After months of hard work, I managed to get 9 A*s, 5 As and 1 B in my GCSE exams this year scoring the highest in my year! I wasn't expecting grades anywhere near that so I would like to share what I did to get them.

Here are a few tips for you awesome brainboxes aiming to get grades you'll be proud of:

1. Study smart, not hard.

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This sounds more complicated than it really is. Basically, don't sit at your desk for 10 hours a day just reading over information from the text book! Instead, break down your revision sessions with regular breaks and find inventive ways to study, some things I liked to do were...

  • Stick a piece of paper on the wall and use it as a white board to jot down notes as you pretend to teach a class on the topic
  • Index cards / Quizlet
  • Use resources from
  • Get a study group together and customise your own Heads Up! game on a phone (you have to explain the key word without saying the keyword)

2. Early bird gets the worm.

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I remember reading post telling all year 11s to start revision after Christmas and I regret not taking that advice. Hear me out... START REVISING AFTER CHRISTMAS!!! I left starting the revision process so late (about April time) that I really had to cram it all in and feeling very much like this...

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Who know? Maybe I could have got all A*s if I didn't end up cramming so much? Maybe you can too?

3. Organisation is key.

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The more organised you are, the less stressed you will be! During the Christmas break, when I had plenty of time to do nothing, I re-arranged and re-decorated my desk making sure that it had good lighting, printing out weekly schedules and filing away any loose paperwork.

A clear desk is a clear mind.

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4. Make the most out of school.

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You're in school for nearly 7 hours a day so you may aswell make the most of it whilst you are there.

  • Pay attention in class
  • Ask a question if you're unsure (doesn't matter if it's stupid or irrelevant. If you're shy, you can always stay behind to ask too!)
  • Attend as many after school study sessions as you can

5. Take care of yourself.

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I am a hypocrite. I am telling you guys to look after yourselves and not to work for 10 hours straight when I did the complete opposite. Seriously though, from my personal experience, I am telling you to LOOK AFTER YOURSELF and DON'T WORK FOR EXTENDED PERIODS OF TIME. Here's why:

  • I barely saw my family for months during my exams because I was either in school or in my room revising for hours on end. Not good.
  • I got so tired from staying up so late revising that I fell asleep in my geography class and missed half the lesson. Really not good (and very embarrassing)
  • I stressed myself out so much over my exams that I ended up in hospital over the summer diagnosed with Function Neurological Disorder caused by stress. Really really really not good.

So please look after yourselves, your grades are no where near as important as your health. Plus, the happier and more relaxed you are, the better you will do!

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A final note.

  • As long as you give 100% you will do amazing (usually better than you expect).
  • Look after yourself! Be social, be happy, be relaxed.
  • I am more than happy to chat with you about anything, just send me a postcard if you want any ideas, guidance or if you have any questions!

Emma Xx

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