Alevel Revision - how much and how confidentWatch
I'v recorded all of my revision and the type of revision for each study session which I'll type out below, would be interesting to see how this varies for current alevel students.I'm taking physics, geography and history and am going to be studying BSc Physical Geography most likely at Royal Holloway, but possibly at UCL if i get 3 A grades.
So, I started revision for May/June alevels on 11th March - and did just 80 minutes of note - making on that day. By the end of March I had done 15 hours of revision, all of this was note - making apart from 4 of the hours which was a lecture style talk from Bob Digby, chief alevel geography examiner. Throughout April I did 20 hours of revision which was entirely note - making, such as simple notes, more detailed ones and mind-maps (bare in mind that the advice for alevels is 15-20 hours revision PER WEEK so at this point I was feeling very behind which ironically made me feel demotivated and less willing to work more hours).
Next period of study was from start of May to my first exam, which was physics paper one on 20th May. So, between May 1st and 20th May I did 43.1 hours work, and the increase in work was almost entirely due to the lack of throughout April. I'd estimate that about 40 hours of this work was note making and creating mind-maps, with the remaining hours being used getting the fam to test me on notes I'd made. Ngl, towards the end of this period I was completely ******** myself because I'd missed a couple of revision targets, such as revising by completing past papers for physics and in general doing more studying.
From the 20th May to 31st May i had a further 3 exams and study totalled 14 hours (still under the 15-20 hours per week guideline). All of this revision was short note making as I had a geography and history exam which I usually revise for by just revising as that's how I learn the content best.
So, by the end of May I'd done four exams which were physics, geog and history paper one and physics paper two, so I then started preparing for the next group of exams which was three papers beginning 3rd June. Between 1st June and 5th June my study time totalled 8 hours and this studying was, have a guess, making notes - I feel pretty bad about this because I know more work needed to be done for the exams which I was then preparing for + I'd failed to do any past paper practise for physics. . I'v sat all three of those exams now and I have one exam left on the 13th June which is four days from now, including today (the 10th).
The exams themselves have varied in success in terms of how confident I felt about how the exams went. Physics paper one and two (OCR) seemed to go better than expected and the rest of my class + other OCR physics students generally felt the same way, although on paper two I somehow forgot about the multiple choice section and had to propel myself through 10 multi - choice questions in the last two mins of the exam (7/8 of the Q's ended up being guesses :0). Geography (Edexcel) paper one went terribly, and ironically its physical geography which is my chosen degree, but paper two which is human geography went much better, mainly because the questions were so relevant to current affairs, hence a lot to write about. History paper one was American history (AQA) which I'v found quite hard, but luckily the questions on the paper which pretty much what I had revised, so that paper went okay. Paper two history is Tudor history which I'v found quite challenging as well, but luckily again the questions were really perfect for the revision I'v done, and the paper ended up being my best paper out of all 7 exams so far. So there's still one exam which I haven't talked about and that's physics paper 3, otherwise known as unified physics, otherwise known as a complete abomination - hence I'm not going to bother explaining how that went....
So, with one paper left (geography synoptic paper 3) I only feel confident in certain aspects of certain papers, such as three particular questions in physics paper two and the two main essays in the Tudor history paper. I feel like the revision I'v done has prepared me adequately, but there was room for improvement which hopefully I can achieve in the upcoming exam on the 13th. When I revise, as you can tell, I time everything and when the timers on the phone is away apart from if I feel like listening to music whilst revising. This has made me more confident in my own revision as, although the study time is lower than many, I know that it is quality work done with no distractions. Btw, all of the revision times I'v listed are broken up into smaller study times per subject, and I'v never gone over 40 minutes of revision without then taking a break. However, even the fact that I am confident in the revision I'v done hasn't helped me to feel more confident in the way the exams went themselves; I mentioned previously that I felt confident in the Tudor paper and physics paper one and two, but even then I know I'v made many mistakes which could have been prevented with more study. All seven exams I'v sat have still left me worried about results, adding to this worry is the pressure to succeed in alevels after my gcse results, which potentially left teachers a little over-confident in my abilities at alevel.
Well this has gone on for way too long but feels quite good to explain everything. By the 5th June the total study hours were 99.3 hours (bit annoyed not 100). If I were to follow alevel revision guidelines, this revision should have been reached in somewhere between a month and 6 weeks. However, I feel like I have worked hard throughout the alevel courses, especially in Yr13 - and to my schools advantage we have a lesson for every subject every fortnight called Lesson 10 where we do exam practise of each alevel we take, thus making the missed exam practise for physics less of a concern. This post is definitely overkill and it probably sounds weird to a lot of people how I time everything down to the second, but it's just how I'v always organised events in my life. It would be great to hear how some of you other alevel students have got along with revision and exams, don't feel bad about tearing apart how I'v been revising lol. Well done if ya read this far btw.
Edit: If there are any Yr12 alevel students or other who are doing or are going to take alevels I have a few tips from my own experience - nearly all the students who are doing well in alevels towards the end of Yr13 have worked solidly throughout the beginnings of Yr13 as well as Yr12. In terms of revision, don't be inconsistent like I have (ie, great differences in the amount of study done and when). All teachers always say don't leave it until the last minute - I think this was wrong for gcse's but certainly applies to alevels unless if you're seriously gifted in a certain subject. Hope I'v helped in someway