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Tips for stress-free A levels

Tips for students 22 November 2021

You’ve made it this far: this year, you’re going to sit for your A levels. It’s a turning point in your education, after which you’re going to make important decisions for your future. Before going on with your studies in your chosen path, how should you get organised to pass these crucial exams?

Ever since you entered secondary school, your teachers have been giving you advice on how to organise your lessons and your work. So, there’s no point rehashing the importance of staying focused in class, taking notes, underlining keywords, and making revision notes when you get home.

Instead, we’ve decided to give you 10 very handy tips that will help you give it all you’ve got this year:

  • Choose the type of notebook best suited to the subject. If you have a lot of photocopies, use a pocket or a binder. If you have a lot of exercises, a notebook is better.
  • Listen to your body clock: naturally you need to be on the ball on weekdays to follow your lessons, but on the weekend, listen to what your body is telling you. Be it 6am, midday or midnight, the best time to work is when you feel you’re firing on all cylinders!
  • Date and number the sheets in your binders. It might sound like a no-brainer, but with constant handling, loose pages can get torn or lost. In your first term, you might not have any trouble putting them in order, but by the end of the year, it could be a different matter.
  • It’s important to set a work timetable and make yourself stick to it… But beware of burnout and the loss of motivation that goes with it. If you decided to revise from 8am till 10am but just can’t get your thoughts together, give up. Put the task off until another time of day when you’re more likely to be able to concentrate. But make sure you stick to the new time!
  • Reward yourself for a job well done. For example, if you manage to finish your maths exercise by 7pm, or if you get over half of your revision notes finished for the week. Take time off to watch an episode of a TV show, eat an ice cream, spend half an hour playing video games… whatever, as long as it gets you motivated!
  • Don’t give up on a job half-way through and say you’ll finish it later. Let’s be honest: you’re likely to keep putting it off indefinitely. A good exercise is one that’s finished.
  • Regularly scan your notes with the SCRIBZEE® app so that you always have them with you and can reread them whenever you like, even before an exam if that reassures you.
  • Stay focused on the job in hand and don’t let yourself get distracted by texts on your smartphone or social networks.
  • Got a question about something in the lesson? Having trouble solving a maths problem? Mark the problem pages in your notebook with a repositionable note so you don’t forget to go back to them.
  • For your revision notes, use different colours to distinguish different subjects, content (definitions, lessons, etc.), the term or whatever seems most meaningful to you. This will make it much easier to revise at the end of the year.

Once you’ve got into all the right habits, your A levels will be a piece of cake!

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