As an A level student, I can tell you how hard it is to keep up to date with all the work, revision, and exam pressure, but I wanted to see if my fellow year 13 peers felt the same way, so I interviewed Alessandra. She is planning on studying ancient world studies at UCL. I asked about how much she revises daily since her predicted grades are quite high; she told me she doesn’t actually revise every day, but usually she studies for about 3 hours spread out.  When she is not studying, she usually talks to friends/ uses social media, she also likes to read. I also asked if she had time for any of her hobbies to which she said due to A levels she doesn’t have time to do things like knitting and crotchet. Alessandra goes on to say that A levels even make it hard to relax at home because it feels as though there is ‘a mounting pressure’ on her. She said she can’t ‘relax or have fun without feeling guilty at that moment’ and that ‘teachers reinforce this way too much’ which I agree with; it is so hard to take your mind off work when you’re an A level student as you know you could always be doing more than you are, but you have to remind yourself that we deserve a break and can’t work at every possible moment.


During the interview I wondered about if the quality of the teachers had a significant impact on a student’s ability to do well; me and Alessandra both agree that teacher quality is extremely important as it impacts how much a student listens in lesson and wants to learn. ‘Better teachers are better for me and my learning which produces better grades’. It is important to understand however that it is ultimately up to the student to carry out what the teacher sets them to do and put enough effort in to achieve the grade they want. The final question I wanted to ask Alessandra was if she believed that school focuses more on results rather than on the process and progress of the student; ‘absolutely because everything is based on one set of tests’ furthermore it does not take into account how hard a student tries and how well they do for the whole year, ‘that one set of tests decide everything ignoring factors such as how stressful exams are’. This is a massive debate among many if these kinds of tests should be used to determine students result of a 2-year course. Do you think that this system is fair? And if not, how would you improve it?


‘If I had one wish it would be to change the education system in England’