GCSEs are around the corner - help!

With GCSE exams around the corner, it’s time for a final push. Energy levels are running low and motivation is getting harder to find. Students may be thinking they are going to have to stay up all night revising, just to fit things in. However, there are some things you can do to keep organised and motivated – start by reading the rest of this article!

One thing that can act as a drag factor to revision is the constant checking and re-checking of the exam timetable. No matter how many times you read it, you just can’t absorb it with 100% confidence, can you?! My favourite suggestion here is to write each exam (details, date and times) onto a piece of A4 and put them up on a prominent wall or door at home. Put them up in the order in which the exams come up, and then take great pleasure in tearing each one down when the exam is over and seeing the end come into sight! If you don’t want to sacrifice your wallpaper, a large month planner or equivalent would work too.

Almost every student finds there are facts that just won’t stick. In the absence of being able to download them to your brain I have a couple of tips for helping them stick.

  • Write the things you are having trouble remembering clearly on a piece of paper and then put it somewhere you can’t fail but see and read it – on the back of the car seat in front of your usual seat, next to the TV screen, by the dinner table, on the wall by the toilet, on the ceiling above the bath….
  • Record your notes and then listen to them as often as you can. No, it’s not nice hearing your own voice back, but the act of reading them out will also help you learn them. Then, whenever you would usually be listening to music, substitute in listening to your notes – if you’ve got headphones in no one will even know! You can even try a bit of subliminal learning and listen to them while you sleep.
  • Keeping with the theme of swapping your usual music time for listening to revision, why not download podcasts etc. to listen to? For example, did you know BBC Bitesize has science podcasts (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/audio/science/ ) or that there are sample poems for Edexcel unseen poetry at  http://www.poetryarchive.org/collection/edexcel-2015-unseen-poetry or an audio version of the Edexcel poetry anthology available here: https://secure.edexcel.com/quals/gcse/gcse10/english/literature/Pages/default.aspx ?

A final thought: many students cannot see past their exams at this point, which is absolutely understandable but not very healthy. Keep remembering - there is life after GCSEs! Look forward to any plans you have over the holidays; look forward to whatever you are doing in September. Parents - do whatever you can to show your teenager that there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Sending out luck to all our GCSE MagiKats students – good luck all!

By Emma Lomas, MagiKats HQ workshop consultant and Principal of MagiKats in Guildford, Mytchett and Cobham.