Sixth Form: Hit the Ground Running

You’ve probably heard the sentence ‘It’s a big step up’ uttered by many a teacher and parent over this summer, regarding A-Levels. It would be dishonest of me to sit here and write about how this is untrue and that sixth form is a ‘complete breeze,’ because there is certainly more work at a harder level headed your way. However, fear not! It is attainable! You can trust me, I’m one of the many survivors. If you are prepared to work hard and follow these top tips below, I can ensure you that you’ll not only ‘get by’ in sixth form; you’ll ace it. 

‘Slow and steady wins the race’ is a phrase familiar to everyone; the fable from which this quote originates tells the tale of the persisting tortoise beating the over-confident hare in a race, whose idleness, not his skill, denies him the win… As cliché as this metaphor may be and as bizarre as my comparison of a successful sixth form career to a fictional determined tortoise is, it does serve to be a sincere message! Hard work, perseverance, using those free periods productively and working little by little throughout the academic year will make your life a whole lot easier in the long run.

Preparation is KEY
In addition to perseverance, organisation and preparation holds the promise of making sixth form a smoother ride. You’ll most likely have hobbies you wish to continue and social events to attend at the weekend whilst simultaneously attempting to maintain good grades. Rather than saying you can’t possibly juggle all three, my advice is to organise and prioritise early on. So whack out those felt tips and colour code to your heart’s content, because a rainbow themed timetable really could be your saving grace; bet you thought you’d never hear that, did you?

Practice past papers
Believe me, I did not set out to alliterate every subheading, but perseverance, preparation and practice past papers, does seem to have a ring to it. What’s more is that using past papers as a form of revision is one of the most productive things you can do in the lead up to exams. It is one thing to scribble down notes, create flashcards and read over your textbooks, but past papers will really prepare you for the true format of the exam under timed conditions, and, show you how much information you have genuinely absorbed. 

Allow for relaxation
I may have spoilt the alliterate form of commentary for this one, but it’s one of the most necessary recommendations I can give. A-Levels are a stressful period in a student’s life and on occasions it can feel like the workload is never-ending and too much to handle. This is why it’s a necessary requirement to give yourself a little time to unwind. Assign yourself a particular evening, or a certain time after school where you can do whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed and at your most content. Plan ahead and arrange a weekend away or book an event beyond the deadlines that you can look forward to. With balance, it’ll help you feel more motivated to work harder and to keep your stress levels to a minimum.

- By Gemma Beckingham  


Tue 05 Sep 2017