The jump between GCSE and A-level is a significant one, many students feel unprepared and overwhelmed when beginning a new chapter in education. Whether students are progressing at the same school, transitioning into sixth form college, or moving to a completely new college, students can expect the following changes in workload, teaching style, and environment.
Increase in Difficulty
As students progress into the next stage of education, there will be more of an onus on them to manage an increased workload, due to the reduction in the total number of subjects being taken. This means students need to be fully engaged with the increased quantity of content and skills needed to understand. This is why it is so key for students to choose A-level subjects logically, Crescent Tuition has previously published an article offering advice for students unsure about which A-Levels to pick, this can be found here.
The significant jump in the content demand can be overwhelming, which is why students need to keep up with the workload by writing coherent and succinct notes. Some students will struggle with this jump, which is why Crescent Tuition is available to assist in any way needed in order for students to feel comfortable with the increased workload. Often it is expected for students to sharpen their academic skills including essay writing, argument formation, and independent study. All of these skills will be later utilised in later education such as at a degree level. These can be quite difficult to perfect, yet once perfected will transform both the student’s grades but learning abilities. It may be worthwhile seeking a tutor to help perfect these invaluable skills.
Increase in Independence and more Study time
An A-level timetable acts as a bridge between a GCSE and university timetable, incorporating much more free time. It is important to understand early in student’s studies that these free periods aren’t truly ‘free’ and should be utilised by doing independent study. This can include reading around a subject, condensing notes, watching relevant videos, or going through the course specification in order to read ahead. Students need to hone independent study skills to allow them to efficiently navigate course content and enable them to be sufficiently prepared for further education.
Differences in Exams
Not only will the teaching methods be different, the way students are examined changes, there is a much greater focus on understanding and application as opposed to recall. This will take students a while to get used to and the initial dropping of grades can come as quite a shock, especially for gifted children. One of the most effective ways for students to understand what examiners are looking for is completing past papers, then marking and reflecting on the given answers. Many of the tutors at Crescent Tuition are acting or previous examiners allowing them to directly comment on what the exam board is looking for in order to achieve top grades.
The change from GCSEs to A-levels is a significant one, with many students finding it difficult to adapt to a more independent approach to learning and navigating the substantial increase in content. At Crescent Tuition we want all students to feel supported and able to cope with change which is why we offer individual A-level subject tuition and resilience training.