Isolde's GCSEs- getting grades back up!

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    Hola!

    I'm Isolde, I live in the northwest of England and I plan on using this site as a means of improving my once-perfect, now-meh grades. In other words,

    MAKE ISOLDE GREAT AGAIN

    But, uh, yeah. In short, I'm naturally pretty good in things like English and History, I can get A*s without putting much effort in- however, this means I got a bit slippery in other subjects, like maths, and my grades started to drop in those subjects near the end of year ten. This year I want to take school much more seriously as I know I could get As in subjects like Math and Chemistry, I just really haven't been trying my hardest.
    I'm also trying to teach myself six languages, starting this summer, so if you see any references to that, it's not a school subject!

    I have no idea what my predicted grades or official targets are as over the past year I've kind of been trying to ignore the bad ones :teehee: but I'll try and fetch my report and see where I'm at sometime soon.

    My current grades [going off my last assessments]:
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    English- A*
    Maths- C
    Chemistry- C
    Physics- C
    Biology- B
    RS- A*
    Art- B
    Philosophy and Ethics- A
    History- A*
    Computer Science- A*
    So as you can see I'm falling behind a little bit in the science/math subjects- not because I can't understand them, but because I was lazy af in year ten ._. Look at computer science- that's fairly mathematical, but I do well in it, because I care enough to have a go at it.

    Here's what I want to get in my 2017 exams:
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    English- A*
    Maths- A
    Chemistry- B
    Physics- B
    Biology- B
    RS- A*
    Art- A
    Philosophy and Ethics- A*
    History- A*
    Computer Science- A*
    And here's my plan for improvement this summer:
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    Every Day:
    • At least a half hour studying Science or Maths
    • Read a little- whether it be a textbook or otherwise
    • Try and remember something from the Maths revision guide each day, even if it's something small.
    • Do twenty minutes on a foreign language- not school related but a goal I want to fulfill by the time I'm eighteen.
    Every Week:
    • Do at least three hours of maths.
    • Have practiced each foreign language at least once.
    • Be able to recall a new skill in maths and use it.
    I might add more stuff if I think of anything else I'm doing- and by all means, if you think there's something more I could be doing, please tell me!

    Lastly, here are some tips I've learned and try to follow, or just some little weird things I find help me study. I have extremely poor concentration, too, so these may help if you have the same problem.
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    • CLASSICAL MUSIC. I know, it might not seem like your cup of tea, but non-lyrical classical music can be extremely beneficial for concentration. I like opera, as it still has singing but to someone who doesn't speak Italian or German it's incomprehensible! Here are some pieces I use, most of them are pretty recognisable.
    • Other good music for studying. I think the key is stuff without clear lyrics.
    • You could also use white noise, like ambient sounds of rain.
    • The pomodoro technique.
    • The best way to get something to stick is to learn it, do it, wait two weeks, then do it again.
    So, yep, that's it! I'll use this thread to check in every day and kind of guilt me into studying more, haha. If you have any tips or need advice yourself (I'm particularly helpful in things like computer science, RS, history and english) feel free to come to me!

    ~isolde
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    Welcome to the club of posting GCSE progress!

    What exam boards are you on? In Science, I find CGP's revision guides to be great. Each topic is explained in a way that is palatable and understandable for teenagers.

    but because I was lazy af in year ten ._.
    That is the case with almost everyone. It is so easy to slack in Year 10. I did it for most of Year 9, and some of Year 10, and I was pretty much drifting the whole year. Still suffering because of it, in regards to P1/C1/B1. (not so much B1 because it's so basic)

    I would recommend not just looking at textbooks, since that's a pretty poor revision technique in and of itself. It's best to learn the stuff from the textbooks, then *test* yourself on it, with past papers and the like. Otherwise, you'll never know if stuff is going in, and you won't be familiarised with exam technique.

    Try not to limit yourself either, set the sky as the limit. Not saying you are, that's just general advice.

    At least a half hour studying Science or Maths
    Maths isn't something you should study, which sounds odd at first, but Maths can be seen as a set of methods, and you won't improve by refining your knowledge of the methods, as much as you would by refining your application of the methods, if that makes sense. Hence, you should draw more focus to practice questions, rather than flicking through a textbook

    With your A* in History, I'm assuming you have an excellent memory, along with learning languages, so I would say you can easily go for an A or an A* in the sciences. At GCSE, it's pretty much all just knowing things, not much application. If you don't feel capable that's fine, but if you think there's a chance, absolutely go for it!
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    (Original post by _gcx)
    Welcome to the club of posting GCSE progress!

    What exam boards are you on? In Science, I find CGP's revision guides to be great. Each topic is explained in a way that is palatable and understandable for teenagers.



    That is the case with almost everyone. It is so easy to slack in Year 10. I did it for most of Year 9, and some of Year 10, and I was pretty much drifting the whole year. Still suffering because of it, in regards to P1/C1/B1. (not so much B1 because it's so basic)

    I would recommend not just looking at textbooks, since that's a pretty poor revision technique in and of itself. It's best to learn the stuff from the textbooks, then *test* yourself on it, with past papers and the like. Otherwise, you'll never know if stuff is going in, and you won't be familiarised with exam technique.

    Try not to limit yourself either, set the sky as the limit. Not saying you are, that's just general advice.



    Maths isn't something you should study, which sounds odd at first, but Maths can be seen as a set of methods, and you won't improve by refining your knowledge of the methods, as much as you would by refining your application of the methods, if that makes sense. Hence, you should draw more focus to practice questions, rather than flicking through a textbook

    With your A* in History, I'm assuming you have an excellent memory, along with learning languages, so I would say you can easily go for an A or an A* in the sciences. At GCSE, it's pretty much all just knowing things, not much application. If you don't feel capable that's fine, but if you think there's a chance, absolutely go for it!
    I'm on Edexcel for Maths, CS, History and sciences, AQA for English and Art, OCR for RS and Philosophy/Ethics- and yeah, I have a CGP revision guide! It's actually recommended by my school for the sciences so I'm planning on buying a few more, they're very helpful.

    Haha yeah, that's what I meant by 'study', should've been more specific ^^; I kind of do want to go for As in the sciences, I just struggle so much with concentration in Chemistry and Physics especially that it seems a bit outlandish for me right now- but I'll see how actually trying to pay attention goes and work from there

    Thanks for the advice! I'm going to start some maths tests now and see how far behind I actually am, hah.
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    (Original post by iso.lde)
    I'm on Edexcel for Maths, CS, History and sciences, AQA for English and Art, OCR for RS and Philosophy/Ethics- and yeah, I have a CGP revision guide! It's actually recommended by my school for the sciences so I'm planning on buying a few more, they're very helpful.

    Haha yeah, that's what I meant by 'study', should've been more specific ^^; I kind of do want to go for As in the sciences, I just struggle so much with concentration in Chemistry and Physics especially that it seems a bit outlandish for me right now- but I'll see how actually trying to pay attention goes and work from there

    Thanks for the advice! I'm going to start some maths tests now and see how far behind I actually am, hah.
    Good luck!
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    So far today, I've:
    • Done ten minutes each on German and French skills
    • Re-organised my desk... Does that count as being productive? Haha, probably not. Gives me somewhere to actually work, I suppose.
    Tonight I want to get done:
    • A minimum of half an hour doing math questions to see what I need to work on. (spoilers: it's everything!)
    • Force myself to do the questions I know I'm awful at, because I have a tendency to just go with the stuff I already know to make me feel less panicked.
    • Maybe fit in some Italian and Dutch practice.
    • Finish reading the book I'm on (the Virgin Suicides)
    Today has been a bit of a chill one as I have work (well, volunteer work) tomorrow and I wanted a day to relax before I start lifting heavy things and dealing with petulant customers again, so I went to the cinema and cleaned for most of the afternoon. I'll update later to make sure I fulfilled my promises for the evening
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    Hi iso.Ide! :wavey:
    It's great to see that you have your own GCSE thread- *sniff* they grow up so fast.
    You're grades are excellent and with hard work you will achieve those grades and better.

    Your techniques to remain focus are very interesting, particularly the Pomodoro Effect! It is an unusual technique isn't it?

    I wish you all the best with your GCSE Journey!
    Spoiler:
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    Please feel free to PM me if you want to talk GCSE or anything for that matter!
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    (Original post by iso.lde)
    So far today, I've:
    • Done ten minutes each on German and French skills
    • Re-organised my desk... Does that count as being productive? Haha, probably not. Gives me somewhere to actually work, I suppose.
    Tonight I want to get done:
    • A minimum of half an hour doing math questions to see what I need to work on. (spoilers: it's everything!)
    • Force myself to do the questions I know I'm awful at, because I have a tendency to just go with the stuff I already know to make me feel less panicked.
    • Maybe fit in some Italian and Dutch practice.
    • Finish reading the book I'm on (the Virgin Suicides)
    Today has been a bit of a chill one as I have work (well, volunteer work) tomorrow and I wanted a day to relax before I start lifting heavy things and dealing with petulant customers again, so I went to the cinema and cleaned for most of the afternoon. I'll update later to make sure I fulfilled my promises for the evening
    No, otherwise you would have a U with 0 marks XD

    I would recommend scanning through your mocks to see what questions you got wrong, whether partially or completely, then first see what topic it was linked to, and then learn where you went wrong by potentially looking through your notes, or notes online, for that topic, and then improve by doing more practice questions centred around it, until you no longer get them wrong!

    Keep on going, and maybe create a checklist of the stuff on the specification, and ticking them off as you go along. I've been meaning to do that for a while, but I keep on putting it off lol.

    Force myself to do the questions I know I'm awful at, because I have a tendency to just go with the stuff I already know to make me feel less panicked.
    That's something I do quite a lot. I also have the tendancy of saying in my head "yeah, I know how to do that, I don't need to practice it", then finding out I can't do it. It's a really deflating feeling D:
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    (Original post by umar39)
    Hi iso.Ide! :wavey:
    It's great to see that you have your own GCSE thread- *sniff* they grow up so fast.
    You're grades are excellent and with hard work you will achieve those grades and better.

    Your techniques to remain focus are very interesting, particularly the Pomodoro Effect! It is an unusual technique isn't it?

    I wish you all the best with your GCSE Journey!
    Spoiler:
    Show
    Please feel free to PM me if you want to talk GCSE or anything for that matter!
    The Pomodoro technique isn't an unusual technique as my friend MrMackyTv uses this. It's basically a technique where you spend 20 mins-ish revising before taking a 5 mins break before restarting another 20 mins and so on. This technique is useful when you want to break down for example 2 hrs worths of revision into manageable chunks.
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    (Original post by JTran38)
    The Pomodoro technique isn't an unusual technique as my friend MrMackyTv uses this. It's basically a technique where you spend 20 mins-ish revising before taking a 5 mins break before restarting another 20 mins and so on. This technique is useful when you want to break down for example 2 hrs worths of revision into manageable chunks.

    Sounds like a manageable and practical way to revise. I'll try this method for a few days and see how it goes.
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    iso.lde What exam board are you for Science? If you're with AQA, I highly recommend freesciencelessons on YouTube who does excellent videos and has a website full of useful resources like flashcards.

    My advice for boosting those grades is to make notes and/or watch videos, do a past paper. Then do gap analysis which is essentially addressing weaker topics e.g photosynthesis and re-learning the content and ensuring that you know it.
    If you need any help, feel free to PM me.
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    (Original post by umar39)
    Sounds like a manageable and practical way to revise. I'll try this method for a few days and see how it goes.
    Good luck
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    (Original post by iso.lde)
    So far today, I've:
    • Done ten minutes each on German and French skills
    • Re-organised my desk... Does that count as being productive? Haha, probably not. Gives me somewhere to actually work, I suppose.
    Tonight I want to get done:
    • A minimum of half an hour doing math questions to see what I need to work on. (spoilers: it's everything!)
    • Force myself to do the questions I know I'm awful at, because I have a tendency to just go with the stuff I already know to make me feel less panicked.
    • Maybe fit in some Italian and Dutch practice.
    • Finish reading the book I'm on (the Virgin Suicides)
    Today has been a bit of a chill one as I have work (well, volunteer work) tomorrow and I wanted a day to relax before I start lifting heavy things and dealing with petulant customers again, so I went to the cinema and cleaned for most of the afternoon. I'll update later to make sure I fulfilled my promises for the evening
    Hey well done for all this - If you ever need any help you can drop me a PM and I'd be happy to help. I've just sat GCSEs this year and I really enjoy Maths and Science so feel free to ask

    And enjoy your volunteering work!
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    (Original post by brainzistheword)
    Hey well done for all this - If you ever need any help you can drop me a PM and I'd be happy to help. I've just sat GCSEs this year and I really enjoy Maths and Science so feel free to ask

    And enjoy your volunteering work!
    thanks, and well done on finishing your GCSEs! I envy that you enjoy maths and science, hahaha

    (Original post by JTran38)
    iso.lde What exam board are you for Science? If you're with AQA, I highly recommend freesciencelessons on YouTube who does excellent videos and has a website full of useful resources like flashcards.

    My advice for boosting those grades is to make notes and/or watch videos, do a past paper. Then do gap analysis which is essentially addressing weaker topics e.g photosynthesis and re-learning the content and ensuring that you know it.
    If you need any help, feel free to PM me.
    I'm on Edexcel, but thanks for the reference! That technique sounds like it would work pretty well for me, as I learn through listening and actioning something out- I'm using a notebook to keep track of my studies so I'll write that down.

    (Original post by _gcx)
    No, otherwise you would have a U with 0 marks XD

    I would recommend scanning through your mocks to see what questions you got wrong, whether partially or completely, then first see what topic it was linked to, and then learn where you went wrong by potentially looking through your notes, or notes online, for that topic, and then improve by doing more practice questions centred around it, until you no longer get them wrong!

    Keep on going, and maybe create a checklist of the stuff on the specification, and ticking them off as you go along. I've been meaning to do that for a while, but I keep on putting it off lol.



    That's something I do quite a lot. I also have the tendancy of saying in my head "yeah, I know how to do that, I don't need to practice it", then finding out I can't do it. It's a really deflating feeling D:
    Good idea! Though I think I threw away the results from my mocks... yeah I was really flippant last year ;-; And I do that too... Especially last year when I was doing some last minute revision for exams and just went 'lol, guess I'm going to fail!'. I can get really nihilistic in a funny way in situations like that, haha.
    I'm currently trying to quickly cycle through most topics in the courses to see where my weak spots are and focus on them- there's a lot of stuff I can remember vaguely hearing in lessons, so that's good that I know the basic principle behind the methods, I just need to practice being able to utilise them off the top of my head.

    (Original post by umar39)
    Hi iso.Ide! :wavey:
    It's great to see that you have your own GCSE thread- *sniff* they grow up so fast.
    You're grades are excellent and with hard work you will achieve those grades and better.

    Your techniques to remain focus are very interesting, particularly the Pomodoro Effect! It is an unusual technique isn't it?

    I wish you all the best with your GCSE Journey!
    Spoiler:
    Show
    Please feel free to PM me if you want to talk GCSE or anything for that matter!
    Hahaha yeah, it seems like a good way to shame me into actually getting stuff done And it's a good method, especially for someone like me whose main problem is poor concentration and impatience. Keeps me from getting distracted too easily. Good luck to you too!!
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    Last night I got some more stuff done- Just passed out right afterwards, hah. Today was my first day at a new volunteering place, it was nice. More carrying heavy stuff and crying children, as predicted ^^;

    I just got home, so I'm going to catch up on the news and clear my inbox before doing some more work, including:
    • Language work
    • A half hour or more of algebra and //shudders trigonometry ;-;
    • Continue reading Das Kapital (I'm not a communist lol, though I do have a large plushie of Karl Marx on my desk. it's a long story) and making notes- this is for personal purposes, not school
    • Maybe start my summer art coursework. I have eight pages of artwork to get done by September, which shouldn't be too much but GCSE art makes me want to never look at a pencil again.
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    (Original post by iso.lde)
    Last night I got some more stuff done- Just passed out right afterwards, hah. Today was my first day at a new volunteering place, it was nice. More carrying heavy stuff and crying children, as predicted ^^;

    I just got home, so I'm going to catch up on the news and clear my inbox before doing some more work, including:
    • Language work
    • A half hour or more of algebra and //shudders trigonometry ;-;
    • Continue reading Das Kapital (I'm not a communist lol, though I do have a large plushie of Karl Marx on my desk. it's a long story) and making notes- this is for personal purposes, not school
    • Maybe start my summer art coursework. I have eight pages of artwork to get done by September, which shouldn't be too much but GCSE art makes me want to never look at a pencil again.
    You seem to be very busy!
    I know someone that does GCSE Art- apparently the course work is very long but enjoyable. I actually would have done Art at GCSE if it wasn't for the exams being so long!
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    (Original post by umar39)
    You seem to be very busy!
    I know someone that does GCSE Art- apparently the course work is very long but enjoyable. I actually would have done Art at GCSE if it wasn't for the exams being so long!
    I hate GCSE art ;-; I used to enjoy art and drawing so much, and I got so skilled at it by working so hard but this class just sucks the life out of me haha. The exams don't seem so bad tbh, they sound pretty chill- it's literally just an entire school day sitting and working on a project in silence, which sounds pretty good. The work is enjoyable sometimes but transferring drawing (which I find, or found fun) into work is tiring.
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    (Original post by iso.lde)
    I hate GCSE art ;-; I used to enjoy art and drawing so much, and I got so skilled at it by working so hard but this class just sucks the life out of me haha. The exams don't seem so bad tbh, they sound pretty chill- it's literally just an entire school day sitting and working on a project in silence, which sounds pretty good. The work is enjoyable sometimes but transferring drawing (which I find, or found fun) into work is tiring.
    Sorry to hear that!
    I would love to just sit and raw for a day! That would be so fun
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    (Original post by iso.lde)
    Last night I got some more stuff done- Just passed out right afterwards, hah. Today was my first day at a new volunteering place, it was nice. More carrying heavy stuff and crying children, as predicted ^^;

    I just got home, so I'm going to catch up on the news and clear my inbox before doing some more work, including:
    • Language work
    • A half hour or more of algebra and //shudders trigonometry ;-;
    • Continue reading Das Kapital (I'm not a communist lol, though I do have a large plushie of Karl Marx on my desk. it's a long story) and making notes- this is for personal purposes, not school
    • Maybe start my summer art coursework. I have eight pages of artwork to get done by September, which shouldn't be too much but GCSE art makes me want to never look at a pencil again.
    Interested as to how GCSE Art works. Is there any writing aspect to the exam, or is it all controlled work on a piece?
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    (Original post by _gcx)
    Interested as to how GCSE Art works. Is there any writing aspect to the exam, or is it all controlled work on a piece?
    It's all controlled work- literally just sitting and drawing/painting for a full day. Much more fun than the coursework aspect of it, though in the exam you are basically just working on coursework.
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    Today was another day of malfunctioning tills ;-; Luckily tomorrow is my day off so I'll use it wisely. I've just done a bit on standard form, which I can surprisingly handle quite well. It's amazing how much I've subliminally taken in from staring into space for a year, hah. I'll read for a little while and then start some language notes and maybe more math stuff if I have time.
 
 
 
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