*sigh of relief*
It’s that time again where I can wave goodbye to exam stress, revision and early morning study sessions for another year. Yes, I officially finished my last ever AS exam yesterday at exactly 3.20pm! I could not be happier, I am so glad that all my exams are finally done and dusted, which means I can not direct my attention to more important things such as watching TV and shopping. 🙂
However the past few months I have been putting many things off saying “Oh, I’ll do that after my exams” or “I’ll sort it after my exams have finished”. So even though I am free from the burdens of exam season I still have a few things to do. For starters I need to look into University, have a look at the courses they are offering and the entry requirements, all that stuff. I have a few open days booked in, so I can get a good feel for the universities I might be interested in. I also need to launch my UCAS application and account, which brings me onto writing a personal statement. I also plan on doing an Extended Projects Qualification (EPQ) over the Summer, which means I have a lot of planning and research to do. Furthermore I want to get a small part-time Summer job so I can earn some money, which would pay for my driving lessons. That is another thing I want to sort out: a provisional driving license. I also need to contact my work experience placement to make the final arrangements for that to go ahead. I also have a Higher Education Plus (HE+) residential trip to the University of Cambridge coming up. So although my stressful exams are over, there is still plenty of things to do in order to keep myself busy!
With that said, I feel that I should do some reflection on my AS exams. For my AS Levels I studied: Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Psychology. I took a grand total of 9 papers all exactly 1 hour and 30 minutes long, from a range of different exam boards. Here is how I got on:
Exam Board: AQA
Biology Unit 1 (25/05/17): Not the best exam for me, I don’t know why but I struggled to get to grip with the context given in the questions. Especially that last question about HIV, of course I knew the syllabus and how HIV works and everything, but I found it difficult to apply to the context given. There was also that disastrous question about the statistical test, I must say our teacher never taught us any of the maths side including the statistic test, mainly because we ran out of time come the end.
Biology Unit 2 (6/06/17): Fantastic! I absolutely loved the paper! The 2 high mark questions at the end were fabulous. One was about cohesion-tension theory and the other transcription. Simple knowledge based questions, the contextual question about the chromosome mutation was a little harder. But the paper had less maths and appeared quite easy compared to the first.
Exam Board: AQA
Chemistry Unit 1 (26/05/17): Hmm, it was an average paper. The actual chemistry itself was quite easy and I understood most of it, but I did struggle with the calculations. There was one calculation that involved some copper and a plane that I remember struggling with. I also had a problem with a concentration question where I got my answer to equal -6000 or something ridiculous! There was that horrible little bit towards the end about equilibrium, where I ended up solving a quadratic equation…probably got that wrong.
Chemistry Unit 2 (9/06/17): AHHH! I ran out of time! The first AS paper that I can officially put my hands up and say “I didn’t finish”. I guessed that last 5/6 multiple choice and put C down for all of them! I had no time to go back to any of my answers, which is a pain as I think I may have left some blank! There was a horrifying question on cycloalkanes with a reaction mechanism all mixed it, I also counted 37 hydrogen atoms on one molecule but the whole world appears to have counted 38!
Exam Board: OCR
Core 1 (17/05/17): The paper went reasonably well, it was not as bad as I was expecting it to be! I know I got one of the end questions right as I got -9/4 as my answer. Which I don’t mean to brag, but I am very happy about! However I struggled with the triangle in a circle question where we had to find an area or something.
Core 2 (24/05/17): To be honest I don’t really remember much about the paper. Except the fact that I didn’t understand the first question, yes the first so-called ‘easiest’ question on the paper!
Statistics (7/06/17): Disaster. Those geometric, binomials, probability, permutations stuff all sent a shiver down my spine. I hated the paper, the only thing good about the paper was the first question on product moment correlation, which I understood. To make matters worse all the other people in my class found the paper was “quite good” or “not as bad as I was expecting”, which is rather unsettling!
Exam Board: Edexcel
Cognitive and Social (15/05/17): The paper was reasonable. I did find myself stressing a little about timing specially on the longer 12 and 8 mark questions, but I did get time to check my answers. The evaluation of the use of case studies was literally a God send. I thought having evaluate Milgram would be fantastic, however I am not so sure it was. I tended to just spat out everything I knew about Milgram (which was quite a lot) without fully explaining the points I was making. So my mini essay was more of an incoherent list rather than a well written essay. The Bartlett question caused a few problems and the one about Emily and Liam on a field, I had little to say and it was worth quite a few marks.
Biological and Learning(22/05/17):Wonderful paper. I absolutely loved it from start to finish. There was that beautiful question on brain scanning techniques and the one about the boy copying his dads driving habits. The only little bit I didn’t fully get was the bit about the effect of taking drugs on exam performance, I just wrote about how she will not be able to focus and may misread the question, I remember listing some drugs and the effect on her performance.
There we have it my AS levels in one rather large nutshell. Thank you all for reading and I hope your exams go well. Just remember do not get upset when you don’t do as well as you hoped, as being upset will not change your answers. So be happy that you tried your best at that moment in time and remember that although exams are important they are not the end of the world!