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Can any A* students in stem subjects advise me

Hi, I am going to write all the things that has been going wrong in my studies and i would like advice on how i should tackle them as i am in desperate need of help.

Background information:
I am in yr 12 and at the start of October i changed my A-level subjects to Biology and Chemistry. This means that in chemistry i missed the whole of the first module which is the basic understanding of A-level chemistry. In biology i missed the first few chapters of the first module. At school i am learning the 3 and 4th module of Chemistry and in biology i am learning the last chapter of the first module. Also, i've been getting 16/70 and 12/30 which are like U's and E's in both subjects

What i need advise on:
In chemistry i have still not gone over the first module. The first molecule is crucial it explains moles and all the equations, it the basics. There are two main reason why i haven't gone over it. the first being procrastination. I am procrastinating now by writing this. The second is that i did not want to go over the first module whilst my class was on module 2,3 and 4 as it meant that i was behind on work and the tests were on modules except the first module. I am finding a-level chemistry extremely difficult like when i go through past questions i have no clue how to answer the. Below are the things i need advise on...
- How should i catch up on the first module and a few chapters of other modules whilst not lacking on the modules learnt at school

- Everyone says do past papers but how am i meant to do past papers if i don't know the content

- This brings me on to my next question- How should i learn the content, my method now is reading the book- writing a summary on paper- then writing it in on anki. I find it difficult to write how to solve equations on anki as i don't really understand. I find anki good for fact recalling and not solving equations. So could you guys give me advice on methods to learn to solve equations by equation i mean- oxidation reactions, ionic equations, moles, ideal gas equations etc.

- How do you personally learn content in science based subjects
- Do you think a tutor would be good to teach me the missed modules
- how would you profit from tutoring and how do you maximise this

The above paragraph is also the situation with biology.

Thank you in advance
(edited 2 years ago)
How to catch up:

- So for me, I use the weekdays to learn what’s being taught at school and the weekends to relearn anything i dont understand from previous topics or things i need to catch up on. - Make a timetable, and use this to structure your revision. An example being: on monday: i plan to make a summary on chapter 1 and practice this after I’ve revised it. This allows you to finish things in a structured way.

Past papers:
- Honestly the only time you should start practising is when you’ve understood the content. When doing practice, write a list of things you constantly get wrong. Then revise those topics in detail. After revising them, go back to practising. If there’s a question you still dont understand, go to your teacher and ask them.

How to revise:
- your method is correct: revise, summarise and apply. The only thing id add, is FOLLOW THE SPEC. It’s very common for books to add in extra info about a topic that is not relevant to what your going to be tested on, so read the spec and make sure you focus ur revision on that. Then summarise and try to keep your summary one page maximum. Then write flashcards and then do practice. This technique has gotten my A/A* in my a level mocks so please try it out as it may help.

How do i personally learn science based subjects:
I use the things I’ve talked about above. In terms of websites, I use:
- physicsandmathtutor
-savemyexams (really helped me with biology)
- mathsmadeeasy (for practice papers)
- a YouTuber called ‘biology carol’ (she’s really good at explaining how to answer biology questions)

Tutoring;
Personally, i wouldn’t use a tutor cause you have your teacher that can help you for free :smile:
(edited 2 years ago)
Reply 2
Original post by teebslmao
How to catch up:

- So for me, I use the weekdays to learn what’s being taught at school and the weekends to relearn anything i dont understand from previous topics or things i need to catch up on. - Make a timetable, and use this to structure your revision. An example being: on monday: i plan to make a summary on chapter 1 and practice this after I’ve revised it. This allows you to finish things in a structured way.

Past papers:
- Honestly the only time you should start practising is when you’ve understood the content. When doing practice, write a list of things you constantly get wrong. Then revise those topics in detail. After revising them, go back to practising. If there’s a question you still dont understand, go to your teacher and ask them.

How to revise:
- your method is correct: revise, summarise and apply. The only thing id add, is FOLLOW THE SPEC. It’s very common for books to add in extra info about a topic that is not relevant to what your going to be tested on, so read the spec and make sure you focus ur revision on that. Then summarise and try to keep your summary one page maximum. Then write flashcards and then do practice. This technique has gotten my A/A* in my a level mocks so please try it out as it may help.

How do i personally learn science based subjects:
I use the things I’ve talked about above. In terms of websites, I use:
- physicsandmathtutor
-savemyexams (really helped me with biology)
- mathsmadeeasy (for practice papers)
- a YouTuber called ‘biology carol’ (she’s really good at explaining how to answer biology questions)

Tutoring;
Personally, i wouldn’t use a tutor cause you have your teacher that can help you for free :smile:

Thank you
Use ChemRevise and Chemguide :smile:
Everything @teebslmao said!

Agree @thegeek888 Chemguide is great! Jim Clark (Chemguide author) also has a good chemistry calculations book. I would also point you to the web sites already mentioned above.

Not to labour a point, but get the specification for your exam - it tells you exactly what you need to know (i.e. ALL you need to know and ONLY what you need to know). Also get the past papers and the mark schemes - this shows you how to answer questions (for the longer questions, the mark schemes also show the logical order to present the answers to get full marks). Obviously, only do the questions for which you have knowledge of at that point. Also, if you're doing AQA, say, you can also use say EdExcel or OCR as extra past questions - keeping in mind that you need to know what you exam board spec requires, but extra practice is always good (and they can't be that different or unis wouldn't accept them).

When knowing how to revise, you need to do what works for you. As said above, knowing where you struggle and practicing that is key. Also, getting easy marks - e.g. do you get an extra mark if you quote to the correct number of significant figures. In Chemistry specs, they usually have an intro saying how to draw diagrams, brackets, equations etc. so you get all the marks. When making notes/summaries, really consider are they useful to you and are you going to actually use them for learning/revision - it can be easy to get set on a task, as it feels like you're doing something, but it isn't actually furthering your understanding in any way. I am not saying do not make summaries/flash cards etc. - just make sure they are useful to you and you don't waste time making them and then not using them in a meaningful way.

I can't speak for tutoring, as I've never had it, but it depends how you learn. If you can read from a book/web site/teacher's notes/school lessons and understand, then you probably don't need it (also, dependent on your budget and free time). However, if you need things explaining or there is a particular area of struggle and you'd benefit from a bit extra attention, then it might be worthwhile. You can often get a few sessions, rather than having to commit long term if you want to see if it's right for you. Also, for chemistry, something I didn't have, but you probably have in school, are the molecule sets where you can build them and actually make molecules and turn them around - this can be useful depending on your style of learning and for grasping various things like types of isomer/chirality.

I found the CGP books (which come with online access to the book, that is fully searchable and really useful) really good - they follow the exam boards specs exactly, contain the required practicals and have questions at the end of each chapter and more exam type questions at the end of each section (with answers at back of book). They are £30 - £40 per subject new (which includes the online version), but that covers the full 2 years of A-level. I am sure there are other vendors that do similar.

Put in a bit of work in evenings and weekends and you'll catch up quickly (assuming I understand correctly that you only missed a month). Good luck.
Original post by Markvokin
Hi, I am going to write all the things that has been going wrong in my studies and i would like advice on how i should tackle them as i am in desperate need of help.

Background information:
I am in yr 12 and at the start of October i changed my A-level subjects to Biology and Chemistry. This means that in chemistry i missed the whole of the first module which is the basic understanding of A-level chemistry. In biology i missed the first few chapters of the first module. At school i am learning the 3 and 4th module of Chemistry and in biology i am learning the last chapter of the first module. Also, i've been getting 16/70 and 12/30 which are like U's and E's in both subjects

What i need advise on:
In chemistry i have still not gone over the first module. The first molecule is crucial it explains moles and all the equations, it the basics. There are two main reason why i haven't gone over it. the first being procrastination. I am procrastinating now by writing this. The second is that i did not want to go over the first module whilst my class was on module 2,3 and 4 as it meant that i was behind on work and the tests were on modules except the first module. I am finding a-level chemistry extremely difficult like when i go through past questions i have no clue how to answer the. Below are the things i need advise on...
- How should i catch up on the first module and a few chapters of other modules whilst not lacking on the modules learnt at school

- Everyone says do past papers but how am i meant to do past papers if i don't know the content

- This brings me on to my next question- How should i learn the content, my method now is reading the book- writing a summary on paper- then writing it in on anki. I find it difficult to write how to solve equations on anki as i don't really understand. I find anki good for fact recalling and not solving equations. So could you guys give me advice on methods to learn to solve equations by equation i mean- oxidation reactions, ionic equations, moles, ideal gas equations etc.

- How do you personally learn content in science based subjects
- Do you think a tutor would be good to teach me the missed modules
- how would you profit from tutoring and how do you maximise this

The above paragraph is also the situation with biology.

Thank you in advance

I've copied and pasted this from my GYG thread, apologies if some of it isn't relevant 🥺❤️

General advice for lack of motivation:

Spoiler




My main advice when studying/revising for GCSEs and A-Levels:

Spoiler

Reply 6
Original post by KA_P
I've copied and pasted this from my GYG thread, apologies if some of it isn't relevant 🥺❤️

General advice for lack of motivation:

Spoiler




My main advice when studying/revising for GCSEs and A-Levels:

Spoiler



Thank you so muscu
Original post by Markvokin
Thank you so muscu

🤗❤️ We're cheering you on!!
Original post by Markvokin
Hi, I am going to write all the things that has been going wrong in my studies and i would like advice on how i should tackle them as i am in desperate need of help.

Background information:
I am in yr 12 and at the start of October i changed my A-level subjects to Biology and Chemistry. This means that in chemistry i missed the whole of the first module which is the basic understanding of A-level chemistry. In biology i missed the first few chapters of the first module. At school i am learning the 3 and 4th module of Chemistry and in biology i am learning the last chapter of the first module. Also, i've been getting 16/70 and 12/30 which are like U's and E's in both subjects

What i need advise on:
In chemistry i have still not gone over the first module. The first molecule is crucial it explains moles and all the equations, it the basics. There are two main reason why i haven't gone over it. the first being procrastination. I am procrastinating now by writing this. The second is that i did not want to go over the first module whilst my class was on module 2,3 and 4 as it meant that i was behind on work and the tests were on modules except the first module. I am finding a-level chemistry extremely difficult like when i go through past questions i have no clue how to answer the. Below are the things i need advise on...
- How should i catch up on the first module and a few chapters of other modules whilst not lacking on the modules learnt at school

- Everyone says do past papers but how am i meant to do past papers if i don't know the content

- This brings me on to my next question- How should i learn the content, my method now is reading the book- writing a summary on paper- then writing it in on anki. I find it difficult to write how to solve equations on anki as i don't really understand. I find anki good for fact recalling and not solving equations. So could you guys give me advice on methods to learn to solve equations by equation i mean- oxidation reactions, ionic equations, moles, ideal gas equations etc.

- How do you personally learn content in science based subjects
- Do you think a tutor would be good to teach me the missed modules
- how would you profit from tutoring and how do you maximise this

The above paragraph is also the situation with biology.

Thank you in advance

My tutor was really good in teaching chemistry since i was a slow learner. He does zoom classes these days. If you want i can lend u his contact
Reply 9
a massive tip that has saved me in bio: for each topic there are maybe one or two essay questions and these are lowkey just recycled. eg. for my exam board the same essay question on the eye comes up all the time. learn off all the points you need to make to get full marks in these questions. this means that right off the bat you can do really well in the essays which will get you a good chunk of marks. and all the smaller (non-applied) questions are usually just bits and pieces from these essays. (the essays often summarise the whole topic)

so go through past papers, note down all the essay questions and their mark schemes and learn them off. it's tedious at first but its a more time/energy efficient way to learn what you need to know.
also learn from mark schemes, not your book. bio can be really picky about which exact terms you need to use and this helps you get better understanding of what the questions are looking for and what marks are likely to be for.
Consider Isaac Chemistry for solving equations practice. While it's super precise in the answers it wants, it definitely helped me a lot during my revision for the mathsy bits and has a lot of different levels of practice for the same topic

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