GCSE Revision Tips

When your GCSE exams are coming up, the first thing to remember is preparation is key, but where do you start? The world has been completely different in the last year, we’ve gone from no school to fractions whilst Zooming, to then full time school and GCSE exams on the horizon, but where do you begin revising? Here is our 5-step revision technique GCSE guide to hep you achieve top results.

Step 1

Print out the GCSE syllabus Get a folder for each subject and the first thing you want to do is to print out the syllabus for the each subject. This will allow you to see the entire course you have covered. Highlight in red the challenging topics which you don’t understand, amber for the topics which you need a reminder for and green for the topics that are the easiest. This will straight away give you a visual plan for your GCSE revision. Start your revision in the order of red, amber then green.

Step 2

Make a phased revision timetable. Calculated the exact number of weeks until your first GCSE exam and take away 1 week for holidays. Then say if you have 24 weeks left, split the weeks into 3 equal phases.

Phase 1

This is where you will need to focus on the fundament topic knowledge. Go through the topics in the order stated in step 1. Use the opportunity to ask your school teachers for help, especially with the topics highlighted in red. Create revision cards along the way because the will help you with memorising your key information or formulas. Every week you want to dedicate at least 2 hours per week of revision per subject.

Phase 2

Increase the revision to 3 hours per week per subject. If some subjects are easier than others, priorities your time accordingly. Don’t shy away from harder topics, instead ask for help from school teachers, parents, friends or your private tutor if you have one. Start printing topic specific GCSE exam questions and practice after the topic revision. At this stage, repetition is the key for memory retention.

Phase 3

This phase is all about you completing past papers and going back on your revision notes. You should create yourself a progress chart where you enter the date you have completed the paper and the mark achieved. Assess where you are going wrong and go back to your notes to revise. Past exam paper questions can be repeated year on year, which gives you an idea of the style of questions and how they are phrased. Our top tip is to use mark schemes because they will show you how to structure your answer and attain the maximum amount of marks per practice question. Be brutal when you grade your papers as too often we see students giving themselves complimentary marks. You all know what I am talking about.. "oh I would have got that easily so let me just add another mark for it"..

Step 3

Create a reward system.

Reward systems are great at any age but especially when you are studying for GCSE exams. Start with smaller rewards such us, 1 hour of study break will be rewarded with 15 minute break watching a tv programme that you enjoy. Then you can increase the reward in Phase 2 and 3 when you track your progress. Only reward yourself for the tasks that are difficult to achieve.

Step 4

Always aim 10% higher.

This is a little trick where if your goal is to get 60% in an exam, try setting a goal of consistently getting at least 70% in the mock GCSE exams. This way you will be more likely to get your desired goal.

Step 5

Don’t fool yourself with time wasting activities.

Let’s face it, there is always that one student who will take 1 month to create revision cards which they will never look at for their GCSE revision. This will make you look busy in front of your parents but lets face it.. unless you use the flashcards strategically to aid your overall revision.. this will not help. Instead, buy your revision cards from amazon! They have exam board specific ready made revision cards and you will cut time in writing them yourself. Of course you can add your own ones too.

The next big thing is the social media trap! You will give yourself a strict 15 minute short break between subject revision and instead end up being on instagram for 2 hours watching stories or TikTok videos. Will this help you get a good grade? No.. Is this waste your time? Yes.. UNLESS.. there are some influencers who provide content on GCSE revision and go through past papers, if that's the case then it's not a waste of time.

You all know exactly what wastes your time so identify it and be aware of it. Of course there are other ways to study and you should adapt the method which optimises your learning, the above is just our guide based on our experience.

These revision tips could be applied to your future A Level exams too. The key is focus ... so find a way to focus and achieve!

Good luck to all!

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