You’re currently studying for a GCSE, or other important exams in the future. At school you’ve been given an assignment, and are finding that you have a hard time motivating yourself to do the work. You sit down at your desk but after a few minutes of writing you just stop – there’s no sense of urgency to complete the task. This is where intrinsic motivation as well as extrinsic motivation come into play.

School is never fun. It’s more of a chore that forces you to grow and learn new things. However, there are plenty of ways to make it more enjoyable than you expect. This can be done by tapping into both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Motivation is a tricky thing, and can be widely misunderstood. Within this guide, you will learn about the difference between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation, as well as tips and strategies for developing an intrinsic motivation habit that fuels your self-discipline. As a college student, it can often be tempting to rely on extrinsic motivation. Social media likes, the opportunity for external praise, or the lure of money are all examples of extrinsic motivations that influence our lives.

Student Books Library Study  - geralt / Pixabay
geralt / Pixabay

There are many reasons why students choose not to work on schoolwork for their classes. One of the things you might hear from your students is that they “hate school” and that they have “no motivation.” In some cases, it is true that their hatred of school stems from their low grades in that class or even a teacher that makes the subject boring. But what if there was another way for them to feel like they were being successful in that class besides grades?

In order to succeed with your studies, you will need all the help you can get. You’ll want to do as well as possible during your exams, and you’ll probably have tests that require you to learn a lot of information in a short amount of time.

What is the difference between extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation?

Intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation are two important concepts that help explain how people drive their behavior. Intrinsic motivation is when you’re doing something because you find it enjoyable or satisfying. For example, you might be intrinsically motivated to read a book because you like learning new things. Extrinsic motivation is when you’re doing something in order to receive some sort of reward or avoid some sort of punishment. For example, you might be extrinsically motivated to clean up your room so your mom doesn’t yell at you if you leave it messy any longer.

What is better – extrinsic motivation or intrinsic motivation?

The final section of this focus on motivation and study strategies investigates how motivation can affect your GCSE studies. It is important for students to be internally motivated, but it is equally important for them to learn how to become externally motivated too.

Motivation is essential to successful study. Successful students know both how to be internally motivated and how to become externally motivated. Extrinsic motivation decides on the form of outside rewards. Intrinsic motivation is based upon enjoyment of its own sense.  Study strategies is thought to be a good way to make sure your academic scores are high, which allow you to get good grades because they increase your academic efforts, can also enhance your academic performance, reduce studying dilemmas or questions.

Motivation is an important concept that ensures we are driven and able to complete tasks efficiently. Both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation have their advantages in different situations: Extrinsic motivation is often more apparent as a motivating factor for kids and young adults as it often takes an extrinsic reward, such as “good grades”, to show someone that their goals of passing the exam or doing well in classes is worth the hard work. Extrinsic motivation often requires someone else to supervise the actions and to reward. Intrinsic motivation on the other hand could be more fruitful in the long term run because it is independent of the external world it is more focused on the self rather than the outer world. Extrinsic motivation can help for good grades in GCSE because you are interested in the reward or the gift you may receive after the good results, but on the other hand if you are focused on intrinsic motivation then you can focus more on the interest of the subject. Therefore, you can learn the subject and the difficult theories for GCSE better with intrinsic motivation and it will be helpful for your entire life.

We currently live in a society that is noticeably more extrinsically motivated than it was 50 or 100 years ago. In the past, the focus was on learning for the sake of learning and understanding concepts because they were important to understand. While these intrinsic motivations are still important today, extrinsic motivation is often seen as more practically correct in many areas of life, specifically in education and business.

When you are about to start a course like GCSEs and A levels, the amount of information seems daunting and often, you find yourself question what is the best way to tackle this? You may often wonder how to be motivated to study for GCSE? Let’s see some strategies to pump up your GCSE study challenge!

#1 Plan your year – Plan your room – Plan your friends

You’ve probably heard it before, but planning your year will let you know what you need to do each week and each day. Plus you can plan what you want to do. It is important to have an organized time in your room where you study and improve your work without distraction. Also, having friends that support their studying will help them have a better year too.

Pen Jobs Notepad Red Date  - Roy_Inove / Pixabay
Roy_Inove / Pixabay

Planning and making arrangements are the foundations on which to build your year. When you do this at the beginning of the year, you can feel less panicked and more ready to get into study mode. Believe it or not, your environment has a lot to do with how you feel and how focused you are. Having a tidy room will help you focus and stay away from distractions.

Schedule School Glider Lessons  - Atky / Pixabay
Atky / Pixabay

Having a neat schedule can help you make the most of the day while balancing work and play. Remember to add some study breaks between study sessions. Make you study schedule more interesting with different study approached everyday.

You do your best work when you are in a focused and calm mindset. That’s easier said than done, of course. When’s the last time your room was perfectly clean? If you start with a clean room, it is a lot easier to stay on top of your work than having a study/homework-mess.

Students, especially those dealing with GCSEs and A-levels, are often under a lot of stress. The school year is more demanding than before. There are tests, essays, projects, presentations, deadlines and many other activities to deal with every day. When feeling overwhelmed with homework and tests, students tend to prefer different study strategies than when they are relaxed and not under pressure.

Organizing and cleaning your room is a great way to relax and de-stress. It will also help you to avoid distractions and stay focused on what really matters: your work. Space is a crucial part of making your workstation work. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should make you feel comfortable.

Study Room Pencils Pens Education  - Muntzir_Mehdi / Pixabay
Muntzir_Mehdi / Pixabay

In today’s 24/7 world, work and life are inseparable. So it’s no wonder that so many of us feel frazzled. But feeling like we can’t take a break from stress or anxiety is not good for our health or productivity. When you’re calmer, you make better decisions and feel less stressed. So take a break from your daily routine and have some time to clean the room and start over your studies again! – but this time mire productively

If you are in your first year of study, then there is a lot of new information to learn and adapt to. You don’t want to fall behind and lose the motivation that got you into this position in the first place.

Having friends that support your academic journey is another way to make sure you stay motivated. The trick is though, to make sure your extrinsic motivation doesn’t override the intrinsic motivation, which can happen. Stick to your plan and monitor whether your motivation is being driven by extrinsic factors such as these. Courage and appreciation from the good friends can also be a good extrinsic motivation.

Students Education School Young  - ernestoeslava / Pixabay
ernestoeslava / Pixabay

People always say that motivation is about desire, ability and action. Some say that you have to find desire for yourself first, or find the will power but friends and family can help you stay in track in your GCSE and make you feel motivated. If you have supportive friends, ask them to help you with your homework or to help you revise for a test or exam. You may also be able to swap revision sessions with a friend. If you have older friends, they may have experience of taking exams – you could ask if they’ll share their tips and helpful hints with you.

#2 Study with smart techniques and effective routines

When most students talk about smart techniques and effective routines, their minds tend to stray towards extracurricular activities such as music lessons and football training. They think of building a well-rounded character with loads of new friends and plenty of new experiences outside school.

Do you want to get good grades in all your GCSEs? Studying effectively is more important than you might think. Good grades have to be earned. To receive a high grade, you have to get yourself prepared for the big test. It takes dedication, determination and lots of effort. You also have to work smart, instead of hard. That is why we’ve prepared this article for all the students trying to make it through their GCSEs and other exams with good grades.

Throughout our school life, we’ve all been in a position where we have to revise. There’s simply no way out of it. It doesn’t matter if its GCSEs, A Levels or perhaps even degree level courses. We’re just going to have to learn lots and lots of knowledge that will be made up of a whole bunch of other-related subjects.

A good timetable that is practical will help you to study more effectively. It will save time when wanting to learn and ensure that you have more free time to do what you want to. It might seem hard at the moment but it is worth it in the end. Your teacher is always asking you to revise. But the studying part is more complicated that it seems. Maybe you already have a study routine but it just doesn’t seem to work. Maybe you don’t have a routine yet and are not sure where to start. Or maybe you are a little bit disorganized right now and your school life is out of control.

#3 Better attention in classroom and identify your learning style

Earning good grades in GCSEs is hard enough for most students. Add to that the difficulty of keeping your attention in the classroom. Both of these factors can be a challenge. Attention is one of the keys to achieving good grades in GCSEs (or any course)! Are you struggling to pay attention in class? Attention – it’s what we need in class or any other situation where our learning is involved. Attention can be defined as the mental process of selectively concentrating on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things.

Students Hcmus Girl Student  - nguyentuanhung / Pixabay
nguyentuanhung / Pixabay

There are many students who come to class and don’t pay attention. Their mind is somewhere else while they are in the classroom. There are even some students who play with their mobile devices during the period. For better attention you should be prepared for what you are about to learn. Have a time-table and a notebook by your side all the time. Be prepared mentally as well as physically. Stay hydrated well-nourished and active. A good night’s sleep is essential for better attention in next day’s studies. In your weekly timetable arrange it properly so that you can allocate time for both work and play.

There is no one way to study for your GCSEs that you can predict will work for everyone. Everyone has different tastes, personalities, and strengths and weaknesses. However, there are some basic aspects that are essential in getting the best grades.

With the impending workload of GCSEs, studying is bound to be a bit stressful. Studying itself isn’t easy for everyone, but for some students it can feel like a slog through the Sahara with no water in sight. Some people can sit down and absorb information just by reading or listening to it, while others find it easier to study alone or with friends.

Visual learners tend to be more visually stimulating and hands-on. Visual learners can learn just about anything by using pictures and movies. Visual learners are great communicators. Using pictures, videos and other articles to support their points is a strength for them. Visual learners prefer to learn from movies and pictures. They have difficulty memorizing things narrated by teachers or books. Visual learners tend to be more spatially oriented. They may not do as well with traditional teaching styles. Visual learners can learn by seeing charts, graphs, and having visuals in every lesson.

Some students prefer to be told what to do and how to do it. They are called auditory learners. These students like to listen. Auditory learners prefer listening well to a lecture rather than reading a text. The listening part of audial learning makes it easier for students to learn. For many, they prefer hearing instructions in a lecture over reading the instructions in a textbook. Let’s face it, some are not good at reading textbooks and will have a hard time making sense of the instructions. Some students would also prefer an audio version of lectures than sitting through them if they have listened to them before. Auditory learners, who may have a difficult time reading material, are best served by an instructor who can present information to them in a clear, direct and interesting way. This type of learner will likely remember much more information if they hear it as opposed to reading it. It is also helpful for an auditory learner to listen to other´s conversations about the subject being learned.

There is a lot of controversy around the existence of different learning styles. To be honest, I do not want to go into this. What matters here is that people learn in different ways and it is up to you to figure out how best way to study will work for you.

#4 Practice, Revise and Collaborate

Practice, Revise and Collaborate. This is a simple formula for success, a mixture of extrinsic motivation and study strategies that have led to some of the best GCSE results around.

Whether you are sitting your GCSEs or A levels now or next year it is important to make sure you work on the right things, at the right time and with the right people. Practicing what you have learned and trying to apply them or else trying to understand their day to day or industrial applications can help you understand the theories better and this way of learning stays with you forever. Once you clearly know the subject matters everything that matters is how much you pay attention to practicing.

Students Computers Laptops Smiling  - sasint / Pixabay
sasint / Pixabay

Make sure you fully revise the topics that are on your syllabus and make it easier on yourself by adding some guidance on revision. The most important thing you can do before an exam – revise. The good news is, there are lots of ways you can help yourself revise better – and maximize your results. Test your knowledge and check: are your study skills top-notch? Can you improve some grades? It’s worth putting a little effort into this. You’re well on your to achieving good grades.

Revising should not be boring. Make revising more effective and enjoyable by starting with quizzes or trying to solve difficult problems. See how other people are tackling it. Without revision studying can be useless as most of memories from classroom study sessions can gradually fade away.

People Girls Women Students  - StockSnap / Pixabay
StockSnap / Pixabay

When studying for a GCSE exam, then what could be better preparation than to study with other people? After all, if you become accustomed to working with other students on your homework assignments, then you will be expected to do exactly the same in your exams when sitting the examination.

When working and studying for GCSE with friends make sure your friends have a good goal and they are focused towards success. Friends can be really helpful when it comes to long study sessions so that everyone can share knowledge and carry-on learning without getting bored.

#5 Use your phone and use your brain

Have you ever wondered if using digital devices on school grounds are worth it? They’re convenient and can be fun to use, but they can also be distracting. During the final term before GCSE exams, many students are preparing for their biggest hurdle in academia. It’s a given that students across the country will be collecting notes, cramming textbooks, writing essays and answering questions for hours on end. All of this in GCSEs is going to be more or less hard work.

Woman Model Young Person Business  - CampusHead / Pixabay
CampusHead / Pixabay

Having a mobile phone by your side can be helpful. At the end of the day smartphone is only a toll, and the way you use it all that matters. If you need to use mobile devices use them in productive way as follows.

How smartphones HELP studies

  • Record lectures to revise later
  • Take photographs of diagrams / notes
  • Scan QR codes for further reading materials
  • Follow a timetable
  • Set reminders to study
  • Share notes easily
  • Record experiments and short videos
  • Access online dictionaries, encyclopedias
  • Listen to discussions and podcasts
  • Watch YouTube lessons

How smartphones HARM your studies

  • Causes distraction
  • Wastes time on social media
  • Chats during classroom sessions
  • Poor focusing in classroom
  • With notes in hand, thinking that studying can be done later – Procrastinate!

Well, at the end I would like to say smartphones per se are neither helpful nor harmful. It is all decided by how you manage you time, pay your attention, focus and concentrate on your goals. So be vigilant of your own mistakes and use every resource for better learning – then better grades at GCSE!

#6 Follow variety – Adapt for every subject

It is important you adapt to every subject, because then you can change the way you are studying depending on what that specific subject has. This in turn improves your grades! It is important that you do different methods of learning. This helps you to use every study technique according to what each subject needs, this in turn leads to good grades in GCSEs.

Science Class Dissect Lab  - SchoolPRPro / Pixabay
SchoolPRPro / Pixabay

If you regularly do well at school work, then there’s a good chance that you understand some basic studying tips. If you want to get the best grades in GCSEs (Grades 9–1), then it’s important to use the appropriate study techniques for your subject. You’ll need to learn how to use various study techniques and learn how to integrate them into your study routine. Doing so will help you succeed in GCSEs. You’ve been given the all clear to start designing your revision timetable. You could probably spend quite a lot of time revising as long as you remember to take breaks. It is all down to approach, choosing the right techniques and tools, and knowing how you learn best.

Have you ever been stuck for something to write about a topic you’re studying? Have you ever thought that you should start revising for your Biology GCSE but don’t feel you have the time? This is when the ‘adaptation to every subject’ part comes in. Every subject is different, so as their study method and approach should be. Here are some study techniques that you need to try. It’s your job to follow every step and see what works for you and which works better for which GCSE subject.

  1. Use flashcards
  2. Answer questions from past papers
  3. Discuss with friends
  4. Watch videos lessons that explain theories
  5. Make short notes for yourself
  6. Read out loud – Record and teach it to friends


There are plenty of reasons why you might not be achieving your goals, or getting good grades in GCSE study or why your results may have fallen. It is possible though that the reasons can be as simple as procrastination, lack of information and lack of self-motivation.

We, at Science A Plus believe that you have found this post useful. If you are not yet drawing the motivation to revise, take a look at some of the further resources from our website.

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