Exam season can be a very stressful time for many, and with Science GCSEs looming, the pressure is on to get the best grades possible. In this blog, we look at 5 ways you can improve your science grades during both revision time and in the exam.
To improve science grades;
Use revision books then test yourself
Always seek help if you do not understand something
Repeatedly go over material
Use flashcards to record condensed key information
Hire a reliable science tutor
1.Use Revision Books Then Test Yourself
The best way to revise is reading, recalling and testing. By this we mean firstly reading over your revision books. But don’t just quickly read over - it’s a good idea to use a highlighter and go over any important information, keywords, stats, dates, figures etc.
Once you have used the revision books, make your own notes. We recommend sticking to visual aids like mind maps, flash cards and colour coded post-it notes. You will learn more about flash cards in our next point.
Use Past Papers
Once you have taken in all the information, it’s time to get your hands on some past papers and complete them under timed conditions. Once they are completed, use the exam mark schemes to check your answers and see what needs improving. Not only are past papers a great revision activity, but they also give you a chance to practice your exam techniques.
Teaching others is another extremely effective learning technique because it improves understanding & memory retention much more than passive methods like re-reading and note-taking. "If you can't explain it simply- you don't know it well enough." (Albert Einstein).
If no one's around, pretend you're being interviewed about the topic. Ask yourself a series of questions and reply as clearly and concise as you can, pretending people are wanting to learn all about it.
Remember, if you have limited time to revise, spend more time revising the topics you find the hardest – not the easy ones!
2 . Use Flash Cards To Record Condensed Key Information
For effective revision, we recommend using flashcards to record condensed key information. Physics & maths tutors have pre-prepared ones for different exam boards as do CPG, or you can make their own.
3. Always Seek Help If You Do Not Understand Something
It's so important to seek help from your teacher, parent or even peers if you come across something you don’t understand. When you don’t understand something, it is much harder to learn and recall for the exam. Remember, your teachers are there to help you and want you to succeed.
If you feel like you need additional support with your revision, why not look into tutoring? At GCSE Masterclass, we provide tuition for GCSE Science, as well as Maths, English, and many other subjects, and use only the very best tutors. All our staff are fully qualified, experienced teachers who have a proven track record of high quality teaching and excellent results within their GCSE classes.
4. Repeatedly Go Over The Material
When revising, don’t just go over something once. You need to be repeatedly going over your notes over and over again to ensure it stays in your long term memory.
According to 19th-century psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, instant recall has a 100 percent information retention. But in as little as an hour later, you can only recall a mere 44 percent of what you have read. To prevent this, review your materials intermittently to slow down the deterioration of your memory as time passes.
5. Hire A Reliable Science Tutor
Last but certainly not least, one of the best ways you can improve your science GCSE
grades is to hire a reliable tutor. In fact, it has been proven that children with one-to-one tutors significantly outperform those who do not in exams. This is due to a number of reasons.
Firstly, in any one hour at school, you will be lucky to get 5 minutes of your teacher's undivided attention and support. In an hour session with a one-to-one tutor, the tutor is completely focused on your needs with no syllabus constraints. If you find a topic easy, the tutor can move quickly to something more challenging. Whilst if you are struggling with a particular topic, the tutor can spend longer on it and get to the root cause of the problem, ensuring that you don’t move on until you fully understand.
Having a private tutor also allows you to ask as many questions as you have in a safe, non judgemental space. The best tutors, like the qualified teachers at GCSE Masterclass, will use lots of praise & encouragement, they will respond clearly to all questions and ensure you feel confident asking as many questions as you need to progress.
In The Science GCSE Exam
To get the most out of the exam, remember these steps:
Read the whole paper first
Answer what you know first to build confidence
Highlight command words e.g. Describe - say what you see, Explain - give a reason/point, Suggest - give a reason for the data
For S mark questions, write in clear bullet points to show better understanding
Do not leave any questions blank. Have an educated guess if you are not sure of the answer.
How We Can Help...
If your child needs extra help improving his or her science revision, GCSE Masterclass can help.
Contact us to find out more about how we can quickly improve your child’s confidence, grades and future.