GCSE Exam Preparation: Facts & Interesting Ideas

Expert advice and interesting facts

Interesting facts and tips

  • Keep on top of things: Just letting a little thing slip can have a knock on effect throughout your prep. Plan what needs to be done, make a list and stick to it, if you miss something just go back to it.
  • Try studying with friends who are taking the same subject. If one of you is better in a certain subject you can help each other out, don’t be embarrassed to admit you need their help. You want to pass so take help from wherever you can get it! This strategy doesn’t always work…and some friends will be better study partners than others!

  • Play: Remember to take some time out and enjoy what you are doing - just make sure the balance is right!!!

  • When should I start revision? It is recommended that you start your prep no later than 6 weeks prior to the exam. You will need to start studying subjects you find a little harder first to get more study time in.

  • Know the content of your GCSE. You can go to the exam board for your course and find out what the content will be, don’t waste time revising material not required. The most common are Edexcel, OCR and AQA.

  • Try not to stress: if you find things are getting on top of you, don’t let the stress build up. There are lots of things you can do to de-stress; you may want to talk with friends or family about what is bothering you - ‘a problem shared…’ Meditation is also good to unclutter your brain and get you back on track. Exercise is a great de-stressor!

  • Tutor: If you know you need good results in certain subjects to move into the career you have a chosen,  KalliKids strongly recommends the use of a Tutor, especially if you struggle in the subject. Never be embarrassed to ask for help, especially if it means you will achieve your goals!

  • Do you have all the notes you need to revise? If you have missed some classes you may be missing notes to revise from. Check with your teacher or try the BBC’s Bitesize site.

  • Old exam papers: you can get hold of old papers to give you a feel of what the exam will be like - this does not mean the questions will be on your paper!!

  • What about during the exam? Plan you time, Read all the questions through first, leave enough time at the end to check your work and decide which questions you will answer before ploughing straight into the first one.

  • Oh and don’t forget to go to classes!

How to pick an exam prep tutor

A good tutor will be able to guide you and your child through exam prep and subject matter, spot areas of weakness and be able to use techniques that make the subject clearer as well as helping you and your child
prepare for the exam.

When choosing on a tutor for your child you may wish to consider the following:

  • Has the tutor been recommended to you, or perhaps they are KalliKids accredited?
  • Do you need to provide stationery or equipment? Do these need to be purchased before the lessons start?

  • Are there any text books that you need to order or pay for in advance?

National associations

There are three examination boards accredited by Ofqual. These are:

AQA – One of the leading providers of GCSEs and A Levels. Used by most secondary schools and colleges in the UK.

Edexcel – Considered the UK’s largest awarding organisations, they offer both academic and vocational qualifications and testing to schools and colleges.

OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations) – Over 13,000 centres choose OCR for their A Levels and GCSEs.



In secondary schools, GCSE courses are taken in a wide variety of subjects. Students usually decide which subjects to study when they are in Year 9 (age 13-14). Typically a student will take between eight and ten subjects, but this can vary.

GCSEs are compulsory in the core subjects and are usually taken by 14–16 year old students.

Qualifications of tutors

There is no minimum qualification required to tutor at home in the UK at present, however we would recommend you ask to see copies of qualifications held.

Learning from the activity

Exam time can be very stressful for children and young adults, especially if a chosen career path requires good results in a subject they find challenging. The use of a tutor at this time will give them the tools required to do the best they possibly can, whilst building their confidence for the exam.

Interesting articles

Exam Preparation tips.

How to prepare for an exam.


Mr Bean Prepares for his Exam!

Advice from a psychologist about dealing with stress and anxiety around exam time and why cramming is not a good idea.

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