The 10 best GCSE revision tips
Are you looking for the best GCSE revision tips?
For so many students this is a time of both worry and pressure as they are deep in preparation for their GCSE’s.
There is a lot that can help though with those feelings of overwhelm and disorganisation and of never knowing enough. These revision tips have been gleaned from students, from teachers and from my own knowledge as a life coach about effective ways to behave when you have a huge task ahead.
I hope you find them useful.
Practical & Psychological tips to help with GCSE revision
Lets start with something really practical.
Revision guides are worth their weight in gold when it comes to studying.
Letts GCSE In A Week guides contain a 7-day revision plan to help you get ready for exams, with exam-style questions just like the real thing. The Combined Science revision guide has a 14-day plan because it covers a broader area.
For kids whose notes aren’t great or who have left revision to the last minute, these revision guides are just fabulous. A brilliant way to take away the panic.
GCSE students using these revision guides can cover a whole topic in less than an hour and check they are on the right track with quick tests. All the answers are at the back of the book, as well as a handy glossary of terms to check through.
Here is a list of the guides available:
These are such a handy way to revise and cover topics before your exams. The books are laid out with timed tests to help you practice and revise in bitesize chunks – both of these are really important revision strategies and the books are a great way to prep.
A space and a place to study
Finding somewhere ideal to study is also really important. You may find it easier at the library away from the distractions of home or you may like to work in your bedroom. It is totally up to you but do make sure you have space and peace you need. Do also make sure it set up with all you need, water, the right stationery, access to wifi, highlighters, index cards and a desk that is clear.
Crucially do turn your phone off or put it on silent. Phones are such a massive distraction when you are studying.
Maybe you like background music as you work? Maybe you like to feel warm and cosy? Set up all this before you get started, including a healthy snack for your break time and a bottle of water. You need to give your revision your focus and not be distracted by other people/Instagram/feeling hungry/bot having a calculator. Get sorted and settled before you begin.
The right environment matters hugely.
Make sure you know which topics you need to revise for each subject. You do not want to be wading through absolutely everything you have ever learned about a subject if they are not all being covered in the exams. Use your exam board specifications as a revision plan checklist and clarify with your teachers too. You want to be sure your revision is focussed.
Once you know what topics you have to revise for enter them into your revision timetable so you know you will cover them in time for that exam. Sounds so obvious and so straightforward but knowing what will be expected of you in the exams and exactly what you need to cover is the crucial starting point for revision.
By active revision, I don’t mean do star jumps whilst you revise – although that would definitely be energising.
By active revision, I mean taking notes from what you read, mind mapping out your ideas or re-drawing diagrams. It is all about reinforcing what you have learned in a way that works for you and imprints it on your memory As you write something on paper you are revising it twice, first whilst reading and then during writing. Everyone understands things more easily in their own language so taking notes will help you clarify your understanding too.
No matter how much you have revised if you don’t practice timed tests you may struggle to complete your exams. Making sure you have the timing right is crucial to ensuring all your questions are answered. You will get to practice in school but doing additional time tests at home (like those in the Letts guides) is a really useful use of your revision time and should hugely help your confidence,
Creating a revision timetable is a great way to organise your study time and will enable you to know, with confidence, that you have time to cover all you need to. It can be very rewarding to highlight completed sections of your timetable and know when you have free time scheduled too.
Don’t plan in every minute of your day – a couple of hours of revision each day will be plenty with regular breaks. 10 minutes every hour works for a lot of people but you may prefer 5 minutes every 30 minutes? Go with what works for you.
Variety is the Spice of Life
Studying one subject just by reading for several hours will really bore you and it will be hard to keep your attention engaged. Mix things up by a little bu drawing, reading, writing, notetaking, listening to relevant audiobooks and keep your learning varied.
It might work for you to look at a couple of subjects during a revision session and dedicate an hour to each rather than just look at one. You will soon find what works best for you.
Have some fun
Factor in free time and fun into your revision timetable. Go for a swim or to the cinema with your mates or head out on a bike ride or watch your favourite TV show. Whatever you do keep it away from your study, time-bound so it doesn’t last all day! and guaranteed fun. Your brain and you need some light relief.
Tempting as it might be burning the midnight oil, getting no fresh air, giving up all your exercise and just drinking fizzy pop and eating chocolate will just not help at all. Eating well, getting fresh air good sleep and regular exercise will boost your brain power and help you feel emotionally and physically alert and strong. These are simple but highly effective things you can make sure you do to make sure you are absolutely at your best.
A positive mindset is one of the absolute best GCSE revsion tips
Mindset alone has a huge impact on how well you achieve anything at all. A can-do attitude makes everything easier. You need to focus on what you CAN achieve. So you absolutely CAN revise for 30 minutes. You CAN do a practice test. You CAN mark off the revision slots you have done. Focus on what is possible rather than wasting time and negative energy worrying. If you do need to let your more negative feelings then have a good chat with some who cares and then do something practical, you will feel so much better when you unburden your worries and then take action.
If you revise well and efficiently you will achieve your potential – the best change you can give yourself in your GCSE’s is too work hard and with focus and stay healthy and positive. I wish you the very best of luck follow these 10 best GCSE revision tips and you won’t go far wrong.
Further reading: See more of my parenitng articles here