Monday, November 29, 2010


1. Motivation is the first and hardest step towards revising for GCSEs. Think ahead to life after the exams and how you will be feeling then. Remember that preparation and hard work will pay off giving you the results you deserve.

2. Plan your revision with a timetable made up of 40-60 minute sessions with a short break in between each one. Revising the same subject for hours at a time might sound like a good idea, but you retain the most information in the first hour, so keep each session focused.

3. Summarise the syllabus of each subject and as you complete a section tick it off or cross it out. Don't waste time learning unnecessary material that isn't on the syllabus or anything you have been told will not be in the exam.

4. Past exam papers are a good methodical way of analysing question and answer techniques from a real situation. Teachers will advise you as to how to use past papers in the most effective way as a revision aid and never assume that just because a question was in a previous year's paper that it won't crop up again the following year.

5. Revising with a group in structured after school sessions or even at home with a friend is a good confidence builder if you feel the pressure of GCSE revision overwhelming. It's easy to think that you are the only one who can't concentrate or hasn't done enough work but everyone is in the same situation and equally apprehensive.

6. GCSE subject revision books or CDs can be an excellent additional resource. Podcasts are also a great way of downloading what you need to learn in small manageable chunks and taking it with you on your mp3 player. For some people, an hour on the bus listening to a podcast can be more beneficial than reading through coursework for an afternoon.

7. Internet bite size websites have done most of the preparation work for you and present each subject in an easy to access form with just the right amount of information in each revision module.

8. Diagrams and revision cards are a traditional and effective way of making key points easier to remember and the use of acronyms, word association or mnemonics work well with these methods.

9. Keeping track of your progress makes it look and feel as though you are achieving something and working towards a goal. Draw up a comprehensive list and tick things off or cross them out when you are confident that each section has been revised sufficiently.

10. Set a target for each revision day and decide on a reward for yourself such as watching a film or meeting up with friends if you mange to achieve your goal. Keep things balanced and in perspective and remember that it is equally important to have some downtime to relax and enjoy yourself as well as putting in the hard work to revise for your GCSEs.

Matt Seo - Education and boarding school blogger.

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