Don't miss

Exam Revision And....You

For many of us GCSE and A Level examinations are a stressful time. There seems to be an expectation that when you turn fourteen you should spend the next four to five years of your life focused on exams and academic achievement. This expectation begins much earlier, even with the recently abolished transfer test which was quickly replaced with much harder entry examinations that children take at aged 10 or 11.

And yet a recent report from the National Union of Teachers has revealed that many students are suffering from undue stress, as a direct result of this examination culture in the UK. The report says that focusing too much on exams over a four year period is affecting young people’s psychical and mental health.
But what do you think? How young is too young for this type of stress, and what causes you to stress out the most when it comes to GCSEs and A Levels?

Here are some of our ideas to get you thinking about Exam Revision and You !
let us know what you think and leave your comments below.

#1: Restricted Learning

A survey of over 8000 teachers in England said that they think the focus on GCSE and A Level syllabus is restricting what pupils are learning during the last few crucial years at school. But what should we be learning? Should schools be making more effort to teach outside of core subjects and help students prepare for university or life after school? Or do you think taking time away from your main subjects would be wasting time that could be spent helping you pass your exams? Maybe there is a balance that needs to be struck between core subjects and other learning.

#2: All or Nothing Pressure

Although the structure of GCSEs have changed somewhat to allow for modular testing. A Levels and many GCSEs still have an all or nothing testing procedure. Is this type of structure creating
unnecessary stress on students? Is it unfair that being sick on the day of an exam or having jitters could greatly affect your potential to achieve? Or do you think that it modular testing is a less genuine assessment of true skill and aptitude? Perhaps these types of changes could lead to some students achieving better grades just because they have a better or more lenient teacher.

#3: A Knock to Confidence

In many schools, and indeed many families, we are rewarded with validation when we achieve good grades. And by proxy, when we don’t get a ‘good’ mark or fail to meet the academic expectations of others often we can feel like we’ve let a whole lot of people down. Studies show that this type of reinforcement can be very damaging to young people’s self-esteem and goes far beyond our self-confidence. Have you ever felt upset or worried over your marks? Do you think that its right for young people to feel this way?

#4: Competing For the Top Spots

Many schools have enforced a tradition of ‘prize giving’ to publicly award students who come out on top in certain subjects or years. On top of this we are told that GCSE results might effect whether we are let back into school, and A Level results are based on a competitive system for limited spots at universities. Is this a healthy mentality for young people to have? Do you feel that you are having to compete against your peers for your right to education, or do you think this helps prepare young people for the world of work? Have you ever experienced what happens if you don’t reach your goals, or have you had to go through clearing to get into university?

#5: Is There More to Life?

Have you ever heard the expression ‘there’s more to life?’ – it doesn’t mean that exams aren’t important, but are they given too much importance for young people today? Are young people still getting to experience the rest of their lives when they are at school, or do you feel that there’s just no room for anything else? Some people might not even want to pursue a life of academic study, but are we ever told about other life paths? Do you feel that exams take up most of your life? If there was something else what would you be doing, what’s more important?

Food for thought and discussion would you say?

Kev@ AWO

10 Easy Tips for Better Essay Writing

Easy Tips for Better Essay Writing!
Have you been assigned to complete an essay at your school? Is this something that you enjoy, or not? Do you often wish that you did not have to write essays? This is something that is true for many students; however, writing essays is a necessary part of the academic curriculum, even though many students feel this is a challenge for them. However, some students may find the essay writing task easy. For those students who do not find this task easy, they can take steps to learn how to write a good essay. This is definitely not the easiest thing to learn, but it is something that can be rewarding if you do. It is important to keep in mind, though, that writing essays requires going through a structured process. Following a solid essay writing process is the best way to complete a quality essay from start to finish. The structure of essays is basically the same, even though essay subjects differ. If you are willing to follow some steps, you may be able to write a good, quality essay on your own. If not, there is always help available. However, take a look at the essay writing process steps and see how you feel after you have read through what it takes to write a good essay.
Steps for Essay Writing
The structural element of every essay type vary not much. Unless your tutor has some specific requirements, you are free to use the traditional set of structural parts in your essay. Following is a basic step process for writing a good essay:
1. Choose a Topic – The first thing you will need to do is choose a good topic, if not assigned one by your teacher or instructor. To choose a good topic, make sure you understand what type of essay you are to write. For example, if your essay is narrative, then you will be telling a story. If it is a descriptive essay, you will basically be painting a picture with words. If it is an expository essay, you will be presenting lots of facts. If it is a persuasive essay, you will be working hard to convince someone to agree with a certain viewpoint.
2. Conduct Research – The second step is to conduct research of relevant, scholarly sources about your topic. You should use the internet, the library, academic databases, books, articles, journals, etc. This step will take the most of your time, as it is important to be sure to gather enough information and data to be sure your essay will be well-written.
3. Develop an Outline – It is a good idea to make an outline of how the essay will be laid out. This will give you a chance to map out your ideas on paper, and come up with an initial structure for the paper. This may change, however, it is something to start with.
4. Write a Thesis Statement – Because you now have a basic understanding of what your essay will be about and how it will unfold, it is time to write a thesis statement. This statement will let your readers know exactly what your essay is about. The outline should list the main ideas of the essay, as well as any supporting information, according to the topic.
5. Conduct Analysis – This is where you need to study your research and analyse your argument or the purpose of the paper. This needs to be clearly defined and any evidence to support any claims need to be included. This is also where you may find any study limitations, weakness in logic, as well as any strengths that support the topic. You can also complete any brainstorming sessions at this stage.
6. Write the Introduction – The first thing you will write is your introduction. The introduction should be informative and straight to the point. It should grab the reader’s attention and keep it. The introduction serves the purpose of pulling your readers further into your essay and making them what to continue reading past the introduction.
7. Main Body Paragraphs – The main body of your paper is where you will actually give the readers what they need to understand your topic and the purpose of the essay. This section should outline the main ideas and points in the essay, as well as all sub-points, which should be elaborated on. In addition, each paragraph of your essay should have a definite focus and elaborate on a single idea. Each paragraph should also support your thesis statement and the purpose of the paper. Additionally, each paragraph must begin with a topic sentence, and any evidence or information to support ideas in a clear way should be included.
8. Write the Conclusion – The conclusion of your essay should be a wrap-up of what the paper is about and the things presented in the paper. This is where you will bring the reader to a sense of closer, while summing up the important points of the paper. At the end of the conclusion, you should include a final perspective.
9. Reference Page – Your essay must be cited throughout with relevant, scholarly sources and a reference page generated to give credit to original creators of content used to write your essay. What is more, it is essential to bear in mind the correct formatting style not to be in a cart with “References” or “Works Cited” pages following your essay.
10. Do a Check – The last thing you want to be sure that you do, after following all of the above steps, is run the spell checker and proofread your essay for clarity and to spot an errors with grammar, punctuation, word choice, sentence structure, consistency, flow or formatting. You should also be sure to check your assignment instructions, to be sure you have followed all requirements, such as correct margins, spacing, or writing style. The writing style will be APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago/Turabian, etc., according to what you are assigned.
Are You Up to the Challenge?
True, the essay writing process may sometimes turn into a real disaster. If you procrastinate for too long and almost reach the deadline, the only way out for you will be to catch the time wasted, and spend sleepless nights and restless days trying to compose an essay. Certainly, this is not an easy task to accomplish even for experienced essay-writers and skilful students. You need to be really creative and diligent, carry out a serious search of already existing literature and electronic sources, summarize them and take notes. This would be not a solid problem to complete an essay on such a basis. What is more, consulting with your scientific advisor or professor may be really helpful and stream your writing process into the correct direction.
Do not be afraid of taking the challenge posed by essay writing. You may master the art of essay completing only by constant overcoming of difficulties and by learning multiple new aspects of the process. Do not fear tight deadlines or too sophisticated topics, do not be afraid of mistakes in the essay content or formatting – they are easily corrected. Simply bear the following statement in mind while your write: “You will accept the challenge, no matter how hard it is. You will do the utmost and produce a real masterpiece in the field of academic essay composing. In the course of time you will become an example to follow as your essays will figure in the history of your college”. This is, certainly, a bit too grotesque, but why not choose a motivation like this while you compose an essay.
Sooner or later, when you gain the sufficient experience in the essay writing process, it will seem really pleasant and exciting to you. They say, The master has it”, what is definitely true. You need to master the writing techniques gradually, catching every single detail that helps to make your speech more vivid and preventative. You will learn the differences between various narrative styles and essay types, replenish the stock of your vocabulary and grammar constructions. All of the mentioned aspects will help you to become a real master of essay writing.
However, if the challenge of essay writing is too hard for you, you may find a better way out than writing the paper on your own. This way out is presented by an opportunity of ordering professional custom help form In order not to miss the deadline or not to fail the class with a poorly written essay, you may contact our custom writing company and order an outline or a whole essay within the time-frame you need and with the price you can afford. The experienced writing staff and friendly support team will ensure the first-hand quality of custom writing services. You may rely on us with every essay type – starting from traditional persuasive or 5-paragraph essays and ending with more scholarly analytical or argumentative ones. Do not hesitate and place the order right away to make your life easier and save time for non-academic activities. Source

The Restless Earth - Geography GCSE

Here is an article looking into Geography GCSE such as the Earth crust, tectonic plates, hotspots, composite and shield volcanoes, primary and secondary impacts of volcanic eruptions, how to predict volcanic eruptions, how earthquakes occur, Richter scale, primary and secondary impacts of earthquakes, a look into earthquake proof MEDC and LEDC building, climate change, natural causes of climate change, dinosaur extinction, why greenhouse gases are rising, consequences of climate change, why it is hard to predict future levels of greenhouse gases and factors that affect distribution of different. As you can see, there is a lot of content so feel free to skip to the part of the article most relevant to you.

Property Modification

Once solidified, metals can undergo further mechanical working to enhance their properties for intended use.
For more information on this, visit the NDT resource centre.
Mechanical working can include:
  • Rolling
  • Forging
  • Alloying
  • Thermal treatments
An example of this is aluminium. Forming and cold working aluminium will double its tensile strength. As well as this, an alloy can be introduced to the aluminium such as silicon, copper magnesium and zinc. Aluminium can also be made stronger with heat treatmebnt

Strength and Hardening

To make a metal stronger, there are mainly three mechanisms to do this:
  • Alloying - This involves adding another element to the crystalline (being a point defect which you can find more information about here).
  • Managing Grain Size - This involves decreasing the continuity of atomic planes.
  • Introducing Strain - A metal can be hardened by introducing many dislocations which become tangled against each other.
The grain sizes are important in hardening a metal. The larger the grain size, the further the distance a dislocation can move until it hits a grain boundary. This means that the smaller the grain size, the less distance a dislocation can move, therefore, making the metal stronger. The sizes of grains can be controlled by the rate at which the liquid is solidified.

Strain Hardening

Strain hardening is when a metal is made harder and stronger by undergoing plastic deformation. When the metal plastically deforms, dislocations are moved and new dislocations are created. These dislocations become tangled and weave in and out of each other decreasing the mobility of each dislocation and, therefore, hardens the metal. It is called cold working because the metal plastically deforms at a temperature that is low enough so that the atoms cannot rearrange themselves and remove the dislocation. Any temperature higher than that, the atoms can rearrange themselves back to normal and little strength is achieved. 

It is important to know that too many dislocations is one area will cause the metal to weaken. These areas where there are many dislocations at one point weaken the structure of the metal rather than strengthen it. These areas are known as persistent slip bands.

Of course, if a metal is strengthened, the ductility of that metal will decrease.  

Heat Treatment

Heat treatment is when a metal is held at a elevated temperature. Below are the following steps to heat treatment:
  • Recovery
  • Crystallisation
  • Grain Growth
The reason why heat treatment is used is to further enhance the properties (e.g. Grains), to release some of the strain hardening (e.g. improve ductility and  condition for service).


When a metal is held at an elevated temperature, the atoms start to move more freer and break their own bonds. This movement of the atoms removes any of the tangled dislocations and produces a lattice structure again. The internal residual stresses are lowered because the density of dislocations has decreased. The atoms that were once tangled with dislocations are recovering back to their lattice structure. After heat treatment, the ductility of the metal is high and the strength is low.


At a new higher temperature, strain-free grains nucleate inside the old distorted gains and their grain boundaries. This new grains replace the own deformed grains which were produced from cold-working. With recrystallization, the mechanical properties of the metal return to their original weak and ductile state. 


Properties of alloys can be engineered though varying the composition (i.e. the weight usually shown as a % of the whole). Here is a list of the typical elements used in the below alloys:
  • Brass - Copper and Zinc.
  • Bronze - Copper, Zinc and Tin.
  • Pewter - Tin, Copper, Bismuth and Antimony.
  • Cast Iron - Iron, Carbon, Manganese and Silicon.
  • Steel - Iron and Carbon (plus small amounts of other elements).
There are two changes that can occur in the microstructure when a metal is alloyed:
  1. The alloy is formed as a single phase or a homogeneous structure of consisting of identical crystals.
  2. The alloy is formed of two (or more) separate types of crystals creating a heterogeneous microstructure of two or more phases. 
Iron is a polymorphic material because it can exist in more than one crystal-form. Below 910 degrees Celsius, Iron is BCC. Above 910 degrees Celsius, Iron's structure changes to FCC. FCC iron tends to take quite a lot of carbon (up to 2%) where BCC iron will only dissolve a maximum of 0.02% carbon.

With steel, the carbon is so small it can fit through the gaps between the iron atoms. Therefore, it is known as a interstitial solid solution: the carbon is located in the interstices of the iron crystal.

Any solution of carbon up to a maximum of 2% in FCC iron is called austenite; whilst the very dilute solid solution formed when up to 0.02% carbon dissolves in BCC iron is called ferrite (which is regarded as being more or less pure iron). Carbon steel at 1,000 degrees Celsius will have all the carbon dissolve into the solid austenite. When the steel cools, the austenite changes to ferrite, which will retain practically no carbon in solid solution. Assuming that the cooling has taken fairly slowly, the carbon will be precipitated as the hard compound cementite. 

When the steel is austenite and slowly cools so that some of the iron atoms change from FCC to BCC, the amount of carbon dissolved in the BCC carbons is very low. Therefore, the carbon that is left over is concentrated into the residual austenite. 
  • Any solid solution of carbon up to 2% in FCC iron is called austenite.
  • The very dilute solution up to 0.02% carbon in BCC iron is called ferrite (although we generally consider ferrite as pure iron).
  • Below 723 degrees Celsius, the austenite transforms by forming alternate layers of ferrite and cementite (known as pearlite).
  • Austenite begins to solidify at 1500 degrees Celsius and is completely solid at 1450 degrees Celsius.
  • Austenite begins to change to ferrite as new small crystals at the austenite grain boundaries (upper critical point).
  • Remembering that ferrite will hold very little carbon, the bulk of the carbon must remain in the shrinking crystals of the austenite.
  • At 723 degrees Celsius, there is a mixture of ferrite and austenite crystals (at the lower critical point).
Decreasing the size of the grains and decreasing the amount of pearlite in mild steel will improve the strength, ductility, and the toughness of the steel.
Mild steel is a very versatile and useful material. It can be machined and worked into complex shapes, has low cost and good mechanical properties. Mild steel has around 0.1% Carbon by weight and consists of pearlite and ferrite with small mild inclusions or impurities such as oxides and sulphides.

In 0.8% carbon with iron, the mixture is 100% pearlite. Since pearlite has a very fine structure, the steel is hard. However, this also makes it quite brittle and much less ductile than mild steel.

The Best Revision Help For AQA English LITB A Level

Here is a complete list of every article I have published onto Ask Will Online for English A level AQA looking form GCSE to AS to A2 level. Enjoy!