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Exam technique: the half of your GCSE that your teachers don't focus enough on

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

There are lots of misconceptions that revising and remembering every fact and every date to memory automatically means you will get the highest grades.

In GCSEs, the bare minimum your teachers can do is to teach you all the required content. What some teachers don't focus enough on is exam technique. This involves knowing the type of questions you will be asked, how long you have to do each question, what the mark-scheme wants (as there are always certain hoops to jump through at GCSE), and finally practising questions.

If you want to make your GCSEs easier and aim for top grades, there are strategies you can use to only have to revise the necessary information, but utilise your wider understanding and your short term memory during exam season to remember specific things for an exam.

You need to spend as much time practising and learning exam technique as you do learning content.

One of the best revision strategies is doing practice questions. This is great because you are revising content and seeing how much you remember, as well as practising exam technique by answering the types of questions you will get in an exam. Whether you write your own questions to answer, or find them through websites such as:, it is hugely useful. Revising in a way most similar to how the actual exam is very effective: you can work out timings for questions, highlight areas where you can improve, and you can check the mark scheme for model answers.

Not only will knowing the exam technique increase your GCSE success, but you will also be more relaxed and prepared for your exams because you already know how to approach the questions.

- The Astute Student

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