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10 Tips for the Day of your GCSEs

posted by Hannah on Monday, 25 April 2016

You have done everything you can, you’ve read, planned, mind mapped, drawn diagrams, used flash cards, completed quizzes, tested yourself, created and stuck to a study plan, used the latest apps, completed practice questions and now it’s the eve of the exam; what should you do?

This exam is the gateway to your super future and you will not fall at the last hurdle. You are aiming for the top in the first year of the new grading system.

Here’s what to do to best prepare yourself the night before the looming exam:

1. Get enough sleep

Ensure you get good quality sleep, this will help you feel more energised and motivated.

2. Avoid big or heavy meals

A lot of the time eating big and heavy meals makes you feel tired and more in the mood for a nap than anything else. Also, in the morning don’t skip breakfast even if this means getting up a little earlier, if you are anything like me I can’t eat anything until at least an hour after I raise from my bed! Breakfast boosts your metabolism and sends your brain into action. This is exactly what we want! Drink plenty of water before and during your exam to stay hydrated.

On the Day:

3. Organise your travel in advance and be prepared for a different timetable

Check the time and venue of the exams the day before and double check them with other students and remember to use your commute wisely by reading over your summary notes!

4. Prepare and pack everything you need for each specific exam

Don’t leave it until the last minute to get your stuff ready (this would also be me.) Do it the evening before your exam, it will make the day go so much smoother, there will; be no rushing or panicking and remember for each exam there are different requirements.

5. Avoid nervous or negative students

Its normal to be nervous but don’t let the negativity of others surround you, take the time to breathe properly if you are feeling nervous, use the toilets and to re-visit those notes!

6. Read, read, read and re-read all questions carefully

This is so important- year after year so many students answer the the wrong question or interpret the question in the wrong way. Dedicate the first few minutes to reading and re-reading the questions. (Did you notice the error in this sentence?)

If you’re unclear about a question, ask the examiner. Also, make sure that you write your name on the exam paper as it’s a common mistake far too students make.

7. Stick to your time schedule

In your plan ideally, created with your subject teacher or tutor, you will have dedicated time to read the exam paper, time to answer each section and question and time to review your answers at the end.

Timing is so important so failing to use it wisely could end up being disastrous.

Top Tip: Plan to go to the toilet before the exam so you don’t interrupt your thought process when answering exam questions.

8. Review your written answers

Read and re-read what you have written, for speling misstakes, add any extra comments you think could add value. Go through your quotes, references, formulas and calculations ensuring they are correct.

Top Tip: This is your last chance to impress the examiner, throw in another quotation, list other points or even draw a diagram to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding, but remember Keep it relevant!

9. Stay until the end of the exam

You will be surprised how much you will remember in those last few minutes, you won’t get this opportunity again.

10. Stay calm

Show the examiner what you’re made of! Stay calm and don’t let others put you off with their toilet breaks, pen clicking or leaving the exam early. You have worked hard for this, this is your chance.