Be prepared. The difference between the work load of GCSEs and A levels is large, so be prepared to work very hard and be sure it's something you want to do, and pick the subjects you are passionate about, because if you don't like the subject, the work load will make you hate it.
Ultimate piece of advice you'd give to someone starting A-levels '17 [Golden thread] watch
- 26-07-2017 19:40
- 26-07-2017 19:52
Keep on top of your work. Use the specification. Science people, invest in CGP textbooks!
- 26-07-2017 20:02
Work hard, play hard.
I have no idea, no advice worked for me.Last edited by Chittesh14; 26-07-2017 at 20:04.
- 26-07-2017 20:53
If you start to get free lessons, use them for doing homework and revising instead of wasting them. I managed this year without doing any work at home, but I used all of my free lessons and lunchtimes.
The jump between GCSE and AS isn't too bad if you're prepared to put the work in, but don't forget that there's a jump between AS and A levels aswell, so you don't want to overwork yourself.
(Original post by PepticSalve)
- 26-07-2017 20:56
With 4 a-levels to choose from pick 1 that might be creative or a bit different, especially if you are going STEM. I wish I'd have done something more esoteric and humanities based instead of my boring maths, chemistry, physics and computing. Would probably have dropped physics and done art or music or something. Just my opinion...
- 26-07-2017 21:01
don't do 4 a levels, you will most likely drop the 4th so what's the point
forget about your gcses
be prepared to put the work in if you want anywhere near top grades
for essay subjects, your knowledge is going to have to be near perfect so put the time in to learn everything
- 26-07-2017 21:04
Make your notes as you go and not at a mad rush at the end.
- 26-07-2017 21:04
Best piece of advice I could give is WORK HARD in your first year; I dossed around and didn't do as well at A/S as I should have, and now it's affecting my uni applications and it's a massive massive regret. Retaking is not fun and is not looked ok well by uni's so just crack down, do these two years, then you have the whole rest of your life to party. Have fun ofc, but do the hours of revision that your college recommends. That's just my experience anyways
- 26-07-2017 21:05
Right, I need to avoid chapel at my new school because I don't fancy spending 45 minutes singing hymns. What are the chances all your free periods are in the morning?
- 26-07-2017 21:19
I know this said 'ultimate piece of advice' but I have several pieces of advice and I'm going to list as many as I can think of now.
Make sure you look out for opportunities in year 12 such as summer schools and similar things (don't leave it too late to think about applying like I did)
Also take part in something such as extra-curricular things - maybe run a club for younger year if you're at a sixth form connected to a secondary school, or just attend a club. You could be a prefect. You could be a house captain. You could help at school events. D of E? Sports? You definitely don't need to do all of these things, just one or two extra things that you could put on a personal statement or your teacher(s) could write in your reference.
Both of the above will help when it comes to applying to universities. Also consider doing some further reading into the subjects your interested in. Research universities now and then so that when Spring term starts, you know which open days you want to go to and can book them. It surprised me when some of my friends barely knew anything about UCAS and universities for most of Year 12.
You don't have to go to university! Apprenticeships and jobs and stuff are also options to consider. Hopefully your school will tell you this and not assume everyone wants to go to university.
Teachers are generally much better at A Level, as in they treat you better and are more relaxed. But don't get on the wrong side of them as you'll see them more often.
Answer questions in lessons. It's awkward if you have a fairly small class and no one wants to say anything.
If you realise you've chosen the wrong subject(s), it's definitely worth finding out if you can change to a different subject, but do it as soon as possible!
If you're considering doing 4 subjects (rather than 3), you might as well give it a go. You can drop one if it's too much and it's much easier to drop a subject than to pick it up, and if you find out you hate a subject you don't need to continue it. If you just choose 3 subjects, you won't be able to drop one of them unless you're changing to another subject.
Keep your folders organised, with dividers and stuff. Have a folder at home for each subject for topics you've finished or you'll be carrying too much around. For example, I take a small maths folder to school with neat, basic notes/formulae from each topic but I take the exercises out regularly - I now have two lever arch folders full of maths exercises and past papers. However, in Spanish our teachers make us use exercise books.
Try to use at least half of your free periods productively. Realistically, you won't use them all to work. I wrote down when my friends had frees with me and did work in frees by myself or with fewer friends so that I could relax when lots of my friends had a free with me. Make use of study rooms when the common room is busy.
Timetables can be useful. Just block out times to get work done after school. It might make you more productive if you know you want to finish your homework by the end of that specified time.
A Levels and A Levels are weird at first but you'll get used to it.
If everything goes wrong you can usually retake Year 12, either at the same college/sixth form or somewhere else.Last edited by Lelanor; 26-07-2017 at 21:23.
- 26-07-2017 21:59
Don't let yourself fall behind - if you don't understand something, ask straight away. Most A Level courses work by constantly building on your skills and knowledge and so a gap at any point in the course can become a barrier and you don't want to be desperately trying to plug the gap in exam season, so ask straightaway!
Put your free periods to good use - it's okay to have the odd period off to chat to your friends, but don't make it a habit. Use these valuable periods to keep on top of your work, which will make it easier in exam time.
Stay organised - keep all your notes neatly filed and in one place, which will avoid the "I can't find my notes on x topic" panic come exam season.
Revise well and in a timely manner - don't leave it all to the last minute! It may help to make revision notes/posters/flashcards as you go, making some resources for each topic as you finish learning the topic, which will save time later on.
Keep your tutors onside - if they like you, they will be more lenient that time when you forget your homework, or more willing to help when you need something explaining further. They are also more likely to give you a glowing UCAS reference if you are a good student, so keep them sweet!
Remember to relax sometimes - college/sixth form life can be (read: is) stressful at times and so it's important to take some time to unwind and to avoid burning out. Look after your mental health as well as your physical health.
- 26-07-2017 23:00
Don't spend too much time on TSR.
- 26-07-2017 23:06
Don't underestimate how fast the year goes. It feels like yesterday I had just started AS and now I'm awaiting results!
- 26-07-2017 23:19
READY to work hard.
READY to stay up late and finish Homework.
READY to complete past paper after past paper.
READY to take responsibility for your learning.
Be READY my friends.. for the ballache that is about to come your way =]
- 26-07-2017 23:22
Don't waste your free periods
- 27-07-2017 00:09
ASK FOR HELP FROM TEACHERS
USE THE INTERNET/OUTSIDE SOURCES FOR AS MUCH HELP AS POSSIBLE (revision guides, other schools teaching similar obscure syllabi)
CHECK SPECIFICATIONS AND OVER THE TWO YEARS, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW EVERYTHING ON THE SPEC, NOT MORE, NOT LESS
DO NOT DO TOO MUCH (if you’re struggling just a little with 4, imo drop as soon as possible)
(i really am yelling all of this )
- 27-07-2017 00:22
Don't stress yourself out too early.. it'll only get more stressful day by day, if you let it get to u
- 27-07-2017 00:52
Don't forget to take breaks in proportion to how much you've worked.
- 27-07-2017 01:09
Do small bits of revision at the start and ramp it up through the year.
- 27-07-2017 11:26
Use your free time wisely. Also don't get involved in drama as it will only drag you down 😂