Advice for New A Level Students

I was initially going to just make a post of my own advice for students starting A Levels in September but then I thought I’d share some of the tips that my followers have instead! 

Contents

Staying Organised

  1. Stay on top of your notes!! (Agreed! There’s nothing worse than trying to catch up on class notes that you need to write whilst also keeping on top of homework and any revision for tests, etc.)
  2. Write down all your homework and admin bits 
  3. Keep up with any reading you’ve been given (Some teachers may give you reading to do so that they don’t have to go over it in lessons so make sure that you actually do it in order to keep up with the class)
  4. Make sure your notes are good throughout the year and make revision resources ASAP
  5. Make your revision resources at the end of each topic (I used to make detailed revision resources before a test so that I revised as well as giving myself resources to use next time)
  6. Don’t leave revision tot he last minute – set aside an hour or two a week from the start of the year and then increase it as it gets closer to exams
  7. It’s a massive step up from GCSE so don’t waste study sessions because you will really need them
  8. Year 12 is half the A Level so work like it even if the exams are ages away! (Honestly, Year 13 will be so much harder if you’re trying to catch up on Year 12 work and revision that you didn’t do in your first year as well as learning new content)
  9. Take one small folder for loose paper and notes to school each day for all subjects and then sort it out each night into individual folders at home
  10. Don’t procrastinate or you will regret it
  11. Make sure you are on top of your notes. Also, revise along the way and don’t mess around in free periods

Study Advice

  1. Do a good amount of work per subject per week, not just your set work 
  2. Start revising from the beginning, write your study aids early and when it comes to vocab learn a little every day
  3. Use your teachers – they’re there to help
  4. Make revision resources as you go along
  5. Use past papers to revise (even if you’re on one of the new specs, the old spec papers will most likely have some similar questions that you can use)
  6. Read around your subject and remember that essay structure is as important to nail as the content
  7. Be prepared for lessons: read ahead or re-read notes before lessons
  8. Instead of doing tonnes of practice questions, focus on the mistakes you make when you do answer them (I used to stick post-it notes on the wall for any questions/facts that I got wrong)
  9. Try and condense notes as much as possible and always go over them
  10. Use a revision method that works for you and don’t feel forced to do what other people say works best for them
  11. Revise for every single test/exams even if it’s just a class test (Definitely! It’s important to make every test count so that you know what you need to revise more and where you go wrong)
  12. Sit at the front of the class as you’re more likely to pay attention by sitting there
  13. Focus and hard work pays off
  14. Use multiple study methods (For psychology alone I used online flashcards, detailed summaries of individual studies, a tiny book with the bare bones of each study in, mind maps, regular notes and practice questions)
  15. Colour coded revision cards are the quickest and most effective way to learn facts and formulae
  16. Study a topic before you get it, when it comes to the lesson it’ll act as a reinforcement exercise!
  17. When making notes put an arrow post it note next to any definitions for easier revision (you could also use a different coloured pen or a highlighter too)
  18. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you don’t know/understand content. You won’t be spoon fed like at GCSE.
  19. Start revising early! Don’t leave the “making notes look pretty” until February but do it early on! Then when revision time comes make tons of flashcards using your notes
  20. Don’t think that doing the bare minimum will be enough. How much work you do will be reflected in your grades
  21. Most teachers will give you the option of handing essays – make sure you do it throughout your A Levels and especially in Year 13
  22. Review your notes at the end of the day or week just go over them – maybe make a mind map if you want to 

Managing Your Wellbeing

  1. If you don’t like a subject you’re doing, change it quickly and early! That’s what I wish I did 🙂 (Most colleges/sixth forms have a deadline that you have to do this by so make sure that you know when it is)
  2. Make sure you make notes all the way through for revision. Don’t leave it to the last minute as it causes unnecessary stress
  3. Put your health first, not your school work
  4. Be strong and never give up, even if you’re getting 26% on a test
  5. Choose A Levels that you enjoy! It’ll be a hell of a lot easier when it comes to putting in the hours for revision
  6. Ensure your work area isn’t cluttered!
  7. Study in a relaxing and motivational environment
  8. Make sure you balance your study life with your social life (Try and have at least one hobby that isn’t academic so that you have an escape from studying)
  9. Work hard but also remember to have some you-time – A Levels can get really stressful if not
  10. Try and keep up your level of independent work and keep on top of things to alleviate stress
  11. Don’t go into A Levels thinking that you won’t be able to do it. A Levels are hard, but possible! (Agreed! You do not need to panic about failing as long as you are putting in the time and effort from the start)
  12. Don’t rush, remember to fuel yourself and meditate – health is important in order to do well at school
  13. EPQs are way better than key skills/WBAC (Depending on the universities and courses you apply to doing one may even give you a reduced offer!)
  14. If you’re taking a MFL A Level immerse yourself in the foreign culture by doing things like watching Netflix series in that language and reading books in it

Miscellaneous “Help”

  1. Marry rich 😂😂
  2. Don’t fail
  3. Don’t underestimate it
  4. Carry a big bag
  5. Good luck 😂😂
I hope this advice was helpful to those of you who are just starting your A Level journey! If you have any more questions about A Levels feel free to email me or DM me on Instagram

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