The study habits of GCSE grade 9 students

We scoured TSR for students who achieved multiple grade 9s in their GCSEs. Then we took a close look at what they told us about their study patterns. This list of study tips is the result.

Grade 9 students get organised and stay organised

They have the right equipment at the right time, plan their week so they know exactly what homework is due on what day and revise well for tests and mock exams.

Establish a strong after-school study routine – then it becomes habit instead of a chore.

Make a smart revision plan with our timetable builder

Grade 9 students review work regularly

The best students see revision as something that happens throughout the year, not just a flurry of last-minute cramming.

When you get home from school every night, revise what you have done in the day. Even if it is only a little it will help you a lot more than you think when it comes to nailing down and doing proper revision. Ensure you understand a topic fully before moving on – don’t rush it
lucy's advice

Grade 9 students work hard

Sounds obvious but that's because it's true.

By Year 11 you should consider having a revision timetable set up to help manage your time. For the weekdays, I reviewed four different subjects each day, 25 minutes each. On the weekend, I tried to manage five subjects and would maybe do extra if I wasn’t out with my friends or relaxing.

Grade 9 students take care of their notes

For most good students their own notes are the most important record of work so they’re worth taking some time over and looking after carefully.

I found that having a good set of notes made everything a lot easier because I was able to use them to make flashcards and mindmaps to help actually learn the content.

Make your own flashcards, mindmaps, quizzes and more 

Grade 9 students are selective about friends

It really helps to have positive role models around.

Try and be friends with the smarter kids, obviously don’t leave your friends but stay cautious of distractions and peer pressure. Prioritise your own education because you deserve to do well, nonetheless make sure you still make memories and enjoy your time in year 10 and 11.

Grade 9 students use their teachers

Teachers are there to help. The best students pay attention in class, ask questions, request help when they need it and use teachers’ comments to improve their work.

When your school starts holding revision lesson attend every single one – they are an invaluable aid to increase your grades.

Grade 9 students don't stay in their comfort zones

It’s always tempting to keep going over topics you feel confident about. But the best students concentrate on improving their weaker areas.

Focus on the topics that you are struggling with to make notes or flashcards, that way you’ll learn the content better. 

Grade 9 students make past papers their friends

Past papers are readily available from exam board websites and should play a central role in exam preparation, especially in maths and the sciences.

For maths in particular I would recommend using past papers. You find out how exam boards repeat questions in similar ways that you may not notice at first. You can also get used to answering questions you’ve never seen before.

How to use past papers to ace your exams 

Grade 9 students still have a work-life balance

GCSE success doesn’t mean studying the whole time. That’s a recipe for stress.

Make time for all the things that you like doing for example playing football hanging your friends, etc. Revision is about quantity as well as about quality. I hope this helps

And finally ...

Please don’t try too hard to grow up, enjoy your freedom, pay attention in lessons and revise hard for mocks, make sure you make some revision materials and ensure you understand topics as you go along. That will stand you in good stead to get those 9s. 

Good luck everyone! 

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