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How can I get 8s and 9s at GCSE?

Hi, I'm and average student with average grades and I go a fairly bad school but I really want to do well. I have about a year before my exams. What can I do to get 8s and 9s at GCSE? Or is that not possible?
Reply 1
Anything is possible, you should definitely revise alot and go back use retrieval, this can help improve memory therefore a faster retention rate.
Reply 2
Original post by ASpike13
Anything is possible, you should definitely revise alot and go back use retrieval, this can help improve memory therefore a faster retention rate.


Thank you very much for your advice.
Hiya, I was in a sort of similar position to you, being an average student (though my school was quite helpful) and in year 11 I came out with 12x9s in my GCSEs. I would say this was in part because of my teachers but that doesn't mean going to a bad school will stop you getting all 8s and 9s. My biggest piece of advise (outside of the obvious "use past papers") is to consider your own strengths and weaknesses in a subject and then decide on a revision plan depending on that. Lots of really good students make the mistake of using a generic revision plan or timetable that their friends/ siblings used just because that other person got good grades. For example, one of my friends who used to get close to full marks on all her English lit essays revised solely using essay plans, but when I tried to do the same my grades actually got worse. I realised what I struggled with most wasn't choosing what to write but instead with timing and keeping focused on the question without going on a tangent. To achieve this, I had to write full essays or at least paragraphs using the PEEL structure. So, think about all the skills a particular test requires and revise in a way that strengthens those. Each question/ test has assessment objective (AOs) which will give you an idea as to what you should work on- the trick is to revise for the exam rather than just know the content.

Also, even though its really good to aim high for all 8s and 9s, don't get too afraid about the actual grade- just give the exams your best shot. I'm assuming that if you're aiming for such high grades you probably want to apply to top unis (Oxbridge/London) and what I found out after year 11 is that they don't really care about your grades but really how good you are compared to your peers. Basically, if students in your school have a tendency to get low grades then you're not going to be directly compared to a school where a majority of students gets 9s. If you're aiming for Oxbridge then focus more on being in the top 10% of your year group. That might seem difficult, but I was never the likely candidate for all 9s at my school and still somehow succeeded. With enough hard work and dedication, anything is possible!

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