GCSEs are tough.
Not just the work itself, but also the:
Massive amounts of stress
Crazy all nighters
Lack of sleep
and the huge amount of pressure.
If you’re feeling rundown or you’re watching your children go through this, I completely understand your rollercoaster of emotions.
Remember to take time out and although it seems like the world revolves around GCSEs, it doesn’t mean its going to end if things don’t quite go to plan.
Here are 5 of the strategies that I give to my students. They worked amazingly for me and I hope that by sharing them, you will find this part of your life easier and more manageable:
1 – Revision should be an ongoing process. Its very stressful to suddenly find out you have an end of unit test or surprise practice test next week and then dropping your plans to revise and cram as best you can.
Revision should be something you continuously do. Spending 10 – 15 minutes a day on a few topics that you’ve learnt earlier that day or week will make a massive difference.
For example, if you covered Surds on Monday, why not do some extra practice questions on an evening? With maths, the more questions you do, the easier it will be to remember and understand the topic.
This works for any subject. So if you’ve looked at some new chemical equations, spend a few minutes during the week memorising them and finding similar ones that might come up in the exam.
2 – Look Ahead. You don’t need to wait for your teacher to start or learn a new topic. There are only a limited amount of topics that will come up in your GCSE Maths Exam. The sooner you get through them the more time you will have to revise, practice exams and even relax before your exams start.
3 – Use Past Papers. Most students do not realise how crucial exam papers are to their success in the real exam. Once a week, and more often as you get closer to your real exams, you should be setting some time aside to do an exam paper. Look at the kind of questions they ask, which ones are you finding difficult, how can they ask that question differently in the real exam?
4 – Remember to have a day off. Your brain is like a muscle. Just like we need to rest our bodies after exercise, your brain needs to rest after learning and studying. I used to do work in 1 hour sprints and then reward myself with 30mins of something I loved doing. I also used to have Sundays as a do nothing day, this was my sleep in, be lazy day to give my head some time to recover from the week and subconsciously make sense of everything I’d crammed into it during the week.
Find what works for you and do it. Working and working without rewards or breaks will most likely stress you out.
5 – Be easy on yourself. Things take time and you won’t be perfect every single minute. I caused myself a lot of stress by trying to be perfect. I tied a lot of my self worth to my exam grades and that really wasn’t smart. You are so much more and exams really do show a very small part of who you are and your abilities.
Please remember that.
I hope these tips help you and please do reach out if you or your child are struggling