The Student Room Group

Struggling before A-Levels?

Hey, I'm in Year 13 and I have my first A-level exam on the 17th of May. I've spent every single possible moment revising and I just cannot remember any of it. Like, I will spend 4 hours revising a topic including reading my notes out loud, practising questions, watching videos, making flashcards, and mindmaps. The lot. Yet if you asked me a question the next day I could not tell you a single thing.

Furthermore, I'm still learning content for one of my subjects, which will take us right up to the 10th of May.

I'm really struggling to cope with this mentally and I don't know what to do. In previous years I have consistently achieved around an AAC/ABC grade and I'm predicted A*AB, but the way it is looking I don't think I genuinely don't think I could get a C.

If I don't get into University I do not have any experience or back-up plans in terms of work.

Does anybody have any help with remembering content? Last-minute revision methods? Tips for when the exams are the next day? Help in general? Perhaps alternative suggestions other than University?

Thank you xxxxx
hey! my first exam is on the 17th too (got a psych paper aaah)
so luckily you still have time, its not too late. for the subject ur still learning the content for, you need to take the reins and start studying fo rit yourself, you can't rely on the teacher or anyone else. its going to keep you ahead of everybody and give you enough time for revision. the way you go about that depends on your subject, but its it a subject with multiple topics and is more qualitative, i suggest instead of making notes, either make mindmaps or flashcards, so when u come back to revise ur using active methods of studying cus youre either testing yourself or connecting points to understand the topic, rather than passively reading.

as for not remembering, your mindset mattes alot so tell yourself you're good at remembering things. this will boost ur overall stressed mood and force ur brain to fullfill that thought process. for methods you havent tried, try the feymen technique ; explain the topic to someone else, teach it - doesnt matter if ur looking at ur notes or class powerpoints, just grab a friend or a classmate and explain it to them. another thing you could do is if ur subjects essay based, start making essay plans and then check with the mark scheme, did you include most of whats asked? another thing is most subjects have a slight edge in technique than content. for example your ao1 is poor but the paper mostly wants a02, so focus on imrpving your ao2. so go through past papers, see which AO's are important and focus on improving those as they carry heavy grades. do past papers! do them in timed situations especially so you know how you would do with time management in the exam + see where ur weak at. also the day before my mocks and exams, i would pull out old past papers and see where i made mistakes and read the tr's feedback and just by myself try to assume why i messed up, with the actual mark scheme next to me.

if a levels dont work out (which im sure they will as i think ur just stressed, but ur grades are solid) u could do an appreticeship if avaliable where ur studying + working and getting paid. another option is foundation year in university for your course

hope this helps!
Reply 2
Original post by psychstudent2625
hey! my first exam is on the 17th too (got a psych paper aaah)
so luckily you still have time, its not too late. for the subject ur still learning the content for, you need to take the reins and start studying fo rit yourself, you can't rely on the teacher or anyone else. its going to keep you ahead of everybody and give you enough time for revision. the way you go about that depends on your subject, but its it a subject with multiple topics and is more qualitative, i suggest instead of making notes, either make mindmaps or flashcards, so when u come back to revise ur using active methods of studying cus youre either testing yourself or connecting points to understand the topic, rather than passively reading.
as for not remembering, your mindset mattes alot so tell yourself you're good at remembering things. this will boost ur overall stressed mood and force ur brain to fullfill that thought process. for methods you havent tried, try the feymen technique ; explain the topic to someone else, teach it - doesnt matter if ur looking at ur notes or class powerpoints, just grab a friend or a classmate and explain it to them. another thing you could do is if ur subjects essay based, start making essay plans and then check with the mark scheme, did you include most of whats asked? another thing is most subjects have a slight edge in technique than content. for example your ao1 is poor but the paper mostly wants a02, so focus on imrpving your ao2. so go through past papers, see which AO's are important and focus on improving those as they carry heavy grades. do past papers! do them in timed situations especially so you know how you would do with time management in the exam + see where ur weak at. also the day before my mocks and exams, i would pull out old past papers and see where i made mistakes and read the tr's feedback and just by myself try to assume why i messed up, with the actual mark scheme next to me.
if a levels dont work out (which im sure they will as i think ur just stressed, but ur grades are solid) u could do an appreticeship if avaliable where ur studying + working and getting paid. another option is foundation year in university for your course
hope this helps!

Hey, thank you so much that's really helpful! I'm definitely going to work at changing my mindset - I think my key problem is I keep telling myself "I can't do this" - I need to have more confidence haha. Mine's a psychology paper too - good luck! xx
Original post by Holly84
Hey, thank you so much that's really helpful! I'm definitely going to work at changing my mindset - I think my key problem is I keep telling myself "I can't do this" - I need to have more confidence haha. Mine's a psychology paper too - good luck! xx

ahhh good luck!!! ofc we psych students just always yap on about mindset lmaoaoao but it does rlly work!
whats ur exam board! we could dhare resources and stuff, mines edexcel
Reply 4
Original post by psychstudent2625
ahhh good luck!!! ofc we psych students just always yap on about mindset lmaoaoao but it does rlly work!
whats ur exam board! we could dhare resources and stuff, mines edexcel
Haha yup! Ahhh mine's AQA. Do you know of any good websites/sources regardless? I use Tutor2U a lot and physicsandmathstutor for topic-related practice questions. There are also a couple of good quick-revision videos on YouTube to just have on in the background (I usually have something playing when I'm getting ready in the morning haha). Quizlet is also handy at times but I don't rely on it :smile:
Original post by Holly84
Haha yup! Ahhh mine's AQA. Do you know of any good websites/sources regardless? I use Tutor2U a lot and physicsandmathstutor for topic-related practice questions. There are also a couple of good quick-revision videos on YouTube to just have on in the background (I usually have something playing when I'm getting ready in the morning haha). Quizlet is also handy at times but I don't rely on it :smile:

ahhh thats niceee
well i jus did a quick google search and found these websites, have u used any of them?

https://shelleypsych.wordpress.com/
https://psychology2logs.wordpress.com/exam-one-research-methods/
https://aqaa2psych.wordpress.com/
https://revisepsychology.wordpress.com/

i use this sometiems cus it has edexcel but it also has aqa
https://psychologyrocks.org/find-your-exam-board/

god send for edexcel VERY DETAILDE so if u have a topic u dont underestand in aqa it might be here
https://www.psychologywizard.net/unit-1-foundations.html
Reply 6
Original post by psychstudent2625
ahhh thats niceee
well i jus did a quick google search and found these websites, have u used any of them?
https://shelleypsych.wordpress.com/
https://psychology2logs.wordpress.com/exam-one-research-methods/
https://aqaa2psych.wordpress.com/
https://revisepsychology.wordpress.com/
i use this sometiems cus it has edexcel but it also has aqa
https://psychologyrocks.org/find-your-exam-board/
god send for edexcel VERY DETAILDE so if u have a topic u dont underestand in aqa it might be here
https://www.psychologywizard.net/unit-1-foundations.html

Ahhh, thank you! Can't say I've used them sources before but I'll def try them out :smile:

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