How to be a successful A Level student: 5 tips

Posted 25 September 2013
successful A level students

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Being an A Level student can be challenging at times - but worry no more, here are 5 top tips to help you sail through your A Level studies not only smoothly, but with really good results and graduate to an amazing university!

1.    Keep Organized

The key to being a successful student is being organised. Some people are naturally good at staying organised and do not even need a diary or a planner to keep at the top of their game. Most of us, however, do need to keep some kind of notes on what it is that we are and should be working on. It is definitely a good idea to buy a planner specifically just for your A Level studies - that way you can note down all of your classes, all of your assignments, or any other memos, and keep them at a single place. You will always know where to go whenever you are looking for any of your deadlines or test dates.

It is also useful to separate all your subjects from one another. It is good to have a separate ring binder. That way it is easy to access any information you might possibly need during or after your classes to complete assignments. It is also useful in the long-run, when you are preparing for exams - you will want to have all of your related information as close together as possible.

2.    Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

It is very helpful to ask questions whenever you are stuck on anything. Are you struggling with your assignment? Go ahead and ask your friends about it, they might have very helpful tips on how to carry on with it. Or you can ask your teachers, they are very helpful and will appreciate it if you are interested in their subject enough to try to make your assignments perfect. Remember, there is no such thing as a bad question! And successful A Level students ask a lot of questions!

3.    Pick your Subjects Wisely

When it comes to A Levels, it is really important to pick your subjects wisely. Not only because certain universities and subjects have subject requirements. It is also important because your success is in large part determined by how good you are in your subjects and by how much you actually enjoy them. It is important that you pick subjects that you enjoy, because that way you will actually feel happy when you are working on your coursework, and you will also feel a lot more motivated in your work. If your chosen university subject has in its requirements a subject that you inherently do not enjoy or are not excited about, you might want to reconsider your university degree choice. This is because your chosen degree likely follows on the material in the required A Level subjects, and if you do not enjoy those subjects, it might be likely that you will not enjoy the degree you have chosen.

4.    Understand your Strengths and Weaknesses

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Maybe you are very good at waking up early and revising but you are not so good at staying up at night? Or exactly the other way around? You need to understand yourself and your body in order to be a successful student. You need to know what studying methods are working for you - this will be very individual and it will take a lot of trial and error on your part. Take any feedback you get from your tutors and your friends constructively and work on internalising new ways of working. It is really important to make use of your strengths and try to work on improving your weaknesses and turning them into strengths!  

5.    Work on Your Exam Technique

Ultimately, the most important ingredient to being a successful A Level student is doing well in exams - this is mostly what you will be graded on and one of the most important things in being admitted to university. A very important thing is to become familiar with what your exams look like - get your hands on as many past papers as you possibly can and analyse what the questions are like. You will likely do a lot of past paper work in your class with your tutor before your exams, but it is good to get a head start on this and start working on your exam technique as soon as possible. Try asking some of the older students for exam technique tips, they often have creative ideas!

Zuzana Chlupackova