If you are studying Spanish to do a GCSE in 2019 join the club! I've signed myself up to get this qualification having already kick started my Spanish learning this time last year. I am really looking forward to building on the progress I've already made to try to get a really strong grade in the subject. Rest assured, I haven't spent a whole year working on my Spanish as I've also been doing Dutch and Danish as well as keeping my German ticking over so if you're only dedicating yourself to Spanish (or maybe Spanish and one other language) you'll be able to absolutely smash it if you follow the tips below.
The first thing you need to do if you are learning Spanish is start to care about Spain (or one of the other Spanish speaking nations) as a country. It is all too easy to forget why you are learning a language when you're doing it at GCSE. It can easily become all about the precise topic or verb you're learning rather than about the bigger picture. Try your best to raise yourself above this and remember that if you put in the effort you will actually be able to speak Spanish! I can tell you from experience that this is really, really awesome. I had lots of, admittedly very broken, conversations when I went to Valencia in October and it was fantastic to practice my Spanish first hand. You'll also find that the idea that everyone speaks English just absolutely does not apply in Spain so the Spaniards will love you if you know a bit of their language and there might even be times when you actually need Spanish because nobody around you speaks any English. After 10 weeks you could be at the point where you could be the person to step in and use your Spanish in this situation. This will be so amazing!
If you happen to be learning Spanish but don't love Spain, Mexico or any of the South American countries at the moment use the next few weeks to find out all about it and start to fall in love with it. If you love your sport find out as much as you can about Spanish or South American sport. Into music? Google Spanish music and start listening to it. Love your cars research the Spanish ones? History your thing? Spanish history is one of the most fascinating, and least known and understood, histories of any European nation. Whatever it is you love in English start finding out about that thing from a Spanish speaking perspective. If you do this enough you will begin to trick your brain into thinking that you love Spain (assuming you don't at the moment) but, here's the best thing, Hispanic culture is so fascinating that it won't be a trick for long! You will end up loving the Spanish speaking world! Once you're at this point you're ready to really get into the nuts and bolts of learning Spanish!
To do that I would recommend you get your folks to get hold of Benny Lewis' Language Hacking book and work your way through that day by day. I would also recommend the 'Dummies Guide' to Spanish. If you alternate between these two resources and whilst also working through my 10 week Youtube based course you should have enough to stop you ever being bored and to help you really Kick Start your Spanish journey!
Remember, above all else, my main tip for smashing your GCSE Spanish is to stop relying on your teacher to 'teach you' Spanish and get going with learning it on your own. Once you've properly got your learning kick started and can have a basic conversation in Spanish you can then use your teacher to tighten up on your grammar and guide you on the best way to learn the specific subject knowledge content you need to pass your GCSE. In other words, your aim to is to learn to speak Spanish and this will mean you smash your GCSE rather than your aim being to smash your GCSE and learning Spanish just to try to do that. One of these routes has a future and will see you leaving school speaking Spanish. The other is a boring and soul destroying pursuit. Take your pick!