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    Hello, I'm Gribby2 and this is my entry into the 'Grow Your Grades' competition. I'm doing this, as I really need study motivation. I'm taking 12 GCSEs, as well as AS Creative Writing and I seem to get a lot of homework. Most people I know probably get less than half the homework I do and I find it really stressful. Often I'll put of doing homework, as I know it's going to take me so long. I need to become more motivated with my homework, so that I can get it done as quickly as possible and don't have it carrying over into the week.Also, there are a few of my grades I'd like to improve.
    Here are my predicted grades and my estimations of where I'm working at, which are based around assessments and my report from last term:

    Subject GCSE Target CPI
    English Lit. 8 (A*) 7 (A)
    English La 8 (A*) 7 (A)
    Mathematics 7 (A). 7 (A)
    Biolo A/A*? A/A*
    Chemistry A/A*. A*
    Physics A* A*?
    Art A (I'd really like an A*) A
    Computing A* A/A*
    French A* A/A*?
    Geography A* A/A*
    History A*. A?
    R.E A* A/A*

    I'm really not confident I'll be able to achieve these grades in actual exam conditions. I'd welcome any study tips. Thank you.
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    Perhaps you could set up some kind of reward so that you have an incentive to not put off your homework, instead do it as soon as possible and watch a TV series or read a book when you've done enough for the day?

    Best of luck - I like that you're doing an AS this year as well, very impressive. :rave:
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    (Original post by SeanFM)
    Perhaps you could set up some kind of reward so that you have an incentive to not put off your homework, instead do it as soon as possible and watch a TV series or read a book when you've done enough for the day?

    Best of luck - I like that you're doing an AS this year as well, very impressive. :rave:
    Thanks. That's a good idea.
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    25.1.16
    I was ill on Saturday (and still am). Consequently, I was unable to do as much homework as I had originally intended to and still have homework due in tomorrow which I have not done. I have worked hard this evening to finish my Physics and Computing homework ready for tomorrow and I plan to do my English at lunchtime, as I do not have it until fourth lesson. It is highly frustrating that I was ill, as it means I will have to work really hard this week to get my work completed, but next weekend I'm going to finish my homework. I hope you are all well.
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    27.1.16
    I did my Geography homework last night. I did it during the advert breaks of 'Endeavour', which we were watching on recording (it clashed with something else).
    Today, I got my GCSE French speaking test results. I got 30/30. I was so surprised- I thought I'd made quite a few small mistakes. I'm so relieved I got an A*, but this this test only counted for 15% of the GCSE, so I still have a lot of work to do.
    I'll try and get some Art done today.
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    29.1.16
    I didn't go to Creative Writing yesterday evening, as I felt ill. I am still unwell today, so am off school, which is annoying, as it means I will have to do a lot of catch-up work. Also, I was supposed to have a History assessment today, but will have to do it next lesson (which is on my birthday) instead. I've done some homework today, including: Computing, Chemistry and R.E, but still have English and some Art to do (I won't be able to do all my Art, as I left my book to dry over night with the view to collecting it today, but was feeling really ill so didn't go to school). I hope none of you feel ill.
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    31.1.16
    Sorry this hasn't been very interesting so far, I've just had a really bad cold and felt sick for the past week or so, and hence haven't felt well enough to do a lot in the way of studying. I've tried really hard to do my homework, but I've not been able to do loads. I've nearly finished my homework for this week- I did my English yesterday.
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    5.2.16
    Hello. I'm sorry I haven't posted since Sunday, but I've been busy with school and still don't feel completely well. I'll post a quick summary of everything that happened each day since I last posted.
    Monday- I was off ill, but did a lot of work, in an attempt to make sure I didn't get too far behind.
    Tuesday- Tuesday was my birthday. I was finally back at school. I had a History assessment, which I don't think went well, as I was still feeling a little unwell and couldn't concentrate clearly. I forgot to write about the League of Nations in a question about Woodrow Wilson's aims for the Paris Peace Conference, which was rather silly of me. I was observed in my second History lesson of the day, in which we started the unit on Hitler.
    Wednesday- Our English teacher was off (I think she was ill), so we had a teacher who was on placement from another school. She was really good and I feel like I learnt more than I have all year with my actual teacher. My Physics teacher was having an argument with my Biology teacher at lunchtime , which was exciting. I did some Creative Writing coursework.
    Thursday- Not a lot happened, but my English teacher was back. She's really annoying. We had my Physics teacher in afternoon form, as my tutor was doing something else. He was less scary than he is in Physics and let us go home two minutes early, as he didn't see the point in having form at the end of the day (it used to be after lunch, which was much better).
    Friday- I had a boring morning. We started an English mock, which we're meant to finish next lesson. The afternoon was alright. I got three commendations, which means I have five in total (though I've lost the one I got for helping the Art department with Year 6 Open Evening). I also got a gold slip from History.
    I hope you are all well.
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    12.2.16
    Hello guys. I'm really sorry I haven't posted in a week, but I've been unwell again. Like last time, I'll give you a quick overview of each day.
    Saturday- I felt ill. I must've picked up another bug at school, as my symptoms had changed. I did a lot of homework.
    Sunday- I still did not feel well, so didn't quite get all my homework finished, but I did work really hard.
    Monday- I was off school, as I felt unwell still. I tried to do as much homework as I could.
    Tuesday- Unfortunately, I was still unable to go to school due to ill-health. My eldest sister (22) was at home and she pressurised me into doing loads of Art, even though I really wasn't up to it and felt sick. She said that I hadn't been productive enough on Monday, despite having spent around four hours doing homework. I also don't see how it concerns her- she is not in charge of my life, though she seems to think she is. Just because she is seven and a half years older than me, does not mean she is in any way superior. I used to get on with her really well when we were younger, but since she finished university, she's been extremely unpleasant to me. She's always making remarks, which make me feel really small and I have low self-esteem as it is. I had depression all through year 8 and towards the back part of year 7, which arose largely from bullying. I never had it diagnosed, but my school rung to say they thought I had it. They seemed to use it as an excuse not to bother following it up when I reported bullying. It took me a lot of courage to even tell them I'd been bullied, as I feared retaliation, and when I did tel, them they told me I needed to be more resilient. My year manager and one of the support staff were really helpful, but most of the other members of staff made me feel worse. My then form tutor was kind, but not really involved with it. Now I have a new year manager, who is highly unpleasant. I don't feel I could talk to her about anything. I was going to do Duke of Edinburgh, but she really put me off. She told me she wasn't sure if I'd be able to work well as part of a team as I was too introverted. She attacked my personality, before standing in the doorway so I couldn't leave and making me promise I'd work well with the group if I joined the scheme. I was in tears and she didn't even apologise until about a week later when she rang my mum. She didn't even apologise to me in person. I could never go to her if I needed help.
    Thankfully, the bullying largely stopped in year 9, as people began to start caring about their work and doing well in class, as opposed to bring 'cool'. Many people even started talking to me and asking for help with their work if they struggled. Now I have some really good friends-only a few, but they're amazing. Even people who I wouldn't class as friends generally seem pleasant to me and I can have a chat with them.
    However, I really worry that the pressure of doing 12 GCSEs and an AS, combined with the fact my sister has been so unpleasant to me lately, might be detrimental to my mental well-being.
    Sorry this is so long. I just felt it would help to write it down.
    Wednesday- I was still ill, but my sister was working, so I did not have her to worry about. My mum and I played a board game, which I got for my birthday and I only did homework, which was not too stressful. Although it still was annoying that I was ill, at least I wasn't bored. I was bored the other Friday when I was ill. The highlight of my day was watching some random documentary about Spandau Ballet.
    Thursday- I was back at school and had some alright lessons. My Art teacher was filling in some data and came round to look at our books. She told me I was working at an A, as my pieces aren't all finished, but the individual pieces are A*. I was really pleased with this, as I would like an A*. I went to Creative Writing, which was alright. My friend, who I knew at nursery inadvertently offended me slightly, but I don't think she meant to, so I didn't say anything about it. Other than that, it was an okay day.
    Friday- Today was alright. I had Geography first, which is always fun. My teacher is really nice and I enjoy the subject. Next was P.E, which I am terrible at. At least we only have to do it once a week now and it is the only subject which doesn't matter in terms of my GCSEs, so I can just talk to my friends. We played basketball, which I did badly in until the last game, where I actually helped my team a bit. We lost the first game, won the second, and I don't even know who won the last (probably the other team, but I couldn't keep track of many points each team had scored). we had French after this, which was enjoyable, as we did a quiz. My team won, which is always good. I'd say French is one of my favourite subjects and one of my strongest as well. I had Maths after that- which was boring- followed by History. I got my test results back. I got 75% and an A (the same as last time). Considering a) I was ill when I sat it and made some stupid mistakes, which I don't think I would've done if I'd felt well, and b) my teacher is a harsh marker, I was pleased.
    How are you?
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    17.2.16
    Hello. I'm so glad it's the holidays. After having the weekend off to recuperate, I started doing homework on Monday. Today, I plan to do quite a lot of Art. It takes me so long to do it though. Has anyone got any tips for speeding up painting/drawing?
    I realised I haven't posted any revision tips yet, so I'm going to write down everything I can think of that's helped me so far this year.
    General Tips:
    - I discovered this somewhat by accident (I hadn't done any revision for a Geography assessment, as I'd been preparing for my GCSE French speaking test), but it worked really well for me and I still remember a lot of the information I revised over a month later. What I did was read through my notes just before I went to sleep. It's scientifically proven that you are more likely to remember information if you learn/go over it before you go to sleep than if you do it in the day. I'm not completely certain why this is, but I think it's got something to do with it not being replaced with other things you learn in the day. I got an A on my Geography test, dropping three marks. I remembered all of the Geography- it was picture questions where I lost the marks, because I couldn't see what was in the pictures that clearly (they were not the best quality print-outs). I really need to practise picture questions, as these seem to be where I struggle.
    I also used this technique with History and again got an A, though in all of the questions I was between marks and was only given the lower mark, so if I got a particularly generous examiner and performed the same, it might be an A*. Considering I was ill, I was fairly pleased and it was mainly exam technique which failed me. I'm going to practice technique a lot before my real exams.
    - Another tip I have is ensuring your notes are in as much detail as possible. In History in particular, I write down any information which could be at all relevant and make extremely detailed notes, sometimes adding my own interpretations of events and thinking about broader impacts, even if we have not been told to do this. I feel it helps me develop a better understanding of what we are learning and means I have information to fall back on if I forget some points in an exam, as I have more information than I need. I write really quickly- the most I've written was probably seven pages in about thirty-five minutes. Consequently, I am able to write down all of these notes without falling behind, but it is important to make sure you don't get left behind and end up missing something.
    - Using colours can be really helpful too, as it brings your attention to important information. Colours can also be used to categorise information or to make diagrams and graphs clearer. Colouring pencils are particularly useful for Geography, as it can make it easier to differentiate between rock types and other things at a glance. They're also helpful in Biology and of course Art. They also brighten up your notes and make the task of revision slightly less monotonous, though I tend only to highlight on sheets and prefer to simply underline of write in capitals if I am writing in my book (I don't really know why this is).
    - Everyone tells you to use mind maps and for some people they don't work, but I do find them helpful. My mind maps often end up illegible, as I cram on a lot of information, but I know what they're supposed to say most of the time. I find they help you form links between ideas, which often means if you think about one idea, related ideas will come to you. They can also be quite aesthetically-pleasing, making them ideal to put on your walls (though I haven't actually done this yet). This year, I haven't made many mind maps, as they are time-consuming and it can be rather tedious copying up notes into a different format, but I will make some nearer exam time, as they do help with organisation and also make you process information.
    - I find revision guides to be helpful for the subjects I have them in. They are quite expensive if you ask me (the French revision guide, which I have yet to get, apparently costs £8!), but they do make it a lot easier to find specific pieces of information and also help if you miss a lesson or didn't understand something when you went over it. The Chemistry guide I have is very useful, as it gives examples of how to work out some questions.
    - For my last Chemistry test, I revised with a friend at lunchtime. We read through the revision guide and our notes, and tested each other. I had been ill, and hence had not even found out about the test until a few days before, so it was good to get some revision in. Also, it made revision much more enjoyable and we invented a song (if you could call it that- it was more of a slightly bizarre chant) to help us remember some chemical formulae, which actually did work. However, if you are going to revise with friends, I would recommend you selected sensible people, as otherwise you probably wouldn't get any work done. I feel this technique was quite successful, as I got an A* and my friend would have got an A/A* (?) if she hadn't misread the 6 mark question and written about the wrong thing, which was unfortunate.
    -Just reading stuff over a lot works for me. Probably every teacher I've had recommended that we didn't do this, but if you don't have much time to prepare this does work fairly well. This is similar to the first tip, but if you do it in the daytime, you should probably go over information more times, as it is harder to remember.

    Subject Specific Tips:
    - For French speaking tests, try and include impressive phrases in your script (your teacher should tell you some good phrases to use). Also use as many tenses as possible and connect paragraphs with powerful connectives. Apply any feedback you receive and improve your script. Wham it comes to learning it, listen to someone who is fluent at French reading your script. You could ask your teacher to record themself saying it and e-mail it to you/burn it on to a CD. Our French teacher put them on this iPad app (our school has iPads). You can then listen to this recording to help with pronunciation. Also, just read through it a lot, ideally out load to someone who has a general understanding of French (even if it's a parent who did it at O-level/GCSE). They can comment on the general flow and pronunciation, even if they don't know what every word means.
    Practice at breaks and lunchtimes, but don't over do it- my French teacher kept her classroom open for us to go and revise and I went in once at break and once at lunch (it might only have been once at lunch, but I'm not sure). My slot was just after lunch, so I practiced a few times in the library at lunch, it only a few and then I stopped, so as not to make myself anymore nervous than I already was. My friend read through my script, as I said it from memory and she corrected me if I went wrong. Check your prompt words through with your teacher, as there are some you're not allowed and make sure you choose words which will help you. You can have them in French or English. Most of mine were in French, but I had two English words, as I found it easier to remember this way.
    My teacher asked if I wanted to practice with her once and I said I would, as I hoped I would get the mistakes out of the way. She gave me a couple of tips to improve, which I implemented, but was very reassuring and made sure to tell me what I had done well.
    I made a few mistakes, as I was panicking so much, but I managed to correct myself quickly. I ended up speaking the odd word of English like 'no'. If I'd been thinking, I would have put on a French accent, but I was too worried. As far as I can see (or should that be 'autant que je puisse en voir'), pronunciation and level of complexity are more important than if you make the odd mistake. It's meant to sound like a conversation, so you have to pause at commas and all that jazz.
    I somehow managed to get 30/30 for my speaking test, which I'm really pleased about, as it is a good start and means there's a tiny bit less pressure on listening, which I find the hardest.
    - My tips are probably not very helpful to you, but if by some remote chance, they actually helped, feel free to ask me any other questions relating to revision.
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    19.2.16
    I've done my French and most of my History this morning. I'm going to try and finish all my homework other than Art today, so I have the weekend to focus on that.
    I went to York yesterday with my mum and my oldest sister. It was quite fun, but a lot of the food shops seem to have changed ownership. The Peruvian llama shop (I can't remember what it's actually called) isn't as good as it used to be. I wanted to buy a useless for £10 from The Works, but it would've been hard to take it home on the train. Also, I can't play the ukulele and I don't like spending money.
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    23.2.16
    Hello. Yesterday, I had a Computing test, which I had no idea was coming, since I have missed the last few lessons. I'm not sure how it went.
    Today I had a French Listening/Reading Test (it was some sort of combo thingy). In afternoon form, I helped a group of Y7s with reading, which was fun. My best friend (except from my cat) has a brother in the form I was working with, and I read with him and a group of his friends, which was fun.
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    Ukele is really fun to play and easy to pick up. (I steal my sister's when I get a chance!)
    Are you doing the new GCSEs? The number system looks really confusing .
    Surprise tests are never fun. I'm sure you did okay though and if not then you have a valid excuse!
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    (Original post by Ara8311a)
    Ukele is really fun to play and easy to pick up. (I steal my sister's when I get a chance!)
    Are you doing the new GCSEs? The number system looks really confusing .
    Surprise tests are never fun. I'm sure you did okay though and if not then you have a valid excuse!
    Sorry I haven't replied to this sooner. Ukele does indeed look fun. Apparently, you can make them out of cardboard, but I'm not entirely sure how that would work. I am doing the new GCSEs and the numbering system is a bit confusing, but it's only for English (both types) and Maths. Thanks. Hopefully it didn't go too badly, but I'm not really sure.
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    28.2.16
    Hello. I had both a Physics test and a Maths test on Thursday. I only found out about them a couple of days before, as I was ill when we were told about the Maths test, and my Physics teacher just didn't think to tell us we had a test.
    I got my Maths test back on Friday- it was marked very quickly. I only got 57%, but the mean average for my class (set 2 out of 10) was 55%, so it could have been worse, especially as I only had chance to do about twenty minutes of revision.
    I don't know how the Physics test went. I revised by reading through the revision guide before I went to sleep and having people ask me questions on the topic. P5 has been my least favourite Physics module so far, as it involves more maths.
    Sorry I haven't posted anything on this thread for awhile, as I've been busy. I've actually had a lot less homework than usual this weekend. I only have a couple of hours worth to do today, as I did the rest yesterday. This is mainly because most of the homework I was given this week was due on Friday or earlier, but also because Preston Park wanted the GCSE Art students to decorate polystyrene eggs to be exhibited at Easter, so my other Art homework was cancelled.
    I hope you are all well.
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    (Original post by Gribby2)
    Sorry I haven't replied to this sooner. Ukele does indeed look fun. Apparently, you can make them out of cardboard, but I'm not entirely sure how that would work. I am doing the new GCSEs and the numbering system is a bit confusing, but it's only for English (both types) and Maths. Thanks. Hopefully it didn't go too badly, but I'm not really sure.
    Cardboard? Unfortunately I am not artistically talented, so I don't think I'll even attempt that.
    I'm so glad I got to do the old GCSE, my sister's in year 9 now so will have to do all new ones. We still have to do new A-levels though.
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    All the best for your exams!
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    I liked the tips, especially with using colours, reading things over - definitely something I've done in the past/will do now as well

    One thing I would say is to space out your paragraphs - particularly when you're listing what happened on each day. It makes it a lot easier to read :wink2:

    Good luck with all of your tests and results
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    (Original post by Ara8311a)
    Cardboard? Unfortunately I am not artistically talented, so I don't think I'll even attempt that.
    I'm so glad I got to do the old GCSE, my sister's in year 9 now so will have to do all new ones. We still have to do new A-levels though.
    I'm not entirely sure how you make cardboard ukeles, but I read something on the internet about it. I only have to do the new GCSEs in Maths and English, so it's not awful, but I would have preferred to do the old ones in everything. I feel sorry for your sister, as she'll have to do the new GCSEs in all subjects. Good luck with the new A-levels.
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    (Original post by Ladbants)
    All the best for your exams!
    Thank you.
 
 
 

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