Am I being unrealistic or will I achieve an A* A* A*? GYG

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Ka_Hels
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#1
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#1
1. The First Post
Spoiler, probably not. But I'm certainly going to try. Or, at least tell myself that I'm going to try.

I'll admit it may be a bit late to start a Grow your Grades blog, but after finding this just now I figure it may be worth a shot to help keep focused and also use it in a similar fashion to journaling.

After bombing my GCSEs harder than I would have liked due to a combination of poor mental health, suspected ADHD and no access to doctors at the moment (and since march). Not to mention the pandemic, my start to A-Levels hasn't been the best. Despite all this, my current aspirations are quite high (Cambridge computer science I'm looking at you) so I want to do my best and this blog is gonna help, maybe.

The A-Levels I'm taking are Computer Science OCR, Mathematics AQA and Physics AQA, with me also considering self-studying Further Maths AQA and either convincing my school to let me take the test or sitting as a private candidate.

In this blog, I am going to detail my study habits, exams and the general twists and turns, ups and downs of my college life. So stick around for the ride (let me know if you want to be tagged), or jump off, I won't judge . Feel free to ask about literally anything you want I have a lot of free time and answering questions sends those good chemicals to my brain.

Edit: Forgot to mention that I am also doing an EPQ focused on video game accessibility, basically making a video game with as many accessibility features as possible crammed in there haha.
Last edited by Ka_Hels; 1 month ago
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summerbirdreads
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#2
Good luck!
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CoochieMan
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You've got this!
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awc14
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#4
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If you're aiming for cambridge CS, 100% take further maths. The majority of applicants will have it.
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Ka_Hels
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#5
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(Original post by summerbirdreads)
Good luck!
Thank you!!! I hope all your subjects go well! I took a peek at your A-Levels in your bio and wow, that's incredibly impressive. Xx
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EternalKnight_02
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#6
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(Original post by Ka_Hels)
1. The First Post
Spoiler, probably not. But I'm certainly going to try. Or, at least tell myself that I'm going to try.

I'll admit it may be a bit late to start a Grow your Grades blog, but after finding this just now I figure it may be worth a shot to help keep focused and also use it in a similar fashion to journaling.

After bombing my GCSEs harder than I would have liked due to a combination of poor mental health, suspected ADHD and no access to doctors at the moment (and since march). Not to mention the pandemic, my start to A-Levels hasn't been the best. Despite all this, my current aspirations are quite high (Cambridge computer science I'm looking at you) so I want to do my best and this blog is gonna help, maybe.

The A-Levels I'm taking are Computer Science OCR, Mathematics AQA and Physics AQA, with me also considering self-studying Further Maths AQA and either convincing my school to let me take the test or sitting as a private candidate.

In this blog, I am going to detail my study habits, exams and the general twists and turns, ups and downs of my college life. So stick around for the ride (let me know if you want to be tagged), or jump off, I won't judge . Feel free to ask about literally anything you want I have a lot of free time and answering questions sends those good chemicals to my brain.
Good aspiration, what were your GCSE grades, specifically maths.
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Ka_Hels
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#7
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#7
(Original post by awc14)
If you're aiming for cambridge CS, 100% take further maths. The majority of applicants will have it.
Yeah, that's why I was considering. Thank you for the confirmation! I'll definitely get started with that! Xx
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summerbirdreads
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Ka_Hels)
Thank you!!! I hope all your subjects go well! I took a peek at your A-Levels in your bio and wow, that's incredibly impressive. Xx
Your A-levels are also impressive! I'm also kinda aiming for Cambridge ngl.. but for physical natsci
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Ka_Hels
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#9
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#9
(Original post by summerbirdreads)
Your A-levels are also impressive! I'm also kinda aiming for Cambridge ngl.. but for physical natsci
That's so cool! Hopefully, I'll see you there haha. Xx
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summerbirdreads
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#10
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(Original post by Ka_Hels)
That's so cool! Hopefully, I'll see you there haha. Xx
Hopefully haha
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Ka_Hels
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#11
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#11
(Original post by CoochieMan)
You've got this!
Thanks so much!! I hope everything goes well for you! Also brilliant name haha. Xx
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CatInTheCorner
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#12
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Definitely watching this thread, best of luck!
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CoochieMan
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#13
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#13
(Original post by Ka_Hels)
Thanks so much!! I hope everything goes well for you! Also brilliant name haha. Xx
Thank you ahah
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Ka_Hels
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#14
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#14
2. The Forgotten Information
I've figured that since my first post lacked quite a bit of information I'd create this one to expand on some of the topics mentioned.

GCSEs
I didn't do terribly in my GCSEs but it was a shock opening up that letter. Those Grades are as below:
Spoiler:
Show

Maths - 7
English Language - 7
English Literature - 6
Physics - 6
Chemistry - 6
Biology - 7
Computer Science - 7
ICT - D2
German - 6
Art - 7

As you can see these aren't terrible but after being expected 7s and 8s and putting the expectation of a minimum of 7 in each subject with hopefully several 8s and 9s it was still a shock, but I am still proud of what I got and can only hope to do better.


How I've been studying/coping so far
Spoiler:
Show

So far it's been up and down. In the beginning, I was hyped up, creating timetables and revision sheets, I even completed a full maths topic (Coordinate Geometry) with written out notes and example questions before the first term even began. That momentum has since slowed and now I will do about 1-2 hours of studying a week, not including homework. Of course, to meet my expectations this will need to be drastically overhauled.

To overhaul this, I've decided to focus not just on schedules, revision techniques and content but also on myself. I've taken up morning running and am making a conscious effort to improve my diet by cooking healthy meals every morning and night and cutting out fizzy drinks for water. Once I finish writing this up I'm going to go make myself a chicken salad! This hasn't been going on for very long (last Wednesday or about 6 days ago) so I can't say for definite that this is helping but I most certainly feel more awake in the mornings and am finding it easier to concentrate on my work. If anyone knows of any great self-care tips similar to these I'd be so grateful to hear about them!

For the actual studying aspect of this, I'm going to be revisiting an old schedule of mine and tweaking it to make more sense for my current lifestyle (such as working on the weekends). Hopefully, this will improve my grades from what I am currently getting which is:
Physics - so far in our small topic tests I have gotten B-A*(Full marks)-C
Maths - No official topic tests yet just weekly tests but those are all over the place from 9/10s to 3/10s
Computer Science - Only one proper test so far which I did well in apart from one question I didn't revise and got a 0 for. (Algorithms, the question was about linear search and I had forgotten that the search algorithms were going to be on the test since we spent so long on sort and path algorithms rip)

I will share my schedule in the next post which is likely to be on Friday as that is when I am thinking of posting on a weekly schedule. But, that is subject to change based on how I'm feeling.


Extended Project Qualification

I originally forgot to mention my EPQ and ended up adding it in as an edit at the bottom of the first post, however, I believe it deserves a bit more of an explanation than just one sentence.
Spoiler:
Show

As an avid video game enjoyer I've used and appreciated accessibility features a lot during my free time. I'm not disabled in any official manner but I believe that everyone benefits from such accommodations. The simplest of which are features such as subtitles and the ability to change your onscreen colours (like the reticle or enemy outline in an FPS).

After being told that just creating a video game wasn't good enough to be an EPQ project I decided to focus on accessibility as the overall theme of the project and once I get around to the design, I will be using that as the theme for the gameplay as well.

Originally I was going to learn and use C# and Godot, but due to time constraints on other subjects I've decided to stick to what I know and develop a game using python and the package pygame, solely developing in an IDE rather than a game development software. This was because I found the incredibly YouTuber / streamer DaFluffyPotato who develops his game using Pygame and the Atom IDE. He also has loads of incredible tutorials, so if this is something you're also interested I'd check him out!

As for how far I've gotten so far, I have done some basic work on my Production Log including the Record of Initial Ideas and the Candidate Proposal. I've also just finished writing up my basic Gantt chart plan and will begin learning how to use Pygame during my EPQ meeting tomorrow, along with finding a few more resources as most of the ones I currently have are for C# which is no longer valid.

(I have an example Production Log that I've used as a base for what to include so let me know if anyone wants a link, I've found it very helpful even though it only includes the Candidate Proposal and Record of Initial Ideas)
Last edited by Ka_Hels; 1 month ago
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Ka_Hels
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#15
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#15
(Original post by CatInTheCorner)
Definitely watching this thread, best of luck!
Thank you so much, I hope you enjoy all my shenanigans haha! Xx
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rosy_posy
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#16
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#16
(Original post by Ka_Hels)
After bombing my GCSEs harder than I would have liked due to a combination of poor mental health, suspected ADHD and no access to doctors at the moment (and since march).
(Original post by Ka_Hels)
GCSEs
I didn't do terribly in my GCSEs but it was a shock opening up that letter. Those Grades are as below:
Spoiler:
Show

Maths - 7
English Language - 7
English Literature - 6
Physics - 6
Chemistry - 6
Biology - 7
Computer Science - 7
ICT - D2
German - 6
Art - 7

As you can see these aren't terrible but after being expected 7s and 8s and putting the expectation of a minimum of 7 in each subject with hopefully several 8s and 9s it was still a shock, but I am still proud of what I got and can only hope to do better.
Wdym bombing your GCSEs? Those are some good grades. Not the highest ofc, but still good.
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Ka_Hels
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#17
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(Original post by rosy_posy)
Wdym bombing your GCSEs? Those are some good grades. Not the highest ofc, but still good.
As I said "I didn't do terribly in my GCSEs but it was a shock opening up that letter", I know that I got some good grades and I'm not upset with them now. However, at the time I had built up some very unrealistic expectations for myself and when they weren't met I was undeniably shocked. This didn't last longer than a day or so but even now I still find myself thinking I could've done better. Sorry if I made it sound like I did terribly when I didn't, that is definitely my fault for how I worded it. Thanks for reading though! Xx
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rosy_posy
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Ka_Hels)
As I said "I didn't do terribly in my GCSEs but it was a shock opening up that letter", I know that I got some good grades and I'm not upset with them now. However, at the time I had built up some very unrealistic expectations for myself and when they weren't met I was undeniably shocked. This didn't last longer than a day or so but even now I still find myself thinking I could've done better. Sorry if I made it sound like I did terribly when I didn't, that is definitely my fault for how I worded it. Thanks for reading though! Xx
The exams weren't completed in the ideal conditions with the Covid situation. You have got good grades despite that, so it helps to be proud of yourself for what you have achieved.
I have to admit I had 'results regret' too, but like you I set very high expectations for myself and it was because I didn't know how much work the top grades required. I ended up with similar grades to you because I got mostly 7s and 6s.
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mnot
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#19
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#19
(Original post by Ka_Hels)
1. The First Post
Spoiler, probably not. But I'm certainly going to try. Or, at least tell myself that I'm going to try.

I'll admit it may be a bit late to start a Grow your Grades blog, but after finding this just now I figure it may be worth a shot to help keep focused and also use it in a similar fashion to journaling.

After bombing my GCSEs harder than I would have liked due to a combination of poor mental health, suspected ADHD and no access to doctors at the moment (and since march). Not to mention the pandemic, my start to A-Levels hasn't been the best. Despite all this, my current aspirations are quite high (Cambridge computer science I'm looking at you) so I want to do my best and this blog is gonna help, maybe.

The A-Levels I'm taking are Computer Science OCR, Mathematics AQA and Physics AQA, with me also considering self-studying Further Maths AQA and either convincing my school to let me take the test or sitting as a private candidate.

In this blog, I am going to detail my study habits, exams and the general twists and turns, ups and downs of my college life. So stick around for the ride (let me know if you want to be tagged), or jump off, I won't judge . Feel free to ask about literally anything you want I have a lot of free time and answering questions sends those good chemicals to my brain.

Edit: Forgot to mention that I am also doing an EPQ focused on video game accessibility, basically making a video game with as many accessibility features as possible crammed in there haha.
If you showed me the transcript of someone who “bombed” their GCSEs would I predict them A*A*A, no.

that said their are plenty of examples of people who have gone from pretty average GCSE performance to being a top A-level performer, and their is no reason why this shouldn’t be you. Ultimately it will require hard work, grit & determination. All you can do is give everything you’ve got and see where you end up, grit & hard work are great attributes worth developing and always pay dividends long term regardless in life.
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Ka_Hels
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#20
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#20
(Original post by mnot)
If you showed me the transcript of someone who “bombed” their GCSEs would I predict them A*A*A, no.

that said their are plenty of examples of people who have gone from pretty average GCSE performance to being a top A-level performer, and their is no reason why this shouldn’t be you. Ultimately it will require hard work, grit & determination. All you can do is give everything you’ve got and see where you end up, grit & hard work are great attributes worth developing and always pay dividends long term regardless in life.
Thank you, I am definitely determined to do my best despite my GCSE grades, which after asking my teacher means that I am likely to get Bs in my exams. It is very encouraging to hear that it is possible as long as I work hard and consistently. Xx

(Original post by rosy_posy)
The exams weren't completed in the ideal conditions with the Covid situation. You have got good grades despite that, so it helps to be proud of yourself for what you have achieved.
I have to admit I had 'results regret' too, but like you I set very high expectations for myself and it was because I didn't know how much work the top grades required. I ended up with similar grades to you because I got mostly 7s and 6s.
Thank you! I am definitely proud of myself now that I've had the time to take a step back and truly grasp everything that happened during the past year, especially since I did not do well with online schooling to the extent that at one point I had over 85 missing assignments lol. As you said I also lacked the knowledge of just how much work those top grades required and I think even now I'm still trying to figure that out. Xx
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