This page links to over 60 sixth-form advice articles written by CIFE college staff to help pre-university students through their A levels. It's probably the biggest collection of sixth form specific advice available on the web and growing all of the time. If you can't find the article you need to help with your question feel free to contact us and we'll try and help!

cife facts
over 1000 people a year contact cife for sixth-form advice
50% of cife college students get into a top 30 university
cife has been helping students for over 40 years

We've arranged the articles in boxes under the three main headings below.

Sixth-form advice articles about study skills

Advice articles about sixth-form choices

Sixth-form advice articles about university entrance


We hope you find these articles interesting and helpful. Do contact us if you need advice which isn't covered here or to suggest an article you would like us to add.

Sixth-form advice articles about study skills

These articles cover the key skills you need to make a success of the sixth form and include topics such as revision, managing your time, coping with stress etc

See the study skills articles

How to revise

How to organise your main revision before the exam

Make your revision more effective

Make your revision effective by making it active. Here’s how to do it.

Making the best of a revision session

Getting the most from each time you revise

How to do well in exams

How to give your very best under exam conditions

Getting Easter revision right

An article about the importance of effective revision during the Easter holiday, how an Easter revision course can help and how to choose the right one

Easter revision course comparison

A table showing college-by-college details of subjects, class sizes, costs and dates for Easter Revision Courses

Managing time in the sixth form

A step by step guide to making effective use of your time in the sixth form.

Succeed with the new linear A levels

Tips to make sure you tackle the new A levels successfully.

How to do research

A guide to how to get started, what to do and when to stop reading and start writing

How to write essays

A guide to how to analyse, plan, structure and write effective essays for work and for exams

How to make good notes

Explains what notes are for, how to make sure your notes are effective, how to use notes for revision etc

Managing exam stress

How to make sure that stress doesn’t damage your revision or your exam performance.

Advice articles about sixth-form choices

These sixth-form advice articles include information about choosing the right subjects, FAQs about retaking, alternatives to A level, choosing a college etc

See the sixth-form choice articles

Independent sixth-form colleges

Explains what independent sixth-form colleges offer and what’s special about them.

Questions to ask CIFE colleges

Gives a detailed list of questions which will help you choose the CIFE college which is best for you.

FAQs about A-level retakes

Answers the questions you might have if you’re thinking about A-level retakes

Guide to individual A-level subjects

Introduces a series of pages each giving you key facts about specific A-level subjects

Choosing the right A level subjects

Describes the main things to take into account, how to find out more, and which subjects you need for specific degrees

FAQs about A-level choice

Answers the questions students often ask about A-level choice (eg ‘Are some subjects better for university entrance?’)

The new A level and GCSE exams

Describes and analyses the impact of the major changes to exams which have brought in linear exams.

Problems with the new GCSE exams

Describes the impact of new GCSE exams and grading system on the class of 2017 and beyond.

EPQ – the Extended Project Qualification

Describes an addition to the sixth form curriculum which adds interest and impresses top universities

Choose the right accommodation

Describes the different sorts of student accommodation available at CIFE colleges, and explains the benefits (and possible drawbacks) of each

Crammer, tutorial or sixth-form college?

An article which explains what these names mean and how they apply to CIFE colleges

A levels and alternatives to A level

Compares A levels with International Baccalaureate and the Cambridge pre-U in terms of origins, purpose, structure, availability, university attitudes etc

FAQs for international students

Explains costs, qualifications, entry requirements, admissions, English exams etc to help students from other countries choose well

A levels or International Foundation course?

Compares the plus and minus points of A levels and Foundation courses for the older international student

Choose the right University Foundation Programme

Describes the range of courses on offer, explains how they can differ and what you should find out in order to choose the one which is right for you

Recognised ESL qualifications

Describes why you might need a recognised ESL qualification if your first language isn’t English, and describes the main ESL qualifications recognised by schools, universities, employers and the visa authorities.

How CIFE colleges help international students

Explains the ways CIFE colleges help students prepare for study in England and how they support international students after they arrive.

What happens on A Level results day?

This article advises on exactly what happens on A level results day, how to find out if things have gone according to plan, and what to do if you have a problem.

Getting a remark of an A level or GCSE exam

Describes how to get a remark, the pros and cons of a remark request, where to get advice, timescales, getting exam scripts back etc

Appealing against your GCSE or A level results in summer 2021

Describes how to appeal against your A level or GCSE result in summer 2021

Sixth-form advice articles about university entrance

Articles cover how to write a good UCAS statement, tips for an outstanding UCAS form, dealing with interviews etc

See the university entrance articles

University or not? 10 questions to ask yourself

Even if you’re certain you’ll be going to university, pause a moment and check through these questions to make sure what you’re doing is right.

How to write a good UCAS Personal Statement

Detailed advice on how to get this most important part of a UCAS application right

Six Top Tips for an outstanding UCAS form

Tells you how to make sure that your UCAS form does the best possible job in persuading university Admissions Tutors to make you an offer.

University interviews Oxbridge and medicine

Tells you what admissions tutors are looking for and how to prepare yourself to cope effectively with the interview.

How to increase your chances of studying Dentistry at University

Advice on what to do to try to improve your chances of being admitted to study Dentistry at University.

How much will university cost me?

All you need to know about the cost of getting a degree: tuition fees, living expenses and our top tips on finding student discounts and how to budget

Get the best out of university Open Days

Explains what university Open Days are for, how many to attend, how to prepare to get the best out of an Open Day, questions international students should ask etc.

Financial help at university

Tells you about the main sources of financial help at university, and where to find out more.

A gap year after A level?

Explores the advantages and disadvantages of taking a gap year, as well as what to do and the impact on your future including whether to opt for deferred university entry

Intercollegiate Articles

cife Intercollegiate Articles are a series of technical articles written by individual cife colleges discussing issues pertinent to the sixth form college sector.

View the full index of intercollegiate articles.

Find out More
You’ll find more information on pages such as FAQ, but do contact us if you have specific questions.

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