GCSE/Year 11 advice 2020- Dear Year 10s Watch

Littlegeekgirl_
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I have just finished my exams- here is my advice
- make sure you enter year 11 fully understanding everything you learnt in year 10, obviously you don’t need to start memorising it yet but make sure you fully get all concepts
- try to have all your notes done by February so you have plenty of time for memorising and past papers
- make sure you know which topics come up in each paper for subjects such as science
- if you do edexcel maths, use maths genie, what I did was do one topic a day from grade 6 to grade 9 which was around 40 topics meaning it took a half term to complete and I did each topic twice Jan-Feb Half term then again Feb- Easter hols, then re-did the topics I struggled with again in the holidays this meant it took me only 3 months to do every single topic twice and master them individually so that when I later approached past papers/practice exams I was consistently achieving 7s (I was previously a grade 5 student)- and based on the unofficial mark scheme for my year, it looks as though I have secured a grade 7- woop woop!
- for english literature learn 4 well analysed quotes alongside an introduction for each character and theme so that in the exam you know exactly what you are going to write
- try and be friends with the smarter kids, obviously don’t leave your friends but stay cautious of distractions and peer pressure, prioritise your own education because you deserve to do well
- learn all the dates and statistics for History- you know what you signed up for picking history so you may as well make your essays stand out
- during exam season revise each exam at a time- for example if you have an english exam tomorrow but physics in two days, don’t touch physics until english is over. By May you should know anything anyway, and I get revising is important but during the actual exams take each exam at a time and stay narrowheaded
- if your school do not offer study leave give it to yourself. At my school we were lectured all year about not being allowed study leave but by the real thing people at my school were just signing out and some even left school to go to the local library, lol. But honestly, being in your own space is so much less stressful then being in classes with students and teachers- sometimes the best thing to do is have a nap after an exam. From my personal experience my school didn’t seem to raise an issue about us giving ourselves study leave because they knew the stress we were under but obviously don’t do that for mocks because your school will place the timings of mock exams to fit the schools own timetable (obviously for the real thing exams are 9 or 1 only) and if you did that for mocks you’ll probably will get internal exclusion or detention but for the real thing you should be fine to not attend lessons, if your school is strict maybe send a letter/email beforehand to avoid sanctions
- revise everything well but prioritise maths, english, weak subjects and subjects you are bad at
- do the same revision for the same subject- for example if you do flashcards for topic 1, do flashcards for topic 2 and 3 and 4 ect. Do not do different revision for different topics in the same exam because it will confuse you. If you want to do flashcards and mindmaps for topic 1 do flashcards and mindmaps for every other topic- treat each topic/chapter/unit equally- you never know what you’ll be asked
- take your mocks seriously but do not do past papers, except for maths, english language and languages, the reason I say this eventhough it may seem like odd advice is because it allows for a good baseline of knowledge and allows you to establish a solid understanding of your ability, especially since the 9-1 have limited papers. As long as you know how to structure each question, especially essay subjects you will honestly be fine. When I did my December mocks this is the risky approach I used and I achieved 9877766665 for mocks and am so grateful I took the risk, you’re better off spending 2 hours learning 10 topics than 1hr30 on 3 topics in a past paper for your mock exams, that way you not only save your past papers for the real deal but have a solid understanding by the time you get to them
- make sure you KNOW EVERYTHING by the Easter holidays, even if your teacher has not taught it yet
- when your school starts holding revision lesson attend every single one- they are an invaluable aid to increase your grades
- start learning and memorising by Jan/Feb even if you haven’t been taught it yet
- establish a strong after school/ study routine
- at the start of the year write a massive list of EVERYTHING you intend to study that year for each subject e.g. Science- flashcards, mindmaps, primrose videos. and allocate each task to a month between Oct-Apr in order of how demanding the task is, this way you do everything you intend to do and don’t burn out or run out of time and allows for long term goal setting which stops you from losing motivation
- aim for a 9 in at least one subject, this keeps you not only focused in that subject but allows you to stay narrowheaded in every other subject too and is very motivating
- get your parents to test you on flashcards- having that type of pressure makes it easier to learn because obviously you don’t want them to think that you’re not revisinf and wasting your time
- find a revision strategy that works for you for each subject by the end of summer
- if you study a language, make quizlet sets for each topic and combine them (this can be done on the web version) that means you have a set on each individual topic but also every single vocab word in another set. I get that it can be intimidating seeing a quizlet set with 2000 terms but it is very important to revise all the vocab together because in the exam a set topic is not allocated to each paper (unlike science) so literally anything can come up so it’s good to be familiar with the vocab as a whole not just the individual units, this makes the reading and listening exam so much easier
- if you do pratical or BTEC subjects make sure your a coursework is of a standard above your target grade
- when you do your mocks teachers start treating you differently, I noticed this with my classmates and myself, make sure you exceed their expectations and impress them so they push you to achieve top grades
- for conversational subjects such as English and Religious studies make sure you contribute in class discussions and always include your input, when people add opinions to your opinions it makes it easier to remember and write about clearly and convincingly in an essay
- during this summer read all english texts even if you haven’t read it as a class yet and make sure you read it in all the half terms up until Easter
- the provisional timetable has already come out, take note of when each exam is, they probably wont change- mine didn’t from August, so provisional is still reliable
- USE Seneca, I used it for 130 hours🤯 from June year 10 until end of GCSEs, personally I regret using it as much as I did and would honestly only use it for science and history as for the other subjects, especially english, it is not helpful
- apply to many sixth forms even if you plan to stay at your school, you never know what will happen in a year, and it is good to have options
- if someone tells you they don’t revise they are lying, and even if they actually don’t revise and still do well, don’t copy them. At the end of the day noone knows what you do at home after school so you might as well just work hard anyway
- the last few months March-June literally bite the bullet and work your hardest just know you have 11 weeks of stress free summer waiting for you, from March I stopped working as hard and I honestly regret it so much
- if you want to drop a subject do it at the start of the year so you have free lessons in year 11 from go
- from march delete netflix
- DO NOT watch love island during your exams, I did and I cannot believe I was so stupid in doing so
- If you don’t think an exam went well try to avoid twitter and the night after maths exams do not look at the unofficial mark schemes
- if you do a little revision everyday it makes it less of a chore and becomes routine
- buy all revison guides and workbooks before term starts
- enjoy learning. Even for the subjects you hate put yourself in the shoes of people who study the subject for years and years and try to understand how they find it interesting and hopefully you will begin to enjoy it more which makes the learning process easier
- video yourself studying, it can be really motivating to look back on
- remember that you have been going to school everyday since you were 4, you might as well make it worthwhile and struggle for one year to prove 11 years of hard work
- do not let target grades define you, for my December mocks I either met or passed my predicted final grades
- never forget that examiners don’t know anything about your revision, your work ethic, your attendance or even your name. Do so well that you show them that you are hardworking through your performance
- if your school only do mocks in December and not in Feb/March (like me), revise especially harder during these times, because some of the rest of the country are and the real thing is against the whole country not just your school anyway
- try and read for pleasure, your grades will increase alongside concentration and you will have a better vocabulary, I would recommend starting off reading the set english lit texts by the exam boards that your school do not study (for example if your school do not study An Inspector calls, read it- don’t read it to revise for an exam just read it for pleasure) as it is suitable for your expected capability anyway and is educational (although maybe back off of shakespeare, lol)
- have a rough idea of the grades you would like to achieve in each subject as this will help to guide your revision
- use websites such as the student room because it reminds you that you are not alone
- do not fall into the trap of fake revising- watching youtube videos of how to revise for 6 hours is only helpful up until a certain point but in the end you’re just tricking yourself into being productive when you’re better off just revising anyway
- revise for papers rather than topics- for science instead of revising just chapter 1, revise all of paper 1 at a time and for history, instead of just revising medieval medicine- revise the whole paper at a time. It is very important to be familiar with everything that could come up at a time then as individual units
- aim for all of your revision to look pretty because when you have pride in your work it becomes more fun and easier to learn
- at the end of each half term write yourself a diary entry of how that term went and do not read them all until the weekend before your first exam and then don’t read it until the night before results (that’s what I have done, lol)
- always remember you are in competition with yourself and your past grades not anyone else
- revise as though you are underachieving-nobody is too big to fail, nobody is ‘guaranteed’ to do well- target grades aside the final grade is based on the final exam only
Sorry this is really rambly, I was literally typing it as I was thinking, but most importantly enjoy year 11, it is your last year of secondary school after all, personally it was my favourite year. Still have fun with friends but always remember 11 weeks of stress free holiday waiting for you at the end. After exams yoi are either gonna feel regret or relief- you choose. Don’t forget to look after yourself and prioritise mental health. I will be back here on the 22nd to post my grades.
Don’t forget to comment your thought/responses down below!
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Last edited by Littlegeekgirl_; 4 weeks ago
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Littlegeekgirl_
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On the 22nd I will come back here and tell you guys my grades xxx
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melmafia
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i love this so much!
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Littlegeekgirl_
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(Original post by melmafia)
i love this so much!
Thank you!
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Littlegeekgirl_
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(Original post by melmafia)
i love this so much!
Thank you!
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_what
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this is so so helpful thank you. i'm bricking myself a little less at the prospect of next year the netflix and love island comment kinda made me laugh
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Littlegeekgirl_
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this is so so helpful thank you. i'm bricking myself a little less at the prospect of next year the netflix and love island comment kinda made me laugh
Glad it helped! Good Luck, I’m sure you’ll be just fine!
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Hazzabear
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Good luck to all the year 10s transitioning into year 11! Great advise for all
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Kroznox
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Scroll through GCSE memes the day before your exam... you'll either discover a strong sense of confidence or lose so many braincells that you can't even write your name on the exam paper!
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Littlegeekgirl_
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(Original post by Hazzabear)
Good luck to all the year 10s transitioning into year 11! Great advise for all
To all the pre-gcse students!
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SlightlySummer
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This is amazing advice, maybe the best on TSR. Thanks for taking the time to write all that!
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Littlegeekgirl_
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(Original post by Kroznox)
Scroll through GCSE memes the day before your exam... you'll either discover a strong sense of confidence or lose so many braincells that you can't even write your name on the exam paper!
Hahaha, so relatable!
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Littlegeekgirl_
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(Original post by SlightlySummer)
This is amazing advice, maybe the best on TSR. Thanks for taking the time to write all that!
Wow! I really do appreciate this comment, I am so glad to have helped you, good luck for the year ahead!
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samela786
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(Original post by Littlegeekgirl_)
I have just finished my exams- here is my advice
- make sure you enter year 11 fully understanding everything you learnt in year 10, obviously you don’t need to start memorising it yet but make sure you fully get all concepts
- try to have all your notes done by February so you have plenty of time for memorising and past papers
- make sure you know which topics come up in each paper for subjects such as science
- if you do edexcel maths, use maths genie, what I did was do one topic a day from grade 6 to grade 9 which was around 40 topics meaning it took a half term to complete and I did each topic twice Jan-Feb Half term then again Feb- Easter hols, then re-did the topics I struggled with again in the holidays this meant it took me only 3 months to do every single topic twice and master them individually so that when I later approached past papers/practice exams I was consistently achieving 7s (I was previously a grade 5 student)- and based on the unofficial mark scheme for my year, it looks as though I have secured a grade 7- woop woop!
- for english literature learn 4 well analysed quotes alongside an introduction for each character and theme so that in the exam you know exactly what you are going to write
- try and be friends with the smarter kids, obviously don’t leave your friends but stay cautious of distractions and peer pressure, prioritise your own education because you deserve to do well
- learn all the dates and statistics for History- you know what you signed up for picking history so you may as well make your essays stand out
- during exam season revise each exam at a time- for example if you have an english exam tomorrow but physics in two days, don’t touch physics until english is over. By May you should know anything anyway, and I get revising is important but during the actual exams take each exam at a time and stay narrowheaded
- if your school do not offer study leave give it to yourself. At my school we were lectured all year about not being allowed study leave but by the real thing people at my school were just signing out and some even left school to go to the local library, lol. But honestly, being in your own space is so much less stressful then being in classes with students and teachers- sometimes the best thing to do is have a nap after an exam. From my personal experience my school didn’t seem to raise an issue about us giving ourselves study leave because they knew the stress we were under but obviously don’t do that for mocks because your school will place the timings of mock exams to fit the schools own timetable (obviously for the real thing exams are 9 or 1 only) and if you did that for mocks you’ll probably will get internal exclusion or detention but for the real thing you should be fine to not attend lessons, if your school is strict maybe send a letter/email beforehand to avoid sanctions
- revise everything well but prioritise maths, english, weak subjects and subjects you are bad at
- do the same revision for the same subject- for example if you do flashcards for topic 1, do flashcards for topic 2 and 3 and 4 ect. Do not do different revision for different topics in the same exam because it will confuse you. If you want to do flashcards and mindmaps for topic 1 do flashcards and mindmaps for every other topic- treat each topic/chapter/unit equally- you never know what you’ll be asked
- take your mocks seriously but do not do past papers, except for maths, english language and languages, the reason I say this eventhough it may seem like odd advice is because it allows for a good baseline of knowledge and allows you to establish a solid understanding of your ability, especially since the 9-1 have limited papers. As long as you know how to structure each question, especially essay subjects you will honestly be fine. When I did my December mocks this is the risky approach I used and I achieved 9877766665 for mocks and am so grateful I took the risk, you’re better off spending 2 hours learning 10 topics than 1hr30 on 3 topics in a past paper for your mock exams, that way you not only save your past papers for the real deal but have a solid understanding by the time you get to them
- make sure you KNOW EVERYTHING by the Easter holidays, even if your teacher has not taught it yet
- when your school starts holding revision lesson attend every single one- they are an invaluable aid to increase your grades
- start learning and memorising by Jan/Feb even if you haven’t been taught it yet
- establish a strong after school/ study routine
- at the start of the year write a massive list of EVERYTHING you intend to study that year for each subject e.g. Science- flashcards, mindmaps, primrose videos. and allocate each task to a month between Oct-Apr in order of how demanding the task is, this way you do everything you intend to do and don’t burn out or run out of time and allows for long term goal setting which stops you from losing motivation
- aim for a 9 in at least one subject, this keeps you not only focused in that subject but allows you to stay narrowheaded in every other subject too and is very motivating
- get your parents to test you on flashcards- having that type of pressure makes it easier to learn because obviously you don’t want them to think that you’re not revisinf and wasting your time
- find a revision strategy that works for you for each subject by the end of summer
- if you study a language, make quizlet sets for each topic and combine them (this can be done on the web version) that means you have a set on each individual topic but also every single vocab word in another set. I get that it can be intimidating seeing a quizlet set with 2000 terms but it is very important to revise all the vocab together because in the exam a set topic is not allocated to each paper (unlike science) so literally anything can come up so it’s good to be familiar with the vocab as a whole not just the individual units, this makes the reading and listening exam so much easier
- if you do pratical or BTEC subjects make sure your a coursework is of a standard above your target grade
- when you do your mocks teachers start treating you differently, I noticed this with my classmates and myself, make sure you exceed their expectations and impress them so they push you to achieve top grades
- for conversational subjects such as English and Religious studies make sure you contribute in class discussions and always include your input, when people add opinions to your opinions it makes it easier to remember and write about clearly and convincingly in an essay
- during this summer read all english texts even if you haven’t read it as a class yet and make sure you read it in all the half terms up until Easter
- the provisional timetable has already come out, take note of when each exam is, they probably wont change- mine didn’t from August, so provisional is still reliable
- USE Seneca, I used it for 130 hours🤯 from June year 10 until end of GCSEs, personally I regret using it as much as I did and would honestly only use it for science and history as for the other subjects, especially english, it is not helpful
- apply to many sixth forms even if you plan to stay at your school, you never know what will happen in a year, and it is good to have options
- if someone tells you they don’t revise they are lying, and even if they actually don’t revise and still do well, don’t copy them. At the end of the day noone knows what you do at home after school so you might as well just work hard anyway
- the last few months March-June literally bite the bullet and work your hardest just know you have 11 weeks of stress free summer waiting for you, from March I stopped working as hard and I honestly regret it so much
- if you want to drop a subject do it at the start of the year so you have free lessons in year 11 from go
- from march delete netflix
- DO NOT watch love island during your exams, I did and I cannot believe I was so stupid in doing so
- If you don’t think an exam went well try to avoid twitter and the night after maths exams do not look at the unofficial mark schemes
- if you do a little revision everyday it makes it less of a chore and becomes routine
- buy all revison guides and workbooks before term starts
- enjoy learning. Even for the subjects you hate put yourself in the shoes of people who study the subject for years and years and try to understand how they find it interesting and hopefully you will begin to enjoy it more which makes the learning process easier
- video yourself studying, it can be really motivating to look back on
- remember that you have been going to school everyday since you were 4, you might as well make it worthwhile and struggle for one year to prove 11 years of hard work
- do not let target grades define you, for my December mocks I either met or passed my predicted final grades
- never forget that examiners don’t know anything about your revision, your work ethic, your attendance or even your name. Do so well that you show them that you are hardworking through your performance
- if your school only do mocks in December and not in Feb/March (like me), revise especially harder during these times, because some of the rest of the country are and the real thing is against the whole country not just your school anyway
- try and read for pleasure, your grades will increase alongside concentration and you will have a better vocabulary, I would recommend starting off reading the set english lit texts by the exam boards that your school do not study (for example if your school do not study An Inspector calls, read it- don’t read it to revise for an exam just read it for pleasure) as it is suitable for your expected capability anyway and is educational (although maybe back off of shakespeare, lol)
- have a rough idea of the grades you would like to achieve in each subject as this will help to guide your revision
- use websites such as the student room because it reminds you that you are not alone
- do not fall into the trap of fake revising- watching youtube videos of how to revise for 6 hours is only helpful up until a certain point but in the end you’re just tricking yourself into being productive when you’re better off just revising anyway
- revise for papers rather than topics- for science instead of revising just chapter 1, revise all of paper 1 at a time and for history, instead of just revising medieval medicine- revise the whole paper at a time. It is very important to be familiar with everything that could come up at a time then as individual units
- aim for all of your revision to look pretty because when you have pride in your work it becomes more fun and easier to learn
- at the end of each half term write yourself a diary entry of how that term went and do not read them all until the weekend before your first exam and then don’t read it until the night before results (that’s what I have done, lol)
- always remember you are in competition with yourself and your past grades not anyone else
- revise as though you are underachieving-nobody is too big to fail, nobody is ‘guaranteed’ to do well- target grades aside the final grade is based on the final exam only
Sorry this is really rambly, I was literally typing it as I was thinking, but most importantly enjoy year 11, it is your last year of secondary school after all, personally it was my favourite year. Still have fun with friends but always remember 11 weeks of stress free holiday waiting for you at the end. After exams yoi are either gonna feel regret or relief- you choose. Don’t forget to look after yourself and prioritise mental health. I will be back here on the 22nd to post my grades.
Don’t forget to comment your thought/responses down below!
Can't w8 to see your results.
Great advise btw.
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Littlegeekgirl_
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(Original post by samela786)
Can't w8 to see your results.
Great advise btw.
Thank you!
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SlightlySummer
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PRSOM, do tag me when you get your results! Thanks
(Original post by Littlegeekgirl_)
Wow! I really do appreciate this comment, I am so glad to have helped you, good luck for the year ahead!
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Littlegeekgirl_
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(Original post by SlightlySummer)
PRSOM, do tag me when you get your results! Thanks
Of course!
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Msbrownie.xo
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bloody hell tysm the maths tips were great x
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m2b
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New year 11s if you listen to this from now you’re guaranteed 8/9s no word of a lie
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Msbrownie.xo
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woioi getting my hopes way high
(Original post by m2b)
New year 11s if you listen to this from now you’re guaranteed 8/9s no word of a lie
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