3 and a half months and counting (not to scare you or anything) until GCSE exam season begins. Don't worry, I know the feeling, this time last year I was absolutely crapping myself at the thought of exams and how there was no hope in hell that I'd get the grades I needed.

I'm not the brightest bulb in the box to say the least, but I gave it my best shot, and you know what, I did way better than what I thought I was going to do, and got the grades I needed to carry on into college. 

So if I can do it, basically anyone can.

Anyway, as it's only been about half a year since I went through this hell myself, I've decided to gather 5 simple ways to prepare yourself for the period of time where your trying so hard not to curl up into a ball and have some sort of meltdown (we've all been there).

5. Talk To Your Teachers About What Is Most Likely To Come Up

Teachers don't know the ins and outs of EVERY exam paper but they will have a clear idea of what you can expect to appear. Make a list of everything that they say, even if it ends up being overwhelmingly long, at least you'll have some sort of idea of everything that could come up and you're not left in the dark. 

I can SO relate to the moment you open the paper and find out that half the things you spent HOURS revising haven't even appeared or even been mentioned, times like that I wanted to meet the person who put the paper together and have some harsh words, but I kept that safely in my head.

However, it's better to be safe than sorry, even if it does annoy you (been there).

4. Limit Your Social Time

I was in a talk at college a couple of months back, and the women said to leave homework and revision to last and do all the fun things first (she quickly became my new best friend), so I took that advice and I can genuinely say that it does work.

Following on from that, instead of making this tip 'Cancel all your plans', I decided to lower it to 'limit your social time', because if we're honest, we can't be revising 24/7, we'd get VERY bored and frankly go a bit insane, and information isn't processed in our brain properly if we constantly revise and read new info. So take regular breaks.

If you have some important dates coming up like family/friends birthdays, weddings, important social events, go to them, because it's important to take breaks, enjoy ourselves and take our mind away from the stress of school and give our brain a rest. On the other hand, if you're constantly hanging out with friends, which is eating up into precious revision time, I'd recommend re-thinking and maybe declining some offers to focus on work, because even though we need to make time for friends and family, don't make that a constant excuse to get away from work, otherwise you'll suffer the lasting effects.

3. Don't Spend Time Making Revision 'Pretty'

Don't we all love a colourful, aesthetically pleasing, well planned out revision guide that your spent days making? Yeah, we probably do, but how much time are you wasting writing everything out, making everything look perfect, when you're most likely going to throw it out in a couple of months. A lot is the answer to that.

So for my next point, I would highly recommend you don't spend hours and hours making your notes colour coded and spending time writing every single detail out, because it'll get to the day of the exam, and instead of revising the work, you would've spent that time underlining, highlighting and making ever so perfect spider diagrams and you wouldn't have revised anything.

If this is the perfect way of revising for you, then go for it. However, manage your time right and don't over colour-code (lol). If your looking for other ways of revising, complete practice exam questions and papers (make sure you use the up-to-date versions) as, from what my previous teachers have said, is proven to be a beneficial way of getting that info in your brain.

2. Get Prepared, Equipment Wise

There's nothing worse than the feeling you get when you sit down in an exam and you realise you've either not brought a pen or you've forgot your pencil case completely. I'm sure most of us can relate to that. As you've forgotten something, you have to quietly ask an invigilator to go and get you one. I'm sure they must have been in that situation A LOT, so why do they always give you that disappointed eye every time you ask? Literally so embarrassing.

Following on from this, my next tip is to just be prepared with every bit of equipment that you may need. Seriously, it's better to be prepared than to have that fear run through you when you know you've forgotten something.

The pencil case and equipment above ^^^ it my actual one I use for college. In college, I don't actually use most of this, because I use my iPad 95% of the time (I'll probably talk about that some other time eh?) but it's always best to be prepared.

What I'd suggest (if you can) is buy brand new equipment for exams, because then you won't be panicking about a pen running out or a pencil snapping (been there), and you'll always have backups if you end up in that situation. 

Here, I've linked some cheap equipment deals, so you don't have to spend too many pennies...
(not ad/affiliate)


And, if you fancy, here's the contents of my pencil case...
(not ad/affiliate)


 1. Don't Panic and Stay Calm (What Will Be Will Be)

Probably the most basic and simple tip, but one that could have a huge impact. I've been there, panicking about an exam, wanting to do well, getting into it and my mind going blank. You REALLY don't want that to happen in the real thing, it would be disastrous.

One story a teacher told me, and it will always stick with me, is that one year, somebody got themselves so worked up and stressed over their GCSEs, that they were physically sick and had to run out of the classroom. Yes, you obviously care about what grades you want, and how well you do, but there's no need to make yourself ill stressing about it, that won't help at all.

If you've revised as much as you can, got a good nights sleep before the exam (would highly recommend) and your pretty confident, then you should be perfectly fine. Everyone makes out that GCSEs are the be all and end all of everything. They're really not. You tried your best? Then no one can ask anymore of you.

Well, there we are, my 5 simple tips to prepare you for the hectic, hopefully not too stressful exam season soon to come. I'd say cherish these moments, because you won't have this type of experience again (not that you would want to lol). Not to get too cringe, but when you get to year 11, you sort of become one big group and the drama stops (mostly) because you're all going through the same thing, and you all understand each other. So have as much fun as you can (I say that lightly).

Just think after the exam period is over, you have prom (literally the best night of my life) and that glorious 10 week summer holiday to look forward to.

So from me, good luck, do your best, and I hope you all get the grades you want!

And I'll be doing a few more exam type posts nearer to the time, so keep your eyes peeled! (shameless self promo)

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