How to get an A/A* in A-level Psychology
Updated: Sep 14
A-level Psychology is the study of how humans behave and interact with each other. You are literally learning about how you as a person functions in society. It's just so interesting! You will be exposed to various case studies and psychologists (Freud, Skinner, and others depending on your exam board) that have worked to understand humanity on a fundamental level from how we are all similar in the way we act and think but also very different from person to person. You're going to be required to analyse the credibility of these case studies but also the ethical issues surrounding them, a new skill you may have not been exposed to at GCSE, and much more!
Here are some key pieces of advice to help you in your studies, from a friend who achieved an A* in at A-level!
1) Be selective. Behind every theory you learn during the course of your psychology A-level there will be thousands of practical studies that both support and oppose it. Spending too much time looking into too many will do you more harm than good because the trip to the top grade in psychology A-level is quality over quantity. It is much more effective to learn a few Studies in great detail than it used to know a rough outline of several studies and examiners prefer this.
2) Learn research methods. Across-the-board research methods account for a greater percentage of your entire A-level than any other single component of the course. Make sure that they are not ignored and practised often as they could make or break your final exam.
3) Make sure you understand what you're learning. There is far too much content in A-level psychology for you to cram. The only possible way for you to remember at all if you truly understand it so don't be afraid to ask for help. Revise as you go along, make your flashcards, posters, mind maps etc and you will thank yourself later. There is an abundance of extremely helpful resources on the Internet. Utilise every source you have until you fully understand the topic and the information will stick.
4) Put what you learnt into practice. Psychology is the study of the mind and you are literally learning how your head works which is essentially the ultimate Cheat Codes. Apply the teachings from topics such as the behaviourist approach and memory to make revision and overall learning experience more effective.
5) Don't run away from a challenge. Psychology is a very popular subjects at A-level meaning hundreds of thousands of students will be sitting the exact same exam having studied the exact service. Top grade students are the ones that stand out from the crowd. Do further research and wider reading, take risks with your evaluation, be a critical with your thinking and try to impress the examiners with your answers.
These tips are not here to guarantee you an A/A* in your exams but to help you structure your revision and just general A-level studies from the get go in order to help you work towards achieving those higher grades!
Hi, I'm Aba and I started The Student Scope to give other students advice on their academic journey. Have a look around and enjoy!