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

__abdullahahmed
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(Original post by Littlegeekgirl_)
I’m glad my advice has helped!
English
Hello, glad my post helped! First of all I would say the main way to transform your grades (especially for English language) is to read for pleasure. This way you are exposed to more and have a greater vocabulary. All I did for English language was watch Mr Salles videos and made flashcards on what he said as well as past papers. For english literature I made posters on every theme and character with 4 segments. Segment 1 was an introduction paragraph explaining their role in the text, why the writer used them and their significance. The three other segments were three different quotes about this character/ theme. Each quote was thoroughly analysed using the acnorym SLRCAVE meaning S- Statement L- link to rest of play C- context A- alternative opinion V- viewer response E- evaluate how successful the writer was. This meant that when I walked into the exam hall I had an introduction paragraph and 3 well analysed quote for each theme and character. So in the exam I just had to think of a conclusion. This is all I did for literature and found it worked very well. Also, don’t forget to read the books over and over. For poetry I made flashcards for each theme with three poems. It is important to do three poems for each theme because eventhough in the exam you only compare 2, you don’t know which poem they will give you. On the front of the flashcard I made a short paragraph of the context of the poem then on the back I had 3 quotes for each poem analysed, a paragraph about form/structure. A good website for the poems is Genius. It is a song lyric website but has all the poems with detailed analysis. For unseen poetry constantly practice. At my school I did love and relationships so to practice for unseen I analysed all of power and conflict. This is because they are poems already set by the exam board at a level they think is suitable. After that I bought the CGP unseen poetry workbook and worked through most of the poems.

Maths
I mentioned everything I did on my original post

Science
Flashcards on the whole revision guide, mindmaps on the whole revision guide, Primrose kitten for the whole paper videos, free science lessons on topics you don’t understand, physicsandmathstutor a website with questions for each topic

RS
Flashcards on the whole textbook, learn key words, learn quotes, practice questions

History
Honestly, I did way too much revision for history but just make sure you know each key dates and key statistics (Quizlet was what I used) to make your essay specific and make flashcards on how to answer each question

French
Learn vocab, make posters on each topic, listen to French podcasts, towards the end (April) I changed my phone to French. Once they are ready, make sure your speaking questions are learnt off by heart

If you want to see some of the revision I did I posted it on pinterest

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/littlege...sion-for-gcse/
Thank you so so so much! I literally cannot express how grateful I am for this! Congratulations once again on those amazing grades and I wish you all the best of luck with your a-levels, I have no doubts you will succeed with college and into university! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
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Khnz
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u

(Original post by Littlegeekgirl_)
So, on posters and flashcards I made mini mindmaps of each quote with notes coming off of it analysing the quote relating to the theme/character. I made sure I included key word analysis, context, alternative response, audience viewpoint and evaluate how successful the write was.
Here are some examples so you can see visually
Attachment 844836
Attachment 844838

I have posted more of my revision:

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/littlege...sion-for-gcse/
Thank you so much makes it clearer thanks.
When did u start making these as im going into year 11 and don't know if iv left it a bit late to start revising like this?
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Littlegeekgirl_
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(Original post by __abdullahahmed)
Thank you so so so much! I literally cannot express how grateful I am for this! Congratulations once again on those amazing grades and I wish you all the best of luck with your a-levels, I have no doubts you will succeed with college and into university! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Thank you so much!
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Whoareyou?
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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 98766665 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!

I have now posted my revision on pinterest if you would like to see it

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/littlege...sion-for-gcse/
This seems like some genuinely useful advice, and I'm so thankful for the fact that you took time out your day to type and share this! It's honestly so damn amazing how you seem to want to help and support us, and I'm so grateful- I will definitely be taking this on-board!
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Littlegeekgirl_
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(Original post by Whoareyou?)
This seems like some genuinely useful advice, and I'm so thankful for the fact that you took time out your day to type and share this! It's honestly so damn amazing how you seem to want to help and support us, and I'm so grateful- I will definitely be taking this on-board!
Couldn’t be happier to have helped you! All the best for year 11.
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shady1402
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(Original post by Littlegeekgirl_)
So, on posters and flashcards I made mini mindmaps of each quote with notes coming off of it analysing the quote relating to the theme/character. I made sure I included key word analysis, context, alternative response, audience viewpoint and evaluate how successful the write was.
Here are some examples so you can see visually
Attachment 844836
Attachment 844838

I have posted more of my revision:

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/littlege...sion-for-gcse/
I am planning on doing this for my English revision... for the introductions for each character and theme how did you do that? I don't know if you answered and I'm just missing it but did you like find questions online relating to the themes and characters and go off of that? ty in advance x
oh btw ur notes look really good and helpful xx
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Littlegeekgirl_
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(Original post by shady1402)
I am planning on doing this for my English revision... for the introductions for each character and theme how did you do that? I don't know if you answered and I'm just missing it but did you like find questions online relating to the themes and characters and go off of that? ty in advance x
oh btw ur notes look really good and helpful xx
I just wrote about who (what) they are, their contribution in the text and why the writer used that character/theme then in the exam I link it to the question asked
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Aman971x
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When did you start revising properly and How did you revise?
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Littlegeekgirl_
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(Original post by Khnz)
u

Thank you so much makes it clearer thanks.
When did u start making these as im going into year 11 and don't know if iv left it a bit late to start revising like this?
You have plenty of time! I made the posters for mocks around November/December and then individually copied each quote onto a flashcard in February x
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Littlegeekgirl_
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[QUOTE=Aman971x;84953538]When did you start revising properly and How did you revise?[/QUOTE
(Original post by Aman971x)
When did you start revising properly and How did you revise?
I think I started revising properly for everything in January. I had different techniques for each subject. Most of the time I would just make flashcards and mindmaps but towards the end I started doing blurting and past papers
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Msbrownie.xo
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(Original post by Loganrain)
Cos you’ll eat loads like I did
fast metabolism lmao, i dont gain weight when i eat loads ahah
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FahadMuh247
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This absolutely great advice oh my days. This is filled with information. I am due to start year11 in September, currently i have all the sciences (Bio Chem Physics) Paper1&2 content down on flashcards. Hopefully i get a grade 8&9 in sciences. Maths - im struggling only getting grade 6s and i dont know how to move to get higher. Both english - im getting good grades ( like grade 7s) but i feel like i am bad in it. RE - im smashing it constantly getting full marks and on a past paper got 3 marks off 100%. History - Getting grade 6/7 but i find it so hard to remember so much information. Drama - Absolutely smashing it too, got full marks in my acting for component one. Mandarin - A MASSIVE FLOP, the highest grade i have got is probably a level 4, I am massively trying my best as the sixth form I would like to go to ( Brampton Manor Academy) I need all grade 8s.

Any advice, will be hugely appreciated
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Aman971x
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(Original post by Littlegeekgirl_)
(Original post by Aman971x)
When did you start revising properly and How did you revise?[/QUOTE


I think I started revising properly for everything in January. I had different techniques for each subject. Most of the time I would just make flashcards and mindmaps but towards the end I started doing blurting and past papers
Was that January this year. And what grades were you getting before this? And what’s blurting?
Thank you
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Littlegeekgirl_
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(Original post by Aman971x)
Was that January this year. And what grades were you getting before this? And what’s blurting?
Thank you
Yes, January of Year 11. For the year 10 mocks I averaged at a grade 5.2 and for the mocks in December (Year 11) I averaged at 6.4, so I did improve quite a bit since I averaged at 7.7 for the final exams in May/June!
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Olivia_blckbr
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This is extremely helpful
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Aman971x
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(Original post by Littlegeekgirl_)
Yes, January of Year 11. For the year 10 mocks I averaged at a grade 5.2 and for the mocks in December (Year 11) I averaged at 6.4, so I did improve quite a bit since I averaged at 7.7 for the final exams in May/June!
Thank you for your reply.
please could you summarise how to revise and the best ways of doing it for all subjects as options i have geography spanish and computer science
Thank You
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Littlegeekgirl_
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(Original post by Aman971x)
Thank you for your reply.
please could you summarise how to revise and the best ways of doing it for all subjects as options i have geography spanish and computer science
Thank You
I have already done tips for all of my subjects which you can find above. Unfortunately I do not study computer science, spanish or geography but I did do French so you could apply those tips to Spanish
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SmartUnicorn
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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, this is the time when most subjects have finished and lessons are revision
- 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 nonetheless make sure you still make memories and enjoy year 11
- 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 everything anyway, 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, future A level 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 98766665 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 making them easier
- 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 then it becomes habit instead of a chore
- 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 revising and wasting your time
- find a revision strategy that works for you for each subject by February
- 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
- 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
- Don’t look at sets as barriers, some people in set 1 can get a 3 and someone in set 4 can get a 9
- 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 and have all the necessary tools like flashcards and highlighters
- enjoy learning. Even for the subjects you hate put yourself in the shoes of people who study the subject for years and years at university 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 revising for mocks 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 actually doing revision
- 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. Obviously neat notes does not equal good grades but it is motivating
- 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!

I have now posted my revision on pinterest if you would like to see it

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/littlege...sion-for-gcse/
Wahhh you must have took so much time writing this for us Y11s so Thankyou!!! Your very kind. I'll take your advice into consideration! I didn't really revise in the holidays because I was busy and procrastinating but I will go over all the year 10 stuff while I start year 11 to get it done best of luck for year 12 !
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kpatel18
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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, this is the time when most subjects have finished and lessons are revision
- 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 nonetheless make sure you still make memories and enjoy year 11
- 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 everything anyway, 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, future A level 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 98766665 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 making them easier
- 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 then it becomes habit instead of a chore
- 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 revising and wasting your time
- find a revision strategy that works for you for each subject by February
- 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
- 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
- Don’t look at sets as barriers, some people in set 1 can get a 3 and someone in set 4 can get a 9
- 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 and have all the necessary tools like flashcards and highlighters
- enjoy learning. Even for the subjects you hate put yourself in the shoes of people who study the subject for years and years at university 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 revising for mocks 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 actually doing revision
- 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. Obviously neat notes does not equal good grades but it is motivating
- 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!

I have now posted my revision on pinterest if you would like to see it

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/littlege...sion-for-gcse/
Thank you sooo much for this information... it's really helpful for a person who's starting their GCSE course to hear from a person who has done and passed with excellent grades!!
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M4N12D33n472
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any other revision methods that can get you those grade 8/9s. Next year is goign to be way harder than this year. I reckon that it will be like something 70% to get like a 7/8 and like 85% to get like an 8
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