If you were expecting to be sitting GCSEs in 2021, the chances are you are feeling quite uncertain about how GCSEs are going to be assessed due to the impact of COVID 19.
This page has been put together for you by The Henley College to provide guidance to reassure and help Parents and Year 11 students in their studies over the coming weeks.
We hope this will help students maximise their chances of good grades in their GCSEs, whatever format they may take.
Impress your teachers with your proactivity
This year there may be some exams still taking place but it is most likely that past exam results and course work will be used to determine your grades. With this in mind, now is the time to impress your teachers and show them what you are capable of.
- Complete all of the work your teachers set you to the absolute best of your abilities
- Write practice essays and revision cards and show them to your teacher and ask them for feedback
- Provide your teacher with as much evidence as possible of your knowledge and understanding
- If your teacher gives you an end of module test, then treat it as though it’s a final exam and do your best.
Revision Plan and Timetable
Take 10 minutes to draw up a realistic revision plan that you know you can stick to.
- You will need to plan a minimum of two to three hours a day (increasing as the exams/assessments get closer)
- Create fifty minutes revision slots. A 10-15 minute break works well between each burst of revision and remember to use these breaks to move away from the desk.
- Schedule in “me time” and don’t plan to revise late into the evenings.
Draw up your own timetable or you can find lots of free websites that will generate a timetable for you, including Revision World.
Past Papers and Examiners Reports
Some of you may still have to take exams of some kind, so it is really vital to practice using past papers. You can find past papers either through the examining boards for your subjects or via RevisionWorld.com
- This works well when you have revised a topic thoroughly. Complete as many past paper questions you can purely on one subject. You will become so familiar with the format and wording of the questions you are in fact training yourself to answer ANY question on that topic.
- Doing practice papers and setting a time limit for yourself is also really helpful as it gets you into the mindset of a formal exam.
- Know your trigger/action words – describe explain, contrast, evaluate, examine, analyse, discuss, compare, define, interpret. Make sure you know what they mean and if you are unsure then ask a teacher.
- Use the examiners reports – these detail where students have gone wrong (or right!) in the past and will help you understand what they are expecting in your answers. These are available on the exam board websites – ask your teacher if you can’t find them.
- Explore the many apps available to download (sometimes at a small cost) which help you identify where students lose marks in assessments. For example, BBC Bitesize.
REMEMBER the more times you review and write about your subject area, your knowledge will move from the short term memory to the long term!
Use flash cards to condense large amounts of information into key facts and essential trigger words
- Have one set of cards per topic and get others to test you
- Write questions on one side and the answers on the other
Reading to study: (i.e. learning chapters from books)
- Survey : Skim through the chapter to get an idea of what it is about.
- Question : Write down a list of questions that you hope to answer as a result of reading the chapter.
- Read : Read slowly and carefully.
- Recall : Close the book, write down from memory the main points, vocabulary/diagrams or formulae.
- Review : Go back to your questions and see how well your recall is and then fill in the gaps with further reading and note taking
Tips for Studying
- Go to any workshops or study sessions you can
- Buy revision guides for your subjects – check with your teacher which ones they recommend
- Do the difficult tops when you are at your freshest and most productive
- Use the walls in your room to put up key words and phrases.
- Eat well. Junk food should be at a minimum – B vitamins are said to have brain boosting properties; marmite is a great source for this
- Drink lots of water; it is important to stay hydrated
- Rest and relax too; try to go outside and do a physical activity
- Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night
- Remember if you are still learning information right up to the last few hours before the exam, you are unlikely to remember it
But most of all, remember - Keep calm, stay positive and don’t panic!
If you have any questions about your application to The Henley College, then please get in touch with the admissions team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01491 579988
Here are a list of resources for you to explore:
Department of Education
What you need to know about grades in 2021 >> CLICK HERE
Feeling worried about grades this year is understandable. Here are some things that might help >> CLICK HERE
Exam essentials: Studying for success >> CLICK HERE
Top Revision Tips >> CLICK HERE
Revision Techniques >> CLICK HERE
CGP - Educational Publisher
Essential Revision Tips >> CLICK HERE
Science News for Students
Top 10 tips on how to study smarter >>CLICK HERE
10 best GCSE revision tips from past students >> CLICK HERE
GCSE success and study skills >> CLICK HERE
GCSE Revision tips >> CLICK HERE
Parents Guide to GCSEs 2021 >> CLICK HERE