The challenges and benefits of Year 13

So, you're embarking on your final year of A Level studies and the end is almost in sight. What can you expect now that you're in Year 13?



The challenges and benefits of Year 13

Year 13 is something of a mixed bag; yes, there will be many challenges you will have to face before you finish your exams in the summer, but this is also a year of incredible benefits. Although you are now well-practised at sitting public exams, you'll find a few things will change this academic year.

1. More work

Yes, I'm afraid it's true, although it's not as big a leap as you took when you moved from Year 11 to Year 12. However, this year, the seriousness and maturity of your approach to your work will matter a lot, and you'll need to work even harder.

2. Tough decisions and sacrifices

This year you're going to have to make some different choices and even some sacrifices in order to do your work and get the grades you need. When I was studying for my A Levels, I gave up the driving lessons I'd started as I realised I couldn't realistically learn to drive as well as study in the way I needed to. I also gave up my place in a concert band to focus more on my work. When I tell students they'll need to sacrifice some activities, I'm often met with responses such as, “But what about balance and our mental well-being?” Yes, you do need a balance of activities so that you don't burn out, but it's important that you make good decisions about how to spend your downtime; keep doing the things that give you energy and don't take up too much of your time. Look at it as a short-term sacrifice for a longer-term gain; it's just nine months of your life and it's worth doing to achieve your dreams of reaching the next stage in your academic career.

3.  Massive personal growth

During Year 13 you will grow enormously as a person. Your resilience will improve, your mental abilities and thinking skills will grow so much that you will actually be able to notice a difference! There will be both challenges and benefits for your mental health; pushing through will make you a better person and you'll feel pleased and proud of yourself for doing it. This is a year for intense personal growth.

So, as you can see, Year 13 is a year of challenge, but also a year of great benefit – both academically, when you get the grades you hoped and worked so hard for, and on a personal level too.


Back to School


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This post was originally published as a Facebook livestream. You can view it on Facebook here.

Going into year 10? Find out what you can expect from the first year of your GCSE studies here.

Or, if you're going into Year 11 and taking GCSEs this year, take a look at what you can expect in Year 11 in this post.

If you're starting your A Levels in Year 12, read this post about what you can expect.

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