The Student Room Group

advice for A Levels/year 13?

Hi

I’m going into year 13 and I take an EPQ, Eduqas French, AQA History and OCR English Literature.

Based on your experience of year 13, what advice would you give to your past self? Like what was your revision structure for the academic year and when did you finalise making your notes?

For more context I am aiming for 4 A*s because I know I can do it so long as I work hard enough. In the mocks I did in April, I got A*A*C (History, French, English Literature). I however know I got a C because I put off practicing exam technique and did not practice it as much as for my other subjects. I however redrafted my literature answer and my teacher marked it as an A*, so I just need to practice exam technique and memorise everything.

I’ll briefly outline how much content I have covered in year 12:
- French: covered most of the grammar, learned about the context of the film and done maybe 3 week’s worth of lessons all together. We haven’t started the history unit (the Nazi occupation of France) or the book (Antigone) yet.
- History: literally halfway through the content assessed in exams. A full draft of my coursework is due the first day back:redface:
- English Literature: covered everything apart from an in-depth study of one comparative novel for Paper 2 and the final two acts of the Tempest (and Paper 1 Section A part b)
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 1
Please pick an EPQ you actually like. If your EPQ is something you genuinely find interesting and could research for hours without getting bored, it will be the perfect escape and a way to "procrastinate" while still being productive. If it's not, it will drain you and constantly be playing in the back of your mind because it is quite a big job that needs doing. If you're taking it to get reduced offers at uni then it should ideally be related to your preferred degree so you can talk about it in your personal statement, but if it's just an additional qualification then you really can do anything as long as there is a research and analysis base. Hope this helps and you enjoy your EPQ (it's honestly great and I loved doing it, it just took me a few revisions to create a project that I could fully enjoy, much to my supervisor's annoyance! :biggrin:)
Thank you so much, this is really helpful. That’s such a helpful and healthy attitude towards it, thank you :smile:
Because I’m interested in politics and international relations (and intend to study it at university), I am cantering my EPQ around those fields just to explore that interest and ensure it is still the appropriate degree for me.

If I’m honest, my EPQ lessons started in June but for a long time I really did not know what I wanted to do it on. Fortunately though I am much closer to a decision and am now doing it on the extent to which the New Labour Party was successful in achieving ideals of equality because I think it’s interesting to see which parties and which policies have done so, especially in the current climate of Conservative austerity and stuff.
Original post by keeks05
Please pick an EPQ you actually like. If your EPQ is something you genuinely find interesting and could research for hours without getting bored, it will be the perfect escape and a way to "procrastinate" while still being productive. If it's not, it will drain you and constantly be playing in the back of your mind because it is quite a big job that needs doing. If you're taking it to get reduced offers at uni then it should ideally be related to your preferred degree so you can talk about it in your personal statement, but if it's just an additional qualification then you really can do anything as long as there is a research and analysis base. Hope this helps and you enjoy your EPQ (it's honestly great and I loved doing it, it just took me a few revisions to create a project that I could fully enjoy, much to my supervisor's annoyance! :biggrin:)
Reply 3
Original post by sciencegcsesss
Thank you so much, this is really helpful. That’s such a helpful and healthy attitude towards it, thank you :smile:
Because I’m interested in politics and international relations (and intend to study it at university), I am cantering my EPQ around those fields just to explore that interest and ensure it is still the appropriate degree for me.

If I’m honest, my EPQ lessons started in June but for a long time I really did not know what I wanted to do it on. Fortunately though I am much closer to a decision and am now doing it on the extent to which the New Labour Party was successful in achieving ideals of equality because I think it’s interesting to see which parties and which policies have done so, especially in the current climate of Conservative austerity and stuff.

That sounds really interesting, a girl in my class did something similar on the state of Hong Kong and everyone loved her presentation, so good luck with it!

In terms of revision and notetaking, to be honest I didn't have a proper system other than flashcards until just before my GCSEs, and I quickly found that A-Levels were too complicated to do the same again! My current system is to print off my teacher's powerpoint slides before the lesson (maybe you could ask them to do this if they don't already?) in the format of 3 slides to a page with lines at the side - if you don't know how to do this I can let you know - and just flip through them. Then, during the lesson or after depending on how fast the teacher is going, I write down the key points to remember from each slide on the lines and put these into flashcards or proper notes. This really helps me to understand what I need to know and cut out all the "fluff". Hope this has helped and good luck with Year 13!
Hello!

The advice I would give is to have all your year 12 notes and revision materials finalised ASAP, as you don't get much time to revisit all of these, and when it comes to revising for your exams, they're much better to have to hand when they are complete as opposed to then being half done!

I would also say, practise, practise, practise! Being able to practise lots of past paper questions, and being able to properly utilise the mark schemes and examiner's reports will be very, very useful for you!

If you've got any more questions, then feel free to ask! I completely understand thar year 13 can seem really daunting, but as long as you stay on top of your work, you should be fine! Good luck to you! :smile:

Quick Reply

Latest