Making the jump from GCSEs to A-Levels

Making the transition from GCSE to A-Level can be challenging, so here are some tips to help you make the jump.

Mentally prepare yourself

This big jump will be mentally challenging. Be prepared to take on the new challenges and opportunities that you will face and know that there will be major changes to the way you study and understand that this is personal and mental growth for you.

Be organised

Organisation and preparation is crucial to successfully transitioning from GCSE to A-Level. Make a list of all the things you need to do to help you stay organised. Always make sure you keep all your notes tidy, be aware of deadlines, and have all the study essentials you need with you.

Use your study periods wisely

When you suddenly get the freedom of study periods, it can be very tempting to use them as a very attractive social opportunity. Your study periods are there for you to study, they are not an opportunity for you to socialise. These periods are irreplaceable for catching up with study and revision.

Expect changes

You will find that your classes will be smaller than you have been used to. You will be studying fewer subjects, so make sure to choose the topics you enjoy and will find interesting. Despite studying fewer subjects, the content is significantly greater, so you will need to be fully engaged. 

Ask teachers and advisers about the workload of the subjects. You may find it helpful to look at course syllabuses/specifications which set out what you will study and what you will be expected to learn.

A-Level students have their hands held far less than GCSE students, and to a large extent are expected to organise themselves and their learning, read around their subjects to make sure they understand a topic and exercise more self-discipline. 

If you are finding it difficult to cope with transitioning from GCSEs to A-Levels, finding a topic tough or haven’t understood a particular lesson, talk to your teacher for help and guidance. 

You need to be prepared to fully take on board that a big shift is coming in your life. Be open to the changes that this shift will cause and be ready to embrace the challenge and opportunities that this step up presents.