I got all A*'s at GCSE and A-Level: ask me anything (advice thread) Watch

rose236
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At GCSE I got 11 A*'s (Maths, English lang/lit, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Business, Spanish, Geography, Photography, ICT) and at A-Level I got 3 A*'s in Maths, Economics, and Biology, an A* in my EPQ (on the sugar tax) and an A in AS Further Maths (which I self taught- I did S1 and FP1). I was on Edexcel for all 3 A-Levels and my AS. GCSE's vary but Edexcel for Maths and English. I am open to answering any questions about my grades or the subjects I took and will try my best to give advice

Edit: Because quite a few people have asked, I got offers to study economics at Warwick (A*AA), Durham (A*AA), Bath (A*AA) and Loughborough (AAB) and was pooled at Cambridge. I didn't apply to any London universities (UCL or LSE) because I really didn't want to go to university in a big city, I prefer campus universities and London is too close to home for my liking.

-Video about my experience applying to Cambridge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNrmxbfAlyU&t=5s

Disclaimer: I am not bragging I just want to help people since I enjoy tutoring. The reason I listed grades and subjects was 1) so that people doing the same subjects as me can ask for specific advice and 2) because showing the grades I got proves that the techniques I used to revise and learn worked for me and helped me to achieve my grades. I can provide advice to people of all abilities and stages in school.
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jjjjhjhjhhjjhjhj
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What university do u go to and what course?
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rose236
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(Original post by jjjjhjhjhhjjhjhj)
What university do u go to and what course?
Warwick for economics
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lunaloo
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Were you always seen as a gifted child? and what do you want to be in the future?
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Gone245
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(Original post by rose236)
At GCSE I got 11 A*'s and at A-Level I got 3 A*'s in maths, economics, and biology, an A* in my EPQ and an A in AS further maths (which I self-taught). I am open to answering any questions and will try my best to give advice
How many hours a night did you revise for a levels
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rose236
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(Original post by lunaloo)
Were you always seen as a gifted child? and what do you want to be in the future?
i was always somewhat smart- I was always good at maths, geography, biology etc. wasn't as good at english, physics (i used to get B's and C's in year 10) or spanish until year 11 when i actually started putting in work, never got an A* in an english or spanish mock before, gcse's was the first time, revision and putting in time is the way i got the grades and not entirely sure but something to do within the finance industry
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rose236
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(Original post by Gone245)
How many hours a night did you revise for a levels
i really struggled to stay focused on my revision as i procrastinate really easily nowadays but i would revise from 5pm to 10pm with dinner etc and lots of breaks so maybe 2-3h a night? only time i did solid revision for 5h+ was the day before an exam
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kaylah33
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(Original post by rose236)
At GCSE I got 11 A*'s and at A-Level I got 3 A*'s in maths, economics, and biology, an A* in my EPQ and an A in AS further maths (which I self-taught). I am open to answering any questions and will try my best to give advice

video about my experience applying to cambridge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNrmxbfAlyU&t=5s
Hi I want to do the exact same subjects as you for a level. i'm going to start year 12 in September. Do you have any specific tips for each subject and how to not stress during a levels? btw i just got my grades for GCSR and i achieved four 8s, three 9s and two 7s.

P.S how did you find the work load of biology, economics and maths?
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rose236
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(Original post by kaylah33)
Hi I want to do the exact same subjects as you for a level. i'm going to start year 12 in September. Do you have any specific tips for each subject and how to not stress during a levels? btw i just got my grades for GCSR and i achieved four 8s, three 9s and two 7s.

P.S how did you find the work load of biology, economics and maths?
well done on your grades!
for biology, after each lesson i would rewrite my notes and create a revision resource- not many people get A* in biology and its a hard a-level, hence why the boundary for an A* is only 68%- this takes time but in biology there is a lot of content to learn, so this will save a lot of time when it comes to mocks as writing up notes is vital but also time-consuming so this is a lot more efficient. maths year 1 is very easy for pure, you may find statistics and mechanics a bit more difficult but that's just because it's different, once i got the hang of it i found statistics to be the easiest. year 2 mechanics for me was very hard (i was on edexcel) so do lots of practice questions thats the only way you will be able to master this. when revising focus on year 2; year 1 will seem easy in comparison, trust me. economics can be stressful if you dont understand it, luckily I found economics to be quite easy but my advice for this is watch econplusdal on youtube, especially for micro. his videos saved me.

the workload was fine as my school didnt really give loads of homework as far as i remember but there is a lot of content to learn in 2 years, so maybe pre-read. I personally didn't find the workload hard despite taking 4 subjects in year 13 and doing an EPQ; if you are just doing 3 a-levels it will be fine. i didnt stress during a-levels but thats because i have 2 sets of mocks in year 12 and 2 in year 13 so im very used to doing exams.
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kaylah33
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Omg thank you so much for this advice this is just what I needed. Btw how is economics different from business gcse and also it’s difficulty. My school does ocr a for biology and edexcel for maths.
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rose236
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(Original post by kaylah33)
Omg thank you so much for this advice this is just what I needed. Btw how is economics different from business gcse and also it’s difficulty. My school does ocr a for biology and edexcel for maths.
I did WJEC business for GCSE and edexcel economics just for reference (but the exam boards basically have the same content for business and economics anyway) and there is some slight overlap, for example, stakeholders, fixed/variable costs, advertising/brand loyalty, imports and exports (I used SPICED in both a level economics and GCSE business). However, they are different subjects so economics has a lot of different topics that business does not cover. Difficulty depends on what you are good at, if you have more of a mathematical brain, you may find economics easier whereas if you prefer humanities I think business would be easier.
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kaylah33
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(Original post by rose236)
I did WJEC business for GCSE and edexcel economics just for reference (but the exam boards basically have the same content for business and economics anyway) and there is some slight overlap, for example, stakeholders, fixed/variable costs, advertising/brand loyalty, imports and exports (I used SPICED in both a level economics and GCSE business). However, they are different subjects so economics has a lot of different topics that business does not cover. Difficulty depends on what you are good at, if you have more of a mathematical brain, you may find economics easier whereas if you prefer humanities I think business would be easier.
Yes I’m definitely more of a maths person, so I think economics would be suitable for me. For biology how would you condense your notes if all the information is pretty much needed In order to get the marks in the exam?
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logical_nonsense
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(Original post by rose236)
At GCSE I got 11 A*'s and at A-Level I got 3 A*'s in maths, economics, and biology, an A* in my EPQ and an A in AS further maths (which I self-taught). I am open to answering any questions and will try my best to give advice

video about my experience applying to cambridge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNrmxbfAlyU&t=5s
How did you revise essay-based subjects and how did you compile your notes?
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rose236
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(Original post by kaylah33)
Yes I’m definitely more of a maths person, so I think economics would be suitable for me. For biology how would you condense your notes if all the information is pretty much needed In order to get the marks in the exam?
I would summarise and draw pictures to help me. For example, for the process of photosynthesis, instead of writing the stages of the light-dependent reaction out, I would draw a diagram and include only keywords. This only works if you are able to look at a keyword and be able to remember all the other detail surrounding the topic. I would not write notes on anything I already knew, such as the equation for photosynthesis or the structure of a heart. When writing up my notes for the day, I would not condense it, I would just write it up in neat and highlight all the notes the day before my exam to make sure I have gone over every single detail. You can only condense so much, but if I had to, I would focus just on the content that I don't understand and can't just learn within 1h.
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rose236
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(Original post by logical_nonsense)
How did you revise essay-based subjects and how did you compile your notes?
The only essay based subjects I've ever taken were english gcse and economics a-level since I prefer more mathematical and scientific subjects. For both of these subjects, I watched youtube videos; econplusdal for economics and mr bruff for english literature. I highly recommend watching the videos and creating a poster or notes based on the content they talk about and then getting a textbook or your notes and adding to the revision resource. That is how I was able to fully understand a topic. I also did lots of essay plans (bullet points). And with regards to compiling my notes, I basically just made colourful posters with lots of pictures on it to condense the hard content. I wouldn't condense the easier content since it was generally easier to remember.
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kaylah33
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(Original post by rose236)
I would summarise and draw pictures to help me. For example, for the process of photosynthesis, instead of writing the stages of the light-dependent reaction out, I would draw a diagram and include only keywords. This only works if you are able to look at a keyword and be able to remember all the other detail surrounding the topic. I would not write notes on anything I already knew, such as the equation for photosynthesis or the structure of a heart. When writing up my notes for the day, I would not condense it, I would just write it up in neat and highlight all the notes the day before my exam to make sure I have gone over every single detail. You can only condense so much, but if I had to, I would focus just on the content that I don't understand and can't just learn within 1h.
This is all really helpful thank you. Did your school purchase books for you or did you have to buy them yourselves? I also heard that cgp book for a level biology misses out a lot of vital information. Also, how many hours a day did you study after school and on weekends?
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JustStudy
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How often did you study a day for GCSES?
Maths advice?
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zaizay03
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(Original post by rose236)
At GCSE I got 11 A*'s and at A-Level I got 3 A*'s in maths, economics, and biology, an A* in my EPQ and an A in AS further maths (which I self-taught). I am open to answering any questions and will try my best to give advice

video about my experience applying to cambridge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNrmxbfAlyU&t=5s
i got (3) 8s (2) 7s and (5) 6s at gcse and i am going to do chem physics maths and history at a level. How likely is it that i can get into cambridge to do natural sciences with my gcse grades? also i got an 8 for maths and sciences and a 7 for history.
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Obolinda
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how did you revise Spanish?
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rose236
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(Original post by kaylah33)
This is all really helpful thank you. Did your school purchase books for you or did you have to buy them yourselves? I also heard that cgp book for a level biology misses out a lot of vital information. Also, how many hours a day did you study after school and on weekends?
Buy them myself and yes it does but it does provide you with a lot of good information though and I used it a lot, would recommend getting it. It goes into more detail than you need in some sections such as the section on drugs like platelet inhibitory drugs and statins. And from late April onwards probably 5h on weekends and 3h after school. The day before an exam I would spend the whole day revising. If I had an AM exam then I would revise from 3pm-10pm (I can't start revision straight away after an exam so I let myself have a break).
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