Stepping Up: Making The Move From GCSE To A-Levels EasierPosted: 24th of March 2015 by
A lot is made of the step up from GCSE to A-levels, and we won’t lie and tell you that there isn’t a jump. A-levels are more in-depth than GCSEs and your teachers and examiners will ask more from you. However, you needn’t be too worried, as with the right attitude and some help from your tutors you should be able to make the transition smoothly.
When you first make the move from Year 11 you will start studying AS levels. With many students taking on 4 or 5 AS levels in year 12, you should not be afraid to drop one if you are struggling with it. This means that your other subjects will also pick up as you go into A2.
The subjects you choose for A-level are important and it is usually best to go with those that you feel you could be good at. The detail of the subject will be greater than those you took for GCSE, even if they are the same subjects. However, there will be some topics that you may have covered in the past, making it easier to pick up the extra information.
AS levels also include module exams in the first January after starting. This can seem intimidatingly soon after you started the course. What if you are still coming to terms with the step up from GCSE? What if you fail?
If you fail, it is not the end of the world, but will offer you an indication of where you are. You will improve if you keeping working at it, and you can retake the January exams in the summer if you need to. Of course, if you pass in January then great, but if not, just use it as a benchmark of where you are.
The amount and type of work will change from GCSE to A-levels too. Assignments will be longer and more in-depth, and learning will be more intense. However, this is off-set to a degree by the fact that you are studying with others who chose to take that class. The class sizes will also be smaller than with GCSEs, allowing you more direct time with your tutor, allowing you to get yourself heard. You also won’t be having to juggle as many subjects and teachers as at GCSE level!
Because A-levels start with AS level before ramping up to A2, your learning will also be given tme to progress before your finals.
Try to remember that thought has gone into how the teaching should progress each year - offering you the best chance of making the step up.
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