A Levels, GCSE Results, AS Results, My Year 12 Experience and Advice


I’ve been meaning to write this post as soon as Year 12 kicked in almost 12 months ago but instead I decided to wait until the year was fully completed, and for GCSE results day, before sharing my full reflection.

Back in August 2013 I was delighted to find that I'd gained 6 A*s 5 As and 2 Bs (damn you English) in my GCSEs, I couldn't have been happier. Since then, things for me academically fell dramatically downhill.

On results day I signed up for 4 subjects that were not only my strongest but the four subjects I then loved and felt I'd be willing to the extra hours in - 10 subject hours a fortnight - to get the A2 grades I'd be happiest with - Geography, History, Maths and French. The latter, was a decision that ended up being a rushed one amidst the madness of getting my results and one, unlike the other three, that I hadn't properly thought through. Prior to getting my results, my fourth AS was going to be dependent on my French grade and that of Additional science, as at the time Chemistry was a possibility.

Having got a very secure A* in French versus a mid A in Science, I opted for a language at A Level. The biggest challenge I'd faced academically. Without going into too much detail on this, I could write a whole blogpost if you wanted?, I stuck it through Year 12 due to not having a back up subject to swap it for in the first few weeks and undergoing frequent breakdowns and general trauma through studying a language I thought I loved. At the soonest opportunity after trialing A2 French, I dropped French early and was left with Geography, History and Maths and a huge sigh of relief.

On reflection from this, I am still uncertain as to whether I will live to regret this next year however only time will tell.

Prior to A Levels, I was very lucky in that I was able to get through my GCSEs without any major trauma and was rather compalecent with the results I got in August as I was able to leave my revision to the fairly last minute and get through exams without too much trouble, in reflection, as at the time they seemed to be the be-all and end-all.
When A Level students say there is a big step up between GCSE and A-Level, they are not kidding. Don't do what I did and brushed this comment off lightly. You really do need to pull your finger out at this point as leaving revision to the last minute just won't cut it.

The wait between my summer and my results on the 14th August seemed never ending. I expected the worst from my results as I have never been so under-prepared and overwhelmed for the jump between GCSE’s and A Levels and the difference in difficulty with the exams- I was expecting a climb but this was some mountain to trek. 

I won't bore you with the details but by some miracle I managed to pass the majority of my exams but I really need to shape up next year in order to get the grades I'll be proud of and ones that, if I decide to, will get me into Uni.

AS to A2

Over the next 10 months I really need to get my head down as ultimately, these could be the last 10 months of my education and I want to have made all my school years worthwhile. Equally, I hope that throughout Year 13 that I get the balance between free time, work and A Levels sorted to avoid unnecessary stress.


I have found a web article that basically sums up A LEVELS here however I have a few extra pointers for my Year 11 readers who want extra reassurance or a push in the right direction

-Take what you enjoy - Not only will the number of teaching hours increase per subject but the number of hours spent on homework, extra reading and revision will or at least should increase when studying a subject at A Level. Because of this, it is crucial that you read up on what your courses will include and know what you're getting yourself into before you sign the dotted line.

-Pick your strengths - As important as it is to take subjects you enjoy, it is also important to take subjects you think you'll do well in as at the end of the day, your grades are what will matter.

-EPQ/GENERAL STUDIES/CRITICAL THINKING - Note that your teachers will most likely blackmail convince you to take one of the above and where I loved the topic of my 5000 word dissertation for my EPQ ( Are bloggers more Influential than magazines?), the EPQ took far too much time out of my academic calendar meaning that I neglected my other AS Levels which I feel ultimately sacrificed my grades. Although I did manage to get an A* in said essay, on reflection and research into possible universities, many just disregard it so I strongly advise any Year 12 students to research into their future education prospects before committing to an additional qualification, like the Extended Project, before sacrificing their time.

-Take a break - Year 12 hit me hard and if there is one thing I can preach but didn't practise enough is to not to stress too much. Naturally, A Levels are hard but as difficult as it was I wish I took a breather more often and made the most of any free time I had.

-Enjoy Year 12 - Year 11 was by far my favourite year of school and I wish I had made the most of year 12 and enjoyed it more. At the end of the day, these 2 years could be your last 2 years of school and therefore you definitely should at least try to enjoy them!

Thats all for now! I hope that any year 11's getting their results today are pleased and if not, results aren't the end of the world!

If you found this post useful and want me to write more like this please do let me know! 

Beth x 

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  1. Just got my as results a few days ago as well which were ok but it's the same for me, I really to work hard next year! Good luck :)

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    http://teenworkaholic.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/ive-been-nominated-for-liebster-award.html xxx


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