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Any A or A* students

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    (Original post by romansholiday)
    I haven't yet completed my GCSEs (starting them next week lol fml) but I'll give you some advice coming from a panicked Year 11 experiencing GCSEs now:
    - Prepare EARLY - please, just know your revision technique early and start making flashcards or posters or whatever as soon as you can.
    - Be consistent - revise for end of unit tests because GCSEs aren't just about what panicked revision you do in the last week before an exam, it's also about how hard you've worked throughout the course.
    - Past papers - so helpful, know what the examiner wants, same questions appear year after year.

    For Maths...
    - Past Papers
    - Get a good revision guide that explains everything you need to know.
    - MathsWatch, MyMaths, MathsGenie - very useful resources!

    For English...
    - Examiners reports - can't recommend enough. (I just got 2 A*s in the mocks by doing this so it works...)
    - Read the books - you'd be surprised how many people haven't even read the book before the exam.

    For Science...
    - Specifications - like the bible in science, learn everything on the spec!
    - Past Papers - lots of exam tech, knowing what the examiner wants
    oh does reading the examiner report for English lang really help? i never bothered reading it for anything other than science
    and what kind of books would you recommend reading before the exam?

    Tbh, just focus in class and do what your teachers tell you to do and you will be fine.

    Posted from TSR Mobile

    I'm currently in year 10 and am predicted a 9 in maths and English and an A* in everything else. I think my best advice would be not to stress. I'm rather unorganised and don't have much self confidence or motivation but I just tend to laugh about it. Don't cram work if you don't have time or you're too tired relax a bit and don't worry

    Posted from TSR Mobile

    I was an A/A* student in all my subjects, got A* in Maths and Sciences, with an A in English.

    For Maths it was always fairly natural to me so I don't really have any suggestions. Keep doing past papers, make sure you understand the content, not just how to get an answer. This is important because you might know how to answer the question (what formulas to use and so on) but struggle with actual applications due to a lack of understanding what the formula is actually for and what it's doing. So I guess extrapolate more information than what's initially given. The good students can answer the questions. The best students can answer similar or entirely new questions by extrapolating information they previously had.

    Science from what I remember is just that. Memory. You'll have a bunch of content that you need to remember and will have to recall some of it in the exam. If you find past papers tend to ask more logic oriented questions (what effect would mixing X and Y chemicals have, rather than just give the formula) then you might need to practice logic/reasoning for what happens and why. It's useful to know regardless but on the whole Science was memory based. With the odd thing like "Design an experiment to do blah blah blah"

    English was the on I found hardest to revise for. You can get higher grades by doing lots of prep work. Assuming you have English Lit with specific reading, make sure you know the content inside out. Read the books several times, make notes and so on. Get a feel for the questions and practice answering them. For example when we studied Of Mice and Men it was pretty likely we'd get some sort of "describe X character" question. So for revision I had noted descriptions for each character that I could recall and expand on in the exam, pulling examples from the texts as necessary. English Language requires you to be able to write properly. Again some people just have a knack for that. If not write lots of stuff. It can be anything, fiction, non fiction, a blog post, romantic comedy, whatever. Practice writing. If it's guaranteed you'll need to write a short story, or any other guaranteed piece of writing then come up with something before hand. Write it, get your teacher to mark it and perfect it. Memorise it and you can have a perfect piece of text to write up in the exam. No need to think and you are virtually guaranteed full marks for it.

    Really the up shot is that you just need to do lots of practice. It's also worth noting there are limitations. Not everyone can get an A. If they could then you'd find A being the average (which it isn't).

    My best advice is gauge your own ability. If you can get a B comfortably, get an A by working hard and an A* by putting in hundreds of extra hours then weigh up whether the A* is really worth it. Some students, no matter how much effort they put in will never get the top grades, simply because it is completely beyond them. They'd have to put in so much effort (that frankly isn't worth it, getting A* never had any impact on me and I'd be in the same position with A, B or probably even C grades) that they won't bother. And that's fine. By all means try for it but if you find that it'll take hundreds of hours to get an A* then I recommend you find a better use of your time. Because outside a few niche scenarios it won't make any difference to your future education path. So spend that time enjoying your childhood.
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