wikiHow to Survive A Levels

Three Parts:Choosing a CollegeBalancing College LifeKeeping On Top Of The Work

A-Levels are very different to GCSEs; and everyone will tell you so. Although its hard to imagine just how this can be possible, it is true that A-Levels are even harder than anything you have done before. Add to the extra studying with the driving lessons, the part time work and the increased social life and its clear you have to stay organised in order to survive.

Part 1
Choosing a College

Generally, most people have choices between Sixth Form centres, colleges, and staying at their current school to study their A-Levels. It can be a hard decision and don't rush it; the different establishments will benefit different types of people and there are a few things to consider first.

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    Do not chose a college by the friend or your boyfriend/girlfriend who will be attending with you or currently attends there. It's nice to know people, but generally everyone will want to make you feel welcome. People have left behind the silliness of compulsory school and are ready to make new friends. Sometimes it can hold you back to be clinging to or clung on to by an old friend in a new environment; and every relationship can benefit from space and time to miss each other. If you and your boyfriend/girlfriend were to break up college would be very uncomfortable for you both.
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    Seriously consider what subjects you want to study. Pick things you are interested in, want a job in, and are doing well in currently at school; these are generally the subjects you are more likely to commit to and put effort into to study. Not all subjects are taught at every establishment and entry grades may vary so you may have to practise your research skills early.
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    You have to like the place. Could you imagine yourself there? If you are big into sport you might like to check out their sport clubs and facilities. Have they got enough study spaces you could chose from? If you learn and revise better in school, do their teachers seem helpful, willing and enthusiastic about their subject? If think meeting new people is important, will the common room help you socialise?

Part 2
Balancing College Life

Even though it is important to concentrate on your studies it is even more important to concentrate on your life as a whole.

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    Do you know what career you want or what your next step is after college? This can help you chose your subjects that will help you in the future, and you have to have a goal to motivate yourself. If you want to go to university that can be your goal; you are studying to get to that place in life where you know you want to be, and it would be a shame to let yourself down.
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    Make time for the people in your life. You could spend your entire time studying forever; and you would probably do really well in your final exams, but you would be lonely. Sometimes you just need a good party or a get together with your friends from your old school. Organise activities; parties if you're allowed, bowling trips, meals out, days out, ice skating trips, days in the sun and days in the snow, shopping trips to town, swimming, a sleepover. And don't forget your family either, a meal out or a cinema trip with them can be just lovely, its nice to feel loved and a part of a family. You have been blessed with all the lovely people in your life; you have to make the most of every second with them.
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    The only reason you should ever say no to going to that party you really want to go to is if you have an exam the next day. It would be stupid to revise for weeks beforehand to fail for one good night and a nasty hangover the next day. You will thank yourself for not going when the friends that did go fail.
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    Driving lessons, dentist and doctor appointments, the gym, part time jobs, hairdressers appointments... all are important. You have to look after yourself, and get out into different parts of the world; a part time job and driving lessons will give you skills for life. If you do have a part time job try to find one you enjoy, pays reasonably well and keep the hours reasonable, too. 12 hours is plenty when you have studying and socialising to get on with too.
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    Think about your day; is there any time in it wasted? Sometimes you can sneak in a bit of homework/coursework in your break-time or free periods; giving you more time for life at home.
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    Don't spread yourself too thinly. Everyone has days where its all so hard to juggle, but at the end of it all you just have to ask yourself is it better to come out with B's and C's and happy memories of the 2 years than to come out with A's/A*'s and a miserable 2 years and few friends? It is your decision to make.

Part 3
Keeping On Top Of The Work

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    If you don't understand something, ask immediately. Sort the problem out before it escalates.
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    Try to get a copy of the specification for your exam; mark off in one colour the things you have covered in class (and if anything goes uncovered by the time your exam is near, tell your teacher so they can correct the problem) and in another colour the things you feel you can do; so you can plan your revision time to sort out the problems in your knowledge rather than spending time on what you do know.
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    Before you go to bed every night think about what you learnt in each lesson today. Rehearsal makes information enter your memory. If you can remember great, if not read your notes before you go to bed. Sort it out before the day ends.

Article Info

Categories: College and University Study Techniques