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My grow your grades blog 🌟🌟 Watch

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    Morning all!

    This is my first time doing this sort of thing but I'm really excited about it!

    I'm currently in Year 13 studying 3 A-Levels in History (AQA), Psychology (AQA) and Biology (Edexcel SNAB) . I'm predicted A*A*A* on UCAS but two of the A*s in History and Biology are actually A*/A. So in reality I'm predicted from A*A*A*-A*AA.

    I've applied through UCAS to study History at University starting in September 2018. I've applied to Exeter (History with Study Abroad), Warwick, Birmingham, Durham and Oxford. I've already got an offer from Exeter and I'm hoping that more will come soon! I'm also hoping for an unconditional from Birmingham (though this may be too optimistic but we'll see!). I've got the HAT test for Oxford soon so that's a big stressful event at the moment.

    I got very good GCSE's (including 9A*s) so this is no worry in regard to Uni applications.

    My goal with this blog is to motivate myself to revise more as well as to meet some lovely people to study with online. My highest offer will be A*AA so I want to grow my grades as much as I can to get one A* at least, but ideally I'd be capable of reaching it in all 3 subjects just in case an exam goes badly. Therefore I'd love to grow my grades to A*A*A*.

    These are very high grades but all I can do is my best and if I don't reach them, then I know I've at least tried.
    (This also applied to my goal of studying at Oxford- if I don't get in, at least I've tried. The process made me a better historian and meant my personal statement was of a better quality and my UCAS form went in much earlier than it would have done. If I get to the interview stage and then don't get in, at least I got more interview experience.)

    My plan is to update you on my revision plans of the day as well as revision snacks I make, any books I've read or any tips for revision. I'll also be documenting when things go wrong and hopefully how I overcome them and improve! I'll try to include pictures where possible.

    Feel free to ask my any questions as we go and I hope everyone enjoys my blog!

    Thanks!
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    First update!

    I woke up early today at 6:30am (on a Sunday) to hopefully get lots of work done!

    Currently my to do list is as follows-
    - plan and write a Tudor History essay on religious policy
    - revise the first half of my Biology Unit 7 Run for your Life. I have a test next Friday.
    - do the 2016 HAT test.

    So far I've had breakfast and got ready for the day. If I've done this right then below should be a picture of what I had. My plan is to alternate essay writing and biology revision until 6:30 when I'll do the HAT test past paper until 8:30. After that I'm done for the day!

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    I'll let you know how it goes!
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    This is so good of you to do!! I might try the same thing to get me motivated to do stuff. I've applied for Sept 2018 entry as well and I can't stop checking my emails even though I know I won't be getting replies anytime soon
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    This looks so great to do! I’m currently working for my GCSEs, would you give me any tips as to how to get the best grades?
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    (Original post by Elle1718)
    This is so good of you to do!! I might try the same thing to get me motivated to do stuff. I've applied for Sept 2018 entry as well and I can't stop checking my emails even though I know I won't be getting replies anytime soon
    Thank you! I know, I've checked my emails so many times over the past few weeks! It's starting to become a bit of an addiction:awesome:! I hope you get a reply soon!
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    (Original post by Lunabasil)
    Thank you! I know, I've checked my emails so many times over the past few weeks! It's starting to become a bit of an addiction:awesome:! I hope you get a reply soon!
    It's starting to become a bad habit, oops. And I won't be getting any replies until about mid-November at the earliest because I'm a dentistry applicant. You've chosen some really impressive unis there, I really hope you get offers from all of them!! Your post has motivated me to get up and actually revise for my chem and bio tests
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    (Original post by saxophonemma)
    This looks so great to do! I’m currently working for my GCSEs, would you give me any tips as to how to get the best grades?
    Sure!

    Firstly make sure you have your specification for each of your exams. You should be able to find it if you search your subject and exam board and check it's the currently qualification. If you aren't sure, check with your teacher as you need to get this bit right!

    They can't ask you anything that isn't on the specification and so it is the perfect thing to turn into a revision list to make sure you've revised everything.

    Next, try to get a timetable going. Don't spend too long on this. It suited me best at GCSE to not be strict on time. I'd say that I would revise Biology, German, RS, Geography and History today but I wouldn't set myself specific times of day to do this. This meant I didn't feel pressured to rush and not learn it well.

    Also don't revise off of CGP books, they are useful for understanding key topics but they often aren't approved by your exam board so may make mistakes or not include all the topics you need to know. One of my CGP book has an entire page of content that isn't on my specification at all!

    This might not apply to you as I did the last year of all A*-U exams and so I had lots of past papers to use. These were amazingly useful and something I miss now I'm doing the new A-Levels. When you get closer to exams start doing as many past papers as you can that are relevant. There are only some many questions they can ask you. This helps to develop your exam technique as well as your timing in exams!

    Lots of people say to start advising massively early. I started revising around Easter, but it is important to realise that this only works well if you've revised for all of your mocks and tests and quizzes before this. By doing this you are just revising mainly knowledge you've already learnt and only learning a few bits from scratch.

    Don't get put off from people/youtubers revising 10+ hours a day, I can't do this either. Each person's revision is different, it will last different lengths and use different techniques. Try not to compare yourself to other people!

    Finally, remember all you can do is your best. Don't stress too much and try to enjoy all your subjects as much as you can. I miss doing a wide range of subjects even though I love my options now. Make the most of the GCSE year and enjoy what you're learning.

    Also youtube can be great for learning content- especially for science. I use Freesciencelessons (which was great!) as well as Science and Maths by Primrose Kitten. (also great!). Christopher Thornton was also really good. Bear in mind though that the content may not be your exam board and so may not be exactly the same. Regardless, they are still very useful!

    Hope this helps and feel free to ask any more questions!
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    (Original post by Elle1718)
    It's starting to become a bad habit, oops. And I won't be getting any replies until about mid-November at the earliest because I'm a dentistry applicant. You've chosen some really impressive unis there, I really hope you get offers from all of them!! Your post has motivated me to get up and actually revise for my chem and bio tests
    Ahh ok that makes sense! Where did you apply if you don't mind saying? Thank you so much and good luck for your chem and bio tests!
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    Thank you! Yeah, I’m the first year starting out with grades 9-1 spanning ALL subjects apart from Creative ICT, Which is both nerve-racking and annoying, as there are hardly any past papers we can use! I find revising quite easy without a timetable, as I’ve tried one before for previous mocks but I just found spare time and revised then! Would you be able to give me any tips on stress/time management? I feel like I want to go out with my friends/etc at weekends, and I need time for my hobbies like playing the saxophone, but I feel like I would et stressed if I know I’m not revising! Thanks sm!
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    Wow! Im definitely going to be following this even though im only in yr 10! I admire your determination and high aspirations as i also set myself high goals too! Any tips for yr 10!?
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    (Original post by saxophonemma)
    Thank you! Yeah, I’m the first year starting out with grades 9-1 spanning ALL subjects apart from Creative ICT, Which is both nerve-racking and annoying, as there are hardly any past papers we can use! I find revising quite easy without a timetable, as I’ve tried one before for previous mocks but I just found spare time and revised then! Would you be able to give me any tips on stress/time management? I feel like I want to go out with my friends/etc at weekends, and I need time for my hobbies like playing the saxophone, but I feel like I would et stressed if I know I’m not revising! Thanks sm!
    I feel like everyone can always improve at stress/time management.
    It also depends when in the year we are talking about. Now for instance I would concentrate on balancing any homework with going out with friends. It's important not to stop enjoying your hobbies and going out with friends just because you are doing your GCSEs. If you start revising early enough (maybe Easter or february half term for your actual exams) and make sure you know what to revise then you should feel in control of your revision and then you should be able to make time to go out with friends and have hobbies.

    Once my GCSEs began, I hardly went out with friends but this was because I didn't want to as I wanted to revise instead and most of my friends were doing the same. You'll find that when you get closer to exams your friends will also (hopefully!) be revising and this will help to limit you. But before this I went out a few times in Easter and quite a few times before this.

    Hobbies like playing the saxophone will be easier to manage alongside revision. Say you revised from 8-12 on a variety of subjects with a break or two within them and you wanted to have lunch. In any break or during your 'lunch break' you could play. It's a really nice thing to be able to do during breaks and it will mean you are more refreshed when you go back to working.

    Hobbies and going out can work very well if balanced with your work. You should have enough time between now and Easter to work out a good balance as it's important to still relax and have fun. If you don't its very easy to burn out and lose motivation.
    Good luck and I hope this helps!
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    (Original post by A.N123)
    Wow! Im definitely going to be following this even though im only in yr 10! I admire your determination and high aspirations as i also set myself high goals too! Any tips for yr 10!?
    Thank you!

    My main tips for yr 10 would be this
    1) Enjoy it as much as you can- yr 11 will be more stressful (enjoyable but more stressful!)
    Year 10 is a great year, you get to learn without having major exams at the end (unless you are taking any GCSEs a year early).
    2) Make sure you understand everything as you go and try your best.
    3) Try to keep any hobbies or skills going. This makes you a better rounded person and will give you things to talk about if you have an interview for your sixth form, or you want to get a job when you are 16 etc.
    3) Make sure you revise for all tests/end of year exams. This is important as it helps you lots when you get to revising in year 11. It is also very important as it helps you to know what revision techniques work for you and how you learn best. Try lots of different revision techniques until you find the one that works best. This is the most important thing I suggest you do!

    Extra tip- if for example you've worked out that you revise science best by watching videos and making notes and that you revise RS best by making cue cards then write this down somewhere.
    This will save you getting to a difficult situation like I'm in. My highest GCSE mark was in History and it's a subject I'm taking at A-Level. I evidently must have revised it well as I did very well in it, but I can't remember how I revised it! This means I'm having to work out how to revise History again as silly as it sounds.
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    (Original post by Lunabasil)
    Thank you!

    My main tips for yr 10 would be this
    1) Enjoy it as much as you can- yr 11 will be more stressful (enjoyable but more stressful!)
    Year 10 is a great year, you get to learn without having major exams at the end (unless you are taking any GCSEs a year early).
    2) Make sure you understand everything as you go and try your best.
    3) Try to keep any hobbies or skills going. This makes you a better rounded person and will give you things to talk about if you have an interview for your sixth form, or you want to get a job when you are 16 etc.
    3) Make sure you revise for all tests/end of year exams. This is important as it helps you lots when you get to revising in year 11. It is also very important as it helps you to know what revision techniques work for you and how you learn best. Try lots of different revision techniques until you find the one that works best. This is the most important thing I suggest you do!

    Extra tip- if for example you've worked out that you revise science best by watching videos and making notes and that you revise RS best by making cue cards then write this down somewhere.
    This will save you getting to a difficult situation like I'm in. My highest GCSE mark was in History and it's a subject I'm taking at A-Level. I evidently must have revised it well as I did very well in it, but I can't remember how I revised it! This means I'm having to work out how to revise History again as silly as it sounds.
    Thank You! Xxxx
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    (Original post by Lunabasil)
    Ahh ok that makes sense! Where did you apply if you don't mind saying? Thank you so much and good luck for your chem and bio tests!
    I applied to Newcastle, Cardiff, Bristol and Queen's Belfast for dentistry and my insurance choice is optom at Cardiff. Cardiff have replied back to me for optom and I've got an AAB offer which I'm really pleased about. Just gotta work for the grades now
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    (Original post by Elle1718)
    I applied to Newcastle, Cardiff, Bristol and Queen's Belfast for dentistry and my insurance choice is optom at Cardiff. Cardiff have replied back to me for optom and I've got an AAB offer which I'm really pleased about. Just gotta work for the grades now
    Congratulations!!!!!
    Yeah it's great getting offers but it reminds you that you've actually got to try and get those grades

    Good luck still!
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    Second update!

    I've decided that I'm going to try and post throughout the day on my progress at weekends as this will help to keep me more accountable!

    So far I've finished a very detailed plan on my Tudor Source Essay which is great! This is in for Tuesday and so later on today I'll write the essay and then I'll correct it on monday when I've got fresh eyes.

    For now I'm going to take a break from work for 15 mins and then do some Biology revision.
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    (Original post by Lunabasil)
    Congratulations!!!!!
    Yeah it's great getting offers but it reminds you that you've actually got to try and get those grades

    Good luck still!
    You too!! Keep going with the work ethic today, you're doing great 👍🏼👍🏼
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    Hey I'm doing History for A-level too, I'm in Year 12 and was wondering if you had any tips on getting such good grades? Also, what topics are you studying? Congrats on your results and good luck in getting into Oxford/any of the other uni's, I'm sure you dont need it (also Birmingham looks so good, do you think you'll firm/insurance it?)
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    (Original post by Elle1718)
    You too!! Keep going with the work ethic today, you're doing great 👍🏼👍🏼
    Thank you!
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    (Original post by CinnamonSmol)
    Hey I'm doing History for A-level too, I'm in Year 12 and was wondering if you had any tips on getting such good grades? Also, what topics are you studying? Congrats on your results and good luck in getting into Oxford/any of the other uni's, I'm sure you dont need it (also Birmingham looks so good, do you think you'll firm/insurance it?)
    Thank you so much! I really liked Birmingham so I don't know, I may! If I get an offer from Oxford then I need AAA and so if I don't get AAA and get AAB then Birmingham is the main one out of my options that would consider me.

    Tips wise
    - know your specification really well
    - double check that you've gone through everything in class by checking your textbooks- it's very useful to do this for History as you get extra statistics and quotes this way.
    - make revision notes as you go as much as possible and revise for all tests.
    - History wise, do all the essays you are set to your best ability. They will help you when you look back. Go the extra mile to find extra bits of evidence or historians or statistics that will help boost your argument.
    -there are lots of resources on student room as well for history.
    - This may be a personal choice but I prefer to type my history class notes as it makes it much neater and easier to revise from. They also allow you to group together topics such as all you notes on economy.

    Feel free to ask any more questions if this doesn't make sense or isn't in enough detail!
 
 
 
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