The time of the year has finally arrived for all year 11 students to start really preparing for their crucial GCSE exams, but the question is, are this year’s year 11 preparing enough?

For obvious reasons, the concluding few months before the actual GCSE’s start are arguable the most intense, stressful and nerve-racking. With the standards of these dreaded exams increasing as the years go on, it is clear to recognize the panic and worry the students face about the possibility of their under-preparation. Time plays a critical part in this intensity, with many students including Ella Nighy, a current year 11, saying “there aren’t enough hours in the day to feel confident in revising, while trying to juggle our homework, social lives and breaks.” A majority of students in the UK use revising methods such as writing out notes, making flashcards, and creating mind-maps, however if it is all written by hand, this can take up a lot of the time there is so little of.

However, there has been other methods very commonly used and recommended by students, which helps to save the precious time they have, whilst also thoroughly revising for their exams in various ways. This is the use of apps. Revision apps have become increasing popular and relied on by the year 11s, with it becoming one of the most praised and supported methods of studying. An app called ‘Seneca’ has been reported to be the number one most used revising app for GCSE and A-Level, having a usage of over 2,500,000, and offering students over 250 free courses that cover all subjects and exam boards. The useful aspect of Seneca is its focus on helping students learn twice as fast as they would without it. The average usage time students spend on Seneca is only 20 minutes a day, which is a reasonable amount to get valuable studying done whilst also not taking up hours of your schedule. Other useful apps are ‘Quizlet’, which creates flashcards for you while also being able to study other aspects, like the listening exam for language subjects. GCSEPod is another frequently used app which allows students to watch a series of podscasts of various topics, only around 5 minutes each, and get tested on the information they had recently learned about. These new ways of studying help maximise students time before their exams, which not only encourages them to become more prepared, but also relieves a great deal of pressure and panic helping to achieve a more stable mental health, which is always the priority.

By Ellie Baker