10 Top Tips For Year 10!

Starting Year 10 and commencing your GCSE journey is a pivotal moment in your academic life. This is where the rubber meets the road, where your education takes a significant turn towards specialization and depth. 

Managing a multitude of subjects, staying organized, and leveraging available resources is paramount for success. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with an in-depth understanding and well-intentioned tips to help you make the most of your Year 10, ensuring a smooth transition into your GCSEs and setting the stage for academic triumph.

1. Understand Your Subjects and Assessments:

Understanding the subjects you'll be studying and the assessment methods for each is the cornerstone of effective GCSE preparation. Take time to delve into the specifics of each subject, including the syllabus, examination structures, and any coursework requirements so you are sure you know what is in each assessment and when it happens.

Don’t neglect the larger reason why you want to study your subjects. Is it because it's fun? That's great! Is it because you think it has good job prospects? Sure! This clarity will allow you to tailor your study approach accordingly, understanding what to prioritise and how to allocate your study time.

You will start to realise subjects you are naturally gifted in and what require more effort, but you are sure you want to stick with because of a dream job for example. This motivation is key to getting you through the tough study sessions when you might feel like giving up.

2. Create a Study Schedule:

Time management becomes a crucial skill as you step into Year 10. Create a well-thought-out study schedule that allocates time for each subject on a daily or weekly basis. Be sure to consider your personal commitments and extracurricular activities when drafting your schedule. If you find yourself struggling to stick to it or being distracted while you revise, try the Pomodoro Technique!

However, remember to remain realistic and flexible with your timetable to accommodate unexpected tasks or revisions. A well-organized timetable will help you cover all subjects effectively and manage your workload efficiently.

3. Prioritize and Set Goals:

With a plethora of subjects and a busy Year 10 schedule, effective prioritisation is key. Identify the subjects you find challenging or those that you anticipate needing more time to comprehend. It's worth focusing these goals on areas you didn't quite get when in school. Make a note of these in a list at the back of your mind, or your folder!

When you are doing some regular revision one evening, you can set a goal to help you focus. For example, getting 5 long division questions right in a row without looking at the answers. Adjust your goals so they are always SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based.

Prioritise these subjects that have a lot of problem topics in your study plan, dedicating more time to them. Set achievable short-term and long-term goals for each subject. These goals will not only allow you to track your progress but also serve as a source of motivation to improve continually.

4. Utilise School Resources:

One of your primary resources is the educational hub itself—your school. Schools often provide a wealth of resources such as textbooks, study guides, past exam papers, and access to knowledgeable teachers. 

Make the most of these offerings. Attend extra study sessions organised by your teachers, and don't hesitate to seek guidance from them to clarify doubts or understand complex concepts.

The experience and insights of your teachers can be invaluable in your GCSE preparation. It will be tempting if the alternative is spending free time having fun, but there is not many chances to get a teacher in a smaller study group to help you one-on-one.

5. Leverage Online Resources:

The internet is a treasure trove of knowledge, especially for students. Explore educational websites, online libraries, and reputable study platforms like BBC Bitesize and Revisionworld for past papers.

These resources often offer interactive lessons, practice tests, study materials, and video tutorials. Leveraging these online resources can provide you with a deeper understanding of subjects and supplement what you learn in school. 

Online platforms can be particularly useful for revisiting topics or exploring advanced concepts beyond your current level, which is a healthy habit to get into!

6. Consider One-to-One Online Tutoring with Sherpa:

In the dynamic landscape of education, online tutoring has gained immense popularity for its personalized approach and convenience. A one-to-one online tutor can provide tailored guidance and support based on your learning style, pace, and specific needs. 

Sherpa, for example, connects you with qualified tutors who specialize in various subjects. These tutors can assist you in understanding difficult topics, improving study techniques, and boosting your confidence. 

They can help you streamline your study process and provide targeted help where needed, giving you a significant edge in your GCSE journey.

Find a dedicated GCSE tutor with Sherpa to enhance your understanding of subjects and excel in your GCSE journey today!

7. Stay Organized:

An organised study approach is fundamental to achieving success in your GCSEs. Maintaining a well-organised study space is the first step.

Keep your study area tidy, free from distractions, and well-stocked with essential supplies. 

Use tools like calendars, planners, or study apps to track assignments, exams, and important deadlines. Your notes for each subject should also be split up into different folders or separated by colour-coded bookmark pages to help you come exam time. Make sure you don't miss any days of notes, or ask to photocopy or save a version of someone elses.

This is also true for any work you do online or on the computer - download them and save them in labelled files so you can find them later!

Having a clear overview of your tasks and responsibilities will help you manage your time effectively and stay on top of your academic commitments.

8. Practice Regularly:

Consistent practice is the bedrock of mastering any subject. Allocate time for daily or weekly revision, practice past exam papers, and engage in quizzes and mock tests. They all come together to prepare you for Year 11 and the final Summer exams.

This preparation is so much less effective if it is started too late to really sink in properly, so expect to cover every topic a few times per year in revision to properly commit it to memory for exams!

Regular practice will help reinforce your understanding, familiarise you with the exam format, and improve your performance. The more you practice, the more confident and proficient you'll become in the subject matter.

9. Join Study Groups:

Studying with peers can be immensely beneficial. Form study groups with classmates who share your academic goals and dedication. Discussing topics, sharing insights, and teaching each other can deepen your understanding of subjects. 

Additionally, it offers a different perspective on challenging concepts and fosters a collaborative learning environment. Each member can contribute unique insights, making the study sessions enriching and productive.

10. Maintain a Balanced Lifestyle:

While focusing on your academics is crucial, maintaining a balanced lifestyle is equally important. A healthy mind and body are conducive to effective learning. Incorporate physical activities, hobbies, relaxation, and adequate sleep into your routine. 

Take breaks and engage in activities that rejuvenate you. A well-rested and refreshed mind is better equipped to grasp and retain knowledge. Strive for a balance that nurtures both your academic pursuits and your overall well-being.


Starting your GCSEs in Year 10 is a significant milestone in your academic journey. By understanding your subjects, creating a structured study schedule, leveraging resources, and seeking personalized online tutoring through platforms like Sherpa, you set yourself on the path to success. 

Year 10 is a critical year, but with careful planning, effective use of resources, and expert guidance, you'll be well-prepared to manage the workload and excel in your studies. Embrace the journey, follow these tips diligently, and watch your academic potential flourish.

Make the most of your GCSE year with personalized online tutoring from Sherpa. Connect with experienced tutors in your subjects [here](custom link to Sherpa GCSE tutors) and set yourself on the path to GCSE success. Your future begins with a strong start in Year 10!

Author's profile picture

Russell Kilgour

18th October

Looking for a tutor?

Sherpa has hundreds of qualified and experienced UK tutors who are ready to help you achieve your goals. Search through our tutors and arrange a free 20 minute introduction through our industry-leading online classroom.

Find a Tutor