Is there still hope for Year 12 and their A-Levels?- Megan B

Thankfully, the year 12 exams are done and dusted despite the stress of potential resits becoming the norm among my fellow classmates and I. 

The results have started to filter through, with some getting lower grades than they were expecting, especially for the end of year 12. Yet, it may not be all our fault, despite some not doing enough revision or any at all – it could be due to the lack of GCSE exams in year 11.

As we all know, Covid-19 meant a closure of schools in March 2020, and we lost vital teaching for the last of the lent term and all of the summer term with the introduction of Pre-A Level courses that were widely viewed as optional by many in my year. We also lost the chance to prove that we could get good GCSE grades in exam conditions, with some of us not being happy with the grades we were given, and some feeling they weren’t given the grades they could achieve in a real exam.

One of my classmates, Matilda decided to retake her English Language and Literature exams because she knew she could do better than the two 7’s she was given from her predicted grades. Once the results came back she found she had earned two 8’s in both subjects, proving that sometimes a little extra stress and exam pressure can go a long way.

Yet, the lack of GCSE’s and the preparation that comes with them could affect our year group in more ways than we think. For example, not having to go through the stress and pressure of our exams in year 11 could mean that when we eventually get to the final A-level exams in year 13, we burn out and find them too stressful to handle. However, Matilda found that in our latest exams, she found herself under a lesser amount of pressure due to the fact that she had previously sat external exams.

Having not had the opportunity to try out different revision techniques and losing the vital teaching we may have needed in summer has meant that the revision we do now, or for some the small amount of revision, can be unhelpful and inefficient as we haven’t had the time to try out what kind of revision suits us best and for which subjects, meaning we may lose vital marks in practice.

With the results arriving from our exams earlier this week we have found that some extra work and and exam practice questions may be needed to improve our grades.  After being awarded a D in my Russian history paper I quickly worked out that I wasn’t as prepared for my exams as I originally thought and three days later I had my second history paper to complete. However, as a testament to an increased amount of revision I scored a B, much to my own surprise.

Many others in my year group have had similar situations, despite some doing a little better than the teachers thought they would due to some extra help from those who had already done the exam, but I won’t mention names.

Just writing this is stressing me out, but there’s still hope for us yet. With the right revision, exam technique and memorisation of the content we can build upon the grades we got in these exams to get the grades we deserve at the end of year 13.

Unfortunately, Covid has hit all year groups hard, especially those that were preparing for exams but fortunately there’s light at the end of the tunnel for year 12 – we have a lot of time before our final exams in year 13 to improve, just make sure to work that little bit harder, and don’t stress about what you cannot control.

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