A-levels are a nightmare. We can pretty much all agree on that, and for me it was one of the most difficult times of my life. However, I got through it – and in the end if you put the hard work in it will pay off in the end.
In February last year my Dad got into a car accident, and throughout last year he battled through complications related to this accident, including being admitted to hospital on the morning of one of my Economics exams. Luckily I had gone to Sixth Form early that day so had no idea that he was unwell, so I managed to complete that exam, oblivious. However, for my remaining exams, I took them knowing my Dad was unwell.
My A Level experience isn’t quite like anyone else’s, which was why I wanted to talk about it, and give advice as best I can.
So, how do you get through your A Levels?
Remain positive – this seems like a bit of broad and unhelpful advice but it’s not. Having a positive attitude throughout the exam period as well as the revision period really changes how you study and how useful your studying becomes. Don’t forget to have a laugh and do what you love, because if you concentrate entirely on those few weeks in June for the whole 2 years of your A Levels, you’re going to struggle with the final push when May comes along.
Spend time with friends – This is so important, find friends that you can joke with, revise with, and just hang out with. Luckily when I did my A Levels I had a group of friends who were always there for each other, and who would make me laugh no matter what. We still all keep in touch and it’s great to be able to go back home in holidays and reflect on A Levels and everything we’ve all been through.
Continue your hobbies – When you get stuck into revision it can be really hard to take a step back and actually enjoy yourself. I did this by continuing my hobby of racing cars throughout the revision and exam period. This didn’t take away from my studies because I only raced one Sunday every 2 or 3 weeks, but it was enough to keep me grounded and to stop me worrying so much. Racing has always been a way for me to let off some steam and focus on something completely separate from my studies, which helped hugely when exam time came around.
Revise throughout the year – This sounds boring but I found that if I began compiling a revision guide towards the start of the year and carried on adding to it every week, when I began my revision I could easily flick back through notes I’d already made earlier, so the idea of beginning revision seemed much less daunting.
Record how many hours of revision you do – If you’re anything like me, sticking to a revision timetable was nearly impossible for me through my GCSEs, so for A Levels I decided to try a different approach – for every hour of revision I recorded it on a chart, so then I could track and see my progress, and see how much time I’d spent on each topic and subject (this helped me avoid spending too much time on one single area of study).
The advice I’ve given may not help everybody, but I hope it gives you some ideas for how to get through A Levels, because you have to remember – it flies by. In no time you’ll be having the best summer of your life, having worked hard and having felt that you put all your effort into those few weeks in June!