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Strategies for Excelling in A-Levels: Subject-by-Subject Approach

A strategic and disciplined study approach is necessary to succeed at A-levels. TuitionCentre SG understands the unique challenges students face in the rigorous A-Level examination system. This article will provide subject-specific strategies to help you excel in A-Levels. Whether you are struggling with the complexities of Math, exploring the nuances of Literature, or deciphering the intricacies of the Sciences, these comprehensive strategies will guide you towards success.

10 General Tips to Excel in A-Levels

a student taking exam holding a note that says help in all caps

1. Be on top of your content throughout the year

Do not ignore any topics that you don’t understand. Take the time to understand them before moving on to new content. Try to have a basic understanding of principles and stay updated with the latest points. You don’t need to memorise everything, but having a good grasp of the concepts is essential.

Tutors at TuitionCentre SG go to great lengths to guarantee students understand their concepts.

2. Know what tests you will be taking at the end of the year

Knowing what tests you’re doing at the end of the year sets you up and directs you toward the goals you want to attain. Which papers do you have to take? How long will each paper last? What topics will each paper cover? And what knowledge do you need to acquire for each paper? You should identify your upcoming exams as soon as possible so that you can plan for them in advance.

3. Textbooks are your best friends

Before class, review the book until you understand the knowledge to a fundamental degree. This is a new consolidation of that knowledge, even if you don’t create notes after every course. You could have around six tests a year to compose a great set of compressed notes about all the content as testimonials. Before each examination, review these notes, recognise what you’ve forgotten, and then convert them to flashcards and memorise them. Memorising ideas is about repetition, so the more you review, the more you retain!

4. Establish learning goals

When preparing for your end-of-year exams, reviewing the list of learning objectives (syllabus) for each topic is important. Make sure you understand each objective thoroughly and can recall it. Understanding every learning objective is crucial because if you are familiar with all the objectives, even at a basic level, you should be able to answer any exam question to some extent.

5. Treat mock exams like the real deal

Preparing for mock exams is a great way to practice and review the material you’ve learned throughout the year. You can approach it as if you’re taking your actual A-level exams, which will help you prepare for the real thing. However, it’s important to remember that you’ll still be learning new material at this stage, so make sure you take it seriously and allocate enough time for revision. Instead of trying to do every past paper all at once, try to spread them out so you have enough time to prepare for your end-of-year exams. After you receive your marked exam papers, take the time to review your mistakes and identify your weak points so you can work on improving them.

6. Do the previous years’ paper

Solving the previous year’s paper (at least the last five years) is recommended to prepare for your exam, as questions often repeat themselves. Previous years’ papers provide the best source of practice as they give you a clear idea of what they may ask you and how they structure the questions. Solving these papers will make you feel more confident during the A-level exams since you will know what to expect.

7. Know the mark scheme

It is not fair to prioritise certain aspects of education over others. However, ultimately, it’s not the individual but the system we hate. To succeed in exams, it’s important to understand what supervisors seek and the commonalities across different years. Once you have identified these key points, you can apply them to similar questions. By memorising these commonalities, you can ace similar questions and get full marks every time.

9. Always Aim for 100%

Make sure you thoroughly understand everything in the book and practice as many past papers as you can familiarise yourself with the types of questions that may come up. Always aim for 100%, even if you can’t achieve an A*. You’ll still land among the stars even if you aim for the moon and miss. This is an excellent way to approach A-levels. Go for the highest grade possible; even if you fall short, still aim for an A or an A*.

10. Take some time to plan out your study sessions

To ensure that you are fully prepared for your exams, it’s recommended that you spend two months revising all the content and doing past papers. Start by listing all the units for each subject and decide how many previous years’ papers you want to attempt. Dedicate an entire day to prepare for each subject, ensuring you cover everything you need and try all the relevant past papers. Once you have your exam date, work backwards to determine the starting date for your preparation. This approach will keep you on track and avoid last-minute cramming. Following this tip will help you have a clear and smooth path leading to your exams.

Subject-by-Subject Tips:

a student on top of her notes for different subjects


Mathematics can be intimidating, but with the right approach, anyone can master its intricacies. Here are a few tips to help you improve your math skills:

  • a. Understand the Fundamentals: A solid foundation is essential to regularly revisiting basic concepts. You can create a formula sheet for quick reference during practice sessions.
  • b. Problem-Solving Practice: Solving various problems, ranging from basic to complex, is an effective way to improve your math skills. You can also time yourself to enhance your speed and accuracy.
  • c. Utilise Online Resources: Online platforms offer interactive tutorials and practice questions. You can explore them to reinforce your understanding of math concepts. Participating in forums to discuss challenging problems and learn alternate solutions can also be beneficial.


To excel in physics, it is essential to have both a conceptual understanding and practical knowledge of theories. Here are some tips to help you achieve mastery in physics:

  • a. Conceptual Mastery: To truly comprehend abstract concepts, it is important to visualise them using diagrams, graphs, and real-life examples. Prioritise understanding the underlying principles before jumping into problem-solving.
  • b. Experimentation: Engage in hands-on experiments to reinforce theoretical knowledge. You can also explore virtual labs and simulations to supplement your practical understanding.
  • c. Stay Updated: It’s crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the field by reading reputable scientific journals. Additionally, try to relate textbook concepts to real-world applications to gain a holistic understanding of the subject.


Chemistry requires both theoretical knowledge and practical application. To excel in this field, it is essential to follow these guidelines:

  • a. Organised Note-Taking: Keep a well-organised notebook with clear and concise notes on each topic. Additionally, create flashcards for chemical reactions, equations, and essential definitions.
  • b. Laboratory Skills: It is crucial to sharpen your experimental skills by conducting regular experiments. Moreover, meticulously documenting experiments helps to reinforce one’s understanding.
  • c. Problem-Solving: To master solving numerical problems and chemical equations, practice regularly. Joining study groups to discuss and debate different problem-solving approaches can also be helpful.


  • Literature is a subject that requires critical analysis, interpretation, and practical communication skills. To excel in it, one should analyse, which involves reading texts multiple times and analysing different aspects of each reading. Annotating passages can help to note literary devices, themes, and character development. Essay-writing practice is also essential to develop solid essay-writing skills. It involves practising different types of essays and seeking feedback from teachers or peers to improve writing style. Finally, participating in discussions in class and literary forums can help gain diverse perspectives and practice articulating thoughts coherently and persuasively.


a student taking her exams with confidence

To excel in A-Levels, it is vital to adopt a comprehensive approach that recognises the unique requirements of each subject. By incorporating subject-specific strategies, students can establish a strong foundation, refine their analytical skills, and confidently navigate the complexities of A-Level exams. Consistency, practice, and a proactive approach to learning are crucial components of success. 

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