A Year In Review


With results day done and dusted for A level students in the UK, the next day if hyperness shall be this Thursday when GCSE results are revealed.

With people going from secondary school to college or from college to university, there is a year of students who are often forgotten about. It is those who will be entering their second year of college.

I remember the moment after receiving my AS grades last year. I had barely opened the results slip before a woman came bounding over, looked at my slip and exclaimed “oh you did well” before hustling me over to the cameraman. Friends and family would congratulate me and I would thank them but the overwhelming thought in my mind was this is merely the first step. I still had a year to go and so instead of feeling elated, I was merely relieved that the first year had gone well. It is important to work hard in the first year of A-levels, especially because your predicted grades will be based upon your results.

However, the problems can arise when after achieving good grades in your first year, you begin to feel a little complacent. You wouldn’t admit it out loud but I could tell that I was beginning to feel a little too confident with being able to get the required grades for university. This was coupled with the fact that I had been rejected from Oxford and UCL which were my top two choices. Therefore, my motivation was at an all time low as it felt like my hard work had all been for nothing.

In a way, it was correct to think that if I worked really hard and achieved higher grades, there would not be any added reward. It was not like Oxford was going to change its mind about me. This sort of thinking could have been damaging though, had I not bad a few bursts of studious activity. During Easter, I told myself that I will get ready for the exams and be in a prime position for them when they roll over. The funny thing is, once I was in a prime position to take the exams, the exams were still a month away! Often the thought is that if only exams were later, once everything has been revised but that can lead to mental exhaustion and boredom.

Thankfully, I still managed to get the grades required for university but my advice to AS students would be: don’t become complacent or over confident. If you begin to feel bored, then do not complete all of your revision extremely early and ahead of time as that would lead to a period where your mind begins to forget or is lulled into a false sense of security and laziness.

Good Luck!

A Worried Student

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26 thoughts on “A Year In Review

  1. People often underestimate the importance of A-levels. In my opinion it is probably the most difficult time as a student, I remember my first year I lazied about thinking I could pass without the effort but boy was I wrong. Looking back, I would do so many things differently during sixth form time. Now I’m going into my final year of my undergrad degree and I STILL say A-levels are the hardest. They are what decides your place at uni.

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  2. It is hard, to transition oneself, especially when you didn’t start off in a four-year university, because there would be gaps, even IF you’d done well at the community college level, and, there’s that issue of choosing a major that’s right for you too, but, after you’d adjusted to the new tempo, you’ll be fine.

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  3. I sat my A levels (Pure Maths, Applied Maths, Physics) in 1980. Got AAB. No exams I’ve taken since have been anywhere as hard – not even the graduate-level math and statistics courses I took on the way to getting my doctorate! I doubt I could pass those A levels today:)

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  4. I will say I never got my degree in school and never went to a university. Almost did, but I decided to go to a local college. I will say I have a lot of respect for a lot of the students who are really busting their butts in the classroom to get where they want to be in life. I wish I was that motivated to go that route. I write and yet I still have a hard time sitting in front of a computer or at a desk. Nice post. I hope everything goes well for you and keep pushing. You seem determined and motivated to get to where you want to be. Just always have confidence in yourself!

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  5. I’ve just enrolled at college to do A levels, do you have any words of wisdom before I start in September? I noticed that you applied to universities during your first year, I haven’t even thought about that yet, is it something I need to consider and decide during my AS year?

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    • Ooyah which A levels are you doing?
      Haha words of wisdom, not sure about thar but I have a little post I did last year which I will repost today πŸ™‚

      As for universities, it is good to have a good idea about where you want to end up because it will help motivate you to work harder. So if you are aiming for Oxford, you’ll know that you can’t mess around.

      You don’t have to decide completely though as Ucas begins in September. The main preparation for it starts after AS exams but if you have already considered your options then it certainly helps. Of course, you also have to choose the degree!

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