So, the A Levels are coming soon, and no matter whatever subjects you’re taking for the exams, it is definitely a stressful time. If you’re taking A Level Chemistry this year in November (and the Chemistry practical in late October), you’re probably busy worrying over how to get good grades. So, here are our top tips for studying for the chemistry A levels from us at Bright Culture! If you’re looking for a more generalized bunch of tips on how to do well for the A Levels, you can check out “How I became a Straight-A Student By Following These 7 Rules” by Daniel Wong here.
1.Do as well as you can for the two exams before the actual Chemistry A Levels
If you do well for both exams, it will definitely give you a confidence boost and provide a “check” that you know the content tested for the Mid Year exam and will tell you what you need to work on and what you don’t. However, if you still don’t happen to do well for those two exams, it’s still worth it to try as hard as you can, as those are full exam papers and will help you get in the exam mood for the actual Chemistry A Level exam. For an added bonus, your Mid Year and Prelim papers can be done again as practice papers before the actual exam, as a harder version of what you will likely experience during the real thing.
2. Get help if you need it
If you haven’t done well for the Mid Year Chemistry Exam, it may be time to seek help from your teachers. If you’re shy about consulting your teachers, some of them are happy to be more discreet about it and allow for after school consultation hours. Even better, they’re often one-to-one, or at the very least, a much smaller group than your big class group. That means you get personalized suggestions and attention from your Chemistry teacher, which often translates into better Chemistry grades overall.
3. Get tuition, even if just for a short while
If your teacher is the sort that mysteriously disappears immediately after class or is otherwise engaged in other non-helpful activities, it might be time to consult a tuition center or tuition teacher. If you’re not currently going to Chemistry tuition, it might be worth it to go to an intensive Chemistry A Level Crash Course. They’re extremely helpful, and the experienced A Level Chemistry tuition centers often know exactly which areas of weakness you have and how to target and turn them into strengths.
4. Write short notes on a cue card
Have a formula that just won’t stick in your head no matter how hard you try to memorize it? Maybe it’s too long. Maybe it’s too complex. Either way, it’ll go great on a cue card. Cue cards are small cards, similar to “flash cards”, that you can take a glance at. Some people write a whole slew of information on them, but I don’t recommend doing that as it can possibly lead to information overload. Instead, you should fill cue cards with short bits of “hints” to help you remember information that is better than just remembering it straight from the textbook. Eg: For the definition of a keyword, just write the key points of the keyword.
5. Don’t cram the night just before ( or the week before) the Chemistry A Level Exam
Almost everyone (including the writer of this article) has pulled a guilty all-nighter at some point or another. As great as that excitement of living on the edge is, all-nighters really don’t help, according to this study. In fact, what you should actually be doing is periodic revision. (Briefly mentioned using past exam papers as practice papers for the real exam in point 1 of this article).
Here’s how to do periodic revision
Every time you think in class “Wow, I really need to revise at home, I feel really overwhelmed!”, do exactly that, and some more.
Simple as that. Clarifying your doubts, in any way, is the singular most effective way to keep up in class and not fall behind. After all, it is basically impossible to fall behind your classmates if you’re immediately revising, while the topic is still hot and fresh in your head.
6. Don’t compare your progress to your classmate’s
Everyone knows that one guy. That one guy, who will somehow have studied for Topic 9 when the teacher has just started on Topic 5. (OK, well, maybe not that extreme.) That guy, who’s super prepared and who could take the exam right this very second.
Let’s face it, we can’t all be that one guy who is crazy good. We’ve all been guilty of comparing our progress to him/her at some point, and feeling inferior or lazy. Well, that makes you want to study even less. Well, you’re not inferior or lazy – that guy/girl is just really out there. If anything, everyone goes at their own pace of revision. So, find a group of friends who you know study at the same – or around the same pace as you, which leads me to my point 7.
7. Form a homework group.
Regardless of your actual Chemistry study progress, you WILL run into difficulties along the way, that you just can’t solve by yourself. That’s where the homework group comes in. It helps a good bit to face frustration with friends, not alone. If they’re better than you in Chemistry, they can even help you out by possibly offering valuable insight to the problem.
Also, if you do your homework alone, you’ll become more discouraged easily and give up more easily, hence creating a vicious loop of not studying. So, get out there, and start studying!
This article was brought to you by Bright Culture. We’ve been teaching Chemistry tuition for many years, and are trusted by countless parents and students. To see our testimonials from them, click here. To sign up with us for Chemistry A Level tuition, click here.
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