Preparing for exams is a big task. You need to revisit all the learning from across your course of study and ensure that you can bring it to mind, unaided, under the pressure of exam conditions. There’s no way to make the exams easy, but you can take the pressure off if you’ve done your revision right.
Organisation is key to your success at GCSE. It will make revision much easier if you have a set out time for revising each subject. This way you can make sure you’re spending time on subjects when you aren’t timetabled them during the school day, so even if you haven’t had a French lesson for a couple of days, for example, all of your French work will be fresh in your mind!
Personalise your Revision
One of the most crucial parts of revision is finding what works for you. Some people use different techniques for different subjects. For Science, you might create a personal revision guide using the full exam board specification, whereas for English Literature watching short videos might help you remember the details of the works you need to know for your exam. You should try as many different active revision strategies as you can find and see what works best for you, whether that’s creating flashcards, doing exam questions or creating revision clocks.
It’s never too late to start
Even if you’re late off the mark to start revising, any amount of revision is better than none. If you are disappointed with a mock grade, you may be worried that you won’t do as well as you’d hoped. However with well-planned and focused revision, you can easily push myself up by a whole grade!
Ask your Teachers!
All of your teachers are there to help you during this stressful year, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Teachers want you to get the best possible grade so they will be more than happy to look over work you’ve done in your own time. Don’t feel silly asking questions about anything – it’s better to approach a teacher than be unsure!
It is really important that while you’re revising you still make time for yourself. You can do this by taking regular breaks and making sure to leave time to unwind between revising and going to bed. After all, if you overwork yourself and are constantly tired, your revision might not be as effective! It is also important to balance your hobbies and your revision. You can still enjoy your hobbies no matter what they are, as long as they don’t get in the way of revision (and revision doesn’t get in the way of your hobbies)!
The above list was adapted from “Surviving Year 11: (by someone who just did!)”, a GCSEPod blog post found here.
And what not to do…
When learning, students often choose strategies that require less effort. Doing what you prefer, as opposed to what is best for you, usually results in ineffective and efficient learning. Furthermore, these strategies can actually have a negative effect on your wellbeing too.