As exam time creeps closer we share some expert GCSE revision tips that are bound to boost your confidence! We spoke to some students who successfully completed last year’s round of GCSEs to get their top tips on revision.
Here’s what they recommended…
1. Plan, don’t cram!
Plan in advance. Don’t cram! Before you start, make a list of all the topics you need to revise for each subject and then make a daily revision plan. Breaking topics and subjects up so you are not revising a single subject all day really helps you to focus. Revision plans also help guide you; having a timetable to follow means you have a start and finish point. Without this you could feel overwhelmed which may put you off ever starting! Making a plan also helps you to understand how much time you need to dedicate to each subject.
2. Timing is everything
The subjects you feel the least confident in are the ones you need to devote extra time to in order to feel prepared for the exams. And let’s face it, these are often our least favourite subjects, so this is no easy feat! But if you can find your most productive time of the day to concentrate on these, it will seem better. Everyone’s best times are different so it may take a few practise runs to find out when you feel the most focused. Take advantage of these peak times!
3. Revise with friends and family
Meeting with friends for a revision session can be really motivating. Although you need to make sure it doesn’t just turn into a catch up! Being sociable and feeling like you have achieved something will really help spur you on. You can learn from friends, swap notes, test each other and revise creatively e.g. act out a history scene or use the internet for inspiration.
Getting your family to test you will also boost your revision skills. You can find test questions online (all exam boards have past papers available online) for many subjects or better still, write your own!
4. Practise makes perfect
Doing practise papers in your own time will really help you to become familiar with the exam format, the question styles and the time pressures…and as we all know practise makes perfect! You can find bite-sized mock exams online (try BBC bitesize www.bbc.co.uk/education or www.createatest.co.uk ), or ask your teacher or tutor for past papers.
5. Bite-sized chunks with regular rewards!
The best bit! Reward yourself every hour with something (as long as you have actually done an hour’s revision!). Make yourself take a little break even if you are in full flow otherwise you will find after a couple of hours’ revision you may want to throw your books at the wall! Think of it like running a mental marathon. You need lots of regular refuels to finish successfully. Your rewards can consist of anything…listening to a song, doing some star jumps (why not!) texting friends, making a drink, having a snack or even taking a little power nap. Choose things that take you away from your books and renergise you so you will come back feeling fresh even after a few minutes.
6. Find your Style!
Just because you are taught in a certain way at school this does not mean you naturally learn like this. Some people learn best through visual stimulus, so they find writing lists of keywords or drawing pictures works for them, others may find reading or listening to information works best for them. Once you know your style you can tailor your revision to this.
7. Mix it Up!
Look stuff up on Google, watch a video on YouTube, do an online quiz, download an app! There are some great sites out there to help with your revision too (try freesciencelessons.co.uk or www.examsolutions.net).
Do not think of revision as one-dimensional; you have the ability to make your revision really varied and interactive. As long as you understand the syllabus and you ensure you are following this you can design your revision time in your style!
8. Write it down!
Make your own Flashcards with keywords and acronyms. These are great as you can pop them in your pocket and take them anywhere; a little summary of each topic will jog your memory to remember all the elements. Mind maps and diagrams also help; any theory, any piece of history can be created into a picture or doodle if needs be! Whatever helps you to remember lots of information in a concise way is your best way.
If you still have some worries and feel you need some extra help with your revision, a one-to-one tutor can help. Get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or for more details visit mathematicsandsciencetuition.com