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Advice from previous Year 11's to upcoming Year 11's watch

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    I've just left year 11 and I'm going on to do A-levels.

    1) How was year 11 for you?
    Year 11 was overall a pretty good year. Some parts were extremely tiring, especially long nights of revision, I will admit that! Other parts were exciting as I really got to develop my knowledge further. However, it was emotional due to the fact that the time had come that we were all going our separate ways and secondary school was over. Furthermore, it was extremely stressful for myself trying to figure out my next steps after year 11.

    2) How many exams did you sit?
    17

    3) What advice will you like to give to the upcoming year 11s?

    - Start thinking of your future plans early, attend careers meetings, conventions and open events so you know what career you wish to pursue and the best way to get there plus, what feels right for you!

    - Take any mocks that you have seriously as if they are the real thing. Revise for them, get the correct equipment. It gives you brilliant practice for the real thing and you can really get to know your best revision styles and how you remember things the best. Furthermore, you will refresh your brain on what you've learnt already.

    -Take notes in your lessons and make sure they're clear as you will most likely have to refer back to them during revision.
    (Highlighting important things, words, titles etc in my textbook really helped me)

    - Try to go over everything when revising, at the time it my seem minor and you may think that it won't come up but it's happened to me, there was a whole page on the most smallest topic ever and I had to wing my way through it, it wasn't a good experience ahaha.

    - Make a revision list/timetable to plan out what you've got to revise.

    - Appreciate the time you have at school with all of your friends because it does go past fast.

    - After an exam, try to leave it in the hall. Everyone will speak about how they feel. If you found it hard and people say they found it easy, there's no need to stress yourself out about it because you won't know until results day. I spent my summer believing I'd failed maths because I found the exams challenging however, I was pleasantly surprised on results day! So anything can happen, just try not to think about it as much!

    - When you feel like you don't have the motivation to revise just remember if you ace it this time you'll never have to do your GCSEs again! Plus, think of the long summer of freedom you have ahead of you. (We had nearly 4 months!!

    - Attend after school sessions or catch up sessions for coursework it really helps!

    - Most of all be happy and healthy

    I took: English lit and lang, maths, media studies, resistant materials, double award science and religious studies so if you need to ask any questions about those subjects I'd be happy to help!! Best of luck!!
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    (Original post by yellowcopter)
    1) How was year 11 for you?
    In all honesty Year 11 wasn't much different to Year 10. It was quite relaxed at the start, and most of it is just spent going over the same content you did in Year 10 but to a more refined standard (e.g. that was the case for English and Maths). The only difference was coursework and revision - and the fact that although you think you have time there isn't much of it to complete your coursework. This isn't really much of a problem for subjects like Science which were just the 1 or 2 after school catch up sessions, but it was hell for subjects like Art and Graphic Products (D&T) which I both did. I had to stay until 6:30pm everyday for a week for my Graphics CW because I was that behind.

    Still got A* for the CW so although the after school coursework sessions are lengthily and tiring, they're most indefinitely worth it if you want those A* CW grades. Art is probably worse and required more time, but I hated Art and refused to do any after school work which is why I got a C for my Art CW and exam. So goes to show, the more work you put in the higher your grade will be.

    As for exams, I didn't revise for mocks and for the real exams I just revised like a day or two before most of them. For Science I tried revising a week before them but I kept forgetting things, a day or two before actually works better. At least at GCSE level it does.

    2) How many exams did you sit?
    I think it was around 18-20 don't know the exact number!

    3) What advice will you like to give to the upcoming year 11s?
    Work hard on your coursework, it'll help with your final grade. Also, make sure you find a revision style that works for you way before exam season - because unlike me I did no revision until the real exams and then I realised revision is useless for me if I revise a week before for each exam, but works great the day before the exam. I don't recommend this, I'm just saying that worked for me so figure out what works for you.

    Also revise for mocks but only a little and don't worry about super revision - leave that until the real exams. Honestly even if you do crap in your mocks, your school will probably still give a decent grade. For example I seriously couldn't be bothered to revise for Science so ended up getting D's and E's in my Science mocks, still got predicted a B though since my teacher knows I just couldn't be bothered to revise.



    i take take art for gcse and it is hard and I really don't know how to cope with it. Do you have any tips to do well and get an A star but not to overwork?
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    (Original post by lauzy00)
    This is a great forum!

    1) What GCSE's are you taking? Maths, English Lit & Lang, Double Science, History, Art & Design and Spanish

    2) My expectations of Year 11 are obviously that it'll be much more difficult and stressful but I'm determined to get through it.

    3) I'm kind of looking forward to it, seeing all my friends again and having a routine and whatever but not so much looking forward to lots of exams and deciding on colleges and so on!
    I was really not looking forward to doing my exams, but after you've finished them it's such a relief! Just think of this year as a journey to your next step in life and think about the summer you will get to enjoy!! I found deciding what to do next daunting also, but there's always people to help. Go to careers events if your school holds any, speak to your family and friends. Speak to your local careers services or call the national careers service, they're really helpful and can talk you through your sitcho and give you lots of helpful resources. Just do what's best for you
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    1) How was year 11?
    Year 11 would have been good for me had I been in a different school; the work load wasn't too bad and I definitely enjoyed it a lot more than the other years, I just disagreed a lot with teachers and we didn't get on!

    2) How many exams did you take?
    I took 20. 3 English, 2 Maths, 3 Science, 2 Religious Studies, 1 Textiles, 2 History, 1 ICT, 2 Spanish and 4 Ancient Greek.

    3)Any advice?
    Stay really organised, try to revise as soon as you can and always stay on top of all your work, relax, don't stress, and enjoy it, GCSES aren't too bad you know!
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    (Original post by gcsestudent...)
    i take take art for gcse and it is hard and I really don't know how to cope with it. Do you have any tips to do well and get an A star but not to overwork?
    I only got a C so I'm afraid I can't help you there. You just need to have a lot of artistic school, be dedicated and do all the work and more and have loads of sketchbooks filled with very detailed work. All of which I didn't have and did not do!
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    1) How was year 11 for you?
    It was difficult and emotionally draining if I'm honest. But it was also a time for cherishing those last moments of being a kid. I messed about in class sometimes and I really didn't care. This year is sort of your last opportunity to take advantage of the freedom that comes with not having to think about university, money or your future.

    2) How many exams did you sit?
    32 in total. I took one ICT exam last year. This year I sat 4 maths, 3 English language, 2 English literature, 2 French, 2 Spanish, 4 Latin, 2 Geography, 2 History, 2 RS and 9 science exams. I ended up with 12A*s and 2 As.

    3) What advice will you like to give to the upcoming year 11s?
    Believe in yourself. I thought I'd failed my Biology and Maths exams, but ended up with A*s in both. And it's okay to revise the night before an exam sometimes. Relax and do your best. Chill out. Be happy.

    Happiness will get you more in life than good grades ever will.

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    (Original post by celiag123)
    I was really not looking forward to doing my exams, but after you've finished them it's such a relief! Just think of this year as a journey to your next step in life and think about the summer you will get to enjoy!! I found deciding what to do next daunting also, but there's always people to help. Go to careers events if your school holds any, speak to your family and friends. Speak to your local careers services or call the national careers service, they're really helpful and can talk you through your sitcho and give you lots of helpful resources. Just do what's best for you
    I'll definitely do that! Thanks so much for your advice
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    Can I just say for all these people like 'I revised 3 minutes before the exam and got A*'s in everything', that's a lie right there :laugh: It is physically impossible for you to have only done that much revision and got an A*, sorry. Of course you must've revised more before or revised for mocks, or done loads of work in class etc. So to anyone going up into year 11 reading those types of comments, seriously it's a load of crap. The only way you can get A*'s is by working hard and revising a lot. Tbh GCSE's weren't that awfully hard, if you're fairly intelligent you will be fine and get the grades you want. Start early, work hard and you'll be totally fine!
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    Sat 22 exams total in June as school didn't let us take any last year! Wasn't too stressful until I had to cram! Started properly revising in easter so 3 weeks before and found I had enough time! If you do assessments during the school year try to revise for them as it tops up your knowledge nicely and makes it easier before the big exams.
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    1) How was year 11 for you?
    I found Year 11 fairly stressful. I had mocks in November and then my actual exams, of course. I found the homework and coursework quite easy, but the revision a pain as you don't know when to stop. But, saying that, my actual exams went pretty well and the revision got easier as the year progressed. I must have done something right for my grades! (12A*s and 1A^!)

    2) How many exams did you sit?
    I had to sit 24 I think. I did Media and Further Maths as extras in addition to my other subjects (13 in total). Media studies was a lot of work as I only had one lesson a week and I regret taking it now a bit

    3)What advice will you like to give to the upcoming year 11s?
    I would advise you to:
    1. Be organised. Write down your homework in a planner. Get coursework done on time.

    2. Revise. Order your subjects strongest to weakest and make a timetable with the weaker subjects getting more time. Just start with a couple of hours total revision at first and then build it up.

    3. Revise PROPERLY. Don't just read a book. Read it, make notes on it, shorten the notes. Then do past exam papers and mark them. The most important thing about marking them is to look at the specific words they use and to read the examiner's report so you know exactly what they are looking for. Anything you struggle on, do the notes part again and repeat.

    4. Don't revise with friends. While my friends did pretty well (about 2-4 A*s each), when we tried to revise together, they could not sit still or stop talking etc. The temptation not to work is too strong. Also, you want to keep your social and work life separate so you can work and then go enjoy yourself.

    5. Sixth forms. Don't listen to your friends. I have decided to go to a nearby competitive sixth form that was hard to get in to and has a fierce rivalry with my Year 11 one. They all tried to stop me going, but now I am about to join I am so pleased I didn't listen to them. Think about the really important things like the subjects on offer, how they are taught (e.g my old school did Maths and Further Maths in parallel whereas my new one does Maths in one year then Further Maths in one year with double the amount of lessons which makes more sense), the teachers, previous year grades, Ofsted and how to get there.

    6. Lastly, it is a hard year, but just imagine how you will feel when you open the envelope at the end. It was honestly the best feeling I have ever had for me I think. It makes it all worth it in the end.

    Good luck!
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    1) How was year 11 for you?
    I found Year 11 went extremely fast, it got to Christmas and i wasn't at all worried but then before you know its May and the exams are already beginning ! I just got my results, 6 As and 6Bs so pretty happy overall, the hard work must have paid off

    2) How many exams did you sit?
    I had 23 exams ! ( 9!!! for triple science )

    3) What advice will you like to give to the upcoming year 11s?
    Only take triple science if you are prepared to work really hard ad are passionate about the subjects! i took it as i didn't know what else to take and ended up hating it !!
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    Continuing from a previous post, I think revising with ONE friend works (as long as they are motivated to work) since you can just say 'let's work' when you go off task etc... But yes group revision never, never worked in my experience :mmm:

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    1) What GCSE's are you taking?
    I'm taking Maths, English lit & lang, Science A (done) and B, History, ICT, Art, German and French.

    2) What are your expectations of year 11?
    I'm expecting it to go quite fast and that there will be a lot more pressure to study and a rush to get coursework finished (especially in art)

    3)Are you looking forward to year 11?
    In a way, yes, I am looking forward to hopefully enjoying the final year with my friends. I'm not looking forward to exams though obviously
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    Year 11 is stressful as hell if you fall behind in Art- keep up to date that is my main advice!
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    1) How was year 11?
    I had quite a heavy workload as I did 11 subjects and we didn’t do any exams a year early like some schools do. The first term was quite intensive in terms of learning the stuff because after February half term the revision nagging starts! But the work is all worth it if you get the grades you want at the end!

    2) How many exams did you take?
    I did 21 – 1 English Language, 2 English Literature, 2 Maths, 1 Statistics, 2 Biology, 2 Chemistry, 2 Physics, 4 Latin, 2 History, 2 German, 1 Music

    3) Any advice?

    • Stay on top of your work – it’s so important that you learn and understand everything so you’re well prepared for your GCSE exams. (Reading through your notes the evening after you learn something is so helpful to consolidate your knowledge so do that if you can!)


    • If you don’t understand something, go and talk to a teacher and get it sorted out then and there. It’s very easy to say ‘oh I’ll sort it out just before exams’ but it’s such a busy period anyway – you really don’t want to be teaching yourself something the night before an exam if you don’t have to!


    • Mocks are important, but if you don’t do as well as you want in them, it’s really not the end of the world. I know loads who missed their target grades in their mocks and managed to surpass their predictions in their real exams. What is worth mentioning here though is that this is a really good time to practice your revision technique and get some good work done. If you make your mock notes really well you won’t have to make them again for your actual exams – more time for actual revising then.


    • RELAX! Make sure you balance your work and your free time – it’s really important to unwind and make sure you have some time to do stuff you actually want to do!
    • And finally… Don’t stress! Year 11 may be a difficult year, but it is manageable – everyone’s come out alive! There’s a solution to every problem.
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    How was year 11?
    Year 11 for me was pretty standard and similar to any other year. I had fun and did most of my work but I genuinely feel like I did less in year 11 compared to other years. A lot was expected of me but I didn't feel any stress or pressure, I wanted to do well and I made sure I did but that was mainly through revision. To me school lessons themselves became a bit pointless. I think people make out that year 11 is tragically hard and stressful but I think they exaggerate

    How many exams did you take?
    25, 4 in year 10 and 21 in year 11

    Any advice?
    Don't take it too seriously, you need to work, obviously, but don't make it everything. Try to have fun, know when you need to work and revise and do it then, this way you do have spare time to do fun things. If possible, don't get on the wrong side of any teachers, I had problems with one and I couldn't pull it back and it does cause a bit of a struggle. Finally, some teachers begin to get very stressed towards exam season but even if they're annoying you or you think they're being unreasonable, they're not. Trust the teachers because they want you to get the grades as much as you do.


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    (Original post by funkydee19)
    Thought I would make an 'advice' thread where Current Year 10s can ask questions about Year 11 and get any advice from me or other year 11s. To get things started:

    If you are in year 10 going into year 11:
    1) What GCSE's are you taking?

    2) What are your expectations of year 11?

    3)Are you looking forward to year 11?

    And if you have just left year 11:

    1) How was year 11 for you?

    2) How many exams did you sit?

    3) What advice will you like to give to the upcoming year 11s?

    I have left year 11 so I will answer these questions aha..

    1) How was year 11 for you?
    Year 11 for me was rather calm for the first few months up to about November. It was mainly trying to finish off coursework. From January onwards it was the piles and piles of stress. But tbh I believe it would have been less stressful if my school did not put so much pressure on us.

    2) How many exams did you sit?

    22 :eek:

    3)What advice will you like to give to the upcoming year 11s?
    Listen to everything in class, it's most likely to come up in the exam. & You don't necessarily have to start revising from the get go. You will most likely forget everything by time May comes.. I would say revise from January if you feel you will remember. If not start in the Easter Holidays (March/April), if you feel you do better revising closer to the time. I started in February.. had a long break (well not really due to my school ) and restarted in April.

    Any other questions? Leave them below, and I or any other person will answer it
    1) What GCSE's am I taking?
    Well, English lit, lang, maths, advanced maths , chemistry, biology, physics, graphic communication (art), french, history, ancient history.

    2) What are my expectations for year 11?
    My expectations are that it is going to be a very hard and grueling year.

    3) Am I looking foward to year 11?
    Hahahaha no!
    I have a few questions for people who have just finished year 11.

    1) Any good revising techniques?

    2) Best time to start revising?

    3) How did you keep you're morale up when you were down in the dumps about work // were you ever down in the dumps about school work?

    4) How did you cope with pressure?
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    (Original post by blahblah99)
    I have a few questions for people who have just finished year 11.

    1) Any good revising techniques?

    2) Best time to start revising?

    3) How did you keep you're morale up when you were down in the dumps about work // were you ever down in the dumps about school work?

    4) How did you cope with pressure?
    1) I made colourful notes for everything! Also, mind maps and testing myself with flash cards etc. Just make sure you revise thoroughly for every subject and I found a revision timetable helpful so that I could keep track of the revision I was doing and when the exams were for each subject.

    2) I started revising a bit around February half term, but not very much until a few weeks before Easter as there were coursework deadlines as well.

    3) I usually listen to music when I'm working, and take breaks to play music as well. I'd say, just make sure you work hard and try your best, but make sure you don't put too much pressure on yourself and get too stressed as I did...

    4) I just made sure that I worked to deadlines and kept up with whatever work was set. Most of the pressure I had, I put on myself, which wasn't a great thing to do, but kinda worked to keep me on track. I suppose you just need to take time away from work every now and then to stop it taking over your whole life!

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by blahblah99)
    1) What GCSE's am I taking?
    Well, English lit, lang, maths, advanced maths , chemistry, biology, physics, graphic communication (art), french, history, ancient history.

    2) What are my expectations for year 11?
    My expectations are that it is going to be a very hard and grueling year.

    3) Am I looking foward to year 11?
    Hahahaha no!
    I have a few questions for people who have just finished year 11.

    1) Any good revising techniques?

    2) Best time to start revising?

    3) How did you keep you're morale up when you were down in the dumps about work // were you ever down in the dumps about school work?

    4) How did you cope with pressure?
    1) Make flashcards, put the keywords or questions at the front, then the answers at the back. I used a notepad for each subject and I made notes on all my revision. I read a paragraph or two and wrote down what i remembered. Do this early (like 1 month before) so that a week before your exams all you have to do is read and memorise your notes. Past papers are the best even if you are just copying the answers from the answer booklet onto the paper, it helped me to memorise a lot and also some of the questions that were in the past papers came up in the real thing only with different wording. You can do practice essays or papers give them to your teachers for feedback. Youtube vidoes are good as well. Have a look at my other thread which has the revision materials that I used.. http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=2809725

    2) It depends on the individual, you may be different but I started in February, stopped because it was too early and restarted in easter.

    3) I don't even know how I got through it tbh. Just thinking of the extended holiday as my reward, and thinking of the results that I wanted made me continue to work hard.

    4) It's good to take breaks.. text a friend, watch your fave show, or just do nothing at all.
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    Just wanted to ask what's the best time to start revising? (I have about 30 exams)
    Also, does anyone have any tips on dividing up revision effectively and making sure everything is covered?

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