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Alevel Help

Hello all :smile:

I am currently studying a level history (Germany and tudors) A level Media and A level history (UK politics and Us politics) I am constantly getting D's and I am aiming for an A in history by December and B's in politics and Media studies, it seems impossible right now and its a big jump from GCSES to a levels that I thought I could handle.

I was wondering if anyone has managed to go from a grade D all the way to a grade A/B in 9 months, is it possible? Also if anyone has any tips on writing essays (as that is where I mostly struggle, knowing the knowledge but not knowing how to format it) that would be heavily appreciated. I go to college not Sixth form so its more like independent learning and less hands on from the teachers and I just feel like im stuck and not getting the hang of anything no matter how hard I try. People who have had tutors too, did you think it was worth and should I invest? I come from an unprivileged background but could work part time more to help pay for the tutoring sessions if worth it!

Thank you for ready this veryyyyyy long post :smile:
Reply 1
Original post by kezowskii
Hello all :smile:
I am currently studying a level history (Germany and tudors) A level Media and A level history (UK politics and Us politics) I am constantly getting D's and I am aiming for an A in history by December and B's in politics and Media studies, it seems impossible right now and its a big jump from GCSES to a levels that I thought I could handle.
I was wondering if anyone has managed to go from a grade D all the way to a grade A/B in 9 months, is it possible? Also if anyone has any tips on writing essays (as that is where I mostly struggle, knowing the knowledge but not knowing how to format it) that would be heavily appreciated. I go to college not Sixth form so its more like independent learning and less hands on from the teachers and I just feel like im stuck and not getting the hang of anything no matter how hard I try. People who have had tutors too, did you think it was worth and should I invest? I come from an unprivileged background but could work part time more to help pay for the tutoring sessions if worth it!
Thank you for ready this veryyyyyy long post :smile:

Hi I'm also an A level politics student and I can help you with trying to improve your politics grade. I'm currently in Year 12, so I've only studied UK politics so far (no ideologies yet) and next year I'll be doing global politics, so I can't help with US politics, but I can give you some guidance as to how I've consistently gotten As in my essays so far.

I structure my essay and source questions using 5 paragraphs.

P1: Introduction stating my position and what points I will be making to support my argument
P2: First point mentioned in my introduction using the PEACE paragraph structure
P3: Second point mentioned in my introduction using the PEACE paragraph structure
P4: Third point mentioned in my introduction using the PEACE paragraph structure
P5: Conclusion summarising the points I have made and restating why I hold my position

The PEACE structure is a paragraph structure similar to PEEL but it stands for:

Point
Evidence
Analysis
Counterpoint
Evaluation

This strengthens your argument by giving a counterpoint that you can argue against using your own point. The evaluation is usually just a sentence to justify why the counterpoint is a weak (or valid) criticism and prove that your argument is stronger. With source questions, because there are points already made for you in the source, your evidence has to be relevant to the source.

In terms of resources I mainly use textbooks, lectures, websites and social media helps me stay informed on current events.
The textbook I use is Pearson Edexcel A Level UK Government and Politics Sixth Edition and you can find it on Hodder Education.
https://www.hoddereducation.com/subjects/government-politics/products/16-18/pearson-edexcel-a-level-uk-government-and-politics

I use Massolit for lectures occasionally, but I don't use this often - it helps a lot if you're struggling on certain topics as well!
https://massolit.io/

Some good websites to use are StudySmarter and Seneca, as I've found they have a lot of politics information and it explains things quite clearly. I don't pay for any membership on either, so don't feel as if you need to.
https://www.studysmarter.co.uk/
https://senecalearning.com/en-GB/

With social media, it is important to note that you should never trust unverified or unreliable sources. Word of mouth is not the best approach to finding information. I find it helps to follow the actual news channels on apps like Instagram and TikTok or to engage with their content. The news channels I gain the most information from are usually ITV and BBC but there are loads of others out there, I just prefer these ones as they tend to be quite neutral. Also, don't be influenced by the comments because sometimes their political views may make you hold beliefs about certain parties (e.g. Reform UK propaganda when in actuality they are the Brexit Party rebranded after they succeeded with their main goal).

The best advice I can give you for improving your grade is to engage in current affairs. Expanding your politics knowledge beyond the syllabus is what will get you top marks, as well as nailing and having a solid structure in all of your essays. This doesn't necessarily mean watching the news every single day, but if you tune into political matters regularly (e.g. budget cuts, new legislature, proposed amendments), this will give you a wider range of evidence to use in your essays. This way, you won't feel the pressure to revise as much come exam time, because the only thing that you really need to know at that point is how to write a good essay, not your external knowledge.

I hope this helps and good luck in your studies!

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