“We learn from failure, not from success!” - Bram Stoker
In this article, we’ve got some advice on how to work more effectively from home, how GCSE students can get the most out of their homework, some useful resources they can use when studying, and the websites they can use for revision.
Advice for Studying and Doing Your Homework
Your GCSEs are your first really important exams. After completing them, you’ll have the option to move onto your A Levels.
In many cases, your GCSE results will dictate which A Levels you’ll be allowed to do. They’ll be the first academic qualifications you can put on your CV, too.
Your academic success will hinge on how much you get out of your homework. You need to make sure that this time is constructive. Some students struggle to learn from their homework. If this sounds like you, we recommend looking into private academic support to help you.
For the time being, here’s some valuable advice for all students:
- Do your homework in a calm and quiet place. Avoid distractions like your phone, the TV, or your computer if you’re not working on it. Keep your desk clean and organised so that there’s nothing on it that can distract you.
- Sit comfortably. Have a bottle of water nearby to avoid having to get up if you get thirsty. Consider having a small snack nearby, too.
- Plan and organise. Set aside time for homework, even if you don’t have any homework yet. Don’t wait until the exam to start revising. You can save a lot of time if you regularly revise throughout the year. Consider doing more homework during the weekend so that you have more free time during the week.
- If you have free periods, use them to get ahead of your homework.
- If you can’t work effectively at home, try and make use of study rooms and the library at your school.
- Pay attention during your lessons and actively listen. Take notes that you can clearly understand even after weeks have passed. If you’re focused on your lesson, you’ll save a lot of time when it comes to remembering important information when you do your homework.
- Adapt your approach to each subject. In maths and science, you learn a lot of techniques and approaches whilst the humanities will often have you editing and proofreading essays and working on your writing style.
- Prioritise your homework by importance and complexity.
Get Books to Help You
Most school pupils see their homework as a pointless chore. However, homework is supposed to help you consolidate the topics you’ve been taught during your lessons.
You have to adapt your approach to each subject. Different approaches work more effectively for different subjects. There are books on the topic.
The books in this series are well-known as they offer revision guides, revision cards, workbooks and question books, and practice papers for students to go through.
They're popular with GCSE is students as they're often quite entertaining and humorously written. They're not massively expensive, but if you start buying one for every subject, it's probably a good idea to look for packs of books as you can save money on them.
My Revision Notes
This series of books focuses fully on only the essentials. The books focus on specific exam boards so make sure you choose the right one for the exam that you're studying. Generally, this series of books deals more with the sciences than the humanities but there are resources available for almost every subject.
The York Notes books are specifically for English, but they're useful guides to have when studying any of the GCSE texts. In addition to covering the text, there's also information on effective essay writing and model answers to make sure students know how to put their thoughts into words that will secure them the best grades.
While you won't be able to prepare for every exam with them, you won't break the bank picking up any of these books, either.
The Best Sites for Studying for Your GCSEs
To do well in your GSCEs, don’t forget about useful websites.
The BBC Bitesize website is probably the first website you should visit when it comes to revising. If you go to one website for your revision, make it this one.
It seems to have almost every single GCSE subject on it and even the different exam boards so you can find exactly what you need to study.
There are also useful videos, tests, and exercises you can do to help you study.
This isn't a resource for studying, but rather a useful tool you can use to plan out your revision timetable. As we've mentioned, the key to doing well in any exam is how you prepare for it and this website can help you create a revision timetable, will automatically add revision sessions for you, and send you reminders to make sure that you never miss a session.
Once you've got your revision plan ready, you can also print it out and put it by your desk, keep a copy of it in your exercise books to remind you while you're at school, or even put it by the TV to remind you what you should be doing instead of binge-watching the latest TV shows on your favourite streaming services!
StudyWise is another excellent online resource for students looking to revise for their GCSEs or A Levels. There are revision notes, forums, revision books and guides, and even past papers, which are an incredibly useful resource for anyone about to sit an exam.
While there are a lot of free resources available on this website, there's also a shop where you can pick up flash cards and study packs to aid you in your learning.
Hire a Homework Help Tutor
If you feel lost and you can’t seem to do well on practise tests or get good grades, you might need some outside help. Maybe you’ve fallen behind and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to catch up. You’ll want to build a solid foundation before you move on.
Maybe your approach isn’t quite right and even when you study a lot, it doesn’t seem to stick. Starting your GCSEs might be a big change, too, as this is probably the first time that you’ve really done important national exams. They won’t feel like your typical tests and the way you approach them is different to anything you’ve done before.
Consider getting help from a private tutor. They can show you effective ways to study, set you on the right path, motivate you, show you which approach will work best for you, and guide you through the process to ensure you get the GCSE results that you deserve.
They can also help you get the most out of your homework.
Finding a tutor on Superprof is easy. You can search by subject and by location and you're free to browse the tutors' profiles to compare their qualifications, experience, rates, and tutoring approach.
You can enjoy tutoring face-to-face, online, or in groups and each type of tutoring comes with its pros and cons for you and your budget.
Face-to-face tutorials, for example, tend to be more expensive than the other two. However, you'll also enjoy one-on-one tuition from a tutor who can adapt the lessons to you, what you want to learn, and how you like to learn. As a result, this type of tutorials is usually the most cost effective.
Online tutorials are usually cheaper than face-to-face tutorials as the tutor doesn't need to factor in travel costs and time and can schedule more tutorials every week. While these tutorials mightn't be as effective for hands-on subjects, they're just as effective for academic subjects and very useful if you can't find any suitable local tutors or can't afford face-to-face tutoring.
For families on a really tight budget, group tutorials are a great option. Since the students are sharing the cost of hiring the tutor, this will usually work out as cheaper per student per hour.
Don't forget that a lot of tutors on Superprof offer the first hour or session for free and you can use these to try out a few different tutors before picking the right one for you.