different now. However, I'd recommend perhaps working until a certain time each evening, and then having the rest of the night to relax. Obviously this may not always be possible, but I can't stress enough the importance of having breaks from your work, as it's easy to wear yourself out and become demotivated.

    - Free periods: do you use them for homework or revision?

    I was fortunate in that my sixth form was close enough that I could walk home during my free periods. I generally used them as breaks rather than extra time to get work done, but it wouldn't hurt to spend them in the library for example to make a start on homework etc.

    - How late do you think it's healthy to stay up working each night?

    Everyone works best at different times, for example I found that I worked best in the evening and early part of the night, so I'd normally stay up until 11pm or so. However, it's still important to get a decent amount of sleep each night (7 hours perhaps?), so going to bed sometime before midnight would likely be best, depending on what time you'll get up in the morning.

    I hope that helps, and good luck with your A Levels!
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    (Original post by K-Man_PhysCheM)
    Hi, I've finished year 12 and seem to be doing quite well (been predicted A*s for Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry (and A in AS Biology) after a set of internal assessments), hopefully you can get something from what I do.

    I've found that the best way to learn is through a simple method. As soon as I got the textbooks for my subjects and my lesson timetable, I asked my teachers what we were going to be taught/in what order. With this knowledge, I then read ahead in the textbooks and essentially self-taught some of the material. This meant that when I got to the lesson, I would be able to clarify anything I hadn't understood by myself by asking focused questions on those areas. This also helped the class, as it meant that I was getting the teacher to clarify the hard bits, essentially. During class I wrote notes too. Then every evening, I reread the textbook, my notes and (if I had time) an additional source, to help me remember.

    This method, while seemingly very time-intensive, meant that when it came to revision, I actually found that I didn't really need to do it. I could just do a quick overview, skimming through my notes, and everything would just come back to me, because I had taken the time during the whole of term time to really understand and remember all the content. So while others were stressing about cramming in revision, I could go play piano / go swimming and generally relax, and get good sleep (as well as revise a bit). This meant I was well-rested (and well-revised), so I could quickly answer the easier questions and think properly, pulling in all sorts of facts, when faced with tougher questions.

    That's not to say that I spent all of term constantly revising though! For the subjects I did, it might only take 10-15 mins to read/review a topic before/after class. And for the science subjects, everything you learn builds on what you've learned before, so it's actually all quite straightforward as long as you understood what you'd done before. So all in all, I think this saved me time (and I had time during all of term time to be in school orchestra/choir, take part in concerts... hell, I was even pianist for our school musical, and that took up at least 50 hours with rehearsal and all our performances... [though being a mega-nerd, I still found time to revise during rehearsals lol]). I should also add that I did not work earlier than 7am or later than 9pm.

    Had I been doing essay subjects (history, English etc...) I may not have had as much time, as I think essays take up a lot of homework time for those subjects.

    Anyway, TLDR:
    Read content before class, ask good question in class to clarify, review after class. Do extra-curriculars to relax and get good sleep. Repeat. Then you won't need to revise religiously just before exams (still revise though), and you'll be mentally stable and ready for whatever the exams can throw at you!
    Note, I haven't really said how long I revised for, because I don't revise for a set time: instead, I revise until I am certain that I know what I need to know, and then go do other things to relax.

    Long post, sorry, hopefully you can get something out of this.
    Good luck!!
    Thank you so much!!! I really like the sound of your methodical and thorough method. It's obviously paid off + you're doing really hard subjects. Good luck in year 13.
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    (Original post by Leviathan1741)
    - How often do you make revision notes (eg: weekly/fornightly/monthly/half termly basis) or do you make them at the end of each day? Which of these do you find most effective and realistically possible to manage?

    In sixth form, I started off trying to make notes every night (i.e. typing up my class notes from each day). I soon gave up doing this though as it was difficult trying to get the notes done as well as my homework. Therefore I'd recommend using the weekend to catch up on note-making, when you'll have more time to make sure you understand everything and supplement your class notes with textbooks etc.

    - How do you balance your continuous revision throughout the 2 years with homework?

    When I did A Levels, they were still split up into AS and A2 with exams at the end of both years, so things are a little different now. However, I'd recommend perhaps working until a certain time each evening, and then having the rest of the night to relax. Obviously this may not always be possible, but I can't stress enough the importance of having breaks from your work, as it's easy to wear yourself out and become demotivated.

    - Free periods: do you use them for homework or revision?

    I was fortunate in that my sixth form was close enough that I could walk home during my free periods. I generally used them as breaks rather than extra time to get work done, but it wouldn't hurt to spend them in the library for example to make a start on homework etc.

    - How late do you think it's healthy to stay up working each night?

    Everyone works best at different times, for example I found that I worked best in the evening and early part of the night, so I'd normally stay up until 11pm or so. However, it's still important to get a decent amount of sleep each night (7 hours perhaps?), so going to bed sometime before midnight would likely be best, depending on what time you'll get up in the morning.

    I hope that helps, and good luck with your A Levels!
    Thanks you for your very specific and useful answer. Have a lovely day!
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    [QUOTE=¡Muy bien!;72846424]Hi there! Considering you've watched lots of advice videos already, I'll try to avoid giving the usual advice.
    For factual subjects use tons of flashcards and try to review them regularly, especially in dead moments like waiting for the bus etc. I hung some around my room and above my desk and found it useful. For the languages - use quizlet! Try to find vloggers or other videos in the languages and watch them a lot. Also applies to movies, songs etc. Try to find ones where they don't speak too fast to not demotivated you - it'll be super useful either way.

    One thing I don't hear people talking about a lot - start thinking of what you want to study at uni later, and participate in relevant activities. That will make it much easier to write your personal statement later on. Lots of unis offer free or very cheap summer schools, there are lots of organisations that offer relevant programmes, and the number 1 important thing is research early what you want to so and not miss the deadlines! Some are as early as january/march of year 12. Off the top of my head, things like sutton trust/uniq summer schools, nuffield research placement and linguastars for languages in Leeds. Also lots of oxbridge colleges offer residentials which are worth checking.
    Good luck! [/QUOTE/]

    HI there! Thanks so much for all your really handy subject-specific advice. I'll certainly use those techniques.
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    Hi, I'm about to go into sixth form and I'm taking biology, physics and chemistry however I didn't get to do further additional science and I was told that because of that my projection will be that I'll get C's or B's at a level but I am willing to work hard for A's because I want to do medicine but my mindset is so negative now because of hearing that my projection shows me getting b's or C's at a level. In secondary school got 6 A's/A* and 2 B's can someone give me advice please. I'm really panicking, also are projections and predictions the same thing?
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    Just finished A Levels with all A*s (maths, further maths,physics and chemistry).

    Main thing to do is not fall behind. Do the work as soon as possible.
    Read ahead of class if you have time, especially if your teacher tells you what you're doing next (there was an article in an issue of Education in Chemistry talking about how to encourage learning, and part of it is reducing the 'load' on the brain. Reading ahead a bit reduces that load in class). I spent a lot of year 12 reading chemistry and physics magazines and journals, just to learn about them.
    Do revise, but remember to take time off as well. Constantly being in the 'learning' frame of mind will hurt your ability to process information longer-term
 
 
 
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