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GCSEs: The steep climb to university

How to do your GCSE exam revisions

Most students start to worry about their GCSEs one month before the examination date, regardless of whether they’ve initiated the revision process in advance or they’re barely planning it. GCSE exam results play a major role in their academic future and bad grades can ruin their plans of pursuing A-levels and attend a reputable university.

General Certificate of Secondary Education

High grades in your GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education) don’t come easy, especially since most 16 year old students have other priorities in mind at that age. Yet, it’s paramount to acknowledge their importance if you want to have a bright career. Most likely, the whole process would have been less difficult if it had taken place at a more mature age.

Surprisingly, there are plenty of universities that make GCSEs even more overwhelming. The most famous end up requiring straight As in all subjects, yet most top 20 universities demand high grades in subjects strictly related to the choice of the student.

The strain of exams
GCSE exam results play a major role in students academic future

Exam results are made public in late August, and although candidates are worried about their achievements, the truth is that their grades are strictly based on how much they’ve studied. Official research has shown that disappointing grades taken in math or science can be caused by romantic attractions, or they can simply mean that a pupil is not good enough for medicine.

As far as English literature is concerned, the grades obtained shouldn’t discourage candidates. Identify subjects that are difficult because several top universities such as Cambridge and Oxford require applicants to submit their requests by October 15 of the following year.

The revisions process

Students hate exam revisions, and yet they’re paramount for their academic future. There’s no other way but to deal with them, and in order to ease up the learning process the only solution is to start in advance. Stop putting off your study sessions and don’t forget that knowledge will give you a sense of achievement; you’ll be confident and your exam grades will eventually help you get into a good college.

Teacher with students
Taking exams seriously and preparing well for them helps achieve good grades

Plan your exam revision

An exam revision is made of 2 parts: revision schedule and topic list. The list will be given to you by the teacher (syllabus) at the very start of a course. If you don’t have it, ask for it! Students can additionally get access to their GCSE syllabuses on the internet. Head over to your exam board’s official website and download your courses from there.

Planned exam revision
The more student puts into the study and exam revision, the higher the grades

How to revise

Do you know how important GCSE exams are? Have you started the revision process? Do you have the material? Then it’s time to begin. There are different learning styles available out there, and it’s up to the student to decide what methods fit him best. One of the biggest mistakes you can do: read a whole book or study guide lying in bed. That’s not studying, that’s skimming, and you won’t be able to retain more than 10% of the whole course.

In conclusion, reading notes is a waste of time. An efficient revision technique is writing, and studies have shown that 80% of most students are considering this method extremely useful. What’s the trick to a successful exam revision? Note-taking; additional practices you might want to have in mind for your exam revision session are:

  » Buy Rymans and WH Smith index cards - 1 card per topic

  » Summarizing - use bullet points, short phrases and words; keep everything structural

  » Flashcards - keep them with you all the time

  » Spider diagrams and mind-maps

  » Use the internet - http://www.yorknotes.com/revision-notes/gcse is an excellent website to help you revise

  » Don’t highlight - highlighting is one of the most inefficient methods to revise because it compels students to underline everything

  » Find a study buddy to exchange revision notes with

Courting several universities at once can be very frustrating, and therefore students are advised to stay realistic with regards to what university suits their abilities. You cannot choose a university that’s not compatible with your skills and passions; your final option should match both your expectations and your GCSE results. The road to your dream university can be steep mainly because it’s influenced by your GCSE results. The more you prepare for these exams, the greater the chances you have to get in a top-tier university.

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