At secondary school in the UK, students are required to study science as part of the National Curriculum.
The GCSE course in science breaks down into three main subjects: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.
While some students will take to science-based subjects like ducks to water, others won’t have the same such luck.
As a result, it can be a good idea to enlist the help of as many resources as possible in order to not only further understand the content of the course, but perhaps even to enjoy it too.
Science is definitely one of those subjects which can be considered to be like marmite; some love it, while others detest it.
This can affect motivation from the outset, and diminish a student’s willingness to participate or engage with the material.
Yet there are many ways to make science interesting for everybody, and the purpose of this blog post is to share with you what we believe are the best resources for this. What follows is our top picks GCSE science websites and resources, which will include all 3 of the subjects it spans.
The BBC is an excellent resource for learning science, this is true for both its television shows and its interactive website - Bitesize.
You have to have been living under a rock if you aren’t familiar with the popular science TV personality Brian Cox by now.
The English physicist responsible for getting a whole generation excited about science came onto our screens with mind-blowing shows on the BBC including ‘Wonders of the Universe’ and ‘Forces of Nature’.
If you haven’t yet watched any of his BBC shows, then they’re a great place to start, especially if it’s physics that you need help with.
Professor Cox talks about complex subjects in the world of physics with such passion and easy to understand language, breaking them down into bitesize chunks.
There’s also a certain Sir David Attenborough with his awe-inspiring nature documentaries such as ‘Planet Earth’ and ‘Life’ which should provide plenty of motivation to get fired up about biology and the nature of living things.
Studying living things in nature has been Sir Attenborough’s life’s work, and his dedication to preserving the environment and informing the public shines through in his gripping narration.
There’s no denying the power of the scene in ‘Planet Earth II’ which shows the small iguana attempt to escape from a horde of slithering snakes, it really is worth watching to get a better appreciation of life in all its forms.
As for chemistry, you’ll have to jump ship to Sky or YouTube and check out the show that was hugely popular in its day, ‘Brainiac’, featuring Richard Hammond.
This was a TV show that a whole generation grew up with, and presents a whole host of humorous experiments involving all kinds of chemicals and substances.
Bitesize is a popular website among students and divides revision material for GCSE Science exams into different sites, depending upon which board the student is preparing for.
This site, which features content geared towards the OCR exam, covers the areas of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.
Each main subject area provides access to a wealth of revision materials, activities, and tests, which will keep students active in their learning and keep the process entertaining.
For the Bitesize AQA website, the resources for the AQA exam are also branched out into Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.
There are a variety of topics on the website, spanning all 3 subject areas which students can use to practice for the exam. These topics include the use and abuse of drugs, food chains, evolution, crude oil and fuels, and heating and cooling.
As is the case with Bitesize OCR, you can find text material, activities, and tests.
The Edexcel version of the Bitesize website, like the other two, also provides text revision material, engaging activities, and practice tests.
Some of the subjects covered on the Edexcel website include:
Classification, inheritance and variation, materials from the earth, and the electromagnetic spectrum.
Each topic is explored in an interesting way, to keep the student motivated and keen to delve deeper into the subject.
Exam Board Websites
Another way in which you can access resources related to GCSE science is by looking up the individual exam board websites.
If you know the exam board responsible for putting on your exam (which you should), then you can get ahead by taking a sneak peek at past papers and getting a better understanding of what might be on your test when the time comes.
As well as gaining these insights, if you’re looking to achieve top marks in the GCSE science exams, then you should focus on the particular areas highlighted by that exam board.
If there’s a lot of material in past papers concerning planets, then there’s a good chance that it’s an area you need to be familiar with.
Having said that, make sure to consult your teacher and look at what you’ve studied since some topics may have changed in recent years and may no longer be relevant.
Here are some other websites which contain resources that could very well help you cross the threshold from one grade to another.
If you’re like me, you’ll instantly recognize the logo of CGP.
The textbook provider is synonymous with the studious cartoon character curiously wearing sunglasses while revising with a book.
Nostalgia aside, the textbooks of CGP are excellent for providing insight and information without overloading you.
There’s even a light dose of humour scattered throughout the revision books, which makes for enjoyable reading, especially compared to the textbooks which only feature dense blocks of text.
On the website of CGP, you’ll find all kinds of interactive tests and games to help with revision.
Examples of tasks include identifying the different states of matter and proving how much you know about atoms with multiple-choice tests.
If you already have the textbooks then you can supplement with the materials on the website, and if you don’t then you can still make the most of them and see if the textbooks are something you’d be interested in.
The ‘My GCSE Science’ website was specifically created to help students and teachers focus on the AQA exams, and contains free science video tutorials and notes (core, additional, and separate science videos are included).
Far from being superficial, the videos cover topics in depth and each lasts approximately 10 minutes.
Check out their video on infectious diseases to view the youthful, upbeat style with which this serious subject is approached.
The colourful visuals and childlike illustrations will undoubtedly appeal to those who like to approach science with a dash of creativity.
The dedicated revision website ‘S-Cool’ offers a whole host of resources for GCSE Science and other subjects.
Users are asked to create an account to obtain access to free exam-style questions, revision guides, and more.
A unique aspect of this particular site is that it provides links to apps that are useful for GCSE revision as a whole – apps that work on memory or highlight common pitfalls students make in GCSE Science exams.
There are even forums on the website, where students can go to ask whatever burning questions they may have about science – including everything from where to find a blast furnace to what complex terms like ‘displacement of less reactive halogens’ mean.
GCSE Science Bitesize Last-Minute Learner
This app, which is available on iTunes and in other places, has been specifically created to help students in the final stages of revision.
It’s a companion app for the GCSE Bitesize websites, except it’s meant for last-minute revision, to help you brush up on your knowledge before you sit the exam.
Though there is the option to use it as part of your current revision routine, since you have the option to add your own notes and bookmarks for future reference. If there’s a certain question or topic you’re really struggling with, you can put a pin in it so you know to come back to it in your next scheduled revision session.
Students can hone their skills and test their knowledge in Biology, Chemistry, or Physics by taking dynamic tests.
The app focuses on the main topics for AQA exam specifications.
We hope that you have found these websites useful.
Remember that you can also find a personal science tutor through the Superprof website if you need extra assistance with your exam revision.
Each tutor is well-qualified to help guide you through whatever it is you’re struggling with in your studies, from specific questions you may have to broad topics.
If you have come across other Science-based websites that you think are great for those studying GCSE level, then please feel free to add them in the comments section below.