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from all 9s to all Ds, help

i'm struggling so bad doing biology, chemistry and psychology a-level, i'm failing everything and i know the christmas holidays are my last chance to catch up and make a change before summer where we'll get our predicted grades for uni.
i've had my heart set on medicine for so long and i'm literally taking this opportunity away from myself and i hate myself for it.
I don't know what to do, i'm studying and do past paper questions and trying but i've fallen so behind in 3 months and i keep getting so overwhelmed and pretty much crying at the minimum once a day,
any advice would be so appreciated :frown: (logging back into tsr really is a last resort for me)
(edited 3 months ago)

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Original post by candyfloss123333
i'm struggling so bad doing biology, chemistry and psychology a-level, i'm failing everything and i know the christmas holidays are my last chance to catch up and make a change before summer where we'll get our predicted grades for uni.
i've had my heart set on medicine for so long and i'm literally taking this opportunity away from myself and i hate myself for it.
I don't know what to do, i'm studying and do past paper questions and trying but i've fallen so behind in 3 months and i keep getting so overwhelmed and pretty much crying at the minimum once a day,
any advice would be so appreciated :frown: (logging back into tsr really is a last resort for me)

How did you find GCSEs? Did you really have to work at them, or did they come relatively easily to you?

The reason I ask is that some very intelligent people find that they can handle GCSEs without having to put in too much effort. As a result, they've never really learned how to learn. How to actively listen during lessons. How to take detailed notes. How to summarise those notes for revision. How to write and use flash cards effectively. How to utilise a mark scheme to improve their exam technique. Etc.

These people find that they can't survive on pure intellect alone when it comes to A levels, and some come a little unstuck. Could this be what's happening with you?
Original post by candyfloss123333
i'm struggling so bad doing biology, chemistry and psychology a-level, i'm failing everything and i know the christmas holidays are my last chance to catch up and make a change before summer where we'll get our predicted grades for uni.
i've had my heart set on medicine for so long and i'm literally taking this opportunity away from myself and i hate myself for it.
I don't know what to do, i'm studying and do past paper questions and trying but i've fallen so behind in 3 months and i keep getting so overwhelmed and pretty much crying at the minimum once a day,
any advice would be so appreciated :frown: (logging back into tsr really is a last resort for me)

Are you literally failing or just getting grades well below what you achieved at GCSE? And why are you doing past paper questions now?
Original post by DataVenia
How did you find GCSEs? Did you really have to work at them, or did they come relatively easily to you?

The reason I ask is that some very intelligent people find that they can handle GCSEs without having to put in too much effort. As a result, they've never really learned how to learn. How to actively listen during lessons. How to take detailed notes. How to summarise those notes for revision. How to write and use flash cards effectively. How to utilise a mark scheme to improve their exam technique. Etc.

These people find that they can't survive on pure intellect alone when it comes to A levels, and some come a little unstuck. Could this be what's happening with you?

In my GCSEs I did achieve almost all 9s, but towards the end of y11 I became tired and stopped putting a lot of effort in. Before that though in y9/10, even from y7 I was super committed to studying for my gcses and putting time into working for the good grades -> but i have to admit some subjects more than others did come quite naturally to me.
Original post by ageshallnot
Are you literally failing or just getting grades well below what you achieved at GCSE? And why are you doing past paper questions now?

Literally failing, like D/E level. Also i'm doing ppqs because I have november exams ☹️
Original post by candyfloss123333
Literally failing, like D/E level. Also i'm doing ppqs because I have november exams ☹️

How are other members of your year getting on? Particularly those who achieved similar grades to you at GCSE?

Are you still tired?
Original post by ageshallnot
How are other members of your year getting on? Particularly those who achieved similar grades to you at GCSE?

Are you still tired?

they're all getting on completely fine, i'm not trying to make excuses for myself at all i need to just pick it up again but i keep doing everything so much more slowly and just it's taking me so much longer to learn things. maybe it's just part of the process though and i just need to start putting a LOT more effort in to keep up than i realised.
also yes i'm still always tired 😁
(edited 3 months ago)
Original post by candyfloss123333
they're all getting on completely fine, i'm not trying to make excuses for myself at all i need to just pick it up again but i keep doing everything so much more slowly and just it's taking me so much longer to learn things. maybe it's just part of the process though and i just need to start putting a LOT more effort in to keep up than i realised.
also yes i'm still always tired 😁

There could be various reasons...

Academically, you might have coasted through GCSEs, but haven't yet acquired the skills (the work ethic?) for A-levels.

Physically, perhaps it's a health issue. I had eyesight problems (I needed glasses) and that definitely impacted my A-level studies. My wife had a severe B12 deficiency in her teenage years and spent most of her life asleep. Might be an idea to get yourself checked out?
Original post by ageshallnot
There could be various reasons...

Academically, you might have coasted through GCSEs, but haven't yet acquired the skills (the work ethic?) for A-levels.

Physically, perhaps it's a health issue. I had eyesight problems (I needed glasses) and that definitely impacted my A-level studies. My wife had a severe B12 deficiency in her teenage years and spent most of her life asleep. Might be an idea to get yourself checked out?

Thank youu, I used to have a really strong work ethic but from y11, although I did well in my gcses I lost a lot of that discipline and motivation. But i'm making that change again now !!💪💪
Also I have very recently found out I have low iron and some other stuff so i'm taking iron tablets and things which could reduce my tiredness 🙂!
Original post by candyfloss123333
Thank youu, I used to have a really strong work ethic but from y11, although I did well in my gcses I lost a lot of that discipline and motivation. But i'm making that change again now !!💪💪
Also I have very recently found out I have low iron and some other stuff so i'm taking iron tablets and things which could reduce my tiredness 🙂!

There you go! Hopefully your enthusiasm will be rekindled and your marks will get back to where they used to be!!😃
Reply 10
Original post by DataVenia
How did you find GCSEs? Did you really have to work at them, or did they come relatively easily to you?

The reason I ask is that some very intelligent people find that they can handle GCSEs without having to put in too much effort. As a result, they've never really learned how to learn. How to actively listen during lessons. How to take detailed notes. How to summarise those notes for revision. How to write and use flash cards effectively. How to utilise a mark scheme to improve their exam technique. Etc.

These people find that they can't survive on pure intellect alone when it comes to A levels, and some come a little unstuck. Could this be what's happening with you?

I feel like you just described me 😭
I never took notes in GCSEs and only studied the day before my exams (am not even joking)
Still got 8s and 9s so I thought Alevels would be the same but now Im predicted Bs!! Ahhh!
Original post by Voxanne
I feel like you just described me 😭
I never took notes in GCSEs and only studied the day before my exams (am not even joking)
Still got 8s and 9s so I thought Alevels would be the same but now Im predicted Bs!! Ahhh!

It's actually surprisingly common. If you're predicted Bs you're presumably in year 13 right now, so this wasn't picked up during year 12. Is that right?

That's a shame, as is can be fixed. You just need to realise that contrary to your GCSE experience, you'll need to put in a significant effort to do well at your A levels. That will no doubt be a shock to your system, and to your study habits. Have these habits now improved, or are your still working in "never took notes" / " only studied the day before my exams" mode?
Reply 12
Original post by DataVenia
It's actually surprisingly common. If you're predicted Bs you're presumably in year 13 right now, so this wasn't picked up during year 12. Is that right?

That's a shame, as is can be fixed. You just need to realise that contrary to your GCSE experience, you'll need to put in a significant effort to do well at your A levels. That will no doubt be a shock to your system, and to your study habits. Have these habits now improved, or are your still working in "never took notes" / " only studied the day before my exams" mode?

Yeahh I'm in year13 and I practically wasted the entire year in Yr12... I did realise that I need to put in wayyy more work but its soo harddd TT
Ive been taking more notes but the "only studying before exams" thing is still there~
Original post by Voxanne
Yeahh I'm in year13 and I practically wasted the entire year in Yr12... I did realise that I need to put in wayyy more work but its soo harddd TT
Ive been taking more notes but the "only studying before exams" thing is still there~

That's unfortunate. :frown:
damn, if it helps, im smashing year 12 with grade a's
im not sure if this is the kind of help you’re looking for but I’m currently in my final year of a psychology degree looking at graduating with a 1st or an upper 2.1, so i can try and help with your understanding of psychology :smile:
Reply 16
Original post by candyfloss123333
i'm struggling so bad doing biology, chemistry and psychology a-level, i'm failing everything and i know the christmas holidays are my last chance to catch up and make a change before summer where we'll get our predicted grades for uni.
i've had my heart set on medicine for so long and i'm literally taking this opportunity away from myself and i hate myself for it.
I don't know what to do, i'm studying and do past paper questions and trying but i've fallen so behind in 3 months and i keep getting so overwhelmed and pretty much crying at the minimum once a day,
any advice would be so appreciated :frown: (logging back into tsr really is a last resort for me)

This is quite similar to the situation that I was in and perhaps it may be time to start looking for a way of re-sitting. Especially because you want to do medicine, for which I assume nothing less than AAA will be enough.

I was much like you - I’m gapping right now. I got a B in my best subject and C and E for the other two. My predicted grades were A*AC or at this point last year - the C being a serious stretch from the actual D-Us I had been getting. I was probably just really stressed with everything because not once did it occur to me that i could just plan to do year13 again. (It would have been elsewhere for me bc my school doesn’t do resits). But it is such a viable option. I do think that if you get to your final set of mocks - like the ones in April or March - and you’re still not where you want to be then perhaps start looking (especially for chem and bio!!) for places that will teach you a 1 year a level course or think about retaking the year with or without your current institution.

This is not at all to say that that is where you are headed, because my E grade was a rather special case, and caused everything else to suffer as a result - my B grade (the first i had ever had in the subject after 2 years of straight As) was only partially a problem that was caused by an internal examiner but alas! It’s already happened!

A lot of people in my year are resitting and i don’t want to whip it out like a safety net because that’s not necessarily what it is - it is another year of working for better than you did the year before - but I know that medicine is crazy competitive so perhaps put all the work in you can right now to use this time to try and figure out how to study.

I honestly was very similar to you: I would put in quite a bit of effort in for school until around year 10 and I was utterly shattered by summer of year 11 but because most of the work I had 5 years to do had been done already, the studying I did during exams probably wasn’t what got me those grades. It was probably the work I had done before. Years 12 & 13 I also spent really tired (and rather ill for some reason) and just unable to make myself learn things as quickly as I used to (i also spent quite a bit of time out of school) . So perhaps think now about how to pinpoint teach yourself the some of things you aren’t doing so well. As obvious as it sounds, I am trying to offer advice I could have done with exactly a year ago 😅 If youre on Ds and Es right now, then looking at the spec maybe be really overwhelming be cause such grades mean you’re not showing that you know even half of what youre supposed to know by now. But honestly just sit down and pick apart exam questions with a rev guide or textbook and with the spec. It may be tedious but it is what helped me (i was like 16 and really burnt out when i last used this method but still it was really helpful) to undetsand what i am expected to know by now and where i may be allowed to think a little bit on my feet during the exam.

One of the replies mentioned how to get out of your chronic tiredness and I have the same things they listed along with a few other things prescribed to me and they're mainly supplements that help with drousiness and happiness and all the other things your body is supposed to do with normal vitamin and mineral levels.
A potential re-take era can allow you to figure out ways of teaching your self and learning on your own right now without the pressure of A levels needing to be done soon or you can use these summer exams to practice working under the pressure of actual external exams, depending on how certain you are on retaking. I think the best way to think of them is as the last time you wanna do your a level exams like most people but that could be really stressful or tiring for you - I know it was for me and it caused all of my grades and extra curriculars to suffer during this ucas-a levels interim.

I hope this reply has been helpful to you and that you know that its totally okay for everything to not be going as smoothly as it always has been :smile: Although you may be thoroughly opposed to retaking, there are ways of trying again, if you do decide to resit, and there are many other things to do if your plan A doesn’t go exactly to plan <3.
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 17
Original post by candyfloss123333
i'm struggling so bad doing biology, chemistry and psychology a-level, i'm failing everything and i know the christmas holidays are my last chance to catch up and make a change before summer where we'll get our predicted grades for uni.
i've had my heart set on medicine for so long and i'm literally taking this opportunity away from myself and i hate myself for it.
I don't know what to do, i'm studying and do past paper questions and trying but i've fallen so behind in 3 months and i keep getting so overwhelmed and pretty much crying at the minimum once a day,
any advice would be so appreciated :frown: (logging back into tsr really is a last resort for me)

pick up a pen start revising
Original post by candyfloss123333
i'm struggling so bad doing biology, chemistry and psychology a-level, i'm failing everything and i know the christmas holidays are my last chance to catch up and make a change before summer where we'll get our predicted grades for uni.
i've had my heart set on medicine for so long and i'm literally taking this opportunity away from myself and i hate myself for it.
I don't know what to do, i'm studying and do past paper questions and trying but i've fallen so behind in 3 months and i keep getting so overwhelmed and pretty much crying at the minimum once a day,
any advice would be so appreciated :frown: (logging back into tsr really is a last resort for me)

ohh i kinda felt this 2 years ago.. i was in the cohort where my GCSE grades were predicted so i slacked off big time and got 6s and an 8-7 in comb sci anyway.. but.. I ended up being kicked off my A-level bio & chem cuz the jump was insane (was getting consistent E's) since I completely lost my revision habits in quarantine, and it didnt help that I forgot all my GCSE knowledge..
Reply 19
Original post by DataVenia
How did you find GCSEs? Did you really have to work at them, or did they come relatively easily to you?

The reason I ask is that some very intelligent people find that they can handle GCSEs without having to put in too much effort. As a result, they've never really learned how to learn. How to actively listen during lessons. How to take detailed notes. How to summarise those notes for revision. How to write and use flash cards effectively. How to utilise a mark scheme to improve their exam technique. Etc.

These people find that they can't survive on pure intellect alone when it comes to A levels, and some come a little unstuck. Could this be what's happening with you?

This is definitely me (I did my GCSEs in 2022). I didn't feel the need to put in any work for the sciences (Chemistry, Biology and Physics), Maths, English Language and Spanish. The others, I got by with doing a bit of work but when it came to the actual thing, I got 9999999988, which I feel disappointed with (with the 8s in English Literature and RS) because these were the few subjects I put the most work in for. I knew I wasn't going to get a 9 in English Lit because I never got grade 9s in the mocks or any of the practice ones we did in the lesson. I was in the slap bang middle between the grade boundary for an 8 and the grade boundary for a 9. I was extremely disappointed with RS because I was getting grade 9s all the way through the year in RS but then fumbled at the last hurdle. I was two marks off the grade boundary for a 9.

When I came to A level, it was a HUGE step up and it took me a lot of time to adjust and find the time to put in the work, particularly in Chemistry. In fact, I would go so far to say my hardest A level is definitely Chemistry. I do Maths, Further Maths, Computer Science, Chemistry and EPQ.
(edited 2 months ago)

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