Self-study A level resources for A*s?

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penguingirl18
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If you're self-studying A levels, what resources do you need to get straight As and A*s? I'm doing physics, English literature and German. Is it possible to get those grades with only the textbooks and past papers?
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papie
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Hi, it is possible to get A*s when you are self studying using only past papers and textbook. It's very helpful to find some tutorials on YT as well. What exam board CIE ?
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anonymousc0w
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Hi, I took Physics when I did A-Levels recently, and mostly did self studying to get an A*. I would suggest using this Physics A-Level YouTube channel called ETphysics. They have really good Physics lectures and also give tutorials on some past paper questions as well. I found watching their lectures more effective and efficient compared to reading the textbook. Also remember to do a LOT of past papers. Hope this helps
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papie
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(Original post by chloetanjiayi)
Hi, I took Physics when I did A-Levels recently, and mostly did self studying to get an A*. I would suggest using this Physics A-Level YouTube channel called ETphysics. They have really good Physics lectures and also give tutorials on some past paper questions as well. I found watching their lectures more effective and efficient compared to reading the textbook. Also remember to do a LOT of past papers. Hope this helps
Yup I used ETphysics too, very helpful channel for Physics A-level. What were you subjects for A-level ? I did in Physics, chem and maths.
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anonymousc0w
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(Original post by papie)
Yup I used ETphysics too, very helpful channel for Physics A-level. What were you subjects for A-level ? I did in Physics, chem and maths.
I did math, further math, physics and accounting
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papie
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(Original post by chloetanjiayi)
I did math, further math, physics and accounting
How hard is further maths compared to maths ?
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anonymousc0w
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(Original post by papie)
How hard is further maths compared to maths ?
imo it was quite a big difference, maths covers a lot of the basics while further maths dives in deep - sometimes diving deeper into topics we learnt in maths, but usually into topics that arent covered in maths. i think both are doable, but you would have to really like maths to do good for further maths, while for maths, its not necessary to be passionate about it
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papie
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(Original post by chloetanjiayi)
imo it was quite a big difference, maths covers a lot of the basics while further maths dives in deep - sometimes diving deeper into topics we learnt in maths, but usually into topics that arent covered in maths. i think both are doable, but you would have to really like maths to do good for further maths, while for maths, its not necessary to be passionate about it
hmm i see well thank goodness I didn't need further maths lol
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Mirai227
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(Original post by penguingirl18)
If you're self-studying A levels, what resources do you need to get straight As and A*s? I'm doing physics, English literature and German. Is it possible to get those grades with only the textbooks and past papers?
It's definitely possible, but it will take loads of work.

I'm studying A-level French and have pretty much gotten straight As from the beginning of the year. Here is what I would suggest. First of all, make sure that you are secure in your GCSE knowledge. You have to know the majority of the spec vocab and grammar. I personally have only used the textbook a couple times since the beginning of the year, but it might be helpful if you're self-studying. Also, with languages, the best thing to do is to practice daily.

Grammar: Get a textbook and work through the whole thing (I recommend "A Complete German Grammar" by the Practice Makes Perfect series). Learn any new vocabulary offered in the textbook, and make sure to use the new grammar rules in your writing and speaking.
Vocabulary: It would be good to use your textbook for this. Also, try using flashcards. You can probably quite easily find a Memrise course or set of Quizlet flashcards to learn vocabulary. You can learn vocabulary that isn't part of the spec using Anki. Make sure to use your vocabulary when you are speaking and writing. You might also want to try memorising set phrases.
Reading: Read newspaper articles (this is essential as the texts you will have to read at A-level will probably be very similar to newspaper articles). Also, I highly recommend reading a couple YA novels in German. Perhaps something that you have already read in your native language, but if you want a challenge, then something completely new. Alongside this, just read a lot of wikipedia pages, random articles about topics that interest you online, fanfiction (this one has been very good for me), social media posts and perhaps some poetry. As for when you actually reading, I use a couple of methods to practice. Sometimes I will write a summary of what I have read in my target language. Also, my main method is to read the chapter/article once without looking anything up to try and understand it, read it again while looking up and translating every word I don't know, memorising all the words I didn't know, and then rereading the chapter/article a couple more times, now with a new understanding.
Listening: I would start off by watching YouTube videos made for natives that have German subtitles. Also, listen to the radio a lot, because that is the kind of thing you will hear at A-level standard. You can also listen to podcasts (like news in slow german), watch TV shows and films and listen to audiobooks. When practicing, listen for 5 minutes at a time without any subititles/transcript, listen again while reading the subtitles/transcript at the same time, look up the words you don't know them and memorise them, and then listen to it a couple more times so that you can now understand everything.
Speaking: This is a tricky one. Make sure you are hot on vocabulary and grammar. Do practice questions from your textbook, and record your answers so you can see where you are going wrong. Find a buddy on r/Language Exchange, a languages discord, or an app like Tandem or HelloTalk, and set up 2/3 meetings a week (online obvi) to practice speaking (try and speak only in German, and if you don't know what a word is, describe what you are trying to say IN German without resorting to using google translate or speaking English). You can also just use HiLokal to talk with random people. If you have the funds, get a speaking teacher on a website like italki.
Writing: Memorise essay phrases. Keep a journal. Write a 200-300 word essay twice a week for a topical issue. Learn about German culture so you can include statistics and facts in your essays. Get corrections (use something like Journaly or HiNative). Also, text people on websites like Tandem or HelloTalk. I can't really give advice for writing about a specific novel or film though, because we haven't studied that yet, sorry (.
Translations/summaries: Just do practice questions in your textbook.

Try integrating German into your daily life (e.g. listen to the German radio (I think it's Deutsch Welle?) when having your breakfast, read German fanfiction when you're bored, listen to a podcast when you're on the bus, watch German TV shows and films in the evening, keep a journal etc.) and keep at it - it takes a while to progress but it does happen. Also (and this is just something that works for me), try seeing German not as a subject you want to pass, but a language that you want to learn how to speak. It'll motivate you more, and will lead to German contributing more to your life.

This took me a while to write lol I hope it helps. I'd offer English lit advice too, but I'm not doing very well in that. Just read a LOT ig (both books and secondary materials like essays and articles), do practice essays, watch lectures online, and make sure you are exploring the texts within the wider literary canon (basically, learn about the different movements of english lit, and read literary theory about different genres). Also, do LOADS of practice essays and essay plans. Hope this helps too! Good luck!
Last edited by Mirai227; 2 months ago
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