The step-up from A-Levels to university study
The jump between A-levels and university is BIG- there is not nice fuzzy way to say that but I am going to give you 4 tips to make that jump easier.
This was the biggest jump for me. At A-levels you tend to be given the information from teachers or a quick Google Search. University requires you to complete your own academic research. This involves a heavy amount of reading. This can not be just reading a few articles from Google but needs to be books from the library and reading academic journals. Each module will give you a reading list- this can be daunting so you will also need to try and filter what you think is essential reading- this comes with practice and academics often label the really essential reading.
When I was doing my A-levels the grading seemed much clearer and the percentage meant something. I have found that at university the grade is harder to predetermine- 70% is enough for a first and is only given out for really, really good work. So my advice would be do not be disheartened if your first grades are not 1sts- this takes time and practice. I would also not worry about the percentages- I know easier said than done.
3. Start writing your essays earlier
Unlike school you can’t do your ‘homework’ the night before. I tend to start planning and prepping for my essays at least a month before. This may be a little eager but I often find deadlines are very near to each other and a month allows me to have plenty of time to do the reading and extra research as well as re-writing the essay drafts. What I learnt from first year is never submit draft 1 it will not be your best work.
These seem to a real pain to students and I fully understand why. I now keep a reference table to make it easier when going back to reference and credit ideas. Make sure to find out which reference style you should use. I use cite this for me website as it is converts all your resources into references and creates you a bibliography.