A hitchhiker’s guide to advanced level


Hey there! Let me guess a couple of things about you if you don’t mind. You did your G.C.E. Ordinary Level last December and based on your judgement (or that of your parents), you decided to do mathematics/ biology for G.C.E. Advanced Level because to do otherwise would be just downright madness, right?

Or maybe you opted for A/L commerce because you felt like a career in finance is what you truly want. But no matter what your reasons for choosing commerce are, you’ll always be in the shadow of the majestic science students because this is Sri Lanka and anything short of becoming a doctor or an engineer is considered a disgrace, right? ( Why, and more importantly, why not to do commerce for A/Ls ) Or maybe you decided to be a social reject by choosing the arts stream for your A/Ls because It doesn’t matter how gifted and proficient you are at liberal arts, you’ll always be lesser being in the eyes of the average Sri Lankan if you do arts for A/Ls.

You just wanted to stay home and chill till O/L results came, but your parents just wouldn’t let you do that, now would they? So now you’re probably stuck in this cycle of waking yourself up in the morning and attending an endless parade of tuition classes because that’s the sure-fire way of getting 3 A’s and grabbing the world by its lapels, right? Looking back at that (dark) time period in my life, to say “been there, done that” would be an understatement. There’s a good chance of you not even being sure about the stream you’ve picked for A/Ls, let alone the classes you’re attending for. If you’re in that category, the “lost and waiting to be found” category, so to speak, sit back, have a drink of water and keep on reading because we believe that our message could be of major help to you. If you’re a member of the top 1% and have it all figured out by now, well, you should still keep on reading because watching us mere mortals offering each other friendly advice should be quite entertaining for you.

Step 1: Choosing
your stream


This step is of utmost importance because if you get this part wrong, it doesn’t matter how well you follow the next couple of steps, A/Ls, and thereby the foreseeable future, would be difficult for you. This step can be instructed in three words. Follow your passion. That’s easier said than done. Yes. But it all boils down to that. Figure out what it is that you want to do for the rest of your life. That’s what these couple of months should be used for. Do you want to be an engineer? Does the idea of playing around with circuits and dismantling car parts get your blood flowing? If so, choose mathematics as your A/L stream. Does the idea of being a hotshot in the stock market excite you? If so, choose commerce for A/Ls.

The world is changing and so is the job market. As solid as these conventional professions are, there’s no denying the next generation of jobs is already here. DELL computers have made a bold statement saying that 85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet. Cloud computing, GMO foods, stem cell research, nanotechnology, space biology, these are all exciting jobs you could have if you’re a student of science, and that includes both mathematics and biology. E-commerce and cryptocurrency is the name of the financial game at the moment. So commerce students, you won’t have to balance accounts for the rest of your life because exciting paths await. Arts students, we haven’t forgotten you at all. As creative controllers, you have the most enjoyable of jobs. Digital marketing, special effects mastering, blogging and vlogging, music producing and the list goes on. The world is truly yours. You won’t be stuck teaching grade school like your elders say you would be. The bottom line is find your passion, and work relentlessly at mastering it.

Step 2: Transitioning from O/Ls to A/Ls

Let me guess, the government should just give you your university admission already because you topped your O/L class, right? Hate to burst your bubble, but that’s not how A/L works. If you performed well at O/Ls, excellent, bring that motivation into the A/L class and capitalize on it. If O/Ls wasn’t your thing, you don’t need to worry much either because the approach taken in A/Ls towards exams is very much different to the approach taken in O/Ls. Learn the basics. Every complex concept is built on the most basic of concepts. Once you’ve found what you’re passionate about, commit to it. Use your passion to motivate yourself and don’t lose that motivation till you step outside of the exam hall in another two and a half years. If you grasp the basic concepts well and manage your time properly, you wouldn’t have to go for hundreds of classes and waste your valuable time just mindlessly gawking at whiteboards. Do a sport, join a club, play an instrument and live a little. This is contrary to the popular belief, but trust me, with our help, you won’t be stuck in an endless loop of tuition classes. We’ll find the classes which suit you the best so you can get 3 A’s while standing out in other areas of life as well.

Step 3: Choosing your medium

This step isn’t as hard to follow as the previous ones. What you need to understand here is that you need to pick the medium you’re most comfortable with as the medium for A/Ls. More often than not, going with the medium you followed for O/Ls is your safest bet. Since you’re used to it, you’ll be able to grasp new concepts and express your ideas more articulately. Sinhala is the most popular medium for A/L studies in Sri Lanka because the vast majority of the study materials have been written in Sinhala. And the most popular tutors also conduct their classes in Sinhala medium. But don’t let that fact discourage you if you’re studying in English medium. No matter which medium you pick for A/Ls, you’ll have to your higher studies in English medium anyway because all the recognized universities and colleges conduct their courses in English. Plus, almost all the reference books which are referred to by professors and teachers are written in English. Tamil medium students, don’t think for one second that we’ve forgotten about you. Our platform has you covered all the way as well. Simply put, choose the language you’re most comfortable with as your medium.

Step 4: Finding the right classes

If you haven’t noticed already, each step gets simpler as we go, and this is our final destination. To follow this step, all you have to do is just click your mouse a couple of times and you’re good to go. Visit our website www.gurupaara.lk and make your selections using the drop down menus we’ve designed for you. Let it be individual classes, group classes or mass classes, we’ve got you covered. We at GuruPaara deliver on our philosophy, “find the best teacher of your choice”. And that’s exactly what you’ll be getting, the best teacher of your choice.

GuruPaara likes to wish you the best of luck for your A/L journey. Start it with us, and end it with 3 A’s. Godspeed.  

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