Thursday, 29 August 2013

Thursday Thoughts #1 - Tips On Surviving A Levels


Today is the start of my new series 'Thursday Thoughts' where I basically ramble on about a certain topic, hopefully providing at least a couple of helpful tips, or comfort you in the knowledge that 'hey! you aren't alone in *insert topic/feeling*.. Hope you enjoy!

I've finished my A Levels and thankfully, achieved grades that have gotten me into university, even giving myself a heart attack that I actually got an A* in Geography(?!) - literally crazy but this post isn't to ramble about my grades, or tell you how crap/amazing/easy/difficult A Levels are, because each person has different experiences, but I want to give you advice which I wish I'd been given before I started!

1 - Study - If you aren't willing to work hard, don't do A Levels, there's no point. From yr12 to yr13, the year group halved because people who didn't want to work, didn't get the grades. Don't go to sixth form because all your friends did, so you don't want to be left out; go to college, get a job - just remember that in 10years time, you probably won't even remember these friends' names! A levels are nothing like GCSE's, so if you think that you can do a couple of hours revision the night before and still pass, you're probably going to be disappointed.

2 - Give yourself a break! - When exams rear their ugly head, and you are thrown into the torture of revision, it's ok to have a break. I put so much pressure on myself to revise for hours every day, but sometimes my brain just didn't want to work and nothing I revised went in and at that point, you need to put the pen down, back away from your desk and give yourself the day off, however guilty you may feel.

3 - Procrastination - This is the bane of my life. I would even tidy my room instead of revising with the excuse 'I can't work in an untidy space' which = complete bullsh*t! Try not too, it's such a bad habit to have but if you do, think to yourself, 'when I get my results, will I know I've tried my best?' or, a personal favourite of mine to get my arse into gear, think of how shit it feels to fail or get a worse than expected grade; really shit right!

3 - Highlighters - These pieces of stationary will be the most valuable thing you own in the 2yrs of your A Levels...seriously. My geography teachers, always gave us so many too many sheets/booklets/powerpoints of essential/extra information and actually, we probably needed like 1 or 2 facts from each piece(I swear I was solely responsible for destroying the rainforest with the amount of paper I had at the end of each year!) so instead of wasting 4 hours going through each sheet, get into the habit of - skim read, highlight, copy up, file...because I didn't at first....and oh jesus christ I wish I had because in a couple of months before my exams I had so much information, my brain just went FIDGBNSR;ONVF  STOP!

4 - Teachers aren't always right - In yr12, I only managed a C in 2 of my business exams and I was super disppointed but my teacher wouldn't let me resit them because she told me 'you won't be able to achieve higher than that..'...seriously! In yr13, I thought to myself, no, I want to try and achieve higher and I know that I can so even though she didn't approve of it, I retook both exams in the January and came out with 2 B's so if you know that you can do better, and you want to prove it to yourself and others, then don't let anyone stop you or get in the way, go for it!

5 - Clear the calendar in May - Quit the social life a month before your exams. It seems drastic but you have the whole summer to do whatever you want, whenever you want so just for these few weeks, say no to that trip to Nandos and do 2 hours revision instead, you won't regret it in August when you get your results, promise.

6 - Organisation isn't the be all and end all - I'm going against what pretty much everyone says here but I'm the least organised person ever, I hardly ever filed a piece of work and I never used my school planner but hey, I still did well and got into university so don't fret! Just make sure you have 1 place where you write all your notes, keep on top of homework/essays/revision, and you'll be fine.

7 - When you learn best - A key thing for me when it came to revision was, working out when I learn/revise best! It's so important to do because for me, mid afternoon/evening was where I was most productive so I arranged my days around those times and I got sooo much done(most of the time).

Woah, that was a super long post, so well done if you're still here! There's probably loads more that I've missed off but basically, work hard, stay focused on your goals and don't give up!

If anyone has any other tips, please leave them in the comments!

Good luck!!!

Thanks for reading!

Charlotte x


  1. Hi, Charlotte! Do you remember me? Just wanted to say HI. Your blog is looking great! Say HI to the Broadettes for me. lol ;)

  2. I loved this post, loads of useful tips that will seriously help this school year :-)


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