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A Level students: When did you start revising for GCSEs? watch

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    Did you have enough time to cover all of the material?
    Did you wish you had started earlier?
    How did you revise? Notes, past papers, a mixture?
    What grades did you achieve in the end of it?
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    Almost every single exam in the British system can only be revised for through doing past papers over and over. This is because the exam technique severely outweighs the knowledge you need to learn. (Sound exceptions are history and geography)

    I begun revising seriously when I was given study leave some 40 days before the exams. I had done quite a few maths past papers by then though.
    I remember for the sciences writing everything I had to know down on a notebook, I don't advise doing this though (a bit time-consuming). I would rather go the "studying the mark schemes" kind of style.

    Achieved 13A*
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    (Original post by tremen222)
    Almost every single exam in the British system can only be revised for through doing past papers over and over. This is because the exam technique severely outweighs the knowledge you need to learn. (Sound exceptions are history and geography)

    I begun revising seriously when I was given study leave some 40 days before the exams. I had done quite a few maths past papers by then though.
    I remember for the sciences writing everything I had to know down on a notebook, I don't advise doing this though (a bit time-consuming). I would rather go the "studying the mark schemes" kind of style.

    Achieved 13A*
    Congratulations on those amazing grades! Do you consider note making as revision because that is what I am currently doing. Was it useful to you at all? Oh and one more thing, how did you do in your mocks if you don't mind me asking?
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    (Original post by thedecorator33)
    Congratulations on those amazing grades! Do you consider note making as revision because that is what I am currently doing. Was it useful to you at all? Oh and one more thing, how did you do in your mocks if you don't mind me asking?
    It's been a while, I think I got 6A* 6A and a B in the GCSE mocks.

    My favourite way of revising is a bit weird, but it works wonders for all the memorising-type subjects (Bio, History, Geo): Imagine you are the teacher giving the lesson and just stand up in your room and talk about all the topics with the syllabus in front of you. This will allow you to see where the gaps are in your knowledge.
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    (Original post by tremen222)
    It's been a while, I think I got 6A* 6A and a B in the GCSE mocks.

    My favourite way of revising is a bit weird, but it works wonders for all the memorising-type subjects (Bio, History, Geo): Imagine you are the teacher giving the lesson and just stand up in your room and talk about all the topics with the syllabus in front of you. This will allow you to see where the gaps are in your knowledge.
    What are you studying now?
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    (Original post by adamantacademic)
    What are you studying now?
    A2 level Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Spanish
    Gonna start medicine next year.
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    (Original post by tremen222)
    A2 level Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Spanish
    Gonna start medicine next year.
    Wow at Oxford/Cambridge I assume?
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    (Original post by tremen222)
    Almost every single exam in the British system can only be revised for through doing past papers over and over. This is because the exam technique severely outweighs the knowledge you need to learn. (Sound exceptions are history and geography)

    I begun revising seriously when I was given study leave some 40 days before the exams. I had done quite a few maths past papers by then though.
    I remember for the sciences writing everything I had to know down on a notebook, I don't advise doing this though (a bit time-consuming). I would rather go the "studying the mark schemes" kind of style.

    Achieved 13A*
    The problem with past/specimen papers is there are very few to do with the new GCSEs which have changed various techniques and knowledge across the subjects.
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    (Original post by adamantacademic)
    Wow at Oxford/Cambridge I assume?
    You assume wrong, I'm in the select group known as the Cambridge rejects.
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    I started revising pretty much at the start of May. Probably wasn't my greatest idea but there we go. Sometimes I wish I had started a little earlier, though, I'm not entirely sure I would've done any better. I revised by completing past papers alone, for the majority of subjects.
    I ended up with 5A*s, 5As, 1Di*, a pass in Algebra (level 2, I think?), 1C.
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    I did some note-taking, especially for English as it is more time-consuming than difficult at around this time- lots of revision powerpoints with summaries and quotes, and also some example paragraphs that I had gotten good marks in. I finished any notes/powerpoints I had not completed during the easter holidays, and then started proper revision. I made grids with indvidual topics for hum/sciences, such as momentum, nuclear fission or roman hospitals, with boxes after them, a maximum of 5 for each topic. Whenever I spent 20 mins on a topic, I used a sharpie to scribble out a box, try to do 1-2 sessions of 20 mins every day (do not include homework in this time- try to do most of that at the weekend), but no more. Listen out for when the first art exams are, and from that day on you should really be doing 3-4 sessions of 20 mins every night. Using these grids will show you how much you have worked for a subject when you are about to have your exams, which will seriously be a good booster!

    I got 5A's, 7A*s
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    (Original post by tremen222)
    Almost every single exam in the British system can only be revised for through doing past papers over and over. This is because the exam technique severely outweighs the knowledge you need to learn. (Sound exceptions are history and geography)

    I begun revising seriously when I was given study leave some 40 days before the exams. I had done quite a few maths past papers by then though.
    I remember for the sciences writing everything I had to know down on a notebook, I don't advise doing this though (a bit time-consuming). I would rather go the "studying the mark schemes" kind of style.

    Achieved 13A*
    Edexcel IGCSE History- Exploitable. I did every 10, 8 and 15 marker, and funnily enough the predictions and "essay titles" that I prepared for came up. Considering history is restricted to a set about of titles, such as "How did super power relations change between USA and the Soviet Union between 19xy-19zn", statisically you're most likley going to experience a similar question again.

    Achieved 3 9s, 7 A*s and a distinction. I went to an inadequate rated state school, so teaching wasn't exemplary, in addition to only having the opportunity to do 10 Gcses, by hey that didnt stop me from recieving a 98% scholarship to Harrow School

    Regarding revision technique, it is unanimously agreed upon that the msot effective method in revising is past papers. i did every possible past paper from 2003, the majority of the questions reoccur or are worded differently, as a result of context. However, once you see a queston twice or three times, its converted t your long term memory. Essay based subjects are the same.

    The British education system is inherently flawed, as it focusses on memorisation, and favours like-minded students. Luckily for me I have a photographic memory.
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    (Original post by tremen222)
    It's been a while, I think I got 6A* 6A and a B in the GCSE mocks.

    My favourite way of revising is a bit weird, but it works wonders for all the memorising-type subjects (Bio, History, Geo): Imagine you are the teacher giving the lesson and just stand up in your room and talk about all the topics with the syllabus in front of you. This will allow you to see where the gaps are in your knowledge.
    Did i just look in a mirror, I did the exact same thing. Stand up in your room, walk and talk about the subject. Don't worry you're not alone, as soon as ai saw the adjective "weird", I knew what you were considering. Yeah, educating an imaginary audience is the best way of revision, it consolidates and explores your flaws. When you stutter you know your gaps. Glad to see someone who shares the same technique.
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    (Original post by gingerbread10000)
    I did some note-taking, especially for English as it is more time-consuming than difficult at around this time- lots of revision powerpoints with summaries and quotes, and also some example paragraphs that I had gotten good marks in. I finished any notes/powerpoints I had not completed during the easter holidays, and then started proper revision. I made grids with indvidual topics for hum/sciences, such as momentum, nuclear fission or roman hospitals, with boxes after them, a maximum of 5 for each topic. Whenever I spent 20 mins on a topic, I used a sharpie to scribble out a box, try to do 1-2 sessions of 20 mins every day (do not include homework in this time- try to do most of that at the weekend), but no more. Listen out for when the first art exams are, and from that day on you should really be doing 3-4 sessions of 20 mins every night. Using these grids will show you how much you have worked for a subject when you are about to have your exams, which will seriously be a good booster!

    I got 5A's, 7A*s
    Thank you for the insightful response. While your were making notes, did you consider that as revision time or is that something meant to be done before you begin revision?
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    (Original post by Science99999)
    Edexcel IGCSE History- Exploitable. I did every 10, 8 and 15 marker, and funnily enough the predictions and "essay titles" that I prepared for came up. Considering history is restricted to a set about of titles, such as "How did super power relations change between USA and the Soviet Union between 19xy-19zn", statisically you're most likley going to experience a similar question again.

    Achieved 3 9s, 7 A*s and a distinction. I went to an inadequate rated state school, so teaching wasn't exemplary, in addition to only having the opportunity to do 10 Gcses, by hey that didnt stop me from recieving a 98% scholarship to Harrow School

    Regarding revision technique, it is unanimously agreed upon that the msot effective method in revising is past papers. i did every possible past paper from 2003, the majority of the questions reoccur or are worded differently, as a result of context. However, once you see a queston twice or three times, its converted t your long term memory. Essay based subjects are the same.

    The British education system is inherently flawed, as it focusses on memorisation, and favours like-minded students. Luckily for me I have a photographic memory.
    Congratulations on those amazing results! Approximately when did you begin revising?
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    Around February. I remember running out of time to study for my last science exams since I did triple and I was exhausted by then. 😬 Regardless, I did okay. I think my problem was time management, not the fact that I didn’t start earlier.
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    (Original post by thedecorator33)
    Thank you for the insightful response. While your were making notes, did you consider that as revision time or is that something meant to be done before you begin revision?
    That depends on how you are making your notes, I did mine in word, from summaries/quotes/dates/facts/useful points, which contained the information, but for me as a visual learner they were very boring and I couldn't bring myself to stare at them and learn. I preferred to make them before and then during my 'official' revision time I used the notes and did something with them- like making revision mindmaps and powerpoints. If you are handwriting your notes, and adding lots of colour and little pictures, you may not need to put them into different formats.
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    Depends on your definition of revising, I persisted in making revision notes as early as the beginning of the year. Year 11 was pretty relaxing in my opinion, no stress included. When I had the time during the period before my mocks, I constructed by revision notes, in order to achieve the predicted grades I needed to apply to an exemplary sixth form. Therefore, this was achieved during the period between October-December. I conitnued making notes for English literature, the bulk of revision, considering the compelxity and the demand of 18 poems, a 3 books (Christmas Carol, Macbeth and Inspector calls). This exceeded the week before my exam. Easter became the power house of revision, making revision mind maps, the majority of my english notes and preparing the neccessary grade 9 essays which i memorised in and out. Although, only 11/18 poems were fully analysed, had exceptional essays and were noted, some weren't even attemped; I did this because the plan was to only memorise 8 poems, 2 covering a theme, since we were the first year; they would go lenient on us. It is tactics. I was gifted and talented in History, Geography, Biology, Chemistry, physics, maths and so i didn't revise for those subjects. History i enjoyed so naturally I expressed an interest and retained information, I watched many historical movies such as Thirteen days, given that I enjoyed the period we were learning. I read articles and watched documentaries. For the sciences, I taught myself the first year of A level, because it was enjoying. For Geography, throughout the two years of GCSEs, I asked for additional case studies such as Canary Wharf or Detroit, analysing articles regarding the topics and making model answers.

    RS, was easy, it's memorisng Bible quotes and using common sense. French is vocab, and English Language is simple comprehension, in addition to my passion for writing; already co-authoured a book and published entries into another. Literature, although was interesting, especially Christmas Carol and Macbeth, the poems if William Blake and Shelley were amongst my favourites. London and Ozymandias. I bought A level revision guides, and a method to impress the examiner, use A level terminology such as carthasis or anagnorisis. At the end of my GCSE career I had aroud 32 revision guides for English alone, since it was my weakest, startng the year 10 with grade 5/6 and ending with a solid grade 9. It was my only concern, however during late december it became a subject which i was confident in to reassure a 9. Since then i recieved all A*s/9s. A levels I use the same technique, its like the harder sections of GCSES, achieving the highest in my year in Chemistry and Biology, and highest in the class in every exam. Modesty is important, but offering advice is much more.
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    (Original post by orderofthelotus)
    Around February. I remember running out of time to study for my last science exams since I did triple and I was exhausted by then. 😬 Regardless, I did okay. I think my problem was time management, not the fact that I didn’t start earlier.
    Were you using a timetable, and did you find it effective?

    If you don't mind me asking, what did you achieve in the exams?
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    I started about now. Do a little every day and keep on top of what you have and haven’t looked at. I liked to use the subject descriptors for your chosen exam board to check what I did and did not know. Do not fall in to the trap of constantly going over what you already know.
    In terms of what to do, past papers is the best way. Just get them of the website of your exam board and do every single one you can. Be honest with yourself as well and mark harshly, look at the exemplar answers and learn how the answers are structured and most important, the key words. GCSEs are basically a exercise in how many key words and facts can you remember and use in an answer.
    Lastly and most importantly, pass yourself!!!! Don’t make the mistake some of my friends made and try to do everything all at once, you will burn out to early and be scupoered for the exam.
 
 
 
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