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Finding everything very stressful- A levels, driving and uni watch

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    My biggest stress is driving, I am having great difficulties with parking. My driving instructor is quite old fashion and he hasn't taught me the reference points for reverse bay parking. His method is you swing out and then just reverse and turn. There is no reference points or anything and it is very hit and miss. He taught me it once and then since then I have asked to go back over it twice and I still can't grasp it. The problem is I don't know whether it is me being a rubbish driver or he can't teach. My brother passed with another instructor who taught him a completely different method and he can bay park perfectly. I am beginning to wonder if I should swap, instructors. The only problem is I am nearly test ready and my forward driving is fine, just my reversing is shocking. I have a mock test coming up next week and I am sure I will fail it. If I swap I'm going to have to wait ages on my new instructors waiting list, which seems a shame when I am only a few weeks away from test booking. The whole situation stresses me out, I dread my lessons and I can't sleep the night before my stomach turns and I clench my teeth.

    My A levels have taken a hit and I have lost all study motivation. Previously I could happily do 4 hours a day of studying for AS levels, yet this year I am barely making 2 hours a day. I fear my grades are taking a hit because of it! I am so stressed that I can't study even in my free time. My mind is preoccupied with driving, uni applications and stuff. I had the option to get braces a few months back and I declined as I didn't want teeth out and I don't know whether I made the right decision or not. What on Earth is wrong with me and what can I do?
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    I would tell your driving instructor about this other method that your brother uses (research it in videos online that are available so you can explain it to your instructor) and ask that you use that method since his method isn’t working out. He can’t say no, you pay him not the other way around. I doubt he’ll take any offence he wants you to pass just as much as you do. As for your motivation I find that what gets me motivated is getting 20 quid and splurging on new stationary making a colourful study timetable and I feel like I’m ‘ready’. I don’t often use the timetable because a lot of stuff gets in the way for me but it helps me make some sort of plan. The stationary just lifts my spirits, I bought a sticky note leather case set on amazon and O suddenly feel like I can do 6 A levels! Even my mum said it makes her want to go back to school. Finally, figure out HOW you are going to revise. You’ll have a method that works for you and it’s fine to change it because it’s about staying focused. For essay subjects I recommend getting a list of past paper questions from your teacher or online and making PLANS for those essays. If you don’t already have the knowledge to do these plans then you can either go over your notes if they’re really good and digitalising them. I used OneNote for History (if you want pictures of example pages I can show you ) and it’s a way of learning the info again in a new sort of way.
    For maths what I’m starting to do is use ExamSolutions to make nice notes (Cornell notes are very clear, google this or I can show you example pictures) and taking down examples then using two textbooks to go through questions and getting past paper questions from PhysicsAndMathsTutor.com. Something PAMT has like 30 past paper questions and you don’t have to confine yourself to your exam board; maths is maths, so you can get around 100 past paper questions! Divide them up so that you do a few each week and get practice all the way up to the exam. Do this for every topic then go through all the past papers but save a few of the recent ones for closer to the exam.
    For sciencey subjects I’m afraid I’m not very experience so i would suggest doing something similar to the maths advice I gave.
    Good luck!
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    • #1
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    (Original post by F.SA)
    I would tell your driving instructor about this other method that your brother uses (research it in videos online that are available so you can explain it to your instructor) and ask that you use that method since his method isn’t working out. He can’t say no, you pay him not the other way around. I doubt he’ll take any offence he wants you to pass just as much as you do. As for your motivation I find that what gets me motivated is getting 20 quid and splurging on new stationary making a colourful study timetable and I feel like I’m ‘ready’. I don’t often use the timetable because a lot of stuff gets in the way for me but it helps me make some sort of plan. The stationary just lifts my spirits, I bought a sticky note leather case set on amazon and O suddenly feel like I can do 6 A levels! Even my mum said it makes her want to go back to school. Finally, figure out HOW you are going to revise. You’ll have a method that works for you and it’s fine to change it because it’s about staying focused. For essay subjects I recommend getting a list of past paper questions from your teacher or online and making PLANS for those essays. If you don’t already have the knowledge to do these plans then you can either go over your notes if they’re really good and digitalising them. I used OneNote for History (if you want pictures of example pages I can show you ) and it’s a way of learning the info again in a new sort of way.
    For maths what I’m starting to do is use ExamSolutions to make nice notes (Cornell notes are very clear, google this or I can show you example pictures) and taking down examples then using two textbooks to go through questions and getting past paper questions from PhysicsAndMathsTutor.com. Something PAMT has like 30 past paper questions and you don’t have to confine yourself to your exam board; maths is maths, so you can get around 100 past paper questions! Divide them up so that you do a few each week and get practice all the way up to the exam. Do this for every topic then go through all the past papers but save a few of the recent ones for closer to the exam.
    For sciencey subjects I’m afraid I’m not very experience so i would suggest doing something similar to the maths advice I gave.
    Good luck!
    THANK YOU, so much for your reply! I will practise my brother's method in my car, try and practise it. Then show him and attempt it in his car, I don't know how he will respond as he may think I am trying to undermine him. Next time I have a lesson I may ask to practise the bay parking again, give his method a few more goes and then ask if I could try something else and then use the other method my brother was taught. It would be such a shame to fail a test if I couldn't park the car between the lines as in real life you would just try again, but this is not allowed in the test. For A levels I do biology, chemistry and psychology. I haven't really found my best revision method, which surprises lots of people as I got AAAA at AS level (one of those was maths) yet I literally have no idea how to revise. Sometimes I just find reading over notes is the best, but that is beyond boring. I have tried flash cards and posters etc but nothing seems to be perfect. Doing past paper questions does help, but I rarely sit down and do a whole past paper as I just get bored and end up giving up. Especially if I can't do a question and just feel like I am getting no where. Even if I do force myself through it, I can't find the motivation to mark it so it just sits their on my desk! For xmas I did get lots of cool gel pens and fine liners to make pretty notes and I resonantly splurged on some fancy revision cards, but to no avail. I try to create plans of what topics I want to cover and yet I just never seem to get around to it.
    • #2
    #2

    This is a very stressful time right now, especially because you are doing your drivers license as well. Nothing is wrong with you.

    I did A levels two years back and that feeling that you are never studying correctly or enough is normal. Lack of motivation stems from being so stressed and overwhelmed with all this work. Let me tell you one thing though - DON'T be this stressed over your driver's exam. That should be the least of your concerns when regarding A-levels. I know that you still worry over it - I did as well although I only started my driver's when I was in uni - but you cannot let it get to you. Because look at it this way - if you fail your driving exam you can redo it anytime...if you fail your A levels well that means you need to resit an exam, which makes things confusing when wanting to apply to unis.

    Do your best for your driver exam but don't let it get to you - I do think trying out your brother's way is a good idea, get some tips from him. Actually, right before mine a different driving instructor was waiting with me for the examiner and since we had a lot of time left he said we should practice driving before - and from that one drive he taught me how to parallel park much better (I had trouble with that) which helped me do it smoothly before the exam with no trouble.

    For bay parking will you need to do it on an actual parking place or within your driving practice area? In my case I only had to show I could do it in the practice area where they had poles set up to help. I would reverse straight while looking back until I saw the first pole from the back passenger seat window where I would start to turn the wheel to move in. When you do this do it slowly to give yourself more time so you park correctly.

    F.SA seems to have a lot of useful websites for A level study, I also recommend the Physics and Maths tutor website - past papers are most important. In my experience, making notes did not help as much as going over past papers with the mark scheme.
    I didn't sit down and do past papers without looking at the mark schemes, that's time consuming, just look at the question and then answer it according to the mark scheme. It's good that you only have one essay based subject, doing past papers is easier for bio and chem. I also had to try out so many different study methods...and you know what I think rarely anyone ever finds the perfect plan.

    Well done for getting all A's on your AS levels! I wish you all the best for A levels and uni...just pull through with A levels, remember only a few months of study, then exams, then summer.
 
 
 
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