Hi guys. I'd like to start off by telling you that I also attended a rubbish school that was branded to be in special measures by Ofsted for Years 9, 10 and 11 whilst I was there. Despite this I did go on to get straight A*s (9 in total) in my GCSEs in August. These GCSEs were English Language, English Literature, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History, Spanish & Music. Whilst I agree with Joshiee that it was not easy to achieve these grades, I also think that beginning revision in November of Year 11 is excessive. I personally only started revising when I returned to school from the 2 week Easter break. I did not revise for the 3-4 hours a night as Joshiee says he did, and I feel this is just too much to the point of it being unhealthy. I revised for about 1 and a half to 2 hours per night, focussing on one subject a day, and I feel that this was a good amount. In fact, about 2 weeks prior to the beginning of my exams, I had a week where I did absolutely no revision as I felt it would be of more benefit for me to just allow my mind to totally relax before the mayhem of exam season. I'm glad I did this. To anyone who is reading this who is currently in Year 11, think about what I'm about to say. You have 24 hours in a day. You attend school for approximately 7 of these hours, so you have 17 hours left. Now, factor in the 1 or 2 hours you have in the mornings to get up, ready, showered etc. and you have 15 hours left. Now factor in the hour it probably takes for you to get to and from school. 14 hours left. You then require an hour or 2 for dinner and to catch up with your family; 12 hours left. It is recommended that school children get a minimum of 8 hours sleep every night, and on top of this you need an hour before bed to relax and allow your brain to rest, so that's another 9 hours gone. You have 3 hours left. 3 hours in your entire day to do stuff that actually makes you happy. I of all people know just how important GCSEs are and how obsessive you can become over them. But is it really worth it if you've wasted so much of your childhood- the only time you really get to have true fun- on exams? Exams are important, but not if it costs you your mental health. So my advice to you is this: revise and revise and revise some more. But if it is making you stressed to the point of panic attacks and what not, it will be far more beneficial to you if you just do something you love: play some COD, watch another episode of Gilmore Girls or go out and see your friends. And at the end of the day, if you have the potential to get A*s, you will get them, so don't worry yourself sick over it or waste the best years of your life.
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