Year 12 seriously bad grades.... desperate for help

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username5174248
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Hi there,
So recently I've been struggling in school with two of my a-level subjects: maths and biology.
I recently got two Us while the rest of the class got D's/C's/B's/A's
I'm just wondering if anyone else has been if this position of getting Us in the beginning of year 12 and if they were able to reach grade A's as time went on.
I feel so discouraged right now and super dumb.
Extra info: I got two 7s at GCSE so I wouldn't consider myself to be a particularly "bad" student.
Much help would be appreciated, merci beaucoup!
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Panjsuce
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A levels are very, very hard - a lot of people in my class got a 8/9 in the GCSE and sat on D’s for most of year 12. Have you tried to adjust whether it’s exam technique or knowledge you’re falling back on? Maths can be rectified but it sounds like it will be very difficult, I can’t comment on biology as I don’t take it but I know of someone who went from a U in their year 12 mock to an A by the real exam - what did you get for GCSE maths and biology?
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Panjsuce
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(Original post by Panjsuce)
A levels are very, very hard - a lot of people in my class got a 8/9 in the GCSE and sat on D’s for most of year 12. Have you tried to adjust whether it’s exam technique or knowledge you’re falling back on? Maths can be rectified but it sounds like it will be very difficult, I can’t comment on biology as I don’t take it but I know of someone who went from a U in their year 12 mock to an A by the real exam - what did you get for GCSE maths and biology?
**assess whether it’s
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linedpaper
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(Original post by kittykat213)
Hi there,
So recently I've been struggling in school with two of my a-level subjects: maths and biology.
I recently got two Us while the rest of the class got D's/C's/B's/A's
I'm just wondering if anyone else has been if this position of getting Us in the beginning of year 12 and if they were able to reach grade A's as time went on.
I feel so discouraged right now and super dumb.
Extra info: I got two 7s at GCSE so I wouldn't consider myself to be a particularly "bad" student.
Much help would be appreciated, merci beaucoup!
Clearly you need to put in more revision, consolidate your knowledge after your lessons etc. Most people I know are getting As/Bs/Cs in Biology from the start off, including myself
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Doughnut_Potato
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IB student here - Can't say much about A levels, but now is not too late. I messed up my first few Bio tests, scoring something like a 4 (50%).I would say look over your test and reflect. What about it stumped you? Did you review enough? Did you make any
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Mohamed Idris
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(Original post by linedpaper)
Clearly you need to put in more revision, consolidate your knowledge after your lessons etc. Most people I know are getting As/Bs/Cs in Biology from the start off, including myself
I second this, it's still early but I'd go back and try fully understand what the class did in the start of the year, and definitely try do a strict revision timetable, A Levels will only get harder and you need to try pick up as quick as possible.
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GreenCub
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If you're getting extremely low grades in maths, then probably the first thing to check is whether your algebra skills are up to scratch.
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fiixnaa
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I'm in Year 13 and I'm doing Chem and Bio so I can sort of relate to you.

What I noticed straight away but unfortunately took me too long to change was my revision technique. It's SO important that you find the right revision technique for you at A-Level because of how content-heavy subjects like Biology are. What I did at GCSE wouldn't work for me at A-Level but I was too stubborn and scared to change my revision methods and now I'm having to try something else this late. In Year 12, you have this time to find what works best for you so use your time wisely.

For Biology, the hardest part of the subject is understanding a topic, memorising the content and being able to apply your knowledge to exam questions. To understand a topic, I recommend asking your teachers AS SOON AS you don't understand something - DO NOT leave it and say to yourself "I'll go over it later" because you most likely won't and eventually the topics you don't understand will pile up. Using YT videos from channels like Tailored Tutors and SnapRevise can also help to understand topics. To memorise, I'd suggest writing flashcards because the hardest part about biology is memorising the key terms because without them, you won't hit the marking points in the mark schemes. Answering as many past paper questions as you can and marking your questions as you look at the mark scheme will help you learn what key terms examiners want you to use.

I don't do Maths at A-Level but I'm sure the same logic applies. You need to understand a topic and answer as many exam questions on it because maths is all about practice. If you practice answering maths problems and revising what you get wrong, that is one of the best (and sometimes the only) ways to get better.

A key thing to learn at A-Level is that when you don't understand something, ASK FOR HELP! There is no shame in asking for help if you need it and it's better to get it early whereas a lot of people I know in Year 13 are sat with Cs and Ds because they couldn't be bothered to ask for help in lessons or go to support sessions or were too embarrassed to ask for help.
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PepeTheFroggi
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That was me in the beginning of Physics last year. I was getting D's in the beginning of the year and in one test i got a U 7/36 or something in the test ;-;. However i worked really hard and during the January mocks i got an A. So if you put the work in and study really hard, its possible to jump grades up. I mean right now pandemic messed me up and im back to getting C's in tests which is annoying. But as long as you try you can achieve the higher grades.
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Anonymous1502
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(Original post by username5174248)
Hi there,
So recently I've been struggling in school with two of my a-level subjects: maths and biology.
I recently got two Us while the rest of the class got D's/C's/B's/A's
I'm just wondering if anyone else has been if this position of getting Us in the beginning of year 12 and if they were able to reach grade A's as time went on.
I feel so discouraged right now and super dumb.
Extra info: I got two 7s at GCSE so I wouldn't consider myself to be a particularly "bad" student.
Much help would be appreciated, merci beaucoup!
For biology I would make notes based on the specification so you make sure your notes cover everything then I would read them and rewrite them from memory without looking for processes and descriptive type parts.

Practise all questions and keep redoing them until you get full marks if you don't understand something don't be scared to ask your teacher.
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Mia2408
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Hey!
First of all as weird as it may sound, do not worry. The shock from the change from GCSE to A-level is fared by most students, including the traditionally academic students who attained straight 8/9's at GCSE level. What you need to focus on is the solution and think about are you studying hard or studying smart? I was, unfortunately, part of the studying hard category, and it took a while to fine-tune my revision technique to secure my A grade in Biology.

Here are my tips;
- Try to make extremely minimal notes, outline only key information/or information you have trouble learning. You've got the textbook for the whole content so why bother when you can create for instance a page per topic for you to flick through the morning of the exam that has the information you have trouble retaining.
- Try to make notes synchronically to teaching, don't put it off because the information you have as your learning is likely more accurate and 'fresh in your head'
- Do past papers, especially by topic synchronically to learning and make flashcards on exam questions you are getting wrong.
- Try to read the exam reports, examiners will highlight questions where most students scored poorly on a national level.
- Always refer to the specification when revising chapter by chapter.

Good luck!
-Mia
Last edited by Mia2408; 1 month ago
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