Revision tip for core science gcse

Here’s a quick tip that may make a difference if your child is revising for core science exams this summer.

Why do pupils have problems with gcse science exams?

The most common feedback that I get is that, although they have revised hard and think they’ve covered everything, they find the questions in the exam unfamiliar or awkwardly worded.

Now that there are no multiple choice papers, there are fewer easy questions – by which I mean question that you can guess. There are more that require the student to select the right facts to include in longer answers, and to interpret data. The complaints are that there are too many words, or too many numbers, or simply too much thinking involved!

So, answering these questions require more than just memorising of facts. It means that it is even more important to practice answering questions that get you to think. Many of these involve interpreting data that are presented in the form of tables and graphs – questions that many students find difficult.

I’ve included some examples in the video version of this post below.

To get the best grades:

  • Collect as many specimen papers as possible (there are no past papers yet for core science!).
  • Buy the sample papers published by
  • There will be exam-style questions in your course textbook. Do these and get them marked by your teacher, if you have not already done so in class.
  • If you’ve done them all, and you want more, don’t forget specimen papers from other exam boards. You will find suitable questions there, even if the spread of topics may be different.
  • And lastly, it is important to understand command words, such as evaluate, compare, describe, and so on. There is a very good article, with worked examples, published by the AQA exam board at the following link.

As usual, email me any questions or feedback or leave a comment on this webpage.

The video is less than three minutes long and contains the examples that I mentioned above.


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