Updated: Jun 27, 2020
***NOTE: Due to Covid-19, all exam boards have changed their grading and exam timetable for 2020. Please visit the relevant exam board website/link (see below) for further information on your next steps regarding the current situation.***
While we all know that if you're studying for an exam, writing adequately is crucial. However it's worth knowing some really fantastic websites that can help to enhance your studies. Here are a few that I use as a tutor and are great to use for a student as well.
1. Exam board websites: It is CRUCIAL that if you're doing your exams soon, you visit these sites. They tell you exactly when your exam is by date, time and subject. AQA is the most popular exam board that most schools use when their students are about to embark on their GCSE studies, but you can access all of them to find past papers you can download to practice writing exam type essays. Here are the ones that most people take their exams with.
All of these exam boards have some nice little gems to help you with your studies. Please note that Edexcel is now called Pearson Edexcel.
2. BBC Bitesize: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize
When you're looking for that light bulb moment, BBC Bitesize is a site that is packed full of information to help in your studies. Don't be put off that it has a signing in section as it's not necessary. The site is segmented into sections for primary, secondary and post 16 students. Students of ALL AGES can use it. I recommend it especially for GCSE students, especially those that are struggling to understand certain concepts in their learning. It will prove invaluable if you haven't read a piece of text/or play for your studies, as it will give you a summary of all the novels/plays on the GCSE Curriculum. It is especially fantastic at giving in depth information on Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and An Inspector Calls. There are also lots of quizzes and visuals to help you underpin your knowledge and help with revision.
3. SparkNotes: https://www.sparknotes.com/
SparkNotes is a website that I always suggest students use to understand the text and meaning of a Shakespearean play. The site has the whole of his plays such as Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet etc. It's laid out with in such a way that you can read the original (Shakespeare) text and the modern text alongside each other, so it makes it easier to understand some of Shakespeare's more complex speeches and monologues in his plays.
SparkNotes isn't just a site for Shakespeare learning. It also contains notes and study material for Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and many more texts or novels you may be studying. Be aware of two things though. Firstly, SparkNotes is very 'ad-heavy' so you'll often find annoying pop-ups and flashing types of adverts interfering with your reading of something on their site. Secondly, it is an American website, so at times some phrases are written using their spelling of things, so remember if you're writing for GCSE essays, you would need to use the spelling of colour, rather than color for instance. However despite this, this site should be a go-to and is a brilliant revision aid for all students.