My younger nephew is now doing his GCSE’s. Like many parents, his have been invited into school to listen to the new structure, grading systems and also to hear ways in which they can offer support to their children. We have been chatting about it, so I thought it might be helpful to share what they’ve been told here, in 5 tips for GCSE students…
OK, first up, this is something of a pre-GCSE tip. Choose the subjects that you enjoy. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing or the best timetable options (though I know these can restrict choices at times) just go for the subjects that you like learning about, and the chances are that they are the ones that you are doing well in, too. Learning, studying and exams are all so much easier if you actually have an interest in the subject.
Options selected, then…
1. Read. A lot.
I have long been an advocate of the importance of reading, so it’s interesting that this was a tip they were given. Reading improves memory function which will really help in exams, as well as leading to improved spelling and grammar, areas that you can not only be marked down for, but also things you don’t want to be having to think too hard about in an exam. If the grammar part comes naturally to you, you can really concentrate on what you’re wanting to say.
2. Makes Notes as you go along
Make notes that are relevant to you, in any form that helps you. This will be so much easier when the time comes for you to revise, rather than having to go back over absolutely everything. If you are all about mind maps, go for it, or perhaps you prefer indexed lists, colourful bullet points, scrawled diagrams, just use whatever works for you.
3. Don’t panic
An easy one to say, I know. Remember that teachers want you to pass. Examiners want you to pass. It’s common to lose sight of this when you’re going into exams. If you find yourself floundering at any point, take a breath, chat it over with your parents or friends and seek support, which brings me on to my next point…
4. Take all the support you can.
My nephew’s school is putting on extra after-school sessions in many subjects, and some before school. Take advantage of as much help as you feel you need. The teachers are always there on hand so do ask them as much as you can and clarify anything that you don’t understand. There are also various additional options, such as private tutors, studying with friends and sometimes just running through things with someone new to a subject can help you to spot all that you know and the gaps you may still have. So go on, tell your parents all about your subject!
5. Get plenty of rest
So easily overlooked and when you’re studying hard at school, it can be tempting to do loads more at home, or go the other way and want to stay up late unwinding from it all. There’s a real risk of burnout then, so get enough sleep and do take the time to relax away from school work.
What tips would you add for GCSE students?
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post