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Totally screwed… help

I’m getting ready to sit my Biology A-level exam in the summer but at this point I’m at 0%. I started off okay last September but I’ve been teaching myself and now I feel like I have brain fog because I can’t remember anything. I stopped practicing the content when I decided to move my exams from summer to autumn earlier this year but then I had to delay them to summer ‘22 because again I didn’t really take the time to do the work and I’m having a hard time retaining the information.
Does anybody have any advise, in terms of how I can learn and memorise content? I know I only have 5-6 months but I need this! It’s the second year and it’s only one A-level. Please I’m absolutely desperate.
Reply 1
Firstly, know that 5-6 months is a good chunk to revise for Biology.

However, you will need to be dedicated and apply yourself. Check the past papers for the exam board; get the mark schemes too. See which topics continually come up and make sure you understand them thoroughly. Each person is different but I find reading through the textbook and seeking information online to be most helpful. I will take notes and read through them to refresh my knowledge.

It is not going to be easy and you will have to make sacrifices (i.e. staying in and studying instead of social events etc.). But just know that if you are dedicated and work hard you can do it.
Reply 2
Original post by laverdad
Firstly, know that 5-6 months is a good chunk to revise for Biology.

However, you will need to be dedicated and apply yourself. Check the past papers for the exam board; get the mark schemes too. See which topics continually come up and make sure you understand them thoroughly. Each person is different but I find reading through the textbook and seeking information online to be most helpful. I will take notes and read through them to refresh my knowledge.

It is not going to be easy and you will have to make sacrifices (i.e. staying in and studying instead of social events etc.). But just know that if you are dedicated and work hard you can do it.

Thank you for your advice, it’s very reassuring.
Brain fog is common, especially when we feel overwhelmed, and it will pass. The advice @laverdad gave is spot on, but do remember you need to take a break now and again. Cramming is fine, but you need to be physically and mentally well for anything to stick.
Original post by laverdad
Firstly, know that 5-6 months is a good chunk to revise for Biology.

However, you will need to be dedicated and apply yourself. Check the past papers for the exam board; get the mark schemes too. See which topics continually come up and make sure you understand them thoroughly. Each person is different but I find reading through the textbook and seeking information online to be most helpful. I will take notes and read through them to refresh my knowledge.

It is not going to be easy and you will have to make sacrifices (i.e. staying in and studying instead of social events etc.). But just know that if you are dedicated and work hard you can do it.


Original post by Anonymous
I’m getting ready to sit my Biology A-level exam in the summer but at this point I’m at 0%. I started off okay last September but I’ve been teaching myself and now I feel like I have brain fog because I can’t remember anything. I stopped practicing the content when I decided to move my exams from summer to autumn earlier this year but then I had to delay them to summer ‘22 because again I didn’t really take the time to do the work and I’m having a hard time retaining the information.
Does anybody have any advise, in terms of how I can learn and memorise content? I know I only have 5-6 months but I need this! It’s the second year and it’s only one A-level. Please I’m absolutely desperate.

I’m not taking biology and I struggle with time management myself (I have ADHD), so I can’t help you there. I can, however, give you some more practical advice about brain fog though:

how much sleep do you get? I function SO MUCH better on 9 hours of sleep as opposed to 6 or 7. The difference is amazing.

What is your diet and exercise like? Improving diet and exercising regularly can help with mental function. I’m working on this myself. It doesn’t have to be an extreme change, just going on walks and getting out of the house more, eating more vegetables, eating less sugar, etc. Make sure you drink lots of water. Small changes are easier to maintain and can make a big difference.

Do you have any addictions? caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, drugs, etc. I’m trying to kick a nicotine habit at the moment. If you are always focusing on when you’re getting your next hit, you won’t be able to focus on your school work. I’m literally on a study break right now, only because I had really bad cravings. It really disrupts the flow of your work. Addictions also have numerous negative health consequences which impacts your brain/body as a whole.

Could you be deficient in anything? I am by no means an expert, but I know that many common deficiencies can make it hard to concentrate. If you live in a country that doesn’t get much sun in winter, it is likely you have a vitamin D deficiency. Iron deficiency anemia is fairly common I think, especially in people who menstruate. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you will be prone to deficiencies as some nutrients are found almost exclusively in animal products (or, they are found in much lower concentrations than in non animal products). I know B12 deficiency in particular has an impact on nervous system function. I can’t give you any more specific advice here as like I said I’m not a doctor, but I would recommend searching up common deficiencies and seeing if your symptoms match up.

Make sure you look after your physical health, and treat any physical health conditions as best as you can. You won’t focus if you are in pain. If you have allergies, take antihistamines (I have really bad hay fever and it’s unbearable in summer. I can’t do any work without prescription antihistamines). If you have any chronic health problems, consider looking at solutions that are specific to that particular health issue - for example, my friend has chronic fatigue syndrome and he avoids walking a lot on days he has to do a lot of work, so he can save the energy for studying.

Look after your mental health!! It sounds from your post you are fairly stressed. I have a distinct memory of trying to study for GCSE English (before it was cancelled) and I was crying so much due to anxiety that I couldn’t do any work at all. When my mental health was terrible, the quality of my work reflected that. I know it’s not nearly as simple as me just saying “mental health is important!” MH difficulties are very complex problems - but still, do everything you can to look after yourself emotionally. If you think you may have depression/anxiety/another condition, see a doctor if you can. Antidepressants were honestly a life saver for me and I wouldn’t be doing A Levels without mental health support.

When you work, remove as many distractions as you can. Try and find a quiet place if possible. I can’t work in my room because I associate it with sleeping and having fun, not studying.

I hope some of this is helpful! Good luck :smile:

Edit: sorry, I only meant to reply to OP but I accidentally replied to another comment as well
(edited 2 years ago)

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