Friday, 5 September 2014

A'level Guide: How to Smash Your A'levels [Part 1: General Tips]

Just a head's up, I didn't exactly 'smash' my A'levels. I had 1 A* and 2 A's. But I do know how to. I made some fundamental mistakes in my last year because of which I didn't achieve the result I could have. They don't have anything to do with how I studied, but more of how I wasted my time instead of studying. Had I put in more effort and been less waeli, I could have smashed them.

But I am going to share the study plan that my sister and I used. Just for the record, my sister had straight A*s plus a distinction. Credit goes to her for actually making this up. I just followed it. Well, tried to anyway. 

It's only for A'levels (A-2) for the subjects Physics, Chemistry and Biology because those were the subjects I had. I might post a guide for AS level too but I don't remember AS so well like I remember A-2. Anyhow, I will try my best.

Before I move on to specific subjects, here are some general tips for any subject you've opted for. And even for anything that you're studying, whether it's O'levels, FSC, A'levels - anything!

Do NOT waste your time!
Trust me, that's the last thing you want to do. If you're a business student - sure, chill out. But if you're doing Pre-Medical and planning to give the MCAT (or any other Medical Entry test) next year, get ready to brace yourself. A'levels scores make up 40% of your aggregate for the MCAT and so, they matter greatly in determing your future education. So do NOT slack.

Organize yourself
Try and revise everything you study in your college at home everyday. And once you have completed a particular chapter, practise the relevant past paper questions. I know it's hard to do this everyday and I wasn't so regular about it either, but it's always a good move to keep ahead of your classmates. Most students would open the past papers for a test or for the Mid Year Exams. Don't make yourself another fish in the pond.

Make studying 'fun'
Sounds impossible, right? But it isn't. When I study, I use pretty coloured highlighters and pointers to underline the text on the book. It captures my attention and makes the pages look 'alive'. 
I even doodle sometimes if I come across something that I can draw. It's really fun that way. And you never ever forget that particular part. Also, when you come across a list of words that you absolutely have to cram, make funny mneumonics to help you learn. You don't come across lists like that in A'levels usuallly but if you're doing FSC, you will come across many lists. For example, in Prophase I of Meiosis the five stages are Leptotene, Zygotene, Pachytene, Diplotene, Diakinesis. Weird names right? How about we change them into... Le Zebra Paints Dice Keenly ? Does that make more sense? I'm sure it does.

Believe in Allah
Pray. Be thankful. Be good. And you'll recieve help for sure. And even if you don't get amazing grades in your tests or you feel like you're failing, don't lose faith.

DO NOT party
 Cut down your social interactions and circles. Stop hanging out with friends so much. Once in a while is okay. But your priority should be your A'levels. Not partying. You can party all you want once you've made it successfully into a professional college.

I'm going to deal with every subject in a different blogpost because it is taking too much space.

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