5 Tips for success during A-levels
I thought I would do a quick little update on the old 'blogosphere'. I got inspired for this particular blog post whilst sitting in the LRC (The Learning Resource Centre, as it is officially known as, but it's just "The Library" to you and me!)
However! It isn't "just" a library, it's a LIBRARY. Its set up to imitate one you would find at University, just on a smaller scale. (I know this because I volunteered as a student guide during my first year). Cadbury College is making a Uni student out of us all from the get go! It's arranged with the Dewey decimal system, something that all Universities do. It may sound all complicated, but don't worry, once you get used to it, it's a doddle!
Anyway, that was a slight detour from what I was going to blog about…
Considering as I am a second year student, I like to think I have mastered the whole "knowing what to do to pass" – Maybe be true for my first year, but I'm still getting there for my second year.
So, as many of you reading this are either first year or are in your GCSE year, or even if you're younger and just wondering what A-level and college is like, here are my 5 top tips for a successful first year!
1) Revise as you go along.
This maybe the most important one, hence why I put it at number one! You cannot, without a shadow of a doubt, revise weeks before the exam. There is no way that that is going to end well, for anyone! (Wow, sounds scary. I don't mean it to be scary, I promise!)
You probably got away with revising 2 weeks or so before your GCSE exams, and ended up with an awesome grade (I personally wouldn't like to admit that myself, mainly because my teachers would be HORRIFIED!), but for A-levels, a 2 week revision wouldn't even cover a single topic, let alone the entire first year of your course.
Revising as you go along and making the most of the end of topic assessments you'll have in college - you'll thank yourself for it. You have to do this for the top grades!
And I don't even mean hard-core revision. Even just going over the notes again after class, maybe writing them up again, looking at them and taking everything in. If you revise as you go along, there isn't going to be that sudden rush towards the end of the year, right before your exams when you're staying up late into the night, revising for the exam the next day, freaking out.
2) Do a revision timetable.
My favourite thing to do, ever! Mainly because organising and colour coordinating things is my dream job.
Making sure you have a timetable makes you revise (at least that's what happens with me, anyway). This way, you can timetable in things you like away from revision as well (You can't give up your social life, that's hard to deal with).
A general rule in college for first year students is 3 hours of revision per subject, per week. Personally for me, I wouldn't revise a subject/topic for more than 45 minutes per session. Small chunks of information are much better than huge chunks of information you're forcing into your head, because it'll just go through one ear and out of the other.
Make sure you go over things again and again. Just because you've revised topic 1, don't leave that until exam time to go over again.
My revision timetable changes every term, so then I can change it up, and not get bored of it! Boredom is what makes people not want to revise. Make it fun for yourself!
And make sure you reward yourself after your hard work! I make sure after I revise, I watch a few episodes of a show I'm currently watching, or read a book, or write a chapter of a novel I'm currently writing (wow, it's suddenly turned into a 'what does Jasmine do with her spare time?' blog).
3) Take extra notes!
College issue you with textbooks for a reason. It isn't just what you go over in class. If you do extra notes, condense them down and rearrange it into your original notes. If you're unsure, ask a teacher! They're extremely helpful.
4) Take mock exams seriously!
I know so many people who felt like mock exams didn't mean anything, but then realise towards exam season how important they truly were. It isn't just a chance for teachers to see who may need extra help with certain things, but it's also a chance to practice exam technique, which is massively important at A-level.
Especially at second year, as mock exams are an important factor for your teachers to decide your predicted grades which get put onto your UCAS application for Universities to see.
And last, but definitely not least…
5) Get a good night’s sleep before any exams.
You’re probably like “That sounds really out of place in a list of tips on how to deal with A-levels”, but it’s really true. A sleepy, tired student doesn't equal a top grade student.
WOW! This blog was EXTREMELY long. Sorry about that. But I do hope they help you with your studies here at Cadbury, or wherever you’re studying.
Posted by Rebecca Harbot on 27 June 2017