Revision tips for GCSE and A-Level exams

There is still lots you can do in the lead up to your A-Level or GCSE examinations to help you with your revision and to feel better prepared and more confident come exam day.

Those last few weeks leading up to your exam are a crucial period where you still have plenty of time to get organised and design workable strategies for your revision, as well as practice your exam technique, and prepare for the day itself.

So what should you be doing now to boost your revision and make it as effective as possible? Here are some useful tips:

Adjust your revision timetable

If you started off with a well-planned out revision timetable and managed to stick to it then that’s all well and good. However, let’s be honest, for many students other things may have gotten in the way, causing them to fall behind! If this sounds like you, don’t panic! Take another look at your revision timetable, calculate what time you have left and what still needs to be done, and adjust it accordingly.

You may need to cram in a few more hours here and there, but it will be so worth it to feel calm and prepared when you come to sit your exam!

If you know there are certain subjects or topics you struggle with make sure you leave more time to revise these ones so you can fully get to grips with them without feeling rushed or putting too much pressure on yourself.

Create the perfect revision environment

It can be really difficult working in an environment that’s not comfortable. Find a quiet, clear space to do you revision and ask family and friends not to disturb you while you are working. Try to leave distracting gadgets such as phones out of the room until you’ve finished your revision and only check them when you are having a break.

Use your preferred revision techniques

By now you should have a better understanding of which revision techniques work best for you. Do you enjoy working alone or find you love bouncing ideas off friends? Do you need total silence or do you like to talk out loud to help information sink in? Are you a visual learner? Do you prefer reading and writing things down to best keep hold of the facts?

Discovering your optimum revision techniques will ensure you have productive and thorough revision sessions. If you aren’t sure, the VARK model can help you understand what type of learner you are and how best you should structure your revision.

Take plenty of breaks and stay healthy!

Taking regular breaks is so important when it comes to revision, particularly as the stress builds up when you are counting down the days until your exam!. If you try to do too much all at once you’ll burn yourself out and end up doing less overall.

Making time to relax and unwind is also crucial- if you find yourself getting too stressed out or feeling overwhelmed why not take a walk or try meditating to clear your head?

It’s also important to stay healthy and get plenty of sleep when you are revising too – this will keep both your mind and body in tip top condition and functioning at their best before and during the exam.

Reward yourself

Revision is pretty tough and it can be hard to stay disciplined. Make revision goals and milestones and make sure that you reward yourself when you achieve them. This will help keep you motivated.

Rewards can be small like having a cuppa and a biscuit when you have gotten through a few chapters of your revision or got all the answers on your question cards correct, or large such as a night out with friends if you hit all your revision targets by the end of the week.

Some interesting study hacks

  • Create your perfect study playlist to motivate and inspire you.
  • Mix up your learning so you don’t get bored, change subjects regularly but also switch from reading books to testing yourself to watching videos or documentaries on the subject.
  • Try teaching someone else what you’ve learned – this is a great way to show you have a good grasp on the material and can explain ideas succinctly and coherently.
  • Create mental associations, rhymes or diagrams to help you remember key facts and figures.
  • Type notes in Times New Roman font – it’s apparently the fastest font to read.
  • Use apps to stop you from getting distracted – if you find you are getting distracted by certain websites (we’re looking at you, Facebook) during your revision, you can download apps which will block you from using them for a certain period of time. Be strong!

Good revision is all about being prepared and disciplined. At the end of the day, it’s up to the individual to take charge of their revision and in doing so you give yourself the very best chance of success.

If you need some help with your last minute revision, hiring a private tutor can help. A private tutor will help devise a fantastic revision programme, help you with difficult subjects and advise you on how best to prepare for exams. If you are looking for a knowledgeable, experienced Tutor get in touch with our friendly team today!