Without having sat GCSEs before, it is difficult for students to know what ‘prepared’ looks like. As time ticks on, the pressure increases, and the best way to reduce it is to take positive action. So here are my tips for some things you can do today and going forward to feel more prepared for GCSEs.

Practice revision techniques

Read about memory building techniques in our blog

Make good notes

Get a good sleep cycle

Sleep is one of the most important elements of preparing for exams, but it is so often unappreciated. It is very likely you’re not getting as much sleep as you think you are. I thought I was getting 7 hours of sleep per night until I got a FitBit. Actually tracking my sleep told me it was actually 5 hours.

You don’t have to get a sleep tracker (although data = knowledge = power) but monitor how tired you feel when you wake up. Some of that may be dehydration, and some of it may be due to not getting enough sleep. Keep a drink of water beside your bed and sip from it whenever you wake up. If you feel tired when you wake up and the drink is empty, you’re probably not getting enough sleep.

Remember that teenagers need more sleep than their parents. If you’re all getting up at a similar time, children should go to sleep before their parents. And it doesn’t help to sleep in at the weekend to make up the hours. Consistency is key for effective sleep. Friday lessons should not need to be spent dozing on your pencil case.

Set clear goals

Prepare your pencil case

Like the Girl Guides, I like to be prepared.

While you can usually borrow anything you need to in the exam hall, it is always worth preparing your pencil case ahead of time.

These are the things you’ll need for your exam series:

  • A clear pencil case
  • A maths set with a set of metal compasses and a protractor
  • A good scientific calculator
  • Pens that are comfortable to write with
  • Mechanical pencils – no one wants to have a blunt pencil in an exam!

You can purchase all of these items for a low cost at the links below if you don’t already have them but do check what you have first.

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