The River Thames outside DLD College London

A – Level Course preparation – Top tips from our successful graduates and helpful learning techniques

20th July 20

Want to ace your a-Level exams and get a place at a top university? Here are 5 tips for academic success from our students and tutors.

1. Practice, Practice and Practice again for your A Level Courses!

Practice as many past paper questions as possible. Try to answer each question at least twice.

Why is this important?

Exam boards use similar styles of questions every year. Practising past papers will develop your ability to make connections between different areas of the syllabus. This is very important when it comes to achieving A/A* grades.Exam boards use similar styles of questions every year. Practising past papers will develop your ability to make connections between different areas of the syllabus. This is very important when it comes to achieving A/A* grades.

Our students sit formal stage tests every half term alongside regular topic tests. Questions are drawn from past papers. Our tutors provide students with past paper questions for homework and revision throughout the term.

2. Learn from the examiners

Correct your answers to past papers using the exam boards approved mark scheme. Read examiners reports to understand the type of questions set and the type of answers they are looking for.

Why is this important for A Levels?

These are going to be your examiners, and remember (from tip 1) the same types of questions tend to pop up year on year. These documents will help you understand what they consider to be model answers. The reports will tell you what examiners look for, where students succeed and fail, and knowledge that they think separates a good student from a great student.

Our teachers have many years of experience in helping students succeed in examinations (and in some cases they have worked as examiners or question setters themselves). They regularly set past paper questions as homework and spend time to ensure that students understand mark schemes.

3. Broaden your knowledge

Learn beyond the syllabus of the A level courses  to broaden your understanding of each subject.

Why is this important?

This will help you to understand your subject in a broader context, and to make links with other subjects and the wider world. It will also demonstrate your passion for the subject, something that top universities look for in prospective applicants.

Our academic preparation programmes are designed to give students a wider view of each subject, and to link this with their university studies and future careers. Students will learn topics outside of the traditional syllabus (often to an undergraduate level), develop and present research on a topic that really interests them, and undertake work experience. This all feeds into student’s personal statements, helping make them stand out from other candidates.

4. Get organised for your A Level course exam

Draw up a revision plan early and make it realistic. Organise your daily schedule with sessions for revision and homework (and breaks!). Create a dedicated work space to avoid distraction. It’s best to try and break subjects up so that you are revising topics as you learn them. 

Why is this important?

Being organised will help you to feel more in control of your studies, which in turn will make you a happier and more confident student. Breaking subjects up will make conquering your studies feel more achievable, and you’ll get a real sense of achievement as you tick each off of your list. Being organised and building revision into your day will enable you to cover subjects multiple times, giving you the opportunity to broaden your knowledge and reduce stress and the need to ‘cram’ come exam time. 

We offer students dedicated spaces for study, each student room has a dedicated study desk. Outside of timetabled classes we offer personal tuition, drop in sessions, catch up classes and subject masterclasses.

5. Rest, Refuel, Recharge

Make sure you get enough sleep, eat a proper breakfast before school, and make time to pursue interests outside of your studies.

Why is this important?

It’s important that you are well rested and eat breakfast to get the most out of each college day. If you are tired and hungry you will find it harder to concentrate and become more easily distracted. Your brain needs lots of good food energy to function properly!

As a boarding college for international students we know what you need to succeed. That’s we provide modern, comfortable, high-specification boarding houses with live in house parents and freshly prepared, nutritious and tasty meals (including breakfast!) every day of the week! 

Our extra-curricular programme has many clubs taking place each week, enabling students to relax, have fun and learn new skills outside of their studies. 

We hope that these 5 tips will help you on the path to academic success at A-Level and beyond!