Tips for those who want to get all 9s and distinction *(s)

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DakotaArden
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#1
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#1
Does anyone have any tips on how to maximise your grades in GCSEs and BTECs?
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ScoMo2808
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#2
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#2
Hi there I just got my GCSE results: I got 11 9s (English lit, English Lang, history, RS, Latin, French, Ancient Greek, maths, triple science) and a distinction for English language speaking. I think getting this came down to two things: hard work and having advantages. The advantages that I personally had include how much of my revision took place in the lockdown period where I could do little else but work! I’m also fortunate in that I have good concentration and a great memory (not to toot my own horn!) I do think that you do need some element of ‘luck’ therefore to maximise grades. However, hard work is certainly more important than any natural ability though both are important. Here are my top tips to studying properly and getting the best grades: 1. Setting up revsion: as I said I was fortunate to have no distractions at all; I couldn’t see friends, I didn’t play video games as I don’t really like them, and I couldn’t really do sport. Added to this I actually enjoy learning and revising so this meant I literally had 8 hour study periods. I got into a ‘flow state’ as they say. Assuming, your distractions are more, you still need to make time for revision, quite a lot of time. In order to maximise concentration, it is perhaps best to revise on your bed or sth- the relaxing place makes your revision more comfortable and easier to continue. 2. Timetabling: split subjects into 4-6 segments eg for chemistry I had -basics - inorganic -physical -organic. Then in a 2-3 week period you must cover each segment of each subject at least once. After that you must repeat. If you keep this going through year 11, you can be sure of great grades.3. Actually revising: my technique varies depending on the subject. At GCSE here is how I revised each subject:-English lit: I read the books before bed over a week for each. I read a revision guide along W them. As I was studying the texts, I made extensive notes that I can also read at the same time. The exception is poetry: I made digital notes on each of the poems and cover the notes and try to active recall them. Another thing for English lit is essays: there was a period where I wrote an essay a day- too many perhaps but I got took the stage where all my essays were 9 standard. For essays my strategy was: - introduction that gives a vague answer to the question incorporating ur 3 points into a general answer - 3 paragraphs each providing a different answer to the question. I would write the point, find a quote, explain the quote then look for high level techniques in the quote like hyper baton or fricative alliteration and write the effect of the technique then I’d do that for another linked quote and link to context. Don’t stick to this rigidly though- mix it up! Then I concluded just like my intro.2. English language: past paper questions and mark schemes. Also look at teachers resources. For the creative writing: I memorised 10 plans of great story ideas, so in my exam I had an incredible story and it fitted the question well. 3.Maths: past paper questions. But also: read through summaries of topics and look at worked answers.4.RS: I did AQA. I made notes on all the themes and tried learning them. To learn them I just read through them, covered bits up then tried reciting them etc then I did practice questions. For the beliefs and practices stuff, I bought the AQA revision guide and just tried the cover up method on that. That guide was great. 5.Latin and Ancient Greek: for the language papers, I read through the chapter summaries in the textbooks to understand grammar. I also did quizlets for the vocab. For the lit stuff, I made flashcards by hand and tried memorising a translation for each but and looking up vocab I didn’t know. I also memorised good annotations from my teacher’s notes.6.History: I did loads of practice essays and questions. For the sources stuff, I made flashcards on the way to answer each question type. For learning content, I made notes from a textbook and also used a revision guide. I used what Unjaded Jade calls blurting to fix these notes to memory: ( made newer and more succinct notes by reading my resources and older notes, putting them away, writing down what I know and then checking and adding in anything I missed). 7. French: loads of past papers are great especially for listening and reading. For grammar, I read through the 20 pages at the back of my textbook (CIE IGCSE). It summarised the grammar all so well. For speaking, I had a PowerPoint to learn pronounciation. For vocab: I made sheets on each topic. To do this I got a blank A4, then looked in my textbook and classnotes and wrote down a good collection of words per topic that I could use. I then used cover up method to learn them. Jot down any words u don’t know in reading or listening papers too.8. Sciences: i made notes through the course using save my exams, classnotes and CGP. I then used blurting with CGP as my only resource and made fresh notes. I then used cover up to learn both sets of notes. Then I did past paper questions and made a note in green pen of any marks missed. Final tip general: have a good tv show on the run that u can watch before bed after revising as it relaxes you. I prefer comedy for this scenario. It mustn’t be too bingeable though! I hope this helps- sorry for the extreme length!
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ll ACR ll
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#3
Report 5 months ago
#3
look back at your mistakes and read the question carefully. Trust me, I screwed up half of my maths paper back in the mocks due to my hyper and adrenaline self trying to speedrun the paper
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SupposedlyIronic
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#4
Report 5 months ago
#4
Just optimise your revision. Work smarter rather than harder. You could spend hours and hours writing notes on a topic, or you could bullet point some key words and be done in 30 minutes. Find out if you like flashcards, youtube videos, or any other method, then stick to it.

Past papers are also good as they kill two birds with one stone (highlighting gaps in your knowledge while refining exam technique).
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DakotaArden
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#5
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#5
Thanks for the advice I’ll implement it as soon as I can!
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integration4ever
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#6
Report 4 months ago
#6
(Original post by ScoMo2808)
Hi there I just got my GCSE results: I got 11 9s (English lit, English Lang, history, RS, Latin, French, Ancient Greek, maths, triple science) and a distinction for English language speaking. I think getting this came down to two things: hard work and having advantages. The advantages that I personally had include how much of my revision took place in the lockdown period where I could do little else but work! I’m also fortunate in that I have good concentration and a great memory (not to toot my own horn!) I do think that you do need some element of ‘luck’ therefore to maximise grades. However, hard work is certainly more important than any natural ability though both are important. Here are my top tips to studying properly and getting the best grades: 1. Setting up revsion: as I said I was fortunate to have no distractions at all; I couldn’t see friends, I didn’t play video games as I don’t really like them, and I couldn’t really do sport. Added to this I actually enjoy learning and revising so this meant I literally had 8 hour study periods. I got into a ‘flow state’ as they say. Assuming, your distractions are more, you still need to make time for revision, quite a lot of time. In order to maximise concentration, it is perhaps best to revise on your bed or sth- the relaxing place makes your revision more comfortable and easier to continue. 2. Timetabling: split subjects into 4-6 segments eg for chemistry I had -basics - inorganic -physical -organic. Then in a 2-3 week period you must cover each segment of each subject at least once. After that you must repeat. If you keep this going through year 11, you can be sure of great grades.3. Actually revising: my technique varies depending on the subject. At GCSE here is how I revised each subject:-English lit: I read the books before bed over a week for each. I read a revision guide along W them. As I was studying the texts, I made extensive notes that I can also read at the same time. The exception is poetry: I made digital notes on each of the poems and cover the notes and try to active recall them. Another thing for English lit is essays: there was a period where I wrote an essay a day- too many perhaps but I got took the stage where all my essays were 9 standard. For essays my strategy was: - introduction that gives a vague answer to the question incorporating ur 3 points into a general answer - 3 paragraphs each providing a different answer to the question. I would write the point, find a quote, explain the quote then look for high level techniques in the quote like hyper baton or fricative alliteration and write the effect of the technique then I’d do that for another linked quote and link to context. Don’t stick to this rigidly though- mix it up! Then I concluded just like my intro.2. English language: past paper questions and mark schemes. Also look at teachers resources. For the creative writing: I memorised 10 plans of great story ideas, so in my exam I had an incredible story and it fitted the question well. 3.Maths: past paper questions. But also: read through summaries of topics and look at worked answers.4.RS: I did AQA. I made notes on all the themes and tried learning them. To learn them I just read through them, covered bits up then tried reciting them etc then I did practice questions. For the beliefs and practices stuff, I bought the AQA revision guide and just tried the cover up method on that. That guide was great. 5.Latin and Ancient Greek: for the language papers, I read through the chapter summaries in the textbooks to understand grammar. I also did quizlets for the vocab. For the lit stuff, I made flashcards by hand and tried memorising a translation for each but and looking up vocab I didn’t know. I also memorised good annotations from my teacher’s notes.6.History: I did loads of practice essays and questions. For the sources stuff, I made flashcards on the way to answer each question type. For learning content, I made notes from a textbook and also used a revision guide. I used what Unjaded Jade calls blurting to fix these notes to memory: ( made newer and more succinct notes by reading my resources and older notes, putting them away, writing down what I know and then checking and adding in anything I missed). 7. French: loads of past papers are great especially for listening and reading. For grammar, I read through the 20 pages at the back of my textbook (CIE IGCSE). It summarised the grammar all so well. For speaking, I had a PowerPoint to learn pronounciation. For vocab: I made sheets on each topic. To do this I got a blank A4, then looked in my textbook and classnotes and wrote down a good collection of words per topic that I could use. I then used cover up method to learn them. Jot down any words u don’t know in reading or listening papers too.8. Sciences: i made notes through the course using save my exams, classnotes and CGP. I then used blurting with CGP as my only resource and made fresh notes. I then used cover up to learn both sets of notes. Then I did past paper questions and made a note in green pen of any marks missed. Final tip general: have a good tv show on the run that u can watch before bed after revising as it relaxes you. I prefer comedy for this scenario. It mustn’t be too bingeable though! I hope this helps- sorry for the extreme length!
This is fantastic advice. I couldn't agree more with you ScoMo2808 - well done for helping other students!
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babysharkstop
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#7
Report 4 months ago
#7
(Original post by ScoMo2808)
Hi there I just got my GCSE results: I got 11 9s (English lit, English Lang, history, RS, Latin, French, Ancient Greek, maths, triple science) and a distinction for English language speaking. I think getting this came down to two things: hard work and having advantages. The advantages that I personally had include how much of my revision took place in the lockdown period where I could do little else but work! I’m also fortunate in that I have good concentration and a great memory (not to toot my own horn!) I do think that you do need some element of ‘luck’ therefore to maximise grades. However, hard work is certainly more important than any natural ability though both are important. Here are my top tips to studying properly and getting the best grades: 1. Setting up revsion: as I said I was fortunate to have no distractions at all; I couldn’t see friends, I didn’t play video games as I don’t really like them, and I couldn’t really do sport. Added to this I actually enjoy learning and revising so this meant I literally had 8 hour study periods. I got into a ‘flow state’ as they say. Assuming, your distractions are more, you still need to make time for revision, quite a lot of time. In order to maximise concentration, it is perhaps best to revise on your bed or sth- the relaxing place makes your revision more comfortable and easier to continue. 2. Timetabling: split subjects into 4-6 segments eg for chemistry I had -basics - inorganic -physical -organic. Then in a 2-3 week period you must cover each segment of each subject at least once. After that you must repeat. If you keep this going through year 11, you can be sure of great grades.3. Actually revising: my technique varies depending on the subject. At GCSE here is how I revised each subject:-English lit: I read the books before bed over a week for each. I read a revision guide along W them. As I was studying the texts, I made extensive notes that I can also read at the same time. The exception is poetry: I made digital notes on each of the poems and cover the notes and try to active recall them. Another thing for English lit is essays: there was a period where I wrote an essay a day- too many perhaps but I got took the stage where all my essays were 9 standard. For essays my strategy was: - introduction that gives a vague answer to the question incorporating ur 3 points into a general answer - 3 paragraphs each providing a different answer to the question. I would write the point, find a quote, explain the quote then look for high level techniques in the quote like hyper baton or fricative alliteration and write the effect of the technique then I’d do that for another linked quote and link to context. Don’t stick to this rigidly though- mix it up! Then I concluded just like my intro.2. English language: past paper questions and mark schemes. Also look at teachers resources. For the creative writing: I memorised 10 plans of great story ideas, so in my exam I had an incredible story and it fitted the question well. 3.Maths: past paper questions. But also: read through summaries of topics and look at worked answers.4.RS: I did AQA. I made notes on all the themes and tried learning them. To learn them I just read through them, covered bits up then tried reciting them etc then I did practice questions. For the beliefs and practices stuff, I bought the AQA revision guide and just tried the cover up method on that. That guide was great. 5.Latin and Ancient Greek: for the language papers, I read through the chapter summaries in the textbooks to understand grammar. I also did quizlets for the vocab. For the lit stuff, I made flashcards by hand and tried memorising a translation for each but and looking up vocab I didn’t know. I also memorised good annotations from my teacher’s notes.6.History: I did loads of practice essays and questions. For the sources stuff, I made flashcards on the way to answer each question type. For learning content, I made notes from a textbook and also used a revision guide. I used what Unjaded Jade calls blurting to fix these notes to memory: ( made newer and more succinct notes by reading my resources and older notes, putting them away, writing down what I know and then checking and adding in anything I missed). 7. French: loads of past papers are great especially for listening and reading. For grammar, I read through the 20 pages at the back of my textbook (CIE IGCSE). It summarised the grammar all so well. For speaking, I had a PowerPoint to learn pronounciation. For vocab: I made sheets on each topic. To do this I got a blank A4, then looked in my textbook and classnotes and wrote down a good collection of words per topic that I could use. I then used cover up method to learn them. Jot down any words u don’t know in reading or listening papers too.8. Sciences: i made notes through the course using save my exams, classnotes and CGP. I then used blurting with CGP as my only resource and made fresh notes. I then used cover up to learn both sets of notes. Then I did past paper questions and made a note in green pen of any marks missed. Final tip general: have a good tv show on the run that u can watch before bed after revising as it relaxes you. I prefer comedy for this scenario. It mustn’t be too bingeable though! I hope this helps- sorry for the extreme length!
Tysm these are some very helpful tips! Would it possible for you to send the plans/notes for English Language? I’m going into yr11 and struggling lol, that’d seriously help me so much. Thank you 😊
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DakotaArden
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#8
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#8
If you are able to get them please forward them to me if possible.
Many thanks
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ScoMo2005
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#9
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#9
(Original post by babysharkstop)
Tysm these are some very helpful tips! Would it possible for you to send the plans/notes for English Language? I’m going into yr11 and struggling lol, that’d seriously help me so much. Thank you 😊
Hi, here are my plans. They are very brief plans cos they were prompts for me. A good idea is when u practise ur creative writing, to jot down any good writing ideas u had in the practice so u can use it in the real thing.

To show u how good this was: the question my teacher made was ‘write a story abt an unexplained event’ and I used option 8 which worked rlly well.

Section B story idea

1. A man tells how he was buried alive at the end of a funeral. He turns out to be a ghost
2. A man lives alone on an island trying to escape death. He eventually dies as death makes it to the island.
3. A man builds a time machine and goes to the future- or so he thinks. He realises that he’s wasted his life.
4. A man is saved from drowning by a mafia boss and the mafia boss orders him a favour- to kill someone. He refuses and drowns again
5. 2 men trapped on a boat who hate each other. One kills the other in anger
6. Protagonist makes a pact with an alien to tour each others’ lives but alien won’t let him return
7. Protagonist sees father murdered when he is 5 but passes him in the street 30 years later. Whole conspiracy
8. A man looks buys a house he didn’t know was haunted. He discovers a range if photos that picture all the ghosts from he sees. Then sees a photo of him and we realise he’s dead.
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babysharkstop
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#10
Report 4 months ago
#10
(Original post by ScoMo2005)
Hi, here are my plans. They are very brief plans cos they were prompts for me. A good idea is when u practise ur creative writing, to jot down any good writing ideas u had in the practice so u can use it in the real thing.

To show u how good this was: the question my teacher made was ‘write a story abt an unexplained event’ and I used option 8 which worked rlly well.

Section B story idea

1. A man tells how he was buried alive at the end of a funeral. He turns out to be a ghost
2. A man lives alone on an island trying to escape death. He eventually dies as death makes it to the island.
3. A man builds a time machine and goes to the future- or so he thinks. He realises that he’s wasted his life.
4. A man is saved from drowning by a mafia boss and the mafia boss orders him a favour- to kill someone. He refuses and drowns again
5. 2 men trapped on a boat who hate each other. One kills the other in anger
6. Protagonist makes a pact with an alien to tour each others’ lives but alien won’t let him return
7. Protagonist sees father murdered when he is 5 but passes him in the street 30 years later. Whole conspiracy
8. A man looks buys a house he didn’t know was haunted. He discovers a range if photos that picture all the ghosts from he sees. Then sees a photo of him and we realise he’s dead.
Thanks!
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