Tips & Tricks to survive A Levels

September has come around again and for a lot of people that means education is back for another academic year.

Back in July I finished my A Levels and am now going to my dream university to study Psychology – I was lucky that I achieved what I needed to get my place at my first choice uni but the process of actually achieving this was quite the struggle!

I didn’t get the best AS Level results; BCDU. I was disappointed in myself because I knew I was capable of higher and wanted to achieve higher in my A2’s – not only for myself but to get into my dream university too! To achieve this I implemented the below and wanted to share these with you all as I found them to be pretty successful!

I finished my A Levels (A2) with ABB in A Levels of Business, Geography & Psychology and a place at my dream university!

I hope these can help you like they helped me:

  1. Ask for help;

I don’t know if it was / is the same for everyone else but when I started college to do my AS Levels I was under a very big impression (mainly from my secondary school) that teachers wouldn’t help you and you are left to figure everything out / do everything on your own. This is true to an extent in the fact that you are older and able to research things for yourself but help is there! If there is something you don’t understand and you can’t figure it out on your own don’t be afraid to ask for help – asking for help is much better than struggling on your own and your teachers will happily do it – they want you to do well as much as you do!


2. Do extra research;

If a teacher / lecturer recommends that you do some extra reading or gives general recommendations that aren’t mandatory to your course content, do them! At the end of the year in your exam you will stand out so much more to an examiner if you have extra research / facts in your answers that aren’t on the syllabus as it shows a higher level of research and understanding! I didn’t do this when doing my AS levels but did for my A2’s and definitely noticed an upwards advancement in my grades!


3. Keep up to date with work;

It seems silly and fairly obvious to say but keeping up to date with work will benefit you in so many different ways. Keeping up to date means that you might have a bit more time to yourself as you aren’t worrying about getting things done in time – you will also be less stressed and keeping stress levels low during A Levels is ridiculously hard (I found it was anyway) but will make you feel much better if you can keep it to a minimum. The less stressed you are the better your work is likely to be!


4. Sometimes you have to teach yourself;

During my AS Levels I didn’t really know what to expect from A Level teaching and how things were done but I did trust that my teachers would teach the correct mandatory content for the course I was taking … oh how I was wrong.

*cue story time*

The teacher I had for AS Geography didn’t teach all of the mandatory content and left out bits out because ‘they hadn’t come up for years and wouldn’t come up in this years exam’ –  obviously we were completely unaware to this and waved a nice goodbye to 45 marks (and ultimately a few grades) of our paper. Myself and fellow peers also found that his attitude was very poor and his approach very distant – he didn’t seem passionate about the subject he was teaching and thus we didn’t get the feel for it either!

Needless to say AS Geography was a disaster and I ended the year with a D. I was pretty unfortunate to get the same teacher the following year for A2 Geography but this year I decided to take matters into my own hands and taught myself the syllabus. I still attended lessons but instead of listening to my teacher I was doing my own thing and self taught myself the mandatory content and extra bits as well. It is safe to say that this year was a much bigger success and I finished A2 Geography with an A overall – a pretty decent achievement considering my D the previous year.

*now story time is over I’ll get back to the point*

Sometimes you have to do whats right for you and if you don’t find the way you are being taught effective, do it yourself. Yes its hard work but going but when I went up 3 grades in the space of a year, I’d say its worth it and very beneficial!

I would like to mention that I am in no way advocating that ignoring what your teacher / lecturer is teaching but if you have bad experiences with a teacher (and cannot switch to another like I couldn’t) then needs must!


5. Relax;

A Levels are tough, really tough and it does take its toll on your mental and physical health. Ensuring that you take time out to pamper yourself, do something you enjoy, hang out with friends etc will benefit you in so many ways even if it isn’t academia based! Taking some time out relaxes you, calms your nerves and settles any stress (even if it is just momentarily) but even if it’s just 20 minutes, it is definitely something that is needed and something I wish I’d practiced more!

Yes education is important but your physical and mental health are so much more important than a Letter on a bit of paper – take some time out to do you and you will thank yourself later on!


These are just a few tips and tricks I implemented and found really helped me cope with A Levels and maybe they’ll work for you to!

If you have any questions about A Levels of education in general (I’m no expert but I’ll help as best as I can) please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or DM here.

Good luck to anyone in education this year!

Thank you for reading!

Best wishes, Gee

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