So, you’re embarking on your A levels and have chosen one or more of the sciences. Whether it’s the biological control of gene expression, gravitational fields or the difference between alkanes and alkenes that’s troubling you, Scoodle has the best advice on how to approach preparing to ensure A level success.
Keep organised. Manage your time well
When it comes to exam preparation, the sooner you start the better. It’s vital when striving for A Level success to get yourself organised to the best of your ability.
Undoubtedly, you will have already built the foundation for success by developing strong organisation and time management skills along with superb revision techniques. Now is the time to build on these strengths further.
When it comes to getting organised for your A-Level Science exams it is a great idea to plan your time. Perhaps using a revision timetable or a study planner could be beneficial and provide some structure to your day. What’s more, this way you could write down your exam dates and begin studying as soon as you find out about the exams so that you don’t have to cram later. There are so many benefits of keeping organised with your revision, it will ensure you have ample time to cover all the material and should put your mind at ease.
Finally, it is imperative to have a space conducive to studying so that you can keep that momentum going once you do sit down to revise. Ensure you have a calm and quiet space away from distractions and notice how much work you fly through.
- Start ASAP
- Plan your time
- Find a quiet space
Become familiar with the syllabus. Know the content inside out
Basics like paying attention in class and effective note-taking are a given, but we have some more specifics for you. For one, making thorough notes as you go along is a great idea. Even better go over and condense them, pulling out the key facts as soon as possible. Not only will this reinforce the material you’re studying for the long term but this technique should stand you in good stead for end of topic tests and mock exams.
Moreover, when listening in class, invest in truly understanding the fundamental concepts of every topic at a granular level. If you don’t understand something, take the opportunity to ask for further clarification then and there. You never know, someone else in the class might be wondering the same thing. In the words of Chinese philosopher Confucius, “The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.”
Another important and simple aspect of learning the syllabus is to start learning the key definitions from the very beginning. Let’s be honest, it’s not the most thrilling of tasks, however, it will get you 'easy marks' in exams and will certainly help in building your base knowledge. In addition to this and specifically with regards to science A level, it is paramount to work on your execution of practical skills as well as sharpening up your mathematics and your understanding of equations.
- Condense your notes
- Ask questions
- Learn key definitions early
Quality revision. Work smarter, not harder
You will probably have worked out what your preferred learning style is by now from studying for your GCSEs. If not then please feel free to check out our article ‘Effective study techniques for different types of learning styles to help you figure out which suits you best. Once you’re over this hurdle, it’s time to explore different resources and materials.
There are so many different resources outside of your regular textbook and notes. In particular, try to tap into the wealth of online resources. Scoodle has some really helpful content on A level Science. Alternatively, if you benefit more from traditional methods, then lean into this. All the classics like cue cards, posters, concept maps and putting post-it notes on the fridge are fantastic techniques.
You might find that you revise best with other people, if so, try forming a study group or if you’re facing any topics of difficulty, discuss them with your classmates. Another useful technique is when focusing on memorisation and recall, try breaking down and teaching the topics to whoever will lend an ear.
Finally, try to keep your revision interesting! Why not try implementing time blocking, essentially breaking up your study into chunks to foster productivity and prevent burnout. Studying different subjects or topics throughout the day should also keep you engaged and minimise distraction.
- Explore different resources
- Teaching is the best form of learning
- Break up your revision into chunks
Perfect your exam technique. Understand how you’re going to be assessed
Learning and memorising the course content is the first stage but bear in mind, it is only half of the recipe for success when it comes to A Levels. A very large part of doing well in A Level Science is understanding how exams boards want you to demonstrate your learning. It is paramount then, that you present your knowledge the way examiners would expect, I cannot stress enough the importance of exam technique enough.
Firstly, try to tackle this aspect of exam preparation by completing as many past papers and practise questions from your specified exam board as possible. Go through these with mark schemes to find out exactly how to word your answers. If you get less than full marks on any exam question, revise that topic and try again until you see an improvement. It's not enough to just know the content.
If this is an area you’re aware you struggle with, be sure to try and reach out to your teacher for help or failing this, Scoodle has a myriad of resources and fantastic educators available to help.
- Utilise past papers and mark schemes
- Learn what examiners want to see
- Check out Scoodle's helpful tutors