First set of first year A Level mocks

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LJ234
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I just got my first set of A-Level mock grades (first year) back, and I got As in Geography and English Lit, which I'm really proud of because I didn't feel they went particularly well at the time of the exam.

However, I got an E in Biology, which has made me so scared that I'm not scared- I know it will keep me up at night thinking about it, but at the moment I keep laughing at it or just saying 'meh it's fine I'll just work really hard'. I knew during the exam that it wasn't going well, and I panicked throughout the whole thing, but I'm not used to doing just so badly.

I'm particularly scared because, though I didn't revise as much as I could/should have, I still revised quite a bit during the week coming up to it, and now I'm anxious that no matter how much work I put into it I'll still fail.

My initial predicted grade is a D, which is better than an E, and is actually a pass, but it's still not where I want to be- I want to get a C at least.

I know there's nothing I can do right now to magically change that E into a C, but does anyone have any tips for doing better, specifically in A-Level Biology?
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loulouloull
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What is your revision method like? Do you do lots of practice papers? Do you try different revision methods such as not just reading through notes but flashcards, videos, etc. I would recommend going through the stuff you have done in class after the lesson to make sure you understand it, if you can make notes as you go along and if you do not understand when you are looking over it, you can message the teacher whilst it is fresh in your mind.

Maybe when revising, have a timetable if you don't already so you know you are spending the right amount of time on each subject, Did you spend enough time revising Biology and not just focused on Geography and English lit?

Hope this helped...?
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LJ234
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(Original post by loulouloull)
What is your revision method like? Do you do lots of practice papers? Do you try different revision methods such as not just reading through notes but flashcards, videos, etc. I would recommend going through the stuff you have done in class after the lesson to make sure you understand it, if you can make notes as you go along and if you do not understand when you are looking over it, you can message the teacher whilst it is fresh in your mind.

Maybe when revising, have a timetable if you don't already so you know you are spending the right amount of time on each subject, Did you spend enough time revising Biology and not just focused on Geography and English lit?

Hope this helped...?
Thanks for your advice

I use flashcards and did some past paper questions but I know I didn't use either as effectively as I should have, which is probably the main issue (eg on my flashcards I try and cram pretty much all the information on it so it's not a flash card anymore, rather a mini textbook). I need to go over quite a few things from the last topics, a big problem being that my teachers (especially now we're home learning) go through the lessons really fast and then I just switch off. We've tried telling them to slow down but they won't listen. I'm not blaming all of my failure on my teachers, because it's mainly my fault, but they're not the best at listening to us and taking our suggestions into account.

I don't have a revision timetable at the moment, and I'm pretty sure I ended up doing the bulk of the revision the night before, which is obviously my fault. It didn't help that they didn't tell us about the mocks until about 2 weeks before them, so I spent more time writing up flashcards than actually revising. Biology was my first exam and I had English straight after so I didn't get to revise it for a day like I did with Geography (which was 2 days later). I naturally find Biology harder so I told myself I'd spend more time on it but I'm not sure that I did, really.

Sorry for the long reply, thanks again for the advice
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loulouloull
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Ah, I see. Try putting a question on the front of a flashcard e.g. what are lipids made up of? and answers on the back. This will make it more active recall and you can put questions you got wrong on one side and questions you got right on the other and just keep going over the wrong ones. They are called FLASH cards for a reason!

It could be just the situation then which is completely understandable. And I agree, it definitely is a struggle, especially with online school. And the teacher situation doesn't really help either... I am currently doing Biology A-level (in year 12 too) too and one of my teachers is not-so-good. My other really good teacher is head of the department so I told this teacher and she passed on the message to the teacher so maybe try that. Just chip away at it, so if there is a topic you struggle on instead of e.g. going on Instagram (may not apply to you but other types of procrastination maybe instead just sit down and watch a 10-minute video on the topic? I feel like I am giving advice to myself now lol I need to take a piece of my own advice.

No worries, don't worry it will all work out
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LJ234
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I really need to stop procrastinating as well but we all know that lockdown is the WORST for sucking out all motivation. I'm really hoping it will work out lmao. I should really get on the flash cards, it'll be good revision of the last topics which I obviously didn't know very well in the first place oops. Every single one of my teachers has upped the workload over lockdown though for some reason Thanks so much for your advice and time
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loulouloull
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Haha mood and yes same here they think we have "more time" but they are just making us sit longer in the same place staring at our computers all day! It's no problem! And just out of curiosity, what exam board do you do for biology?
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LJ234
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I'm doing OCR, what about you?
Yeah, and then they're all like 'your mental health is paramount x' but then they make us spend so much time on the thing that supposedly causes worse mental health (technology). This lockdown's been a whole lot worse for some reason (probably because we, as year 11s, didn't have to do much work )
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procrastination8
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(Original post by LJ234)
I just got my first set of A-Level mock grades (first year) back, and I got As in Geography and English Lit, which I'm really proud of because I didn't feel they went particularly well at the time of the exam.

However, I got an E in Biology, which has made me so scared that I'm not scared- I know it will keep me up at night thinking about it, but at the moment I keep laughing at it or just saying 'meh it's fine I'll just work really hard'. I knew during the exam that it wasn't going well, and I panicked throughout the whole thing, but I'm not used to doing just so badly.

I'm particularly scared because, though I didn't revise as much as I could/should have, I still revised quite a bit during the week coming up to it, and now I'm anxious that no matter how much work I put into it I'll still fail.

My initial predicted grade is a D, which is better than an E, and is actually a pass, but it's still not where I want to be- I want to get a C at least.

I know there's nothing I can do right now to magically change that E into a C, but does anyone have any tips for doing better, specifically in A-Level Biology?
Well done for your English and geog grades!! I did a levels in those so know how hard (and underestimated their hardness is).
I didn’t do biology but a lot of my friends did and they all started out with very low grades. I think it’s just something that you develop with time. There is a very specific exam technique for biology so if I were you I’d focus on past papers as much as you can: look at examiners notes, look for what they want from you.
good luck!
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LJ234
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(Original post by procrastination8)
Well done for your English and geog grades!! I did a levels in those so know how hard (and underestimated their hardness is).
I didn’t do biology but a lot of my friends did and they all started out with very low grades. I think it’s just something that you develop with time. There is a very specific exam technique for biology so if I were you I’d focus on past papers as much as you can: look at examiners notes, look for what they want from you.
good luck!
Thank you so much! Yeah, I kept meaning to focus more around past papers and mark schemes and examiners notes at GCSE but then they got cancelled so I never full learnt the ins and outs. I shall definitely be making more of an effort to do so with my A-Levels, and hopefully this is the kick up the ass to get my gears in motion, because I really don't want to fail lol
Thanks for your advice
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loulouloull
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(Original post by LJ234)
I'm doing OCR, what about you?
Yeah, and then they're all like 'your mental health is paramount x' but then they make us spend so much time on the thing that supposedly causes worse mental health (technology). This lockdown's been a whole lot worse for some reason (probably because we, as year 11s, didn't have to do much work )
Ah yes same I do OCR! I am so glad you do as well haha finally someone else who does OCR, everyone seems to do AQA! OCR is pretty tough :// Literally, that is so accurate 💀 They say "get outside and do loads of exercise!!" Whilst saying "You need to be doing extra work on top of all the homework we give you like in normal school" it's like 2 extremes. I agree, we have gone from doing no work during the first lockdown to now our third lockdown and having mountain loads of work 😅 This might sound weird but do you want to keep in touch? I feel like it might be beneficial, only if you want to though 😊
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LJ234
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(Original post by loulouloull)
Ah yes same I do OCR! I am so glad you do as well haha finally someone else who does OCR, everyone seems to do AQA! OCR is pretty tough :// Literally, that is so accurate 💀 They say "get outside and do loads of exercise!!" Whilst saying "You need to be doing extra work on top of all the homework we give you like in normal school" it's like 2 extremes. I agree, we have gone from doing no work during the first lockdown to now our third lockdown and having mountain loads of work 😅 This might sound weird but do you want to keep in touch? I feel like it might be beneficial, only if you want to though 😊
Yeah sure! I'll PM you I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who feels the extra weight of all this lockdown stuff, honestly, as bad as it sounds. It's a shame we have to be put through it though :/
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