The BEST revision methods for GCSE

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Today’s post is by Amber. She absolutely smashed her GCSEs last year and has written up her tried and tested GCSE revision methods. There’s so much advice out there on how to revise, making it difficult to know which methods will work for you. Amber’s tried them all- and she’s outlined the ones that actually work for you here!


The best revision methods for GCSE

With mocks either fast approaching or deep underway and the main exams just around the corner, it is crucial that we revise effectively and defeat the demon that is procrastination.

But even when we want to revise, it can be hard to know how to actually do it. How do I get started? How do I know what I should revise? Which topics are the most important? How can I be sure that the information will stick?

1. Create a timetable with Adapt

Use your time effectively and make sure you know exactly what you need to work on during your revision. Sorry to say it but there is no point in revising the content you already know.

Adapt is brilliant for this as you can flexibly create a revision timetable for YOU! It also allows you to track your progress and the topics you still have to cover, it also allows you to give a confidence rating on the topics covered.

Make sure you know which subjects you find hardest and what you need to work on. For example, I know I find science the hardest so I will take more time revising this.

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Photo by Adapt

2. Condense your notes into flashcards

Flashcards are useful in so many ways and so versatile, from condensing information to learning vocab for languages, they are so purposeful.

The quick-fire question type allows you to test your knowledge, they are also a portable way of transferring those hefty textbooks into little manageable chunks. I really recommend flashcards for languages as with so much vocab it is vital that you know how to apply and transfer these.

I use quizlet to manage all this, they create fun games from all the content and creates mini-tests which make it slightly more manageable. This also ensures that you are actually engaging with the content. For written flashcards, I recommend colours and a welcoming system after all it’s you who has to revise from them.

3. Use mind maps to put everything in one place

Mind Maps are so useful for condensing knowledge and subject terminology into one place. I stick mine on the walls so they are always there and there is no way to escape it.

Highlight them into key concepts or words that you need to know, if you keep looking at it is very efficient for learning chunks of information quickly. Add images and use your creativity to make them interesting and exciting to read. I add a post-it note or a small piece of paper on top to summarise all the information into it for easy reference and consolidation of knowledge, it also lets you see briefly before an exam what each paper has on it so you don’t revise the wrong things.

You can also try revision maps. Sounds strange I know, but revision maps are so useful. Add the title of the topic or module and the sub topics in that and add all the information in it.

For example in sociology families has marriage as a sub-topic so I would write marriage and list all the information relating to marriage such as secularism and economy changes. This way you know all the information is in one place and there is space to add other content that connects with other modules.

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Photo by @ariellestudying

4. Use the blurting technique to test yourself

Blurting is such a useful pre-exam technique, I owe this one to UnJaded Jade on youtube. Simply write the topic on and note down all you know about that topic around it and compare it to the mark scheme or textbook.

This way you clearly know what parts of the topic you need to revise and what you already know. It also shows you what is in your long and short term memory so you can adapt your revision timetable to those areas. This is incredibly useful for smaller topics as you can make sure you know every aspect of the curriculum to score those top marks and get the best grade.

5. Get more information from Seneca

Seneca is such a good online free revision tool that is subject and exam board specific. It turns all the essential content into fun interactive tools.

It ensures you know all the content ready for your exam with the knowledge testers at the end of each topic. It categorises the content into smaller more manageable chunks so there is no feeling of overwhelming work.

After each quiz, you can choose to store your memory in a specific country which adds even more fun and competition to unlock all 619 countries on the map.

There are also competitions on each of the course to win premium or even gift cards for well-known brands. They also give worked examples to follow and complete which helps to ensure the information is ingrained into your head ready for the exam.

6. Use Flipd to stay productive

Flipd is an online app that allows productivity and real-time off. It stops the demon of procrastination and the distraction of the media. By taking time off with the app it ensures you complete more work or take more time for yourself.

This helps revision as it means you don’t have to spend hours doing a boring task. It means there is no way that you can spend too much on a task, there is also more chance that you will revise effectively as you can stay concentrated on the task in hand.

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Photo by Techwell.

7. Formally test yourself with past papers

Past Papers are essential to any exam revision. Doing past papers means that you know how to answer different exam questions and the wording of the questions that the exam board use.

With doing past papers comes the mark scheme, learn what the examiners want to see inside out. This way before you go in the exam you know exactly how to answer the questions to get the full marks available.

The task of doing past papers alone is very useful but to help even more you can annotate the question and your answer to fit the mark scheme, example in English you have to use specific quotes so highlight where you have used quotes in your answer. The exam boards all have past exam papers available for students to use.

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Photo by Maths Made Easy.

8. Look after your mental and physical health

There is absolutely no point in revising and pushing yourself to your limits if you can’t focus on yourself. There have been scientific studies that have seen that those who have a good mental attitude and higher self-worth are more likely to perform better in exams.

Many schools drill into our heads that what makes the school better is our grades, as Ofsted look at our results, but what makes you the best is if you are okay and healthy both mentally and physically. If you need to take time out and go for a walk or focus on your well-being. After there is only one you!

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Photo by RAMH.

9. Smash your exams!

I hope at least one of these tips works for you, please remember what works for one person might not for another. Below I have linked some websites and videos that I find really helpful so check them out for some other cool resources.

Useful FREE apps and websites:

  • Quizlet - creates games and tests from flashcards and makes learning interactive
  • Adapt​ - creates a revision timetable especially for you.
  • Seneca​ - makes fun revision courses suited to your exam board.
  • Flipd​ - allows more productive and real-time off.
  • Unjaded Jade blurting video - the original source of the blurting revision method.

What is Adapt, and how does it help you manage your time and revision?

Adapt is a brand new app which creates a personalised, exam specific timetable for you, for free. Not only can you add revision to your calendar, but your homework, topic tests, and any other task you want to do! There are so many exciting features to discover.

Feel better about your revision today by using Adapt- the app that knows all your exam dates, all the topics you need to learn, and creates your perfect revision timetable for you. Oh, and don’t worry, if you miss a topic it will reschedule it for you! So, you are getting everything done without guilt, stress, or countless hours of planning!


Cover photo by: @studyholmes

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