The summer between your GCSEs and A Levels is the last summer that you will have completely free for a couple of years so you obviously do not want to spend it studying. Until you have your GCSE results you might not even know what you’re studying in year 12 so it’s not possible to do any hardcore studying anyway. Luckily, there are other ways to prepare yourself for A Levels that don’t involve spending hours taking notes.

1. Familiarise yourself with the course

Our first advice would be to just get familiar with the courses. Look at the courses that interest you and if possible look at which exam board you would be doing. You can then do things like look at the specification and the types of exams that you will sit. This is a great way to introduce yourself to the nature of the course, see if it interests you and also get a general idea of what you will be studying.

2. Read around your areas of interest

We would also suggest reading around the areas that interest you. Don’t feel pressured to look up detailed science journals or anything too complicated but watching a few Youtube videos and reading news articles is a good way to introduce yourself to the content. It can also give you an idea of how the things you learn fit into society and how the ideas are applied to everyday life, which could be important in your courses depending on which you take.

3. Do the assigned summer work

Obviously you should do any summer work that the teacher has set for you. Some schools will set you work if you go to the induction week and you should always do this as it will typically give you an introduction to what you will be learning when you first go back to school. Not all teachers will check the work but some will and it is important to make a good first impression, which won’t happen if you haven’t done the summer work.

4. Don't forget the basics

If you’ve already decided on what you’re studying, then our advice is to keep up the things that you need from GCSE. This is especially relevant for languages because totally ignoring it for six weeks means you’re only going to forget vocab, which you might not have time to relearn once you’re doing A Levels. A lot of GCSE science is touched upon at A Level but your teachers won’t go through it in detail so it is important that you don’t forget the basics. Watching a few revision videos or flicking through your notes every now and again should be enough to keep it in your mind until you head back to school.

The leap between GCSEs and A Levels is big but the only way you can prepare yourself is by starting A Levels. You can do work beforehand during the summer but until you start the course you won’t really have an idea of what to expect. Our advice would be to not stress too much because it is your last summer for a few years where you are not worrying about A Levels or university so you should enjoy it. The key is making sure that you don’t forget everything, but don’t keep revising constantly either- the exams are over so you can have a break now!