The Student Room Group

Really struggling with a-levels in year 12

I was wondering if anybody has any advice they could share with me about managing their a levels. I'm currently studying maths (edexcel), physics (AQA), and psychology(AQA) and I am finding it incredibly tough since we've pretty much finished year 1 content and now we're just left to revise. Since we've finished the content I've dropped from an A to a C in psychology which is sort of less of a concern but I've consistently been getting U's and E's in math and physics for the entire year and I just don't have a clue on how to improve. I find them both incredibly hard especially physics as the exam questions just seem to have no relation to what I learn and I don't have a clue how to apply content to the questions. With maths the exam questions are just way wayyy more complicated than what I revise. It's been so stressful at times that I have considered quitting a levels and doing a different course next year however I am really determined to keep going as I want to prove to everyone around me that's doubting that I am capable of doing hard subjects and I genuinely do have a passion for physics and psychology. I have never revised for psychology because I have no clue how to practise because I am good at memorising the content and I don't exactly understand what people mean by 'practising evaluation' and the whole PEEL paragraph things do not make sense to me as I do not understand what is meant by a link and my teacher is not much help. Sorry for the long paragraph I'm just hoping to get some advice on how to improve my grades in these subjects!
Reply 1
Tbh you have picked 2 difficult subjects. I would speak to your teachers and if you are really struggling you could think about retaking year 12? Also YouTube is an amazing free resource with loads of good help.
Hi there, not sure about physics sadly but I also do Maths and Psych. For Maths, I’d maybe identify key areas that are going wrong (eg coordinate geometry, little topics like that) and use a textbook or YouTube to work on those, but once you’re polished up then try some AS maths practice papers. It’s low stakes because you’re doing them yourself, but can help you get to grips with exam style questions. For psychology, I’d just split it into sections (looks like AQA psych is 6 sections for first year?), make a big mind map for each, and then prep some revision cards for little details you didn’t recall on the mindmap.
Sorry for the big para and lack of physics advice, but good luck :smile:)
Original post by jessrag1234
I was wondering if anybody has any advice they could share with me about managing their a levels. I'm currently studying maths (edexcel), physics (AQA), and psychology(AQA) and I am finding it incredibly tough since we've pretty much finished year 1 content and now we're just left to revise. Since we've finished the content I've dropped from an A to a C in psychology which is sort of less of a concern but I've consistently been getting U's and E's in math and physics for the entire year and I just don't have a clue on how to improve. I find them both incredibly hard especially physics as the exam questions just seem to have no relation to what I learn and I don't have a clue how to apply content to the questions. With maths the exam questions are just way wayyy more complicated than what I revise. It's been so stressful at times that I have considered quitting a levels and doing a different course next year however I am really determined to keep going as I want to prove to everyone around me that's doubting that I am capable of doing hard subjects and I genuinely do have a passion for physics and psychology. I have never revised for psychology because I have no clue how to practise because I am good at memorising the content and I don't exactly understand what people mean by 'practising evaluation' and the whole PEEL paragraph things do not make sense to me as I do not understand what is meant by a link and my teacher is not much help. Sorry for the long paragraph I'm just hoping to get some advice on how to improve my grades in these subjects!

TLMaths and Bicen Maths on YouTube are a GODSEND. I’d recommend checking out their videos on specific topics, maybe find a topic checklist and go through each one methodically. You’ve got this! Just keep practicing and maybe try some AS papers, look through the mark schemes too to try and make sense of the exam technique. I promise it will help massively - coming from a Y13 maths student :smile:
Original post by jessrag1234
I was wondering if anybody has any advice they could share with me about managing their a levels. I'm currently studying maths (edexcel), physics (AQA), and psychology(AQA) and I am finding it incredibly tough since we've pretty much finished year 1 content and now we're just left to revise. Since we've finished the content I've dropped from an A to a C in psychology which is sort of less of a concern but I've consistently been getting U's and E's in math and physics for the entire year and I just don't have a clue on how to improve. I find them both incredibly hard especially physics as the exam questions just seem to have no relation to what I learn and I don't have a clue how to apply content to the questions. With maths the exam questions are just way wayyy more complicated than what I revise. It's been so stressful at times that I have considered quitting a levels and doing a different course next year however I am really determined to keep going as I want to prove to everyone around me that's doubting that I am capable of doing hard subjects and I genuinely do have a passion for physics and psychology. I have never revised for psychology because I have no clue how to practise because I am good at memorising the content and I don't exactly understand what people mean by 'practising evaluation' and the whole PEEL paragraph things do not make sense to me as I do not understand what is meant by a link and my teacher is not much help. Sorry for the long paragraph I'm just hoping to get some advice on how to improve my grades in these subjects!
For maths, I would practice past paper or topic based questions as textbook questions may not be similar at all to the past paper format. For this I would recommend PhysicsMathsTutor or MathsGenie.

Do one or two past papers and go through, highlighting your weakest points in red, and your strongest in green. Prioritise your weakest points for review and watch videos on it (I recommend the YouTuber TLMaths, and The GCSE Maths Tutor also does some Year 12 AS content), then do some textbook practice, and some exam question practice on maths genie if possible.
For Physics, I would do end of chapter practice questions on kerboodle and then when you feel confident you can move to past papers.
Original post by jessrag1234
I was wondering if anybody has any advice they could share with me about managing their a levels. I'm currently studying maths (edexcel), physics (AQA), and psychology(AQA) and I am finding it incredibly tough since we've pretty much finished year 1 content and now we're just left to revise. Since we've finished the content I've dropped from an A to a C in psychology which is sort of less of a concern but I've consistently been getting U's and E's in math and physics for the entire year and I just don't have a clue on how to improve. I find them both incredibly hard especially physics as the exam questions just seem to have no relation to what I learn and I don't have a clue how to apply content to the questions. With maths the exam questions are just way wayyy more complicated than what I revise. It's been so stressful at times that I have considered quitting a levels and doing a different course next year however I am really determined to keep going as I want to prove to everyone around me that's doubting that I am capable of doing hard subjects and I genuinely do have a passion for physics and psychology. I have never revised for psychology because I have no clue how to practise because I am good at memorising the content and I don't exactly understand what people mean by 'practising evaluation' and the whole PEEL paragraph things do not make sense to me as I do not understand what is meant by a link and my teacher is not much help. Sorry for the long paragraph I'm just hoping to get some advice on how to improve my grades in these subjects!

For psychology, this really depends on what your memory is like (but you said you're good at revising content so hopefully this works): When I write my notes, I write them as mindmaps. The way the psychology textbook work is that - apart from the research methods parts and some of biopsychology, so I took those notes on my laptop - all the spreads look the same, right? AO1 on the left hand page and AO3 on the right. I turn an A4 piece of paper landscape, write the title of the spread in the centre, and write my notes around it so it sort of looks like a mindmap. Strengths in green pen, weaknesses in red pen, and each evaluation has 4 bulletpoints in the PEEL structure. Honestly, my link is usually something about good/bad validity, representativeness, generalisability, high value of the research if it has real-world applications, which is usually written in the textbook for that evaluation already. If the textbook doesn't make reference to any of those, I'll usually use whatever is the last sentence of the evaluation in the textbook and shape it into something that sounds like a link: all my links start with 'Therefore...' e.g. 'therefore, this research support suggests the multi-store model has good validity'. I was bad at links in the beginning and the PEEL structure, but you notice there's a pattern in how evaluations are structured as you go along the course, and then it becomes easier 🙂 The textbook usually already has the evaluations written in something like the PEEL structure already, but sometimes they are random and like 3 lines long, but as you write more and more PEEL evals it becomes easier to morph whatever is in the textbook into a PEEL and fill in any gaps with what you know about psychology.
Anyways, when my mindmap is done my memory depends on remembering where everything is on the mindmap. Sometimes I still forget lol, but the more I stare at it the better I remember. Sometimes I'll draw little pictures to help remember or highlight/write things in certain colours. If you want, I could try attach a pic of one of my mindmaps if it at all seems like something you'd find useful.

Quick Reply

Latest

Trending

Trending