Getting Through Your GCSEs

Practical support and guidance to manage and succeed in year 11, from the University of Oxford


Getting Through Your GCSEs was a programme developed and delivered by the University of Oxford for Study Higher. Please check back later to find out about future iterations of this or similar projects.


Activity type: Workshop in-school; student conference at the University of Oxford

When: Workshops available year round, student conference

Year group: Year 11

Gatsby Benchmarks: 7


To offer practical support and guidance to enable year 11 students to manage their final GCSE year to the best of their abilities.


  • To develop study skills (NERUPI P3)
  • To develop the capacity for and confidence in academic attainment (P3, B3)
  • To develop resilience in the face of educational pressures (B3)

Learning Outcomes

Through this programme, learners will:

  • Better understand how to maintain positive mental health and wellbeing during times of educational pressure through the provision of informed advice and guidance
  • Better understand how to prepare for GCSE assessment through the provision of informed advice and guidance
  • Have had positive interactions with HE staff and students and understood how HE relates to their current stage of learning
  • Have had opportunity to put into practice academic skills.


Providing practical support and guidance to enable Year 11 students to manage and succeed in their final GCSE year, including:

  • Revision timetabling
  • Revision tips and methods
  • Exam tips
  • Wellbeing and mental health
  • Study skills


Our in-school workshops are ideal for small groups or classes due to the interactive nature of the activities. They are usually one hour to fit a school period and cover aspects of revision techniques, learning styles, subject confidence and prioritisation. They support your pupils’ awareness of methods and techniques to get through revision, and builds confidence in their ability to achieve their goals.

Where possible our programmes include undergraduate student ambassadors to facilitate live encounters with higher education.

Student Conference

At the University of Oxford

Our student conference offers your students support with getting through their GCSEs, including:

  • Support and encouragement for your pupils
  • Advice on managing wellbeing at times of exam stress
  • Advice on preparing for exams and revision techniques
  • Live Q&A with current university students, hearing from their experiences of preparing for and undertaking exams, contributing to GATSBY 7

The conference presents a mixture of plenary and breakout sessions including on resilience, getting ready for exam season, and exam and revision techniques.


Further conference details


Up to 30 attendees per school, who should comprise of eligible Office for Students Uni Connect outreach students. Your Higher Education Liaison Officer (HELO) can advise you further on identifying appropriate attendees.


All of our Study Higher events are free to attendent for eligible learners. Unfortunately we cannot provide lunch at this event. Attendees should bring their own packed lunch.

Coach booking instructions

Support for travel costs is available on a reimbursement basis, dependent on successfull attendance with eligible students. Schools should book coach travel themselves and let their Higher Education Liaison Officer know how much the coach will be.

On successful attendance at the event, the school should send the HELO a copy of the coach invoice, who will raise a Purchase Order for reimbursement.

Who do we work with

We work with 21 schools and colleges across Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Swindon. We target our work based on a locality-based measure for participation in higher education called POLAR. This means that we target our work at young learners from postcodes in areas where rates of going to university or higher education is lower than expected.

What people say


Felt better prepared to effectively manage their time


Understood that preparing for GCSEs is a useful transferable skill, for example for A-Levels/college, university, or work


Could better recognise their own well being needs


Could better recognise triggers and symptoms connected with academic pressure


of teachers would recommend to others


Felt better prepared to manage the pressures of revision and exams

Our Study Higher programmes

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