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Lauren's Journey To A*A*AA And Scientific Success (Hopefully) watch

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    Introduction and background information

    Hello, everyone. I'm Lauren and I'm an AS student. I currently study chemistry, physics, maths and psychology. As my blog title suggests, I'm looking for at least A*A*AA by the end of A2. Why? Because I want to go to Oxford. I honestly hope to be predicted A*A*A*A to make my application more competitive, but the aim is the entry requirements.

    My GCSE is profile is below average for applicant (I believe)- A*A*77AAAA5D. I hope to make up for this by making the other parts of my application as stellar as possible. Even though the Oxford website's Q&A section states that applicants typically have a high proportion of As and A*s (which I do), I'm not risking anything.

    I currently plan to apply for a Nuffield research placement in November, and I've already applied for the Cambridge University shadowing scheme (NatSci as my first choice, PBS as my second). I also hope to gain a work experience placement somewhere.

    I'm hoping that my grade profile looks like this in two year's time:

    A*- Chemistry
    A*- Physics
    A- Maths
    A- Psychology

    Maths and Physics may swap as I'm finding Physics quite hard (see below). Psychology is one of the As and not an A* as the A*s must be in a science or maths.

    A summary of the year so far

    My year has had a rocky start, but has smoothed out. My first Chemistry assessment (large portion of amount of substance) was a U grade (14/29), which was worrying as I want to study that. However, in the second assessment on atomic structure I got an A (31/32) and on my AoS resit I also got an A (18/20). Chemistry do our grades by the AS grading system (max A) so I'm very happy.

    I got a D on my first maths homework and a U on the second, but got a high A on the 3rd (89%- 1% off an A* since they mark us on the A2 grading system) since I tried hard on it that time. I also got a B on the assessment we did, which is the first grade to go on my online report. I'm awaiting results for my next piece of homework, although I think I didn't do badly as the teacher spoke to some people who did badly during class today- and I wasn't one of them!

    Physics is... A nightmare. I've got low grades in my assessments (typically surrounding the 50% mark), asides from a resit where I got 18/26). I do enjoy Physics but we've started off with Mechanics, which is probably one of my least favourite parts. I hope to catch up soon.

    Psychology is very interesting and may seem like an odd choice. Why not Biology? Answer- I only got an A in Biology at GCSE due to taking it in year 10 and not really being taught during that time. I was given no revision tips- I literally just read the revision guide all day at school and did past papers near to the exams. Back to Psychology- we've started off with cognitive and social psychology, with one teacher teaching us for each type. Our social teacher doesn't make the lessons very engaging- we practically get told to teach ourselves the answers from a booklet to do task he's set. Although, the teacher is a substitute for a few weeks. However, cognitive is absolutely amazing. I've had no grades from the assessment I did- we were just given our marks. I got 67/78, but the test was mostly multiple choice and maths.

    Today

    I honestly need to speed up when it comes to making revision notes as I've barely done any. And attending Physics support might be a necessity if things don't pick up. I have the resit this week so fingers crossed.

    Wednesday is okay, but I have to wait from 12.40pm to 4pm for the bus, since I really don't want to walk or pay a lot of money for it. The buses I can get are really empty and I wish I could get a different one.

    I'm really trying to talk to a girl I know from a trip we went on together back in... February? We smile at each other and I spoke to her in the lunch queue on the second day but I honestly don't know how to. I feel like a social outcast here.

    I hope to be updating this daily, but I haven't described my day very well due to needing an introduction.
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    good luck Lauren!! I hope it all goes well for you x
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    Thursday 19th October 2017

    Today was a fairly interesting day. A lot of downs with a few ups.

    I woke up at half 5, showered and.... went back to sleeping on and off until quarter to 8. I knew I wouldn't be late as I was being deopped off and don't have to leave until late. I got to school, bought a coffee from the Oak building and headed to Maths.

    We just did more differentitation, but using a tangent. I honestly really enjoyed it and got to grips with it fast. We started Calculus this week and I thought it would be a nightmare, but it's not. I have a person opposite me who already did AS Maths (changed her subject choices so she had redo first year) and a really nice girl next to me, so it's a really nice lesson. We can talk too, unlike in Chemistry where we all sit in rows and have 10 minutes of answering questions that aren't on whiteboards. But then there's the kicker- I was finishing a question and everyone had pretty much left. My teacher asked me "have you changed your name to O..." (he gave up but I'd censor it anyways). I said no, but that it's my legal last name but shouldn't be like that on the registers. He said that I should get it changed before exams and I was just like "I want it changing as soon as possible so it won't be anywhere near that long". I applied for a deed poll form ten minutes later, as I sat in tutor.

    Tutor ia nothing special. Just had a current affairs quiz and notices. I spoke to my tutor about my name and whether I should drop a subject to pick up an EPQ, even though I wasm't really considering it as much.

    Physics was better than usual. After my initial slight confusion due to not knowing how to do the component of the weight parallel to the slope, along with not quite getting the theory until I stopped overcomplicating things, I understood about Galileo's experiment and how to find the paralle component, and therefore other values using suvat. We need to complete the questions we were doing for Tuesday, but I got quite far anyways. Amother down- I left my memory stick in there and they were having an astrophysics talk, so I didn't go back for it.

    Lunch starts and I just spend the entire time wishing I had friends. The queue was ridiculously long so I didn't bother getting coffee, even though it is good from there. The girl I talked about yesterday was there. She smiled at me, which not many people actually do. I really ahould talk to her but I have no clue how to...

    I had a free so I sat around, doing much of the same but with a Psychology textbook out. She also had a free and was sat in the upstairs bit of the Elm building with her friends, so I didn't go and bothered her. I just sat and browsed, ocassionally posting on SC and Twitter.

    Last lesson of the day was Chemistry. We were doing titrations so it was essentially GCSE work, so it wasn't difficult. Nothing eventful happened but I STILL didn't go for my memory stick. Whoops.

    I got the bus but got off a few stops late, since I wanted a walk, but I got off one stop later than intented. That stop was ages away from the last one.

    I got home, went on my phone. I had dinner and dessert before going back to my phone. I eventually spotted "pogdogs" trending and misread it as coming tomorrow. I was so excited- something to make a Friday good. I later realised it wasn't, after mum told me. I was so pissed because I couldn't watch it live.

    It honestly made the end of my day bitter, but I can try again tomorrow. I have a Paychology test tomorrow but haven't revised much so that will end badly. I also HATE Fridays. You will never understand my intense hatred of them... until tomorrow.

    Time to get a bit of sleep. I know I need it.
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    (Original post by mez_merising)
    good luck Lauren!! I hope it all goes well for you x
    Thank you x
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    (Original post by bookloverlolly)
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    Good luck! Looks like your results are getting pretty good, and I don't know if you're doing M1 in maths or the mechanics in the new syllabus, but that helps a lot with the physics mechanics and good luck in the resit!
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    Saturday 28th October:

    I've been swamped with depression in the past week, so I'll give you the highlights. Monday Psychology was cancelled thanks to the teacher not turning up. I started, finished and handed in the homework due for the Monday... on the Monday. I got 42/44 or 43/44 on the Chemistry test on the Tuesday, which I'm really happy with. Wednesday was our Physics assessment, which I think went well. Other than that, there were a lot of name troubles as I have my old last name on the system now. Same with Thursday, but the test was a required practical instead. Which I have no results for yet.

    Friday was the first day of half term, so I just watched Stranger Things and Rick And Morty. Very similar situation today, expect I'm going to file my notes. I was briefly dumped by my girlfriend on Friday before we fixed things between us (she said she was just moody) and I'm now on track.

    These posts will be daily, now. See you tomorrow.
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    good luck! your posts are really detailed and interesting - can’t wait to read more
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    Tuesday 31st October

    I honestly haven't been doing much academically since we broke off. All of my notes are now filed, so I can fcus on the work. I now have red hair and nice eyebrows after Sunday, along with some lipstick that my mum bought for me. With the £20 my mum gave me, I bought some concealer, a memo block and a to do list jotter on the Sunday, all for £3 as Wilkos is amazing but so underrated (especially for stationery- I do understand why you wouldn't buy their makeup). I also finished filing all of my chemistry notes in the evening. The girl I mentioned in my previous posts messaged me and told me I looked pretty after I posted my new look on my story, then we chatted for an hour, before she left. Messaged me again when I posted about my new candle, which is the same one as she was burning. She's lovely- recommended ASDA as a place to buy a flask too.

    Monday was spent cleaning and organising my folders. The latter was the main focus, which really helped with the cleaning. I managed to file physics and psychology, before I went to bed. There was nothing particularly special about the day, asides from the fact that my mum brought grandad to us to stay!

    Today, I filed some of my maths notes before going to the city centre. Primark was where the bulk of our time was spent. I was looking for a coat when I ran into my year 10 (partly) and year 11 science teacher, who had her baby with her (he's so cute!). She's the best teacher I ever had- she came up to me and hugged me, then we chatted about how college was going and her going back to work (she left for maternity leave after she had the baby early in the summer half term). She told me to look after myself before she left, and I continued shopping. I found my dream coat (well, the one I imagined when I though of what I wanted in a coat). My mum also picked up another amazing coat and bought them for me- with it coming out of my Christmas fund, of course. Later on, we went into Boyes for my grandad and sister, before getting chips from the chip shop and driving to ASDA. I bought a litre flask, which is copper coloured and works really, really well. I messaged the girl to thank her, though she didn't seem up for chatting so I didn't carry on the conversation. When I got back, I finished filing my maths note and played Splatoon 2 after. I'm about to finish cleaning and do some work.

    I plan to complete:

    - Section 1 of the chemistry homework.
    - Notes of 3.1.1.2 of Chemistry.
    - The first 3 questions of the maths homework.
    - Two notes pages for Physics (maybe just one though).

    We'll see how it goes tomorrow! I'll be posting daily or once every few days, depending on how lazy or forgetful I am!
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    A note:

    Apologies for the lack of posting. I've been really busy with work all week and I'm about to help out with the open evening at our college. I'll post tonight or tomorrow.
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    Sunday 12th November 2017

    Everytime I make this post, I either don't finish it or my computer freezes. I make pretty long posts so I hope I haven't been disqualified (although, I'd carry on regardless). Since I have a LOT to talk about, I'm splitting this into how my days went academically, then a section on socialising/goals/how I'm doing personally tomorrow.

    It's been a good but busy first week back. Monday was by far the busiest. Psychology was all abut evaluating Burger's study, but we did a Kahoot on the APRC of it- I did badly because I didn't do it over half term. It was also our last lesson with our cover, so our normal teacher started teaching us on the Wednesday. In chemistry, we learned how to pipette in preparation for the titration practical the next day. There wasn't really much else to it. My free/lunch/free portion of Monday was spent finishing the last question of the Maths homework due for last period and doing some of the Issac Physics boards due for the next day(which I only remembered about on the Sunday evening- oops). I finished the potential errors section of the evaluation too. Maths was bland- more differentiation work. My entire evening, from when I walked in to going to bed at 3, was filled with doing my evaluation (the only bit I didn't finish was the description of Galileo's experiments) and the Issac Physics work, as the boards were difficult to the point where there were a few unanswered questions on the Moments board, although I completed the Vectors one.

    Tuesday was less busy. We did the titration practical in the morning, which went well- I only made minor mistakes. As I got a value for the average titre, I could do the rest of exercise 4 of the practical booklet, which were the only questions I couldn't do over the holiday. The teacher said it was fine when she checked the booklet to see if I'd done the homework. This was quickly done in my free, along with the exam questions she gave us that day. Tutor was kind of interesting. It was all about time management. We started by answering questions and getting a score /30... I got 23, the highest in the class. This is particularly good because 26-30 was the section that said it was good, but the risk of burnout was too high.We did a pie chart of what we spent our time on too. Lunch was a bit boring, since I don't really remember much. In physics, we started off the F = ma topic by listening to an explanation of Newton's laws and by doing questions on resultant forces. Psychology was cognitive psychology, which is my favourite. We got our tests back- I got 33/43, which was one mark off an A. I didn't do as well as I thought because I didn't really know the answers to the 8 mark evaluation question (only got 3 out of 8 as I didn't finish it due to a lack of time) and a four mark question that I didn't answer- they were social psychology questions. The lessons in social weren't engaging due to reading out of the books so it's probably one of the reasons why. Asides from those two questions, my test was full marks minus one, since I didn't write a fully operationalised hypothesis due to missing out the "counting down from 20" bit of the independent variable (see picture below of my answer). Asides from that, we started recreational memory and schemas by Bartlett, which was fascinating. I didn't do much when I got home, which was a shame.

    Wednesday was even less packed. In Physics, we were in a different classroom for some reason and had to work in pairs on a big whiteboard to make up a resultant force question. We did one on a shark but didn't finish making it up. I don't really like partner work in Physics as I don't fit in or talk to the other girls. Psychology was next and our social teacher was back. We did a recap of Burger's study in the form of some questions. I answered them pretty quickly, with one I got stuck on. When the class went through answers, I gave the percentage of participants that didn't obey, since no one else remembered and I wasn't sure, but said I thought it was in the 30s, only to be old I was right! I gave the less obvious hypothesis that he made up too (there were three possible answers to "name a hypothesis" question)- apparently everyone forgets it and I wasn't 100% sure I was right since I wrote a different one. But I was. We then went through social impact theory, which was okay. Maths involved velocity-time graphs and differentiation questions to do with them. My frees in the afternoon were spent doing exercise 4 of the chemistry booklet, which I figured out how to do thanks to looking at the mark scheme for that little bit. I also did a bunch of physics questions that were set as overnight homework. I was so close to getting the last one right but couldn't figure out the method.

    Thursday was busy. Maths was made up of differentiation review questions, which I'm getting sick of. This was followed up by the weekly politics quiz in tutor, along with a chat with my tutor about an incident involving someone emailing the college after seeing my Twitter (none of the jokes on there were very serious and I have few followers, so the whole thing was odd) and worrying about my mental health. Ironically, this put me on edge and made me particularly anxious. Physics involved harder questions and seeing our practical evaluation results- I passed all the competencies in the practical! My free involved doing questions from the maths homework, and I did about half of them. Finally, Chemistry was 30 minutes shorter than usual due to the open evening, but we started ionic bonding- very similar to GCSE. I couldn't go home as I was helping out the psychology department for the open evening. I got to speak to lots of year 11s, some conversations going better than others. I didn't get home until half eight, so I didn't revise.

    My mum was working days on Friday, so I couldn't be dropped off at school. As I have a free first thing on Friday, I decided to leave the house later, meaning I didn't get to school until 10. It was quite a refreshing 3 mile walk and I felt great when I got to college- it definitely helped reduce the nightmarish-ness that is Friday. Chemistry was my first lesson. We did metallic bonding, which was interesting. The parts from A Level were easy to grasp as they were based on the principles covered in atomic structure. We did have to leave the lesson part way through for the minute silence (I'll talk about this more tomorrow), but this didn't affect the lesson too badly.

    The weekend has been dry of work. I've been out to buy food but other than that, I've been lazing about. I'm off to do my homework, so I'll talk about social developments tomorrow.
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    Thursday 30th November 2017

    It has been a while, hasn't it? I've been really busy in these last two weeks.

    Content wise, we finished all of the structure and bonding in Chemistry, and we're now three lessons away from completing intro to organic chemistry. I was slightly familiar with the IUPAC system so it wasn't as hard to grasp. Physics is getting better- I figured out a method for a question to do with the kinetic energy of a wind turbine very quickly. We just started the materials section of mechanics so fingers crossed I did well on the assessment (more on this soon). Maths has been mostly made up of integration, which I liked because... well, algebra. We just started trigonometry this week, which is the last topic we need to cover by Christmas and we're going to go through the previous topics as well (which is why we're only doing trig). Finally, Psychology has been... a lot. We've covered all of the content, studies and most of the methods in cognitive psychology- now we're currently covering the key question about dementia. Social psychology is basically struggling to cram everything in before mocks as the supply was slow to teach- he would let one lesson be done over two and he didn't show up to one of them. This is worrying me a lot, but our teacher is back and she marked an eight mark question for me (she marks for Edexcel), but I only got three due to bad explanations of points (I'll post a picture of a before and after someday).

    Speaking of mocks- they're coming up soon. Mock week is running from the 14th of December until the 20th of December. The whole college goes off timetable (asides from extended BTECs and some other stuff), meaning we don't have to come in if we don't have an exam. My exam table is awful, but not for the reason you may think. I have my first exam, Chemistry, on the 14th but have Physics, Psychology and Maths on the 15th. I'd rather have exams throughout the week than this. I might come in on some of the other days though, just to do any outstanding revision notes or to read ahead.

    As for assessments this half term, I've had it easy. I had my Chemistry bonding and structure assessment last week and my momentum/F=ma/energy assessment yesterday. The bonding and structure assessment didn't go very well as I got a C- (29/41). I'll definitely be resitting it so I can get my A (all my others have been As, asides from the first assessment we did, which I resat and got an A in), and it'll be good practice before the mock. I haven't had a mark back from the Physics assessment, but she's almost finished them, meaning we might get them tomorrow or on Friday. My maths homework marks haven't been great. I got a C on my binomial homework and a D on my differentiation homework due to leaving them until last minute. I have my organic chemistry assessment next Friday, probably- this is coming from another student.

    I found out my grades for last half term's standardised assessments/grade averages (depends on the subject as Maths and Psychology were based on the one test we did for each, while Chemistry and Physics were based on an average of all of the tests). I got BBDB, with the D grade being in Physics. Chemistry being a B was surprising as I thought UAAA would have averaged to a C. Maths and Psychology were fine- I was one mark off an A in the latter because of the awful teaching, and therefore a lack of revision, for social psychology. My C in the structure and bonding assessment would be game over for an A average, but all grades on the system are based on the mocks for this half term.

    I've been talking to more people in my classes but haven't really talked to anyone extensively. It's a shame because there are some people I want to message and sit with and get to know more, but I'm too nervous. Oh well, at least there's been progress. This week has been good emotionally as I haven't really had an extreme low this week, unlike the last two. Oh, I also went to a psychology conference in Manchester two weeks ago. We got there an hour late but it was so interesting. The journey back was awful as my back hurt and I had no data left. I've been trying out some of the Oxford TSA questions as I wanted to see how I'd do... I went through a lot of them quickly, but only tried half of a specimen paper as I don't want to waste them all. This has given me a little bit of confidence. This will be helped by the tutoring experience I might pick up- hopefully I'll get to tutor individuals, but small groups are okay. I mainly hope to be looking at GCSE rather than primary, but I mostly hope I get to tutor in science.

    As for revision, I haven't done many revision notes, which I'm really going to fix now. Tomorrow will be the serious start of them as I need to finish homework tonight. If I can finish most of my notes before Christmas while answering questions to revise, I can spend the holidays making flashcards (which is much better than typing notes). I'd carry on with a bunch of irrelevant information, I also need to get in the bath, so I'll post tomorrow (for real this time).
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    Saturday 2nd December 2017

    I honestly can't believe that it's already December. Which means the heat is going to be turned up and I will have a packed holiday. Since I'm going back to posting regularly, I won't have to pack a week or two of experiences into one post.

    Yesterday was... a shambles. It started off very well, with getting up and washing my hair. The shower is completely broken (the electricity in the house blows when you turn it on) so we're having baths. And having to disturb a nice bubble bath on a weekday by filling jug after jug full of water is annoying, so I had one on the Thursday night and the hair done on the Friday morning. I finished my chemistry homework set last Friday as I thought it was due today, but it was due on Monday, and I finished my graph (asides from drawing the lines through the points- I did that when I borrowed a ruler off somebody in science class) for the Physics class in the afternoon. I was dropped off at school at about quarter to ten, which is why I love my free in a morning, and talked to my friend with some other people until twenty past.

    Second period was Chemistry. We completed the final part of IUPAC/isomerism topic- aldehydes, ketones and carboxylic acids. This was okay to grasp, but I'm hoping there's some kind of shortcut for figuring out how many isomers a molecule has. The assessment is not next Friday, but it's on Monday the 11th. I really don't want a C this time, so I'm going to dedicate some time to making notes on it. Third period was Maths, where we did a review of simultaneous equations. Lunch was bland as I did basically nothing other than sit around. Psychology was disappointing because we had a revision lesson. I'd usually love this, but because I didn't have my laptop or textbook with me, it was a bit pointless. I ended up taking a few notes from the social psychology booklet. Physics was great, as usual (wouldn't have caught me saying that last half term), because we covered elastic potential energy and got to do a practical. This involved finding the spring constant of a toy by weighing it, making it bounce up near a ruler, then using the equations and all the other values we found to find out the constant. Then it went downhill.

    At lunch, which I didn't mention this happening in, I got a call from my sister saying that she needed picking up at five as she didn't realise she had to book a taxi at break and not lunch (even though it's literally EVERYWHERE). My mum was going out at five, so I had to go and wait for her. This meant that I had to get off the bus half the distance earlier on a Friday where there was no traffic for once, walk to her school (my secondary school) and wait in the cold for forty minutes. All while my mum was calling me about the hairbrush as I had it last (it was under the coffee table as I probably missed the shelf or it got knocked off the table), and I couldn't help her due to not being able to get home. And, my sister was in trouble as she messed up the house and her bedroom was a DUMP when my mum went up to look for the brush. Even worse, she took her friend up there (although she claims that it was tidy when her friend stayed over). This all meant that mum offloaded everything to me over the phone. She thankfully was able to get to her birthday dinner (her birthday is on Monday), but I had to walk my sister a mile home.

    So my evening was trashed due to not getting home until after half past five. I didn't bother revising, played on the iPhone I'm currently using for Snapchat (my phone is dead so I'm using my old phone for calls and basic apps, and my mum's old iPhone for other apps and the internet, since Twitter on that other phone looks dreadful). I baked a cookie that ended up being a cake due to a lack of butter compared to the one egg I used. I unknowingly put the iPhone on my bookshelf and ended up forgetting- which turned into an hour long search for it. I swear I looked in that spot ten times (there's a lot of stuff on my bookshelf) but my mum looked once and found it. After that, I just went to bed.

    Today is a different story. I woke up at 9am but didn't get out of bed until about ten. I bathed and washed my hair before going downstairs to have some biscuits with a cup of tea. I decided to go upstairs and look at what I needed to do today and also decided to write this while watching Ibz Mo's new video. However, I also saw my calendar on the wall. I usually forget to cross off the days so I got up to cross them off and write my mock dates on... to then look at the 30th and see "applications for Nuffield Research placements open" written on there. I made an account and filled in the easy bits of the application (basically everything up to the personal statement) and left out the available dates for now. My passport also came so I can definitely go to CERN in February. Asides from that, I have lots to do today:

    - Make revision notes for cognitive psychology maths and methods.
    - Do my maths homework.
    - Do some scalars and vectors notes.
    - Plan my personal statement for the Nuffield Scheme.
    - Complete a Flyer's trip questionnaire for a Newcastle University trip.
    - Do some notes on Nomenclature
    - File my class notes, pictured here. There are LOADS:

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    - Look through the free stuff I got from the Physics department. They were going to throw them away as they're old spec stuff and magazines- I want all the practice questions and reading materials I can get my hands on so I took some.

    To finish off this post, I want to add things like favourite study snack, tracks and app for the day before:

    - Snack: Magnum Salted Caramel chocolate bar.
    - Track: Egg Gate from Sonic Forces (I know it's a bit silly but I like the Sonic games and want this one for Christmas).
    - App: Haven't really got one as my phone is broken and I don't want to download loads to this phone.
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    Tuesday 5th December 2017

    Had an amazing week so far. I've been very productive but also reasonably calm.

    Sunday involved finish the filing of the notes while watching Rick and Morty videos. I love the show and have watched it a few times over in the last few weeks. The filing took forever due to the sheer amount of notes though. In the evening, I did the Psychology homework I completely forgot about and outlined the methods for how to do the maths questions in the maths homework, which made my life easier on the Monday.

    I started off with Psychology on the Monday, where I wasn't asked for the homework. That was annoying, as I would have completed some of the maths instead. Either way, we did factors affecting prejudice, with a particular focus on personality. I disagree with some of the points but we have to learn them. For example, high conscientiousness was linked to prejudice, but the personality traits this included were "careful" and "hard working". So basically anyone with ambitions is prejudice, which makes NO sense. Afterwards in Chemistry, we started the alkanes topic in chemistry... it was basically fractional distillation with extra bits thrown in. It was alright, but we were given homework. Homework that I did a bit of in my lunch and second free. My first free was taken up with maths homework and lunch was nice. I sat with some course mates near the end of lunch and had a good laugh. After this, in the second free, I did some of that previously mentioned chemistry homework. I also started my "UCAS Plan", which is basically helping me sort out what I need to do. I didn't complete much of it. I was eager to revise but on my way home, I got a call from my mum, saying that she was at a place out for dinner and said for me to come for 5, but I would have arrived home at quarter to (the place is on the way home), so I went straight there. We didn't get home until about eight, then all of us watched a movie (that my family had already seen but the three guests hadn't) and I didn't want to leave. The birthday cake (we went out for my mum's birthday) was also divine. So it was nine by the time I could revise.

    Today was okay too. We had a cracking lesson on... cracking. I'll see myself out...

    Just kidding. We did the two types of cracking and their conditions, which was easy enough. I had my first and only free of the day. Within this, I completed the bits of the homework I couldn't answer yesterday and started the second sheet. I also added a few things to my UCAS plan, such as things I can put/potentially put in my personal statement and what I need to do for an interview and TSA. This free was followed by tutor. Tutor is usually a drag, but I was getting bored of my free. We went through notices and did the weekly current affairs quiz, but I wasn't required to stay behind to talk to my tutor. I had so much to talk about but didn't want to wait for the others to finish. I went to the library as tutor gives you half a free, so I went and looked up Russell Group universities. I made a list of university considerations, then went through the websites to see entry requirements. I actually ended up with six Russell Group universities and Bath as my top potential universities... If you're wondering why I have Bath there, it's because I was thinking about possibly having a non-RG university, and I knew Bath was really good. I know some people believe that Bath should be a RG uni and I can see why- the requirements are similar to a lot of RG universities. However, I may look for one with slightly lower requirements. My grade range target for universities is A*A*AA-ABBB. However, I haven't found a ABBB university yet, so that's why Bath/the low RG university might be replaced. This is the UCAS plan:

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    After lunch, which was also part of the university hunt, I had Psychology. We revised some methods by applying them to a practical example and making our own notes on it. To finish the day, we had Physics. We went through the assessment, which I got... 34/49 on! This was one mark off a B, but I'm glad I finally got C. I also got the hardest maths question on the paper right, with the highest mark on that said question (including the non-maths bit), which is pretty good considering there were previous AS and current A2 students in class. The highest mark overall was 40/49, so I did well contextually. I got a commendation from the teacher, which I can't quote due to the site being down for some reason. We just went through Young's Modulus afterwards. I haven't revised tonight since I got carried away with things. My mum also bought me a replacement paper pad for £2-something... which is way too much, but B&M didn't have any of their paper pads in so The Range had to do. She also bought me this nice macaroon candle from there and it smells soooooo good:

    Attachment 708636708638

    Overall, it's been a good night. I'm having a shower this evening so I can have a nice and early start at 5am to get some work done. See you tomorrow!
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    Thursday 7th December 2017

    I typed and submitted a post yesterday but it didn't go through. Sad times... but not for long (I'm changing my structure here a bit. I hate having to slog through writing paragraphs on my day then having my interesting stuff as a footnote).

    Next Friday (as in the 15th, not tomorrow), I'll receive an email. This will enclose my fate regarding the Cambridge Shadowign Scheme and whether I got a place. Fingers crossed... I still have a chance for two other events though- the Nuffield Research placement and... UNIQ. I talked about the Nuffield Placement before, but I need to finish my application and personal statement by March. However, UNIQ is a fast approaching deadline. I essentially have to finish my personal statement by the end of Christmas. I'm also worried about rejection as again, my measly 2A*s are ****. I wouldn't even meet the Physics entry requirements if I wanted to take it. I was going to talk to my tutor today but apparently it's okay for a teacher to be "too busy" to teach a timetabled lesson.

    Maths was just review exercises of transformations and tutor was cancelled. Physics was great but hard. We were doing graphs of different types of materials, which involved a lot of note taking. There was also a question at the end, where there were four lines on a stress-strain graph, with each one representing a material. I thought that line D would be copper and A would be steel, with B as the glass and C as the biscuit. Everyone agreed that B and C were those, but everyone put their hand up for option A for copper. I didn't out my hand up at all and didn't get noticed though. I presumed I was wrong but I ended up being right! Although no one knows. I did some of my Physics homework in the support session at lunch before leaving. My free was kind of uneventful, but I eventually sat with two people I know and more joined us while we did the Maths homework. I finished it, pretty much, before heading to Chemistry. We did combustion and its products, with the problems and solutions of/for those products.

    Yesterday was okay too. I was a bit upset after knowing I could have been the one with the best GCSE results instead of the other person the teacher mentioned. I spoke to my mum at length about wishing I'd let her move me. I guess I'll have to put them behind me for now. I'm considering picking up an EPQ next year, maybe based on something I do at a placement I get? I'm not sure. They're not offering fast track AS levels anymore either, to my knowledge, so that isn't an option. I'm talking to current EPQ students about how they're finding it to see what they think. I'm absolutely terrified and just want something extra to boost my chances.

    Speaking of terrified, mocks are in one week today. I really want AABB, but a better goal would be ABB... B or C. I reckon I'll get BBBC or BBCD or something... I'm so scared
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    Friday 8th December 2017 (Part 1?)

    Okay, since I have time this morning, I'm going to make a mini post. One week until the big mock day- the day where I have Physics, Psychology and Maths. This is why I'm particularly worried- exhaustion might bring my results down? The revision the night before is going to be difficult too.

    I don't have a lesson first, which is why I'm here. So I'm forming a plan for the day. I want to finish 2.2.1 of my Psychology notes at lunchtime, or at least get very close to finishing them. I would like to finish my first piece of maths homework. Maths will be more review exercises, which is before lunch. Physics is our last lesson and we'll be doing another assessed practical. This means I'll also have to write up a report next week. After lunch, we have cognitive psychology, which I believe is more revision, and Chemistry is also a revision lesson but it's in period 2. I'm not a huge fan of revision lessons because I don't feel comfortable using my laptop. Even though it actually doesn't look huge when you watch someone use the same one, it feels huge when I'm sat in front of it. It's just inconvenient and you take up a lot of room and look out of place. Which brings me onto my better topic....

    CHRISTMAS IS COMING SOON!!!

    I'm excited for this as Christmas stuff makes me happy. Fingers crossed I get some of the important educational stuff I want. I've asked for an iPad Pro 2017 and a stand for it from my dad. I'd really like one to make accessing school work on the go more easily, especially in situations like being in class for those revision lessons or having to sit outside or being on the bus. Asides from this, I would have mostly school related things on there- PDFs of the specifications (which I do want to print out at some point) so have easy access to them, podcasts of science related things, educational apps (including TSR), videos... maybe a few social media apps too.The portable word documents are probably the best thing. I don't want things like games as I can have those on my phone when it gets repaired. This also avoids taking up the 32GB in a week or something.

    I didn't ask him for anything else, but I'm going to ask my mum for a few things. I'd really like an external hard drive to carry my documents on so I can easily edit them on school computers and vice versa. Not a big expensive one though, as I don't need that much space. Some molymods for my desk would be pretty cool, and a mood light would be awesome. Candles, a grey blanket and a purse would be excellent. Some video games would be great too!

    I need to sort out what I'm buying people for Christmas too, which is really difficult. I don't like messing up, which is what I'm so scared of when it comes to... everything. I want AABB but I haven't done enough. But maybe Christmas can save me.
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    Sunday 10th December 2017

    I had an amazingly productive day yesterday. I did a solid 5 hours of work with 2 hours of slightly less solid work. In the time, I did my notes on ionic bonding, did the rest of maths homework #1, half of maths homework #2, most of my lab and field experiment notes, most of my chemistry homework, the risk assessment and results tables (mine + the sample one that I had to put missing data into) write up for the AP4 in Physics, cleaned my room and thought of university plans.

    I want to take a gap year if I don't get into Oxford (or maybe Cambridge) or receive a scholarship (with the promise of work?) for a London university. I don't know what I'd do with this gap year- maybe take Further Maths (if I get A*A*AA) or resit some of my GCSEs (English Language, maybe Biology), while working (since I don't want to be putting my mum under financial strain or relying on a parent at 18 and I want to go to places). I'm not really a huge holiday person if I'm honest.

    I could take GCSE English Language next year, but I want to pick up an EPQ so they might not let me. There are 25 lesson slots and I already have 18 lessons a week (4 for each subject +2 for tutorial), then the EPQ would take up 2 slots (20/25), the English Language would fill up the last four (25/25). The English Language would probably be too much on top of my A Levels and EPQ.

    Today I plan to:

    - Finish 2.2.1 Psychology
    - Do 2.2.2, 2.2.3 and 2.2.4 Psychology
    - Do 3.1.3.2 and 3.1.3.3 Chemistry
    - Do 3.4.1.5 and 3.4.1.7 Physics
    - B3 and B2 notes for Maths
    - Plan UNIQ personal statement

    See you all tomorrow!
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    (Original post by MonicaD)
    Good luck Lauren! Keep up the hard work and I'm sure you'll do amazing
    Thank you
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    Wednesday 13th December 2017

    This marked the last day of lessons in 2017. And that's scary. It also means mocks are around the corner. Literally.

    In Physics, we did some work on crumple zones, which combined a lot of what we've done so far in the materials topic. The values we got in the paired work were way off for some of the materials. In Psychology, we just did revision. I drew up a list of likely topics with terrible handwriting:

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    Lastly, we did some past paper questions in Maths to prepare for the mock exam. The questions weren't too bad, so I'll be finishing those off. I had two frees in the afternoon, as well as my friends (I hope they consider me a friend). They both do Chemistry so we did revision from lunch time to 4pm by asking each other practice questions or having all of us answer a question on paper before comparing what we got. It was SO much better than revising alone, and we had some laughs too.

    I have my first mock tomorrow for Chemistry. Before revising this evening, I had to attend a GCSE results certificate/award evening/reunion at my secondary school. On the second worst night they could have picked. I got 3 awards- achievement in science, achievement in computer science (HAHAHAHA) and the 100% attendance from year 7-11 award. I was really happy and it finished thirty minutes early. I got to see a friend who went to a different college too!

    After writing my grandad's birthday card in the car and going to the post office on the way home (well, my mum went in and I stayed in the car), I just spoke to some people before/while revising. To revise, as I had a short amount of time, I looked at my checklist of stuff I didn't know for Chemistry and basically read the textbook and wrote it down on a sheet of paper to refresh my memory. I can also test myself tomorrow morning using it (the image might be at the bottom of the page, I believe. Silly TSR, only allowing one embedded attacment).

    Attachment 710578710584

    As for after Christmas, I have to start and finish my UNIQ personal statement. I'll discuss this with my tutor after all of my exams on Friday, so I will need to write up a list of Chemistry related things I have done or read. I also have a meeting about the tutoring session on the first Tuesday back. It's all going to be so much.

    I just hope I can get an A in Chemistry tomorrow (or at least a B).
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    Good luck Keep working
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    (Original post by amaraub)
    Good luck Keep working
    Thank you! Really putting in the effort to make up for the first month or so of college and to get ahead
 
 
 
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