“Every artist was first an amateur” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Schooling was turned upside-down by the pandemic in 2020 and schooling in the UK continues to struggle with measures in 2021. Secondary school students have had to study from home.
With students unable to attend classes in-person, they needed to learn to effectively adapt to new ways of learning and attempt to make learning from home as effective as studying in school.
It’s not easy, though. Love them or hate them, schools are buildings whose purpose is to host lessons and teach students. Sitting and learning in a classroom is different from sitting at home on a Zoom call or working from a worksheet.
So how can you get the most out of your lessons from home?
These tips are useful for homeschooling during the pandemic but can also be used once life returns to “normal”.
How to Effectively Do Your Homework During GCSE
Things certainly will get a little more serious if you have to study at home and are also studying for your GCSEs. Adapting to the new rules is hard enough without having to worry about GCSEs on top of it and we’re not just talking about doing homework, either. When you start studying GCSEs, your schooling will change quite a bit.
Our advice is based on the idea that you’ve already got a pretty decent approach to schooling as you’ll have been in secondary school for a while now. When it comes to learning, there are 4 main steps:
- Attention: When you’re learning at home, you need to be focused on what you’re studying and the content of the class.
- Active Engagement: In addition to paying attention, you need to be taking notes, participating in the class, and being active in your learning. When you revise, you’ll also want to be active rather than just reading back over your notes.
- Revision: Going back over things and learning from your mistakes is an effective way to learn.
- Consolidation: When you learn something, you need to make sure that you’ve retained the information. Check back on something you’ve studied regularly to ensure that you still remember it.
You can also invest in textbooks and study guides to help you with certain topics and techniques for effective studying. When investing in guides, make sure that they’re up-to-date with the current exam formats.
Students that are struggling can also benefit by working with a private tutor who can provide academic support in a variety of different subjects.
Effectively Doing Homework at A Level
Even older students can benefit from some help doing their homework. We’re not joking. How well you do your homework can affect your A Level results. Even if it doesn't count towards your grades, doing your homework can help you to learn more effectively.
Your results are arguably more important than they’ve ever been and doing your homework can help guarantee the best possible results. Our previous advice still counts here and can also be applied to younger and older students.
When doing homework, find a quiet part of the house and make sure you have everything you need within reach as you don’t want to have to get up in the middle of an activity to look for something.
Schedule when you’re going to do your homework and try to make it part of your routine by doing your homework at the same time every day. Normally, this would be after school. During the pandemic, you can be more flexible with your scheduling.
That said, try to keep it at a regular time as you can learn better when it’s part of your routine. Regular study works better than cramming. Make sure doing your homework becomes second-nature to you.
You can also use study guides to help you learn more about managing your time. You can also learn an awful lot by correcting the mistakes you make in your homework.
Of course, there are also websites you can use to help you. Don’t hesitate to look online for useful resources and activities to help you with your studies. Like with study guides, make sure they’re up-to-date with the latest exam formats and topics.
Finally, don’t forget that private tutors can help you get on top of your homework. Look for one on Superprof!
How A Level Students Can Work Effectively From Home
By the end of Year 13, Upper Sixth, or your second year of A Levels, you’re effectively finished with secondary school. It’s the last year before you can start a degree course and by this point, you’ll want to be able to effectively study from home.
If you’d like some advice, it’s better to learn how to effectively do homework and projects before you’re reaching the end of your A Levels. Ideally, you want to establish good habits for doing homework in primary school and refine them during secondary school. That said, if you’ve not done this yet, it’s never too late to start. All these tips should be able to help.
If you feel overwhelmed with homework, coursework, and projects, you need to learn to prioritise and get the most urgent tasks out of the way first. For example, if you’re looking to get onto a university course where maths is required, you’ll probably want to prioritise your maths A Level over your other A Levels when possible. With the COVID pandemic, we recommend that you also work on learning how to work more effectively from home.
There are plenty of useful YouTube videos on working from home, effectively using your time, and prioritising tasks. However, don’t hesitate to contact a teacher or tutor if you’re struggling and need help with it.
How to Pass Your A Levels from Home
“Passing” your A Levels may mean different things to different students. Some may be looking to get a passing grade whilst others may need specific grades to get onto a university course, for example. In either case, you’ll need to be motivated and work effectively during both years of your A Levels.
There’s no secret to it, students that work hard are more likely to get better results. If you feel like you’re working hard but getting no results, it might be more about the quality of your work rather than the quantity. Your GCSEs will be the only other really important exam that you’ve sat up until this point so your A Levels will probably still be quite stressful.
It’s important to establish a good work ethic, especially when working from home as it’ll help you manage the stress. Look for useful digital resources to help you with your studies and preparing for your exams. Past papers and practice papers are often useful, as long as they still are relevant to the current exam formats and topics.
Are you ready to improve how you work?
If you need more help, consider getting in touch with a private tutor. Academic support can help you prepare for your GCSEs and A Levels and also learn study skills that you can take with your to university.
Finding a tutor on Superprof is easy. You can search by subject and by location and you're free to browse the tutors' profiles to compare their qualifications, experience, rates, and tutoring approach.
You can enjoy tutoring face-to-face, online, or in groups and each type of tutoring comes with its pros and cons for you and your budget.
Face-to-face tutorials, for example, tend to be more expensive than the other two. However, you'll also enjoy one-on-one tuition from a tutor who can adapt the lessons to you, what you want to learn, and how you like to learn. As a result, this type of tutorial us usually the most cost-effective.
Online tutorials are usually cheaper than face-to-face tutorials as the tutor doesn't need to factor in travel costs and time and can schedule more tutorials every week. While these tutorials mightn't be as effective for hands-on subjects, they're just as effective for academic subjects and very useful if you can't find any suitable local tutors or can't afford face-to-face tutoring.
For families on a really tight budget, group tutorials are a great option. Since the students are sharing the cost of hiring the tutor, this will usually work out as cheaper per student per hour.