The River Thames outside DLD College London

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

Preparation for A – Level courses

Students have a general opinion that, preparing  for A- Level Courses is indeed very strenuous and painstaking. Though it is true that hard work pays, proper preparation augments learning and enables  a candidate not only to score higher but also to excel in the exams. Organized and systematic planning and execution of study methods for A-Level Courses certainly help to smoothly sail through the assessment procedures.

Pre- requisite for preparing for A- Level Courses

  • Selecting subjects which interests you and right aptitude, makes the preparation of A- Level Courses easier. Moreover if you are able to enjoy learning, it makes the time spent worthy.
  • If you know your weakness and strength then it is very easy to plan your study time.
  • Having a clear idea of your priorities reduces your stress and strain in organizing your time for A- Level Courses.
  • If you are sure about your goals, it certainly enhances your focus which helps to score higher, in A- Level Courses.
  • Starting your study schedule earlier, avoids last minute quick preparation, which might pose a problem of getting too less a time to complete your preparation for A- Level Courses.
  •  Avoiding distractions and concentrating on the subject with a single mind, lessens the time of study.
  • Involving in any extra-curricular activity of your choice or a hobby relaxes your mind and enhances effective learning of     A- Level Courses.
  • Preparing a time schedule in a table form, provides a clear idea about the units to be covered every day.
  • Developing Critical Thinking, Lateral Thinking, Creative Mind, Problem Solving Skill and Designing Ability adds to the efficiency of the individual for successful completion of A- Level Courses.
  • Organizing your study room neatly, with all the necessary items is an added factor to inspire your learning.
  • A healthy diet and adequate sleep stimulates the mind to absorb the concepts quickly and retain it permanently which will make you a topper in the A- Level Courses.

Skills to be Developed for Preparing A- Level Courses

  • Do not hesitate to ask questions and clarify your doubts with your Professor. Be always ready to talk to your teacher if the concept is not clear to you.
  • Taking notes to the lessons you learn is very beneficial, since it is easy to absorb what is written in your own handwriting. Adding subheadings, diagrams, tables, highlighters are indeed helpful in learning A- Level Courses. Moreover using different colours to differentiate the points and facts are added features to effective learning.
  • Reading the lessons louder to yourself gains your attention and focus and makes you to remember the concepts easily. Also recording the lessons in your voice and listening to it repeatedly, retains them in your mind for a long time which helps in the assessment of A- Level Courses. In addition to that the recorded subjects could be heard while travelling, waiting or eating.
  • You can form Acronyms, Clues and Hints with the first letter of the concepts so that you can remember all the points easily without forgetting them. These indicators are really a boon while writing A- Level Courses exams.
  • Studying the subjects with your friends and classmates is an easy way to learn. Teaching someone who is not clear about the concepts, is very helpful in understanding the lessons in depth and also proves to be an advantage during the exams of A- Level Courses.
  • Wherever possible try to add a Diagram, Flow Chart, Graph, Bar Diagram, Table or a Tree Diagram to simplify the concepts, to understand them and to remember for a long period of time.
  • It is always wiser to Practice for the A-Level Courses exams, by answering old question papers to know about the blueprint, difficulty level and time duration. Also while studying itself, plan how to present the particular concept in an appealing manner in the exams.
  • Improve your skills of Time Management so that you can allot time for various tasks according to the priorities and importance. Allocate and design a time schedule for the works to be completed every day, every week and every month. This planning serves a great deal in reducing the stress during the Examinations of A-Level courses and makes the student confident and well prepared.

Study Techniques for A- Level Courses

1. The Feynman Technique

This technique is very simple and practical in preparing for      A- Level Courses. Take a paper and write the name of the concept you have studied on the top. Then try to write what you have understood in your own words. You can add a diagram or table to it if necessary. Describe the concept in such a way that you are going to explain it to your friend. This method helps you to identify what all you have learnt thoroughly and also which area of the concept you have doubts.

2. Leitner System

Leitner system is a very effective way of learning for A- Level Courses. In this method you have to take 3 boxes and  name them as Every day, Every week and Every month. Pick a pack of flash cards. Write down the name of concepts  in each flash card and drop each flash card in any one of the boxes according to the importance and frequency of your learning repeatedly. Certainly this method helps in remembering the concepts for   A- Level Courses Examinations.

3. The SQ3R Method

The SQ3R Method is one of the highly tested and proved method for preparing A-Level Courses. This technique      involves 5 important steps namely Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review. SQ3R method ensures that main concepts are identified, understood and retained and effectively reproduced.

4. The PQ4R Method

PQ4R method is presented by a Psychologist and it is followed and executed by many students for the successful completion of  A- Level Courses. This technique consists of 6 steps to go through systematically. Though it consumes time, it ensures that students are very clear about facts. The 6 steps are Previewing, Questioning, Reading, Reflecting, Reciting, and Reviewing.

5. Mind Mapping

Forming Mind Maps facilitates in visualizing and summarizing the concepts which can be made by hands or computer. These visual images are very beneficial in understanding and imbibing the concepts which are easy to reproduce in the A- Level Courses Examinations. Take a paper, draw a circle at the centre and write the main concept in it. Draw branches around the circle to note down the appropriate points concerning the concept. If needed  you  can  add colours, images and keywords. The merit of this technique is, it is very simple, yet easily learnable and retainable.

6. Retrieval Practice

This practice is a very old and time tested method for the preparation of A- Level Courses. Select a specific topic, learn it, try to recollect the points, keep aside the book and try to write down all the points. This ensures that you are thorough with all the concepts. If any point is left out you can relearn it.

7. Spaced Practice

Though this method is a very simple one it is highly effective in retaining all the concepts for A- Level Courses. After learning a topic thoroughly, leave it aside for few days. After a week try to recapitulate   all  the information. It is indeed very useful in retaining lot of concepts from different subjects.

8. Colour-Coded Notes

Color-Coded Notes are very interesting and beautiful which motivates a learner to read more. The novelty and different hues used in the notes attracts the attention of the learner and creates a spirit of  freshness. One can write the notes in Black colour, use Green colour for subheadings, Red colour for important points, Blue colour for definitions or concepts and so on. This enhances the learning and helps the students to remember and reproduce the points with ease in the Exams of  A-Level Courses.

Selection of Method

It is very pertinent to point out here that everyone is an individual with different ideas and strategies. Hence the same method may not be fruitful for different persons. Therefore identify a suitable method for you, select it and follow it for two weeks. If it is beneficial to you and suits your style of learning then follow it. Otherwise you can switch over to other methods and techniques which are more appealing to you. Experiment and then decide your course of action for the preparation of  A- Level Courses.

Want to get top grades? take a break

Always remember that monotony does not help in the voluminous preparation of A- Level Courses. Hence it is wiser to read a subject for an hour and then change over to another subject for the next hour. This prevents you from getting bored and tired. Also it is advisable to take a 10 minutes break after studying each subject in A- Level Courses, so as not to confuse both the subjects. Drinking a cup of coffee or tea in the break and watching Green plants certainly helps in refreshing your mood and eyes.