Elizabeth is currently an IB student at Dartford Grammar School and has joined the golden nuggets success campaign to help younger GCSE students.
Previously she studied at a comprehensive school where she was identified as Gifted and Talented. She had her name featured on the school website as one of the best achieving students in her year group and also got the award for being the best student in Mathematics. She speaks with us about how she came out with flying colours in her GCSEs.
16 years old.
Which school/ college do you go to?
Dartford Grammar School for Boys.
What do you do now?
Studying for The International Baccalaureate.
What do you want to become/ type of work do you hope to pursue later on in life?
In the future I hope to pursue a career as a paediatric psychiatrist.
What grades did you achieve at GCSE?
At GCSE I achieved 3A*s in Religious Studies, Maths and English Literature, 5As in English Language, Psychology, History, Additional and Core Science, 2Bs in German and Media Studies and a distinction in ICT.
What were your greatest achievements in school?
My greatest achievement in school was competing for my school’s athletics team in the Bexley Championships and placing 3rd in the discus throw.
What was your biggest setback and how did you overcome these?
My biggest setback was the fact that my school essentially didn’t provide a teacher for physics. I overcame this by taking matters into my own hands and teaching myself the syllabus through revision guides and YouTube videos. Physics ended up being my best science result with an A* overall in physics.
If you had to go back and say anything to your 16 year old self what would you say?
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to start revision earlier and to lower the amount of stress I put on myself during the build up to the exams.
How would you encourage students who do not feel that they may not pass their GCSEs?
I would say with determination, focus and hard work, passing GCSEs will be easy. GCSEs are not only about knowledge but technique, so familiarising oneself with past questions can be extremely helpful.
How did you keep motivated?
I kept motivated by thinking of how I’d want to feel at the end of the exam and results day- relaxed, knowing I’d done the best to my ability. I also looked forward to the extended summer after the end of exams and all the fun I was going to have.
Who was your greatest help?
My greatest help was my chemistry teacher, who nearly always allowed me to use their room to revise when the other rooms in the school were noisy.
Which teacher inspired you?
The teacher that inspired me was my Media Studies teacher who is dyslexic but was able to get a B in English through hard work.
How did your parents help you?
My parents helped me by taking over majority of the household chores that I would normally do, allowing me more time to revise and rest.
Did you do any other activities outside of school such as sports and volunteering and how did you manage these during the exam period?
During the exam period, I didn’t do any sport or volunteering. I chose to channel all my energy towards studying.