Five Things I Wish I Knew Before GCSEs | Back To School

Hello everyone! I’m back again with yet another back to school post; sadly I go back this Wednesday but I do still have a few school related posts I want to do on my blog so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for them. Anyway, today’s blog post is a very exciting post because I’m doing it in collaboration with one of my most favourite bloggers of all time, Liv from Liv Grace! I’m going to share the top five things I wish I knew before going into GCSEs, and she’s going to share the same, only for A Levels!

So, If you didn’t know I finished my GCSEs this summer (you can see my results here), so I’m now moving into my A Levels (I go back to school in about three days now & it’s safe to say I am definitely not ready!!). I’ve decided to share with you all five things I wish I knew before I started my GCSEs, and hopefully this will be useful to you whether you’re starting year 10 or year 11!

Five things I wish I knew before GCSEs


So, this might go against some of the advice you’d read before, but I wish I’d started revising earlier. And by revising, I don’t actually mean learning the content, but making my revision resources. You don’t want to be stuck making mindmaps and flash cards the night before the exam, because you won’t have any time to learn them. I didn’t finish all my content revision wise, however I know if I’d have started early with making mindmaps, quizlets and writing up notes, I’d have definitely been able to revise more content in the run up to the exams.


I had a folder for each of my subjects in GCSE, and I recommend you do too. You gather up a very large collection of notes and revision hand outs from your teachers, and with 11 different subjects that’s really difficult to keep track of. I filed all my work away into folders and it definitely helped me know where everything was whenever I wanted to read it or revise a particular topic. Also, having the right tools for revision and exams in terms of stationery is important too, not only does it make you want to revise more but having some backup pens in an exam will save you lots of time rather than having to wait to borrow one from the invigilators.


I ended up buying a bunch of random books for GCSEs throughout the year, which I wouldn’t recommend.  Find out which books you’re going to need as early as possible, and buy them then and there; I’d recommend CGP revision guides for science and geography, but for history and English I don’t think they’re that good.  I bought all my textbooks I used at school for history, and for English I didn’t really use revision guides. The earlier you buy all the books, the sooner you can read through them and get to grips with the course!


We all know that the school year goes pretty fast, but most of us have our year 11 mocks in December/January time.  The year honestly goes so fast before mocks, and you’ll have done no revision if you don’t realise how quickly they come around.  I wish I’d revised some more in the summer holidays before year 11, as mocks came around quicker than I was expecting and I did nowhere near enough revision.  I’d say definitely do light revision all year round in the run up to mocks, especially if you don’t want your Christmas holidays to be ruined by the impending doom of mocks!


I was really worried about starting year 11 – I knew exams would come around quickly, and I worried that I’d be spending my whole life stressing over school work rather than actually enjoying it.  If anything, GCSEs were better than I expected; sure, the content was difficult and I hated the revision, but it was definitely my favourite school year so far.  You make and keep some really great friends (bonding in periods of stress is always good), and GCSEs are totally manageable.  Don’t stress about them too much, and remember the huge 11 week holiday you’ll have after you’re finished to do whatever you want.  It’s the best reward ever!


I hope this post was useful to you all!  For those of you going into Year 12/13, make sure to go check out Liv’s post here.  Let me know which year you’re going into in the comments!

Soph xx



  1. September 3, 2018 / 10:50 am

    Loved this post! Thanks for these tips, very useful for me going into Year 11. Hope you have a great start to your sixth form journey! Xx

    • Love, Soph
      September 3, 2018 / 10:52 am

      So glad you found the post useful Eden! Good luck with year 11!💜💜

  2. September 3, 2018 / 10:59 am

    This was super helpful! Thank you 🙂 I think I’m going to start making revision resources and working for mocks a little next week or the week after just to make sure I’m ready for mocks! No way I’m starting in the first week of school😂 An hour after school should be okay from Sept-October right?🤞🏾 And another hour to do any homework. AHH I’m so not looking forward to year 11 :(( I’m already low-key stressed and I’m not even back yet😂

    • Love, Soph
      September 3, 2018 / 12:08 pm

      Oh god definitely! I would even say an hour after school every day, I was lucky if I did ten minutes sometimes haha! You’ll be fine, just break up your time & don’t stress over it too much, it’s actually quite fun! X💜

  3. September 3, 2018 / 4:20 pm

    Loved this post! I’m heading into year 13… 🙁 Looking back on my GCSE experience, I definitely do agree with these tips. I wish I had made my resources for my GCSEs a lot earlier, but it did help me learn everything by putting it down into a mindmap the night before! Good luck for Year 12 xx

    • Love, Soph
      September 3, 2018 / 7:53 pm

      I used to do that the night before exams too! Good luck in year 13!💗

  4. September 3, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    Sooo helpful, thanks Soph! I was really stressing about year 11, and this has definitely calmed my nerves 🙂 x

    • Love, Soph
      September 3, 2018 / 7:52 pm

      I’m so glad you found it useful!✨

  5. September 3, 2018 / 5:12 pm

    This was a really helpful blog post! I’m just going into year 10 and don’t really know what to expect! xx

    • Love, Soph
      September 3, 2018 / 7:52 pm

      It’s honestly fine! Some of the most fun times of your time at school will happen in the next two years, they’re nowhere near as bad as people make them out to be! 💛

  6. foreverseptember1
    September 5, 2018 / 3:07 pm

    Such great advice, luckily I finished school 3 years ago now but still, I’m at uni so I can definitely apply some of these tips to that!

    Lucy | Forever September

    • Love, Soph
      September 5, 2018 / 3:31 pm

      Glad you found this post useful Lucy!♥

    • Love, Soph
      September 8, 2018 / 1:42 pm

      So glad you liked the post!😇

Leave a Reply