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A and A* students at A-level- How did you revise? Watch

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    Hey guys, basically I've been searching on TSR to find threads on revision tips from A/A* students, however, the only one I could find was from years ago and because a lot of the A-level subjects are now linear (maths and sciences that I'm aware of) I thought I'd make this thread.

    So A/A* students at AS/A2 level, how did you revise.
    1) Did you make notes everyday (typed or handwritten) as I make a combination of both
    2) Did you make flashcards/mind maps
    3) Did you revise in free periods
    4) How much did you revise on weekends/weekdays

    And any more tips you want to add

    What I'm doing is a combination of printing off notes form websites such as snap revise (biology, chem and maths) and creating hand written notes- do you think a combination of those is good?
    I'm making flashcards as I go along and for each chapter in the test book I make a A3 mind map.

    Any opinions are welcome
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    I studied English literature, maths and physics and got A*AA.
    1) I found the best way to revise for science and maths was to compile all relevant information onto sheets of paper, stripping back all the unnecessary stuff, so it’s easy to refer to specifics. (Kind of like your own textbook). I did this by scanning and lifting from multiple textbooks and revision guides and using some colour for more important bits (rules or equations). Once I had all the information I needed, I just did loooaads of last papers - almost all of them. I kept track of the questions I struggled with and went back to them a couple days later after referring to the notes/book I had made.
    I revised very differently for english but that’s probably less useful for you if you’re doing maths/science.
    3) 99% of free periods I spent revising/ working
    4) I worked every weekend and for hours after college during the week. My physics teacher was so **** I had to teach myself the physics syllabus so was spending up to 25 hours on physics a week alone.

    I went from ABBC in AS to A*AA so I must have done something right! (The C was in maths which I carried on)
    Best advice I can give is that if you work hard and you really want it, then you can get the grades you want. Good luck!
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    (Original post by H3n)
    I studied English literature, maths and physics and got A*AA.
    1) I found the best way to revise for science and maths was to compile all relevant information onto sheets of paper, stripping back all the unnecessary stuff, so it’s easy to refer to specifics. (Kind of like your own textbook). I did this by scanning and lifting from multiple textbooks and revision guides and using some colour for more important bits (rules or equations). Once I had all the information I needed, I just did loooaads of last papers - almost all of them. I kept track of the questions I struggled with and went back to them a couple days later after referring to the notes/book I had made.
    I revised very differently for english but that’s probably less useful for you if you’re doing maths/science.
    3) 99% of free periods I spent revising/ working
    4) I worked every weekend and for hours after college during the week. My physics teacher was so **** I had to teach myself the physics syllabus so was spending up to 25 hours on physics a week alone.

    I went from ABBC in AS to A*AA so I must have done something right! (The C was in maths which I carried on)
    Best advice I can give is that if you work hard and you really want it, then you can get the grades you want. Good luck!
    What did you study in uni? What AS maths exams did you retake? Any tips for A2 maths??

    Well done!
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    (Original post by MajorFader)
    What did you study in uni? What AS maths exams did you retake? Any tips for A2 maths??
    Well done!
    I’m on a gap year at the moment, but have applied to study physics and philosophy 2018. I retook C1 and c2, so got C in s1 and A’s in C1,c2,c3,c4,m1. With A2 maths you need to be able to break down the questions because they ask the same things every year but dress it up to make it seem complicated. I’d suggest doing lots of past papers (I did all from 2016 back to like 2008 (June and January) for each module)
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    (Original post by H3n)
    I studied English literature, maths and physics and got A*AA.
    1) I found the best way to revise for science and maths was to compile all relevant information onto sheets of paper, stripping back all the unnecessary stuff, so it’s easy to refer to specifics. (Kind of like your own textbook). I did this by scanning and lifting from multiple textbooks and revision guides and using some colour for more important bits (rules or equations). Once I had all the information I needed, I just did loooaads of last papers - almost all of them. I kept track of the questions I struggled with and went back to them a couple days later after referring to the notes/book I had made.
    I revised very differently for english but that’s probably less useful for you if you’re doing maths/science.
    3) 99% of free periods I spent revising/ working
    4) I worked every weekend and for hours after college during the week. My physics teacher was so **** I had to teach myself the physics syllabus so was spending up to 25 hours on physics a week alone.

    I went from ABBC in AS to A*AA so I must have done something right! (The C was in maths which I carried on)
    Best advice I can give is that if you work hard and you really want it, then you can get the grades you want. Good luck!
    I print out notes and go over them with a highlighter (important bits) and also make my own notes- is this fine as well?
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    (Original post by GCSE 9)
    I print out notes and go over them with a highlighter (important bits) and also make my own notes- is this fine as well?
    Whatever works best for you. I personally found that I wasn’t a visual learner, so couldn’t just highlight and look at something for it to go in.
    If you lift only the important bits of information into new flash cards or paper, then you’re actually thinking about what you need to learn, and if you condense those notes further then it’s not actually reading the notes you’ve made but the process of transferring and thinking about the important information that you’re learning from.
    (Although sometimes it’s nicer to have printouts which are neater than hand drawn notes) -> a variety of different notes may also help you learn (as in some highlighted print outs and some hand made)
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    (Original post by H3n)
    Whatever works best for you. I personally found that I wasn’t a visual learner, so couldn’t just highlight and look at something for it to go in.
    If you lift only the important bits of information into new flash cards or paper, then you’re actually thinking about what you need to learn, and if you condense those notes further then it’s not actually reading the notes you’ve made but the process of transferring and thinking about the important information that you’re learning from.
    (Although sometimes it’s nicer to have printouts which are neater than hand drawn notes) -> a variety of different notes may also help you learn (as in some highlighted print outs and some hand made)
    Thanks for responding and when I print out notes, i don't make them. for example chemistry notes from chemguide- is that okay or do you think I should make all my notes by hand as the information goes in better (as I hate my handwriting lol)
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    anymore answers...
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    (Original post by GCSE 9)
    Thanks for responding and when I print out notes, i don't make them. for example chemistry notes from chemguide- is that okay or do you think I should make all my notes by hand as the information goes in better (as I hate my handwriting lol)
    I personally do my notes by hand although my handwriting is relatively neat. If I were you I would try and at least make some notes yourself (even if you use the computer to make them so that they’re neater). But as I said, you learn more from the process of making notes than you do looking at them
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    I'm currently in year 13 but in my AS exams I got AAAA in Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and Religious Studies (dropped this year).

    1) Did you make notes everyday (typed or handwritten) as I make a combination of both

    Personally I only made hand made notes just cause that's what I prefer. I'd make concise notes in class based off what was said and what was on the board and colour code the important parts. If I didn't understand a concept I'd then make extra notes from the text book or chemguide to consolidate it.

    2) Did you make flashcards/mind maps

    I made a crap ton of flash cards! I just find them so useful and easy to make. You revise while writing them and then you can use them over both years, especially important in the new linear courses. For example I'd write on one side "What does 'Anti-Parallel' mean?" then on the other side "The two strands in DNA run in opposite directions. One runs 5' to 3' and the other from 3' to 5'."
    Mindmaps I didn't use as much but they were helpful in biology and RS in consolidating knowledge as they were both very content heavy. Mindmaps just aren't my way of doing things I guess.

    3) Did you revise in free periods

    I used my free periods to either catch up on homework or to make flash cards. Sometimes I would do past papers in my frees but a lot of the time I'd save them for home when I could time them properly. I only had 2 free periods last year but this year I have about 6 (off the top of my head) and being completely honest if I had a free first or last I'd either sleep in or leave early! (Not the best use of time, I know, but I live an hour away from sixth form so I use that as my excuse lmao)

    4) How much did you revise on weekends/weekdays

    I'd try to revise a few hours each day except Fridays which I kept as my break day. I'd obviously do more on weekends cause I had more time. This year me and a mate go to our local library straight from sixth form on Tuesdays and from about midday on Sundays. If you can do this I'd highly recommend it cause it just meant less distractions for us so we ended up doing more work!

    5) Any other tips

    Past. Exam. Papers. They will be your saving grace. You can know every last inch of the textbook and still not do well if you're not used to applying your knowledge. Learn what they want you to say as markschemes can be very picky (*cough* AQA *cough*). Do old spec, new spec, legacy, basically whatever you can find but don't do them all now. Save some for closer to the exam period.
    By the way if you're on AQA they've removed all old spec papers from their website but you can find them here: https://freeexampapers.com/index.php...JSROOT/A-Level

    Good luck dude and if you have anymore questions just ask!
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    Nice Revision cards with key notes and terms to learn, and then every past paper you can find
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    (Original post by yeahthatonethere)
    I'm currently in year 13 but in my AS exams I got AAAA in Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and Religious Studies (dropped this year).

    1) Did you make notes everyday (typed or handwritten) as I make a combination of both

    Personally I only made hand made notes just cause that's what I prefer. I'd make concise notes in class based off what was said and what was on the board and colour code the important parts. If I didn't understand a concept I'd then make extra notes from the text book or chemguide to consolidate it.

    2) Did you make flashcards/mind maps

    I made a crap ton of flash cards! I just find them so useful and easy to make. You revise while writing them and then you can use them over both years, especially important in the new linear courses. For example I'd write on one side "What does 'Anti-Parallel' mean?" then on the other side "The two strands in DNA run in opposite directions. One runs 5' to 3' and the other from 3' to 5'."
    Mindmaps I didn't use as much but they were helpful in biology and RS in consolidating knowledge as they were both very content heavy. Mindmaps just aren't my way of doing things I guess.

    3) Did you revise in free periods

    I used my free periods to either catch up on homework or to make flash cards. Sometimes I would do past papers in my frees but a lot of the time I'd save them for home when I could time them properly. I only had 2 free periods last year but this year I have about 6 (off the top of my head) and being completely honest if I had a free first or last I'd either sleep in or leave early! (Not the best use of time, I know, but I live an hour away from sixth form so I use that as my excuse lmao)

    4) How much did you revise on weekends/weekdays

    I'd try to revise a few hours each day except Fridays which I kept as my break day. I'd obviously do more on weekends cause I had more time. This year me and a mate go to our local library straight from sixth form on Tuesdays and from about midday on Sundays. If you can do this I'd highly recommend it cause it just meant less distractions for us so we ended up doing more work!

    5) Any other tips

    Past. Exam. Papers. They will be your saving grace. You can know every last inch of the textbook and still not do well if you're not used to applying your knowledge. Learn what they want you to say as markschemes can be very picky (*cough* AQA *cough*). Do old spec, new spec, legacy, basically whatever you can find but don't do them all now. Save some for closer to the exam period.
    By the way if you're on AQA they've removed all old spec papers from their website but you can find them here: https://freeexampapers.com/index.php...JSROOT/A-Level

    Good luck dude and if you have anymore questions just ask!
    Thanks, really helped, just curious what are you thinking of doing after sixth form
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    (Original post by GCSE 9)
    anymore answers...
    Hi. I took Maths, Further Maths, Biology and Chemistry in AS and got AAAA. Even though I was predicted 4 A*s I dropped Further Maths because I've applied for medicine (2018 entry) and Further Maths was irrelevant for the subject- in fact at two of my chosen unis, it didn't even count as an A level.

    Whenever I made notes I didn't actually look back over them except for once in 3 months if at all. I only made notes as part of the revision process. If you convert a set of notes (i.e. a wall of text) into a different format such as flash cards or mind map you'll get more out of it than just reading over it again.

    That's why I recommend, instead of printing notes, you write them up in a different style. As somebody here mentioned, the learning isn't from having neat notes for the future, but it's actually in the making of notes.

    Closer to exam time, ditch the notes. Just do past papers over and over again. That's the only thing you can do where you'll see a massive improvement in marks and probably the best advice anyone can give you. (For maths that's all you need to be doing anyway). The useful bit comes from marking the paper and trying to rewrite your answers (something I didn't do but wish I did). If I got dodgy marks in a topic, I'd just go back to my textbook (not notes) because it's more detailed.

    Good luck in your exams!
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    (Original post by GrandExecutioner)
    Hi. I took Maths, Further Maths, Biology and Chemistry in AS and got AAAA. Even though I was predicted 4 A*s I dropped Further Maths because I've applied for medicine (2018 entry) and Further Maths was irrelevant for the subject- in fact at two of my chosen unis, it didn't even count as an A level.

    Whenever I made notes I didn't actually look back over them except for once in 3 months if at all. I only made notes as part of the revision process. If you convert a set of notes (i.e. a wall of text) into a different format such as flash cards or mind map you'll get more out of it than just reading over it again.

    That's why I recommend, instead of printing notes, you write them up in a different style. As somebody here mentioned, the learning isn't from having neat notes for the future, but it's actually in the making of notes.

    Closer to exam time, ditch the notes. Just do past papers over and over again. That's the only thing you can do where you'll see a massive improvement in marks and probably the best advice anyone can give you. (For maths that's all you need to be doing anyway). The useful bit comes from marking the paper and trying to rewrite your answers (something I didn't do but wish I did). If I got dodgy marks in a topic, I'd just go back to my textbook (not notes) because it's more detailed.

    Good luck in your exams!
    Thanks , also maths is now linear so there's not many questions you can do and not many past papers available so how's the best way of revising as I want to get an A at AS (want to do medicine too), what i currently do is the exercises from the textbook and questions from my CGP exam style workbook

    Also, may i ask what GCSE grades you got as you said you want to do medicine as my GCSE'S weren't very good, so i want to know if anyone is in the same boat as me
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    (Original post by GCSE 9)
    Hey guys, basically I've been searching on TSR to find threads on revision tips from A/A* students, however, the only one I could find was from years ago and because a lot of the A-level subjects are now linear (maths and sciences that I'm aware of) I thought I'd make this thread.

    So A/A* students at AS/A2 level, how did you revise.
    1) Did you make notes everyday (typed or handwritten) as I make a combination of both
    2) Did you make flashcards/mind maps
    3) Did you revise in free periods
    4) How much did you revise on weekends/weekdays

    And any more tips you want to add

    What I'm doing is a combination of printing off notes form websites such as snap revise (biology, chem and maths) and creating hand written notes- do you think a combination of those is good?
    I'm making flashcards as I go along and for each chapter in the test book I make a A3 mind map.

    Any opinions are welcome
    I got an A* in OCR Psychology and an A in AQA Geography (although this was the old spec, but revision techniques are still relevant)

    1) I made notes almost every day. I always typed up my notes I made in class, and then re-wrote them over and over again as revision

    2) I relied on flash cards and mind maps. My whole house was just floor to ceiling mind maps. I made question cards too and got my parents to test me about once a week which was really useful.

    3) This is a mistake. They are NOT free periods! It really makes me twitch when I hear people saying "free" periods. No no no. With that attitude you can kiss the top grades goodbye. They are study periods. You do work. You complete homework, you revise, you do further reading. They aren't free. It might sound like I'm just being picky, but honestly if you want good A-Levels you study in those periods.

    4) I did about 1-2 hours after school during the week, and then on weekends this was increased to 3-4 hours. I had a job doing 4 hours on a Sunday which sometimes included overtime, so Sunday was my more chilled day. So if anyone says having a job hinders your chances, it really doesn't.
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    (Original post by GCSE 9)
    Thanks, really helped, just curious what are you thinking of doing after sixth form
    I've applied to Leeds for Microbiology (AAA) and Newcastle (AAA), Sheffield (AAB + A in EPQ or AAA), Sheffield Hallam (104 UCAS) and Nottingham Trent (BBB) for Biomedical Science. The first three are integrated master courses and the last two are back up bachelor courses. I really want to go into medical research in the future!
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    (Original post by yeahthatonethere)
    I've applied to Leeds for Microbiology (AAA) and Newcastle (AAA), Sheffield (AAB + A in EPQ or AAA), Sheffield Hallam (104 UCAS) and Nottingham Trent (BBB) for Biomedical Science. The first three are integrated master courses and the last two are back up bachelor courses. I really want to go into medical research in the future!
    cool good luck to you
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    (Original post by GCSE 9)
    Thanks , also maths is now linear so there's not many questions you can do and not many past papers available so how's the best way of revising as I want to get an A at AS (want to do medicine too), what i currently do is the exercises from the textbook and questions from my CGP exam style workbook

    Also, may i ask what GCSE grades you got as you said you want to do medicine as my GCSE'S weren't very good, so i want to know if anyone is in the same boat as me
    The content in maths is the same regardless of whether it is linear or modular. There are so many past papers available on the AQA site so utilise them. Notes are pretty useless in maths. Keep working through the questions in your workbook, but a couple of months before the exams I'd start hitting the past papers for the AS exams. Don't start them too early or there will be nothing for you to do before exam time.

    I got 8 A*s and 4 As. But GCSEs are only 1 part of your profile for medicine. There are so many other aspects (AS exams, UKCAT, BMAT, personal statement, work experience/voluntary work, interviews). If you think your GCSEs are bad, then apply as strategically as you can to med schools which don't include GCSEs as part of their selection process. But to be honest nowhere you apply is guaranteed since the course is so competitive so you should apply to the unis where you like the look of and would enjoy the course structure too.
 
 
 
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