So, it’s a day (or similarly close time constraint) just before the A Level Chemistry exam, or any Chemistry exam, really. So many people talk about surviving A Levels, but no one really talks about how to get through the stress of the day just before the Chemistry A Levels. Your friends are probably busy pulling all-nighters or busy stressing out over every little Chemistry bit they think they’ll need to remember. Is this a good idea? Read our guide and verdict on pulling all nighters! For additional reading, check out “The Expert-Approved Guide to Pulling an All-Nighter (If You Really Need To)”.
Spoiler: We don’t recommend it, but like the article above linked says “If You Really Need To”.
Here’s our guide on surviving the day before A Levels.
1.Don’t cram your day full of notes
It’s really tempting to bring that binder full of Chemistry notes everywhere you go – to meal time, by your bedside, and even in the shower! (I’m kidding on that last one.) Anyway, this isn’t a good idea, even if it’s the very last day before the Chemistry A Level. Constantly having Chemistry notes in front of your eyes 24/7 is a really quick way to get exhausted, stressed and grumpy, among other similarly negative emotions. While it may make sense on the surface to have notes everywhere you look “for a quick peep”, what it means is that you just can’t get away from Chemistry, not even for a short break.
2. Do easy questions to bolster your confidence
While it sounds really counterproductive not to head straight for the hardest Chemistry questions on the block, doing easy Chemistry questions is a good way to bolster your confidence and take a “break”, without feeling unproductive and lazy. Also, remember that many of the harder A Level Chemistry questions are, like other subjects, built on foundations. Easy questions provide you with a good base of foundations and will surprisingly often remind you of some key concept that you’ve missed or forgotten to revise altogether.
Harder questions are alright to do too, but I would recommend doing up to 2-3 for each topic at most, because the point of looking over your Chemistry notes the day before your exam is to give yourself a quick refresher and boost your confidence, NOT send yourself into tears over hard questions, after all. After each hard question you do, make sure to do some easy questions – not all hard questions in one consecutive succession.
3. Get the help of a Chemistry crash course, even if just for a short while
If there are just too many things you don’t understand and you just feel like giving up right away, stop right there, and enlist the help of a tuition teacher. Look specifically for crash courses – they’re often targeted at students who REALLY need that last minute revision, or they just won’t have their piece of mind at all. Even if you’ve never gone to Chemistry tuition and are wondering “why start now, when it’s too late?”, a few hours of Chemistry refreshers can really help you out by reminding you of those little details you’ve forgotten. An extra bonus is that intensive Chemistry A Level Crash Courses are often just a few hours long and a one-time thing, which means that you won’t be forking out tons of money over the long term. The immediate price tag might hurt – but that help will most definitely outweigh that price tag. If you really are on a budget, some tuition centers or tutors will allow you to negotiate paying less, you just have to ask! Crash Courses can be extremely helpful, and the experienced A Level Chemistry Chemistry tuition centers often know exactly which areas of weakness you have and how to target and turn them into strengths to bolster yourself to getting the best grades possible. If you’re already having A Level Chemistry tuition and your tutor is available, it might be worth it requesting an emergency session to go through everything briefly, and ask your tutor if they have any hunches on what the questions coming out for the A Level Chemistry exam will be.
For more reading on crash courses, check out this Straits Times article here on some of the good ones to check out.
The past 3 tips have all been talking about how to study in some manner or another, but the thing I’d like to emphasize most is “do not cram if you absolutely do not have to.” I have seen so many students, already having good grades or otherwise, come into exams red eyed and yawning, and completely unable to concentrate. After the exam, they always tell me how much they regret cramming, and that they really should have taken the last day easy. Remember: Preparing for an exam is a marathon, and the last day before the marathon is the last part. If you’ve been running a steady race for the most part, trying to run “harder” at the last part will simply cause you more exhaustion and frustration than it’s worth. If you’ve had trouble with your Chemistry topic content and are really worried, trying to cram the last day before is just going to make you perform worse than you should be performing.
Remember to do your usual routine of things to do, as much as you can. Don’t stay up late stressing over how hard you think the exam will be – chances are, it is easier than you think. Eat and drink as healthily as you can, and have a bedtime about an hour earlier than usual, if that is possible for you.
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