So I’m about to begin A2 and I thought I’d share my first year experience with you and give you some of my tips that I wish I’d known.
- Be Organised
Make sure you are up to date with your work and you write down everything – literally everything! If you say “I’ll remember that”, you won’t so just write it down because then you won’t be in a panic trying to work out what you had to do for homework. Also, keep your files organised so that when you’re revising or asked to get something out it’s in the right place. This saves A LOT of time re-organising your file half way through the year! (I’m going to do a file organisation post soon, so stay turned for that)
- Stay On Top Of Your Work
This links in with being organised but it is so important! Try to do your work the night you get it so that it is fresh in your head and that you don’t procrastinate last minute because it just causes you more stress than what’s needed. If you’re set a long document to write maybe plan it one night, write a draft the next and write the final thing the day later.
- If You Don’t Understand Get Help
Honestly, the worst thing you can do is think that you get something even though you don’t, so you don’t ask for it to be explained again but come a few weeks time you won’t be able to remember how to do any of it and you then just keep putting it off until that exact topic appears in your exam. That is the worst situation to be in. Get help by your friends, parents, textbook, the internet, teachers as they all want you to succeed!
- Read The Textbook Before The Lesson
Admittedly, this is something I didn’t do that year but I wish I did. Read the topic in your textbook about the topic that you’re going to do in class and if you have any questions when reading it you can ask your teacher and it will feel like revision and you’ll be ahead of your classmates (which is always great!)
- Be Prepared For Harder Work
I know everyone says that A Level is harder and it is. The work load is increased, the content of your essays is increased, the quality is increased and, unfortunately, your social life is decreased. Sometimes I found myself locked away in my bedroom for days revising and doing homework but it all had to get done. Just try to take everything in manageable steps and I should warn you the first month is by far the worst as the teachers like to test you.
- Use Your ‘Frees’ Wisely
‘Frees’ aren’t ‘free’ at all. You have so much work to do that you’ll never have anytime to just relax. Make sure you spend them wisely, even from day one, so that you can make the most out of your time.
- A Levels ARE More Enjoyable Than GCSEs
This was the case for me at least. I found that as I didn’t have to do any subjects that I didn’t like and I had picked the subjects that I wanted to do, so I was enthusiastic about my lessons and I worked hard to ensure that I got the grades that I wanted.
- Change Subjects Immediately If You Don’t Enjoy It
As you know I didn’t do well in one of my exams (German) and that’s because I didn’t enjoy it. I just thought that it would eventually get better so I just stuck with it. However, I wish I’d changed to a different subject that I’d enjoy because then I could have got a better grade.