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    Ok so I'm 14 and I'm year 11 in secondary school and I have assessments in two weeks and English gcse mocks, my first proper GCSE exam for English in January and I have no idea how to revise!
    Writing things down and memorising things doesn't help me remember and learn them. When it comes to the exams I just forget absolutely everything!
    So what I'm asking is how can I revise effectively, Amy tips and tricks would be appreciated!
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Ok so I'm 14 and I'm year 11 in secondary school and I have assessments in two weeks and English gcse mocks, my first proper GCSE exam for English in January and I have no idea how to revise!
    Writing things down and memorising things doesn't help me remember and learn them. When it comes to the exams I just forget absolutely everything!
    So what I'm asking is how can I revise effectively, Amy tips and tricks would be appreciated!
    Revision techniques vary for every person and subject. You need to try lots of techniques and find what works for you.

    English tends to be a combination of being able to write good essays and other pieces of English as well as understanding concepts related to certain media. I'm assuming you'll need to write some sort of story or essay in the exam. This means you need to practice writing stories or essays. Write 1 or 2 a week. Get your teacher to mark it. When you're in a good position memorise the key parts so that you can replicate it in the exam.

    Writing and memorising notes won't help in practical exams that test your skills. You need to practice the skills themselves. The easiest way to do this is by going through old exam papers.
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    I'll briefly run through how I revised or would recommend revising for each subject:

    English Literature: Read your books more than once! I didn't and although I got a good grade and I'm doing it at A-Level, I wish I'd done this. Don't keep putting it off, I didn't read my books again for ages and then it got right to week before my exams and I didn't know them as well as I wish I did. Learn key quotes- order them in a way you understand and write them either on flashcards or type them. Suggestions for how to group quotes: you can either group quotes by character, theme, or chapter. Make sure you know the relevance of the quotes. Learn your themes, symbols, plot and characters. Make flashcards or mindmaps- whatever works for you. As for poetry, continually read through the poems. Go over your analysis of them if you have any notes, again look at themes, structure, form, as well as symbols, meaning. Try to practice analysing some unseen poetry and check it with your teacher. Remember, in all your subjects, teachers are there to help you and will be pleased to see you are revising and give you advice.

    English Language: Practice questions. This is the absolute essential revision tip. Also, if your school runs a revision club, go to it, the teacher can help you practice then as well- you should go to revision clubs for most of your subjects if they're offered, it's an extra hour at school and a guarenteed way of putting in some extra work. Read articles and practice looking at the technqiues used. Also, make a couple of flashcards on all the devices- alliteration, allusion, onomatopoeia (spelling may be wrong), simile, metaphor, tripart pattering (triples/power of three). Keep reminding youself of what you need to look for on these questions. Practice creative writing. This is the best way to revise. Also, watch Mr Bruff's videos on Youtube. These cover the exam in detail and everyone who used his advice seems to have positive feedback.

    Maths: Again, practice questions. You can revise as much as you want of the actual skills (which you do need to do), but make sure you're consistently practicing. Past papers are the best ways, do every one you can get your hands on. Find more questions online. Also, a good way to revise methods, is watching videos. I used MathsWatch, which would show the method then give practice questions, but if you're school doesn't have access to this then find something similar. I went from Cs and Bs in Maths, but with doing past papers, I got up to consistent As (got an A in my GCSE). My maths teacher said practice is the only way to revise and get better.

    Sciences: I honestly have to recommend MYGCSESCIENCE, if you're on the old spec for science still (check with your teacher if you're not sure). These videos cost money, but it is 100% worth it! I went from expecting Cs and maybe Bs in Science to getting 2 As and a B. What I did was watch every video, pausing and making notes on everything he said. I would then use the CGP revision guide, go through every page memorising as much as I could, and at the end of the section, asnwer the questions they put in it. Then I would watch the videos all again, closer to the exam, and just sit and watch, and take it all in. My friends all did this kind of technique and we all improved our science grades hugely (most of them did better than me- A*s and As).

    Essay-based subjects (e.g. History, RS): It varies from subject to subject- but I would say obviously practice essay writing. You also must learn the content. Like the sciences and English Literature, you can't just do practice questions. Make mindmaps, type it, flashcards anything- and then learn it. Do recall- look, cover, write, check. Keep doing this. You'll also want to practice analytical skills if you're doing history. I didn't do history, but I did RS and I went to a few revision sessions, so I'd recommend doing that, to get the finer details and hit the top grades.

    Subjects like Geography, Business Studies: I've grouped these together as they a mixture of shorter answers (1-4 marks), and longer answers (6-16 marks). I would recommend again, learning the content- write it all out in a way that works for you, practice recall, and do past papers. I also did both these subjects and went to after school revision for them and I would strongly recommend it.

    Languages: Ace your controlled assessments. I know how stressful and difficult they are, but I made sure I used a wide range of high level vocab in them, wrote a good amount of paragraphs and spent hours memorising them, and I ended up with 4 A*s on my controlled assessments. I got a C on listening and I think I got an A on reading and overall I got an A in French, so the coursework really boosts it- it's 60% so work hard on it and the pressure is off. To learn my CAs I used to learn a paragraph a night, recall it- writing them for writing and actually speaking them aloud for speaking, then the next night I'd learn the next paragraph and go over both so I didn't forget the previous one. I'd do this until I learnt them all and kept going over them until the assessment. For the exams I didn't do much revision, except for a few past papers and learning some vocab. The skills you develop from the coursework really help.

    Performance based subjects- if you do Dance, Drama or Performing Arts I'd recommend working hard on your assessments, don't fall behind on your essays to accompany them as these can bring your grade down. And just make sure you keep practicing so you're well prepared for the final performance.

    Hope that advice helped, sorry it's so long.

    Try not to get too stressed. Organise yourself now, make sure each subject has notes grouped together so you haven't got random bits of paper everywhere. Take plenty of time out from work- you have time- I didn't start most of my revision until the Easter Holidays, because teachers still set lots of homework. GCSE's are purely the step for you to get to Post-16, and I know it may feel like you'll do badly now, trust me I felt like that and ended up really happy with what I got- my results were completely unexpected.

    Also, make a timetable. I make mine on excel. Put the days along the top, and half an hour time slots along the side. Put in the time you're at school, extra curricular activities, relaxation breaks for when you get in from school, time to relax in the evening, any other commitments and meal times. Then, allocate time purely for 'homework', so you know it will get done- work out roughly how much time a week you spend doing homework that's set. Then you have 2 options: either label spaces 'revision' and just generally revise various subjects, or label them specifically with the subject you want to revise, so you know that you are revising enough for all your subjects. I can't tell you what's 'enough' as it's personal, but it should probably increase closer to the real exams.

    Remember, try to get a good amount of sleep, don't look at school work at least an hour before bed, and eat healthily. You will be fine, you'll get through GCSEs and realise they weren't too bad. Don't forget to have fun and not totally stress out over the last few months of school!

    Hope this helps
 
 
 

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