I can fully imagine how you must be feeling if you are Year 11, “woo, I am free for 2 -3 months on study leave”. Yes that’s true, you deserve the break and the enjoyment but don’t relax too much.
In September you will either start college, sixth form or start work; either way you feel independent as you will no longer be attached to a uniform but it is important that you understand whats about to happen when you enter the world of A Levels in particular. Im not going to lie, I did particularly well at GCSE, passing everything and getting good results, this helped in the beginning of getting into sixth forms. However GCSES and A levels are completely different, to be honest when I was told I thought they were just exaggerating but they weren’t. So this is my guide, to coping and surviving it all as I have just finished Year 12!
In September 2012, I started a new school and started sixth form with the added pressure of trying to complete A Levels. I wanted to settle in as I knew what I wanted but it was important that I understood the mountain I had to climb to survive it. I took on 4 A Levels; English Literature, Law, Sociology and Business Studies- all these subjects involved exams and essays ;(. Im not going to lie but the amount of work that you would have got at GCSE in a week, you get in a day at A Level, in one day I got a business coursework assignment and an English essay with law reading to do. All which had deadlines in the following week! It doesn’t sound a lot but trust me it was, especially as I had just started a new school and was managing getting the bus to school which was a change. A Levels are hard, but manageable, you have to start managing time effectively even at the beginning. Unfortunately you wont have the luxury of January exams, these are God send for year 12’s as the subjects that you sit that month can be the ones that you focus on, or are the ones that if you pass you wont have to do in the Summer which is a bonus. Luckily I passed in January so I had 5 exams rather than 12 which was helpful. Although, the Christmas holidays were spent revising, it did give me time to revise hard core! Im going to give now some tips to help cope when you start or just want to read something new.
1) Dont waste time
Most sixth fomers will get the added bonus of having a free, these are normally called “study periods” which means you are suppose to study during them. At the beginning you might not get a lot of work so you might just have a relax which is perfectly fine as everyone needs that, but if you know that you will have a lot of work, do it during your study period, this is because it gets it out the way and you will find that you have far more free time to focus on other subjects.
2) Listen to other people
When I begun Year 12, I was really stressed and emotional, I literally cried after each lesson due to strain and stress. On one occasion, my form tutor spoke to me and gave me a pep talk, which doesnt really do a lot but it calmed down. After that I begun to become a lot stronger and calm unlike previously. So listen to your teachers, parents and friends if they give you any advice as it will help.
3) Be prepared
Dont forget to always be prepared, it sounds silly but its the obvious thing, in 6th form or college you will be expected to supply your own paper and pens its harsh but its the way. Always keep a notebook in your bag just in case you loose or even forget your notebook because if you forget it you are screwed. Towards the end of my year, we started bringing in our laptops to use as a notebook, If you have the Microsoft package, use the Onenote programme as its just like having a notebook, and it automatically saves your work for you. When it comes to printing you just click export and it sends to Word for printing. Simple!
4) Sit each exam like its the last and big one
If you are lucky, you might get the opportunity to sit a mock or sit the exam early so if you do- sit it like its the real thing because it can give you a proper practice at the process of exams, then when you actually sit it, you wont be panicking and you know what to expect.
5) Finally: Relax
|Our Sixth-form party|
I know this because it is my sin to never take time and relax. However, you must take time out for yourself, A Levels are important but dont let them take over your life as it will ruin you as a person. By this, I mean go out for a walk, chat to friends, eat, drink or watch a film just so that your mind can relax and wont be completely focused on study as you wont find that it will just ruin you. Just keep calm and RELAX! As Frankie goes to Hollywood sang.