It’s therefore crucial that you are engaged with your subjects and have carefully considered them. If you don’t, it’s going to be much more difficult when it comes to extra reading and research. There are some subjects that are said to have a sudden jump in complexity between GCSE and AS-level. These include Maths, Chemistry and History. However, there are many ways in which you can prepare; the more organised and better prepared you are, the easier the initial jump.
By now, you may have filed your GCSE notes away in the hope that you’ll never have to lay eyes on them again. However, it could pay to dust them off and look over any GCSE notes on subjects you are continuing at college. You may find that AS-level courses begin by reviewing what you have learned in years 10 and 11, so refresh your memory by re-reading your notes just before you start college.
Core reading list
Ask your college for a core reading list. If there are books you will be using throughout the year, it’s a good idea to invest in them. Having your own copies can be the best bet, as if you rely on the limited supplies of the library you may find that they’re unavailable due to popular demand. Allocate some time to read through these books before beginning college – they will really help to familiarise yourself with aspects of the course and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed in the initial few weeks.
The library is a great place to advance your knowledge on your chosen subjects. For humanities subjects especially, such as English and History, it is hugely beneficial to read around the subject area. For example, you could read classic novels or books on a specific history event. Not only will this help broaden your knowledge, it will also keep your mind active and get it ready for the extensive reading that is about to commence once your start college.
Modern technology means that it’s not just physical books that can help prepare you for college. The internet is home to a plethora of useful resources, especially on scientific subjects. There are series of YouTube clips that are specifically designed to help prepare students for the Maths A-level course, for example. It is essential to use your initiative when looking for resource material and try to read and absorb as much as possible around your chosen subjects. You will be expected to organise your own learning time while you are at college, so starting early will get you in this mind set.
Are you or your teenager starting college this year? Let us know how you’re preparing in the comments box below.
Take a look at our education page for books, workbooks and other resources to help you through college.