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Revision Techniques: GCSE

Revising for your GCSEs? Take a look at these GCSE revision tips and techniques for focused, productive revision sessions that keep you on track, and help you on your way to a successful GCSE results day.

#1 Use mnemonics

Mnemonics can help you remember lists and names for most subjects.

Common examples are topics such as the planets, colours of the rainbow, or the wives of King Henry VIII.

Take the solar system for example: ‘My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming Planets’ is a mnemonic that names the planets in order of distance from the sun. You know that Mercury rather than Mars comes first because both words have ‘y’ in them.

The order of King Henry VIII’s wives is notoriously difficult to remember, but using a mnemonic it becomes easy: ‘A Big Secret Concealing Her Past.’ The first letter of each of these words corresponds with Aragon, Boleyn, Seymour, Cleves, Howard and Parr.

#2 Revise with friends

Revising with like-minded friends means you can bounce ideas off each other. If you’re having trouble understanding a difficult concept, someone else explaining it to you can make all the difference.

Likewise, teaching someone in your group something that you’re revising, firms up the details in your mind and consolidates what you know.

#3 Allow plenty of time

Possibly the worst thing you can do is start revising late. Leave plenty of time to cover everything you need – it’ll take the pressure off you a little and builds in time for anything unexpected like illness or lack of sleep.

Which leads on to:

#4 Get plenty of sleep

If you haven’t had enough sleep, there’s no way that your brain is going to absorb information effectively. If you’re having trouble sleeping, switch off all technology an hour before going to bed and let your brain relax.

#5 Attend extra workshops at school

Your school will probably run workshops on specific troublesome topics near exam time.

Attending these could help you understand complex areas, especially if these sessions are more informal than routine classes.

#6 Draw a learning map

A great way to absorb information if you’re a ‘visual learner,’ drawing a learning map results in a graphical representation of your notes.

So it could be the key points of a topic and how they interlink, or if you’re studying science a learning map could illustrate the steps of a particular experiment.

The main idea is to draw rather than write, which engages a different part of your brain and helps with the learning process.

#7 Do lots of past papers

Completing past papers is one of the best ways to understand what is required in the exam.

You might see a pattern emerging as you work your way through them. The question structure could be similar over several years, and with specimen answers available you can often get inside the head of the examiner.

Unfortunately, there is no alternative to putting in time and effort when it comes to revision, but hopefully these tips will help with motivation and lead you to success. For more revision tips, have a read of our blog.