GCSEs: A Subject-by-subject Guide from Someone Who Got Ten 9s Watch

_what
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thanks for these tips they are great but i was wondering for languages what grade did you get beacuse i'm currently in the same situation (gettign a grade 4 in mocks and my target is 7) and also how the hell do you use quizlet it literally just doesnt work for me none of my notes or flashcards save so i just gave up with it.
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Incede
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(Original post by _what)
thanks for these tips they are great but i was wondering for languages what grade did you get beacuse i'm currently in the same situation (gettign a grade 4 in mocks and my target is 7) and also how the hell do you use quizlet it literally just doesnt work for me none of my notes or flashcards save so i just gave up with it.
I got a 9 in all my subjects . You can find loads of quizlet sets that have been made by other people if you search for them on quizlet. I'm not sure why it's not working for you. I've heard some people use "Memrise" so you could try that.
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anticorn04
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the tips for english and languages seem like they gonna save my grades in those subjects cos i hate revising for them, thanks for the tips! also what language did u do?
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Incede
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(Original post by anticorn04)
the tips for english and languages seem like they gonna save my grades in those subjects cos i hate revising for them, thanks for the tips! also what language did u do?
Same i hated revising for English and languages. I did French
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D_Patel14
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Wow, this is so helpful as I am doing geography for GCSE!!
Also well done for the grades thats so amazing!!
Any tips for year 10??
Last edited by D_Patel14; 2 weeks ago
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entertainmyfaith
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(Original post by theJoyfulGeek)
The case studies are awful - (I'm a year 11 now, doing geography, predicted all 9s) and I have spent so much time learning case studies compared to geographical concepts.

To add insult to injury, the details I get marks for aren't interesting, they're just things such as: the Swansea Tidal Lagoon would generate 11% of Wales' electricity and generate 2232 new jobs in an area with a 6.7% employment rate.

Also, my exam board (WJEC Eduqas) is rather Welsh-oriented. Apparently Cardiff is a global city. My school is in London.
i did wjec geography (2018) and got a 9; spent a lot of time learning case studies only for them not to be barely asked for in the exam! try not to stress about it too much
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Incede
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(Original post by D_Patel14)
Wow, this is so helpful as I am doing geography for GCSE!!
Also well done for the grades thats so amazing!!
Any tips for year 10??
Thanks. I'd say just work on your weak subjects and bring them to scratch so you can set yourself up nicely for the start of year 11, then you can achieve the grades you want
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Study6076
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hey can i have your email or some sort of contact info i tried privately messaging you on here but idk if it worked as i wanted to ask you a few specific questions about GCSEs thank you so much ( i am going into year 11 starting tomorrow)
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Incede
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(Original post by Study6076)
hey can i have your email or some sort of contact info i tried privately messaging you on here but idk if it worked as i wanted to ask you a few specific questions about GCSEs thank you so much ( i am going into year 11 starting tomorrow)
I'll send you my email privately
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Incede
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(Original post by entertainmyfaith)
i did wjec geography (2018) and got a 9; spent a lot of time learning case studies only for them not to be barely asked for in the exam! try not to stress about it too much
Opposite of OCR :rolleyes:
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entertainmyfaith
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(Original post by Incede)
Opposite of OCR :rolleyes:
sorry to hear that! i hope if you learnt the case studies the hard work was worth something
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ruteles23
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(Original post by theJoyfulGeek)
The case studies are awful - (I'm a year 11 now, doing geography, predicted all 9s) and I have spent so much time learning case studies compared to geographical concepts.

To add insult to injury, the details I get marks for aren't interesting, they're just things such as: the Swansea Tidal Lagoon would generate 11% of Wales' electricity and generate 2232 new jobs in an area with a 6.7% employment rate.

Also, my exam board (WJEC Eduqas) is rather Welsh-oriented. Apparently Cardiff is a global city. My school is in London.
oh my god, sammmeeee
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Damal
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(Original post by Incede)
Hey everyone, I've been on TSR since the start of year 11, I've finally finished the year and received my results. I was hoping for a few 9s, but was not expecting this many so i was very surprised when I saw my results:popout: so I'm writing this to help all the new year 11s who are doing the new specification :cute:


When did I start revising?

I revised a lot in Christmas for my mocks and my grades consisted of mostly 7s/8s.
Serious revision started in February for about 2 hours a day. This is less than others but the time I did spend revising was effective.

Before the Easter holidays I listed out every topic from different subjects that i needed to cover and worked through them all spending about 3-4 hours a day during these holidays.

I also did a lot of last revision on the days before each exam to make sure i didn't forget any content and this probably bumped my grade up a level in a couple of subjects. So last minute revision is helpful.

Have a look at your grades now and the grades you want to get by the end of the year and decide when you want to start putting more hours into your work - there's no need to start before Christmas but doing a little a day will help.


Maths

Learn the concepts and start practice questions EARLY if you struggle with maths. This is a subject where you can't memorise information, you have to adapt to questions in the exam. I used Hegarty maths (https://www.youtube.com/user/HEGARTYMATHS) to explain anything I didn’t understand and then did loads of practice questions on that topic so I truly understood it.

Once you’re confident on all the topics, start doing all the sample papers, then past papers. There are two series per year, the June and November ones so make sure to do all of them. You’ll notice a lot of questions repeat and are basically the same but with different numbers and knowing how to approach a question because you’ve already encountered it will save you a lot of time in the exam. Eventually you should be able to achieve 70+/80 in each paper and if you’re not, then keep practicing on your weak topics until you can achieve this.

English Literature

I’m gonna be honest, I hated English and only did the bare minimum to get the grade.

First off, Read ALL the examiner’s reports from previous years as well as mark schemes because they literally tell you what they want and don’t want you to write about in each question. After this try and get hold of papers from people who got a grade 9 in previous years so you can see their answers. Then you can work on how you structure your answers for each question based on examiner’s reports and exemplar work.

The next bit of advice I can offer, is learn advanced literary terms. For example, "plosive alliteration" and "polysyndeton" will really impress your examiner. Look at an A-level vocab list and memorise as much as you can and learn how to identify each term in your texts and poems. I memorised advanced key terms from this website: (http://holytrinity.academy/wp-conten...erminology.pdf)

My BIGGEST tip would be don’t just memorise quotes, memorise quotes AND THEIR ANALYSIS. Rather than just memorising random quotes, group quotes together into a paragraph and add grade 9 level analysis, then memorise the whole paragraph. This may seem tedious but it’s so much better than coming up with analysis in the exam when, instead you can just write amazing analysis from memory. I only read each of my texts and poems once (and that was in lessons), other than that I just memorised quotes + analysis + context for every text we had and I made sure that my analysis stood out. It’s a shortcut method to get top grades. Also, don’t forget context, especially in poetry as its an easy way to lose marks if you forget. And ONLY write about context in questions where it’s required.

A little bit of something I prepared before going into one of my exams from Jekyll and Hyde:

London is described as empty “street after street…street after street” – Repetition of street, suggests a labyrinth –another typically gothic feature, creating the impression it is never-ending and inescapable. Also how desolate the area is “as empty as a church”. Reference to religion not being present when a hellish action is about to appear

I would not have been able to write like that on the spot in the exam.

English Language

A lot of what I talked about for English Lit applies here as well, especially reading examiner’s reports and knowing your structure. Structuring your answers correctly is probably the most important thing.

Make a list of possible things to talk about when it comes to each of language, structure and form (eg. Fragmented syntax, colloquial language, anaphoric repetition) so you can quickly identify advanced techniques to critique in the exam.

Using synonyms for “successfully” is also useful when evaluating some writing. The evaluative adverbs I used were: Effectively, efficaciously, compellingly, engagingly, successfully.

Always refer back to the reader when you make a point. Eg. “This suggests/emphasises/portrays/conveys/implies to the reader…”

For creative writing I also, memorised most of it. I wrote a story and edited it to perfection before the exam, memorising the whole thing. I left gaps so that I could fill in to make sure my story was actually relevant, and these small sections were the only bits I wrote spontaneously . If you struggle with creative writing, I recommend you do the same or at least memorise some really good sentences, descriptions and vocab.

The papers are usually time pressured so work out before the exam roughly how much time you want to spend on each question, and make sure you have enough time for the longer question as this is where you will get most of your marks from. I remember my teacher’s telling me to spend a disproportionate amount of time on smaller questions. For example, they said spend 15 minutes on a 6 marker and 20 minutes on a 20 marker. This just doesn’t make sense. Spend your time proportionately, based on the number of marks of each question.

Physics

LEARN ALL THE EQUATIONS. This is like 40% of the marks and if you know all the equations, how to do the maths and how to re-arrange them, it makes getting a top grade so much easier.

For the rest of it, it’s more similar to maths unlike the other two sciences. You have to understand what you’re learning about so you can adjust to any question in the exam. You can’t just memorise everything. Keep going over the revision guide and understand what’s actually happening rather than memorise what the guide says. Then try practice questions and get a teacher to mark them and give you some advice on how you can improve.

Chemistry and Biology

For these sciences you really just have to know the content and exam technique. To learn the content, I bought the CGP revision guides and read over them, making notes on each topic. Then I kept on reading my notes until I was thorough with each topic. Make sure you cover everything on your specification. This does take time and there’s no real shortcuts like English. Use the best revision method that works for you and start early in the year. A lot of people use freesciencelessons on youtube which may be helpful.

Over time, keep improving your exam technique for the 6-mark questions.

For chemistry specifically, make sure you can answer all the maths questions correctly and keep practicing these so you can answer any maths question as these are easy marks to pick up.

Languages

I was terrible at this; I got a 4 in my year 10 mock and there were only two things I did to get more then double that grade in a year.

LEARN VOCAB. This is obvious but if you do this you basically will cover the listening and reading part of the exam. Get the vocab list from your specification website and start learning. I used Quizlet and I did a few words daily to learn the whole vocab list over the course of 1 year.

The other thing I did (like English) was memorise phrases. For writing and speaking I memorised advanced, a-level phrases that included less known tenses and used these in my exams. I still don’t have any idea what the tenses mean (Insert emoji) and I basically understood none of the grammar. I had a range of phrases including lots of tenses for every sub-topic that could possibly come up and this covered every possible writing and speaking question.

Geography

For geography, we were given a huge textbook with so much content that needed to be covered. However, 80% of the marks in our exam were from case studies. So, whilst everyone else focused on the theory, I spent my time on the case studies – memorising facts and figures. Doing less known case studies can also help you as it means the examiner will know less about it, so you can probably get away wit making up a few facts if you forget but this won't work for case studies that lots of people do (like London). See past papers from your exam boards and where the marks come from, then allocate your time accordingly. I managed to save a lot of time by not learning much content and focusing only on what was needed in the exam.

Exam technique is also important, you need to keep developing your points using, therefore, this leads to, this results in, consequently etc. It’s better to make two properly developed points using lots of linkages rather than stating 5 points.

Computer science

A bit like chemistry and biology, you will just have to learn the content although there’s not as much, so learn the content inside out. I assume most people do OCR, the grade boundaries are quite high so if you don’t know your theory inside out, you cannot get the top grade.

You also have to know how to write code/pseudocode and this needs to be practiced early on as it’s a skill you build over time, you can’t just learn this last minute. Learn the structures such as loops and practice coding on a language on your computer (such as python) to improve your coding skills

Coursework subjects

There’s not really much to say here other than work hard for your coursework and try to keep on top of things as it will get stressful when you have to focus on coursework that takes up a huge chunk of your time, whilst you should be revising for 7 or more other subjects. Looking at exemplar help can also be really useful, helping to guide you through your coursework



Conclusion

So, that’s about it then. Make sure you do you’re research for each exam early in the year so you can prepare accordingly, and you can plan what you need to revise. For subjects you don’t like, just push through with it: you don’t want it to look bad amongst your other results and its only for a year, then you can forget about the subject forever :grin:
Remember, its about how you revise for each individual subject, not how many hours you revise per week. Don’t think that if someone is doing double the number of hours you’re doing, you need to do the same because they’re probably doing inefficient revision. I know people who got similar grades to me and probably did about 3x as much work as me. You have to strategical and clinical in your revision.

I’ll continue to edit this and improve this later on.
Hopefully this has been helpful, I’ll happily answer any questions you may have. Thanks for reading!

Good luck with year 11 and your exams!
THANK YOU SO MUCH. I've just started year 11 and all your advice IS AMAZING. 😭😭💖💖 one question: I'm really struggling physics right now (not the math part but the writing part) are there any websites, videos, books you used to help you do well in physics?
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SharonV112
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(Original post by Incede)
Hey everyone, I've been on TSR since the start of year 11, I've finally finished the year and received my results. I was hoping for a few 9s, but was not expecting this many so i was very surprised when I saw my results:popout: so I'm writing this to help all the new year 11s who are doing the new specification :cute:


When did I start revising?

I revised a lot in Christmas for my mocks and my grades consisted of mostly 7s/8s.
Serious revision started in February for about 2 hours a day. This is less than others but the time I did spend revising was effective.

Before the Easter holidays I listed out every topic from different subjects that i needed to cover and worked through them all spending about 3-4 hours a day during these holidays.

I also did a lot of last revision on the days before each exam to make sure i didn't forget any content and this probably bumped my grade up a level in a couple of subjects. So last minute revision is helpful.

Have a look at your grades now and the grades you want to get by the end of the year and decide when you want to start putting more hours into your work - there's no need to start before Christmas but doing a little a day will help.


Maths

Learn the concepts and start practice questions EARLY if you struggle with maths. This is a subject where you can't memorise information, you have to adapt to questions in the exam. I used Hegarty maths (https://www.youtube.com/user/HEGARTYMATHS) to explain anything I didn’t understand and then did loads of practice questions on that topic so I truly understood it.

Once you’re confident on all the topics, start doing all the sample papers, then past papers. There are two series per year, the June and November ones so make sure to do all of them. You’ll notice a lot of questions repeat and are basically the same but with different numbers and knowing how to approach a question because you’ve already encountered it will save you a lot of time in the exam. Eventually you should be able to achieve 70+/80 in each paper and if you’re not, then keep practicing on your weak topics until you can achieve this.

English Literature

I’m gonna be honest, I hated English and only did the bare minimum to get the grade.

First off, Read ALL the examiner’s reports from previous years as well as mark schemes because they literally tell you what they want and don’t want you to write about in each question. After this try and get hold of papers from people who got a grade 9 in previous years so you can see their answers. Then you can work on how you structure your answers for each question based on examiner’s reports and exemplar work.

The next bit of advice I can offer, is learn advanced literary terms. For example, "plosive alliteration" and "polysyndeton" will really impress your examiner. Look at an A-level vocab list and memorise as much as you can and learn how to identify each term in your texts and poems. I memorised advanced key terms from this website: (http://holytrinity.academy/wp-conten...erminology.pdf)

My BIGGEST tip would be don’t just memorise quotes, memorise quotes AND THEIR ANALYSIS. Rather than just memorising random quotes, group quotes together into a paragraph and add grade 9 level analysis, then memorise the whole paragraph. This may seem tedious but it’s so much better than coming up with analysis in the exam when, instead you can just write amazing analysis from memory. I only read each of my texts and poems once (and that was in lessons), other than that I just memorised quotes + analysis + context for every text we had and I made sure that my analysis stood out. It’s a shortcut method to get top grades. Also, don’t forget context, especially in poetry as its an easy way to lose marks if you forget. And ONLY write about context in questions where it’s required.

A little bit of something I prepared before going into one of my exams from Jekyll and Hyde:

London is described as empty “street after street…street after street” – Repetition of street, suggests a labyrinth –another typically gothic feature, creating the impression it is never-ending and inescapable. Also how desolate the area is “as empty as a church”. Reference to religion not being present when a hellish action is about to appear

I would not have been able to write like that on the spot in the exam.

English Language

A lot of what I talked about for English Lit applies here as well, especially reading examiner’s reports and knowing your structure. Structuring your answers correctly is probably the most important thing.

Make a list of possible things to talk about when it comes to each of language, structure and form (eg. Fragmented syntax, colloquial language, anaphoric repetition) so you can quickly identify advanced techniques to critique in the exam.

Using synonyms for “successfully” is also useful when evaluating some writing. The evaluative adverbs I used were: Effectively, efficaciously, compellingly, engagingly, successfully.

Always refer back to the reader when you make a point. Eg. “This suggests/emphasises/portrays/conveys/implies to the reader…”

For creative writing I also, memorised most of it. I wrote a story and edited it to perfection before the exam, memorising the whole thing. I left gaps so that I could fill in to make sure my story was actually relevant, and these small sections were the only bits I wrote spontaneously . If you struggle with creative writing, I recommend you do the same or at least memorise some really good sentences, descriptions and vocab.

The papers are usually time pressured so work out before the exam roughly how much time you want to spend on each question, and make sure you have enough time for the longer question as this is where you will get most of your marks from. I remember my teacher’s telling me to spend a disproportionate amount of time on smaller questions. For example, they said spend 15 minutes on a 6 marker and 20 minutes on a 20 marker. This just doesn’t make sense. Spend your time proportionately, based on the number of marks of each question.

Physics

LEARN ALL THE EQUATIONS. This is like 40% of the marks and if you know all the equations, how to do the maths and how to re-arrange them, it makes getting a top grade so much easier.

For the rest of it, it’s more similar to maths unlike the other two sciences. You have to understand what you’re learning about so you can adjust to any question in the exam. You can’t just memorise everything. Keep going over the revision guide and understand what’s actually happening rather than memorise what the guide says. Then try practice questions and get a teacher to mark them and give you some advice on how you can improve.

Chemistry and Biology

For these sciences you really just have to know the content and exam technique. To learn the content, I bought the CGP revision guides and read over them, making notes on each topic. Then I kept on reading my notes until I was thorough with each topic. Make sure you cover everything on your specification. This does take time and there’s no real shortcuts like English. Use the best revision method that works for you and start early in the year. A lot of people use freesciencelessons on youtube which may be helpful.

Over time, keep improving your exam technique for the 6-mark questions.

For chemistry specifically, make sure you can answer all the maths questions correctly and keep practicing these so you can answer any maths question as these are easy marks to pick up.

Languages

I was terrible at this; I got a 4 in my year 10 mock and there were only two things I did to get more then double that grade in a year.

LEARN VOCAB. This is obvious but if you do this you basically will cover the listening and reading part of the exam. Get the vocab list from your specification website and start learning. I used Quizlet and I did a few words daily to learn the whole vocab list over the course of 1 year.

The other thing I did (like English) was memorise phrases. For writing and speaking I memorised advanced, a-level phrases that included less known tenses and used these in my exams. I still don’t have any idea what the tenses mean (Insert emoji) and I basically understood none of the grammar. I had a range of phrases including lots of tenses for every sub-topic that could possibly come up and this covered every possible writing and speaking question.

Geography

For geography, we were given a huge textbook with so much content that needed to be covered. However, 80% of the marks in our exam were from case studies. So, whilst everyone else focused on the theory, I spent my time on the case studies – memorising facts and figures. Doing less known case studies can also help you as it means the examiner will know less about it, so you can probably get away wit making up a few facts if you forget but this won't work for case studies that lots of people do (like London). See past papers from your exam boards and where the marks come from, then allocate your time accordingly. I managed to save a lot of time by not learning much content and focusing only on what was needed in the exam.

Exam technique is also important, you need to keep developing your points using, therefore, this leads to, this results in, consequently etc. It’s better to make two properly developed points using lots of linkages rather than stating 5 points.

Computer science

A bit like chemistry and biology, you will just have to learn the content although there’s not as much, so learn the content inside out. I assume most people do OCR, the grade boundaries are quite high so if you don’t know your theory inside out, you cannot get the top grade.

You also have to know how to write code/pseudocode and this needs to be practiced early on as it’s a skill you build over time, you can’t just learn this last minute. Learn the structures such as loops and practice coding on a language on your computer (such as python) to improve your coding skills

Coursework subjects

There’s not really much to say here other than work hard for your coursework and try to keep on top of things as it will get stressful when you have to focus on coursework that takes up a huge chunk of your time, whilst you should be revising for 7 or more other subjects. Looking at exemplar help can also be really useful, helping to guide you through your coursework



Conclusion

So, that’s about it then. Make sure you do you’re research for each exam early in the year so you can prepare accordingly, and you can plan what you need to revise. For subjects you don’t like, just push through with it: you don’t want it to look bad amongst your other results and its only for a year, then you can forget about the subject forever :grin:
Remember, its about how you revise for each individual subject, not how many hours you revise per week. Don’t think that if someone is doing double the number of hours you’re doing, you need to do the same because they’re probably doing inefficient revision. I know people who got similar grades to me and probably did about 3x as much work as me. You have to strategical and clinical in your revision.

I’ll continue to edit this and improve this later on.
Hopefully this has been helpful, I’ll happily answer any questions you may have. Thanks for reading!

Good luck with year 11 and your exams!
Hi omg, you are such a lifesaver I feel a little bit prepared for revision. thanks to you!! can you send me your revision notes you used on Quizlet
Please XXXXX
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honeybunnies
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This is so helpful! I’ve just started year 10 and I’ve got bad teachers in English and physics How should I deal with this, especially considering that I won’t have sufficient analysis for English Literature?
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Danyaaaaaal
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(Original post by Incede)
Hey everyone, I've been on TSR since the start of year 11, I've finally finished the year and received my results. I was hoping for a few 9s, but was not expecting this many so i was very surprised when I saw my results:popout: so I'm writing this to help all the new year 11s who are doing the new specification :cute:


When did I start revising?

I revised a lot in Christmas for my mocks and my grades consisted of mostly 7s/8s.
Serious revision started in February for about 2 hours a day. This is less than others but the time I did spend revising was effective.

Before the Easter holidays I listed out every topic from different subjects that i needed to cover and worked through them all spending about 3-4 hours a day during these holidays.

I also did a lot of last revision on the days before each exam to make sure i didn't forget any content and this probably bumped my grade up a level in a couple of subjects. So last minute revision is helpful.

Have a look at your grades now and the grades you want to get by the end of the year and decide when you want to start putting more hours into your work - there's no need to start before Christmas but doing a little a day will help.


Maths

Learn the concepts and start practice questions EARLY if you struggle with maths. This is a subject where you can't memorise information, you have to adapt to questions in the exam. I used Hegarty maths (https://www.youtube.com/user/HEGARTYMATHS) to explain anything I didn’t understand and then did loads of practice questions on that topic so I truly understood it.

Once you’re confident on all the topics, start doing all the sample papers, then past papers. There are two series per year, the June and November ones so make sure to do all of them. You’ll notice a lot of questions repeat and are basically the same but with different numbers and knowing how to approach a question because you’ve already encountered it will save you a lot of time in the exam. Eventually you should be able to achieve 70+/80 in each paper and if you’re not, then keep practicing on your weak topics until you can achieve this.

English Literature

I’m gonna be honest, I hated English and only did the bare minimum to get the grade.

First off, Read ALL the examiner’s reports from previous years as well as mark schemes because they literally tell you what they want and don’t want you to write about in each question. After this try and get hold of papers from people who got a grade 9 in previous years so you can see their answers. Then you can work on how you structure your answers for each question based on examiner’s reports and exemplar work.

The next bit of advice I can offer, is learn advanced literary terms. For example, "plosive alliteration" and "polysyndeton" will really impress your examiner. Look at an A-level vocab list and memorise as much as you can and learn how to identify each term in your texts and poems. I memorised advanced key terms from this website: (http://holytrinity.academy/wp-conten...erminology.pdf)

My BIGGEST tip would be don’t just memorise quotes, memorise quotes AND THEIR ANALYSIS. Rather than just memorising random quotes, group quotes together into a paragraph and add grade 9 level analysis, then memorise the whole paragraph. This may seem tedious but it’s so much better than coming up with analysis in the exam when, instead you can just write amazing analysis from memory. I only read each of my texts and poems once (and that was in lessons), other than that I just memorised quotes + analysis + context for every text we had and I made sure that my analysis stood out. It’s a shortcut method to get top grades. Also, don’t forget context, especially in poetry as its an easy way to lose marks if you forget. And ONLY write about context in questions where it’s required.

A little bit of something I prepared before going into one of my exams from Jekyll and Hyde:

London is described as empty “street after street…street after street” – Repetition of street, suggests a labyrinth –another typically gothic feature, creating the impression it is never-ending and inescapable. Also how desolate the area is “as empty as a church”. Reference to religion not being present when a hellish action is about to appear

I would not have been able to write like that on the spot in the exam.

English Language

A lot of what I talked about for English Lit applies here as well, especially reading examiner’s reports and knowing your structure. Structuring your answers correctly is probably the most important thing.

Make a list of possible things to talk about when it comes to each of language, structure and form (eg. Fragmented syntax, colloquial language, anaphoric repetition) so you can quickly identify advanced techniques to critique in the exam.

Using synonyms for “successfully” is also useful when evaluating some writing. The evaluative adverbs I used were: Effectively, efficaciously, compellingly, engagingly, successfully.

Always refer back to the reader when you make a point. Eg. “This suggests/emphasises/portrays/conveys/implies to the reader…”

For creative writing I also, memorised most of it. I wrote a story and edited it to perfection before the exam, memorising the whole thing. I left gaps so that I could fill in to make sure my story was actually relevant, and these small sections were the only bits I wrote spontaneously . If you struggle with creative writing, I recommend you do the same or at least memorise some really good sentences, descriptions and vocab.

The papers are usually time pressured so work out before the exam roughly how much time you want to spend on each question, and make sure you have enough time for the longer question as this is where you will get most of your marks from. I remember my teacher’s telling me to spend a disproportionate amount of time on smaller questions. For example, they said spend 15 minutes on a 6 marker and 20 minutes on a 20 marker. This just doesn’t make sense. Spend your time proportionately, based on the number of marks of each question.

Physics

LEARN ALL THE EQUATIONS. This is like 40% of the marks and if you know all the equations, how to do the maths and how to re-arrange them, it makes getting a top grade so much easier.

For the rest of it, it’s more similar to maths unlike the other two sciences. You have to understand what you’re learning about so you can adjust to any question in the exam. You can’t just memorise everything. Keep going over the revision guide and understand what’s actually happening rather than memorise what the guide says. Then try practice questions and get a teacher to mark them and give you some advice on how you can improve.

Chemistry and Biology

For these sciences you really just have to know the content and exam technique. To learn the content, I bought the CGP revision guides and read over them, making notes on each topic. Then I kept on reading my notes until I was thorough with each topic. Make sure you cover everything on your specification. This does take time and there’s no real shortcuts like English. Use the best revision method that works for you and start early in the year. A lot of people use freesciencelessons on youtube which may be helpful.

Over time, keep improving your exam technique for the 6-mark questions.

For chemistry specifically, make sure you can answer all the maths questions correctly and keep practicing these so you can answer any maths question as these are easy marks to pick up.

Languages

I was terrible at this; I got a 4 in my year 10 mock and there were only two things I did to get more then double that grade in a year.

LEARN VOCAB. This is obvious but if you do this you basically will cover the listening and reading part of the exam. Get the vocab list from your specification website and start learning. I used Quizlet and I did a few words daily to learn the whole vocab list over the course of 1 year.

The other thing I did (like English) was memorise phrases. For writing and speaking I memorised advanced, a-level phrases that included less known tenses and used these in my exams. I still don’t have any idea what the tenses mean (Insert emoji) and I basically understood none of the grammar. I had a range of phrases including lots of tenses for every sub-topic that could possibly come up and this covered every possible writing and speaking question.

Geography

For geography, we were given a huge textbook with so much content that needed to be covered. However, 80% of the marks in our exam were from case studies. So, whilst everyone else focused on the theory, I spent my time on the case studies – memorising facts and figures. Doing less known case studies can also help you as it means the examiner will know less about it, so you can probably get away wit making up a few facts if you forget but this won't work for case studies that lots of people do (like London). See past papers from your exam boards and where the marks come from, then allocate your time accordingly. I managed to save a lot of time by not learning much content and focusing only on what was needed in the exam.

Exam technique is also important, you need to keep developing your points using, therefore, this leads to, this results in, consequently etc. It’s better to make two properly developed points using lots of linkages rather than stating 5 points.

Computer science

A bit like chemistry and biology, you will just have to learn the content although there’s not as much, so learn the content inside out. I assume most people do OCR, the grade boundaries are quite high so if you don’t know your theory inside out, you cannot get the top grade.

You also have to know how to write code/pseudocode and this needs to be practiced early on as it’s a skill you build over time, you can’t just learn this last minute. Learn the structures such as loops and practice coding on a language on your computer (such as python) to improve your coding skills

Coursework subjects

There’s not really much to say here other than work hard for your coursework and try to keep on top of things as it will get stressful when you have to focus on coursework that takes up a huge chunk of your time, whilst you should be revising for 7 or more other subjects. Looking at exemplar help can also be really useful, helping to guide you through your coursework



Conclusion

So, that’s about it then. Make sure you do you’re research for each exam early in the year so you can prepare accordingly, and you can plan what you need to revise. For subjects you don’t like, just push through with it: you don’t want it to look bad amongst your other results and its only for a year, then you can forget about the subject forever :grin:
Remember, its about how you revise for each individual subject, not how many hours you revise per week. Don’t think that if someone is doing double the number of hours you’re doing, you need to do the same because they’re probably doing inefficient revision. I know people who got similar grades to me and probably did about 3x as much work as me. You have to strategical and clinical in your revision.

I’ll continue to edit this and improve this later on.
Hopefully this has been helpful, I’ll happily answer any questions you may have. Thanks for reading!

Good luck with year 11 and your exams!
Hi. Thx for this great post Ive only just started in yr10, but i wanna start revising early to get a headstart. The thing im really confused on is time management which im rly bad at :/ How did you sort out a timetable with a good amount of revision study every week?
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qqalicia07
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Hi! I struggle with creative writing a lot and have thought about pre-writing a story to pick up on in the exam but i don’t know how it will fit with the exam question. Tips on how to think of a general story? This has been very helpful so thank you😊
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alulaaustralis
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(Original post by honeybunnies)
This is so helpful! I’ve just started year 10 and I’ve got bad teachers in English and physics How should I deal with this, especially considering that I won’t have sufficient analysis for English Literature?
I'm doing my GCSEs this academic year but this is what has helped me so far through the many surprise tests/mock exams/end of unit tests I've had in year 10 (going to my school, there were A LOT of these, pretty much every week).

Mr Bruff amongst other youtube channels for eng lit are really useful- I like making notes from these and adding my own interpretations as well. I know it works, since all my y10 mocks got 9s, missing a minimum of 2 marks for each essay. Lots of people have made quizlet sets with Macbeth/AIC/any other set text analysis so you can copy those too. I don't usually use bitesize for revision but I recently found that some of their poetry pages have decent analysis too. Personally, y10 was crucial in pushing my english grades up. I haven't used any revision guides before, because the whole internet is pretty much a colossal cheat sheet for english, but definitely invest in one if you feel the need.

As for Physics, I don't want to add to your anxiety but it definitely is a subject you need a decent teacher for. Maybe try visiting another physics teacher during your frees/break and lunch and ask for help on topics you're struggling on? Ofc freesciencelessons on youtube is a very good last minute resort before the exam but I don't think you can fully understand a concept in Physics without conversing with someone on it properly, but maybe that's just me?
Last edited by alulaaustralis; 2 weeks ago
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sophiebophie
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(Original post by Incede)
Hey everyone, I've been on TSR since the start of year 11, I've finally finished the year and received my results. I was hoping for a few 9s, but was not expecting this many so i was very surprised when I saw my results:popout: so I'm writing this to help all the new year 11s who are doing the new specification :cute:


When did I start revising?

I revised a lot in Christmas for my mocks and my grades consisted of mostly 7s/8s.
Serious revision started in February for about 2 hours a day. This is less than others but the time I did spend revising was effective.

Before the Easter holidays I listed out every topic from different subjects that i needed to cover and worked through them all spending about 3-4 hours a day during these holidays.

I also did a lot of last revision on the days before each exam to make sure i didn't forget any content and this probably bumped my grade up a level in a couple of subjects. So last minute revision is helpful.

Have a look at your grades now and the grades you want to get by the end of the year and decide when you want to start putting more hours into your work - there's no need to start before Christmas but doing a little a day will help.


Maths

Learn the concepts and start practice questions EARLY if you struggle with maths. This is a subject where you can't memorise information, you have to adapt to questions in the exam. I used Hegarty maths (https://www.youtube.com/user/HEGARTYMATHS) to explain anything I didn’t understand and then did loads of practice questions on that topic so I truly understood it.

Once you’re confident on all the topics, start doing all the sample papers, then past papers. There are two series per year, the June and November ones so make sure to do all of them. You’ll notice a lot of questions repeat and are basically the same but with different numbers and knowing how to approach a question because you’ve already encountered it will save you a lot of time in the exam. Eventually you should be able to achieve 70+/80 in each paper and if you’re not, then keep practicing on your weak topics until you can achieve this.

English Literature

I’m gonna be honest, I hated English and only did the bare minimum to get the grade.

First off, Read ALL the examiner’s reports from previous years as well as mark schemes because they literally tell you what they want and don’t want you to write about in each question. After this try and get hold of papers from people who got a grade 9 in previous years so you can see their answers. Then you can work on how you structure your answers for each question based on examiner’s reports and exemplar work.

The next bit of advice I can offer, is learn advanced literary terms. For example, "plosive alliteration" and "polysyndeton" will really impress your examiner. Look at an A-level vocab list and memorise as much as you can and learn how to identify each term in your texts and poems. I memorised advanced key terms from this website: (http://holytrinity.academy/wp-conten...erminology.pdf)

My BIGGEST tip would be don’t just memorise quotes, memorise quotes AND THEIR ANALYSIS. Rather than just memorising random quotes, group quotes together into a paragraph and add grade 9 level analysis, then memorise the whole paragraph. This may seem tedious but it’s so much better than coming up with analysis in the exam when, instead you can just write amazing analysis from memory. I only read each of my texts and poems once (and that was in lessons), other than that I just memorised quotes + analysis + context for every text we had and I made sure that my analysis stood out. It’s a shortcut method to get top grades. Also, don’t forget context, especially in poetry as its an easy way to lose marks if you forget. And ONLY write about context in questions where it’s required.

A little bit of something I prepared before going into one of my exams from Jekyll and Hyde:

London is described as empty “street after street…street after street” – Repetition of street, suggests a labyrinth –another typically gothic feature, creating the impression it is never-ending and inescapable. Also how desolate the area is “as empty as a church”. Reference to religion not being present when a hellish action is about to appear

I would not have been able to write like that on the spot in the exam.

English Language

A lot of what I talked about for English Lit applies here as well, especially reading examiner’s reports and knowing your structure. Structuring your answers correctly is probably the most important thing.

Make a list of possible things to talk about when it comes to each of language, structure and form (eg. Fragmented syntax, colloquial language, anaphoric repetition) so you can quickly identify advanced techniques to critique in the exam.

Using synonyms for “successfully” is also useful when evaluating some writing. The evaluative adverbs I used were: Effectively, efficaciously, compellingly, engagingly, successfully.

Always refer back to the reader when you make a point. Eg. “This suggests/emphasises/portrays/conveys/implies to the reader…”

For creative writing I also, memorised most of it. I wrote a story and edited it to perfection before the exam, memorising the whole thing. I left gaps so that I could fill in to make sure my story was actually relevant, and these small sections were the only bits I wrote spontaneously . If you struggle with creative writing, I recommend you do the same or at least memorise some really good sentences, descriptions and vocab.

The papers are usually time pressured so work out before the exam roughly how much time you want to spend on each question, and make sure you have enough time for the longer question as this is where you will get most of your marks from. I remember my teacher’s telling me to spend a disproportionate amount of time on smaller questions. For example, they said spend 15 minutes on a 6 marker and 20 minutes on a 20 marker. This just doesn’t make sense. Spend your time proportionately, based on the number of marks of each question.

Physics

LEARN ALL THE EQUATIONS. This is like 40% of the marks and if you know all the equations, how to do the maths and how to re-arrange them, it makes getting a top grade so much easier.

For the rest of it, it’s more similar to maths unlike the other two sciences. You have to understand what you’re learning about so you can adjust to any question in the exam. You can’t just memorise everything. Keep going over the revision guide and understand what’s actually happening rather than memorise what the guide says. Then try practice questions and get a teacher to mark them and give you some advice on how you can improve.

Chemistry and Biology

For these sciences you really just have to know the content and exam technique. To learn the content, I bought the CGP revision guides and read over them, making notes on each topic. Then I kept on reading my notes until I was thorough with each topic. Make sure you cover everything on your specification. This does take time and there’s no real shortcuts like English. Use the best revision method that works for you and start early in the year. A lot of people use freesciencelessons on youtube which may be helpful.

Over time, keep improving your exam technique for the 6-mark questions.

For chemistry specifically, make sure you can answer all the maths questions correctly and keep practicing these so you can answer any maths question as these are easy marks to pick up.

Languages

I was terrible at this; I got a 4 in my year 10 mock and there were only two things I did to get more then double that grade in a year.

LEARN VOCAB. This is obvious but if you do this you basically will cover the listening and reading part of the exam. Get the vocab list from your specification website and start learning. I used Quizlet and I did a few words daily to learn the whole vocab list over the course of 1 year.

The other thing I did (like English) was memorise phrases. For writing and speaking I memorised advanced, a-level phrases that included less known tenses and used these in my exams. I still don’t have any idea what the tenses mean (Insert emoji) and I basically understood none of the grammar. I had a range of phrases including lots of tenses for every sub-topic that could possibly come up and this covered every possible writing and speaking question.

Geography

For geography, we were given a huge textbook with so much content that needed to be covered. However, 80% of the marks in our exam were from case studies. So, whilst everyone else focused on the theory, I spent my time on the case studies – memorising facts and figures. Doing less known case studies can also help you as it means the examiner will know less about it, so you can probably get away wit making up a few facts if you forget but this won't work for case studies that lots of people do (like London). See past papers from your exam boards and where the marks come from, then allocate your time accordingly. I managed to save a lot of time by not learning much content and focusing only on what was needed in the exam.

Exam technique is also important, you need to keep developing your points using, therefore, this leads to, this results in, consequently etc. It’s better to make two properly developed points using lots of linkages rather than stating 5 points.

Computer science

A bit like chemistry and biology, you will just have to learn the content although there’s not as much, so learn the content inside out. I assume most people do OCR, the grade boundaries are quite high so if you don’t know your theory inside out, you cannot get the top grade.

You also have to know how to write code/pseudocode and this needs to be practiced early on as it’s a skill you build over time, you can’t just learn this last minute. Learn the structures such as loops and practice coding on a language on your computer (such as python) to improve your coding skills

Coursework subjects

There’s not really much to say here other than work hard for your coursework and try to keep on top of things as it will get stressful when you have to focus on coursework that takes up a huge chunk of your time, whilst you should be revising for 7 or more other subjects. Looking at exemplar help can also be really useful, helping to guide you through your coursework



Conclusion

So, that’s about it then. Make sure you do you’re research for each exam early in the year so you can prepare accordingly, and you can plan what you need to revise. For subjects you don’t like, just push through with it: you don’t want it to look bad amongst your other results and its only for a year, then you can forget about the subject forever :grin:
Remember, its about how you revise for each individual subject, not how many hours you revise per week. Don’t think that if someone is doing double the number of hours you’re doing, you need to do the same because they’re probably doing inefficient revision. I know people who got similar grades to me and probably did about 3x as much work as me. You have to strategical and clinical in your revision.

I’ll continue to edit this and improve this later on.
Hopefully this has been helpful, I’ll happily answer any questions you may have. Thanks for reading!

Good luck with year 11 and your exams!
oof i just went into year 11 and the onset of mocks and gcses are scaring me
i am VERY weak in maths and spanish despite somehow being predicted a 7/8, but most of my other subjects are good
does anyone have any tips for studying when you can't focus/sit still for a while/get tired easily?
many thanks my dudes
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Incede
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(Original post by Damal)
THANK YOU SO MUCH. I've just started year 11 and all your advice IS AMAZING. 😭😭💖💖 one question: I'm really struggling physics right now (not the math part but the writing part) are there any websites, videos, books you used to help you do well in physics?
No problem . I used the textbook for physics. I'd say find the textbook for your exam board and start learning the content in the book in each chapter and see if you cover everything that's on your specification. Go chapter by chapter and make sure you really understand every part of the course - try not to understand rather than memorise as it makes it lot easier to be spontaneous in the exam. You have to take it slowly but there's plenty of time if you start now. You can also use the equations you know to help explain stuff you are unsure about For example, if there's a question involving electricity. You could use the equation V=IR to explain that if V stays constant and I increases, then R must go down. Hope this helps
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