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i got pretty good GCSEs, ask me anything

i saw a few of these posts and i thought i'd put one of my own to give the perspective of different subjects/exam boards

these are my subjects + grades:
edexcel maths (9)
aqa english lang and lit (9, 9)
aqa triple science (9, 9, 9)
aqa rs christianity and hinduism (9)
aqa computer science (9)
aqa german (8) (would've been a 9 if not for my speaking, i got close to 100% in reading and listening)
ocr b geography (8)
aqa level 2 further maths (8)

i'm currently in year 12 and am also happy to answer any sixth form/a-level related questions! my subjects are biology, chemistry, maths and economics
i'll reply to any questions as soon as i can

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Reply 1
Original post by klafow
i saw a few of these posts and i thought i'd put one of my own to give the perspective of different subjects/exam boards
these are my subjects + grades:
edexcel maths (9)
aqa english lang and lit (9, 9)
aqa triple science (9, 9, 9)
aqa rs christianity and hinduism (9)
aqa computer science (9)
aqa german (8) (would've been a 9 if not for my speaking, i got close to 100% in reading and listening)
ocr b geography (8)
aqa level 2 further maths (8)
i'm currently in year 12 and am also happy to answer any sixth form/a-level related questions! my subjects are biology, chemistry, maths and economics
i'll reply to any questions as soon as i can


hi! any tips for gcse that helped you get those marks?
Reply 2
Original post by ab.abhr
hi! any tips for gcse that helped you get those marks?

overall i'd say just do as many practice questions as you can - don't just focus on revising the content.
gcses involve a lot of memorising but equally you need to know how to answer questions in the way examiners want, and you can only learn that through practice questions.

for maths and sciences do a lot of practice questions and mark them yourself so that you can familiarise yourself with the markscheme so you know what the examiners look for when marking. especially for sciences, you might find that a lot of things just repeat themselves.
for the more essay based subjects, i'd still suggest marking things yourself, but for these subjects its more helpful to get a teacher to mark them for you and give you feedback. if your teachers are willing to do this don't waste the opportunity, it's a really useful chance to get some personalised feedback which will definitely improve the quality of your writing
Original post by klafow
i saw a few of these posts and i thought i'd put one of my own to give the perspective of different subjects/exam boards
these are my subjects + grades:
edexcel maths (9)
aqa english lang and lit (9, 9)
aqa triple science (9, 9, 9)
aqa rs christianity and hinduism (9)
aqa computer science (9)
aqa german (8) (would've been a 9 if not for my speaking, i got close to 100% in reading and listening)
ocr b geography (8)
aqa level 2 further maths (8)
i'm currently in year 12 and am also happy to answer any sixth form/a-level related questions! my subjects are biology, chemistry, maths and economics
i'll reply to any questions as soon as i can

do you have any advice about learning and getting 9s in chemistry, English lit and lang?
Also how did you handle revising for geography (I also do our b) and getting an 8-9?
Reply 4
hey im at sixth form retaking my English language how the hell do you Paper 1 Q3 ? As i keep getting 3/8 and i am struggling ☹️ as with a few extra point im aiming for a 4 to move to a different college.
Reply 5
Original post by Taiyo85914
do you have any advice about learning and getting 9s in chemistry, English lit and lang?
Also how did you handle revising for geography (I also do our b) and getting an 8-9?

chemistry is rough ☹️ i did get a nine in the end and quite a high mark, but at one point in year ten i was getting 5s, so it took a lot of work to get a good grade. as i said above, i think the key is just practice questions. the more you do the better. personally, one of the main things i struggled with were the calculation questions, and i think for that the cognito website really helped. they took it step by step and i basically just wrote down the question and all the steps to really take the time to understand what on earth i was doing. i also think the content for chemistry is quite hard to just understand - again, the cognito website helped a lot with this, as well as free science lessons on youtube.

english lit and lang was even worse than chemistry for me. the first time i ever got a 9 in those two was in the real thing, which is not great. i was borderline 9 for language but i did quite well in literature.
for both, make sure you analyse your quotes as in depth as you can. i've been told time and time again that the examiners prefer quality over quantity. if you can do a couple of quotes really really well they'll be much more impressed than if you gave them a whole load of quotes without much analysis.

language tips: take care to pick the best quotes out of the extract that give you a lot to analyse. in the writing q5, use as many different types of punctuation as you can (very easy marks). keep an eye on the time - it's best to start from q1 and work your way through but if you find yourself spending too long on q2 and 3 just move on, its not worth it. if you find yourself taking too long to think of smth for q5 consider reading that question first so that you can think about it while answering all the others.

literature tips: again, don't memorise too many quotes. pick out the best ones that cover good themes and give you a lot to analyse. it saves you time and means that no matter what question comes up you have really good quotes to fall back on. learn context and link it back to your analysis. for example, i did romeo and juliet, and in a grade 9 essay i used a quote from juliet that suggested she viewed romeo as a devil-like figure (biblical allusion and was amazing to analyse).
Reply 6
Original post by Taiyo85914
do you have any advice about learning and getting 9s in chemistry, English lit and lang?
Also how did you handle revising for geography (I also do our b) and getting an 8-9?

for geography, know the content really really well. i've found with ocr b that they just bring up random things that i've completely forgotten sometimes and make it a four-marker or something ☹️ its basically just memorisation - use whatever method works for you to memorise the stuff and you'll be great

also know your case studies like the back of your hand (although its ok to make up statistics as long as you know they are vaguely similar to the true values). the case studies will make or break your result. just know them super super well. i was three marks off a nine, but i could've gotten one if i spent more time revising geography and making sure i just knew my stuff and its something i really regret.

don't worry about paper 3 - just apply what you know to the unknown context they give you and you'll do great.

good luck 🙂
Reply 7
Original post by Lilith18
hey im at sixth form retaking my English language how the hell do you Paper 1 Q3 ? As i keep getting 3/8 and i am struggling ☹️ as with a few extra point im aiming for a 4 to move to a different college.

hi! sorry my memory is a little bit blurry on this but i will try my best.
q3 is the structure question right?
i think the way i was suggested to answer it (that worked out really well for me) was to have three paragraphs. one for the beginning, one for the turning point of the extract and one for the end.
in each of these paragraphs talk about any structural devices you can find (ok here's where my memory gets really blurry, but examples of structural devices includes enigma, zooming in and out, dialogue, single sentence paragrapghs etc.)
talk about the effect they are having on the extract.
for example, ending an extract on a single sentence paragraph after building up tension throughout the extract leaves the reader in suspense (sorry that's not very sophisticated but i hope you get the idea)
Original post by klafow
i saw a few of these posts and i thought i'd put one of my own to give the perspective of different subjects/exam boards
these are my subjects + grades:
edexcel maths (9)
aqa english lang and lit (9, 9)
aqa triple science (9, 9, 9)
aqa rs christianity and hinduism (9)
aqa computer science (9)
aqa german (8) (would've been a 9 if not for my speaking, i got close to 100% in reading and listening)
ocr b geography (8)
aqa level 2 further maths (8)
i'm currently in year 12 and am also happy to answer any sixth form/a-level related questions! my subjects are biology, chemistry, maths and economics
i'll reply to any questions as soon as i can

I also wanted to ask how did you get a 9 in computer science especially for (I'm assuming) the 2023 paper.
my coding is ok but I tend to do better in paper 1 I think I'm probably currently at a 7/6 but I don't know how to increase that to a 9/8
hi!! i do edexcel geog b and im scraping a 4. its the only subject im flopping and i know that its because i havent listened in class for most of year 10 and 11 so i dont really fully recall any of the content. my target grade is a 7, and i dont think i can actually reach it, considering that i have to go over all the content of chem and physics and re too, since they are also holding me back at the moment. help pls ?
Reply 10
Original post by Taiyo85914
I also wanted to ask how did you get a 9 in computer science especially for (I'm assuming) the 2023 paper.
my coding is ok but I tend to do better in paper 1 I think I'm probably currently at a 7/6 but I don't know how to increase that to a 9/8

yep i did do the 2023 paper. honestly the only reason why i got a 9 was because of paper 1, i always did horribly on paper 2 because i never spent time revising cs.

if your coding is ok then that itself is great! i'm assuming you mean for both python and sql. i'd say the best way to improve coding is, again, practice. the more confident you are with your coding the easier you'll find it to apply your knowledge to unfamilar situations in questions. have you tried websites like w3 schools and codecademy? i personally really like both of their python courses, particularly codecademy. (i think you can do a good proportion of codecademy for free, w3 schools was 100% free last time i checked)

for paper 2, its again mostly just memorising which i wasn't bothered to do (i really regret that). do whatever works best for you to know the content really really well - flashcards, mindmaps etc. i would suggest doing practice questions but there's barely any which was really annoying.
if you're looking for a good revision guide i think the cgp one is really good, it gives you everything you need to know with practice questions + a set of two papers at the back. it saved my life tbh and is definitely one of the reasons why i got a 9 - i had a really bad teacher so barely learnt anything in class.
for the long answer questions make sure you know how to structure them properly - i'd recommend checking mark schemes for this. one of my friends used to draw up a simple table and put the advantages and disadvantages in two columns instead of writing out paragraphs (in full sentences of course!) - it worked really well for her. do whatever you find easiest.
Reply 11
Original post by priceydoritos
hi!! i do edexcel geog b and im scraping a 4. its the only subject im flopping and i know that its because i havent listened in class for most of year 10 and 11 so i dont really fully recall any of the content. my target grade is a 7, and i dont think i can actually reach it, considering that i have to go over all the content of chem and physics and re too, since they are also holding me back at the moment. help pls ?

hey! sorry i don't know how similar edexcel b and ocr b are but hopefully any advice i give is still relevant to you.
i think at this stage your best chance at getting a higher grade is to do as many practice questions as you can. don't do them timed at first - try your best to answer them, mark them yourself and work on memorising anything you've forgotten.

please don't get demotivated if you find you can't answer them properly. i struggled a lot as well when i first started out with the practice questions, but they really helped me to identify what i didn't know and to make my revision more specific

but if geography is the only subject you're doing bad at, don't worry if you don't make your target grade. if the rest of your gcses are fine it's ok to have this one as one you've not done so well in - it shouldn't affect you too much in the future. of course your target grade is ideal but its not the end of the world if you don't get it.

good luck 🙂
Reply 12
Original post by klafow
i saw a few of these posts and i thought i'd put one of my own to give the perspective of different subjects/exam boards
these are my subjects + grades:
edexcel maths (9)
aqa english lang and lit (9, 9)
aqa triple science (9, 9, 9)
aqa rs christianity and hinduism (9)
aqa computer science (9)
aqa german (8) (would've been a 9 if not for my speaking, i got close to 100% in reading and listening)
ocr b geography (8)
aqa level 2 further maths (8)
i'm currently in year 12 and am also happy to answer any sixth form/a-level related questions! my subjects are biology, chemistry, maths and economics
i'll reply to any questions as soon as i can

Is it possible to change tier on the day of the exam from higher to foundation?and sit the foundation paper instead for all 3 papers because teachers will not be in the exam hall only invigilators also will they check which tier i am doing and refuse to give me foundation or not plz let me know
Reply 13
hi!
how did you revise for everything when you had two weeks left? like did you just revise all the paper 1s now and everything else during the half term at the end of may? Also how did you revise english because thats like the worst and im finding it hard to actually write enough in that short time span while making it sophisticated. Thank u!
Original post by klafow
hey! sorry i don't know how similar edexcel b and ocr b are but hopefully any advice i give is still relevant to you.
i think at this stage your best chance at getting a higher grade is to do as many practice questions as you can. don't do them timed at first - try your best to answer them, mark them yourself and work on memorising anything you've forgotten.
please don't get demotivated if you find you can't answer them properly. i struggled a lot as well when i first started out with the practice questions, but they really helped me to identify what i didn't know and to make my revision more specific
but if geography is the only subject you're doing bad at, don't worry if you don't make your target grade. if the rest of your gcses are fine it's ok to have this one as one you've not done so well in - it shouldn't affect you too much in the future. of course your target grade is ideal but its not the end of the world if you don't get it.
good luck 🙂
for science, do you reckon theres any point doing papers pre-2018, because ik the spec is different but isnt it the same thing? did you do papers from like 2013-2018? or only the recent ones xxxx
Original post by klafow
i saw a few of these posts and i thought i'd put one of my own to give the perspective of different subjects/exam boards
these are my subjects + grades:
edexcel maths (9)
aqa english lang and lit (9, 9)
aqa triple science (9, 9, 9)
aqa rs christianity and hinduism (9)
aqa computer science (9)
aqa german (8) (would've been a 9 if not for my speaking, i got close to 100% in reading and listening)
ocr b geography (8)
aqa level 2 further maths (8)
i'm currently in year 12 and am also happy to answer any sixth form/a-level related questions! my subjects are biology, chemistry, maths and economics
i'll reply to any questions as soon as i can

Hi how did you revise for french listening and writing (esp listening) I know for writing its probably just vocab and stuff but the listening is like hell for me. I’m getting 6s and 7s but I want to try to get a 9
Reply 16
Original post by BAK1993
Is it possible to change tier on the day of the exam from higher to foundation?and sit the foundation paper instead for all 3 papers because teachers will not be in the exam hall only invigilators also will they check which tier i am doing and refuse to give me foundation or not plz let me know

honestly i'm not exactly the best person to answer this question because i don't know much about this. you should ask this question as a separate thread so that someone else can give you a better answer

but i don't think you can change tier on the day. and the invigilators will know what tier you're meant to be doing and will definitely refuse to give you foundation if you're meant to be doing higher. they place everyone's papers on their desks before you come in so there's no way around it. plus if they found out you did that the consequences would not be great.

if you want to change from higher to foundation do it as soon as possible but keep in mind that there is probably a high fee involved because it's so close to exam time. find the exams officers in your school and discuss this with them, they'll be more helpful than me
Reply 17
Original post by riaraj
hi!
how did you revise for everything when you had two weeks left? like did you just revise all the paper 1s now and everything else during the half term at the end of may? Also how did you revise english because thats like the worst and im finding it hard to actually write enough in that short time span while making it sophisticated. Thank u!

hey
tbh i don't really remember because my revision system was a mess, i do not recommend doing what i did. i basically just revised whatever i felt like revising and i didn't really have a set timetable or anything. but i think when i had two weeks left i was still revising everything (paper 1 and 2), but when it got down to one week i was just revising whatever exams i had before the half term, and then i left everything after half term to be revised during the half term.

i spent a lot of my english revision time collecting the best quotes for each character, scene, chapter, theme etc. and then memorising them because i struggle with remembering things. (you should spend time memorising context too because that gets you into the top levels but for some reason that stuff stuck in my head.) after that i was just making loads of essay plans. the more essay plans you can make, the better, because in the real exam if you get a similar question or make a similar point to your essay plan then you won't need to think as much. it saves valuable time and lets you go deep into the analysis. i wrote out a couple of those essay plans into full timed essays and gave those to my teachers to mark.
Reply 18
Original post by Gcsestudentof24
for science, do you reckon theres any point doing papers pre-2018, because ik the spec is different but isnt it the same thing? did you do papers from like 2013-2018? or only the recent ones xxxx

i think it's fine to do pre-2018 papers, but only if you've finished all the questions you have for the current spec. and in the immediate run-up to the exam i'd say its better to do new spec questions instead of old spec because the mark schemes can be quite differrent, and you want to make sure you're writing things that will actually be in the new mark scheme.

i didn't actually do any of the old spec questions because i could barely finish the questions i had (thanks to my horrible pre-planning skills). there was this set of books called oxford revise that i used which had more practice questions than i could physically do - i'll add a link to it below. the questions were really difficult, i struggled to complete most of them, i was basically copying out the markscheme and feeling pretty demotivated whenever i did them. but because they were so hard the questions in the real exam felt much easier. and all the extra practice really helped. they are challenging (even for grade 9 students!) so they might not suit everyone, but i think they really helped me get the grades i got.

Oxford Revise AQA GCSE Biology Revision and Exam Practice 4* winner Teach Secondary 2021 awards (Oxford Revise Science), Cover May vary: Amazon.co.uk: Locke, Jo, Walmsley, Jessica, Kitten, Primrose: 9781382004848: Books
hm it looks like the cover design changed but looking at pictures in the reviews im pretty sure its still the same book i used.
Original post by klafow
i saw a few of these posts and i thought i'd put one of my own to give the perspective of different subjects/exam boards
these are my subjects + grades:
edexcel maths (9)
aqa english lang and lit (9, 9)
aqa triple science (9, 9, 9)
aqa rs christianity and hinduism (9)
aqa computer science (9)
aqa german (8) (would've been a 9 if not for my speaking, i got close to 100% in reading and listening)
ocr b geography (8)
aqa level 2 further maths (8)
i'm currently in year 12 and am also happy to answer any sixth form/a-level related questions! my subjects are biology, chemistry, maths and economics
i'll reply to any questions as soon as i can


Do u have any advice for German speaking, I have my exam tomorrow and I’m kinda struggling to memorise some of them :frown:

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