Everything you need to achieve!
Get organised. Make the most of your time. Work smarter.
How to revise:
Preparing for exams is a big task. You need to revisit all the learning from across your course of study and ensure that you can bring it to mind, unaided, under the pressure of exam conditions. There’s no way to make the exams easy, but you can take the pressure off if you’ve done your revision right.
Organisation is key to your success at GCSE. It will make revision much easier if you have a set out time for revising each subject. This way you can make sure you’re spending time on subjects when you aren’t timetabled them during the school day, so even if you haven’t had a French lesson for a couple of days, for example, all of your French work will be fresh in your mind!
Personalise your Revision
One of the most crucial parts of revision is finding what works for you. Some people use different techniques for different subjects. For Science, you might create a personal revision guide using the full exam board specification, whereas for English Literature watching short videos might help you remember the details of the works you need to know for your exam. You should try as many different active revision strategies as you can find and see what works best for you, whether that’s creating flashcards, doing exam questions or creating revision clocks.
It’s never too late to start
Even if you’re late off the mark to start revising, any amount of revision is better than none. If you are disappointed with a mock grade, you may be worried that you won’t do as well as you’d hoped. However, with well-planned and focused revision, you can easily push myself up by a whole grade!
Ask your Teachers!
All of your teachers are there to help you during this stressful year, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Teachers want you to get the best possible grade so they will be more than happy to look over work you’ve done in your own time. Don’t feel silly asking questions about anything – it’s better to approach a teacher than be unsure!
It is really important that while you’re revising you still make time for yourself. You can do this by taking regular breaks and making sure to leave time to unwind between revising and going to bed. After all, if you overwork yourself and are constantly tired, your revision might not be as effective! It is also important to balance your hobbies and your revision. You can still enjoy your hobbies no matter what they are, as long as they don’t get in the way of revision (and revision doesn’t get in the way of your hobbies)!
Online Revision Resources:
There is a huge amount of online resources you could use to assist with revision, retrieval and help in preparing you to revise for exams:
Did you know that you forget 80% of what you learn in the first 24 hours? This is why cramming for exams doesn’t work!
It is proven that by reviewing what you’ve learnt at regular intervals, you can reduce how much you forget to just 10%. Review your work 4 times within a month and you’ll remember nearly 100%.
Vary your activities to maximise your memory’s power. Here are some of the top review techniques to try in lessons and at home…
Structuring your Revision Sessions
The Memory Clock is an easy-to-learn revision routine designed to help students structure their time in such a way as to make revision focused and productive. The three memorable steps below outline how to best spend one hour of revision!
Planning your Revision
How to get your revision plan right
- Be realistic and plan time away from your work to avoid burn-out!
- Make sure you study the hardest subjects first, and not at end of day when you are tired.
- Be focused: 20 minutes working followed by 10 minutes rest is a good starting point.
- Leave your phone turned off/on silent in a different room whilst you are revising.
- In every hour, only work for 50 minutes at a time and take a break away from your revision.
- Planning helps you to balance your time so that you don’t spend all your time revising one subject.
- If you share your revision plan with friends or family then you are more likely to stick to it.
- Make sure you give yourself breaks and allow time to relax and do the things you want to do and enjoy doing.
- Don’t worry about other students’ revision plans, everyone does it differently!
STEP ONE: WORK OUT HOW MUCH TIME YOU HAVE TO REVISE
Give yourself just enough time to make your revision goals achievable. You want to feel a little bit of time pressure, but not too much. Strike a balance between ambition and realism.
On your calendar, make sure you fill in your current commitments and day to day activities. For example; when you’re at school, having meals, exercising or just doing the other hobbies and activities you do during your standard week.
STEP TWO: PRIORITISE YOUR SUBJECTS / TOPICS
The next step requires some introspection. You need to decide which subjects you currently feel the most and least confident about.
The best way to do this is to make a list. Write the subjects you’re weakest at towards the top and those where you’re strongest towards the bottom. Give each of them a number as a reminder for when you input them into your timetable.
When you’re making this list take into account a couple of other factors such as:
- The amount of material to be learned within each subject.
- Mark weightings within subjects.
- The order of your exam timetable (if you have it already). You’re going to have more time to revise some subjects than others based on where they are positioned within your exam timetable.
- What your grades currently look like – for example, if your Physics grade is rock bottom, you might want to prioritise it above the English Literature class you’ve already got 60% in through nailing the coursework (if applicable)
STEP THREE: BREAK SUBJECTS INTO TOPICS
“Our brain tricks us into believing the low-hanging fruit really is the ripest”. Conversely, when one option is harder to get, we’re more likely to think it’s the wrong choice. You need to be fully aware of what you don’t know and consciously choose to meet those challenges head on. Use the exam rubric to break down what you need to learn.
STEP FOUR: ALLOCATE SLOTS TO REVISE
Allocate 30-60 minute time slots to study each topic. Here’s the workflow you need to follow when scheduling your sessions:
Position topics you’re likely to find challenging when you know you tend to work best in the day.
Use colours to differentiate subjects from one another in your calendar and make sure you write the subject and topic you need to revise
Find a balance between topics you’re less familiar with and those which you think you’ll be able to get through quickly. Use the list you created in Step 2. This will keep a nice balance between revision being a challenge and you making good progress.
Leave a few time slots blank towards the end of the day for some rapid reviews and testing.
STEP FIVE: MAKE YOUR TIMETABLE ACHIEVABLE
Make your timetable achievable by managing your health and stress levels and by allocating time to exercise, socialise and generally forget about revision for a bit. If you followed Step 1 you should be in a good spot already.