While GCSE season is months away, it can come around very quickly for Year 11 students. It’s never too early to start preparing for the exams that will pave the way for further studies and an exciting career.
To help you get revision off to a flying start, we’ve put together 7 handy revision tips. From setting clear revision goals to planning out study sessions in advance, we’ll help you to make the most of GCSE exam preparation and set your child up for success.
1. Set Clear Revision Goals
The first of our tips for GCSE revision may seem like an obvious one but it’s amazing how many students don’t use it effectively. Setting revision goals will set the tone for the next few months and help you to keep revision on track for every subject and exam paper.
Start by writing down the GCSE subjects you’re studying for and the grades you want to achieve. Underneath each subject, write out the list of topics you’ll need to understand as well as question formats, study techniques, and the marking criteria the examiner will be using in the grade band you’re aiming for. Doing this will mean you can plan out your study sessions effectively and keep track of the progress you’re making.
2. Create a Realistic Revision Timetable
One of the best ways to revise for GCSE exams is to follow a revision timetable. This will add structure to your studying and allows you to organise your time in the way that best suits you and your schedule. As you will be mapping out study slots for each topic, if you identify a GCSE subject that you want to spend more time on, you can add these extra sessions in.
It’s also important to create a realistic schedule and know there are limits to how much work can effectively be completed in a day. Balancing leisure and revision equally means you’ll be much more productive and motivated in the long run and be able to revise more effectively. Just plan your study time out depending on what works best for you - so if this is 5 out of 7 days a week, or 7 days a week but an hour per day, that’s okay- everyone will be slightly different!
3. Understand Your Learning Style
There isn’t a one size fits all way to study as everyone works in different ways. Understanding your learning style and whether you’re a visual, auditory, or kinaesthetic learner will make revision so much easier! Once you know the method of learning that suits you best, simply tailor each study session by choosing more effective revision techniques that will make remembering and recalling information much easier.
4. Take Regular Breaks
Taking regular study breaks is so important when it comes to GCSE revision. Studying for long periods of time can be counterproductive as the brain becomes tired and you can easily lose focus, meaning you’re not actually revising effectively. Instead aim for 30-45 minute sessions with short breaks in between and ideally no more than 4 hours of study per day. This way you’ll have much more productive bursts of revision rather than trying to stay alert covering multiple subjects for hours on end.
5. Practice Papers Are Your New Best Friend!
One of the best revision tips to help you prepare for your GCSE exams is to do as many practice papers as you can. They will help you become familiar with the exam format, question style, and time restraints, so when it comes to the real thing you’ll already know what to expect.
Completing old exam papers is also a good way to test your current knowledge and help you identify any areas you’re struggling with. Ask your teachers for a few years’ worth of papers and schedule one or two a week into your revision timetable.
6. Work in Study Groups
If you’re finding revision too much to tackle on your own, then working in a study group is a great way to find support. Collaborate with your classmates and create an after-school study club or join a GCSE revision group online. Not only will it enrich your learning as you can explore the thoughts and ideas of others, but it will also help you improve your communication and collaboration skills. You can quiz each other, share notes, discover new ways of memorising things and explain topics in new ways to each other that may be easier to remember. Sharing knowledge is powerful!
7. Mix it Up!
Mixing up your study habits is a great way to stay motivated, inspired and keep your brain alert and active while revising for your GCSEs. Try alternative methods such as listening to a podcast, watching videos or documentaries, working in a group, creating revision posters, moving to a new study area, or using different coloured paper for each set of revision notes.
How to Prepare For GCSE Exams While Taking Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself during exam preparation is one of the best revision tips for GCSE you can use. In doing so, you’ll be mentally prepared and refreshed to face each exam as it comes along. Establish a routine, aim to get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night, and don’t forget to give yourself rest days. Eating balanced meals and staying hydrated is also important and will help you to avoid the energy crashes that junk food and sugary drinks can cause.
GCSE Revision Tips and Support With Tutor Doctor
When it comes to preparing your child for their GCSE exams, we offer insightful tips, tailored support, and much more. Our personalised approach to GCSE tutoring ensures your child gets all the support they need.
We give you the freedom to choose a local tutor that suits your child’s unique needs and who will build a tuition and revision programme customised to them. Whether your child needs help with one particular subject, or you’re looking for help with revision across multiple subjects, we can set your child up for exam confidence and success. Find your local tutor today. We’re with your family every step of the way.