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Riding the Sea's to Success! [GYG 2017-2018 Blog] Watch

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    Hey There!


    Oki, so maybe I'm a little late to the party here (I always seem to be with these things oops! ) but I decided to give this thing a chance - after all, it should give me motivation to keep going and hopefully (wait for it) "grow my grades"!
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    I know, I know, my sense of humour is waaay off lolol - don't worry, I'll try to keep the puns to a minimum.


    Well, for starters I guess I should layout the basics. I'm username ImSoFanSea, and you can call me Sea for short if you want. I'm currently in Year 12 studying for my A-levels in History, Psychology and Physics, as well as an EPQ project that my school (the 6th forms attached to it) requires of all its students (except those who do further maths grr!). I'll be posting everything from To-Do lists, Grade Check-Ins, and general advice on this blog of sorts.


    Feel free to ask questions anytime! I'll try my best to answer as well as I can and I'm happy to make myself useful ^_^


    ABOUT ME

    I'm Sea, an easily excitable person who hopes for the best but constantly plans for the very worst case of scenarios lol. I like puns and generally anything else fantasy or action themed. I like to be helpful so feel free to ask if there's something I can do! I can be pretty wordy at times (for that I apologise in advance....several times) so if I've said something stupid you don't get just let me know so I can re-write it for ya ^_^


    I attended **** (wait - can I put that here? Hmm...I'll go check and add it in later if I can) for my GCSEs, and fortunately gained good enough results to continue studying there for my A-levels - but more about that in later posts.

    (Sorry this post is so short, I actually have a backlog of several different topics that I wrote over half-term, but I figured it was a good enough start for now. Keep an eye out for more updates soon!)
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    Genesis
    (Cause everything has to start somewhere, right? Well, unless we're talking infinite regress of course, but that's a problem for another time...)

    This post will include a summary of how I did at GCSE and what I chose for A-level, there's also an extra little something I've hidden at the end, since I wasn't really sure if anybody would want to read it or not. Sorry this blog hasn't actually covered any studying yet, but that should be fixed soon as the school holidays end and term starts back up again.

    GCSE REFELCTIONS

    At GCSE level, I attained the following grades:

    English Language (OCR) - 7
    English Literature (OCR) - 7
    Mathematics (Edexcel) - 7
    Physics (AQA) - A*
    Biology (AQA) - A
    Chemistry (AQA) - A*
    Religious Studies (AQA) - B
    French (Edexcel) - A
    Latin (WJEC) - A*History (OCR) - A*
    Computing (OCR) - A*

    Coming from a Grammar School that pretty much brainwashes you to think that getting a B is bad, I was actually kinda happy with these results, even if there were quite a few others who had 'better' results than me. I'll probably forever regret not doing more RS revision, but what's done it done so I'm trying my best to move on with that. I'm actually pretty over the moon with quite a few of my results too - I was predicted a 6 in both English exams so it was pretty satisfying to smash that target, as well as others. (I'll admit I was a bit smug when I realised that I had probably exceeded my teachers' expectations of me - haha take that!)

    In all honestly, I probably didn't do as much revision as I should have (it pretty much consisted of revison and past papers in lessons, and re-reading my CGP revision guides and re-taking notes from them in like the week leading up to the exam). I think my main problem was really that I didn't understand how to revise, let alone how to stick to my own timetable.

    So yeah, in summary: I didn't actually do all that much work for GCSE exams and came out alright - but not really. Sure, I got okay grades, but I got lucky, and it really sucked in the time after results day when I realised that if I had actually bothered to do a little more work, I could have done quite a bit better than I did. So yeah, I'm happy with my results, but not satisfied. With that in mind, I've resolved to do better this year.


    A-LEVEL CHOICES

    One thing you probably don't know is that originally I was never going to do Psychology and Physics. Instead I first applied to my current 6th form to do English Literature, Mathematics and History instead. These choices....weren't exactly my own (its a more personal story I'd rather not share if you don't mind), but long story short - I was sitting in English and Maths lessons dreading the next 2 years whilst mourning the end of my time in Physics and wondering about Psychology. I made the switch pretty early on, before I started the academic year, and it ranks up there as one of the most important and best decisions I've made in my life if I'm honest. Okay, so to sum up as to why I chose the A-levels I did:

    History - I've always liked and have been good as History, this was a no-brainer and was always in the cards for me.

    Physics - I was sitting in lessons thinking, 'I am genuinely going to miss this' and my interest in science has always been more focused in Physics (Usually Particle, Quantum or Astrophysics - all of which I'm studying at A-level haha!) and a bit of Biology than anything else really. It was similar enough to Maths that I thought I could swap one out for another with no real trouble.

    Psychology - I've always had an interest in Psychology and when I was changing subjects it came down to a choice between this and Biology, I decided that I liked Psych better and just went for it. Funny thing is, Psych is now probably my favourite subject! Its only really until you start studying it that you even realise just how expansive the subject even is! My course covers stuff like psychopathology (Mental Illnesses) that you usually associate with it to things that never would have occured to you like Attachment and Social Influence which I find really interesting.



    So there you go - a summary of where I'm at now subject-wise, I hope you find it useful! Now, for those wondering about what I hinted at earlier...
    Spoiler:
    Show







    GOING TO A GRAMMAR SCHOOL

    As I mentioned earlier, I did my GCSEs at a Grammar School. For those of you that don't know, Grammar schools are acadamically selective state schools. This usually means that people have to take an entrance exam and pass with high enough marks to go to said school. Mine was the same, I took an entrance exam consisting of 4 main sections - English, Maths, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning.

    Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning are very similar - they both consist of what are basically logic problems with one major difference, in the Verbal Reasoning section you have to explain how or why you reached your answer, but with Non-Verbal you don't. These two sections weren't really labelled as such on my 11+ (another name for the entrance exam) btw, but instead hidden in the English section, so watch out for that if you're thinking of taking it.

    Now, I guess I should probably explain the impact I think that going to a Grammar School has had on me. I think a story my Physics teacher once told me will do this quite nicely in fact:

    "It was nearing the end of lunch and I was in my classroom marking when I heard shouting in the corridor outside. I couldn't make out the words but it sounded pretty agressive, and since I taught at a pretty rough school before this I fought that it was maybe a fight of some kind, so I left my classroom to check it out, expecting to have to break up a fight.
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    .It was actually just 2 boys arguing about the right way to make a swiss roll"

    I think its actually quite fair to say that my school can be quite sheltered, sure there has still been some dangerous behaviour and such, but its not to the degree you'd expect. To my knowledge, there has never been an actual fight at my school so long as I've attended, and one permanent exclusion - that's it. I think I'd also be correct in describing my school as a bit of a bubble - you're cut off from other schools unless you have friends you keep in touch with, so you can't compare with anything else but the standards the school presents you with. The feeling I got when I was doing my GCSEs was that an A* was good, and A pretty much expected, a B was something you didn't talk about and anything C or below meant you were seriously stupid. Of course, this idea was mainly perpetuated by the students themselves, but it doesn't really help that the teachers do nothing to correct it. However this does give some students motivation to do well, even though it causes a lot of stress.

    In the end, I'd say that although Grammar School can change your perspective on things such as grades and can be pretty stressful, if you can make it work its really beneficial.

    Another note to any Grammar School students that may end up reading this: Yes, you attend a high-pressure environment, but you have to keep in mind that trhe standards you're comparing to, aren't the same as most other places. A C isn't the end of the world, even if it might seem it. In fact, I know for definate that there are places where people would kill for a C. I wish you the best of luck in whatever you're doing and keep in mind that there's more out there than just your little bubble. Good luck!

    P.S: For those confused about why I'm including this in a 'Grow your Grades' blog - I thought it would help people understand my reactions to certain results, as well as just generally be useful for those curious about grammar schools in general. Hope this helps!





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    Wow ImSoFanSea, your GCSE grades were really good! :love: Where are you wanting your A Levels to take you (sorry if I missed this )?
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    (Original post by Amefish)
    Wow ImSoFanSea, your GCSE grades were really good! :love: Where are you wanting your A Levels to take you (sorry if I missed this )?
    Thanks!

    No, I didn't actually mention that yet, so thanks for reminding me! Honestly, I don't really know what I want to do in the future just yet, since I didn't choose my A-levels with a specific end point in mind, but rather I picked those that I was best at and had an interest in studying.

    I know that I want to go to university, but I'll probably need to do more research before I decide what it is I want to study (and where!). At the moment I'm thinking of either History or something with Psychology and Education, since I've always enjoyed passing on something useful to people, be it information or practical skills. However, knowing me I might have changed my mind before the end of the year ^^" so for the time being I'm just trying to explore all the options open to me and be as well-informed as possible for when the time comes to make the final choice.

    I hope this answered your question!
 
 
 
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