Grow Your Grades Blog 2018 - started from the bottom..... Watch
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Chemistry on Monday
This went better than expected. It was still hard and the module six questions that I knew I wasn't going to do well on were impossible because I just haven't learnt the material. But apart from that I pretty much answered everything. Of course that doesn't mean I answered it right and there are a few questions that I know are wrong. But I think I passed. If I don't get at least a C, I don't see how I'm going to get the grades I need in the real thing because there's not much else I can do at this point.
Biology on Tuesday
I answered every question and there were some that went a bit over my head but it went okay honestly. I'm not worried about it. Last night while I was revising I pretty much gave up halfway through topic six and I didn't end up looking over the core practicals so it's pretty lucky that no really horrible questions came up and the stuff I didn't know I could at least say something about it or make some kind of point. Obviously afterwards, you talk about all the hard questions with your friends and we started talking about this question about trees and the changes in their distribution due to climate change. I thought the question was about two different kinds of trees so I wrote something like, the distribution changes because they are better suited to a cooler climate so they move further north which doesn't even make sense because they didn't move that far so the climate is going to be pretty much if not exactly the same. My friend told me her answer and then I realised that it was about one type of tree and the virus/ parasite thing that grows on them and not two different types of trees. So you were meant to talk about how an increase in CO2 concentration killed off the bacteria and that's why the distribution changed - that is if my friend is right. But either way what I wrote is wrong wrong wrong and my answer is so dumb as well. But yeah I found that funny how I thought it was two types of trees. Ha.
I have English on Thursday so to revise for that I'm going to go through my texts again and look over themes and characters, make sure I know what connections I can talk about for each theme. There is a lot of context in this paper so I need to know that. I'll probably make some flashcards so I can go over it in the morning before the exam. One of the questions is a close reading so I'm going to revise some literary terms and watch some videos on each text for analysis of language, structure and form. And I need to learn some critics quotes and possibly watch the films. I have the revision guide for one of my texts so I'm going to be using that mostly. My AS mock was terrible because I probably did about two hours of revision at 11pm the night before so hopefully this one will be better.
I hope that everyone else who's had their mocks did well and for the people that haven't done them, good luck folks.
Had my English mock yesterday. It went atrociously.
I'm back to my good old ways of procrastination. That's why I haven't updated this in a while - there's nothing to update!
I get my mock results next week so I should have a proper update then. These past two weeks though, I've just been really useless and feeling a bit lost.
I did finish The Awakening by Katie Chopin for English wider reading - it was good and a little sad. Also tried to keep up with work in school by writing up chem and bio notes when I got home. But then I missed a few days of school and I'm behind again lol.
I'll hopefully update soon with my mock results and a plan for the rest of this month. On the 20th I'm going up to Queen Mary's uni in London for an English revision day thing so stay tuned for an update on that too.
A few weeks ago I was so unmotivated and low. But now since I’ve got my mock grades back, and I’ve had parents evening (my last one ever!), and the weather’s getting warmer – thank god – everything seems a lot better.
Biology – B
Chemistry – C
English – D
I’m happy with my biology grade. Getting a B at this stage makes me feel I can surely achieve an A with just a little more hard work. The exam was really hard though and so the grade boundaries are quite low, or they feel really low to me – I got 54% which isn’t high at all. In last year’s mocks, I got 70-80% which was an A. There were loads of questions where I missed off one or two marks just by not being specific enough and of course I made stupid mistakes like reading a graph wrong. I think that, generally, my knowledge was good, but my understanding of what the mark scheme wanted was not and therefore even though I knew the topics that the questions were on, I didn’t get a lot of marks for them. For some reason, I managed to get full marks on all the topic six questions because all of what I revised the night before came up – luckily for me – but topic six is actually the one I understand the least. It’s all about the immune system and stuff and the book DOES NOT explain it at all well.
In chemistry, I only just got a C. If I had one mark less I would have a D grade. I didn’t actually find the paper too hard when I was doing it but I made loads of stupid mistakes. In one question, I divided instead of taking away which lost me half the marks on a question. In another question, I had the right method but wrote down an answer from the calculator wrong so the whole question was wrong. For some reason, I don’t know how to work out the gradient of a line on a graph? Pretty sure that’s something a year 7 would know. On a rates question, part of it was to find the rate constant. I did everything else except that – lost 2 marks. Drew a nucleophile instead of an electrophile in a mechanism and basically, all the questions that were on A2 organic, I got wrong. Ionisation energies will be the death of me and the multiple choice section at the start is literally the devil.
And English. Oh English. What can I say about you eh? Honestly, I didn’t do as awfully as expected. It was just paper two that we sat which is the American paper. The first question is a critical appreciation of an unseen extract that you have to do loads of language analysis on and inform this analysis with the context of the time and also link it to other American texts. I got 16 out of 30. The way I wrote it was terrible and I just didn’t hit the assessment objectives. The second question is a comparison of The Age of Innocence and The Great Gatsby and I got 21 marks out of 30 so slightly better. One of the biggest problems I have with this exam is that I don’t ever revise enough and I give up in the exam because I feel like what I’m writing is really bad. All of my revision took place the night before and when I was doing the exam, most of the time I was thinking about how badly I’m doing instead of trying to do better and then I wasn’t even able to finish either essay. Basically, I just needed to do everything better.
This was actually a funny night. I helped out with directing parents around with my friend before I had to go to my own appointments and we always have a good time when we do stuff together even though we both didn’t really want to be there. Anyway, all my teachers were really nice to me and actually made me believe that I could achieve what I wanted. They all basically said that my grades were really good for the amount of time I’ve been in school – I think my attendance ranges from 30% to 45% for each class. So I’m not feeling too bad, I think it’ll all be okay.
I’m applying to university at the end of this year but I’m not sure whether I’ll defer or not. I might choose to do a two-year apprenticeship which will allow me to make a good amount of money so I can travel and also help out my family and alla dat but I don’t know if I want to wait that long to go to university. Decisions, decisions, decisions ...
• Catch up with A2 content for chemistry and biology
• Write two set essays for English homework and write two more that haven’t been set for practice – do them timed
• Make some revision resources for English texts
• Read Hamlet again
School has actually been going so well since mocks. I've been going to see my teachers a lot to catch up with missed work but also to go through anything I don't understand. I meet up with one of my Chemistry teachers once a week when I have a free period to go over topics and there are chemistry and biology interventions twice a week that I try to go to. For English I'm trying to extra essays but that hasn't been very consistent. I have less than three months left till exams so I've split up the months.
Right now in March, I'm trying to get all my texts read and notes made for all my subjects so that I've gone over every bit of the content. April is going to be past paper based, just doing questions all the time basically and then May I'm going to be fine tuning my knowledge by focusing on things I don't get, making and doing flashcards and active recall.
I still don't know how I'm going to get everything done but I'm just staying positive, that's all I can do.