How to use exam past papers for GCSE Science revision

12th May 2021

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Whether you’re doing Triple Science or Combined Science, there’s lots of content to learn for the GCSE Science papers.

And what better way to revise than to use past GCSE Science papers? Past papers and mark schemes are free to download on the AQA GCSE Science website

At Your Favourite Teacher we also offer GCSE courses for Combined Science and Triple Science which include video lessons, practice worksheets, quizzes and much more. And the best part is you can access them with a free trial by clicking on the button below.

How to revise for GCSE Science using past papers

Test-you-subject-knowledge

1. Test your subject knowledge

From equations to processes, there is so much subject knowledge to learn for GCSE Science.

Past papers allow you to translate your subject knowledge into an exam answer, and writing out your answers from memory is an excellent way to solidify what you know.

Our top tip is to put your revision materials away when testing your subject knowledge. While it may be tempting to peek, there’s no point practising if you aren’t going to use your memory!

Recognise-command-words

2. Recognise command words

Command words tell you how to answer a question. You usually find them at the start of the question and examples are ‘describe’, ‘explain’ and ‘compare.’ During the exam, we suggest highlighting command words.

Having a good understanding of command words will ensure you maximise your marks.

Recognise-command-words

For example, if you had a 4 mark question asking you to ‘Describe the digestion of starch in the body’, you should go through the process of how starch is digested but don’t need to explain why, as you wouldn’t gain any extra marks for this. 

Check out our list of the most important command words you’ll need to know for GCSE Science, which you can download for free. 

gcse science command words
Download our list of the most important GCSE Science command words
Understand-mark-scheme

3. Understand the mark scheme

All past papers will come with a mark scheme, which is what the exam board uses to allocate marks to each of your answers.

Once you have completed your past paper, the mark scheme is your guide to understanding exactly where you went right and what you need to focus your revision on.

It is also a useful tool to see other points you could have given in your answers. This helps to develop your subject knowledge even further.

Identify-where-to-improve

4. Identify where to improve

After you’ve finished a past paper, don’t move on to another straight away. You now have a valuable resource that tells you exactly where your strengths and weaknesses are.

Go through the questions and identify which topics you need to revise a little more.

Identify-where-to-improve

If you have a Your Favourite Teacher account, now’s the time to log in and go over the topics you need more practice on.

Remember that in addition to video lessons, each one of our GCSE Science courses comes with worksheets and quizzes to help you practice.

Practice-exam-technique

5. Practice your exam technique

This may sound simple, but it’s really important to learn how to answer the questions. After all, you’ll need to structure your answers differently depending on the amount of marks available.

The best way to learn this is to practice techniques of how you’ll approach them in the exam. For example, this could involve reading the question twice to ensure you fully understand what’s being asked of you.

It’s also important to do the past papers under timed conditions. That way you can see how long it takes you to answer all the questions and can make sure not to run out of time during the actual exam. 

Practice with our online GCSE Science courses

At Your Favourite Teacher, we offer GCSE courses for both Combined Science and Triple Science. Each course comes with comprehensive video lessons, practice worksheets, quizzes and much more. 

You can sign up for a free trial today to access the GCSE Science topics you’ll need to nail your exams.

You will also get access to all of our GCSE English Language, English Literature and GCSE Foundation Maths courses. 

Want to know what to expect with a membership? Watch our GCSE Science playlist on YouTube.