10 Brilliant UK Politics Resources for Students

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Leading up to A-Level UK Politics exams, we’ve put together the best resources for boosting you/your students’ revision and notes. A successful candidate will not only be give an example, but explain why it is applicable and show vital understanding in the process. So often examiners spend only a brief period of time skimming through a script. Sign-posting an answer with great examples and insights is thus vital.

*A star donates stellar content that ambitious candidates should be reading every day.

1. BBC Politics*:

You can’t really beat the Beeb. They cover every aspect of UK Pol, but their analysis is also fantastic. Vital for the lead up to the election and focus on parties. Gold-dust.

2. Radio 4 Today Programme*:

Even if getting up between 6 and 9am each morning isn’t your thing, listen back to the show on iPlayer Radio every weekday (and Saturday too – whoop!). I cannot stress enough how good this programme is for making you aware of everything going on in the political world. For instance, on Sat 28th’s show, they had an in-depth piece about Private Member Bills (a lesser known element of the AS Unit 2 syllabus). Also look out for A Week in Westminster on the same station.

3. UCL Constitution Unit:

Granted this is a bit dense for A-Level students, but it is full of outstanding analysis. If you’re looking to add some insights that will put you in the running for 100 UMS or a very high A grade, reading a few of their articles is essential. Look out for Profs Robert Hazell and Megan Russell.

4. Hansard Society:

They chronicle every event in Parliament. They also produce wonderful research reports. Many a pithy quote has been found and used in our revision.

5. Newspapers:

Keeping up to note with the news is essential for getting any decent grade in Politics. Reading a physical or digital copy online should be part of your morning routine. Recommended: Telegraph, Guardian, Times, FT.

6. Twitter*:

If you want Politics news delivered to your phone at the click of a button, then start following some great accounts on twitter. Here’s our favourites.

History of Parliament (@HistParl)
Patrick Dunleavy (@PJDunleavy)
Tim Bale (@ProfTimBale)
May 2015 (@May2015NS)
Neil McNaughton (@NeilMcNaughton)
Tiffin Politics (@TiffinPolitics)
Democratic Audit (@DemocraticAudit)
Oxford Politics and IR (@Politics_Oxford)
Phillip Cowley (@philipjcowley)
Ben Page- Ipsos Mori (@benatipsosmori)
Politics in Spires (@PoliticsinSpire)
Faisal Islam (@FaisalIslam)
Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn)
LSE Constitution UK (@ConstitutionUK)
PoliticsHome (@PoliticsHome)
#Politics (@HashtagPol) [of course]

7. Total Politics .com

I really like this one. The tone is more lighthearted than most, but it provides a welcome sense of perspective.

8. Blogs:

For a more opinionated take on political events, read blog posts. These ones below are well-researched and enjoyable to read. 

Guido Fawkes
LSE Europp
LSE Politics and Policy
Conservative Home
Left Foot Forward

9. Democratic Dashboard*:

Run by the LSE, this is the best place to find out what’s going on in your constituency. Its pregnant with glorious stats.. Nothing better than a great stat to illustrate your point in an essay.

10. Politics.co.uk

A very good, impartial site for news, comment and up to date information

Are you looking for a Politics tutor? Do you want to become a #Tuition Tutor? Visit our homepage.  Check out our past blog posts page for more great articles!

Keep Debating.

JP

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10 Brilliant UK Politics Resources for Students

10 Things that ruin Easter Revision

We’re about to give you the greatest excuses for all that procrastination you’ve been and will go through. Here’s our theory, it’s not your fault! Our thoughts and thus our choices are shaped by our environment; our architecture. Don’t believe us? Then read Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. If there’s fruit on offer instead of cake, we choose the healthy option. If you put a target in the centre of a urinal, you get less spillage. And if you get the architecture wrong, your productivity suffers. Here are our

1. Your Bed:

Studying in a room where your bed is nearby is a recipe for disaster. Or rather, a recipe for falling asleep. You associate your bed with rest and relaxing. Having that thought right by your desk will only lead your mind astray.

2. TV:

Working near a TV may seem such a great idea on the surface. You may think it will keep you stimulated and working for longer. That won’t happen. You’ll just abandon work and end up watching another episode of Breaking Bad or the live football.

3. The Internet:

The Internet is much too abundant with distractions like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. ‘It’s a research tool’ you may say. Yes, it is. But it also can be the source of many funny cat videos, memes and embarrassing photos of your friends. Avoid it if you can.

4. Rowdy People:

Don’t work near your friends. They’ll just start talking to you/making funny faces/poking you profusely. Unless your friend is super keen and has a cataclysmic fury which prevents you from disturbing them, keep your studying an individual affair.

5. Sugar:

Okay we’re being a bit hasty here. Some sugar is good. You need lots of fruit and carbs to power your day. But don’t binge on sugary snacks and drinks. They’ll simply make you hyper (and thus unable to work) before crashing (and thus unable to work). You get the picture.

6. The Great Outdoors:

Two issues with this. Firstly, if you’re reading this in the UK, we so rarely have the weather for an outdoor retreat whilst studying. So we advise being less idealistic. Secondly, working outside always gets messy. Be it papers being blown away, an uneven work surface or simply the thought of lying in the mid-day sun, desks indoors were invented for a reason.

7. Hunger:

Your body needs fuel. See point 8. Not eating properly will also mean you snack badly. Eat well and regularly – mealtimes will also act as targets in the day to aim towards.

8. Sleep:

We said our thoughts are a product of our architecture. Yet our thoughts are also a product of our rationality (without getting into a philosophical debate). Basically, the part of our brain that acknowledges our future selves and includes them in our thinking doesn’t work as well when we’re tired. So sleep.

9. Messiness:

A cluttered workspace means a cluttered mind. Start your day by tidying your workspace and/or room. In the process, you’ll probably start structuring your thoughts and how you’ll attack the day.

10. Human Nature:

Be it your recent infatuation, thoughts of lunch or simply imagining that big sports game tomorrow, our own brains are our own worst enemies. We can’t combat our own desires. Don’t be too harsh on yourself. The best advice is simply to put mechanisms in place like those above to make sure your architecture inclines you to be productive rather than lethargic.

Want to avoid procrastination? Book a #Tuition tutor for Easter Revision today!

Carpe Diem,
AB

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10 Things that ruin Easter Revision

An Ode to Procrastination

It’s an intriguing concept, that of procrastination. So tinged with latent ambiguity, with elusiveness. It lacks intention; there is never any purpose to it. It creeps up on you, pulls a veil over your eyes and distracts…oh look a cute dog. I must hunt it down and eliminate it.

No one has ever seen this procrastination. But then, can one ever see an idea? Oh ideas, what are thee? So fleeting, popping like bubbles. Bubbles! So circular, reflected, soapy…where was I? Ah yes. Let’s get to the point. I hate procrastination. Filibustering, avoiding, flipping, changing, mooting, delaying, reassessing…infuriating.

I often spend my days searching for this mysterious procrastination. I dress up as a detective, ready to hunt it down. I spend hours doing so. And yet I always just miss its coat-tails. It’s one step ahead. I turned my search to the Internet. Yet that procrastination is so tricky! It laid traps! Through the maze of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and the quicksand of ‘Buzzfeed’ it led me. Still I follow, glancing a faint flick of its tail. And then, it’s scent!

What is that whiff? Do I smell sweets, chocolate and that delicacy…pot noodle!?! Ah the cacophony! It’s like all my temptations rolled into one. But how? Whilst I mull this thought, I must visit the fridge to replenish my hunt. Procrastination is being so sneaky. It’s got into my head! I must not let it. No, I must resist. I must keep plugging on. I need a weapon!

I search and find my sword. Excalibur is buried deep in the stoney depths of my pencil-case, cast in pseudo-silver. I throw the lid aside. Behold as I do this, there is the beast before me! Oh but I can’t describe the sight. Is this awe or horror? I must draw it for future note. With my weapon, I fathom a conception of the creature. Flicks of the nib, specks of ink, a blurred mix of imagination and replication. I look up and procrastination has averted my gaze. When I look back over my masterpiece, I am aghast. I’ve sketched an exact drawing of…me (and a very realistic drawing of cat, must be my side-kick). Oh what has procrastination done to me!

Procrastination is a virus. It’s…infected me. I’m becoming it’s pawn. I am…I am….I am procrastination. Procrastination knows me better than I know myself. But alas, was it all a dream? I pinch myself to check.

….

Ouch!’ Oh crumbs, dinner time already? And I still haven’t started my homework! How?! What has possessed me all afternoon? Ah it’s okay, I’ll start tomorrow; it’s only due at lunchtime….

Don’t submit yourself to the viral, beastliness of procrastination. Or at least, procrastinate by reading our post 10 Ways to Study More Effectively (that actually work). Or even, book a fantastic tutor today to catalyse your learning process. Or better still, check out our Easter Gradebooster Courses.

SRB

An Ode to Procrastination