Advice for Years 10 and 11

Article _year 1201

Years Ten and Eleven are exciting ones. This is where you'll really get to grips with the subjects you've chosen for your GCSEs, learning the curriculum inside out. For many students, these are the years when school actually becomes interesting, because you'll be exploring subjects you've chosen yourself.

You'll often be told that success in Years Ten and Eleven relies on how well you know the core information on your course - and it's true. In an exam, you won't be able to take in a computer (or even a textbook!) making GCSE revision very different from homework you'll previously have worked on. You'll need to remember exact facts - whether that's the dates of the Battle of Britain, or the names of Indian musical instruments - when you're in the exam room, and will be graded on them.

But if you read the examiners' guidelines, you'll see that the marking system also rewards original reasoning and creativity. You should have read background books about your subjects or researched them on the internet; talked about them with your friends; and come to your own conclusions, as well as taking on the ideas that your teachers and textbooks have.

This will also help you with the second important task you face in Years Ten and Eleven: choosing your A level subjects. These should be the subjects you feel passionately about - and, more importantly, subjects that you have strong feelings about. Think your teacher's wrong aboutJane Eyre,or the civil rights movement? Try to prove it in your A level coursework!