Revision Buddies Blog

Revision Buddies Top 10 Tips for Success!

Follow our Top 10 Revision Tips to ensure that you are fully prepared for the onset of GCSE exams:

1. Make sure you have all the resources you need to start revising. This includes textbooks, notebooks, highlighters, flashcards and of course Revision Buddies!

2. Create a GCSE revision timetable to help stay organised. Click here to access Revision Buddies weekly planner template.

3. Make revision notes that summarises your class work and includes the most important information, formulas, dates or terms. Colour-coding these notes and creating acronyms and rhymes can help you retain this knowledge.

4. Use Revision Buddies multiple choice quizzes to test yourself. The beauty of our accessible GCSE app means that you do not need to be bound to a desk to revise and can use our software whilst you are out and about!

5. Own your mistakes. An extremely effective way of learning is by testing yourself, realising you have made a mistake and using your error as an opportunity to learn more! Each multiple choice question on Revision Buddies has an explanation written by experienced educators which can help you understand where you went wrong. Use a flashcard to make a note of our explanations to ensure that it will not happen again.

6. Master your exam technique through past papers. Revision Buddies holds a large bank of GCSE past papers and mark schemes both on our website and within our apps.

7. Moderation is key! Make sure you still have regular breaks as revising in smaller chunks will enhance your productivity. We recommend getting some fresh air or making a delicious smoothie!

8. Stay healthy and hydrated. Eat foods that are full of nutrients and get a good night’s sleep as this combination of self-care will boost your concentration levels.

9. Remain focused! Don’t revise next to your noisy siblings or whilst watching TV. Deactivate any apps that may distract you whilst you are working and rather interact with our revision apps if you are craving electronic interactions.

10. Lastly, stay positive and enjoy the process. On behalf of everyone at Revision Buddies, we wish you all the best of luck in your examinations!

Meet the new member of our team!

Justine has just joined us at Revision Buddies as Head of Content.

As a First Class History Graduate with tutoring and ed-tech experience, she is looking forward to organising content for Revision Buddies. Justine joined Revision Buddies as she advocates the use of different techniques in helping students retain as much academic information as possible. She will therefore ensure that all our GCSE questions are carefully curated against the exam boards specifications to serve the maximum benefit for candidates in their upcoming examinations.

As a student, Justine accomplished seven A*’s in her GCSE’s, and then went on to achieve straight A’s in four AS levels and top grades in her A’levels – one of which was taken a year early and two of which were awarded full marks! She was also awarded distinction in her Cambridge Pre-U for Philosophy & Theology.

Justine is now keen to channel her enthusiasm and determination for success onto the students who use Revision Buddies (including the students that she tutors in History and Maths) and we are really excited about working with her!

GCSE Geography 9-1 Grade Scheme

GCSE GeographyRevision Buddies are pleased to announce that we have now released a major update to our GCSE Geography app.

What has changed?

  1. The app now mirrors topic by topic the exact specification of the GCSE Geography A 9-1 specification of the OCR, AQA and Edexcel exam boards.
  2. 100s of additional questions, explanations and illustrations have been added to fully cater for the 9-1 grade scheme. Redundant content from the old specifications has been removed.
  3. Students can select the exam board that they are using so that the relevant topics and content are displayed, this is a one time selection that can be later reset in the settings section of the app.
  4. The app now contains 4636 multiple choice questions spread over the three exam boards.

Where can I preview the new topic layout?

Visit the GCSE Geography page on our website and click the Topics Covered tab.

Who has the content been authored by?

Our authors:

Scott Williams is passionate about the subject and has been Head of Geography at an 11-18 comprehensive school based in the Midlands for 7 years. As well as his day to day teaching, he has also moderated exams for AQA.

Joseph Durkan has a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography teaching. He has worked at a mixed comprehensive 11- 16 school in the South East for the last 6 years and has been an eco schools coordinator for 5 years. More recently he has begun to work with disadvantaged students in school settings to promote maximum progress.

Our authors have worked meticulously to ensure that the content of this app is engaging and true to the requirements across the OCR, Edexcel and AQA exam boards.

What’s new about Maths?

Colin stobartFor those of you that didn’t know, GCSE Maths has had a bit of a shake up recently and now all students who are studying GCSE Maths are following the new GCSE syllabus which is somewhat bigger than before!

So when the curriculum changes, so does Revision Buddies, and as there has been some confusion about exactly what has changed our maths author Colin Stobart has kindly volunteered to guide you through these updates.

Colin, is it true that I can no longer get an A in Maths?

The first examinations for the new Mathematics GCSE syllabus is June 2017. Grading will be on a number basis, 9-1, with 9 being the highest grade and 1 being the lowest. It is difficult to match previous A*-G alongside this but it is anticipated that grades 4/5 will roughly equate to the D/C grade boundary. There are still Foundation and Higher Tiers, but instead of 2 there will be 3 examinations, 1 non-calculator and 2 with calculator.


But maths is still maths, right?

Not exactly. The content of the syllabus has been changed in two ways. The entire content has been expanded by approximately 20%, requiring generally that schools add an extra 1 hour of mathematics per week for the 2 year course. The syllabus has also been restructured with a new Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change section being introduced. New content has been added to the Higher Tier, some content that was previously Higher Tier only will be examined at Foundation, some content is new to both tiers and a few topics have been removed from the syllabus altogether.


This sounds like a lot of work! Anything else I should know?

Students will no longer be provided with a formula sheet, with only formula related to spheres and cones being provided within relevant examination questions. Some topics have been removed.


So how has this affected the Revision Buddies GCSE Maths app?

We’ve written two new sections Ratio, Proportion and Rates of Change (Calculator and Non Calculator) and added new content to match the new syllabus, we’ve also taken out content where it is no longer required.


The content of the 5 Sections (content in bold represents content that will be examined on the Higher Tier only) is written below:

Number (Calculator and Non – Calculator):

Ordering integers, decimals and fractions; the four operations; place value; BIDMAS; prime numbers, factors, multiples, HCF, LCM, prime factorisation, systematic listing strategies, the product rule for counting; integer powers and real roots; estimate powers and roots; fractional indices; fractions, surds, and π, simplify surd expressions, rationalise denominators; standard form; terminating decimals; recurring decimals; fractions in ratio; fractions and percentages as operators.


Data Handling – Probability and Statistics (Calculator and Non – Calculator):

Frequency; Randomness, fairness and equality; relative expected frequency; exhaustive and mutually exclusive events; empirical and theoretical probability; sets – tables, grids, Venn and tree diagrams; possibility spaces; independent and combined events; conditional probability using two-way tables, tree and Venn diagrams; populations and samples; frequency tables, bar charts, pie charts, pictograms, vertical line charts, time series diagrams; grouped and continuous data; histograms; cumulative frequency; comparison of distributions; box plots; quartiles and inter-quartile range; determining mode, median and mean; applying statistics; scatter graphs


Algebra (Calculator and Non – Calculator):

Algebraic manipulation; substitution; simplifying algebraic expressions and algebraic fractions; rearranging formulae; use algebra to argue equivalence and proof; functions; inverse functions; inverse functions; coordinates; graphs of straight lines and perpendicular lines; gradient and intercept; the significant points of a quadratic curve; turning point by completing the square; sketch and interpret graphs including exponential and of the trigonometric functions; translations and reflections of functions; gradient and area under a curve; equation of a circle; solve linear equations; solve quadratic equations by factorising, graph, completing the square and quadratic formula; simultaneous equations – linear/linear, linear/quadratic; iteration; derive and solve equations; linear, quadratic inequalities, set notation; arithmetic sequences; triangular, square, cubic, Fibonacci, quadratic and geometric sequences; sequences with surds


Geometry (Calculator and Non – Calculator):

Standard compass constructions; angles at a point, on a straight line, vertically opposite angles, angles within parallel lines; angles in and types and properties of triangles; properties of special types of quadrilaterals; congruence; similarity; transformations including enlargement with fractional and negative scale factors; combinations of transformations; circle vocabulary; circle theorems; plans and elevations; maps, scale drawing and bearings; areas of 2D shapes; volume and surface area of 3D objects; similarity between length, area and volume; Pythagoras and trigonometric ratios in 2 and 3 dimensions; know the exact cos/sin/tan values of a range of angles; sine and cosine rules for angle and side length; sine rule for area; vectors; use vectors in geometrical proof


Ratio, proportion and rates of change (Calculator and Non – Calculator):

Scale factors, diagrams and maps; ration notation and simplest form; divide quantities into parts; multiplicative relationships; percentages, fractions and decimals; compare percentages; percentage change; simple and compound interest; Speed, rates of pay, density and pressure; ratio applied to length, area and volume; direct and inverse proportion; instantaneous change on a graph; growth and decay and iterative processes


Topics that have been removed completely are:

Trial and improvement, tessellations, isometric grids, Imperial units of measure, questionnaires, 3D coordinates, and the rotation and enlargement of functions.

Techniques for GCSE Revision – with Cleverstore and Revision Buddies

We found this excellent blog post written by our friends at CleverTouch and thought it was definitely worth sharing here. See the original blog post here.

Teachers with students gearing up for mock GCSEs and their final exams in the summer know just how challenging revising can be. To minimise pressure and stress, students need to revise smarter using a range of techniques, which help to improve their working memory and concentration.

We all know that rest, physical exercise and a balanced diet plays a huge part in getting youngsters into the right frame of mind for revision. Furthermore, evidence suggests that students who revise in a quiet location retain more information than those listening to loud music while they study. But what else can be done to help important information filter through and stay put?

Students should aim to space out their revision of key subjects into short concentrated sessions over a period of two weeks to commit that information to memory. It’s a well-researched fact that testing yourself is one of the best ways to improve memory recall and identify areas for improvement.

At Clevertouch, our secondary school apps help students to do just that. All UK secondary schools with Clevertouch Plus get a free one year Revision Buddies School Licence, which normally costs £999. With a Revision Buddies School Licence, students have free access to all the Revision Buddies apps on their home devices.

With 1000s of multiple choice questions, split into each topic of the relevant syllabus, Revision Buddies apps test students’ knowledge, helps them to find gaps in their learning and tracks their progress over time. Each question within the app has an in-depth explanation and signposts external resources, such as past papers and mark schemes, so that students can prepare themselves for exams.

And, there’s no reason teachers can’t get in on the act using the Revision Buddies Teacher Dashboard, which allows them to set work for students to do on their devices and review their results to help target learning areas that need extra focus.

With a five-star rating from the Educational App Store, all content in the Revision Buddies apps has been written and produced in accordance with the relevant syllabus criteria by teachers, examiners and qualified academics.

So, if you want to give students a head start and combat exam pressure choose Clevertouch Plus.

If you already have Clevertouch Plus then you can register your school for the free one year Revision Buddies School Licence here.

It’s revision time and we’re here to help!