A Levels has been the standard school-leavers qualification in the UK since the 1950s. As a result they are recognised by employers and educators alike both here and internationally.
A Level study can improve your critical thinking and analytical skills. As well as prepare you for university and employment.
Even without a university degree, A Levels can still lead to a great career.
There’s also a broad range of subject matter to choose from. So you should be able to find something that interests you, that also benefits your professional or personal goals.
However, to complete your course and receive your A Level qualification you’ll need to take exams. The exams are usually around May/June with resits in November, if need be.
To prepare for your exam it is important to revise effectively. Which can be challenging if it’s been awhile since you’ve been in education.
It can be difficult remembering what we were taught at school about revision, if it was ever mentioned at all.
We’ve outlined our preferred methods on how to get ready for your A Level exam and revise effectively. Read on to learn more.
The first step in revising is planning when to revise. Organisation helps you prepare for your exams. You’ll be able to track your progress better if you’ve given yourself a structured plan to follow.
It’s easiest to break up your revision by the modules you will have covered during your study.
The next step would be prioritising them in order of what you’ll need to focus on most to least.
The specification of your course will be on the exam boards website. You can use this to gain a better idea of what to focus on. They’ll also be able to provide you with past test papers so you can practice.
Take a couple of mock exam to see where you scored highly and what areas need more attention. Once you have done this you can create a timetable that caters to your needs.
When planning you should consider any commitments that can’t be rearranged such as work or holiday commitments.
By being realistic and planning around things that can’t be moved, you’ll be able to manage your revision better. You’ll be more likely to keep on top of your workload as you’ll know when a revision session is approaching.
Obviously, it can be hard to plan months in advance but try and do as much as you can beforehand. If things do come up in the future and you need to move things around then that’s ok.
The sooner you start, the more flexible you can be.
However, do try and stick to your plan as much as possible. You wouldn’t want to put so much off so that there isn’t enough time for everything ahead of your exam.
To discover what revision techniques will work for you, it’s important to be aware of what type of learner you are. By understanding how best you process the information will determine which methods would benefit you most.
This type of learner benefits from audio stimulation such as speaking and/or listening to retain information.
Auditory learners would benefit from recording themselves speaking the information and listening to it back. You may also find it helpful to find informational videos on your subject.
Another way you could incorporate auditory learning into your revision would be to teach a friend and/or family member about what you’re revising. By relaying the information to someone else you’ll also be reabsorbing it as well.
As a visual learner you’ll process the information best through seeing the material. Though imagery is a part of this, there are more ways than one to incorporate visuals into your revision.
Visual learners could benefit from:
- Bars & Graphs
- Colour coding
- Mind maps
Kinaesthetic learners are practical learners and benefit from a more hands-on learning approach.
To improve retention kinaesthetic learners can:
- Mock exams - Applying what you’ve learnt is a good way to prepare for the exam and test your knowledge.
- Link facts to movements – relating facts or figures to a physical action can help kinaesthetic learners retain knowledge.
It could also benefit you to use a combination of different methods, it’s up to you to figure out what works best. You’re in control of your learning so switch it up, make it fun and keep engaged.
Staying motivated throughout your revision experience can be a challenge. We’re only human, and that means that sometimes we struggle with productivity. Even if we know it will benefit us in the long run.
Our brain doesn’t like to exert itself. And studying takes a lot more brain power compared to scrolling through Instagram, or taking a nap.
There are a few ways to counteract procrastination to help you stay on top of your workload.
Make a start
It sounds obvious, but half the battle is getting started. If you know you need to study then don’t think about it, just begin.
Start small. You don’t have to study an entire module in a sitting. Nor should you start with the hardest element. Get some quick wins by reviewing the stuff you have a good grasp of, then move on to the more challenging areas.
Afterwards it will be much easier to continue studying as you’ll have past the first hurdle.
Make revision enjoyable by giving yourself an incentive to complete it. Giving yourself positive reinforcement for a job well done can help you stay focused on the task at hand.
Obviously you want to revise for your exams to get a good grade, but that’s a long-term goal. You need something fast and achievable that can get you through your studies.
Remind yourself why you’re studying
Find motivation in remembering why it is you started this journey in the first place. Think of all the fantastic opportunities that are to come. All the progress you’ve already made. And how you’ve managed to get this far.
Revisiting your goals and achievements can reignite that passion for your studies and help you feel motivated to continue learning.
Don’t be so hard on yourself
When we begin to get worked up over the fact we aren’t able to revise effectively we blame ourselves. Thoughts like that make it harder for you to enjoy the learning experience and get back into a routine of study.
Remember, nobody is perfect and sometimes we all need a break to refresh and revitalise. If today doesn’t work out, that’s ok, there’s always tomorrow.
Don’t let yourself off the hook too often though, otherwise you’ll find it’s exam time and you haven’t revised at all.
Breaks can help divide your revision into smaller more manageable chunks. They also provide your brain with some time to digest the information.
There is a well-known time management method referred to as the ‘pomodoro’ technique which aids productivity.
The technique is implemented as followed:
- Work for 25-minute chunks
- Between each chunk give yourself a 5-minute break
- After 4 breaks give yourself a longer 15/20-minute break
The benefits of working for short bursts mean that you’re more determined to work. The timer instils a sense of urgency which helps you remain focused and be less prone to interruptions.
The scheduled breaks help you stay on task as you know after the 25-minutes you’ll get a break. The breaks will keep you refreshed and able to continue with your studies for longer. So you shouldn’t get that burnt out feeling when you’re getting to the end of your revision session.
An A Level is a solid choice, whatever you choose to study, for academic and professional gain.
At learndirect we have a broad range of online A Levels to suit almost all needs. As one of the UK’s leading online learning providers all our courses have flexible payment options to help you spread the cost.
As well as experienced tutors to guide your learning and provide constructive feedback to help prepare you for your exams.
To learn more on how to prepare for your online learning experience visit our blog here.
If you’re ready to get back into education then get in touch or enrol online today.