Sixth form foals: How to ace your A-Levels or BTECs

Middlesex students have been there (and made it!) read their top tips for acing your BTECs and A-Levels.

Whether you are excited about showing how much you have learnt, or are dreading exam day, when it comes to A-Levels and BTECs there is no escaping the pressure.

Thomas :Thomas

Try not to stress over your studies too much. Exams don’t suit everybody and you shouldn’t feel like you have to fit in. Try your best and you’ll get the best result you can. If you don’t get the results you expected, it isn’t the end of the road. Colleges and universities offer other ways into higher education, so if you try hard and aren’t afraid to as ask for help, you can get where you want to be. Also, don’t think that you have to get to uni as soon as possible like everybody else. I didn’t start university until I was 23. I took time out to work beforehand, which set me up well for being able to deal with personal finances and having responsibilities like paying bills.


Choose subjects you are comfortable with. No matter what other people may say about it, stick to your gut feeling about your course choices. Too many times I have heard people say they’re only studying something because of pressure from their parents. If you choose to pursue a career in a subject you're not comfortable with, you'll find yourself dreading your future. As the saying goes, 'choose a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life'.


Make sure you fully understand the content you’re being taught, as otherwise it’s very hard to answer exam and coursework questions. Ask questions when you need to, however trivial they may seem to you. You have nothing to lose by asking. I also really recommend studying throughout the year, and finding the best technique for you, whether that’s learning visually or through reading.


Always be on top of your work. Continuously make sure every lesson makes sense and if it doesn't, bombard your teachers until it does. Honestly, if you put it off until exam time it will be too late, so learn now and practise during exam time.


Take time to really reflect on what you want to study, since your course might kick start your future. Everything can get stressful and overwhelming sometimes, but once you master it you’ll find it much easier. This is the same with sixth form, university and work. Don’t forget, the world is waiting for your innovative ideas; there are so many opportunities today for you to contribute to the world. Don’t give up and you’ll thrive in the future.


If I knew back then just some of what I know now, I’d have studied much harder and I done my very best to ensure I got the best GCSE grades I possibly could. But for some reason, we never seem to see how important a qualification is at the time. Ultimately they form the building blocks that help you build a career in the future. It pays off in the end to study hard and strive to attain the best results you can.


Look, I get it! School is overwhelming at times and you might think of quitting. Never Quit. Especially education. It’s a right that people have fought for centuries to obtain. You might find some assignments boring, or some lessons hard to relate to. Don’t despair! In a few years when you go to university you will be able to select exactly what you want to study, but until then give it all you’ve got! As they say, knowledge is like standing on the shoulders of giants, and the view from up there is worth all the troubles and challenges you might be facing at the moment.