AS I progressed through my second year of A levels I became increasingly aware of how precisely their challenge lies in requiring different types of intelligence.
Not only are you made to think, but success lies in considering how you think and develop interpretations, as well as assigning yourself frightening numbers of hours in the library.
One of the greatest difficulties within an A-level course is the comprehension of mass information. Particularly for a subject such as history, course material is essentially limitless and, no matter how meticulous you may be, the understanding that there will always be weak points in your knowledge is a cause of trauma and exam fear.
When selecting my courses my decision was largely swayed by what I enjoyed. I've always adored English literature as the subject that I find most defines me, closely followed by history, and was so caught up in my passion for both that I slightly disregarded my limited scientific prowess when also choosing biology.
A personal point of struggle arose following my poor performance in my January biology exam. Living in a culture in which the mantra within the education system is one that implies exam success or nothing, facing failure and disappointment becomes an unforeseen challenge. Such a belief has the power to crush you and ultimately limit opportunity.
And so independent of revision, consistent effort and attention when completing A levels, there is the challenge of looking after yourself, physically and psychologically.
An appreciation that two years of intense study and stress has the capacity to damage your health can seem largely forgotten, with its severity increased as the pressure to develop academically mounts.
Even when meeting grade requirements, the knowledge that this in isolation won't necessarily earn you a place at university lingers painfully as you try to squeeze in extra-curricular activity.
In the light of exam results and a draining yet fruitful attempt to salvage my biology grade, I've realised the pivotal challenge when studying arises when the subject content doesn't engage you on every level. I thoroughly believe learning can be achieved best when the heart and head are not mutually exclusive; a subject should grab the attention of both.