Anonymous Laureate

General Tips

Past papers are absolutely essential. A good way to practice is to do them under the time limit and correct them using the marking scheme so that you can know how many total points you have scored. Even if you don't score many points at first, don't worry, the aim is to improve over time. Doing them under time limit will also help you to feel less stressed on the day of the exam.

Being a laureate depends on the overall cumulative grades. It is therefore important to allocate enough study time to all subjects and all papers, to avoid one particular paper to bring down the overall marks. Most laureates are demarcated on the practical papers and some practical papers may be in a new format for the exams. Don't let this affect your focus. The key on the day of the exam is to stay calm and work diligently, focusing on one question at a time.

A-levels are a marathon, not a sprint. The secret is consistency throughout the 2 years (Lower 6 and Upper 6). Leaving revision to the last minute is a big mistake and this will only stress you out. The science field is quite bulky and you risk running out of time to study all topics if you are not organised. Try mastering each topic as you learn them instead of leaving them to the end. In this way, you will give yourself time to work on the heavier, more difficult chapters that are normally taught at the end of the year.

Making a list of chapters to learn in each subject is something that really helped me as I could monitor my progress and see how much I had left to do. This will also allow you to make a timetable to be ready on time for exams. A revision timetable is very subjective and each person has their own learning style. For example, some people study better at night, some in the morning, some make colourful notes and some study with music or by reciting notes out loud. Try finding what works best for you. You can start by trying out different techniques and see which one you like best.

Staying motivated will help you work hard throughout the year and put the long hours in. If you are competing, keep your eyes on the prize and remember what you are working for. Don't compare yourself to others as this will only stress you out. Focus on your own journey and making progress, as even if it is slow, it is the only thing that counts. During the year of my HSC, some of my classmates performed better in Mock exams but unfortunately didn't become laureates. On the other hand, even if I had performed less well in Mock exams, I still managed to get a scholarship. The point is that Mock exams are not the end of the race. If you didn't do as well as you had hoped, don't worry, you still have time to work hard and improve the areas where you made mistakes. On the other hand, if you did very well in Mock exams, well done! However, be careful of being overconfident and don't slow your pace of work.

Subject-SpecificTips

Mathematics

Practising past papers under the time limit and learning from mistakes you make.

Chemistry

Start revising early. I found this subject to be the most bulky. Study organic chemistry well as questions on this are often straightforward. This will give you points and compensate for marks that you may have lost in other areas.

Physics

Learning concepts of chapters to understand the logic behind it. Exam questions use applied knowledge.

Biology Sub

Check marking schemes regularly to understand what the examiners want from an answer. The biology textbook can be very useful for better understanding of a chapter.

General Paper

The essay should be well-structured and cover a variety of points for a balanced argument. Practice this under time limit as it can be time-pressured on exam day.

Here is an inspiring Story that this Laureate is sharing with you...

Some of my classmates had performed better than me in Mock Exams. This was quite frustrating but I knew that the race was not over, so I doubled the hard work to eventually succeed in obtaining a scholarship. I would really emphasise the point that Mock Exams are only a guide and students should be wary of admitting defeat or becoming overconfident too early.