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how do you get 9s at gcse??

i feel like it IS achievable, but there is perhaps a method? my friends sister last year got all 9s and one 7, and i wouldn't have thought that she would get that. so clearly, it is achievable.
i am willing to put as much time and effort in my home learning and exams.
at the moment, i would say that i am getting 7s and 8s on average; however, i would really like to push that to 9s.
i am in yr11.
the subjects i am taking are:
triple science AQA
higher maths EDEXCEL
higher french AQA
geography AQA
drama OCR ( i have my gcse in 2 weeks - performance +portfolio)
cooking WJEC
english lang and lit AQA

i would say that i do struggle with english the most, but my teacher has DEFINITELY said that i am improving, and i managed to get a 7 in my english lang mock at the end of yr10, when i used to get 3s and 4s.

at home, i do my homework, i use the cgp workbook and revision guide and go over every topic that i do at school, and i am starting to make some flash cards on yr10 gcse subjects. school has provided some afterschool revision sessions for an hour - mainly for science, english, geog and french so i do attend those.

obviously, now that there are some changes to exams (like you get all equations in physics) i feel like that has made everything easier.

so, how can i achieve 9s at gcse?
thank you :smile:
(edited 2 years ago)

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I would say revision products are only helpful to an extent. Now that you are y11, you will have covered the majority of the content and I would say the best way to revise is actually doing exam questions. Knowing the content is fine but you need to feel comfortable applying it. Sciences, geography and maths especially - do all the past papers. English - write an essay on every topic you think could come up. French - use memrise and do past exams (reading, writing and listening). Good luck!
Original post by Ethan1224
I would say revision products are only helpful to an extent. Now that you are y11, you will have covered the majority of the content and I would say the best way to revise is actually doing exam questions. Knowing the content is fine but you need to feel comfortable applying it. Sciences, geography and maths especially - do all the past papers. English - write an essay on every topic you think could come up. French - use memrise and do past exams (reading, writing and listening). Good luck!

hey! thank you very much!
this may sound bad, but i am only half way through my content :/
i think we finish everything during feb, so we have some time to revise?
Reply 3
The best advice for getting all 9s is to work as hard as you can consistently. If you are getting 7s and 8s at the moment, you clearly have the potential to do even better with hard work.

I would aim for 3 hours homework and revision on school nights and then 10 hours over the weekend.

During your mock and exam periods, basically all your time should be spent on revision- I’d do 4 hours minimum on school nights and 9/10 hours a day at weekends/holidays.

Good luck!
Hi, I achieved 9 9s and 2 8s in my GCSEs. I will say that you will find that getting high GCSE grades isn’t incredibly important but achieving the grade requirements is what is most important. Also don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get what you want because it isn’t the end of the world.

Practice questions are really the most important thing for achieving high grades at GCSE. Some subjects, such as a languages and english will find flashcards very useful. But during exams, don’t overwork yourself. You need lots of sleep to think properly. I also would say to make a timetable of some sort to organise what you need to revise and what you are struggling most with. Do not pay attention too much to hours of revision. What matters is how much you do and how effective your revision is. There is no point in saying that you did 10 hours of revision over the weekend for example if its’s not effective revision. Use your time effectively and make revision resources now. You should aim to have made all your revision resources by around March at latest I’d say. From then, it’s just effective revision.

Good luck :smile:
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by clessiec
Hi, I achieved 9 9s and 2 8s in my GCSEs. I will say that you will find that getting high GCSE grades isn’t incredibly important but achieving the grade requirements is what is most important. Also don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get what you want because it isn’t the end of the world.

Practice questions are really the most important thing for achieving high grades at GCSE. Some subjects, such as a languages and english will find flashcards very useful. But during exams, don’t overwork yourself. You need lots of sleep to think properly. I also would say to make a timetable of some sort to organise what you need to revise and what you are struggling most with. Do not pay attention too much to hours of revision. What matters is how much you do and how effective your revision is. There is no point in saying that you did 10 hours of revision over the weekend for example if its’s not effective revision. Use your time effectively and make revision resources now. You should aim to have made all your revision resources by around March at latest I’d say. From then, it’s just effective revision.

Good luck :smile:

WOW!!
those are AMAZING!!
yeah, i would say that i am doing around 3/4 subjects (on the weekend) around an hour each.
and then after school, i make sure that i do all of my hmw, and then i make flash cards on previous topics, as i have mock exams in december.

can i ask which subjects you took for gcse :smile:
thanks a lot!
You will find a lot more people getting lots of 9s when not sitting exams. In my school the highest achiever for my GCSE year was 5 x 9 at GCSEs and I got 2 x 9 at GCSEs and the rest 8s. However on the predicted years, there have been multiple students with all 9s or nearly all 9s. If anyone has received their 9s by prediction, I would take them with a pinch of salt and let the A levels be their judge! Personally, I know I did a lot better by actually sitting the exams and revised intensely in the period leading up but many will be better from predicted grades.
Original post by harlz_chalamet
WOW!!
those are AMAZING!!
yeah, i would say that i am doing around 3/4 subjects (on the weekend) around an hour each.
and then after school, i make sure that i do all of my hmw, and then i make flash cards on previous topics, as i have mock exams in december.

can i ask which subjects you took for gcse :smile:
thanks a lot!

The grade boundaries of the exams in the summer of 2022 will be set midway between 2019 and 2021.
Source: Guardian News and Media. (2021, September 29). GCSE and A-level pupils to be awarded fewer top grades in 2022, says Ofqual. The Guardian. Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/sep/30/gcse-and-a-level-pupils-to-be-awarded-fewer-top-grades-in-2022-says-ofqual.

Grade 9 is top 4.5% in 2019 compared with top 7.4% in 2021.
GCSE outcomes in England. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://analytics.ofqual.gov.uk/apps/GCSE/Outcomes/.

That means to obtain grade 9 in summer 2022, you better be within the top 5.95% of students.

For context on the rarity:
The cut-off score for gifted and talented is usually determined as scoring in the top 2 percentiles on intellectual (cognitive) functioning or IQ.
Flanagan, Dawn P. ; Harrison, Patti (2011-12-31). Contemporary Intellectual Assessment: Theories, Tests, and Issues. Third Edition. ERIC. Guilford Press. ISBN 9781609189952.

Above average is usually one standard deviation above the mean or above.

That means to obtain 9, you have to be bright, though not necessarily gifted.

Grade 8 in 2021 is top 16.5%, 7 in 2021 is top 28.5%
GCSE outcomes in England. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://analytics.ofqual.gov.uk/apps/GCSE/Outcomes/.
Considering you're obtaining 7s and 8s on average, you're on the high end of average.
Original post by harlz_chalamet
i feel like it IS achievable, but there is perhaps a method? my friends sister last year got all 9s and one 7, and i wouldn't have thought that she would get that. so clearly, it is achievable.
i am willing to put as much time and effort in my home learning and exams.
at the moment, i would say that i am getting 7s and 8s on average; however, i would really like to push that to 9s.
i am in yr11.
the subjects i am taking are:
triple science AQA
higher maths EDEXCEL
higher french AQA
geography AQA
drama OCR ( i have my gcse in 2 weeks - performance +portfolio)
cooking WJEC
english lang and lit AQA

i would say that i do struggle with english the most, but my teacher has DEFINITELY said that i am improving, and i managed to get a 7 in my english lang mock at the end of yr10, when i used to get 3s and 4s.

at home, i do my homework, i use the cgp workbook and revision guide and go over every topic that i do at school, and i am starting to make some flash cards on yr10 gcse subjects. school has provided some afterschool revision sessions for an hour - mainly for science, english, geog and french so i do attend those.

obviously, now that there are some changes to exams (like you get all equations in physics) i feel like that has made everything easier.

so, how can i achieve 9s at gcse?
thank you :smile:


Create a retrospective timetable! There's a YouTuber called Udoka Fintelman who has a really good video explaining what it is but it's basically a copy of the course content from whatever revision guide you have on a Google Spreadsheet and then you document when you cover certain topics and colour-code them based on how difficult/easy you found it.
This type of timetable is so much more beneficial than the usual type of timetable you see (Monday: English, Tuesday: Science) as you can actually track what you need to revise and, honestly, it can be fairly satisfying watching the reds turn to orange and then green and seeing the progression in your knowledge and ability. It will take a few hours to make them on Google Sheets but it will save you so much time and stress later on in the school year as exams approach.
(edited 2 years ago)
Icl I started revising at Easter (though I still had a decent base to begin with) and still got all A*s. It’s not so much working hard and spending time but it’s working smart. Like I probably spent a lot of time going through mark schemes and using Seneca to learn more than anything else. Past papers are essential but don’t just sit down reading. While you’re going through content, you can make sure you know what you’re writing by putting it into your own words. Eliminate all distractions (I deleted all socials during GCSE season). However, I do recommend you start earlier than I did to make sure the process isn’t stressful.
(edited 2 years ago)
And I actually sat the exams, which is a whole other park game than the predicteds.
There’s also an element of confidence and remaining calm during the process. Doing the exams in person is physically demanding if you leave it late like I did. Like my burnout lasted until around November of the same year
Original post by clessiec
I took:
Aqa English Language 9
Aqa English Literature 9
Aqa Maths 9
Aqa Level 2 Further Maths 9
Aqa Biology 9
Aqa Chemistry 9
Aqa Physics 9
Aqa Music 9
Aqa Geography 9
Aqa French 8
Eduqas Film Studies 8

woah! can i ask how you got 9s in english? - you can't really revise english, can you?
Original post by harlz_chalamet
woah! can i ask how you got 9s in english? - you can't really revise english, can you?


Um no I wouldn’t say so. The best thing you can do long term is to choose 20-30 quotes from each book to remember with some decent inferences. Make sure these quotes cover every character and theme. Practice questions are great long term too (do them under timed conditions). For language, I started with question 4 as for me it was where I often lost the most marks as i ran out of time. Make sure you know how long you should spend on each question. You can always go back if you finish another question early. That helped me do well in english. Admittedly, I didnt revise the quotes until a week before my exams. I used quizlet to help me remember quotes 😅
Original post by harlz_chalamet
i feel like it IS achievable, but there is perhaps a method? my friends sister last year got all 9s and one 7, and i wouldn't have thought that she would get that. so clearly, it is achievable.
i am willing to put as much time and effort in my home learning and exams.
at the moment, i would say that i am getting 7s and 8s on average; however, i would really like to push that to 9s.
i am in yr11.
the subjects i am taking are:
triple science AQA
higher maths EDEXCEL
higher french AQA
geography AQA
drama OCR ( i have my gcse in 2 weeks - performance +portfolio)
cooking WJEC
english lang and lit AQA

i would say that i do struggle with english the most, but my teacher has DEFINITELY said that i am improving, and i managed to get a 7 in my english lang mock at the end of yr10, when i used to get 3s and 4s.

at home, i do my homework, i use the cgp workbook and revision guide and go over every topic that i do at school, and i am starting to make some flash cards on yr10 gcse subjects. school has provided some afterschool revision sessions for an hour - mainly for science, english, geog and french so i do attend those.

obviously, now that there are some changes to exams (like you get all equations in physics) i feel like that has made everything easier.

so, how can i achieve 9s at gcse?
thank you :smile:

Smash out past papers for maths and sciences for free 9s (and it certainly doesn't hurt to do them for humanities too, it's just more difficult to get them marked well, although I would definitely do them for english a bit just to get timings down and a feel for coming up against questions you don't like)
Original post by clessiec
Hi, I achieved 9 9s and 2 8s in my GCSEs. I will say that you will find that getting high GCSE grades isn’t incredibly important but achieving the grade requirements is what is most important. Also don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get what you want because it isn’t the end of the world.

Practice questions are really the most important thing for achieving high grades at GCSE. Some subjects, such as a languages and english will find flashcards very useful. But during exams, don’t overwork yourself. You need lots of sleep to think properly. I also would say to make a timetable of some sort to organise what you need to revise and what you are struggling most with. Do not pay attention too much to hours of revision. What matters is how much you do and how effective your revision is. There is no point in saying that you did 10 hours of revision over the weekend for example if its’s not effective revision. Use your time effectively and make revision resources now. You should aim to have made all your revision resources by around March at latest I’d say. From then, it’s just effective revision.

Good luck :smile:

I agree with this! A lot of youtubers who've been getting all 9s have been saying similar things so it must work
Original post by missling40
I agree with this! A lot of youtubers who've been getting all 9s have been saying similar things so it must work


I’d like to stress that you should be careful with watching study youtubers because a lot of their content isn’t realistic of their everyday lives. Its often that their “7 hour study with me” videos are a one off and they spent many other days not working and procrastinating a ton. So don’t compare what you do to what you see in their videos. I’m not discouraging watching their content at all (I use them as a way to motivate myself) but just be careful :wink:
Original post by clessiec
I’d like to stress that you should be careful with watching study youtubers because a lot of their content isn’t realistic of their everyday lives. Its often that their “7 hour study with me” videos are a one off and they spent many other days not working and procrastinating a ton. So don’t compare what you do to what you see in their videos. I’m not discouraging watching their content at all (I use them as a way to motivate myself) but just be careful :wink:

That is very true! Thanks for the reminder :smile: Quality > quantity definitely tbh.
I actually found that a fair amount of youtubers who do 7 hour study with me vids, although they did decent, they didn't do as well as others who didn't study for 7 hours every day or whatever. I looked into their videos where they broke down how they revised for gcses and then it became clear that better grades are achieved by effective revision done in less time instead of by doing hours and hours of less effective revision.
Reply 18
Original post by clessiec
Hi, I achieved 9 9s and 2 8s in my GCSEs. I will say that you will find that getting high GCSE grades isn’t incredibly important but achieving the grade requirements is what is most important. Also don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get what you want because it isn’t the end of the world.

Practice questions are really the most important thing for achieving high grades at GCSE. Some subjects, such as a languages and english will find flashcards very useful. But during exams, don’t overwork yourself. You need lots of sleep to think properly. I also would say to make a timetable of some sort to organise what you need to revise and what you are struggling most with. Do not pay attention too much to hours of revision. What matters is how much you do and how effective your revision is. There is no point in saying that you did 10 hours of revision over the weekend for example if its’s not effective revision. Use your time effectively and make revision resources now. You should aim to have made all your revision resources by around March at latest I’d say. From then, it’s just effective revision.

Good luck :smile:


Can you show what your timetable was so I can replicate lol
My timetable isn’t very fancy! I just listed off every topic in each subject and colour coded them all based on my confidence and focused on my weak areas. I didn’t do more than 3 hours in a day as focusing on staying mentally well and not burning out is the most important thing :wink:

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