is there any point in making notes now?

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Idku
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Hello, my first gcse exam is on 15th may and i still haven't written my notes for additional science, english lit/lang, geography, history and ICT.
do u think i should still write them or just move onto past papers?
btw in my mocks i got 3As, 2Bs, 4Cs without any revision , and I havent revised much since then. I am aiming for all A's and A*s in summer.
So do you guys think i should write notes and learn them as i go along or will that not leave me enough time to do past papers?
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username1842595
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just start revising... lol
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Idku
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(Original post by Fermion.)
just start revising... lol
I am the biggest procrastinator
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ForestShadow
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(Original post by Idku)
Hello, my first gcse exam is on 15th may and i still haven't written my notes for additional science, english lit/lang, geography, history and ICT.
do u think i should still write them or just move onto past papers?
btw in my mocks i got 3As, 2Bs, 4Cs without any revision , and I havent revised much since then. I am aiming for all A's and A*s in summer.
So do you guys think i should write notes and learn them as i go along or will that not leave me enough time to do past papers?
(Original post by Idku)
I am the biggest procrastinator
1) set strict times where you revise to reduce procrastination, no distractions like phone/pc etc and study hard for small chunks like 20/30mins
2) yes you have less time than usual dont bother with notes

do past papers first and learn mark schemes.

then if you still repeatedly get something wrong or dont understand something, go back and make quick concise notes on the hardest parts.

plenty of exam practice is the priority for sure, cant stress enough :yep:
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DoomFangMan
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(Original post by Idku)
Hello, my first gcse exam is on 15th may and i still haven't written my notes for additional science, english lit/lang, geography, history and ICT.
do u think i should still write them or just move onto past papers?
btw in my mocks i got 3As, 2Bs, 4Cs without any revision , and I havent revised much since then. I am aiming for all A's and A*s in summer.
So do you guys think i should write notes and learn them as i go along or will that not leave me enough time to do past papers?
If you only achieved your target of A in one third of your mocks and you intend to prepare just as much for the real exam then I can't help you, because it seems like you don't care that much about them anyway.

I got higher grades than you without revising (9, maths, 8/7 english lit/lang, A* german, physics, chemistry, A biology, latin, history), have my first written exam on the 16th May (Art on 19/20 April and German speaking 2nd May), and I have already gone through a dozen or so past papers and made full notes for biology, history, latin, so I suggest you start now and work hard if these exams really mean anything to you.

You have all of Easter, and then a month in school to prepare for these exams (depending on study leave, which my school doesn't do ), so that makes 6 weeks. Plenty of time to make notes on every single subject you have, but you shouldn't waste it.
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EmmaCx
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(Original post by Idku)
Hello, my first gcse exam is on 15th may and i still haven't written my notes for additional science, english lit/lang, geography, history and ICT.
do u think i should still write them or just move onto past papers?
btw in my mocks i got 3As, 2Bs, 4Cs without any revision , and I havent revised much since then. I am aiming for all A's and A*s in summer.
So do you guys think i should write notes and learn them as i go along or will that not leave me enough time to do past papers?
I wouldn't rely on just doing past papers or just doing notes. It's important to have a good mix of doing them both. Maybe aim to work on your notes, and complete one past paper for each subject during the week. Timing yourself for past papers might be useful as well, you don't want to be spending 3 hours on a past paper if you only get to complete it in 1 hour in the actual exam etc.

Perhaps even consider doing a few past papers for each subjects first - See what questions/theories/whatever that you're struggling with and make a note of them. This can help you prioritise your revision. Remember that when you're doing past papers you need to be really strict on yourself - don't award yourself points because you 'knew what you mean't' because you won't get those points in the exam. Marking guides can be a great way of revising as well, as it gives a really good idea on what they're looking for, how to phrase the answer, how to pick up points that you might not have considered, and ways of avoiding dropping easy points.

The Pomodoro technique is really useful in terms of revision as well, as it helps you stay focused and be productive: "The process is simple. For every project throughout the day, you budget your time into short increments and take breaks periodically. You work for 25 minutes, then take break for five minutes. After four “pomodoros” have passed, (100 minutes of work time with 15 minutes of break time) you then take a 15-20 minute break." - http://www.lifehack.org/articles/pro...t-for-you.html

Learn your learning style. There's a really great website here - http://learning-styles-online.com/overview/ - which explains each learning style and gives you a variety of different ways to revise for each style. If you're still unsure what your learning style is, then experiment with a variety of different learning styles.

The Student Room also has a lot of GCSE revision resources available here - https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wik...Revision_Notes
They also have a handy study timetable tool here - https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/g/make
Using the link above, you can also create mindmaps, flashcards, quizzes, and crosswords.
There's also a lot of ready made mindmaps, flashcards, quizzes, and crosswords here - https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/learning.php

If you are struggling with motivation then go onto youtube. There are a lot of revision and studying videos. There are also plenty of channels dedicated to different GCSE subjects that might help you out a lot. Especially if you're still struggling to understand something after having read it a few times:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7T..._3Mzsdbts93liA
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLE...5kNG94-1VlH_XA
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...=gcse+revision
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=revision
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=studying

Consider doing presentations - You get the enjoyment out of researching different parts of the subject, and creating fun power points. By presenting them to a family member (or failing that, a pet or an inanimate object) you can really develop your understanding of the topic. Encourage them to ask as many questions as they can, and make sure you are able to correctly answer them.

There are a lot of revision workbooks and guides out there for GCSE's, it might be worth investing in them and working your way through them for each subject. These generally have a lot of questions and exercises for you to complete, and a lot of them are full of colourful images and graphs to help explain the text.

Create a study timetable - set yourself a realistic amount of time for revision each week. Ensure that you are revising each subject for 2-3 hours each week. Be realistic in regards to your chunks of revision - don't set yourself massive chunks which you know you won't do, and don't set yourself five minutes here and there because it won't help you.
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Idku
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(Original post by DoomFangMan)
If you only achieved your target of A in one third of your mocks and you intend to prepare just as much for the real exam then I can't help you, because it seems like you don't care that much about them anyway.

I got higher grades than you without revising (9, maths, 8/7 english lit/lang, A* german, physics, chemistry, A biology, latin, history), have my first written exam on the 16th May (Art on 19/20 April and German speaking 2nd May), and I have already gone through a dozen or so past papers and made full notes for biology, history, latin, so I suggest you start now and work hard if these exams really mean anything to you.

You have all of Easter, and then a month in school to prepare for these exams (depending on study leave, which my school doesn't do ), so that makes 6 weeks. Plenty of time to make notes on every single subject you have, but you shouldn't waste it.

Thank you for your reply. The reason why I haven't revised much is because I have A LOT going on, I have been diagnosed with like 4 different conditions in November and the medicine isn't working for me so it's affecting my brain and caused memory loss and inability to concentrate and I tend to procrastinate all the time. One of my grandparents is dying from stage 4 cancer, so the past few months haven't been great for me but I have realised I need to work hard from now on if I want to get good grades. I am going to use the app which blocks me from accessing my social media websites so i can reduce procrastination and use this Easter effectively hopefully. Thanks for your reply
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Idku
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(Original post by EmmaCx)
I wouldn't rely on just doing past papers or just doing notes. It's important to have a good mix of doing them both. Maybe aim to work on your notes, and complete one past paper for each subject during the week. Timing yourself for past papers might be useful as well, you don't want to be spending 3 hours on a past paper if you only get to complete it in 1 hour in the actual exam etc.

Perhaps even consider doing a few past papers for each subjects first - See what questions/theories/whatever that you're struggling with and make a note of them. This can help you prioritise your revision. Remember that when you're doing past papers you need to be really strict on yourself - don't award yourself points because you 'knew what you mean't' because you won't get those points in the exam. Marking guides can be a great way of revising as well, as it gives a really good idea on what they're looking for, how to phrase the answer, how to pick up points that you might not have considered, and ways of avoiding dropping easy points.

The Pomodoro technique is really useful in terms of revision as well, as it helps you stay focused and be productive: "The process is simple. For every project throughout the day, you budget your time into short increments and take breaks periodically. You work for 25 minutes, then take break for five minutes. After four “pomodoros” have passed, (100 minutes of work time with 15 minutes of break time) you then take a 15-20 minute break." - http://www.lifehack.org/articles/pro...t-for-you.html

Learn your learning style. There's a really great website here - http://learning-styles-online.com/overview/ - which explains each learning style and gives you a variety of different ways to revise for each style. If you're still unsure what your learning style is, then experiment with a variety of different learning styles.

The Student Room also has a lot of GCSE revision resources available here - https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wik...Revision_Notes
They also have a handy study timetable tool here - https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/g/make
Using the link above, you can also create mindmaps, flashcards, quizzes, and crosswords.
There's also a lot of ready made mindmaps, flashcards, quizzes, and crosswords here - https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/learning.php

If you are struggling with motivation then go onto youtube. There are a lot of revision and studying videos. There are also plenty of channels dedicated to different GCSE subjects that might help you out a lot. Especially if you're still struggling to understand something after having read it a few times:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7T..._3Mzsdbts93liA
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLE...5kNG94-1VlH_XA
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...=gcse+revision
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=revision
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=studying

Consider doing presentations - You get the enjoyment out of researching different parts of the subject, and creating fun power points. By presenting them to a family member (or failing that, a pet or an inanimate object) you can really develop your understanding of the topic. Encourage them to ask as many questions as they can, and make sure you are able to correctly answer them.

There are a lot of revision workbooks and guides out there for GCSE's, it might be worth investing in them and working your way through them for each subject. These generally have a lot of questions and exercises for you to complete, and a lot of them are full of colourful images and graphs to help explain the text.

Create a study timetable - set yourself a realistic amount of time for revision each week. Ensure that you are revising each subject for 2-3 hours each week. Be realistic in regards to your chunks of revision - don't set yourself massive chunks which you know you won't do, and don't set yourself five minutes here and there because it won't help you.
Wow. thank you so much for this it's so helpful Guess i have to do hardcore revision this easter
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EmmaCx
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(Original post by Idku)
Wow. thank you so much for this it's so helpful Guess i have to do hardcore revision this easter
Just remember how much it'll help you in the future, and it'll be worth it! I would probably recommend starting off with about 3/4 hours for each subject. Plus an additional hour or so for a past paper for each subject (depending on how long you get to do the exam). Remember though that you can do it in small 30 min chunks throughout the day and there'll still be plenty of time to just relax and chill. Plus if you study a lot at GCSE level, then it can help you a lot for going into doing A levels as you'll already have a good grasp of the basics.
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Idku
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(Original post by EmmaCx)
Just remember how much it'll help you in the future, and it'll be worth it! I would probably recommend starting off with about 3/4 hours for each subject. Plus an additional hour or so for a past paper for each subject (depending on how long you get to do the exam). Remember though that you can do it in small 30 min chunks throughout the day and there'll still be plenty of time to just relax and chill. Plus if you study a lot at GCSE level, then it can help you a lot for going into doing A levels as you'll already have a good grasp of the basics.
I have just made a revision plan and I am going to stick to it as much as possible and delete my social media for the next two weeks so I can get the most out of Easter Thank you again!
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CraigBackner
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(Original post by DoomFangMan)
If you only achieved your target of A in one third of your mocks and you intend to prepare just as much for the real exam then I can't help you, because it seems like you don't care that much about them anyway.

I got higher grades than you without revising (9, maths, 8/7 english lit/lang, A* german, physics, chemistry, A biology, latin, history), have my first written exam on the 16th May (Art on 19/20 April and German speaking 2nd May), and I have already gone through a dozen or so past papers and made full notes for biology, history, latin, so I suggest you start now and work hard if these exams really mean anything to you.

You have all of Easter, and then a month in school to prepare for these exams (depending on study leave, which my school doesn't do ), so that makes 6 weeks. Plenty of time to make notes on every single subject you have, but you shouldn't waste it.
wow you seem prepared, what are you amining to get in the summer and what a levels are you taking
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DoomFangMan
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(Original post by CraigBackner)
wow you seem prepared, what are you amining to get in the summer and what a levels are you taking
My predictions are A*s in triple science, german, latin, art, history, 9 in maths and 8 in english lang/lit

I will be taking maths, further maths, physics, chemistry A levels, as well as possible photography and computer science AS, depending on availability for private candidates and whether I feel like it
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DoomFangMan
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(Original post by Idku)
Thank you for your reply. The reason why I haven't revised much is because I have A LOT going on, I have been diagnosed with like 4 different conditions in November and the medicine isn't working for me so it's affecting my brain and caused memory loss and inability to concentrate and I tend to procrastinate all the time. One of my grandparents is dying from stage 4 cancer, so the past few months haven't been great for me but I have realised I need to work hard from now on if I want to get good grades. I am going to use the app which blocks me from accessing my social media websites so i can reduce procrastination and use this Easter effectively hopefully. Thanks for your reply
You're welcome, and I'm sorry to hear about your grandparent.

It sounds like memory is a problem, so while I don't know what works best for you, I have been typing all of my notes on Notepad. A little unorthodox, but it means that I see the information in a different way due to the font, which helps remembering the actual content.

In terms of limiting your social media, for now don't force it or you will go crazy. There's no need to get rid of all your social media for several months on end, so make sure you do get some down time in there. I intend to revise for 4/5 hours a day over the holidays, and am currently doing 2 hours on weekdays, but that is balanced with about the same amount if time for reading, playing video games, talking to friends online etc., but if you find yourself on social media so long that you can't manage to revise enough then limiting it may be necessary, but make sure you still get some spare time to have fun as well.
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_gcx
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Does it help you learn?
  • Yes - the answer to your question is yes.
  • No - the answer to your question is no.
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Hassan2578
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(Original post by _gcx)
Does it help you learn?
  • Yes - the answer to your question is yes.
  • No - the answer to your question is no.
I'm sure this was a really good bit of advice to the poster. I'm sure you have a very purposeful life
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CraigBackner
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(Original post by DoomFangMan)
My predictions are A*s in triple science, german, latin, art, history, 9 in maths and 8 in english lang/lit

I will be taking maths, further maths, physics, chemistry A levels, as well as possible photography and computer science AS, depending on availability for private candidates and whether I feel like it
May I ask how you revise, do past and remember the content for your exams in detail. Specifically how are you going to revise for triple science and remeber all the quotes and books for english lit??
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Chrysy1999
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(Original post by Idku)
Hello, my first gcse exam is on 15th may and i still haven't written my notes for additional science, english lit/lang, geography, history and ICT.
do u think i should still write them or just move onto past papers?
btw in my mocks i got 3As, 2Bs, 4Cs without any revision , and I havent revised much since then. I am aiming for all A's and A*s in summer.
So do you guys think i should write notes and learn them as i go along or will that not leave me enough time to do past papers?

Start your notes now and do past papers in conjunction to doing the notes
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_gcx
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(Original post by Hassan2578)
I'm sure this was a really good bit of advice to the poster. I'm sure you have a very purposeful life
You disagree?
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DoomFangMan
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(Original post by CraigBackner)
May I ask how you revise, do past and remember the content for your exams in detail. Specifically how are you going to revise for triple science and remeber all the quotes and books for english lit??
Triple science I do past papers, make extra notes on everything I get wrong, then reading over them before doing the next paper.

English lit am currently compiling quotes which I can use for many different questions e.g. for Romeo and Juliet have one quote which can be used for love between R&J, conflict between parents and children, change of Juliet's character.
Means I have less to learn, and am just learning by reading and then reciting over and over again.
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Birmingham City University
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(Original post by Idku)
Hello, my first gcse exam is on 15th may and i still haven't written my notes for additional science, english lit/lang, geography, history and ICT.
do u think i should still write them or just move onto past papers?
btw in my mocks i got 3As, 2Bs, 4Cs without any revision , and I havent revised much since then. I am aiming for all A's and A*s in summer.
So do you guys think i should write notes and learn them as i go along or will that not leave me enough time to do past papers?
Hey Idku,

It's definitely worth still making notes but if you're worried you don't have enough time, instead of writing pages and pages of notes out, why don't you try this revision hack to save you time:

1. Look at your workbooks and circle or highlight the key points and facts you need to remember.
2. Get some post-it notes and write one fact per sticky note.
3. On the back of each sticky note write a short clear questions - the fact on the other side should be the answer.
4. Stick them everywhere! Around your desk/room etc so that you only see the question
5. Test yourself at random picking questions you see as you go around your room and say the answer, then turn over to check if you're right.

Then you can track your progress by keeping note of what you got right or wrong and what you might need to make more detailed notes on.

Also if you like to procrastinate and find you get distracted easily online or on your phone, why not try listening to podcasts or watching videos online to revise? Or if your phone is a massive distraction try turning it off for 30 minutes at a time and seeing how much you get done. Plus as a procrastinator remember to reward yourself! Whether it's snacks or short frequent breaks, rewards are a great motivator!

We have tons of revision hacks and tips from our students so just drop a line if you have any questions.

I hope this helps & good luck!

Lydia,
The BCU team
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