My GCSE's Watch

beckythompson
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I go into year 10 in September. I am worrying about my GCSE's, are they hard?
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06shawm
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(Original post by beckythompson)
I go into year 10 in September. I am worrying about my GCSE's, are they hard?
There only difficult if you make them. If you put the effort in you will be fine.
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Magistl
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(Original post by beckythompson)
I go into year 10 in September. I am worrying about my GCSE's, are they hard?
GCSE's are by no means difficult. Simply go over past papers, recollect what you've been taught and study the text book you'll purchase via the school. Do all this and boom, you've got an A*
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HappyHylian
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(Original post by Magistl)
GCSE's are by no means difficult. Simply go over past papers, recollect what you've been taught and study the text book you'll purchase via the school. Do all this and boom, you've got an A*
It's not that easy. XD
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Magistl
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(Original post by HappyHylian)
It's not that easy. XD
I'd disagree. What aspect of GCSE is possibly difficult, besides the need to religiously study and memorize key words?
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Protoxylic
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(Original post by HappyHylian)
It's not that easy. XD
Granted it seems easier for us who have done them, but on a truthful note, GCSE exams aren't marked as harshly as A levels, hence you can waffle about a topic that doesn't really answer the question and have horrible grammar and still get an A*.
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Magistl
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(Original post by Protoxylic)
Granted it seems easier for us who have done them, but on a truthful note, GCSE exams aren't marked as harshly as A levels, hence you can waffle about a topic that doesn't really answer the question and have horrible grammar and still get an A*.
This. ^
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paddy10663
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Our head teacher always said in assemblies that GCSEs reward hard work and patience and I would tend to agree with him: they're time consuming more than intellectually channelling.

The place where I nearly fell down was on technology coursework. I think I've said this in another thread but if you're doing a technology or something else that requires extended coursework, stay on top of it, do not leave anything too late and allow extra time at the end for unexpected delays.

Don't worry about GCSEs now. When I was in your position, I was really scared too, but they're not that bad.

Other than this, Magistl's advice is pretty sound.
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HappyHylian
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(Original post by Protoxylic)
Granted it seems easier for us who have done them, but on a truthful note, GCSE exams aren't marked as harshly as A levels, hence you can waffle about a topic that doesn't really answer the question and have horrible grammar and still get an A*.
Alright, I agree they'll probably be marked nicer than Alevels,
but you can't just waffle about a topic that doesn't really answer the question because you get 0 marks. :l The stuff about grammar is kind of true, except the questions that give marks for grammar but yeah you can still get an A* with crappy grammar.. mhm..
Being able to regurgitate information does not = what GCSE exams are about. They've changed a lot and almost all questions in science papers aren't straight forward (well, for OCR). We never got anything as simple as "Define active transport". It's always "Bill does an experiment: he fills 5 plant pots with different amounts of water. He fills the 5th plant pot full with water, he notices the flower didn't grow as much as the others, why is this?"
- Waterlogged soil
- Waterlogged -> no oxygen -> needs to respire anerobically.
- Anerobic releases less energy per glucose molecule than aerobic.
- Therefore less energy for active transport.
- Therefore the plant doesn't get as many nitrates.
- Therefore it doesn't grow very well.
You have to work out for yourself why something is like it is, so the best thing OP can do is to learn their revision books off by heart (like you said), but also know how to answer questions where it's not as obvious what it actually wants you to talk about. Looking at past papers would help but they always make sure the scenarios are different. The mark schemes are strict in what they want too, well, for science. You can't get more than 2 marks in a 6 mark question if your grammar makes your answer hard to read, but yeah you can still get an A* if you get all the 6 mark questions wrong. XD OCR's GCSE Biol Chem and Phys are usually 39/60 for an A* for each exam paper.
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Protoxylic
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(Original post by HappyHylian)
Alright, I agree they'll probably be marked nicer than Alevels,
but you can't just waffle about a topic that doesn't really answer the question because you get 0 marks. :l The stuff about grammar is kind of true, except the questions that give marks for grammar but yeah you can still get an A* with crappy grammar.. mhm..
Being able to regurgitate information does not = what GCSE exams are about. They've changed a lot and almost all questions in science papers aren't straight forward (well, for OCR). We never got anything as simple as "Define active transport". It's always "Bill does an experiment: he fills 5 plant pots with different amounts of water. He fills the 5th plant pot full with water, he notices the flower didn't grow as much as the others, why is this?"
- Waterlogged soil
- Waterlogged -> no oxygen -> needs to respire anerobically.
- Anerobic releases less energy per glucose molecule than aerobic.
- Therefore less energy for active transport.
- Therefore the plant doesn't get as many nitrates.
- Therefore it doesn't grow very well.
Well my perception of waffling for this case would be writing a paragraph referring to a specific object mentioned in the question as a "thing" or "it". In the markscheme for GCSE is explicitly states, It = "object". At A-Level you just can't get away without mentioning specifics. Also, for longer answer questions there's a column that says "Allow:" so you can get marks for getting roughly the correct answer because there's a lot of benefit of the doubt marks given. A lot of students at my college who gained 8/9 A*'s are now struggling at AS/A2 level simply because they apply a GCSE mindset to A level. I'm talking generally here.
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HappyHylian
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(Original post by Protoxylic)
Well my perception of waffling for this case would be writing a paragraph referring to a specific object mentioned in the question as a "thing" or "it". In the markscheme for GCSE is explicitly states, It = "object". At A-Level you just can't get away without mentioning specifics. Also, for longer answer questions there's a column that says "Allow:" so you can get marks for getting roughly the correct answer because there's a lot of benefit of the doubt marks given. A lot of students at my college who gained 8/9 A*'s are now struggling at AS/A2 level simply because they apply a GCSE mindset to A level. I'm talking generally here.

I'm going to make sure I'm not one of those people then. >< I'll have to try and get to the Alevel mindset..
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Protoxylic
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(Original post by HappyHylian)

I'm going to make sure I'm not one of those people then. >< I'll have to try and get to the Alevel mindset..
I'm talking very generally and from my experience of sitting GCSEs.
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HappyHylian
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(Original post by Protoxylic)
I'm talking very generally and from my experience of sitting GCSEs.
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I see what you mean. Yeah, we had that with our exam board too where they had the 'allow:' list. I guess it's just because at GCSE they care more about if they know the science more than which words they use. It gets kinda annoying because different exam boards allow/don't allow certaint words. Like:
"Do not allow: the enzyme is 'killed'"
"Allow: the enzyme is killed".
"Allow: the enzyme is destroyed".
"Only allow: the enzyme is denatured".
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Old_Simon
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(Original post by Magistl)
GCSE's are by no means difficult. Simply go over past papers, recollect what you've been taught and study the text book you'll purchase via the school. Do all this and boom, you've got an A*
Do GCSE pupils have to buy all their text books ? Do they get a grant if their parents are on benefits ?
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Magistl
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
Do GCSE pupils have to buy all their text books ? Do they get a grant if their parents are on benefits ?
I'm not too sure. I believe child benefit is supposed to cover stuff such as text books in secondary school but beyond that, I have little knowledge of the benefit system.
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paddy10663
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
Do GCSE pupils have to buy all their text books ? Do they get a grant if their parents are on benefits ?
We certainly didn't - the school lent us all the textbooks we needed. I'm pretty sure this is the case in most schools.
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Old_Simon
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(Original post by Magistl)
I'm not too sure. I believe child benefit is supposed to cover stuff such as text books in secondary school but beyond that, I have little knowledge of the benefit system.
So are pupils required to buy textbooks as you stated or not ?
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Magistl
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
So are pupils required to buy textbooks as you stated or not ?
Paddy proposes that they're lent, my school however, made us purchase them. I imagine it's different across schools given the data present.
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Old_Simon
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(Original post by Magistl)
Paddy proposes that they're lent, my school however, made us purchase them. I imagine it's different across schools given the data present.
This is very interesting. There does not appear to be any consistent nationwide policy.
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Magistl
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
This is very interesting. There does not appear to be any consistent nationwide policy.
Fascinating isn't it? I'd have thought there would be *shrug*
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