How to sail through your GCSE exams

There’s no denying that GCSEs take a lot of time and hard work, and exams are the last (and biggest) hurdle on your way to success. So is it possible to take on your year 11 exams with a smile on your face? We asked Middlesex students for their study secrets.


My number one golden tip for exam success is practice! I know you’ve heard it a million times but guess what, it works!

The best way to prepare for exams is to do as many GCSE past papers as you can. They help you get familiar with the way questions are asked and the time pressure, and it’s one of the most effective ways to remember information quickly.

Find your golden time, figure out when you’re most productive and schedule your revision for then. It will vary from person to person, and if it’s 3am, let it be! Just be sure you catch up on sleep the next day.

Also, don’t shy away from help! Always ask for support, whether it’s from teachers, friends or even on the internet. Somebody else has almost certainly had the same question you’re asking, so look online.


Create a timetable and keep a checklist so you don't fall behind in revision or work. If you’re finding it hard to concentrate, leave it for a while and come back to it, but don’t wait until the last minute because your brain won't have enough time to process it.

Spend three hours a day revising for exams and mix the sessions up a little bit. One day read a book, then the next day do a flip card test and see how much you remember.


Don't make unrealistic plans but focus on achievable revision goals. Practise, practise, practise! Especially past papers; most questions are repeated and most of the time you already know the content, you just need to know how the examiner wants you to lay it out.

Take a breath and be positive! Take a break. You won't do well if you do ten all-nighters in a row and are frantically writing notes. Check out Andres top tips for staying positive whilst studying.