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A Level international exam / assessment is in progress. Ken's Study Journey hopes you can pass the exam and get outstanding results!

My Preparations for Studying AS and A Level

Language/语言:   English   简体中文
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By: Ken Deng   Published on Aug. 24, 2021

Approx. 1150 words, 5 mins

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Hello there. I am Ken and I am a Chinese senior high A Level student in Guangdong Country Garden School. Welcome to Ken's Study Journey website and blog!

All of a sudden, summer vacation is coming to the end and we will start our A Level study journey soon. I made several preparations beforehand to study better.

On August 12, 2021, I was surprised by the amazing results in the IGCSE exam. I got A* in almost all subjects.

My IGCSE Results

I was so busy making preparations for the IELTS exam, especially speaking, because I need to satisfy the entry requirements of the University of Cambridge paying my maximum efforts.

Today, I am going to show you some preparations I have made before my A Level study journey. Follow me!


If you did not get the results you want and achieve your goals, don't feel discouraged. You will always have opportunities to overtake others and be a top student.

You always need to put effort into your study tasks whatever the school and class you attend.

My A Level Grid Notebooks

Since I study AS and A Level, I have changed my notebooks with grids on every page.

In the grid, I can determine the font size and write tidily according to the situations. The vertical lines are helpful to align the text to the left.

I also can draw some images, such as some axis in Mathematics (9709, 9231) and apparatus in Chemistry (9701), accurately in a short time with the help of the lines in the grid.

I also design some knowledgeable covers for each notebook with relevant IGCSE knowledge.

The following image shows the front cover of my AS and A Level Computer Science notebook.

A Level Notebook Computer Science 9618

It involves some images, such as an XOR logic gate and its truth table and some codes in programming languages and flowchart, used to show that I am interested in this subject and I am creative.

Meanwhile, my name is inside the image (e.g. XOR gate in Computer Science and conical flask in Chemistry).

This helps me focus more on studying and making research.

Related Knowledge

Now, I am going to talk about IGCSE Computer Science (0478) knowledge: logic gates.

Computers have thousands of logic gates, such as AND, OR, NOT, NAND, NOR, XOR and XNOR. They perform logic actions for binary numbers (0 and 1) and their results can be represented using truth table.

Oxford and Cambridge cannot be both applied, so there is an XOR gate if we need to apply for Oxbridge, like the image above. If we also want to apply other schools, it should be an NAND gate.

My Notebooks in Other Subjects

Preparing for my Research Projects

In my A Level study journey, I am going to make a research project to enhance the content in the Personal Statement used for university applications.

I have planned to make some apps on computers and phones. My major is computer science, so I need to make further research about computer programming.

This project will start 1-2 weeks later after the A Level journey starts. The apps may be Ken's Study Planner that is used to help me plan my study journey easily.

My Daily Goals Checklist Booklet

I usually use my study planner app to fill in the situations of my goals whether they are achieved, but some schools, including my school, restrict electronic devices. So, I have to make my paper-based daily goals checklist booklet.

The cover of the checklist has been updated, so I can have motive to achieve my goals every single day. It contains a sentence: "You cannot pursue yourself without goals".

My Paper-based Daily Goals Checklist Cover

This tool is commonly used when I am in the school campus between 2020 and 2021. I usually fill in the situations to my study planner at the beginning of weekends when I leave school and have access to my phones and computers.

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My New Folders with Zippers

Recently, I have changed my folders into the version with zippers.

I had previously used folders with buttons, but the files can be dropped out sometimes and the folder can be broken by sharp objects.

So, using folders with zippers can avoid this situation. The only thing I can take out the files from the folder is to slide the zipper to open it.

My A Level Zipper Folders

My New Website with Knowledge Explanations

A week ago, I have made my new website with a new interface and knowledge explanations to attract more visitors and encourage students to study effectively.

New Website 6.0 Home Page

From now on, I am going to write explicit and easy-understanding knowledge explanations to students to understand some specific knowledge points easily and quickly whenever I discovered them in real life and shared them on my website or social media.

My knowledge explanations are completely free and you do not need to pay any extra to access them. They are open for everyone at any time.

  View my Knowledge Explanations

Waiting for iOS 15 and macOS Monterey

The iOS and iPadOS 15, WatchOS 8 and macOS Monterey are coming soon in September or October this year, together with a stack of new awesome features that can boost your productivity on your study journey.

iOS 15 and macOS Monterey

It is Focus mode that can not only disable some home screens but also mute notifications, so we can concentrate on studying when we are outside. This is a new form of Do Not Disturb mode.

Notification summary can put unimportant notifications that we cannot respond to from time to time together to avoid disturbing during the studying time. They are displayed all at once at the times we have set in settings.

Live Text feature on new operating systems can recognise the text on some images automatically, so we do not need to type the words and sentences that appeared on the images which are time-consuming.

Safari tab groups can be synchronised between devices so there is no need to send tabs by handoff or AirDrop. For example, I can continue to read an article or do my work on my home PC or laptop directly after doing them on my phone.

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See you at A Level!

These are my preparations before my study journey of AS and A Level courses. I hope you can have a wonderful A Level study journey and get better results in the exam!

Ken's Study Journey strives to provide high-quality articles about my tips and tutorials to study productively, together with some knowledge explanations. If you need help, I am here for you.

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