Lifestyle – How to survive A-Level stress

I love this post, the fact that it is so informative and at the same time resourceful. Keep it up Mégan.

By Mègan-Lily

So, with my second year exams over and done with I have never felt sorelived – I thought my first year exams were stressful! I have had a few requests from younger friends going through the same I was last September, with A2 stress already kicking in, so I felt the need to pull a post together.

First year isn’t so bad… just getting the grades to stay on until next year, but second year is when you know if you don’t get the grades your screwed – or at least that’s what you think, and that’s what the lectures will make you believe. Here’s a few tips that may help…

First, the most important thing to remember is to try your best and don’t listen to what anyone else has to say, there are always alternative routes even if you don’t get your desired grades – don’t stress, it…

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Do It Your Way

I’ve written a post about learning the way you revise which comes hand in hand with this post. This post is all about you doing everything your way so as to optimize your learning experience. When you’re in the class and you see that most people aren’t making notes, don’t just follow the trend, do what it is that you feel is right. Don’t just be a follower and decide to make notes when everyone else is also making notes. If you feel like there is something important to note down, then note it down. Who cares if no one else is writing things down? That just means that you’re putting yourself in a better position than them when preparing for the exam. You can see me waffling on about notes but ‘Do It Your Way’ extends way past notes. If you have a free period and you know you need to get some work done but everyone you hang around with is playing cards or is playing football or is just chilling, then do the work. You will have plenty of time to just chill and who knows when the next time is going to be when you want to do that exact same work? So this post was just for you people who may have got caught up in your friends’ bad habits and if you can realise bad habits early on in A-Levels then this will prove to be very beneficial for you.

Time Management Is Key

Managing your time when it comes to A-Levels is probably the most important thing to get right if you want to hit those higher grades. You need to become a master in balancing your time on revision and on your studies with going out with your mates and playing on your consoles. A lot of students would favor going out with their mates over their revision or would rather play on their console than work on their studies. I like doing all of these things and playing football as well so I know firsthand that time management is very tricky indeed. What I would recommend is that you get up early on the weekends and do a lot of revision and work during this period. That means that later on in the day, you can play FIFA 17 on PS4 (add me, it’s Kamih786 ;)) or catch up on your favourite shows like X-Factor. I always get up early on weekends, well most of the time anyway, so I know that this is very effective and it allows you to do the fun things later on in the evening. Try and find your way of balancing work with other priorities and when you do this, A-Levels will appear to be so much easier.

Utilise Your Holidays And Time Off School

It is so easy just to chill when you’re outside of school because you feel like you have done enough work at school and that you deserve a break from it all. This mentality will only get you so far and it’s the people who do work even away from school who will obtain the higher grades. Yes, doing work outside of school way before exam season seems a bit extra but that’s what A-Levels are about and that is how you will get the grades that you want. The people who do well at A-Levels are the ones who go the extra mile so to speak when it comes to their education. You can’t just rest on your laurels and expect to get astonishing grades or even half-decent ones with A-Levels. It takes practice and you will not get enough practice during school hours so make the most out of the time you have away from school to try and grasp the key concepts in whatever subject you wish to revise.

Be Wary Of Social Media

I know a lot of students nowadays live off social media (me included!) but make sure that it doesn’t take over your life. I am on social media but I put in the effort to pass any exam that comes my way. If you are on social media, then just manage your time so that you are doing revision. If you know that you’re not going to be doing effective revision whilst on social media, then it may be a good idea to just stay off social media until you are confident in your subject or at least have made enough notes to learn from. However, if you know that you can stay on social media and smash your exams, then this post is not applicable to you. Just remember that your education, if you care about it and want good grades, should always take priority over your popularity on social media or the need to be on alert for the latest trends.

Know Your Learning Techniques

Make sure you know how you best revise. Yes, teachers might nag you to go to revision classes but if you feel like you work better alone, then going to revision classes should be optional for you. Find out if you can do more work whilst playing music out loud or if you like doing work with headphones on so as to block out the surrounding noise or if you just like to revise in silence. Whatever it is you like, find out early so that you can have optimal and more effective revision sessions. Personally, I like revising on my own with music playing out loud if I’m in the comfort of my home but if I was in a public place like school or university, then I would revise in a quiet place with no music. This is very important because you want every revision session to be as effective as possible and just say you have allocated 2 hours for revision and you don’t know your learning technique, then you might spend 20 minutes just trying to get comfortable which will hinder the effectiveness of your revision session. So, know your learning technique to reduce the chance of critique.

Rest

I know a lot of my posts have been about doing as much revision as you can and that it entails you to dedicate yourself to long hours of study. This is not the case always. Yes, you have to do work to see results but don’t tire yourself out. If you feel like you’re tired and work is getting too much, then take a day or two off and just do whatever it is you do that alleviates stress. I know the feeling of fatigue and that revision can make you stressed. Believe me, I’ve been there. I once took like 2-3 weeks rest just to get myself away from all the work and stress. Like I said before, rest and recovery are crucial in you passing exams because you need to have days where you don’t do any work just to take away all the stress. So, if you’re feeling under pressure that you need to do work at a certain time, then don’t. Just rest and get your brain back to optimal levels.