To start off, by no means do I want this to be a bragging post or acclamation of how 'smart' I am, I have received several PMs and have decided to make a post about how I actually did it- how I got a clean sweep of 9s in GCSE.
You may not believe me and that is fair enough, but hopefully you'll at least acknowledge some of the stuff I advise anyway.
Background: I did the following at GCSE-
English literature (AQA), English language(AQA), Maths(Edexcel) Religious Studies (Eduqas), French (AQA) History (Edexcel) Triple science (AQA) and Polish (AQA). I'm currently in Year 12 doing 3 A Levels: Chemistry, Biology and English Literature.
I want to study medicine or something healthcare/science related in the future so if you have any questions about that, do PM me.
The main piece of advice I would give is start early. Whilst for Year 11s the time is nearing at a scarily fast pace, Year 10s, I would urge you to start at least some sort of proper revision around Christmas time when you get to Year 11, of course revising throughout Year 10 as well.
Year 11- you should be consistently and regularly revising at this point. January is basically over and February half term will come around in no time where you really should place a lot of focus on getting some good quality studying done. During the exams and in between them, I did very minimal revision, as I had covered all my content and revision earlier in the year.
What I did: I revised throughout the school year each night- not hardcore by any means, but doing something-a set of practice questions, mindmaps, flashcards, and in this way I gradually built up a bank of good resources. I started revising more solidly at Christmas time and by Easter, I was putting in a lot of hours- Easter is really, your final chance to really give it that big push.
Techniques: First, find out what kind of learner you are. I am a visual learner, hence my techniques make sense: I made loads of flash cards. Loads. They worked particularly well for science because they ensured I knew all the content. I have attached the link to my quizlet cards: https://quizlet.com/FrenchFries26
Just go on the GCSE folders and I have plenty of flashcards with key info, model answers, etc.
Practice questions and papers. Our year group was the first to do all the new GCSEs so past papers were becoming less useful but here's the thing- examiners can't really come up with new questions, so they reuse and recycle old ones- therefore the more you practice questions, the more familiar you will be. I used physics and maths tutor: https://www.physicsandmathstutor.com/
and still swear by it for A Level.
Maths is similar to the sciences: you can't really revise it, you have to practice it.
Essay subjects: You need to plan essays. For English, plan essays for each of the themes and characters, and then write the essays in timed conditions, hand them in to your teacher to mark, and repeat. Act upon the feedback they give you, because it is vital. Once you plan as many essays as you can, you will virtually be fully prepared. The essay which came up for me in the Shakespeare section was one I planned a while back, so all I did was I rewrote the essay from as much memory as I could, obviously changing up some parts which my teacher earlier marked a 9.
For history, you will need to know content extremely well, however most of your marks are based not on evidence, but on explanations, and so making sure you use convincing language and are not just describing will ensure you let the examiner you know what you're talking about. Practice questions.
Languages: I have a natural knack for languages, so French did not prove to be too much of a challenge for me- I saw a word, I remembered it. However what I did do, was I spent a lot of break times with my teacher practising for the spoken exam to ensure pronunciation was on point, and I consistently learned vocab, writing pieces using the words I had revised.
Exam technique is important. You need to play the examiner's game. Once you've seen all the evolution and series circuit questions there are, and planned all the essays, there is nothing that can surprise you- and you will do well.
Plan: I personally prefer todo lists rather than timetables for revision because I don't like a strict time scale, but if timetables motivate you more, use them to plan your study.
Your health, however, is also very important. Do not neglect your wellbeing for your grades, because both end up going downhill if you do.
If you have any more questions, PM me and I'll be happy to answer.
Last edited by pizzapancakes26; 2 weeks ago