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    Hello,
    I'll be doing my GCSE exams soon and I'm wondering, is doing past papers more important than learning the actual content? Is it better to spend more of your time doing past papers/ reading through examiner reports or should you spend equal amount of time on both learning the content and the past papers?
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    I'd say learn the content more as just doing past papers won't really help. But actually do some as they can show you where you're going wrong.
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    Past papers are super useful, but you have to know the content first. On subjects like History & Geography they can really help improving exam technique meaning you are more likely to get better marks for the answers you give. On subjects like Sciences and Maths they help to show gaps in knowledge and show you what to revise. I also strongly reccomend looking at English past papers so you know the kind of question you will be asked, because I've found you can't really revise for English Language.

    Tom
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    I'd say spend equal amounts of time on each or even spend more time on the content! Past papers are really good but you won't get asked about everything so you won't know what you still need to work on If you just do the papers! I find it best to do the papers close to the exams once I've been through all the content as then i know which bits i can't do and what I need to go over again!


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    Past papers should be treated more like practice questions, but different people learn differently, so if you learn by more practicing rather than revising the rules then do more practice papers and vice versa


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    I think it depends on the subject. For science the are really, really helpful because they can highlight what you need to focus on more. A lot of time when I'm revising I tend to focus on things that I'm already ok at, but if I do a past paper and lose a lot of marks on a particular topic that'd motivate me to revise and concentrate more on that topic because I think "what if this was in the exam? I'd lose so many marks and it'd significantly impact my grade." You also understand how examiners want to you to phrase answers and what they look for, so sometimes I make some more revision notes based off those. Sometimes just sitting down with a textbook and trying to learn that way starts to bore me, whereas at least past papers keep you actively thinking.

    But as with all revision, different people learn differently. Some people prefer revision books, some people prefer past papers.
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    I'd focus all you revision orientated around past papers.It is not the completion that is important though, its marking it.

    If you do a past paper for science for example, you subconsciously learn the content you are answering about. The questions you answer incorrectly can then be analysed in great detail. Say you answered a few wrong in the 'microorganisms' part, go over the topic in your revision.

    Through doing this it will allow you to pick up on the topics that you don't necessarily know as well.
 
 
 
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