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Year 11 Expectations

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    I'm really stressing about going into Year 11, I'm in the top set so naturally there is so much more pressure than in lower sets, and most of us (including myself) are taking further science which has to be taught as a lesson after school. Anyway, I don't know what to expect for Year 11, and I also don't know whether I should prepare by revising in what is left of the summer?

    You don't have to revise in the summer but when school starts keep on top of everything revise everyday little and often

    (Original post by lucylou__)

    I'm really stressing about going into Year 11, I'm in the top set so naturally there is so much more pressure than in lower sets, and most of us (including myself) are taking further science which has to be taught as a lesson after school. Anyway, I don't know what to expect for Year 11, and I also don't know whether I should prepare by revising in what is left of the summer?
    Maybe go over a couple of bits that you don't understand properly from year 10, other than that you don't need to do anything - just relax!! Year 11 is a long tiring year but it's very doable

    The reason why I wouldn't recommend revising in summer is a practical one. Summer gives you too much time, Year 11 gives you none. It's likely that you may be bombarded with controlled assessments and the like at the beginning of Year 11 and before you know it, months have flown by. What I'm saying is, you need to learn how to structure your revision around your school life - and the only way to do that is through real life experience.

    However, you may need some tips on how to revise when a) you're probably tired b) you don't want to burn out but you can feel it happening c) you haven't got a whole day but a short evening to revise. So:

    1) Plan what you are going to revise before you revise it. Now there are 2 ways to go about this. You could either take it day by day and make a short quick plan before you start and then tick it off when you've completed it (for your own motivation really, to track your progress). Or, you could do what I did not do for GCSEs this year (oh how I wish I did) and will now be doing for A Level - break down each of your subjects by their syllabuses into topics and even sub-topics, create a checklist and total the amount of check boxes you will have to complete. Say if it comes down to 80 per subject (maybe more or perhaps way less, I'm not really sure how your subjects would work) - you can create yourself a little plan of how you are going to complete all your subjects by the end of next March. In April all you should be doing is practicing with past papers and whatever, because if you've been revising all year then what else can you do?

    2) If you have revised all year then congratulations - you have earned yourself the right to CRAM before your exams. People will tell you all sorts about not cramming, but about raw hard cramming when you haven't revised properly beforehand. However, if you already know the stuff then there is honestly NO better way to consolidate the information. I'm being serious, only if you have revised well throughout the year, CRAM right before each exam. It works. I'm not a scientist or psychologist or whatever, I don't know what's behind it, but I know that it works.

    3) Get what feels like the right amount of sleep. I can't tell you clear-cut hours but I can tell you that you probably know how long you can sleep for to feel good the next day. And that is key for GCSEs.

    4) Eat well. By that, I mean do not eat extremely bad... Yeah

    5) Don't panic. Do NOT stress. If you feel yourself doing anything that seems like stress, hit yourself because it just gets in the way. That goes for relaxing, too. Being on either extreme is just unhelpful and it wastes a lot of time. Rather, just take it easy and take it at your own good pace - not too slow, but not too fast either. Adopt a kind of confidence about it if you have to, but just don't be intimidated by Year 11 or GCSEs. You will enter some state of flow in every exam if you just get your mind into thinking "wow I am actually acing this test". Sounds a bit douchey idk but again, it works

    6) Do not give into peer pressure. If your friends find something that works for THEM but it does not work for YOU then do not think that you have to do it. This whole year should be about yourself and nobody else.

    So to finally say, people have a lot of views about GCSEs. Some say they are too easy. Others also say they are too easy. However, that does not mean you should not try hard in them. Why? Well, they are first-hand experience in terms of finding your learning style for A Levels. If you can get the grades you want to get for your GCSEs by working hard, you can and will do the same for A Level. If you can get the grades you want for your GCSEs by slacking about, you cannot and will not do the same for A Level. This advice was offered freely so feel free to share with a friend who may also need it, it may just make this coming year a tad bit more doable

    Thanks for reading (;

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    I wouldn't start preparation now, the first few months of year 11 are just like year 10 so I wouldn't worry too much you're not going to be bombarded with revision and exams and stress as soon as you get back to school. People don't tend to start revision until Christmas / February half term / some even in Easter - so there's no need to start now. I thought the same as you and tried starting revision in September but I just got too bored and burned out because there's so much time between September and exam season. I'd just say, so you don't fall behind and so when it COMES to revision it isn't too stressful, make good notes in class (sometimes I'd rewrite my notes after the lesson if they were in a format that I probably wouldn't be able to revise with), listen to your teacher and do all your homework. You'll probably be thrown into a load of coursework which is ridiculously tedious but work hard in it because it can save your grade if the exam is wobbly. Also, mocks aren't the be-all and end-all, I didn't revise for them and they honestly don't matter - I got a scholarship at a private sixth form and they didn't even ask for my mock results - so don't stress yourself out about them (if you wanna treat them like the real thing then go ahead, but personally I didn't as I knew when it came to the real thing I'd work so hard and I did). Other than that you don't need to feel stress at this moment, exams are a long while away, enjoy your last year with your year group

    Dont worry!
    As long as you make sure to understand and pay attention to eveything in class thoughout the year, youll find yourself only having to revise a week or two before the exam ( because you already undestand eveything and youre just filling in the gaps you forgot/teachers missed) Im talking from a top set students perspective. Textbooks are your best friend so memorize them, and listen to your teachers and come in after school to do extra work in your worse subjects. There really isnt that much content to remember to start 'revising' at home early. (unless you want to be a show off in class-not reccomended) Good luck in your gcses.
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