AS experience & top tips

Sunday, July 20, 2014

image - we heart it

On Thursday I broke up for school which only means a well needed six weeks off for summer the only downside is that I have to do some English Lit coursework for next year. But I do plan on going out a lot and I am very excited for my holiday to Dorset.

This time last year I knew I was going to be starting sixth form and was just patiently waiting for my results. The 22nd of August came around so fast and I had never been so nervous, I worked so hard in year 11 and got the grades I needed to do four Alevels but chose to take 3 and a BTEC. I would just like to point out that so many people judge others for taking BTECs which there is nothing wrong with as they are equivalent and if you are a more practical learner and enjoy coursework then they are for you. Anyway, the subjects I take are Law, English Literature, Psychology and Fashion. I really underestimated how much work you need to put into Alevels because they are not easy.
So now I have done a year here are a few of my tips that will get you through the year and some of the things I wish I knew:-

- Create a revision/ homework timetable at the start of the year. This will come in so handy to help you manage your time as you will get a lot of homework and revision that needs doing. You can find some templates easily online but I just created a simple one using excel which I am happy to email if needed.
- Start revision straight away you may think that May and June is ages away but trust me it comes around so fast and if you start revising now it will go into your long term memory if you rehearse it enough.
- Create revision aids this is basically revising and by doing these early and after each lesson it will save you time in exam period. I wrote a post on how I revise which will be quite useful, read that here.
- Take breaks I am terrible at this I always have to be doing some sort of work or something so I found taking breaks difficult but it is the most important thing as if you take breaks it will mean you wont overload your brain.
- Use your free lessons in my sixth form I'm not sure if it's the same in every but we had a lot of free lesson which to be honest I didn't do a lot in to start with you need to this is when you can be doing some homework or creating our revision aids.
- Stay organised I wasn't too bad at this as I'm an organised person but I know a lot of people struggled with this. All you need to do is make sure you keep all your work in your folders and wrote the homework down you need to do. Also, if you get into a bit of a mess write a list of everything you nee to do and prioritise them so do what is most important first.
- Focus on yourself what others are doing is not important to you, at the end of the day if they are not doing their work it doesn't mean you shouldn't either.
- Catch up if you miss a day off school make sure you ask your teacher or friend what you have missed as it saves you time and means it will be easier for yourself when it comes to revising.
- Don't put too much pressure on yourself yes these Alevels mean a lot as they help you get into University or an apprenticeship but if you worry yourself too much it wont help. I dind't have a clue what I wanted to do as I kept changing my mind about uni but don't worry it's your decision.
- Get involved this can be by doing work experience, getting a job on your school council anything but this will help you when writing your personal statement or CV
- Pick your options carefully, you need to really think about what subjects you are going to do as you will be doing these for the next two years so make sure you go to taster lessons and research them. If you know what you want to do in the future then great as you know what options are probably best for you. But personally, I didn't know so I picked English and fashion because I like them both equally and I always did have the idea in the back of my mind that I wanted to be a journalist. I then picked law ( a mistake but not because of the course) and psychology because I really enjoyed the taster lessons and found the subjects interesting. As long as you pick what you like and not being influenced by parents or friends then you will be fine. 
- Ask if you're ever stuck on a piece of homework or anything just ask your teachers are there to help you and will be happy with you if you ask instead of just saying 'I didn't do this homework because I didn't understand.'
- Meet deadlines and do the homework missing deadlines is not something that you want to be doing I was fine with deadlines in English but not so good with fashion which I think is because when I did it at GCSE I managed to fit everything in but Alevel there needs to be a lot more effort.
- Lastly enjoy these will be the last two years at school so you will probably want to make the most of them so my final bit of advice is work hard and have fun as it ill pay off in the end.

So there are all my tips that I wish I knew before I started, good luck if you are starting sixth form and if you have just finished or waiting with results good luck to you too, I know I will need it.
Do you have any advice?

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