Tips you would give a GCSEs student who doesn’t know anything doing exams in 7 months

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Sike786
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I struggle massively with procrastination / laziness and lack of motivation to do any school work. I always day dream in class ( been doing it since primary school.) Because of my procrastination and laziness and lack of motivation / drive to do work I have been put in low sets that have not challenged me mentally through my whole high school year. ( I’m in year 11 now ) I always get work that is super easy and because of my quietness in class teachers assume I am not smart as I never pay attention in class and constantly get told of for daydreaming. I also pretend to do work when teachers look at me, when in reality I don’t , I just copy my friends that sit next to me during the end of the lesson and just change a few words so I don’t get caught. ( Been doing this for 4 years.) I find lessons extremely boring as teachers make everything long winded. And generally don’t care about students in my class as some of them are not even passing and are predicted grade 3s. However I can learn in school quickly by focusing when I want to. I have never done a homework in my life, I usually get my friends to do it for me / copy my friends. As I keep telling my mum, I never learn anything in school. The only reason I go is so my mum doesn’t get a fine. I never revise and somehow manage to get a grade 5 ( which is my predicted grade ) with flying colours. That’s why teachers never question me. Because I am in a low set the teachers only want students in my class to pass and get a minimum grade 5 thus they only teach us how to achieve a grade 5 nothing above. When I know in reality I could get a grade 8/9. I have one sibling studying medicine in Cambridge university. And another which is studying accounting in Kings collage. ( you can probably tell I’m the youngest.) They both did AMAZING for their GCSE’s. They keep telling me GCSEs are so easy and to do exam papers of every subject and write the questions of the ones I didn’t get right on flash cards. But I’m not anyway near the level of smart as them. it just hit me now that I don’t even know some of the content for certain subjects . I don’t even know how to revise. I don’t know what to do and how to do it and where I should begin revising. And I’m panicking. I’m struggling a lot with self doubt and constantly start crying when I am alone because of the stress and anxiety I’m secretly struggling with and the position I have bought myself to be in. My grandmas who also lives with me is supper ill and lost her ability to walk and has bladder problems. My family go to work when I come back from school. so I stay with my grandma and have to feed her , take her to the bathroom and generally take care of her. Teachers are constantly yelling at me because of my habbit to day dream and are putting me down. Threatening to put me in a Lower set when in reality I’m struggling with so much stress. I only have 7 months left till my gcse and I’m not sure if I’m gonna do my exams because of covid -19. I really want to do exams because I know for a fact I could get higher than my predicted grades. I need all the tips i can get, it would be greatly appreciated. I’m so sorry for writing such a long paragraph.
Last edited by Sike786; 1 month ago
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Random11_206
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I don't really know if any of this will help cause that sounds HELLA stressful but ill give it a shot. Why don't you tell your teachers about your situation and ask for more challenging homework and maybe ask your parents for help because you NEED time to do work and revise and try to learn everything you need, maybe get some revision books or if you cant you could look on places like bitesize and Seneca and Quizlet etc. because they will have everything you need to know for your exams. You could always ask someone in here if they are willing to help - don't know if that's a thing but. This might be really unhelpful so sorry if it is.
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musicalrose
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Hi My biggest tip would probably be to break everything down into chunks- it probably seems overwhelming bc it feels like it's just one massive pile of work that keeps piling up, but if you take a moment to make lists and spilt subjects up into topics or sub-topics, then it can really make the content more manageable. Even if you don't get around to doing all of it, you would have at least done something, rather than being overwhelmed and procrastinating it all until the last minute. Also the "daydreaming" (not a psychologist here so definitely take it with a pinch of salt) could be a symptom of ADHD and/ or just dissociating quite a lot as a coping mechanism- both of those things I wouldn't beat yourself up about, I would just try to notice when it happens and then try to ground yourself in reality so that you can pay more attention to what is happening in the lesson. Also- if you find lessons boring/ not challenging enough, you can always do more work at home that you find exciting about the subject or if you are in a grade 5 standard class, you could try and find out about 8/9 standard material and learn that so when it comes to the exam, you will know more content and therefore do a lot better! Loads of GCSE subjects have loads of great revision resources, so it's all about being proactive and finding them and putting the effort in. Ik the pressure of exams can feel really isolating, but remember that so many people your age will be in the same kind of situation and feel the same way.
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XKangaotiCX
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Hey - former GCSE student here (yr 13 rn). I was also lazy, procrastinated a lot, day-dreamed instead of focussing on what the teacher was saying, and all the rest of it so I get where you're coming from in that regard. That being said though, the added stress of having to look after your grandma must be really difficult, I'm genuinely sorry to hear that and it must be harder to concentrate when you have that going on in your life too. I'd love to say I can help on that front, but all I can do is offer my support.
In terms of getting good GCSEs, I know it seems pretty daunting right now but TRUST me, it's perfectly manageable, even if you know absolutely none of the content at the moment. I promise you that. You'll look back and see (assuming you're going on to do A levels). So take me for example, I didn't revise at all like you for most of the year but in the last week (you read that right) I grinded and got some decent grades to show for it. (9, 8, 8, 8, 7, 7, 7, 7, 6, 6, 6)
My tips will vary for each subject, and it depends on what your strengths are. There's two parts to this: motivation and revision.

Revision:
For English lit, try some practice questions and this blog really helped: https://madameanglaise.wordpress.com...-1-question-3/ Honestly, if you can't be arsed to read the books, don't bother. As long as you've got some good, short quotes for each topic and character.
For English language: same as above apart from the books. Also, a massive thing that gets you marks is the creative description/story in the final question - what I did was write the perfect description and kind of memorised it then manipulated that description to fit the question.
For maths: Mymaths, youtube videos, maths textbooks + practice questions. It's an annoying one to revise if you can't be arsed, but when you can, it'll help a lot. Music in the background helps a lil.
For the sciences: TEXTBOOKS. I legit kid you not, the day before each science exam, I would go through each page of the cgp book, write up the info on my cupboard with a rub-out pen and memorise that info. I didn't have enough time to do exam questions because I was too busy trying to remember the info, but it worked out in the end. (I got a 7 for each science)

Motivation:
I won't lie to you, I still struggle with motivation even as an A level student, but I think a couple things to bear in mind may help. For example, the prospect of what you want to do in the future - if you looked at unis you want to go to or courses, or apprenticeships, ANYTHING. Just something to motivate you into wanting it. I can assure you though, no matter how unmotivated you are, when it comes down to the final week, you'll be doing something. Listen to music with it, to keep you on task, use the extension "self control" to stop you getting distracted, and make a to do list of doable aims you can do for each day.
I know school sucks any enjoyment out of learning (ironically) but you need to force yourself to find something enjoyable to attach with the subjects you're doing. For example, maybe test yourself with your friends, make it fun, make it into a competition, etc, or find something you like to associate learning with so you're more inclined to learn and like it.

I don't know if this helps, but I hope it does
Last edited by XKangaotiCX; 1 month ago
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