GCSE PE exams and revision: AQA explains what you need to do


Our series on exam advice continues with tips from AQA on GCSE PE

To help you make the most of your remaining revision time, we’ve worked with exam board AQA to create a series of exam advice articles.

In each of these features, you’ll find advice and easy-to-follow tips written by one of AQA’s subject matter experts.

Read on to get the inside track on GCSE PE, direct from the people who make the exams.

AQA logo byline
AQA logo byline

Do lots of practice

  • The best way to learn is to practise. Go back over past papers you’ve already done and have another go. You’ll see yourself improving and build your confidence

Answer the question being asked

  • Make sure you read the question carefully. We see lots of examples every year where students have done some good work but haven’t answered the question asked
  • Focus on what the question is asking for, not just the topic
  • Identify all the key words in the question and look for the command words. Applying your knowledge using the command words will make sure you answer the question
  • Be familiar with all the command words and what they’re asking for. Different command words indicate which assessment objectives are being assessed
  • ‘Justify’ means to support a case with evidence. ‘Discuss’ means to present key points about different ideas or strengths and weaknesses of an idea
  • Don’t miss important little words in the question – such as ‘explain two ways…’ or ‘for one of the structures…’
  • Check if the question is asking for examples - and use sporting examples

Use specialist terminology

  • Make sure you know your PE vocabulary and build up a glossary of words for each topic
  • Revise key terms, otherwise you may lose AO1 marks if you can’t give simple definitions

If you’re not sure…have a go

  • Don’t worry about questions that you’re unsure about. The important thing is that you come back to them and have a go at an answer
  • If the question is multiple-choice, don’t just guess an answer or jump to the first answer that may be righ
  • Eliminate the answers you know are wrong and choose your answer from the ones you have left
  • Remember that often the ‘wrong’ options are chosen because they’re common mistakes

Do keep going right to the end of a paper

  • Attempt to do something on every question, both in the exam and when you’re revising
  • Don’t leave any gaps. You’ll be able to pick up marks for partly answering questions even if you can’t get to the end

Be aware of timing... but take care not to rush

  • Take care not to miss any questions that ask you to fill in a table or graph or label an image
  • Take a pencil, ruler and calculator into the exam and use them when you’re completing diagrams or drawing straight lines
  • Take care when you’re completing diagrams or graphs to make sure you correctly number or label as requested – such as when you’re plotting on a graph
  • If you’re asked to calculate a value, double-check your work to make sure you haven’t made any errors. It’s easy to make slips, even when using a calculator
  • Write all answers legibly – examiners can’t mark what they can’t read
  • Only write on the lines provided for each question. If you need more space then use additional paper
  • Don’t write answers in the margins, outside the lines or on the lines for other questions. Examiners might not see it
  • Leave time at the end to check your work

Good luck from AQA

AQA believes everyone has the potential to achieve, and we make sure our qualifications give all students the opportunity to show what they can do and progress to the next stage of their lives.

Our subject experts worked with The Student Room so we can reach as many students as possible with advice on how to approach your revision and exams. We wish you well in the weeks ahead, and don’t forget to look after yourselves too: eat well, sleep well and tell someone how you’re feeling if there are days when things don’t go so well or you don’t feel so good.

 Good luck!