Revision Buddies Blog

Freedom!

Phew! They’re over! What now?!

exams over

 

1) Celebrate!

Get your sun cream and sunnies and go and hang out with your friends. Laugh lots and don’t mention the workd exa…..

 

2) Swim in the sea

Go to the seaside, camp, picnic. Feel the sun on your face and remember what it is to be alive by jumping into some nice cold atlantic sea!

 

3) Watch a box set

Indulge in all that you couldn’t do when you were sitting reading books or doing revision buddies apps!

 

4) Get ahead

Think about what it is that you want to do in the future and see if you can get some work experience: there is a great website just here: http://www.studentladder.co.uk/Work-Experience/work-experience-for-16-18-year-olds.html

 

5) Get stuck into something cool

Learn to cook with JamieGet coding  or why not try your hand at parcour?  You can do it all for free.

 

Whatever you do, enjoy it, safe in the knowledge that you’ve done your best for your exams.

 

“We are driven by five genetic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun.”

William Glasser

 

Top tips for a stress free exam

This year some people were shocked by questions in their Maths GCSE exam: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-33017299 which stemmed a mass twitter campaign from students.

Panicking in exam

Panicking gets you nowhere

In case you have any stumbling blocks in your exam, we’ve compiled some ideas to help you get through it to the best of your ability.

Panicking gets you nowhere, stay calm and if the questions are tricky remember that, as proven in the recent twitter campaign,  everyone will likely be thinking the same, so your chances haven’t changed.

If you have done effective revision and stayed healthy with good amounts of sleep your brain will be ready to perform.

 

 

Plan carefully

On the day of your exam make sure that you know when and where the exam is and get there in plenty of time. Make sure you have everything with you that you need – pens, pencils, rubber, calculator? and that you have any identification or necessary details.

When you open the paper, read the whole thing prior to picking up your pen, then read it again.  Use this time to work out which questions you’re going to do and how much time you are going to spend on each one and note the mark scheme so that you can time the answer accordingly.

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If you get stuck, move on

Read what is required of you on the front page of the paper carefully, answering the wrong sections/ too many questions in the exam would be devastating.

Make sure you write down your timings to help you feel in control and do your best to stick to these as closely as possible. Don’t forget to give yourself 10 minutes to read over your answers at the end.

Remember that an exam isn’t about showing how much you know, it is about answering a question properly and demonstrating that you are able to apply your knowledge correctly. You might be tempted to answer a question on a subject that you know lots about, but it might actually be a difficult question and the subject that you find more difficult may have a question that you can answer better. Choose the questions that you are able to answer most effectively.

 Give yourself a clue – Look at the mark scheme

Look at the mark scheme to make sure that you will be answering the question as required. If a question has 3 marks, it is likely to be expecting you to point out 3 things, bear this in mind. It will also require less time than a 15 mark answer.

Don’t panic if you run over your time scale by a few minutes, but do make sure that you will be able to make it up. Running out of time makes the exam stressful and you won’t perform as well.

 Start with the easiest question

In doing this you will:

1) Boost your confidence because you will have safely completed a question that you are pleased with

2) If it is the easiest, you should find you spend less time on it. It gives you the opportunity to answer it well, but to also give you more time for the question that you think might be harder, without having to start it and then come back to it in fear of running out of time

If you get stuck, move on

On papers with lots of questions, like maths or science, be careful not to wind yourself up on a question that you get stuck on. You don’t have time. Move to the next question and come back to it later, you will be surprised how your brain might work when it returns to the question, it will be a bit refreshed and possibly confident that you have managed to answer other questions

Don’t forget to use your common sense, take a stab at answers even if you don’t know the answer for sure, it could be worth some marks. Noone can give you marks for a blank space

 Keep hydrated and energised

Take some water in with you and sip it slowly (don’t drink too much, you don’t want to be going for a pee). Check this out to see the benefits: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-17741653).Take in a chocolate bar or banana too if you think you might need an energy boost

 SHOW YOUR WORKINGS

This goes for all exams. Make sure you explain to the examiner what you are doing. For a maths exam, even if you come to the wrong answer, if you can show that you used the right method, you will get some marks. In a written paper, if you show your essay plan but you run out of time, you will still get marks credited. It is always worth it.

 Running out of time?

Sometimes this happens and if it does you need to know how best to deal with the situation. If you have 2 questions left but you don’t have time to do them both, you should write plans for each, write the beginning of your answer for both and then bullet point the rest of your answer, or for a maths question, detail what calculations you would do to get to the answer. You get more points at the start of an answer than at the end, so this means that you will maximise your marks.

 Why are you leaving early?

Unless you are 100% sure that you are going to score 100%, you should not walk out of an exam early. Read over your answers, double check your calculations, check that your essay answer covers all the points in the plan. Then check again.

 

GOOD LUCK!! STAY CALM, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND DO THE BEST YOU CAN

 

 

 

How much do you know about climate change?

52Our GCSEs help us to learn about the world we live in and our role within it. Are you studying geography? Try out this quiz and see how much you understand about climate change – our Geography A app contains loads more content like this which can help for your GCSE exam. Download it for free and see the difference you can make to your exam.

 

 

 

 

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Why don’t you try something a little different?

Bored with your samey revision?

Have a go at Revision Buddies’ quiz and try a new way to revise!

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GCSEs are important because they help us to understand our surroundings better. This quiz is taken from Biology – The use and abuse of drugs – have a go and see how street wise you really are.

Learn more about our biology app here

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Coping with exam stress – the 24 hour countdown

Are you finding that you’re feeling too stressed out the day before an exam?stressed out

There is no need to panic. Take a look at our tips for the final 24 hours before your exams to help you be confident, alert and healthy on the big day.

Rule number 1

Stock up the short term memory

It is too late to learn new things, you just want to be consolidating your knowledge at this point. Our apps are great for this, but you might also find that writing out your key facts for certain subject areas helpful too. You can write brief essay plans to questions or practice applying your knowledge to past papers

Rule number 2

Go for a run

Take some exercise. Make sure your body is fit and that your blood is pumping, it helps your brain work and gives you some time to let information settle

Rule number 3

Eat well!

You need to feed your brain, give it some protein and steer clear of heavy carbohydrates which can slow you down.  Add some vegetables to the mix, spinach is a good one, to keep you nice and healthy

Rule number 4

Get a good night’s sleep!

You don’t want to be tired in the exam otherwise you won’t be able to perform properly. Go to bed at a good time and make sure that your brain isn’t still whirring with all the things you need to know.  To stop night time panic, it is good to have a check list of the points you want to have covered and to run over them prior to finishing your revision for the day so that you can rest assured that you have done them

Rule number 5

Be prepared

Know where the exam is, what time it is, get there in plenty of time and know the format of the exam. Take everything you need into the exam, including some water to keep you nicely hydrated, and maybe a chocolate bar to boost energy levels

GOOD LUCK AND KEEP SMILING – YOU ARE NEARLY THERE

running into sun

No diet today, nor any day

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 With a balanced diet, there’d be no need for a “no diet day”

Yesterday was #internationalnodietday. Some might have celebrated this with spoonfuls of Nutella and 2 litres of fizzy pop, ecstatic that they can stop living off their 2 calorie a day diet so that they can binge on all that is bad for them. Others, we hope, would just have eaten as normal. Because the key to healthy living is a healthy diet, and this means eating a little bit of everything, in moderation.

Revision Buddies believes that every day should be a no diet day, because if you eat a healthy, balanced diet then there is no need to go on a ‘diet’. Your body needs to have a balance of protein, carbohydrate and dairy to give it all the nutrients it needs and this is especially necessary in the run up to exams. Add some exercise and a good amount of sleep to the mix and we’re sorted – a healthy body means a healthy mind.

In fact, in the lead up to exams you need to be providing your body (and brain) with the very best nutrients. If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, take a look below to see what you need. Over the next week we’ll be providing you with ideas of how you can make small changes to your day to day diet to provide you with the perfect balance, so that you can perform at your best.

  •  Variety is the spice of life! Try to use a variety of different foods from the 4 main food groups to give you all the nutrients and fibre that we need, and don’t forget that certain things out there can trick us – check your cereal doesn’t contain too much sugar, or that your drinks aren’t high in fat.

What makes a balanced diet?

  •  Your 5 a day – don’t get confused by thinking that this is just fruit! Vegetables are a vital source of vitamins and minerals.  – instead of sugar, try adding a banana to your porridge, swap your biscuit for a tangerine, or snack on dried fruit.
  • Starch – this should make up about a 3rd of every meal – use potatoes as the base of your meal, or wholegrain bread or brown rice
  • Protein: meat, fish, eggs and beans – delicious and nutritious! These provide the vitamins and minerals including iron, zinc and B vitamins. Dairy products also provide a good source of protein, they also contain calcium keeping your bones strong
  • Watch out for fat and sugar! These are both great sources of energy, but everything should be eaten in moderation!! Understand your saturated fat (not so good) from our unsaturated fat (better!). Fizzy drinks tend to contain a large numbers of added sugars – drink sparkling water with a slice of lemon instead of coca cola, or a currant bun instead of pastry.

You should have learnt all that you need for a balanced diet in your GCSE biology, but if you want to check that you know all you need to know, check out our biology revsion app, which will help you get to grips with all that you need to know.

International no diet day is about recognising that we all have different body shapes and sizes, but what is also important to recognise is that a lot of what we are is what we eat, sleep or exercise. The right nutrients, sleep and some exercise to get the blood flowing will really help your brain power over the exam period. Over the next week we’ll be looking at ways that you can make your mealtimes give you the most goodness, get in touch if you have any ideas that you’d like to share and stay tuned for some appetising revision time!

GCSE Revision tips – Some handy hints from Revision Buddies

Learning how you revise best is no easy thing, it is hard to get it right first time, but we’re here to help make your life easier. Take a look at our GCSE revision tips which should help you to prepare for your GCSE exams, both physically and mentally, so that you can do your very best on the day:

 

Teach yourself!IMG_3331

Don’t just rely on the materials that your teacher has prepared for you, be proactive in your learning and do your own research. In this digital age you’ll never be short of resources! It’s an excellent way to reinforce what you have learnt in class.

 Test yourself!

iOS Simulator Screen shot 3 Jan 2015 15.27.12It is all very well reading what you need to know, but you need to make sure that you have learnt it. Some people find that they learn more if they take notes whilst reading, then test themselves on the notes that they have taken – or, you can use our revision apps where we have already written the questions for you! This will make your revision time rewarding and also mean that you know what you need to look over again.

Know how to apply your knowledge

 

Revising isn’t just about getting to grips with what to know, it’s also about making sure you know how to apply it. For subjects like maths, the question/answer format is relatively simple, but for essay based subjects like English literature and history, you need to make sure that you use the facts that you know correctly in order to answer the question properly. We include past papers exam papersand mark schemes in our revision apps, take a look to see how you can familiarise yourself with the exam format.

 

You can also ask your teacher for ideas on what questions might come up and then practise writing essay plans – you don’t need to write a full blown essay, just know how you would apply the facts that you know correctly to the question.

Help yourself to remember

Not going in? Our brains tend to remember stuff more easily if we are interested in them, so if a formula, date or name isn’t easy to remember, make it so that it is memorable to you. For example, our French teacher, when we couldn’t remember the stem of the future tense of ‘to see’ (‘verr+conjugation’) she reminded us that ‘un verre’ – ‘a glass’ is ‘see’ through and that because you see with 2 eyes, you had to remember it had 2 rs – bam! I will never forget it: ‘Je verrai = I will see’. Easy.

 

Understand your brain: focus

Your brain focuses best when there are no distractions: turn off your phone, shut down the internet. This is about you and your exams and nothing else.

 

Your brain tends to be at its most alert in the morning, so try to focus on the stuff you find most difficult then. Learning late at night is less effective and will make it hard to sleep, so let your brain do something else before hitting the pillow.

 

Most people’s brains need a rest after 40 or so minutes so break up your revision sessions with 10 minute breaks and give yourself a nice reward so that you have something to work towards, whether it be looking at FB or checking the football scores. Make sure you give yourself a little shake, or 5 star jumps, and get your blood moving so that you stay awake and your brain remains alert.

Don’t panic!

 

RB Weekly Revision PlannerMake a revision timetable, and don’t over expect of yourself. Be realistic about what you can cover and when. You don’t want to cram, so start early, testing yourself over a long period of time will give you a better chance of remembering with more accuracy and confidence. Don’t forget you can use our Revision Buddies apps to test your knowledge of each topic at the end of the day, so you know what still needs attention.

 

Give yourself good breaks and make sure you have a part of the day to relax. Consider putting your exam and revision timetable in a public place so that your family can support you and knows when you are and aren’t meant to be studying.

 

You can download our planner here – just fill it out and use it to work exactly how you like to!

 

 Stay healthy

Make sure you get good sleep and eat healthily. Drink plenty of water and try not to snack too much. Try to eat fruit and nuts over crisps and chocolate which give you sugar highs and lows. Get some exercise, whether it be just a walk around the block or a game of football, your body works better when it is fit, and you will find that you are more energetic and able to concentrate better.

 

It’s all worth it in the end! Work hard, stay focused and remember to relax. 

 

Get better results in your GCSEs

TRANSFORM YOUR REVISION TIME WITH OUR GCSE ULTIMATE COLLECTION – GET ALL REVISION BUDDIES APPS TODAY AT A 50% DISCOUNT

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Revision Buddies has compiled its ultimate collection – combining all its core subjects into one convenient bundle for you to download at the touch of the button – at over a 50% discount!

 

chained to deskExams season is nearly upon us! Are you fed up with the same old text book revision? Feeling chained to the desk?

Take a look at our revision apps for free and see how we could transform your revision time!

What are you waiting for?

Download our apps today and see how we can help you on the road to GCSE success.

 

Did you know?

We waste nearly an hour a day waiting around! That’s a whole hour that could have been spent testing your knowledge for your exam with one of our apps! We provide 1000s of quick fire multiple choice questions, each with detailed explanations – helping you to identify your learning gaps and further your understanding. Once downloaded, youstudent with tablet can take this with you anywhere, enabling you to revise in your own time, at your own pace. Use it at the end of each topic, or for 10 minutes at the beginning or end of the day to help your memory retention and get those facts nailed into your head so that you can excel in your exams.

Something a Little Different….

Our apps can be moulded to exactly what you’re studying, simply select from the exam board criteria and away you go. Not only is all of our content written by teachers, for students, your results are recorded so that you can watch your progress – and also spot the topics that need further consideration. Share your progress with your friends on Twitter and Facebook, or email your parents with a progress report. Moreover, you can also collaborate with your teachers by uploading your results to dropbox or even within Firefly, should this be part of your school’s programme.

Not sure it’s for you? Try before you buy! Have a look at our free apps, which have some topics available and get a feel for how we can work with you to transform your results!

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Click here to see our apps for free!

 

Don’t own an IOS device? We also work on Android, take a look at our apps for free, or buy our ‘for schools’ versions, with all content enabled.

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Click here to see our apps for free!

 

And just in case you’re still not certain, here’s a few things that other people say:

From Students:

“Best revision app on the store.

As a student going into my GCSE exams this is the most helpful revision app series on the App Store.”

April 2014 – History app review

“My teacher recommended this app and I’ve found it really clear and helpful. Would recommend to anyone else getting ready for their GCSEs!”

28 April 2014- History app review (appstore)

From Teachers:

“I am loving the design and how easy the app is to use. The multiple choice aspect works really well and the tracking idea will help motivate students.”

– 18 March 2015

Great*****

“Recommended to my GCSE class for quick revision and reminders. They even added on the Spec’ I asked for. Impressed”

“Your apps are proving very popular with our Y11s including my own nephew who found the science ones very useful this weekend”

EAS 5 stars

 

We have been voted as having one of the top 5 Revision Apps by the Educational AppStore – it might just be worth checking us out!

 

Quiz yourself! How much do you know on the Cold War? #GCSEModernHistory

This week in 1961 we saw Major Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin orbit the Earth for the very first time “The flight made by you opens up a new page in the history of mankind in its conquest of space”, Khruschev is quoted to have said.

Feel you’ve got to grips with the Arms and Space race during the Cold War?

Have a go with these questions and see if our app might be able to help you consolidate your learning and further your understanding in the lead up to your GCSE Modern History exam

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Have a go for free and see how much you can improve your results!

Some helpful hints to creating your GCSE revision planner

Got exams this year and don’t know where to start? Don’t panic! Revising is actually not that difficult, you just need to organise yourself and manage your time, so we’ve put together a few simple steps to get you on your way to create the perfect revision timetable – your recipe for success!

Your Revision Timetable will be your saviour, your lifeblood, and help you to make sure that you have got it all covered, from start to finish. The key is to work out what you need to revise and in how much detail, you can then plan how much time you need and plot it out. Most importantly though, make sure it is manageable and that you approach your revision in a way that you find engaging.

Being prepared will help you feel ready for when the exams come round so you can take them all in your stride!

 

1.Getting organised

Stock up on things that you will need so you’re ready to go, like…Highlighters, Pens, Revision Cards, Post it notes, Paper and why don’t you download some Revision Buddies apps, just to shake it up a bit!

Make sure that you have a quiet, calm area for studying, with no distractions.       

 2.Split out key topics within each subject

iOS-Simulator-Screen-shot-3-Jan-2015-13.18.08You can’t eat an elephant! Making a revision plan requires breaking things down into manageable chunks. Split your subjects into key topics that you know you need to cover for each exam – If you’re struggling here, have a look at a Revision Buddies app where we show you how this is done.

Don’t forget that some topics will be longer than others, and there will be some that you feel you know already – make a separate list for each subject with its topics, you can then cross them off once you’ve covered them. Hurray!

 

 

 

 

3.Creating the planner:

It’s up to you to decide what works for you – start by looking at how many weeks you have, and then break it down into weekly chunks – we’ve made this nice and simple, just download Revision Buddies’ weekly revision planner and fill it in!

RB Weekly Revision Planner

You can download a printable pdf here: PRINTABLE WEEKLY PLANNER

Or an editable word doc here that you can save to your computer:EDITABLE WEEKLY PLANNER

Starting early is important, your brain will not be able to recall as well if you cram all of your revision into a space or 3 weeks of all day revising.

 

 4. Mix it up!

It’s tempting sometimes to stick to learning the things you like to learn about or find easiest, but make sure that you give plenty of time to topics that you find hard or enjoy less – you won’t be able to escape them in the exam!.

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It’s a good idea to balance the subjects that you enjoy with those that you might not want to do so much – maybe to two sessions a day that you will like, and one or two that you might not. Remember to revisit topics that you find challenging regularly so that they get fixed in your brain – you can also use our apps to test your knowledge for certain topics once completing them – just to check that you know all that you need for the exam.

5. How long should I revise for at a time?

Your brain can’t concentrate all day long, you need to take breaks and make sure that you are not doing the same thing all the time – our planner is made so that you can divide up your time into half hour slots if you like – do whatever works for you, but remember to plan in some breaks!

6.Try to plan to work at times that are best for you

Some people concentrate best in the morning, others better in the afternoon – you need to choose what works for you and plan accordingly. If you lose concentration in the afternoon, do more in the morning so you have a productive day.

 7. Give yourself a break from time to time – plan in downtime

Downtime is crucial to a happy and productive brain! You need to give your mind a chance to process all you’re learning, and also to have fun whilst you are revising so that you don’t get too bogged down and stressed out. Make sure you include breaks in your plan, but also factor in your evening treats, the odd morning off or maybe something to take your mind off things over the weekend.

8. Build in a variation of revision / practice questions / creating essay plans / mindmapping / revise with a friend

Varying your revision techniques can also be a way to make things seem less formulaic and boring. There might be days you want to read textbooks and make summary notes, there might be days where you have practice questions / example essays you can do too – fit these into the timetable where you think this might be a nice way to round up / finish off a topic or would like a bit of a change of pace.

pastpapersWe include links to past papers and mark schemes in our apps as this helps you to focus, understand the format of your exam and will also help you with planning your timing of questions.

You could also try mind mapping – this is like a spider diagram of all the information you have on a topic. You can also revise with friends, this can help to share information and talk through topics – if they’re not nearby you could use our apps to upload your results of each topic to facebook and twitter.

9. Be flexible!

When you make your timetable, don’t be overly ambitious with what you think you can achieve because sometimes, especially after a day of good revision, we find that our brains just aren’t working and we need to take some time out.

Don’t worry, this is normal – there will be times when you really don’t fancy revising at all. You can always swap this slot with one of your planned mornings off and add in the sessions you had planned into another day. There will also be times when you’ll be absorbed in a subject and want to continue with it instead of breaking your train of thought – if so, just rejig accordingly too.

You might well end up rewriting your planner out a few times, but that’s fine – it’s got to be a timetable that works for you. Make sure you know what you’d like to achieve on a weekly basis but don’t make it too rigid, otherwise it will just freak you out rather than help you with your organisation.

11. Colour codes

Colour coding can be very useful – this is up to you as to what works best but you could do this subject by subject perhaps or by what type of revision technique you’re going to use. This will also brighten up what could be quite a black and white timetable – try and make it look in some way appealing – it will help just to look at it!

12. Getting your exam timetable

Once you have your exam timetable – put it in your planner. This will give you a good idea of how long you have left until your exam dates. It will also help you to know  what you’ll need to concentrate on nearer the time for any final revision, and you will have the end date in sight so you can start making a plan and looking forward to your free time!

13. Share your plans!

Once you’ve made your plan, share it with your family so that they can support you and they know when they can and can’t disturb you.

Good luck, making your plan is the half of it, once you’ve done that you can be stress free, knowing you’ve given yourself enough time to get everything covered!