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A level physics advice- how to stop failing

Hi, So i am a distressed year 13 that is currently being defeated by A level physics. I am at a D and need a B for my uni conditionals and past paper questions do not seem to help because i fundamentally do not understand how to do these questions or what to do. Any advice and has anyone dramatically improved grades in such a short time?Going over content seems useless at this point because non of the questions relate to it- so how do people know how to do questions??
Original post by strawberryyoggy
Hi, So i am a distressed year 13 that is currently being defeated by A level physics. I am at a D and need a B for my uni conditionals and past paper questions do not seem to help because i fundamentally do not understand how to do these questions or what to do. Any advice and has anyone dramatically improved grades in such a short time?Going over content seems useless at this point because non of the questions relate to it- so how do people know how to do questions??
If you're doing AQA good luck. Only advice I can give you is spend a week sprinting through the entire content on your notes or on PMT's summary notes or any other summary notes you have, and then now from the exam onwards do every single past paper, look through the mark schemes and video solutions, you will start to notice patterns and approaches. That is assuming questions for this year aren't going to be absolutely demonic like last year's.

Practice papers from external sources (Physics Online, MME, etc.) were sometimes useful but not so much. IsaacPhysics is good if you want to really test yourself, as well as iwanttostudyengineering, their questions slightly exceed what you'd probably be asked but they help solidify understanding and sharpen your calculating skills. Not to mention if 2023's set of papers taught me anything is that cramming exam technique sometimes isn't enough.
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 2
Original post by strawberryyoggy
Hi, So i am a distressed year 13 that is currently being defeated by A level physics. I am at a D and need a B for my uni conditionals and past paper questions do not seem to help because i fundamentally do not understand how to do these questions or what to do. Any advice and has anyone dramatically improved grades in such a short time?Going over content seems useless at this point because non of the questions relate to it- so how do people know how to do questions??
If you’re doing AQA i recommend Watching the videos from TL physics , she’s made videos covering the whole AQA spec I find it much easier than staring at my textbook all day.
Original post by NewGuyOnTheBlock
If you're doing AQA good luck. Only advice I can give you is spend a week sprinting through the entire content on your notes or on PMT's summary notes or any other summary notes you have, and then now from the exam onwards do every single past paper, look through the mark schemes and video solutions, you will start to notice patterns and approaches. That is assuming questions for this year aren't going to be absolutely demonic like last year's.
Practice papers from external sources (Physics Online, MME, etc.) were sometimes useful but not so much. IsaacPhysics is good if you want to really test yourself, as well as iwanttostudyengineering, their questions slightly exceed what you'd probably be asked but they help solidify understanding and sharpen your calculating skills. Not to mention if 2023's set of papers taught me anything is that cramming exam technique sometimes isn't enough.
HAHAH I JUST SAT LAST YEARS PAPERS AS MOCKS AND WHAT WERE THEY SMOKING?!!? I'M SO SCARED FOR THIS YEAR AND TO MAKE IT WORSE REVISING FOR PAPER 3 IS JUST A STAB IN THE DARK BECAUSE THEY CAN JUST PULL UP ANY RANDOM PRACTICAL OR INSTRUMENT AND YOU ARE LEFT CLUELESS IN THE EXAM :sad::bawling:
Original post by strawberryyoggy
Hi, So i am a distressed year 13 that is currently being defeated by A level physics. I am at a D and need a B for my uni conditionals and past paper questions do not seem to help because i fundamentally do not understand how to do these questions or what to do. Any advice and has anyone dramatically improved grades in such a short time?Going over content seems useless at this point because non of the questions relate to it- so how do people know how to do questions??
Hiya,I'm currently a 3rd year astrophysics and cosmology student at Lancaster Uni. It's really hard to say one way to revise but I can give you suggestions based off what worked for me:

A main thing for you if you find youself completely not understanding topics is to try and ask for help from teachers if they could spend some time with you, even outside lessons, to expain concepts in a way you might then be able to understand to apply to questions. Another suggestion is to ask other students that may understand it better than yourself to explain something in terms that would make sense to you, as another student's wording / interpretation may be better suited to you than a textbook for example

know what it is you need to revise.
go through your exam board specifications (all available to you online) and look through each topic and make sure you know everything it says you should. It's a great way to find gaps in your knowledge as they have the basis of everything you can be tested on.
Make sure you prioritise your weaker topics as there isn't much point revising things you already know. Do revise them to a certain degree, just don't spend too much time focused on topics you are confident in.

make a plan
some people find scheduling out revision really effective when making sure they get everything done / having a structured plan to make sure you reach daily targets so if it's something you would want to try, I'd recommend it

fill in your gaps before you start practicing
do all your notetaking before you answer practice questions / past papers, especially with physics
I would make short mind maps or page summaries of topics for physics and use them for when I start answering questions so everything I need to know is condensed and easy to access in a way I can revise it / use it effectively
I used physics and maths tutor (https://www.physicsandmathstutor.com/) for some summary page content for all subjects and used science shorts (https://scienceshorts.net/) for physics. They have video run-throughs of exam papers / making mind maps, etc, so highly recommend them.

active revision
make sure you're not just reading notes / highlighting / rewriting content as that wont make you remember any info!
make your own revision cards / mindmaps / quizzes
timed recall: write as much as you can about a topic for 15 mins without looking at your notes. Then after you've reached your time limit, go through your notes for and see what's missing. With a different colour, go back and add as much as you can remember for 5 mins and keep repeating so you are activiely recalling information.
do past papers and look at markschemes, they're the key to forming well-worded answers.
spaced repitition also works very well, making sure you can still remember something 15 mins, an hour, a few hours, the next day after you revise it.

Finally, make sure you prioritise consistency and quality over spending hours sat trying to revise without it being effective. Revision is different for everyone so make yours catered to you. Ask others for advice or help, especially your teachers, they have so many resources available for students to use so just ask them!

I hope all this helps and make sure you pace yourself. Wishing you all the best for your exams! If you have any other queries, feel free to ask.
-- Arya (Lancaster University Student Ambassador)

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