Exam tips from one of Welwyn Garden City’s highest achievers

PUBLISHED: 13:27 25 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:27 25 August 2017

Gargi Purandare, who goes to Dame Alice Owen's School, achieved all A*s and 9s in her GCSEs. Image supplied by Gargi Purandare.

Gargi Purandare, who goes to Dame Alice Owen's School, achieved all A*s and 9s in her GCSEs. Image supplied by Gargi Purandare.

Image supplied by Gargi Purandare

Gargi Purandare is one of Welwyn Garden City’s highest GCSE achievers this year - and she has shared her tips for exam success.

Gargi formed her own band, Active Site, while at school. Image supplied by Gargi Purandare Gargi formed her own band, Active Site, while at school. Image supplied by Gargi Purandare

Under the pressures of a new assessment system, the Dame Alice Owen’s School pupil has managed to gain all A*s and 9s in her exams - and she still had time to start her own band.

“I feel absolutely amazing,” she told the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

“I worked really hard over the last months, and I’m just really glad it paid off.

“I was really panicked on the morning of the results, my family had a go at me for being too dramatic!”

But her family is thrilled.

“I’m very proud,” said her mum Maneesha.

“Though of course her school overall has some very good results.”

Gargi has always had a love of music and decided to start her own band, Active Site, two years ago.

Thankfully, Dame Alice Owen’s School offered the band rehearsal space and they have played twice at a school showcase.

Maneesha said: “That made her very outspoken and confident.

“She’s no longer a shy girl.”

She plans to study biology, chemistry, physics and maths at A-level, and is considering going into pharmaceuticals

The Welwyn Hatfield Times asked Gargi for her study tips so that others can replicate her success.

She recommends a sensible revision schedule.

“I had a clear schedule for revising that wasn’t too strenuous, and made sure I planned in some revision breaks,” she said.

“I made sure I took small steps with the longer tasks, and broke them up into manageable bits.”

Having another hobby - preferably one that didn’t involve staring at a screen or a book - also proved helpful.

Gargi was able to let her hair down with her band.

“We carried on practising until two weeks before the exam period - it helped me take my mind off it,” said Gargi.

Keeping the stress level down really helped.

She said: “I was spending a lot of time worrying, so I made sure I had enough sleep.

“And I listened to a lot of 80s music!”

When she was deep in a study session she couldn’t bear simply staring at the page any longer, she got a member of the family to test her.

It became one of her most efficient study methods.

“I sat with my dad and he quizzed me.

“It was much quicker that way,” she said.

But what was most helpful of all, she said, was looking up and studying from old exam papers.

“Above all, past papers help,” she said.

“Even if I didn’t have time to actually do them.”

Gargi would put the exam papers and the answer sheets side by side on the computer screen, in a trick that she said was “a life- saver.”

• For more GCSE and A-level results news, visit our Education section at www.whtimes.co.uk/news/education

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