Surviving Year 11:

(written by someone who just did!)

We spoke to Tom, an A-Level student from Middlesbrough, about his recent experience of Year 11. He’s written this guide for current Year 11 students, filled with his top tips for surviving (and enjoying) your GCSE year.

Revision Timetable

Organisation is key to your success at GCSE. It will make revision much easier if you have a set out time for revising each subject. This way you can make sure you’re spending time on subjects when you aren’t timetabled them during the school day, so even if you haven’t had a French lesson for a couple of days, for example, all of your French work will be fresh in your mind!

Personalise your Revision

One of the most crucial parts of revision is finding what works for you. For me, I used different techniques for different subjects. For science, I created personal revision guides using the full exam board specification, whereas for English Literature I found watching pods helped me remember the love and relationships poems for my exam. The point is, you should try as many different active revision strategies and resources as you can find and see what works best for you, whether that’s creating flashcards, doing exam questions or creating revision clocks.

It’s never too late to start

Even if you’re late off the mark to start revising, any amount of revision is better than none. After being disappointed with a mock grade in English literature I was quite worried I wouldn’t do as well as I’d hoped, however with just a half term’s worth of daily pods, I managed to push myself up by a whole grade!

Ask your Teachers!

All of your teachers are there to help you during this stressful year, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Teachers want you to get the best possible grade so they will be more than happy to look over work you’ve done in your own time. Don’t feel silly asking questions about anything – it’s better to approach a teacher than be unsure!

Mental Health

It is really important that while you’re revising you still make time for yourself. You can do this by taking regular breaks and making sure to leave time to unwind between revising and going to bed. After all, if you overwork yourself and are constantly tired, your revision might not be as effective! It is also important to balance your hobbies and your revision. You can still enjoy your hobbies no matter what they are, as long as they don’t get in the way of revision (and revision doesn’t get in the way of your hobbies)!

Make the Most of It!

Unfortunately, my Year 11 experience was hugely impacted by Covid which meant I missed out on lots of amazing opportunities like trips, prom and playing for my school football team. You should make the most of extracurricular activities during your final year. Try to enjoy the whole experience as much as you can because before you know it, it’s over. In what seems like the blink of an eye, you’re embarking on the world of A-levels and apprenticeships! 

Don’t have a login to GCSEPod?

If your school doesn’t subscribe to GCSEPod, sadly we don’t provide individual subscriptions.

However, we would love to support your child through their GCSEs as Education Demand helps students achieve on average one grade higher than non-users.

Please pass this PDF onto your Child’s school to show them the benefits of a subscription. We will also give them a 5% discount as a thank you for your interest.