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:
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.
It 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 and 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.
Make 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!
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.