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Ultimate piece of advice you'd give to someone starting A-levels '17 [Golden thread] Watch

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    (Original post by brainzistheword)
    Apologies it was one of those late night blabs that I probably should have left until the morning. I'll clarify your points:

    1) i'm self teaching so that's why I've only just started

    2) rather than get on with "them" I should have said get on with studying, I.e. Don't put it off or leave it until the last minute if you're revising

    3) in my case, I could use 10 minutes at lunch or stood in a queue etc, and that's what I meant by the more you can use you time; as in using the free bits you have here and there, whereas the second part I was referring to putting more time aside in larger chunks to dedicate to study or revision.

    4) I was referring to getting over the hurdle of sitting down and actually focusing (have you heard of the 5 minute rule?)
    I was drunk when I posted it xD I get it now, haha
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    Don't beat yourself up if you feel as though you are struggling to get to grips with A-levels when you initially start. Even if you get rather good grades at GCSE, A-levels are still difficult, so try to ignore any feelings of self-doubt or panic if you are not instantly achieving A-grades in every test you do!

    By facing this difficulty at the beginning of sixth form and getting through it, you are showing resilience which will not only help you at university, but life in general, too. As long as you try your hardest - and by this, I mean that you revise consistently over the course of the year instead of leaving revision until like two weeks before the exams begin - that is the most that anyone, let alone yourself, can ask of you.

    On a lighter note, do make the most of the Back to School stationary which is available at all the supermarkets at the moment - stock up on as many pens as possible while their prices are reduced! Needless to say, I somewhat stockpiled a couple of coloured Zebra pens because I love making the notes I write in class as visually appealing as possible.

    Also, unless you have the dedication of an Olympic athlete to organise it literally on a daily basis, don't bring small folders to sixth form because you will fill it extremely quickly if you are using the same one for all of your subjects - I learnt this after my first day of Year 12! And, although handbags look utterly gorgeous and stylish, I'm afraid that they are not really practical for sixth form if you are carrying textbooks, folders, packed lunches, etc. Just use a backpack or a large messenger bag (if your shoulder can bear the weight!) - sixth form is for studying, not trying to copy a fashion show!
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    Take lots of breaks and don't be worried to take a day off revising and do something fun to take you're mind off it.
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    (Original post by Scriptzer)
    I was drunk when I posted it xD I get it now, haha
    Oooooh! Hope your sober now
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    Lots of very good advice in here, so add this to the heap of replies

    You're going to need to show passion in the subject that you want to do, so thinking about it now is a really good idea, so then you can start to think about how you can make a competitive application for uni, and gain more knowledge in your chosen field.
    A good time to start looking at this (in my opinion) is around October/November time - my school only started even addressing the issue at the end of January, but by that point summer schools, taster days and other great stuff that universities offer will be closing their applications, not opening them. One thing I applied for at Imperial at the start of this year had to be sent off by the beginning of October!
    There's lots of things that you can do to show your passion, or even just figure out what you want to do, so don't be the student that just did their 3 A Levels and did nothing for the rest of the year, because this time next year, when you have to start thinking about personal statements and such, you'll struggle if you haven't done anything.

    Besides, it can't hurt you if something doesn't fit onto your PS
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    Revise as you go along. Only advice necessary, but still enjoy free time too.
    I hit the gym or play video games lol.
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    If you don't understand something, ask for help and practise practise practise until you've nailed it.
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    (from a chemistry maths and history student)
    I worked too hard too soon and burnt out by march. By the time my AS maths exams came around I was truly exhausted. Work hard, but pace yourself ❤ chemistry is ridiculously hard sometimes but see the beauty in the subject and you'll enjoy it a lot more. I think maths is now a linear course so they might take the past papers down off the edexcel/aqa/OCR etc. Websites so if you're starting a level maths - download every past paper you can find so you have enough to revise from. History is fab ❤ make songs to help you remember sequences of events that's what I did 😂😂😂 good luck and it's okay to cry at your subjects sometimes 😂❤👍
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    (Original post by happyflappy)
    1) Hit the ground running! Starting well and having a plan (see #10) will put you in good stead.

    2)Be ahead of your lessons (like by a chapter/topic or two) especially for subjects like maths/sciences. May use weekends or private study (if you have any) for this.

    3)Do your homework on time (seriously this is like the bare minimum). Start your homework the DAY you get it.

    4)For every hour spent in class do at least 1 1/2 hours (90 minutes) outside of class. Also make solid notes whilst you're doing the topics - it just makes life easier later and revision will be more condensing the info you've written up into memorable pieces instead of writing out your textbook.

    4) rinse out your teachers! I mean be reasonable of course...but use them whilst you're there. Word of caution: teachers don't like helping lazy students, so do your bit first and then go to them for clarification etc...

    5) may want to get the syllabus for your subject and cross off what you do in class as you go.

    6) Be punctual and organised, A-level studies are tedious enough, you don't want to be stressed out over these things as well. Keep your notes safe and place them somewhere you'll remember.

    7) take coursework seriously (even if it's only a small proportion of your grade)

    8) Ask for help! Speak up! Don't be afraid of looking 'stupid'. Unless you haven't done your bit by studying etc...but even then ask for help...

    9) join/start a club or society, raise money for charity, volunteer and read widely on whatever interests you.(studies come first, but assuming you do #6 you can maximise your time at sixth form/college).

    10) Have a plan. Don't worry if you lapse, get back on track, always revise/rework said plan until results day.

    11) make flash cards, posters, mindmaps when studying/revising. Personally, I don't use many colours just green, blue, red and black biro and and a yellow highlighter but whatever works for you...


    12) have fun in between

    Good luck
    That advise only is enough for every new student starting Sixth form(including me).
    Thank you!

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    For maths and science do a lot of the old spec past papers as well as obviously every new specemin and past paper. Even better if you are ocr for any science as you can do both the A and B specimen and past papers!
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    (Disclaimer - I never did A-Levels, but I believe these may help.)
    1. Have a clearly defined goal. What are you doing it for? What is the long-term vision you see for yourself? Where do you see yourself heading. Don't just paddle through the pool if you don't have an idea of when you want to reach the other side, have an idea in mind of how you want to get there.
    2. Be disciplined. You will have many people wanting your time. Many people who offer you opportunities you may believe to be beneficial. Now while I'm not going to say avoid them all, you should be more conscious when someone offers you an opportunity. Does it align with your long-term goal? Will it stop you from doing the study and work which will get you the grades you want? Or will it add to your life experience (and by life experience, I don't mean saying yes to going out on the drink every Friday and Saturday night!). Are you willing to sacrifice some leasure and fun in order to reach your goals? Remember, some leasure is good, but not all the time.
    3. Be conscious of who you surround yourself with. I have no doubt you will have opportunities to meet new people, make new friends, or maybe just enjoy the whole experience with the friends you already have. However, many people never consider the impact those who surround them have on their lives. There is a saying, and it goes along the lines of 'You are the average of the 5 people who you spend most of your time with'. Also, it is also said that if your best friend is overweight, you are 30% more likely to be overweight yourself. Who we surround ourselves with influence us, no matter how much we try to fight against this. Be aware of this, choose your friends wisely.
    4. Go to the gym (or participate in a sport). So underrated, but a vital componant if you want to be successful. Do some martial arts, lift some weights, whatever, but make sure you're doing some form of physical activity. It will give you more energy, bring health benefits and install pride in your appearance. Also watch what you eat. You don't have to be as fixated as a bodybuilder but nonetheless watching what you eat is important too!
    5.Be open to new methods/ways of doing things, in work and in life. It is so easy for us (myself included) to get stuck in the same old routines. Don't fall into this trap, always pursue better and more efficient ways of doing things. It will make a difference, believe me.
    6. Continue to read and seek knowledge not related to the topics you're studying. Always strive for knowledge, then apply. You will be surprised by how many people don't do this, and how learning new tools can help you in the most unusual of places. But you won't know of these tools unless you decide to pick up a book and dedicate an hour a day (which isn't unreasonable) to learn. So, pick a subject and learn. I would always recommened learning about people and how people work, it will give you such an advantage in many aspects of your life.
    7. Pursue what you believe in, not what the majority wants you to. Really simple in theory, but so hard to put in practice. There will be moments where people will want you to follow them. Moments when people will call your beliefs stupid and will expect you to conform to their way. Don't let this happen. Be respectful, but stand for what you believe in. If the whole group wants to do something and you don't, stand alone and be proud. Don't let anyone stand you down.
    8. Stop spending so much time on your phone. You may be wondering how this will help you during A-Levels, but look around you. How many people do you see are supposedly 'spending time' together while remaining engrossed in phones or technology. They claim to be 'with' someone while at the very same time they are too busy texting somone about something completely different. This isn't spending time with someone. Understand that while doing A-Levels you're taking part in an awesome part of your life, a time which you are supposed to be enjoying with many people your age. You can't truly appreciate that unless you're looking towards each other eye-to-eye and being part of the moment, a moment that is gone just like that. Think about it, I count 1,2 & 3 and that in itself just became history, a passage of time which we'll never get back. So be aware of this, enjoy every moment with those around you and don't make the same mistake as everyone else. Treasure every moment, because you'll never forget it.
    9. Dedicate a small portion of time to meditate. Again, you may wonder why I'm putting this in a thread about A-Levels. But again, look around you. How many people do you see are stressed out, about many things to do with life. I'm not even talking about students like you, I'm talking about everybody. Sometimes, we just need to come home and take ten minutes away from the madness. Even at A-levels, you may even reach moments where you'll get really overwhelmed and stressed. One of the best ways to deal with this is meditation, so look on youtube for the short 10-minute guided ones, or look at the apps out there. It may sound crazy, but this simple little tip could save you so much stress during the whole experience.
    10. Don't let society place you in a little box. Don't be afraid to test common thoughts for truth. Try experimenting with different things (not drugs) and see what you like and what you enjoy. You have no idea what you may come across, it may even be a career which has nothing to do with the A-Levels you're doing. Don't be worried about that, give yourself the flexibility to go into something you may deeply enjoy. We can never predict the future, so a big mistake is being rigid in thoughts and forcing ourselves into boxes we know we don't like. You may spend quite a lot of time in something you'll never use in a qualification sense. But remember, think about the other skills you can take from it that are more important than the qualification itself. Maybe it'll help you communicate more. Maybe it'll introduce you to people who prove important in your future. Maybe it'll help you think quicker. Whatever it is, nothing is wasted, nothing is pointless. Think of the other skills you can learn, then use them in life.

    I wish anyone reading this the best of luck.

    Regards.
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    Don't do it.
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    Does anyone have any advice for maths and further maths specifically?
    Thanks!
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    Revise for your mocks
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    As an English (Literature and Language), History, Sociology and EPQ student; please EVALUATE your sources/points with context. Use PAST PAPERS to understand the exam technique inside out, with relevant examples/academics to reinforce your points. START EARLY with additional reading (prior to class and after), homework, essays, revision etc, to provide yourself with an advantage, which is especially important to those with anxiety; there won't be a rush towards exam season to memorise content/mark schemes. Relax guys, you can do this!
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    Just do college, it's easier
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    Work hard and think of your end goals (grades, uni, etc) the two years will go quicker than you think then you need to decide what you're doing after A-levels so don't leave it until last minute but try not to get stressed out too much so take time out for yourself too
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    Start before you are born.. Might have a chance then.
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    Read up on the syllabus beforehand. If you read the subject spec and understand where all of your modules fit in to the course as a whole you can concentrate on learning in class rather than wondering where in the exam each piece of knowledge will come up. I basically considered all of my A Levels to be self taught and took the lessons as a bonus in the end, but then again I didn't go to a very good school. Don't assume that your teacher will cover everything perfectly in time for the exam, learn as much as you can yourself and then your classwork will consolidate your knowledge and give you the opportunity to ask questions.
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    Make sure you include crying in your revision timetables, since this tends to take up valuable time.
 
 
 
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