If you have any other questions which this section doesn't answer, please send us a message and we'll be happy to answer any questions you have about A-levels, revision or anything else related to school life at this age.
The 3 main examining boards in England are OCR, AQA and Edexcel. These are monitored by the JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications).
As a student or parent you needn't worry about which board you are enrolled with, your school will do this for you. There are often similarities between the topics, and the assessment objectives that each examining body set (due to criteria set by the Department for Education) though the exams will be slightly different and in content and form. Often tutors will be able to teach a subject across all three boards - but it can be useful to see what their experience with a specific board has been like and whether they know the exact requirements.
The links below will take you to all course materials for each subject via each examining bodies online portal:
Edexcel subjects - Pick a subject, then download the course specification, past papers, teaching materials.
AQA subjects - Pick the 'A-Level' from the menu then explore available subjects and download course specifications and past papers.
OCR subjects - Pick your subjects from the list to download the course specifications, past papers and mark schemes.
If you have any other questions related to course materials, specifications, past papers then don't hesitate to get in contact. We have a wealth of experience and resources that we are happy to share with you.
HOW TO REVISE
We always recommend starting revision as early possible using 'distributed practice'. We also recommend trying out different methods when revising material. There are lots of options and approaches when revising and you won't know what works best for you until you try them all. Remember -- the easiest won't always be the best! Using a variety of different approaches can also be extremely beneficial for students
Have a look at this BBC article that reveals some commonly held misconceptions about revision.
And these two vides from ASAPScience give some really excellent ideas to get students feeling positive about revision.
The most important things to remember are:
make a timetable and spread out your revision over many
find a quite study space with all the resources you need
set one small goal for every session
make each session about 30minutes long then take a 10 minute break
put away your phone
take some exercise everyday
drink lots of water
don't highlight books with highlighter - it doesn't work
make your own flashcards and carry them with you and use them regularly
make revision active and say things out loud when your using your cards
make mnemonics to remember sets of things
do as many practice tests as you can
teach fellow students/family members parts of you course
make mind-maps to link ideas together
read and analyse model answers to questions
We've collected some of the best revision videos from across the web and have put them all here for you try:
How to make flashcards - by Thomas Frank
How to make mind-maps - by Mariana
How to take notes from a text book - by studyign
Alternatives to flashcards - by studyign
Or if you are looking for more ideas to super-charge your revision, go to our blog.
This part of our website is currently being updated. Stay tuned for a brand new resources page very soon.
If you haven't achieved the grades you were hoping for, all is not lost.
There are a huge number of options still available to you. From retaking, to clearing, to taking a year gaining experience before making the next decision.
Thankfully there are some really useful websites and resources out there which will help you make some of these important decisions. The advice we would give is, consider your options before A-level results come out. What happens is you get your target grades? What happens if you do better? What happens if you don't quite get the grades that you need? Being prepared at this stage will make the summer you receive your exam results a positive time, whatever is in the envelope.
Whatever the course you are applying for, and whether you're a parent or a student, we would recommend registering with UCAS. They provide up to date information regarding finding the right course for you, application deadlines, clearing and you can also sign up to their newsletter which will keep you informed of all the key dates and events in the application calendar.
There are several options when it comes to retaking. From re-sitting a single module to dropping back a year and doing the whole course again. Your school will be able to offer you advice on this matter and many school have different policies so you should contact your school directly to see what options they will give you.
One thing to consider is that student options may currently be restricted by the issue of the new syllabus which has been brought in starting in 2016. Retaking may not be an option or there may be a time limit if your year was one of the last cohorts to take the old style exam. Get in touch with us direct to speak to an advisor about this matter.
Another option is to apply for retakes independently through an examination centre and receive private tuition to structure your learning. At the London Academy of Tutors we are able to ease you through this process and provide all of the necessary advice, learning and guidance over the course of a students retakes.
If you feel like you need to retake, there are some essential FAQs here which we'd recommend looking at.
The Guardian has an excellent part of its website that acts as a dedicated guide to clearing.
And this guide to clearing by Apply to Uni, which covers all aspects of the process organised by dates, courses and university
Gap years and work experience
If thing s haven't gone as planned and going through clearing or retaking don't appeal as options, you needn't fear. There are a host of things that students can do which are educative and horizon expanding which take place outside of the classroom. Our educational directors have many years of experience working with children and young adults who need a little extra help finding the next thing and can offer individual advice and guidance on working opportunities and gap year placements. Students develop focus, communication skills and confidence during placements that you can't get from a formal classroom setting.
Often these these work placements can be tied to, and done concurrently with re-sitting exams, and reapplying for university, so students gain better qualifications while gaining real working experience.
To explore some of the options available have a look at the prospects website. Which has loads of great ideas work experience and gap year ideas.
Or give us a call to discuss to have a chat about your specific circumstances. 02071646425