GCSE Advice From Experienced Experts: 3 Top Tips


  1. Best advice for GCSEs: the 3 top tips
  2. Top GCSE advice: get a tutor
  3. Things you wish you had known when you were doing your GCSEs


As that famous British war poster from 1939 read: Keep Calm and Carry On. Planning and preparing for your GCSEs can feel like an impossible mission at times but keeping cool is key to success. 😎 To help you keep your cool, we’ve compiled our best advice for GCSEs. We asked for GCSE advice from our GoStudent experts who have shared some of the things they wish they had known when they were doing their GCSEs. Read on for our top tips as we approach the exam season.students studying for exams

Three Top Tips 


You probably already know from your English teacher the importance and significance of breaking everything down into threes! So here are the three things that we would recommend you always do when it comes to exam time: 

Tip number 1 – Plan 

A big barrier many people face when attempting to prepare for their GCSEs is that they don’t know how to revise. Admit it, we’ve all been there and we know it’s true! 

It’s really important to map out your revision and plan what you are going to do. Don’t just sit down at a desk and look for inspiration. You need to be structured about how you revise and when you are going to do it. 

If you’re in Year 10, that’s ok. If you’re in Year 11, that’s also ok. No matter what stage you are in in your GCSE (or even A-Level) studies, you can always stop, plan, reassess and then get back to it. 

One way you can plan is by creating a timetable or a checklist. Here is an example time table:








1 hour


30 minutes


40 minutes revision 


1 hour


30 minutes


40 minutes 


1 hour


90 minutes

English past paper 





1 hour

Maths past paper



Obviously you can build your revision timetable however you like. You can colour code it, you can invite your friends to join you (in person or virtually), and you can change it every week depending on what you think you need help with. 

If you want to create a checklist it might look something like this:

  • Maths past paper 
  • English revision – re-read anthology poetry and revision notes
  • Meet Anna for History revision 
  • RPE – go through class notes and create revision poster 
  • Drama - revise theory 
  • Drama - reread play

Tip number 2 – Revise 

Ok, so you’re rolling your eyes a little at this one because it’s obvious. Just to be clear: when we say ‘revise’ we mean that you need to revise in an ordered and structured way. We don’t mean that you should drink enough red bull to fill an olympic-sized swimming pool the night before your exam and stay up all night memorising lines from Shakespeare – FYI, this isn’t healthy and it doesn’t really work!

As much as you don’t want to hear it, revision is a long, arduous and slow process and if you want to do well in an exam, you need to revise in the right way! Planning (tip number 1) will help with this! 

But how do you force yourself to revise? 

  • Remove distractions 

Do you spend too much time online? Whilst the internet can be great for revising it can also be one of the worst distractions. 

One of the most useful things to aid revision is to limit the distractions around you. Maybe it is your phone, your friends or that nagging sensation of playing the PS5 to blow something up on Cyberpunk! All of these devices can be limited. With consoles, we suggest removing them from your room while you revise. You can also limit your phone to lock when you’ve used it too much. Google how to limit your specific device. 

You can also do it the old school way and surrender your phone to a trusted friend or family member.

  • Make yourself accountable 

Another good tip is to make yourself accountable. Tell someone what you plan on doing and ask them to check up on you. Try saying something like “Dad, I’m going to do at least five hours of revision this week. Don’t let me go to the cinema if I don’t do it!”

  • Make a clear and robust schedule

If you plan out what you are going to do and when, you are more likely to do it. The mentality of ‘oh, I’ll do it later’ often means it never gets done. If you have a schedule, you need to embrace the power of now and stick with it. If you’re feeling like revising more but you’ve finished for the day, revise more! Turn yourself into an unstoppable lean mean revising machine. 

  • Learn what the different revision strategies are

At GoStudent, we know that everyone learns differently. This means that you need to explore the different revision options out there and choose the one which is best for you. If you haven’t already, it might be worth reading the GoStudent top 7 strategies for how to revise

Maybe it is the Pomodoro technique or maybe it is creating revision cards. Everyone has different preferred styles of revision and you need to find the one which best suits you. 

Tip number 3 – Take a breath 

Looking after your mental health is the most important thing to do. You need to take a break from your revision every now and then so that it doesn’t overwhelm you. Go for a walk, meet a friend or simply get some ice cream and watch a disney movie! Whatever it is, do something that helps you relax and unwind. If you burn yourself out, you won’t be able to revise effectively. 


Top GCSE advice – get a tutor


The best advice that we can offer is that you work with a professional tutor. Here at GoStudent we can help you find the perfect tutor and you even get a free trial session! We select tutors who we believe will be able to deliver a quality service to help you reach your potential. 🚀

Here are some points to consider about using a tutor: 

  • AQA? Edexcel? OCR? Not a problem! No matter what subject you are studying, what exam board, or at what level, we will have a tutor suited for your needs. Your GoStudent tutor will know the subject like the back of their hand. 
  • All of our tutor sessions are online, so it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, we will be able to find the best tutor rather than the closest tutor. Read our post about why online tutoring is the best
  • Your tutor might be able to contact your school teacher to make sure that they are teaching you the right things in the right way. 

You can read more about the benefits of digital tutoring at GoStudent or check out other posts on our blog site


Things you wish you had known when you were doing your GCSEs


We went and asked a bunch of our GoStudent experts about things they wished they had known when they were doing their GCSEs. Here is what they had to say: 

Natalie, English teacher

"Plan out what you need to know for Literature and how regularly you will revise and recall that knowledge with the time you have left. For example, select a character or theme every week for each text, revise content, recall the next week for all texts and then add in new characters and themes as you go. Revise Language questions individually (rather than the whole paper), practice, get feedback on that question and repeat. Do this for each component of the Language paper(s)." 

Guy, English teacher

"Creative writing and language analysis are both important parts of the English Language GCSE. One of the messages that I keep telling my students is that in order to be a good writer you need to be a good reader. You need to read both fiction and non-fiction with a critical mind. Ask yourself: How does this make me feel? What choices has the writer made to make me feel like this? How can I replicate this in my own writing?" 

Olivia, GoStudent tutor

"Make sure you are really clear on the exam board and what the content covers - you will have been doing this in school but having a copy of the mark scheme to assess your answers against is always a good idea to ensure you are hitting all of the right points!

Another point which won’t make me popular is to start revision early! Starting early allows students to consolidate the base information on which to build upon and allows for repetition of information further down the line. It is a scientific fact that cramming does not work as information is not stored in long-term memory and is therefore easily forgotten, especially under stress!" 

Mya, English teacher

"As with any subject where the core of your assessment is in essay-form, being comfortable with essay writing is key. This means not only starting revision early, but understanding the formulas (such as PETE - Point, Evidence, Technique, Explain) that will become the bedrock of your essay structures. Formulas such as these tend to also hit key mark schemes relating to your exam board, so familiarise yourself with the specific scheme as related to your board to optimise your writing. Ultimately you should be so knowledgeable about this mark scheme, you could even mark your own essays!"

So there you have it – our top tips for a healthy and structured approach to preparing for your GCSEs. If you think you might want some extra help preparing for your GCSEs, we would love to help you get in touch with a specialist GoStudent tutor who will be able to help – the trial session is free. Good luck!

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