Past papers are a vital part of exam preparation – here’s some advice to help you make the most of them.
Why use past papers?
Past papers are so important because they show you how a course is assessed and the types of questions that you’ll be asked.
They’ll help you spot where the gaps in your knowledge lie, so you can target your revision to fixing those gaps. Taking a past paper under timed conditions will also give you a good idea of how you’re going to need to manage your time in the actual exam.
Tips for using past papers
- Take note of how the exam paper is structured
- Try doing practice questions from old papers under timed conditions, with no distractions
- Use highlighter or a different coloured pen to go through your answers and mark any mistakes you have made
- Look at examiners’ reports to find the most common errors made by students
- Keep repeating the past papers
- Make sure the past papers you use are the right ones for your courses.
TSR members talk about how they use past papers
How to find past papers online
Our past papers hub contains all the recent Pearson (Edexcel), AQA and OCR past papers in key subjects.
We also have the mark schemes, which are the guidelines examiners use to mark papers and the examiners’ reports, which give summaries of how students tackled a particular paper.
To find more revision tools, go to the resources hub.