Exam Tips #1

On June 3rd at 9am you sit the GCSE exam. There are a number of things to consider. Copy and paste what follows:

1. The exam lasts 2 hours 15 minutes so manage your time well. 

2. Spend the first 15 minutes reading all 3 inserts given to you. 

3. In that time, label each paragraph with numbers, so you can write “in paragraph 3…….” and so on. 

4. Spend no more than 60 minutes on Section A – so many students spend too much time on this and only have 30 minutes to do Section B, leading them to fail to get the magical C grade. 

5. Perhaps [and it has been said elsewhere], do Section B first, but time manage that one – no more than 60 minutes on each section. 

6. Use a watch if you have one and roll it up on the desk in front of you [mobiles not allowed to even be on, let alone on silent, so turn em off!]

7. Arrive 15 minutes early – sort of obvious really, but the people invigilating the exam, and I may be one of them, can say no to you entering once the exam has begun. I WILL. A year of work gone down the drain just because you cannot get up on time would be a great pity.

8. Section A is marked on your reading ability, NOT your writing ability. Time to panic about spelling, punctuation and Grammar usage, is Section B. Your marker will be looking for the correct use of commas, semi colons, colons, full stops, capital letter etc. If you are one of these people who write capitals in the middle of words, you have from now to then to eradicate that from your writing. . 

9. Each section [A+B] is worth 40 marks, so time management is of the essence. Get it wrong and you mess up your chances of passing well. 

10. Enjoy the exam! It sounds odd I know, but although this is a test, part of it asks you to be creative [Section B] so you might as well have some fun when creating the 2 writing tasks at the end. 


And, in late August, when you get your grades, post them here please. And if someone says to you the words “good luck” then look them in the eye and reply with “luck is for the ill prepared and I am prepared for this.” If you are not, you will need all the luck in the world. 

Examples of answers will follow when I have them for you all.