TacolessWasabi
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Pretty self explanatory, but what do you guys wish you did, life hacks you stumbled across or things you realised were mistakes and wasted time. A* tips too! SEND ALL OF THAT WAY LMFAO
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RtheBotanist
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Use private study and free periods. It'll let you get way ahead of everybody else in terms of content.

I'm coming to the end of year 12, and managed to use a grand total of 5 private studies/frees for actual work. My teachers all think I'm working hard, as I'm doing very well, but behind the scenes things are slowly collapsing due to my pathological laziness.

One good tip is to go through the spec for each subject and make condensed notes on every aspect of the course/year's work, even before you've done the content. You'll be surprised how little there is, even in big subjects - it puts things in perspective when you can see the whole course laid out in front of you. I'm doing this with chemistry, and it is going to make year 13 so much easier. Next I'll go through geography and biology. maths might be a little trickier.
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Sinnoh
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Moved this to the A-levels forum .

I guess for me it's don't bite off more than you can chew with work. At the start of year 12 I was doing 3 A-levels but also French A-level off-timetable (already being half-French), then I switched to further maths, and then three months later I switched from A-level French to the AS because 5 A-levels is just stupid and learning languages is pretty boring.

and help others out with work, teaching them topics etc because helping them also helps you.
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KrazyKriss
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(Original post by RtheBotanist)
Use private study and free periods. It'll let you get way ahead of everybody else in terms of content.

I'm coming to the end of year 12, and managed to use a grand total of 5 private studies/frees for actual work. My teachers all think I'm working hard, as I'm doing very well, but behind the scenes things are slowly collapsing due to my pathological laziness.

One good tip is to go through the spec for each subject and make condensed notes on every aspect of the course/year's work, even before you've done the content. You'll be surprised how little there is, even in big subjects - it puts things in perspective when you can see the whole course laid out in front of you. I'm doing this with chemistry, and it is going to make year 13 so much easier. Next I'll go through geography and biology. maths might be a little trickier.
In free periods did you go over what you did in class or move onto the next topic before everyone else?
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hagrid69
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Okay mine are honestly less about study and more about putting myself out there and being more social in general.

I did pretty well consistently (A’s) throughout the two years. (Getting my results in a month though I didn’t even sit any exams lmaoo). I spent most of my time and basically all my frees studying. I don’t regret working hard, but rather neglecting my personal growth (I.e. not dressing how I want, making friends, spending more time with my friends, etc.) I guess this is more to do with the insecurities/confidence issues I had than sixth form in general but that’s what I would regret if I regretted anything.

Basically, work hard but don’t neglect your personal growth

Oh and when it comes to uni, visit as many open days as you can 🤭 and listen to your gut and not what people are telling you to do. (I guess this is general advice too lmao).

Best of luck xxx
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Deggs_14
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Be actively friendly to everyone and make a conscious effort to socialise and make connections with people. I’ve left school only having acquaintances and no friends, and never having done any stereotypical normal teenager stuff such as going to a party or having a relationship. I basically sat in the library all day everyday and kept myself to myself. Yes my academics were strong but I had very few social interactions with anyone else and was always lonely By the time I gained some confidence and said hello to some people coronavirus happened and school finished. Be friendly with people, invite them over, go to London together, take pictures together etc.

And it depends on school, but don’t overspend money. If you need to buy lunch bring it in with you instead by making a bagel or something in the morning, most people at my school didn’t eat in the canteen and drove to Mcdonalds every day. Ignore people who judge you for wearing the same outfit or clothes everyday. You don’t need to over prepare or stress about starting a levels, they’re completely different to GCSEs. Your October year 12 report grades will be low and that’s okay. Don’t be afraid to change something of your routine isn’t working. Drop a subject from 4 to 3, do an EPQ, swap a subject, move back schools, whatever you need to do, it’s not too late. And kept importantly enjoy it, the time goes by really quickly
Last edited by Deggs_14; 4 weeks ago
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RtheBotanist
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(Original post by KrazyKriss)
In free periods did you go over what you did in class or move onto the next topic before everyone else?
I actually procrastinated way too much during free periods to get anything done. Often I would socialise, go for a walk into town, sit and read or book a music room and drum furiously for an hour or two.
I got ahead in content by reading textbooks during lessons (discreetly enough to afford all due respect to the teacher) when we were taking too long as a class to get through something.

But ideally, I would have got everything done during free periods/private studies.
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KrazyKriss
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(Original post by RtheBotanist)
I actually procrastinated way too much during free periods to get anything done. Often I would socialise, go for a walk into town, sit and read or book a music room and drum furiously for an hour or two.
I got ahead in content by reading textbooks during lessons (discreetly enough to afford all due respect to the teacher) when we were taking too long as a class to get through something.

But ideally, I would have got everything done during free periods/private studies.
Thanks, this is so useful😊. Is there a difference between free periods and private study or are they the same?
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hagrid69
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(Original post by Deggs_14)
Be actively friendly to everyone and make a conscious effort to socialise and make connections with people. I’ve left school only having acquaintances and no friends, and never having done any stereotypical normal teenager stuff such as going to a party or having a relationship. I basically sat in the library all day everyday and kept myself to myself. Yes my academics were strong but I had very few social interactions with anyone else and was always lonely By the time I gained some confidence and said hello to some people coronavirus happened and school finished. Be friendly with people, invite them over, go to London together, take pictures together etc.

And it depends on school, but don’t overspend money. If you need to buy lunch bring it in with you instead by making a bagel or something in the morning, most people at my school didn’t eat in the canteen and drove to Mcdonalds every day. Ignore people who judge you for wearing the same outfit or clothes everyday. You don’t need to over prepare or stress about starting a levels, they’re completely different to a levels. Don’t be afraid to change something of your routine isn’t working. Drop a subject from 4 to 3, do an EPQ, swap a subject, move back schools, whatever you need to do, it’s not too late. And kept importantly enjoy it, the time goes by really quickly
Bro I can relate lmao 😭

At least we have uni to look forward to ✨

There’s always another chance 👏

Man corona has really put so many things into perspective

Good luck to u fam 💫
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RtheBotanist
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(Original post by KrazyKriss)
Thanks, this is so useful😊. Is there a difference between free periods and private study or are they the same?
Free periods are to spend however one likes. You 'have' to sign into private study periods though, and do some form of work. I would sign in and then just wander off whenever I had one. Quite a few people did the same, but then my sixth form is pretty lax.
Last edited by RtheBotanist; 4 weeks ago
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Deggs_14
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(Original post by hagrid69)
Okay mine are honestly less about study and more about putting myself out there and being more social in general.

I did pretty well consistently (A’s) throughout the two years. (Getting my results in a month though I didn’t even sit any exams lmaoo). I spent most of my time and basically all my frees studying. I don’t regret working hard, but rather neglecting my personal growth (I.e. not dressing how I want, making friends, spending more time with my friends, etc.) I guess this is more to do with the insecurities/confidence issues I had than sixth form in general but that’s what I would regret if I regretted anything.

Basically, work hard but don’t neglect your personal growth

Oh and when it comes to uni, visit as many open days as you can 🤭 and listen to your gut and not what people are telling you to do. (I guess this is general advice too lmao).

Best of luck xxx
Definitely I second this, prioritise your personal and social growth .
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MJ1148
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Use free periods to do actual work, and find the right balance between finishing homework and revising. That being said, not everyone studies the same way so if you’re someone who needs to space everything out and consolidate every day then focus on that, if you’re like me and get everything done by doing stuff last minute/in random bursts of motivation, and don’t find writing notes months in advance useful at all, then you do you. At the end of the day, if you’re getting good grades, that’s what matters. obviously don’t be extreme and cram an entire subject the day before an exam, but don’t beat yourself up if your methods of studying don’t match up to other people.

I would definitely recommend spacing out your extra reading for UCAS throughout the year tho. I was stressed out because I didn’t have time to read loads of books around my chosen subject, but you really don’t have to do that. Instead, spend a few minutes here and here watching a talk on YouTube or a documentary, doing a short course from the Open University, and reading articles. Lots of free zoom talks are happening at the moment so have a look on Eventbrite. Buy a notebook and make detailed notes on everything you do from the start. By the time you come to your personal statement it will basically write itself.

If you want to do something like an EPQ or another extra qualification, remember that it’s a big commitment. I could go on about how time consuming the EPQ was, but just remember to take into account how you would fit something like that around your A Levels.

If you have an existential crisis about your uni course and decide to change your mind completely (like I did), don’t stress too much about it. As long as you have enough evidence in your PS that you are passionate about the subject, you will be fine. Make sure you explore all options and keep an open mind, because it’s a really important decision, and I would have been stuck with a course that is totally not right for me otherwise.

I also agree with people who said that you should make friends with as many people as possible and spend time with them rather than just working 24/7. However, if you feel like you aren’t really making any close friends or you don’t really fit in, don’t stress too much about it. These two years will go past VERY quickly, and whether you go on to uni or do something else, you will have so many more opportunities to find “your people” and chances are that you will only keep in contact with a handful of friends from college. Prioritise your wellbeing - it’s easy to say but it’s really not worth sacrificing your happiness for your grades.
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