The jump from Year 12 to Year 13 is a big one. Learn how to prepare for it with these steps.
Going from Year 12 to Year 13 is a very exciting time. Only one more year to go and then you have all the freedom you want. But there’s a lot to do before that final day, and it’s a good idea to know a little about what you are walking into so you can be a bit more prepared.
1. Get organised
You should be doing this every year regardless and Year 13 is no exception. But it involves getting organised before you even go back to college. Make sure you have folders, flashcards and enough stationery to last you for a while. As well as this, try to re-learn or remind yourself of the AS knowledge you’ve already covered - you’ll have enough on your plate next year learning the new A-level content. Keep your folders organised throughout the year; we know it’s easy to shove your notes at the back of your folder so you can rush out to see your friends, but when it comes to revision, it will come back to bite you!
2. Find a balance
Keeping focused on academia can be very hard in Year 13. What with everyone turning 18 and going out every weekend, getting jobs, learning to drive and a lot more besides, there are an awful lot of distractions from studying. Juggling all of these aspects of your life and finding a balance between work and personal life can be difficult, but it’s a great life skill. Studying should of course come first, but finding time for friends and socialising, and the balance that makes you happy, is just as important.
3. Do your UCAS application
Getting your personal statement out of the way and completed as early as possible is the best thing to do. You’ve only got 4,000 characters and 47 lines to describe the best possible version of yourself, so spend some time making sure it’s perfect - it will take longer than you think, steering your focus away from learning the actual content you need to know for your exams. As well as this, visit as many university open days as you can - the more you go to, the more you can narrow down what you really want. And don’t focus solely on which university has the best course; you’ll be living there for 3-4 years and don’t want to be stuck in a city or campus you don’t really like, so consider all aspects of student life, not just the academic side.
4. Get on top of your coursework
Not every subject has coursework, and as the years have gone by it’s featured less and less, which - lets face it - isn’t great for most of us. If, by any chance, you do still have some coursework within your subjects, don’t waste it! Coursework goes towards your final grade and can sometimes play a big part in your end result. Complete this work to the best of your ability and use all the resources available to you as this can definitely save your grade if you aren’t the best in the exam hall. However, leaving it to the last minute can create a huge burden and add unnecessary stress into your Year 13 life, so get it done as early as possible.
5. Don’t stress about Results Day
The lead up to Results Day can be very daunting and stressful, with doubts running through your mind on whether you will get into your universities of choice. However, it’s important to remember that even if you don’t get into your first choice, or even your insurance choice, it isn’t the end of the world. There are still plenty of opportunities to attend university if that’s what you want to do, whether it’s through Clearing, retaking exams or re-applying next year. You could even take a gap year to travel, work or figure out what you want to do with the next chapter of your life. And, remember - exam results aren’t everything.
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