As we all know, achieving the highest possible grades, and in turn attaining the highest possible number of UCAS points, is the intention of all students studying A- Levels. So, you may well be asking just how do A* students achieve their grades? Well, of course, to begin with, the student must put in the hard work, but there are certain tricks and methods they all use to help them improve their final grade and outcome.
So, we asked our A* students what they would advise other students to do to get the grades they want. Here’s the top 8 things they advised:
- Be organised, and stick to your revision timetable
- Break the learning units down into smaller bite-sized chunks
- Condense your notes
- Attempt old past papers
- Check the exam boards website for what the examiners are looking for
- Get plenty of rest – avoid burning yourself out and don’t forget to eat
- Don’t just rely on reading – makes notes, use mind maps, record/listen to audio
- Take regular breaks – don’t overload your brain
Of course that all sounds simple and straight forward, but it might not be as obvious or easy to do. Which is why with our A Level courses, each subject is split into learning units or modules. At the end of each unit, our students have the opportunity to complete an assignment based on that unit and submit the same for marking. Our tutors will mark that assignment and provide feedback. This way, our students can see how well they have understood that unit of study. If there is something you don’t quite understand, or are having trouble getting to grips with a particular point, we would advise you not to struggle on alone, but to reach out to your tutor who is always happy to help and advise you along the way. Once you find your stride and get into good studying habits there is nothing to stop you from gaining those A* grades.
So, as the exams are getting closer, what else would we suggest?
Well, one of the most important things you can do is to prepare a revision timetable – and stick to it! Do not leave this to the last minute. Get prepared in plenty of time. Revise as you study, make notes and condense them down. In the long run this will help you immensely.
In addition to having a good revision timetable, we highly recommend attempting past papers. This will give you an idea of how the questions are structured and, by reading the questions, you can connect them to the syllabus you have studied. If you are an Oxford Learning College student, we can even have these marked by your tutor!
Another very important revision feature is the exam board itself. Every year, the exam boards publish a document which details what the examiners like to read. This is probably one of the most useful articles of all, and not enough students make use of it!
Remember, the more work you put in, the higher your grade will be, come results day!