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Struggling with GCSE Relgious studies

Hi everyone. I recently completed my March mocks. I done really good in pretty much all of my subjects, with High grades across the board. But the only subject I absolutely flopped was religious studies, where I ended up with a 4. I wasn't alone, as a majority of my class ended up with the same grade or lower

My teachers informed me not to worry, and that they'll go thru past papers and exam techniques to continously prepare us for the exam. he says that it's usually like this, and most people get The hang of RE around the start of May, and shoot up 3-4 grades, following past trends. He said to have faith in the process.

I've relied on what he's said, but as of recently, I'm starting to find it hopeless. The biggest problem for me is that I just can't understand the questions properly. I do edexcel Islam and Christianity, and I keep misunderstanding what the question wants of me. At this point I'm finding it hopeless, and don't know what to do.

Could I get any revision advice on what i could do to get better at this? I've given loads of mark schemes a go but I just don't recognise what I'm doing. Or any personal experiences on how gcse RE was for you, and what you done to get your grade? would appreciate any words of wisdom, or advice.
Reply 1
Original post by Hetroller
Hi everyone. I recently completed my March mocks. I done really good in pretty much all of my subjects, with High grades across the board. But the only subject I absolutely flopped was religious studies, where I ended up with a 4. I wasn't alone, as a majority of my class ended up with the same grade or lower

My teachers informed me not to worry, and that they'll go thru past papers and exam techniques to continously prepare us for the exam. he says that it's usually like this, and most people get The hang of RE around the start of May, and shoot up 3-4 grades, following past trends. He said to have faith in the process.

I've relied on what he's said, but as of recently, I'm starting to find it hopeless. The biggest problem for me is that I just can't understand the questions properly. I do edexcel Islam and Christianity, and I keep misunderstanding what the question wants of me. At this point I'm finding it hopeless, and don't know what to do.

Could I get any revision advice on what i could do to get better at this? I've given loads of mark schemes a go but I just don't recognise what I'm doing. Or any personal experiences on how gcse RE was for you, and what you done to get your grade? would appreciate any words of wisdom, or advice.

i'm doing GCSEs too this year and I'm not sure if this is relevant but for me, the main thing is to fully understand the concept, and know how much to write. I'm doing AQA Islam and Christianity so it might be different to edexcel but for example for the 2 markers like "give two example of" just a few words should be enough, for the 4 markers its normally making 2 separate points and explaining them both not too detailed. for the 5 markers its kind of the same but we need to add a quote or teaching, and the 12 markers u need the spag marks, as well as arguments for and against a statement, using quotes and teachings for the highest marks, and end it with the final thought on the statement like "to conclude I strongly disagree because...". I hope that helped? again it might be different for ur exam board
Reply 2
Original post by sania11
i'm doing GCSEs too this year and I'm not sure if this is relevant but for me, the main thing is to fully understand the concept, and know how much to write. I'm doing AQA Islam and Christianity so it might be different to edexcel but for example for the 2 markers like "give two example of" just a few words should be enough, for the 4 markers its normally making 2 separate points and explaining them both not too detailed. for the 5 markers its kind of the same but we need to add a quote or teaching, and the 12 markers u need the spag marks, as well as arguments for and against a statement, using quotes and teachings for the highest marks, and end it with the final thought on the statement like "to conclude I strongly disagree because...". I hope that helped? again it might be different for ur exam board


Thanks alot.

From what I understand. its fairly similar to ours. other than the fact that our 2 markers are 3 marks, where we have to make 3 points. the rest seems the same.

I think I just struggle with development on the 4 and 5 markers mainly. always end up writing too much waffle, when it's not related to the question or anyrhing
Reply 3
I do AQA and I got a 9 and full marks on my last R.E paper. I dont know how different it is for you, but I used BBC Bitesize for the info and learn very precise arguments that I could use, basically imagining that I had to write a 12 marker on every topic so I could memorise 2 for and against arguments, as well as relevant quotes. To really test my understanding, I just make up exam qs based on what I've just gone over. In case you need to memorise quotes, I make flashcards with the quote but I leave some blanks in it so for example, "Let there be ________" would obviously be "LIGHT". I don't even write the answer on the back, just the topics it relates to, as if I don't know the answer, then I have to go through great effort to find it the quote again, and that forces my brain to remember it.

In my first year 10 mock, I got a 3, then a 6 and now a 9 in my November year 11 mocks. It will get better! I love watching YouTube videos for r.e and since you do edexcel, I've had a quick look and found a YouTube channel that hopefully will be helpful https://youtube.com/@hazrevision719 .

Good luck! You've got this!!
Reply 4
Original post by Hetroller
Thanks alot.

From what I understand. its fairly similar to ours. other than the fact that our 2 markers are 3 marks, where we have to make 3 points. the rest seems the same.

I think I just struggle with development on the 4 and 5 markers mainly. always end up writing too much waffle, when it's not related to the question or anyrhing

yep i do that all the time too, just remember to add the teaching which gives you that one extra mark if you've got the rest!
Reply 5
Original post by etudbee
I do AQA and I got a 9 and full marks on my last R.E paper. I dont know how different it is for you, but I used BBC Bitesize for the info and learn very precise arguments that I could use, basically imagining that I had to write a 12 marker on every topic so I could memorise 2 for and against arguments, as well as relevant quotes. To really test my understanding, I just make up exam qs based on what I've just gone over. In case you need to memorise quotes, I make flashcards with the quote but I leave some blanks in it so for example, "Let there be ________" would obviously be "LIGHT". I don't even write the answer on the back, just the topics it relates to, as if I don't know the answer, then I have to go through great effort to find it the quote again, and that forces my brain to remember it.

In my first year 10 mock, I got a 3, then a 6 and now a 9 in my November year 11 mocks. It will get better! I love watching YouTube videos for r.e and since you do edexcel, I've had a quick look and found a YouTube channel that hopefully will be helpful https://youtube.com/@hazrevision719 .

Good luck! You've got this!!


Thanks so much for all the info, and sorry for the late reply. But yeah I'll take a look at all that. I ordered some more flashcards to make some quick RE ones. Hopefully I can sort it out in the next few weeks as RE is my first exam on the 15th of May with islam.

Love your idea of making exam questions and memorising arguments for and against, I'll definitely try that and read thru some bitesize info. thanks again
Reply 6
I do OCR and i do Islam and Christianity as well. I understand what you mean about the questions being confusing because they can be quite ambiguous. When answering the questions especially for 6 markers and 15 markers, I try to link it back to the fundamental key ideas of the religion. I state their key beliefs and expand on how it links to the question.

Here is an example question:

‘It should not matter to Christians if the story of the Fall in Genesis 3 is not true.’
Discuss this statement. In your answer, you should:
analyse and evaluate the importance of points of view, referring to common and divergent
views within Christianity
refer to sources of wisdom and authority.


First thing i would do is mention different Christian denominations and what they believe (e.g. Catholics, Amish). In a 15 mark question, you should give an argument so that it supports your thesis which you can write in the beginning or in the end. You could then talk about how their different beliefs affect their daily lives. You could say how important it is for them, or say that other things are more important than the Fall. I would also learn key events within the Bible because you need to know them for all types of questions. I would learn important sources of wisdom, you only need to know a few and then you can link your point to it. For revision techniques, i would recommend BBC Bitesize as everything is quite straight forward and it follows the specification. If you look at the spec, it will say everything you need to know as well as recommend sources of authority. These are some of my tips and I got a Grade 9 in my mock. Good Luck!
(edited 10 months ago)
Reply 7
Original post by kwakraon
I do OCR and i do Islam and Christianity as well. I understand what you mean about the questions being confusing because they can be quite ambiguous. When answering the questions especially for 6 markers and 15 markers, I try to link it back to the fundamental key ideas of the religion. I state their key beliefs and expand on how it links to the question.

Here is an example question:

‘It should not matter to Christians if the story of the Fall in Genesis 3 is not true.’
Discuss this statement. In your answer, you should:
analyse and evaluate the importance of points of view, referring to common and divergent
views within Christianity
refer to sources of wisdom and authority.


First thing i would do is mention different Christian denominations and what they believe (e.g. Catholics, Amish). In a 15 mark question, you should give an argument so that it supports your thesis which you can write in the beginning or in the end. You could then talk about how their different beliefs affect their daily lives. You could say how important it is for them, or say that other things are more important than the Fall. I would also learn key events within the Bible because you need to know them for all types of questions. I would learn important sources of wisdom, you only need to know a few and then you can link your point to it. For revision techniques, i would recommend BBC Bitesize as everything is quite straight forward and it follows the specification. If you look at the spec, it will say everything you need to know as well as recommend sources of authority. These are some of my tips and I got a Grade 9 in my mock. Good Luck!


woah OCR has 15 mark questions?? That's insane, the highest with AQA is 12 marks. How long is your exam, out of curiosity? Mine is 1hr 45mins X2 and we have 1 mark, 2 mark, 4 mark, 5 marks and 12 marks questions.
Reply 8
Two 2 Hour Papers so 4 Hours in total!
Reply 9
Original post by Hetroller
Hi everyone. I recently completed my March mocks. I done really good in pretty much all of my subjects, with High grades across the board. But the only subject I absolutely flopped was religious studies, where I ended up with a 4. I wasn't alone, as a majority of my class ended up with the same grade or lower

My teachers informed me not to worry, and that they'll go thru past papers and exam techniques to continously prepare us for the exam. he says that it's usually like this, and most people get The hang of RE around the start of May, and shoot up 3-4 grades, following past trends. He said to have faith in the process.

I've relied on what he's said, but as of recently, I'm starting to find it hopeless. The biggest problem for me is that I just can't understand the questions properly. I do edexcel Islam and Christianity, and I keep misunderstanding what the question wants of me. At this point I'm finding it hopeless, and don't know what to do.

Could I get any revision advice on what i could do to get better at this? I've given loads of mark schemes a go but I just don't recognise what I'm doing. Or any personal experiences on how gcse RE was for you, and what you done to get your grade? would appreciate any words of wisdom, or advice.


I did rs aqa GCSE last year and got a 9 but my best advice is to be concise in your answer and make practice as many questions as possible to try and understand the phrasing of the questions
on the 12 marker I did a PEEPE for each paragraph (for v against) and then make a conclusion but you have to say why the side you agree with is better than the side you disagree with. Eg point a overrides point b because…
Reply 10
Hi there! I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling with RE. I know it can be a tough subject, but I'm confident that you can improve your grade.

Here are a few tips that might help:

Make sure you understand the key concepts of RE. This means understanding the different religions, their beliefs, and their practices.
Practice answering questions. The best way to do this is to use past papers. This will help you get used to the format of the questions and the types of things that are expected of you.
Get help from your teacher or a tutor. If you're struggling to understand something, don't be afraid to ask for help. Your teacher or a tutor can help you clarify things and make sure you're on the right track.
Don't give up! RE can be a challenging subject, but it's also a rewarding one. With hard work and dedication, you can definitely improve your grade.
Here are some additional tips that might help you understand the questions better:

Read the question carefully and make sure you understand what it's asking.
If you're not sure what the question is asking, try rephrasing it in your own words.
Break the question down into smaller, more manageable parts.
Focus on one part of the question at a time.
Don't be afraid to ask for help if you're stuck.
I hope these tips help you improve your RE grade. Good luck
Reply 11
Original post by Syed100
Hi there! I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling with RE. I know it can be a tough subject, but I'm confident that you can improve your grade.

Here are a few tips that might help:

Make sure you understand the key concepts of RE. This means understanding the different religions, their beliefs, and their practices.
Practice answering questions. The best way to do this is to use past papers. This will help you get used to the format of the questions and the types of things that are expected of you.
Get help from your teacher or a tutor. If you're struggling to understand something, don't be afraid to ask for help. Your teacher or a tutor can help you clarify things and make sure you're on the right track.
Don't give up! RE can be a challenging subject, but it's also a rewarding one. With hard work and dedication, you can definitely improve your grade.
Here are some additional tips that might help you understand the questions better:

Read the question carefully and make sure you understand what it's asking.
If you're not sure what the question is asking, try rephrasing it in your own words.
Break the question down into smaller, more manageable parts.
Focus on one part of the question at a time.
Don't be afraid to ask for help if you're stuck.
I hope these tips help you improve your RE grade. Good luck


Thanks so much for your advice. I've started doing extra revision with my teacher and focusing alot more on it, doing past paper questions etc. Thanks for the advice on the questions, I've started doing abit of that naturally but will start to take it into account when going forward
Reply 12
Original post by Hetroller
Thanks so much for your advice. I've started doing extra revision with my teacher and focusing alot more on it, doing past paper questions etc. Thanks for the advice on the questions, I've started doing abit of that naturally but will start to take it into account when going forward


you're welcome!

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