Undergraduates from Cambridge and Sheffield Universities return!

Zain Waheed and Anik Malik, former pupils, took time out from their busy schedule before starting their University careers, to speak to pupils at a Year 11 assembly, groups of aspiring Year 9 pupils and staff.

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Zain is studying Engineering at Cambridge University. His advice was to start revision early and he commented on the good teachers here at St Peter’s.

‘It was actually here at St Peter’s where I was inspired and realised I wanted to study at Cambridge. 

Today I’d like to share some advice on how you guys can achieve your goals which at this stage should be to get the best possible GCSE’s.

First of all, start early. From now already you should be doing 1-2 hours of revision each day on top of homework, so during exam time you won’t be stressed out as much.  I remember during my time there were people doing 6-7 hours revising each day during exam time and they were really stressed out.  So if you do a lot each day instead of a lot just at the end you’ll be more relaxed, which is vital during exam time.

Secondly, utilise teachers here.  You won’t understand how good they are until you leave.  Teachers at 6th Form were great but did not have the same impact on me as the teachers here.  It’s because of these brilliant teachers that I got 10 A* passes in GCSE, which I didn’t think was possible.

Lastly, another important thing I would advise is to stay off your phone during exam time.  Hard to do but you have to realise that your GCSE’s are much more important than a bit of social media.’

Anik is studying medicine at Sheffield University. He advised pupils to aim higher than their target grades

‘Regardless of differences in our backgrounds, something that unites us all is that we’ve studied at St Peter’s High School, but with GCSE exams less that a full year away, I can understand that many of you feel as though there isn’t enough time to get the grades you want or need.  However, I’ve met countless people who were in the same position as you, where they maybe didn’t revise as much as they could have in the first 4 years of high school, myself included, but by working hard in the final year achieved outstanding, and sometime perfect GCSE results.

 I’ve noticed that people so often get slightly lower than the grade they’ve aimed for.  As a result, for example instead of working towards your target of a 6, work towards a 7, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised on results day when you avoid a 5 completely by achieving a 6 or a 7 or maybe even higher.  The same logic can be applied for those of you aiming for the top grade of 9 by working towards full marks potential.

Common traps I see people falling into are adopting the mind-set of blaming their surroundings or using it as an excuse to not try hard to achieve their dreams – which isn’t a valid reason when you consider how many people work hard and succeed in much less developed parts of the world than where we live.  Another mistake people make is following the ideology of intelligence being something that someone either has or doesn’t have, rather than something that can be developed – just like a muscle, by using time and energy’