Inspired by student success stories, we tell you what your teachers don’t
Updated for 2019-2021 Exams!
About The Book
How to ACE Your GCSEs contains a 3-step plan that shows you what, when and how to revise.
Step 1 is ‘Method’. We tell you what top students do to secure top marks in exams. Here we cover spaced repetition, effective memorisation techniques and discuss how to tailor your learning technique to the subjects you are taking.
Step 2 is the ‘Study Cycle’. Here we provide case studies and examples of other students and their day to day habits during the academic year to help you gauge how much is enough.
Step 3 is ‘Motivation’. This section provides the fuel for the ‘Study Cycle’. We show you how to increase your attention span through simple and effective hacks. Furthermore, we discuss the damaging insecurities that hold you back from reaching your maximum potential and help you tackle them head on.
Read this book and arm yourself with techniques that will help you ACE any exam.
Case based research
3-step study strategy
Revision planning tips
My name is Raja. For years I struggled with school and exams. It was only during my A-levels where I found a way to stop the cycle of bad grades and disappointment.
In March 2014, I published How to ACE Your A-Levels. It quickly became the number 1 best-selling book in the secondary education category on Amazon as students became aware of my approach to studying, exams and life in general. Within a matter of months schools were asking me to come in to speak with their students. I was even asked to advise teachers on how to help students achieve good grades.
Since the success of How to ACE Your A-Levels, a lot of GCSE students have been contacting me for advice on How to ACE Their
GCSEs. So, here we are!
Before we jump into all the important stuff, here’s my story…
You know those skinny Indian kids who look like they are too young to have a moustache? That was me in high school and unsurprisingly I didn’t sit too high up on the social food chain. This would have been ok if I was a top student because I’d only have to endure a few awkward years in high school. Then I could have a future filled with a great career, money and women. Unfortunately, I wasn’t good at exams either!
After waving goodbye to high school with pretty mediocre GCSEs, I started my AS levels at a new school with a new-found determination. Achieving good grades and getting into university meant everything to me. So I made a real effort throughout the year. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough. Despite working hard and listening to my teachers, on AS level results day, I ended up with Ds and Us – Brilliant!
I joke about it now but those grades really hurt. After results day I went straight home, ran up to my room, sat on my bed, looked at the floor and whispered to myself… “What is wrong with me? Why am I so rubbish? I’m clearly not intelligent enough. It must be my genetics. Look at my Biology grade – do I even know what genetics means?!!”
To make matters worse, 70% of the grades achieved at my school were B or above and all of my friends did really well. Even the front pages of all the newspapers showed a nationwide improvement.
People kept asking me how my exams went and I felt so embarrassed about telling them. Others gave me sympathy and advice when I didn’t even ask for it. I knew they meant well but all it did was make me feel even worse!
There were a bunch of questions running through my head at the time. Should I give up and do a vocational course? Or get a job somewhere and work my way up? My teachers, some friends and even my own family were subtly encouraging me to consider these options too. It just didn’t feel right. I had to give it one more go.
My entire life I had held this belief that no matter how hard I tried, I just wasn’t capable at succeeding. Not only at school, but also everything else. Sports, music, art and pretty much everything I tried. Maybe I wasn’t as good as these A and A* students around me but I would never know for sure unless I really tried this time.
For the first time, it didn’t become about getting into university or my future career, just about proving it to myself. If I put all my energy and efforts into preparing for exams, and still didn’t achieve the grades I wanted then fair enough. Fine, then I’d lower my expectations and stop dreaming about becoming a doctor or successful businessman. However, if I did succeed, then I’d know for a fact that I was the issue and not my capabilities. I needed to find out for myself and that is what motivated me to retake almost all my first-year exams in year 13 alongside all the rest of my exams.
Over the next few weeks, I researched everything I could about studying and exams. From reading books about memory retention to speaking with successful and experienced students. From this I produced a set of goals and a written game plan.
Goals and plans were nothing new to me. I’d made plenty before without acting on them, but this time it was different. I believed in my plan and, as I started preparing for the next set of exams, I could see evidence that it was working. The sting of my previous results combined with the early signs of progress created momentum that stayed with me the entire year. By study leave the following year, I had executed my strategy and walked into most of my exams with much more confidence.
This time on results day I left with straight As with many module marks exceeding 90%. It was one of the biggest turn arounds some of my teachers had ever seen. My parents and friends were completely shocked!
At university, I used the same principles and techniques again, and it worked. I left UCL with a first-class honours in chemical engineering. My results were in the top 5 percent of the year and I was awarded with a certificate of academic excellence by the Dean of students.
Ever since completing my A-Levels countless students approached me for help. It started with friends and family, but as word spread, random people began contacting me for guidance. Everyone who used my approach improved their grades and future prospects.
As demand increased, it became obvious that schools were falling short when it came to study skills and motivating their students.
Eventually I decided to gather all the golden nuggets I had built up over the years and put them into one resource. The How to ACE series was born!
Since publishing this book, it has been a consistent Amazon #1 best seller year on year and has sold thousands of copies. We have been inundated with messages from students across the globe thanking us for our help. It only takes a glance at our reviews on Amazon, testimonials on Facebook or comments on YouTube to realise how effective this approach is.
What’s in the book?
On the surface, How to ACE Your GCSEs is a strategy book that will show you how to achieve As and A*s (7s, 8s & 9s) in your exams.
My 3-step plan will describe how to:
1. Plan your revision from now until exams
2. Use learning techniques that work
3. Choose the correct resources to learn from
4. Tailor your study technique to the subjects you are taking
5. Improve your daily routine and habits
6. Maintain your motivation right up till exams
Beneath the surface, this book is about how to bounce back from disappointment and create a winning attitude. Till this day, whenever I find myself in a deep hole (I’ve been in a fair few!), I still think back to my time at school. This is because it was the first time I took matters into my own hands, backed my ability and won. The experience left me with a tenacious personality and a pit-bull type resilience that I wouldn’t trade for any amount of intelligence.
That’s the real reason why all the late nights, hours of work and pressure of exams are worth it. Getting good grades, into a top university and securing a dream career are by-product of a winning mind set. This is what I hope you achieve after finishing this book!
My goal is to not only show you the door, but also inform and inspire you to a point that it’s almost impossible not to walk through it and achieve your dreams.
Thank you for reading How to ACE Your GCSEs and trusting my guidance!
5* Amazon reviews
Outlines some epic tips to get 7s 8s and even 9s
This book has really helped my revision get on track to good marks, I was sort of stuck in a "I'll do it later" frame of mind and this book has completely changed that, I'm just disappointed I hadn't found it sooner.