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A levels, UCAS and lockdowns...

ren0420ren0420 Posts: 29 Boards Initiate
edited May 2022 in The Class of The Past
I think I'm posting too much... oops.
So as a student in Year 12, I didn't take my GCSEs last year due to covid and honestly me and a lot of people I know are really worried about A levels (because they will be our first big exams) and UCAS predicted grades.
I'm worried a little because I found out my prediction will be a D for english language (the course I wanna do in university) due to the most recent exams we sat.
However, due to the most recent lockdown, I'm behind on almost everything and it's becoming even harder to catch up months after coming out of it. I spoke to teachers and they said there's nothing I can do about it, meaning my grade for UCAS applications will be a D, making it almost impossible to go to any of the universities I want to study at next year.
Any pointers on how to revise more effectively will be taken gratefully aha!!
I'm wondering if anyone else is going through a similar nightmare and how they're dealing with the stress because honestly my head hurts so bad all the time and going to college seems pointless right now, even some words of wisdom may be nice from people who may have been in a similar situation in previous years.
Stay swag besties, Ren <3
Post edited by TheMix on

Comments

  • SpaceOtterSpaceOtter Community Champion Posts: 816 Part of The Mix Family
    Hey Ren firstly you’re certainly not posting too much. It’s brilliant that you enjoy posting here and it’s even better if it helps you.

    Firstly sending lots of hugs. It’s been an extremely tough year and I really understand how rough school has been. We’re always here to listen if you ever need anything <3

    When it comes to revising a good thing to do is to find out what sort of learner you are. I know it helped me. Here’s a video that might help https://youtu.be/_IopcOwfsoU
    I also did a lot of past papers to help me practice and I’d time myself too.

    There’s also a really good boards post on study tips https://community.themix.org.uk/discussion/3597560/drop-your-studying-tips

    I’m sorry I can’t help much with advice with ucas I went through the process last year and I found it super stressful.

    The best thing for me to do was to break down work into smaller chunks and timetables work wonders.

    I really struggled with school during the pandemic and my grades took a huge hit, suddenly university became very unlikely. But That’s ok, university is a good opportunity but it’s not the opportunity. There’s lots of different paths to take.

    Sending extra hugs, we believe in you ren!
    You're awesome!
  • ren0420ren0420 Posts: 29 Boards Initiate

    SpaceOtter wrote: »
    Hey Ren firstly you’re certainly not posting too much. It’s brilliant that you enjoy posting here and it’s even better if it helps you.

    Firstly sending lots of hugs. It’s been an extremely tough year and I really understand how rough school has been. We’re always here to listen if you ever need anything <3

    When it comes to revising a good thing to do is to find out what sort of learner you are. I know it helped me. Here’s a video that might help https://youtu.be/_IopcOwfsoU
    I also did a lot of past papers to help me practice and I’d time myself too.

    There’s also a really good boards post on study tips https://community.themix.org.uk/discussion/3597560/drop-your-studying-tips

    I’m sorry I can’t help much with advice with ucas I went through the process last year and I found it super stressful.

    The best thing for me to do was to break down work into smaller chunks and timetables work wonders.

    I really struggled with school during the pandemic and my grades took a huge hit, suddenly university became very unlikely. But That’s ok, university is a good opportunity but it’s not the opportunity. There’s lots of different paths to take.

    Sending extra hugs, we believe in you ren!

    Thankyou SpaceOtter!! I’m trying to stay optimistic about it all and i think i’m gonna try look into apprenticeships and work experience (i didn’t receive any in high school bleh)
    I’ll take a look at the video because honestly I’m willing to try anything aha :) again thanku 💞

  • naominaomi Posts: 94 Budding Regular
    Hey ren0420,
    I have had my exams cancelled too this year so the stress of predicted grades is something I am starting to feel the stress of it all (though I do think the system is working a little better this year). My advice of revising is really depending on the subjects you are taking for example I took French for A levels and I found that practice questions was the best use of my time and learning keywords from Quizlet which I think is a useful tool for any subject as it is more interactive. Or watching videos and taking notes from the videos or even sticking important information on your wall so that when you walk past it, it will grab your attention. I agree with what SpaceOtter said that you should find your work style and when you figure out what your way of learning is, stick to that. Everyone learns differently and it is important to note that you shouldn't stress yourself because you don't learn at the same pace or the same way as someone else.
    I know when you unfortunately don't have the grades you need there are other options. If you have a personal tutor or a careers advisor, ask them about the different paths you can go down particularly if the course you would like to do at university can also go down an apprenticeship route.
    I hope this advice is useful and don't stress too much about it. You'll figure out what is best for you.
  • sharellepatelsharellepatel Posts: 39 Boards Initiate
    Hey @ren0420,
    I am in my first year of university studying Psychology, so I didn't actually sit my A-levels last year! I can completely empathise with you about UCAS grades - I was super stressed about my grades because my school didn't predict me what I needed for my first choice. I had multiple meetings with my teachers about my grades and we formulated a plan to get my grades to where I needed them.

    I have always struggled to find a specific revision technique that suits me but in year 13 I managed to figure out what works best for me. Of course everyone learns in different ways but my suggestion is to reconcile your notes and form questions based off of the information you have and write up 'model answers', and keep doing past papers (mark your past papers with the official mark schemes - learn what the examiners want!). I found that the difference between GCSEs and A-levels, more than the content being harder, is how to use your knowledge in an exam. A-levels are all about application, rather than just writing what you know. If you are able to learn over time what examiners are looking for in answers, it will really help boost your grades!!

    May I ask what A-level subjects you are taking? If you need more help on the technique, feel free to @ me ☺️
    Sending Hugs and a Helping Hand x
  • ren0420ren0420 Posts: 29 Boards Initiate
    Hey @ren0420,
    I am in my first year of university studying Psychology, so I didn't actually sit my A-levels last year! I can completely empathise with you about UCAS grades - I was super stressed about my grades because my school didn't predict me what I needed for my first choice. I had multiple meetings with my teachers about my grades and we formulated a plan to get my grades to where I needed them.

    I have always struggled to find a specific revision technique that suits me but in year 13 I managed to figure out what works best for me. Of course everyone learns in different ways but my suggestion is to reconcile your notes and form questions based off of the information you have and write up 'model answers', and keep doing past papers (mark your past papers with the official mark schemes - learn what the examiners want!). I found that the difference between GCSEs and A-levels, more than the content being harder, is how to use your knowledge in an exam. A-levels are all about application, rather than just writing what you know. If you are able to learn over time what examiners are looking for in answers, it will really help boost your grades!!

    May I ask what A-level subjects you are taking? If you need more help on the technique, feel free to @ me ☺️

    @sharellepatel i actually take psychology aha also english language a literature... its technique im kinda lacking but it feels too late blehh
  • sharellepatelsharellepatel Posts: 39 Boards Initiate
    @ren0420 oh really!! I can definitely give you tips for Psychology revision if you would like?!

    I didn't do English A-level so I am not really sure how it works in terms of the exams, but I am definitely happy to give advice for Psych 🤗

    For technique (for any subject) I feel like it will only get better through practice, which is why I think practise / past papers are always the best way to go!! When I was doing A-levels I was always told to just keep on doing practise papers and mark them against the mark scheme yourself so you get to know what they are looking for x
    Sending Hugs and a Helping Hand x
  • elpad_2002elpad_2002 Posts: 11 Settling in
    Hey @ren0420 , I completely understand what you're going through. I'm a Year 13 student and so many of my friends have been in very similar situations where they were disappointed with their predicted grades last year.

    Like what has been said previously, there are still many options available to you: there are so many apprenticeships out now and honestly I'm quite disappointed in myself that I didn't consider this route at all and only applied to university so I think it is definitely worthwhile having a look into this (I'm always happy to help research and explore this/ anything with you), work experience, as said before, can help make your personal statement/ applications to jobs or apprenticeships stand out but also, many of my friends are going to take gap years because in Year 13 they really improved and went from getting D's in predicted grades and are now on track for B's/A's or some are going to use Adjustment after they receive their grades so they can still go to good unis without taking a gap year and prove all the teachers wrong!

    In terms of how to revise effectively, I unfortunately don't take your subjects but some universal advice I have is it so easy to feel overwhelmed. My lockdown online education in Year 12 really wasn't great so I felt so behind and didn't know how I would catch up. What I tried to do is break everything up into little sections because it helped me to feel like I was achieving just a little something and I was doing the best I could. Maybe you could try asking your teachers what your weaknesses are or advice they have? I was really struggling with my Economics so I asked my teacher what to do and they pointed me towards good online videos, past papers and were generally quite supportive. Of course each teacher is different, but maybe this is something worth considering?

    I also had a similar exam stress because in Year 12, due to lockdown, I did virtually no timed practice paper exams. As mentioned previously, I have also found past papers to be helpful as, like the cliche says, practice makes perfect. I'm not quite sure this applies to your subjects but I used to practice just a small topic, then try to find a practice question on it and either just plan it or write it out. This helped to make exams seem less daunting and much more achievable because I knew what the layout of exams were and, eventually after many tries, I learnt how to structure a question. When possible, I tried to hand in answers for teachers to mark as this helped me to learn where I was going wrong and then I would hand in another one to see if I was improving.

    This was an extremely long message and mainly about my own experiences, I'm not quite sure how much of this is helpful for you but maybe if you would like to tell me more about what stresses you, your worries about exams or what your subjects entail then I could help a bit more. Overall what I want to say is, I know exams next year seem difficult and that is extremely overwhelming but just take it one step at a time, break it down into smaller parts, maybe make lists of what parts of the specification you need the most work on, and ... most importantly don't be so hard on yourself. Everyone in my year was stressed that they were behind but the thing is, we were all behind and we were in this together. and you said that many people you know are also worried. Another possible option is making a study group with some people in your classes if you feel comfortable enough with them? For me this was only an option with one of my classes because I wasn't close with many people in my other classes, but it definitely made revising a bit more tolerable!

    You've got this! If you want any more revision techniques then through trial and error I have a tonne but, like someone said before, revision is so personal so what works for one person may not work for another.

    Ellie
  • ren0420ren0420 Posts: 29 Boards Initiate
    elpad_2002 wrote: »
    Hey @ren0420 , I completely understand what you're going through. I'm a Year 13 student and so many of my friends have been in very similar situations where they were disappointed with their predicted grades last year.

    Like what has been said previously, there are still many options available to you: there are so many apprenticeships out now and honestly I'm quite disappointed in myself that I didn't consider this route at all and only applied to university so I think it is definitely worthwhile having a look into this (I'm always happy to help research and explore this/ anything with you), work experience, as said before, can help make your personal statement/ applications to jobs or apprenticeships stand out but also, many of my friends are going to take gap years because in Year 13 they really improved and went from getting D's in predicted grades and are now on track for B's/A's or some are going to use Adjustment after they receive their grades so they can still go to good unis without taking a gap year and prove all the teachers wrong!

    In terms of how to revise effectively, I unfortunately don't take your subjects but some universal advice I have is it so easy to feel overwhelmed. My lockdown online education in Year 12 really wasn't great so I felt so behind and didn't know how I would catch up. What I tried to do is break everything up into little sections because it helped me to feel like I was achieving just a little something and I was doing the best I could. Maybe you could try asking your teachers what your weaknesses are or advice they have? I was really struggling with my Economics so I asked my teacher what to do and they pointed me towards good online videos, past papers and were generally quite supportive. Of course each teacher is different, but maybe this is something worth considering?

    I also had a similar exam stress because in Year 12, due to lockdown, I did virtually no timed practice paper exams. As mentioned previously, I have also found past papers to be helpful as, like the cliche says, practice makes perfect. I'm not quite sure this applies to your subjects but I used to practice just a small topic, then try to find a practice question on it and either just plan it or write it out. This helped to make exams seem less daunting and much more achievable because I knew what the layout of exams were and, eventually after many tries, I learnt how to structure a question. When possible, I tried to hand in answers for teachers to mark as this helped me to learn where I was going wrong and then I would hand in another one to see if I was improving.

    This was an extremely long message and mainly about my own experiences, I'm not quite sure how much of this is helpful for you but maybe if you would like to tell me more about what stresses you, your worries about exams or what your subjects entail then I could help a bit more. Overall what I want to say is, I know exams next year seem difficult and that is extremely overwhelming but just take it one step at a time, break it down into smaller parts, maybe make lists of what parts of the specification you need the most work on, and ... most importantly don't be so hard on yourself. Everyone in my year was stressed that they were behind but the thing is, we were all behind and we were in this together. and you said that many people you know are also worried. Another possible option is making a study group with some people in your classes if you feel comfortable enough with them? For me this was only an option with one of my classes because I wasn't close with many people in my other classes, but it definitely made revising a bit more tolerable!

    You've got this! If you want any more revision techniques then through trial and error I have a tonne but, like someone said before, revision is so personal so what works for one person may not work for another.

    Ellie

    Thankyou ellie, this is really motivating and helpful i really appreciate it!!
    Ren
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