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gcse to a level jump

what is it like for maths and the sciences, do all these subjects have a similar jump in difficulty and workload, keen to hear people's experiences
Original post by lesgo21
what is it like for maths and the sciences, do all these subjects have a similar jump in difficulty and workload, keen to hear people's experiences


I took bio, chem and PE at A level, and did experience quite a jump, particularly in chemistry. Bear in mind I was 2020 GCSE COVID cohort, so from March 2020 my school basically dropped us and I had no teaching from March until I started sixth form in September. What you can do to lessen the jump is try to brush up on GCSE knowledge, try to find some ‘transition’ resources online ( I was set transition work for each subject over summer which basically brushed the gap from GCSE to the first topic we learned in year 12), and you could start having a look at the first topic or two of year 12, that way if you donate understand it, you can have questions in mind to clarify things with your teacher when you start. To be honest though, it’s very manageable and you don’t necessary need to do any of those things to transition ‘successfully’. And remember you can always ask your teachers for help!
Reply 2
Original post by bea_murray0
I took bio, chem and PE at A level, and did experience quite a jump, particularly in chemistry. Bear in mind I was 2020 GCSE COVID cohort, so from March 2020 my school basically dropped us and I had no teaching from March until I started sixth form in September. What you can do to lessen the jump is try to brush up on GCSE knowledge, try to find some ‘transition’ resources online ( I was set transition work for each subject over summer which basically brushed the gap from GCSE to the first topic we learned in year 12), and you could start having a look at the first topic or two of year 12, that way if you donate understand it, you can have questions in mind to clarify things with your teacher when you start. To be honest though, it’s very manageable and you don’t necessary need to do any of those things to transition ‘successfully’. And remember you can always ask your teachers for help!

do you have any regrets/ any advice for bio & chem to do as well as possible?
Original post by lesgo21
what is it like for maths and the sciences, do all these subjects have a similar jump in difficulty and workload, keen to hear people's experiences

I posted some Maths resources to do over the summer here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?p=97574034&highlight=

post #13
I currently do Biology and I'm going into yr 13. The jump from GCSE'S to A levels is HUGE. There's wayyy more content you need to learn but I recommend enjoying yr 12 while you can. if you get bad if doesn't matter as long as you try!!! yr 12 is to chill and have fun and go out have the whole 'college experience' so I wouldn't worry
Original post by lesgo21
do you have any regrets/ any advice for bio & chem to do as well as possible?


I started using an app called ‘never forget’ in year 13, it basically gives spaced repetition reminders so I would summarise my notes for a topic into the app and review it whenever the app sent a notification, usually on my way to school. It meant I was constantly reviewing old content and keeping it all fresh in my brain, so I wish I’d started in year 12! Also maybe planning my study periods since I’d often turn up and study whatever I felt like, which meant I didn’t do much chemistry! I did have a record of what I did in study periods at the start of year 12 (it would just say the date, subject, what I did e.g. made notes on pages 96-98 or did 2019 AS depth paper, etc and whether it was homework, revision or extra reading), which I kind of with I kept up, but then again I did fine without it.
Original post by lesgo21
what is it like for maths and the sciences, do all these subjects have a similar jump in difficulty and workload, keen to hear people's experiences


a level maths IS A HUGE STEP UP apparently as well as the Sciences people go to u's and e's even tho they got 8s and 7s yk so what did u get in ur gcses may be i can advice you
I'm going into year 13 and take Bio, Chem, Maths and Further Maths.

I felt biology was the biggest jump for me - the mark scheme is much more specific, so I recommend really getting used to the mark scheme as soon as possible to get good grades in your mocks ! Also large amount of content lol
Chemistry is basically learning GCSE content but in more detail, it requires more logical thinking. But I felt not too big of a workload boost.
For maths, I think it depends on your ability rlly. For me, I was scoring 100% in pretty much all of GCSE maths but about 85% average on A-levels if that helps.

Just overall, I felt A-levels and year 12 in general have a big jump in workload, so I recommend starting as early as possible :wink:
Original post by lesgo21
what is it like for maths and the sciences, do all these subjects have a similar jump in difficulty and workload, keen to hear people's experiences

Heya!
I did bio,chem, maths and econ. It was a big jump for every subject, as I was told by my teachers at the time, 'going from GCSE to a-levels is like trying to take 2-3 steps at the same time on the stairs.' I would say they all have a similar jump in difficulty (but it also depends on what do you struggle with more, bio,chem or maths). I would recommend starting your revision and note-taking asap - don't leave it until the last minute!

Don't panic though! Luckily there are tons of free resources for sciences and maths online :smile: Study Mind offers tons of free past papers and free revision notes for bio, physics and chem to help you out! There are also tons of youtube resources available to you for free!

I hope this helps!
Milena G.
UCL PFE
Study Mind
Reply 9
Original post by StudyMind
Heya!
I did bio,chem, maths and econ. It was a big jump for every subject, as I was told by my teachers at the time, 'going from GCSE to a-levels is like trying to take 2-3 steps at the same time on the stairs.' I would say they all have a similar jump in difficulty (but it also depends on what do you struggle with more, bio,chem or maths). I would recommend starting your revision and note-taking asap - don't leave it until the last minute!

Don't panic though! Luckily there are tons of free resources for sciences and maths online :smile: Study Mind offers tons of free past papers and free revision notes for bio, physics and chem to help you out! There are also tons of youtube resources available to you for free!

I hope this helps!
Milena G.
UCL PFE
Study Mind

what is econ like for someone who hasn't done the gcse, I've heard there is a lot of exam technique involved
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by lesgo21
what is econ like for someone who hasn't done the gcse, I've heard there is a lot of exam technique involved


I heard it’s very hard like so bad which is why I’m not taking it anymore it’s like lots of maths apparently 😓
Reply 11
Original post by Anonymousnumber
I heard it’s very hard like so bad which is why I’m not taking it anymore it’s like lots of maths apparently 😓


no there is very little maths (easier than gcse) it is more essay based at a level
One of the best pieces of advice that I was given is to never be afraid to ask your teachers for help when you don't understand something. A level content is more complicated, but you won't be the only person feeling that way. Your teachers are there to help you, and you shouldn't be worried about approaching them.

For maths, try and always do the hardest questions/questions at the end of the homework, even if it takes you longer than the allotted homework time. It's exposure to the hardest types of questions that really makes a difference when it comes to doing well in exams.
I currently do maths, physics and art and dropped bio.
The jump for biology and physics was insane. With maths, they just kinda build it up so you don't really feel it as much. But biology was especially crazy. The actual content isn't difficult at all, but oh my god there is SO MUCH OF IT. It's crazy. honestly, be warned. we would cover an insane amount of content in a single lesson and were expected to retain it all, 2 years is just not enough time to learn all of that. I ended up dropping bio because I couldn't deal with it as I'm just not good at memorisation and names. Personally, I found physics more interesting and straightforward but many disagree lol. It is a lot more challenging than at GCSE but I think it's a lot more doable if you put in the time.
Honestly, you just need to perfect your revision technique and you should be okay.
Reply 14
Original post by TEARSlol
I currently do maths, physics and art and dropped bio.
The jump for biology and physics was insane. With maths, they just kinda build it up so you don't really feel it as much. But biology was especially crazy. The actual content isn't difficult at all, but oh my god there is SO MUCH OF IT. It's crazy. honestly, be warned. we would cover an insane amount of content in a single lesson and were expected to retain it all, 2 years is just not enough time to learn all of that. I ended up dropping bio because I couldn't deal with it as I'm just not good at memorisation and names. Personally, I found physics more interesting and straightforward but many disagree lol. It is a lot more challenging than at GCSE but I think it's a lot more doable if you put in the time.
Honestly, you just need to perfect your revision technique and you should be okay.


how did you perfect your revision technique?
Original post by lesgo21
how did you perfect your revision technique?


to perfect my revision technique I just tried out a bunch of different things, sorta just experimented and saw what made my grades go up or not. I took out what I felt was not helpful and kept changing it up. It's just a process that you have to go through as well to figure it out for yourself.
I've kinda narrowed it down now to:
sometimes doing whatever I feel like I need to at the moment. For example, if I feel like I don't have a good grasp of the content of a topic then I do a page of blurting where I write everything I remember on the topic and add in a different coloured pen the things I left out, and then in a red pen, the corrections for any mistakes. But mostly, I stick to this structure where what I do is make sure I understand the stuff we learn in lessons by the end of the week. Then, when revising for an exam I would write very brief notes on key things to remember (mostly practicals) and watch a zphysics video. His videos (OCR spec) are so good and explain things so well. Then just do a **** ton of practice questions. Physics and maths tutor has packs with exam questions on each topic and so I would do a couple of those before every topic test. This made me go from getting grade Ds and Cs to As and Bs.
If you're asking about physics then I would recommend you try this technique out!
For maths, it's also a lot of the same thing except less content ofc. So less blurting and note writing and just A BUNCH of exam qs. Also, make sure you attempt difficult qs and don't just avoid them!. if you get them wrong then take a peek at the mark scheme and try again. It's always worth doing.
Reply 16
Its not that big if I am being honest, tbh I think gcses and a-level are the same difficulty, people just gas it up because they usually crammed in the last few months and got good in gcse but u can't do that for A-level
but in general, if u revised gcse from year 10/11 and got alright grades then ur just gonna have to put in the same effort for A-level
anyone scaremongering you is lyng, just do the work in class practice questions and start this in year 12
you will be fine, if u keep consintent u will easily get 3 A*S
most people dont work hard or try from the start which is why most people dont get good grades
Reply 17
Original post by AKZ1
Its not that big if I am being honest, tbh I think gcses and a-level are the same difficulty, people just gas it up because they usually crammed in the last few months and got good in gcse but u can't do that for A-level
but in general, if u revised gcse from year 10/11 and got alright grades then ur just gonna have to put in the same effort for A-level
anyone scaremongering you is lyng, just do the work in class practice questions and start this in year 12
you will be fine, if u keep consintent u will easily get 3 A*S
most people dont work hard or try from the start which is why most people dont get good grades

that is good to hear

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