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A Level Advice

Hi,
I'm planning on re-sitting some modules for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. I was predicted AAA but ended up achieving less. I followed what teachers and YouTubers said to do to achieve an A* but it hasn't worked. I plan on giving it this January 2024 so I have 4 months to revise and study. Those who actually gave and got an A or A* please advice. What was it you did that you think really made the difference?
Thanks.
Hey I did biology and chemistry and I think what is most important is finding a study method that works for you. For both subjects alike, I made sure my notes were in order from the start. Used the textbook for biology notes and for chemistry I printed off online notes. Before mocks, I gave myself a months to fully revise. The first month I read my notes (first two weeks and tried to fully understand the concepts (don’t memorise)) and did all the past papers I could find. With this I noticed how some questions would come up again and again and so would write down full on mark scheme answers in my notes (did this especially for biology for bits on protein synthesis, dna replication, photosynthesis). A month before my actual exams, I reread my notes and was able to see which bits of my notes will be worth rereading (this time full of mark scheme answers). I also redid all past papers leaving the most recent ones to do 2 days before the exam. If you did Edexcel, I am confident in saying that understanding what you revised is key as the questions this year were there to test your application of knowledge. Even doing the IAL edexcel papers (units 1-6) I believe, although repetitive in their questions, helped solidify my knowledge in weaker topics. Hope you find this useful and I wish you the best of luck for your exams next year!
Original post by Obsidian♡Hart
Hi,
I'm planning on re-sitting some modules for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. I was predicted AAA but ended up achieving less. I followed what teachers and YouTubers said to do to achieve an A* but it hasn't worked. I plan on giving it this January 2024 so I have 4 months to revise and study. Those who actually gave and got an A or A* please advice. What was it you did that you think really made the difference?
Thanks.

There are 2 things that I needed to do, [understanding and application of knowledge]. The first understanding, I made notes from every page in the biology and chemistry ocr a textbook, took me about 3 weeks in school (biology taking the longer time, chemistry is only a few days, as it is more application). I started with modules 2,3,4 in chemistry, than did those in biology (AS modules). Than I did the same for module 5 and 6.

I would than repeat this process… You can see some of my notes but they are messy, but they worked. Especially for the colours of complex ions. I used the ‘biology and chemistry ocr a’ notes document to revise for my A levels in may and june. I made a little timestamp of 21/6/23, 2 days before the chemistry exam.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/13C5wge90aYaSRbPKDV2fYU1SI5oyBiFS2myCQMMNRUU/edit

As I repeated my note making over and over game, the notes became shorter, I used more abbreviations as I would understand it. This allowed me to link the modules together: for example, DNA ligase is used in semi conservative replication to join the okazaki fragments (DNA polymerase can only go along the 3’ 5’ direction of DNA). We see DNA ligase again in genetic engineering, to catalyse the phosphodiester bond between the plasmid and DNA (as they have been cut by the same restriction enzymes, complementary sticky ends).

For application: past papers, mark scheme, examiner reports, physics and maths tutor has questions by topic. Once you have done all the questions in OCR board, do past papers in the AQA board (content is similar but question style and type of questions asked is different).

If you understand, even if you forget, you can remember it easily, and you can apply it. Use your imagination in biology to try to see the bigger picture.
(edited 7 months ago)

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