Stressed at school
A Level


The summer after GCSEs is nostalgically regarded as the best time of a young person’s life. It’s an indulgently long 3 months; the first couple of days spent in either a giddy haze of self-congratulation with pushy mothers emailing distant relatives your results (just mine?), or a mild and sometimes lasting depression. Then a few weeks go by and some of your peers are claiming to have already forgotten how to read. Facebook fills up with snaps from the Napa strip, relationship updates, first cars/beers/tattoos and the holiday fun seems endless. And then it ends. And some of you really have forgotten how to read…

If any of you are unfortunate enough to have an older sibling still in education, you’ll probably be sick of hearing how ‘GCSEs are a JOKE’ (as my older brother screamed in my face while trying to impress upon me how the intense revision needed for his AS Level History warranted his imminent takeover of my room and revision equipment). But when it comes to AS levels – and their even uglier and more unwanted relative, the A Level, you’ll find yourself singing that same smug tune. These exams are ‘SO HARD, IF YOU EVEN ATTEMPTED THEM, YOU’D DIE’ – that was my brother again, but seriously, they’re tough. Now, as off-putting as this may sound, I’m really not trying to put you off! God knows nobody’s a bigger fan of education than I am. Weird as this sounds – I actually enjoyed my AS level exams. Why? Because I was prepared. Because I was the strange kind of student who never missed a class, actually did the assigned reading and thought about school-work after school. These personality traits perhaps don’t make me the best person to sit next to if you’re looking to eat sweets under the desk, and I was certainly not going to laugh along at the jokes about my teacher’s moustache, but they’re the reason for my own exam success, the success of the friends I helped in that year, and the successes of pupils I tutor. I feel genuinely distressed when my pupils show less than enthusiasm bordering on ecstasy when I show them a truly inspired piece of literary criticism. I actually do not understand, let alone sympathise with, a pupil’s reluctance to do extra work. And while this kind of diligence may be bewildering in a best friend and perhaps downright annoying in an elder sister, it is essential (read fantastic) in a tutor.

After the summer is over and the dust settled, you really will have forgotten a heck of a lot of stuff, and the AS courses have no space for slow starters, let alone people who can no longer read.

Understand the pressure: Many exam boards are now ruling out retakes. This means you need to pass well, the first time, or you’ll be ripped apart by lions (just kidding). Secondly, perhaps most dauntingly, universities will accept or reject your application based on your AS levels (I was rejected by Exeter, Nottingham and Bristol for mine, and there’s not much that sucks more than reading ‘unsuccessful’ on your UCAS application page). Now to relieve this pressure: MyTutor has a whole library of talented (and may I add – incredibly cool) tutors who know exactly what you will be facing and how to help you succeed. Whether you want an hour a week from the start of the year to get ahead of the competition, the odd session over the summer, or if it’s an intense, last-minute, potentially nocturnal revision course you’re looking for (I advise against the latter), MyTutor can help.

Enjoy the summer, kick back, relax – we’ll be here when you need us.

Written by Katya Sikuade 

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