Your GCSEs are a crucial step to reaching the career that you want. It’s hard work but if you have the right preparation and right plan in place, you’ll get the grades you deserve!
We’ve put together 5 ways that you can stay ahead of the game when it comes to your GCSEs, so that by the time exams come around, you’ll be more than ready.
1. Motivation, Motivation, Motivation
Do you know what you’d like to do when you leave school? If you do, then think about the great things that some stellar GCSE results could do to help you get there. Imagine yourself in your dream job and that could be the motivation that drives you through the tricky exam period.
If you aren’t sure what you want to do when you leave school, have a think about the general life you’d like to live. What else would you like to achieve? Travel? A cool flat? Thinking about where your exam results make it easier to see the big picture when you’re swamped with maths revision or up to your ears in coursework!
2. Revision Isn’t Just For Exam Time
Getting your exam timetable can be a horrible wake up call if you realise that you have a lot of work to catch up on… Learning how to revise for GCSE is a big task, so don’t leave it until the last minute!
Rather than waiting until a month or so before the big day, try to revise throughout the year instead. If you move on to a new topic in a subject, look over your notes for the one you just finished. Every once in a while, quiz yourself or some friends about what you’ve covered over the course of the year so far.
Regular ‘check-ups’ on what you can remember can help you spot problem areas early on so that when the exam is drawing near, you know the topics you’ll need to spend more time to be ready for your exam.
3. A Little Help From Your Friends
Just because you can’t discuss during the exam doesn’t mean you can’t get as much help as possible in the run-up to it. Don’t tackle your exam stress and your revision on your own!
Ask your friends or other people on the same courses as you for help and advice. Chances are, they might understand the topics you struggle with and might be able to explain them clearly.
You should also remember that your teachers are there to help you! If you have questions in class, then ask them! Don’t sit on it and regret it later. It’s quite likely that someone else in the room is sitting with the same question but doesn’t want to ask it either.
If you’re too nervous to ask with everyone else there, then try to speak to your teacher at a quieter moment. They’ll be glad you asked, rather than leaving it until exam time and then admitting you never really understood that one topic you covered months ago…
4. Live Healthy, Study Well
You’ve probably heard this one before but your diet and lifestyle have a huge role to play when it comes to how you perform in exams, and in your classes throughout the year. Getting the right nutrition, getting enough sleep and drinking enough water all have an impact on how your body and your brain function.
Remember: 5 portions of fruit and veg; 6-8 cups of water; and around 8 hours of sleep a night.
Exercise is also excellent, not just for staying healthy, but for relieving the stress that comes when exams roll around. Being active 30 minutes a day will take care of your overall health, so you have one less thing to worry about.
5. Avoid All Work And No Play
It’s easy to get sucked into a crazy revision schedule, especially if you’re worried or panicked. But 8 hours of heavy study isn’t going to do you any favours!
Throughout the year, and during the exam period, make sure you take time to have fun. Allow yourself time to pursue your hobbies or just relax for a while. If you let all of the fun stuff you enjoy disappear and only spend your time working, you’ll find yourself getting more and more miserable.
So get out and see your friends! Head to the cinema or have a kick around for a while. You’ll feel much better for it.
Your GCSE year is a tough one but if you stay focused on what you really want and put the effort into looking after yourself, you’ll get the results you deserve!