How to get 10 A* in GCSEs Watch

lovecinnamon16
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Exams are coming up really soon and I want to get 10 A* in my GCSEs. I got 4 A* and 6 As in my mocks and don't know how to boost my grades up, especially in French and History!
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Oblivion99
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French - keep practicing vocabulary and listen to music/movies in french to boost your listening and do past papers!
History - make mind maps/flash cards and know all the details.

Go over every spec/past papers.
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♥Samantha♥
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Heya I got 11A*s at GCSE.

my revision wasn't intense or special I think what i important is how you think about what you're revising, not how much revision you do or even really what you're doing. I would just revise as it came so most of my revision was the day before and the day of each exam with a little extra on weekends. It's just important that you make sure you understand and know what you need to know.

I would read the revision guides and then answer the questions at the bottom of each page. You don't have to write them out if that takes time I would just think it through in my head "Do I know the answer? Can I answer it confidently?" then I would think out the answer in my head or out loud and if I could answer I'd move on to the next topic and if I got stuck read the notes again. Also I did a past paper before going into the exam so that I wasn't shocked by the style of the exams and was in the zone.

For French the day before the exam my sister and I (we are in the same year she got 9A*s btw) made loads of french flash cards as at the back of the specification it has a list of basically every word you have to know. There are a lot of words like 1000+ so only write down the most unfamiliar ones. This was surprisingly useful I got 100% in the reading exam as I kept seeing words that were I remembered from flash cards - I only wish I'd thought of it earlier to save me from the stress!

i didn't do history but i guess geography and english are closest?? idk.

For geography people overestimate how much detail about case studies you need to know, and I noticed that my school taught some case studies that I didn't actually need to know SO ALWAYS LOOK AT THE SPEC TO SEE WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW (this goes for all subjects)! Basically all my revision for all subjects were based around the specifications. For each case study I would learn about 2 facts but all you really need is a general understanding of the study. I got 393/400 and I remember not really using any actual facts with figures in studies so its not that important even though my school was saying know at least 5 facts.

For English lit - get at least 1 sophisticated idea about every character and theme in the book - literally the morning of the exam I had divine inspiration (lol) and thought hey Imma watch youtube videos on different characters as it requires no effort from me. So then in the exam I just remembered stuff from the video (it was like in no way related to my question but i could :dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin: enough to make out that it was) and i got 190/200.

english lang - ngl i didn't do :dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin: for this i was so confused on how to prepare for this i didn't even answer all the questions bc we'd never done a mock in school so i hadn't practiced it before but i still somehow managed to scrape an A* ( i was literally on the a* mark for the exam but my CA pushed me further in)

um if u want anything for other subjects then ask i just stopped here bc i realised this is getting long and i didn't do history soz.

Well done on starting early enough I remember in easter i hadn't started revision (i hadn't finished the course in most subjects) and instead I was being forced to go to Easter school as I was failing my ICT controlled assessment lol.
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♥Samantha♥
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lol they changed cuss words into dolphins riiight
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math42
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I didn't get 10A*s but I did get very high A*s in 6 of the 8 subjects I put effort into. History...learn your facts very well, I'd copy them up over and over again. Past paper practice is key, and for reassurance/clarification you can use mark schemes/examiner reports to help you write in the right way if needs be. I got 99% in history GCSE through essentially just past papers and knowledge of facts and appropriate technique for certain questions. The exact techniques are exam board dependent and your teacher(s) or examiner reports will help you. If you are doing WJEC I could offer some guidance I think.
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Haamoo7
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(Original post by lovecinnamon16)
Exams are coming up really soon and I want to get 10 A* in my GCSEs. I got 4 A* and 6 As in my mocks and don't know how to boost my grades up, especially in French and History!
GCSEs are a breeze, because it's pretty much basic memorisation of information that you have to regurgitate in the exam, with very little application of the theory learnt. (When i mean memorisation, you also have to understand the different concepts, like in the sciences. Only after you have understood can you memorise)

I got 7A* and 4A, with revision literally the night before for each of my exams (don't do what I did though. I got lucky in a way).

How I revised was reading through the revision guides. Then re-read them. And see if you can recall the information without looking. For the harder/tougher bits that you can't memorise, write it out in the form of revision notes/cards. Then test your memory, and repeat/write another set of notes.

For a language (french/spanish/german etc) you need to know your basic vocab and grammar. It's pretty easy to infer what they mean in the exam if you don't understand some of the words. Just go over your tenses and vocab lists (you should have been given vocab over the course of year 10/11. try to memorise as much of it as possible)

But yeah. Understand everything first, by going through it with your teacher and stuff. Then to revise the info, memorise it. I would say I have like a 1/4 photographic memory, so it was slightly easier for me. (:
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champ_mc99
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(Original post by ♥Samantha♥)
Heya I got 11A*s at GCSE.

my revision wasn't intense or special I think what i important is how you think about what you're revising, not how much revision you do or even really what you're doing. I would just revise as it came so most of my revision was the day before and the day of each exam with a little extra on weekends. It's just important that you make sure you understand and know what you need to know.

I would read the revision guides and then answer the questions at the bottom of each page. You don't have to write them out if that takes time I would just think it through in my head "Do I know the answer? Can I answer it confidently?" then I would think out the answer in my head or out loud and if I could answer I'd move on to the next topic and if I got stuck read the notes again. Also I did a past paper before going into the exam so that I wasn't shocked by the style of the exams and was in the zone.

For French the day before the exam my sister and I (we are in the same year she got 9A*s btw) made loads of french flash cards as at the back of the specification it has a list of basically every word you have to know. There are a lot of words like 1000+ so only write down the most unfamiliar ones. This was surprisingly useful I got 100% in the reading exam as I kept seeing words that were I remembered from flash cards - I only wish I'd thought of it earlier to save me from the stress!

i didn't do history but i guess geography and english are closest?? idk.

For geography people overestimate how much detail about case studies you need to know, and I noticed that my school taught some case studies that I didn't actually need to know SO ALWAYS LOOK AT THE SPEC TO SEE WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW (this goes for all subjects)! Basically all my revision for all subjects were based around the specifications. For each case study I would learn about 2 facts but all you really need is a general understanding of the study. I got 393/400 and I remember not really using any actual facts with figures in studies so its not that important even though my school was saying know at least 5 facts.

For English lit - get at least 1 sophisticated idea about every character and theme in the book - literally the morning of the exam I had divine inspiration (lol) and thought hey Imma watch youtube videos on different characters as it requires no effort from me. So then in the exam I just remembered stuff from the video (it was like in no way related to my question but i could :dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin: enough to make out that it was) and i got 190/200.

english lang - ngl i didn't do :dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin: for this i was so confused on how to prepare for this i didn't even answer all the questions bc we'd never done a mock in school so i hadn't practiced it before but i still somehow managed to scrape an A* ( i was literally on the a* mark for the exam but my CA pushed me further in)

um if u want anything for other subjects then ask i just stopped here bc i realised this is getting long and i didn't do history soz.

Well done on starting early enough I remember in easter i hadn't started revision (i hadn't finished the course in most subjects) and instead I was being forced to go to Easter school as I was failing my ICT controlled assessment lol.
Lol, you're a twin? Nice grades btw. What are you doing for AS?
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♥Samantha♥
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(Original post by champ_mc99)
Lol, you're a twin? Nice grades btw. What are you doing for AS?
I'm not a twin lol i was just put up in school so i am now in the same year as my sister but she's more than a year older than me. For A level I'm doing maths, further maths, economics and chemistry. I also did ASs in year 11 in science, citizenship studies and english language and literature (got all As).
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champ_mc99
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(Original post by ♥Samantha♥)
I'm not a twin lol i was just put up in school so i am now in the same year as my sister but she's more than a year older than me. For A level I'm doing maths, further maths, economics and chemistry. I also did ASs in year 11 in science, citizenship studies and english language and literature (got all As).
Wow you're pretty damn smart! So you're going to have like 8 AS levels by the end of year 12.
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♥Samantha♥
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(Original post by champ_mc99)
Wow you're pretty damn smart! So you're going to have like 8 AS levels by the end of year 12.
Thanks and its 7 as english lang&lit is as one AS. so I will have 4 full a levels + 3 standalone ASs.
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Pentaquark
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My experience and maybe helpful advice i guess for subjects I had took:
Haha sorry its a bit long
Spoiler:
Show

English lit - AQA (To Kill A Mockingbird and An Inspector Calls plus Relationship Anthology)

I had barely read the texts because they were so boring. Just read summaries that you can get online.
Memorise a few quotations for each charater and then analyse loads during the exams. There is no right or wrong answer just use good quotes that you can write loads on.

Same for poetry just know a few decent quotations for each poem. For unseen just analyse stuff you can quite a decent amount on. You dont have time to analyse everything so pick the really good bits. Exemplars help alot sometimes to see the quality of A* analysis and structure.

English lang - can't really prepare (AQA)
If your teacher is crap then watch stuff on youtube (e.g. Mr bruff) on what to do on each question.
You will do loads of practice in lessons.
I couldn't really prepare for this one apart from reading a few exemplars the night before. But I didn't worry too much about it as I had got a high A* in a mock.
Just write fast and write lots with plenty of justification.

Language - i did spanish (Edexcel)
I can pick up languages relatively quickly in terms of vocab. Smash the coursework & speaking and then read over vocab lists before the exams.
For listening in class we had done a lot of past papers so I didn't need to prepare a lot for that. I did however listen to plenty of spanish songs, (also french but I didn't take french what a shame ) I liked all throughout the year as I enjoyed them David Bisbal's Ave Maria may or may not have improved my listening skills.

Maths - past papers (Edexcel)
Nothing more to it. Lessons for me were pointless as 90% questions in the textbook were useless apart from drilling into my head a sort of robotic way to solve a particular question so tedious and boring. Obviously practice is good but better quality practice is even better. You should also actually understand things and not just follow methods before doing papers.

There are loads so just hammer them like no tomorrow nearer exam time. And don't miss any good ones out I forgot edexcel june 2004 (one of the hardest papers i think) and it would have prepared me a lot more then say a lot of others personally.
Aim for the highest and dont settle for less.

Sciences - i did core, additional and further additional (AQA)
Core was a pain, Additional was a pain
Further additional was easier than core & additional put together for me.

Stupid mark shemes. I understood the stuff but it was hard for me word it they way they wanted and I ended up missing stuff out because i'd ramble on too much.

Past papers are key and memorise mark scheme wording. Obviously understand what you are memorising though. Its bad to memorise stuff you dont really understand. For me this was more for biology rather than physics or chemistry.

Take time to learn the content before you jump straight in past papers and look at mark schemes. Alot of people liked mygcsescience if you like videos and that sort of thing as well.

RE - make good quotes up and overuse the main ones (Edexcel)
Love thy neighbour was used a million times in my exams. And the golden rule
High grade boundaries though for an A*.
I wrecked a question because I didnt read it properly. Still managed to get an A* somehow.

Just aim for full marks and always write loads just to make sure you get the mark. Obviously dont go overboard as you need time to do all the questions but if you force yourself to write fast then it will be fine.

I made mind maps the day of the exam and day before. Which didnt help at all tbf and i had memorised islamic quotes which I didnt even end up using. But do that just incase.

Art - fun but coursework will take up most of your revision time. (OCR)
My mates would be revising for exams and i would still have to finish bloody courswork pieces that I had spent days on because I wanted everything to be perfect. Anyone who is doing Art, if your teacher constantly says that you will get an A* then they are right.
I worried far too much over my stuff and kind of went overboard in terms of number of pieces and perfecting every little thing.

If you want that A*, just make sure you show good development and using plenty of your own resources rather than copying from other artists. Good analysis is key and again just make stuff up. One girl in my class was brilliant at drawing but had poor development and got a B.

Catering - ew so boring but i liked lessons because it was a sit off basically. (WJEC)

Read CGP the day of the exams just to make sure you don't get any nasty questions that actually require you to know stuff rather than just winging it with common sense. Btw I dont have any common sense and i done alright.

HOWEVER coursework needs to be top notch and it will decide how easy you will get that A*.
Really regret not picking french instead.
Yes you get to cook food and eat it (why i picked it) but could you be bothered with the tedious boring coursework.

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NotMolly
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(Original post by lovecinnamon16)
Exams are coming up really soon and I want to get 10 A* in my GCSEs. I got 4 A* and 6 As in my mocks and don't know how to boost my grades up, especially in French and History!
(11 A*s at GCSE)

If you have the CGP books I'd definitely recommend those (if you can stand the corny jokes). The practise questions in them are good for consolidating the material.

Remember to do as many past papers as possible!

For things like maths and science I used to draw out diagrams and write out formulae and stick them on my walls - really helped it to go in.

I did French and what I'd recommend is past papers, looking at the mark schemes, writing down new vocab you're not familiar with and making a point of learning it.
I'd also recommend doing the listening papers if you can get access to the files, they're really helpful.

Have you done your speaking/writing coursework for French yet?

Good luck anyway, as long as you get the grades to get into the college/sixth form you want you'll be fine. Halfway through your AS year no one will even care what you got anyway :-)
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username2219677
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(Original post by ♥Samantha♥)
Heya I got 11A*s at GCSE.

my revision wasn't intense or special I think what i important is how you think about what you're revising, not how much revision you do or even really what you're doing. I would just revise as it came so most of my revision was the day before and the day of each exam with a little extra on weekends. It's just important that you make sure you understand and know what you need to know.

I would read the revision guides and then answer the questions at the bottom of each page. You don't have to write them out if that takes time I would just think it through in my head "Do I know the answer? Can I answer it confidently?" then I would think out the answer in my head or out loud and if I could answer I'd move on to the next topic and if I got stuck read the notes again. Also I did a past paper before going into the exam so that I wasn't shocked by the style of the exams and was in the zone.

For French the day before the exam my sister and I (we are in the same year she got 9A*s btw) made loads of french flash cards as at the back of the specification it has a list of basically every word you have to know. There are a lot of words like 1000+ so only write down the most unfamiliar ones. This was surprisingly useful I got 100% in the reading exam as I kept seeing words that were I remembered from flash cards - I only wish I'd thought of it earlier to save me from the stress!

i didn't do history but i guess geography and english are closest?? idk.

For geography people overestimate how much detail about case studies you need to know, and I noticed that my school taught some case studies that I didn't actually need to know SO ALWAYS LOOK AT THE SPEC TO SEE WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW (this goes for all subjects)! Basically all my revision for all subjects were based around the specifications. For each case study I would learn about 2 facts but all you really need is a general understanding of the study. I got 393/400 and I remember not really using any actual facts with figures in studies so its not that important even though my school was saying know at least 5 facts.

For English lit - get at least 1 sophisticated idea about every character and theme in the book - literally the morning of the exam I had divine inspiration (lol) and thought hey Imma watch youtube videos on different characters as it requires no effort from me. So then in the exam I just remembered stuff from the video (it was like in no way related to my question but i could :dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin: enough to make out that it was) and i got 190/200.

english lang - ngl i didn't do :dolphin::dolphin::dolphin::dolphin: for this i was so confused on how to prepare for this i didn't even answer all the questions bc we'd never done a mock in school so i hadn't practiced it before but i still somehow managed to scrape an A* ( i was literally on the a* mark for the exam but my CA pushed me further in)

um if u want anything for other subjects then ask i just stopped here bc i realised this is getting long and i didn't do history soz.

Well done on starting early enough I remember in easter i hadn't started revision (i hadn't finished the course in most subjects) and instead I was being forced to go to Easter school as I was failing my ICT controlled assessment lol.
Damn..When did you actually start then? Btw solid advice
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♥Samantha♥
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(Original post by shilshark)
Damn..When did you actually start then? Btw solid advice
May. And thanks
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(Original post by ♥Samantha♥)
May. And thanks
May. 11 A*s. In may.

I think the only explanation how you did that all in May was because you may have some amazing intellect. But idc, you motivated me alot. I've only done a bit here and there but i thought i had no time because its already April. But if one person has done it, it should not be impossible! I have so much more hope now! thank you!
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♥Samantha♥
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(Original post by shilshark)
May. 11 A*s. In may.

I think the only explanation how you did that all in May was because you may have some amazing intellect. But idc, you motivated me alot. I've only done a bit here and there but i thought i had no time because its already April. But if one person has done it, it should not be impossible! I have so much more hope now! thank you!
It's not impossible at all! My sister started like the same time as me and she got 9A*s. However starting earlier does help. I know people with 13A*s and they all started like jan/feb. Good luck with your revision!
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Hiya, I got 9A*s an A and a B,I'd say that you shouldn't be daunted by people saying 'oooh I've done 6 hours today' it's all about what you do with your time. For Geography (edexcel), write out your case studies and learn them down to a couple of points. You don't need to know all the detail at all. For History (edexcel), I made timelines of events of each period of history and then just went over them and over them writing out the key points in each. As a rule of thumb between your mocks and your exams, your grades should go up by half which means that you should be on track right now.

Physics is all about that formulae, just go over it, learn it backwards too like to work out what the equation calculates for. Weirdly, I remember my paper was quite a lot of longer writing answers.
Biology you need pretty decent notes but your teacher may have given you lots of stuff that's above and beyond the spec, so make sure you know what you need to know before you start remembering the gold dust, do a whole bunch of papers and past paper q's there's a good chance that most of the paper you will have seen before and you won't worry.
Chemistry, nail down calculations and do past papers, as with biology you'll run into broadly similar questions there too.
I did all Edexcel sciences too
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LaibaTrq
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♥Samantha♥
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(Original post by LaibaTrq)
So I haven't started properly. I did a bit here and there. Is that still okay?
BTW some good advice you gave. Sure to give it a try.
Yes thats fine. Im doing AS exams and I still haven't started my revision. I think a bit here and there is good rather than going overboard with revision. You don't need to get really serious until May as for most GCSE subjects it takes less than a day to read the revision guide. With my GCSEs I didn't touch any of the subjects/modules that I wasn't going to be doing until June until the May break as you get a whole week off to revise anyway. Look at your exam timetable and try starting with one of your earliest exams or whatever you're least comfortable with.
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(Original post by ♥Samantha♥)
Yes thats fine. Im doing AS exams and I still haven't started my revision. I think a bit here and there is good rather than going overboard with revision. You don't need to get really serious until May as for most GCSE subjects it takes less than a day to read the revision guide. With my GCSEs I didn't touch any of the subjects/modules that I wasn't going to be doing until June until the May break as you get a whole week off to revise anyway. Look at your exam timetable and try starting with one of your earliest exams or whatever you're least comfortable with.
btw when you say you read your revision guide, did you just simply read it or go through taking notes from it?
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