In January last year I wrote a post about surviving 6th Form/College/A-levels. Seeing as I am quickly approaching the end of my 6th Form days (4 weeks and 4 days to be precise) I thought I would re-visit this topic, as I have had another year to understand how students should really survive during this intense period of time.
- They’re called “study sessions” for a reason.
When you get to studying your A-levels, you tend to have blank spaces in your timetable in order to study and revise. They’re not just “frees”. I have seen countless people over the last two years taking this time to play card games, chat and gossip about fairly pointless things, take numerous trips to the local Sainsbury’s… these study sessions are for studying, and you’ll really come to appreciate them when exam season comes around!
- Make yourself a hot beverage every now and then.
For me it is kind of relaxing, and in no way a mean of procrastinating… *cough*. In all seriousness, once I’ve made myself a hot chocolate or something, I can sit down and focus on my work. However I normally do this in winter because Britain can get very cold and writing with cold fingers is very difficult. So make sure you take a break and make yourself a drink- just make sure the 10 minute break doesn’t turn into an hour.
- Don’t take the library for granted.
I never worked in the library to do revision until this year. I used to just work in my room when I was at home (if I didn’t need to stay in school for the whole day) or I would just stay in the 6th Form Centre. Now I rely on the library to stay focused because it’s quiet, and there are no distractions. Well. There are less distractions. My friends have also taken to studying in the library so it can often start well and end in a discussion about whether or not cats are the superior pet to dogs… Yeah.
- Choosing what to wear on your first day.
I know this isn’t really to do with exams, but I remember being worried that I wouldn’t have enough clothes to wear of my own for the entire two years of doing A-levels. It’s quite funny to see that the Year 12’s always make such an effort in the first week to make themselves look good (myself included) but by the last two weeks of school, there is literally not a single person who cares if you’ve been wearing the same jeans for the past three days. It’s just not something people care about that much, at least not in my school. In saying that, make sure you wear something that is comfortable, and practical. Last year I studied drama, so I wouldn’t wear incredibly tight jeans that limited my movement, or a really short skirt. Think about your subjects and the practicality of your outfit!
- iPods are necessities. Invest in one if you haven’t already.
Revising can be boring, and so can essay writing. Get yourself an iPod, make sure it’s fully charged, and listen to all of your favourite albums on repeat. It makes time feel like it’s going a lot quicker- but try not to get too involved with the lyrics, and start writing them out instead answering the question! Also, if there are other people around, having background music helps with the whole “not getting distracted” thing.
- Procrastination is inevitable.
Unfortunately there isn’t an easy way out of this one. I mean, look at me. I’m giving you advice on making it through your A-levels, when I have an exam tomorrow morning and you should probably be revising as well… It’s great to take breaks, but writing a whole blog post the night before your French exam? Maybe taking it a bit too far…
- Don’t give in to peer pressure.
It sounds cheesy, but if your friends want to play cards and you want to study, then do the right thing and
play cards toogo somewhere quieter and do some work! After all, these are your A-levels we’re talking about, and every time you play cards, you are taking up time where you could be going over that one topic that you never quite understood in the lesson. In saying that, if you’re struggling then talk to a teacher, or email them if you can. Their job is to help you pass. So if your friends say that you shouldn’t ask a teacher to explain something then go and ask the teacher anyway. It’s what they’re there for.
That’s about all I have time for. I was trying to make it to ten but I think seven is enough for now! I’m going to go and do some last minute revision and go to bed.