“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” - Malcolm X
Before you can pass an A Level, you need to do the work, study, and learn. By the time you reach Year 13, Upper Sixth, or the second year of your A Levels, it might be too late to completely change the way you work, but you can improve the way you work.
Here are our tips for getting the most out of your homework at A Level.
Effectively Doing Homework During Your A Levels
There’s no big secret to benefit from homework; you need to set aside the time to do it. Every day, set aside some time every day to study and do homework.
- Follow a schedule: For example, do your homework every day between 17:30 and 19:30 and sit down for dinner at 20:00. Or do half an hour between 17:30 and 18:00, eat between 18:30 and 19:30, and do a bit more work between 20:00 and 20:30. It’s up to you to work out what time works best for you. Make sure to take regular breaks, too.
- Choose a quiet place free of distractions: You don’t need to always work in the same place, but make sure it’s somewhere you won’t be distracted. You can work in a bedroom, study, or living room, if it’s quiet.
- Don’t wait to be given homework: Take the initiative to study and revise. This will free up time to study other things as the exams approach.
- Make the most of your free periods to get your homework done.
- Pay attention and actively listen in class: Take notes that you can read. Ask your teacher questions.
- Adapt to each subject: You may learn better by doing maths exercises whilst regular reading will help improve reading and writing skills for English literature, for example.
- Organise your homework and study sessions at the start of each week: Prioritise the most urgent tasks.
Books for Studying A Levels
To prepare for your A Levels, you need to be working hard throughout the year.
It’s a good idea to invest in useful books on study techniques and on particular subjects. Here are a few of our favourites:
CGP Complete Revision & Practice Series
These study guides are among the most popular in the UK and are regularly recommended for students studying GCSE and A Level. While you couldn't go so far as to say they make revision fun, they do have a style that a lot of students will appreciate.
In addition to the study guides, there are also revision flashcards and online version of the books to help you effectively study. Not only do the books focus on the subjects they cover, but they also have a lot of information on the courses and exams so you'll know exactly what to expect and can set your goals accordingly.
My Revision Notes
This is a series of revision guides that focuses on the essential. While the CGP guides tend to add a dash of humour to make certain points more appealing to some students, others may find this superfluous. The My Revision Notes books tend to trim away the fat and leave you with concise and informative study guides.
They're structured with exam-style tasks that you can use to review the topics that you've studied and test your knowledge of the subjects.
Useful Websites for A Level Students
To keep on top of your studies, there are also online resources that you may want to consider.
This website offers revision resources for GCSE and A Level across a variety of common subjects. You do need to sign up to use the website, but once you do, you can access resources for revising and tools for creating a revision timetable.
While the site doesn't cover as many subjects as some of the other resources in our list, it does have all the core sciences, maths, English, French, art, and a few others worth looking at.
This website is useful for anyone studying GCSE or A Levels as it includes revision resources for a variety of different subjects including past papers, exam tips, and notes for you to go back over.
You can print out the notes and past papers to practise with and save PowerPoint presentations to back through. There are also subject guides you can ask for help once you're a registered user of the site. As this is free, you may as well sign up and start benefitting from this valuable resource.
Studywise is a great online resource for A Level students to go over revision notes. The website is full of information for both GCSE and A Level students and you can even find revision notes organised by exam boards.
The notes aren't interactive or anything like that, but they do have all the information you'll need once you've worked out a way to effectively study them.
Academic Support for A Level Students
If you struggle to get the most out of your homework and studying even with books and websites to help you, consider getting in touch with a private tutor.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to benefit from help with your homework, too. A tutor can help you get on top of everything long before it’s overwhelming. Even as you reach the end of your A Levels, you can still improve how you work and study. Effective study techniques are also useful once you start your career or move onto higher education.
A tutor will tailor the lessons to you and how you like to learn and you’re also free to ask them questions and they can offer tutorials several times a week, once a week, once a month, or whenever you need help.
By improving the way you work and study, you’re bound to improve your A Level results. Don’t hesitate to look for private tutors on Superprof.
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, these types of tutorials are 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.
Don't forget that a lot of the tutors on Superprof offer the first lesson or hour for free and you can use these sessions to try out several tutors before deciding on which is right for you.
It's recommended that you make a list of critieria of what you're looking for in a tutor before you start your search and only look to contact tutors that meet this criteria. You don't want to be wasting your time trying out tutors that you're fairly certain won't be right for you or your child. Instead, make a shortlist of the tutors that meet your requirements and contact them.
The free session probably won't be like your typical tutorial but it is a good opportunity to discuss how each potential tutor can help, how they like to teach, and the finer details of the tutoring like how much they'll charge, when the tutoring will take place, and what they'll need from you.
Now that you know a bit more about improving your A Level results, the rest is up to you!
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