I thought I’d write a guide to A Levels in order to give a few pieces of advice to anyone who will be starting A Levels, or continuing them.
At A Level, people typically study only three or four subjects, so what subjects you decide to study is a hard decision. Here’s a few tips and pieces of advice to think about before you decide:
- Enjoyment – Choose at least one subject you’re going to enjoy, and you know you will work hard in to get good grades. Not enjoying a subject often means you won’t give it 100%
- Future – Think about your career. If you need to go to university, what subjects do you need to study to get into the course of your choice? There’s no point studying A Levels that are irrelevent to your future.
- Opportunity – Don’t narrow yourself down to one career, keep your options open and choose a broad range of subjects that can open many doors in the future, not just one.
I know everyone goes on about the jump from GCSE’s to A Levels, but they aren’t just saying it. Even though you’ll only be studying a few subjects, they require more time and effort.
- Preparation – Do your research, read the specification so you have a brief understanding of what you’re going to study.
- Dedication – Make sure you put some time aside every night to sit down and go over what you studied, an read ahead for the next day. It’ll help you to stay on track.
- Independence – At A Levels it’s time to take some responsibility and be independent. Everyone will be caught up in their own work, so make sure you stay on top of yours and don’t rely on others.
Going from a full time table, to suddenly having a few free periods seems exciting, but don’t take advantage of them. They often consist of a group of people just sitting around, but when it comes down to it, you can make great use of them.
- Study – Use your free periods to actually study. Slacking off a few free periods is fine, but put it this way, the more you make use of them and study hard in them, the less work you’re going to have to do when the school day is over.
A Levels ca be exhausting, so it’s vital that you manage your time well so you don’t burn out.
- Personal Time – Just because A Levels are hard, don’t let them consume your life. A good balance is needed. Make an effort to go out with friends, family, walk the dog, etc
- Study Time – As I previously said, it’s important that you set aside some time every day to study. This will prevent you stressing out, and will allow you to understand things.
Revision technique is key. You may have nailed your technique for GCSE, however, try re-evaluating that for A Level.
- Technique – Play around with different revision methods. Create mind maps, re-write your notes, type your notes up, record yourself. Find a method that works for you. It might be different for each subject.
- Time – From experience, don’t wait until last minute. Try to make revision materials from the start, and look over them often so you don’t forget topics.
I hope some of these tips come in useful to those of you starting A Levels, or those continuing them.