Dr Dab
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Hi all! Hope everyone is having a good holiday!

I am a triple A* student and wanted to host a Q and A for all you doing your A-Level. When I was a student I benefited so much from asking questions to those who had completed their exams. That being the case, I would like to provide that opportunity to all you!

I am also a medical student so feel free to ask anything about that too.

Hope you guys benefit from this!

EDIT:
Feel free to PM me for anything you want to ask or talk about if you're not comfortable sharing it.
Also thanks for all the questions so far, I really like answering questions haha
Last edited by Dr Dab; 1 year ago
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OxbridgeRejectTT
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What subjects did you do?
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TurboZX453
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(Original post by Dr Dab)
Hi all! Hope everyone is having a good holiday!

I am a triple A* student and wanted to host a Q and A for all you doing your A-Level. When I was a student I benefited so much from asking questions to those who had completed their exams. That being the case, I would like to provide that opportunity to all you!

I am also a medical student so feel free to ask anything about that too.

Hope you guys benefit from this!
So in terms of revision during the holidays and in general what are your top tips?

Like I do Maths, FM, Economics and content wise they are heavy. So I want to gather your thoughts on this.
Thanks
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Dr Dab
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(Original post by OxbridgeRejectTT)
What subjects did you do?
Maths, Chem and Bio
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haseebj49
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(Original post by Dr Dab)
Hi all! Hope everyone is having a good holiday!

I am a triple A* student and wanted to host a Q and A for all you doing your A-Level. When I was a student I benefited so much from asking questions to those who had completed their exams. That being the case, I would like to provide that opportunity to all you!

I am also a medical student so feel free to ask anything about that too.

Hope you guys benefit from this!
How did you manage interview preparation for Medicine and revision for mocks/exams?
What strategies did you use when studying? How much time?
Any resources you recommend?
Well done btw (: those are aspiring achievements
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Dr Dab
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(Original post by TurboZX453)
So in terms of revision during the holidays and in general what are your top tips?

Like I do Maths, FM, Economics and content wise they are heavy. So I want to gather your thoughts on this.
Thanks
Honestly I started my revision quite late. I could have started earlier but I am quite motivated by pressure.
I suggest what you do is try to summarise your whole course into a word document as short as possible. I did that for Bio and Chem and just learnt that document so many times I was prepared for nearly anything I could be asked. I have a friend who got an A* in econ so I could always ask him for more specific advice if you fancy. I recommend just going through the specification and making sure you have covered everything. Don't worry about excess detail, just know what you need to know. Learn the bare minimum you need to achieve a good mark. Otherwise it's too hard to remember everything. Sometimes you'll see people fussing about over small details which will most likely never come up and if they do it will be worth almost 1% of the whole test.
You can't really do this with maths or FM but it works for most other subjects I'd say. For maths and FM just bang out as many past papers as you possibly can. It's the most helpful thing ever. I'm pretty sure maths exams have been updated recently so try and use any sample material you can find. If not use your textbook or other older exam boards. I'm sure your teachers will know what exam boards are good reference.
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chocolatestorm
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(Original post by Dr Dab)
Hi all! Hope everyone is having a good holiday!

I am a triple A* student and wanted to host a Q and A for all you doing your A-Level. When I was a student I benefited so much from asking questions to those who had completed their exams. That being the case, I would like to provide that opportunity to all you!

I am also a medical student so feel free to ask anything about that too.

Hope you guys benefit from this!
Hi, cngrats on your grades!
- When did you start revising?
- How did you revise chemistry and biology?
- How did you balance revising all three well without compromising any of you subjects?
- Anything you wish you did differently that could have helped?
- Do you enjoy studying medicine?

Sorry that's a lot!
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TurboZX453
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(Original post by Dr Dab)
Honestly I started my revision quite late. I could have started earlier but I am quite motivated by pressure.
I suggest what you do is try to summarise your whole course into a word document as short as possible. I did that for Bio and Chem and just learnt that document so many times I was prepared for nearly anything I could be asked. I have a friend who got an A* in econ so I could always ask him for more specific advice if you fancy. I recommend just going through the specification and making sure you have covered everything. Don't worry about excess detail, just know what you need to know. Learn the bare minimum you need to achieve a good mark. Otherwise it's too hard to remember everything. Sometimes you'll see people fussing about over small details which will most likely never come up and if they do it will be worth almost 1% of the whole test.
You can't really do this with maths or FM but it works for most other subjects I'd say. For maths and FM just bang out as many past papers as you possibly can. It's the most helpful thing ever. I'm pretty sure maths exams have been updated recently so try and use any sample material you can find. If not use your textbook or other older exam boards. I'm sure your teachers will know what exam boards are good reference.
Thank you so much for this! Congratulations once again!
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Leah.J
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which exam board did you do ?
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dx31
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Well done on your grades!

What subjects did you find hardest?
When did you start revision and how productive were you days/ how many hours a day?
And what past papers did you manage to do/ what resources did you use?
What was your approach to revising biology and chemistry
Is physics ad maths tutor the topic questions good for each?
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Dr Dab
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(Original post by haseeb_jarral)
How did you manage interview preparation for Medicine and revision for mocks/exams?
What strategies did you use when studying? How much time?
Any resources you recommend?
Well done btw (: those are aspiring achievements
Thank you for the compliment!
For medicine interview prep I mainly focused on just looking at typical questions asked. Nearly all medical schools ask the same sorta questions. I prepared answers but I didn't learn them as paragraphs. I learnt them as like little bullet points so I could give a new answer each time but keeping the points constant in each answer. This makes you appear less robotic. Also it's important to learn each universities different course structure so you can tell them why you like their teaching methods. It shows you've done your research and are passionate!

My interviews were done by February so I had plenty of time for the actual exams. In terms of mocks, I didn't really focus on them too much as I wanted to spend more time on my interview preparation which was definitely far more useful. I didn't not try but I didn't work as hard as I could have. Luckily mocks don't really mean anything, they're just a reflection of how much work you put in I suppose.

For studying I summarised my whole course for each subject into a word document and learnt that document off by heart. I went through the spec and covered every point in sufficient detail. Never too much or too little. It's not worth learning more than you need for these exams. If your goal is to get good grades, don't over learn.

I recommend CGP revision guides. Everyone says they're not good for A-Levels but I disagree. It was the fundamental resource I used when writing up the course onto the mentioned word documents. It has everything you need to know in the perfect amount of detail.
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Dr Dab
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(Original post by Leah.J)
which exam board did you do ?
AQA for Bio and Chem. OCR MEI for Maths
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Leah.J
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Do you remember if the hydrolysis of esters needs Heating under reflux of if just warming would do ?
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Dr Dab
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(Original post by chocolatestorm)
Hi, cngrats on your grades!
- When did you start revising?
- How did you revise chemistry and biology?
- How did you balance revising all three well without compromising any of you subjects?
- Anything you wish you did differently that could have helped?
- Do you enjoy studying medicine?

Sorry that's a lot!
No worries. I love answering questions to be fair haha.
1. I started revising quite late. Probably 2 weeks before exams started? Make sure you revise as early as you need though. I had some family issues which stopped me revising earlier, otherwise I would have started at Easter.

2. Chem and Bio I summarised the courses into a word document for each subject. I used a CGP revision guide to get the content from as it is written in just enough detail you need to know. I feel lots of other textbooks have too much info. I think other textbooks are good to learn content but if you want to remember the content, the CGP revision guide is fundamental. Essentially I just made sure I covered the whole specification which you can find online. Also I did all past papers available. Even old exam boards if I had to. Sample papers and Phys and Maths Tutor are good question banks.

3. My third subject was maths which I found not to be a very content heavy subject so luckily I didn't really struggle too much because of it. For maths all I did was do a past paper or two every day as it wouldn't take me too long and is the best way to revise maths as the questions are basically the same every year. Just make a timetable and allocate a required amount for each subject. I prioritised bio, then chem, then maths. The reason for this is that bio has so much content compared to the other two.

4. I wish I had started earlier because then I could have got higher percentages I guess. Otherwise not really. I think my revision methods were very time-efficient and worked well in terms of learning what I needed.

5. Medicine is great! It's so challenging but it's so worth it. I'm kind of struggling as there is already more to learn than what I had to learn for my A-Levels but it is so interesting so I don't mind putting in the effort. It's good to know eventually I'll be able to help people in a way that not everyone can, and aid them with something which is very precious: life.
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Dr Dab
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(Original post by Leah.J)
Do you remember if the hydrolysis of esters needs Heating under reflux of if just warming would do ?
Hydrolysis is reflux, forming esters is just heating.
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alstras
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(Original post by TurboZX453)
So in terms of revision during the holidays and in general what are your top tips?

Like I do Maths, FM, Economics and content wise they are heavy. So I want to gather your thoughts on this.
Thanks
Hey thought I would chime in and add some stuff w/ regards to Econ, Maths & FM.

Totally agree with regards to Maths & Further Maths, past papers can literally carry you to A*s, just do them, write down q's / topics you got wrong, go over them then move on to the next one etc.

For Econ just know what the mark scheme looks for (there are marking bands requiring intros, 3 x point, explanation, evaluation, conclusion etc.) and a big one is to practice past papers under time pressure - obviously you have to know the content as well but answering within the time limit and to the structure that the examiner requires is a challenge. I agree with Dr Dab, I literally learnt the whole Econ spec, so I knew the spec without having to see it so that helps when you're writing to know what the examiner is looking for content wise.

With regards to revision, what I did was (granted less content based than Dr Dab - I did M,FM,Econ,French) was to know all the content v well before Easter so I could just do past papers over the holidays - think I started making double notes / consolidating everything mid-March
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Dr Dab
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(Original post by dx31)
Well done on your grades!

What subjects did you find hardest?
When did you start revision and how productive were you days/ how many hours a day?
And what past papers did you manage to do/ what resources did you use?
What was your approach to revising biology and chemistry
Is physics ad maths tutor the topic questions good for each?
Thank you!

I found biology to be the hardest mainly due to the insane amount of content you had to learn. In terms of understanding, probably chemistry as some of the stuff was a bit confusing to get your head around. Once you did though, it is so easy to answer questions about it as once you can answer one, you can answer all.

I started 2 weeks before exams but I'd suggest starting earlier. Maybe easter. From what I did, I'd wake up at like 10, eat breakfast. Revise from 11-1. Eat lunch. Revise from 3-7. Eat dinner. Then revise until like 9. Then I'd relax a bit and sleep eventually. I did this literally every day. I don't know how but the pressure really motivated me to work hard. Basically the only breaks I had were to eat or sleep haha.

I used physics and maths tutor and exam pro to get questions from. Even though some questions are old specification they're still really useful. Also, I suggest using the limited amount of past papers that do exist, including sample papers too. They're the best resource as they're up to date and you can see what the mark scheme wants in this new specification.

I summarised each subject into a word document and spent ages trying to memories them. This alongside past papers and questions was so useful. I just made sure I covered the specification for each subject and bingo. CGP revision guides are so good for these subjects. They're underrated. Also the jokes are class
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shohaib712
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When did you finish making notes for all 3 subjects? How did you prepare for the exams after making notes? Did you do past papers from other examboards for extra practice?
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dx31
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(Original post by Dr Dab)
Thank you!

I found biology to be the hardest mainly due to the insane amount of content you had to learn. In terms of understanding, probably chemistry as some of the stuff was a bit confusing to get your head around. Once you did though, it is so easy to answer questions about it as once you can answer one, you can answer all.

I started 2 weeks before exams but I'd suggest starting earlier. Maybe easter. From what I did, I'd wake up at like 10, eat breakfast. Revise from 11-1. Eat lunch. Revise from 3-7. Eat dinner. Then revise until like 9. Then I'd relax a bit and sleep eventually. I did this literally every day. I don't know how but the pressure really motivated me to work hard. Basically the only breaks I had were to eat or sleep haha.

I used physics and maths tutor and exam pro to get questions from. Even though some questions are old specification they're still really useful. Also, I suggest using the limited amount of past papers that do exist, including sample papers too. They're the best resource as they're up to date and you can see what the mark scheme wants in this new specification.

I summarised each subject into a word document and spent ages trying to memories them. This alongside past papers and questions was so useful. I just made sure I covered the specification for each subject and bingo. CGP revision guides are so good for these subjects. They're underrated. Also the jokes are class
I really appreciate the time you took out to write this. Thank you so so much!!! Wish you the best in future!! Thank you for this
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What where you doing in y12 revision wise? Anything at all? Making flash cards in the weekends? or in y12 did you just make sure to stay on top of content / homework and thats it?
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