In this section you will find some useful tips for GCSE & A Level revision and exams.
If you’re stressed and feeling worried about your upcoming exams, try these GCSE revision tips to ease your mind!
1. Create a Revision Timetable
Building a revision timetable can add structure to your revision techniques and help you identify which GCSE subjects you need to prioritise to get better marks.
Creating a revision timetable is a great way to organise your study time, plus it also helps boost your motivation to revise for your exams. Recognising a need for a revision timetable means that you have already made a great start to combat exam stress.
Download the GCSE Pod Revision Timetable below.
How can parents help?
- Offer help as a tester, reader, source of knowledge, buyer (of books)
- Organise fun activities for them to reward their hard work
- Offer praise and rewards
- Work out time limits (for revision and social time)
- Ensure they have a suitable place for study (a quiet place without
What to avoid...
- Forcing them to revise in the way you think is best
- Getting stressed with them
- Making comparisons between them and others
- Believing the revision lies
For further advice on helping your child with their revision view/download the GCSE Pod Guides below.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice
One of the biggest recommendations that past GCSE students suggest is to practice questions by doing as many GCSE past papers as you can.
Practising past papers will help you get familiar with the:
- Exam format
- Question style
- Time pressure
- Retrieve information quicker
3. Take Regular Study Breaks
Do you feel stressed, tired and that no new information is entering your head? There is no point forcing yourself to study for hours upon hours as this will not result in a positive outcome.
Taking regular study breaks and exercising is proven to engaging your brain in studying and improve your exam performance in the long-run. Exercise is a powerful enabler which boosts your brain’s ability to be productive so don’t underestimate how important it is to take the stairs rather than the lift!
How to deal with exam stress
A little bit of stress can be a good thing as it motivates us to knuckle down and work hard. But exams can make stress levels get out of hand, which can stop us from performing our best. So it's important to address it and get it back under control.
Look out for prolonged or extreme cases of the following if you feel the work's piling up:
- Difficulty getting to sleep or difficulty waking up in the morning
- Constant tiredness
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Poor appetite
- Loss of interest in activities
- Increased anxiety and irritability
- Increased heart rate
- Blurred vision
If you've noticed three or more of the above symptoms and you've experienced them for a few weeks you may need to do something about your stress levels.
How to manage exam stress
- Learn to recognise when you're stressing out. A break or a chat with someone who knows the pressure you're under will get things into perspective.
- Avoid comparing your abilities with your mates. Everyone approaches revision in different ways, so just make sure you've chosen the method that works best for you. Make a realistic timetable. Stick to it.
- Eat fresh fruit and veg and have a proper breakfasts. Fuel your brain as well as your body - no one can think straight on coffee and chocolate.
- Sleep well. Wind down before bed and don't revise under the duvet - your bed is a sanctuary, not a desk. Get your eight hours.
- Exercise. Nothing de-stresses the mind faster than physical activity, so build it into your timetable.
- Panic is often triggered by hyperventilating (quick, shallow breaths). So if you feel yourself losing it during the exam, sit back for a moment and control your breathing. Deep breath in and out through the nose, counting to five each way.
Eating for Exams
Everyone's capacity for learning is different - but there is one way to ensure your brain is ready to absorb all the information on that carefully colour-coded spidergram - the right diet, packed with brain-boosting foods. Late nights, stress, missed meals and quick food fixes will all play havoc with your ability to concentrate. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/eating-exams
- Ensure students have a suitable study space, this should include:
- A proper place to work - a desk or table
- No distractions - No TV, music or younger siblings to disturb them
- Some time is better than none, a lot is better than too much.
- It is unwise to do too much on one day and nothing at all on another.
- 30 minutes is an average. But sometimes it could be as short as 10 minutes and other times it could be 3 hours.
- Students should have one day per week free from revision to allow them to relax.
- Breaks are essential when revising to keep the mind fresh. Going outside for some fresh air is a good idea during these breaks.
- Students will also work better at different times of the day, it is worth working out which time of the day is best for them and using this as their revision time.
Remember if a student does two 30 minute revision sessions a day from February to June they will complete 150 hours of revision, so get started now!
4. Use Mind Maps to Connect Ideas
If you find it difficult to remember tons of new study notes, Mind Maps may be the key to improving your memory. The theory behind mind mapping explains that making associations by connecting ideas helps you to memorise information easier and quicker. There are much more benefits to using Mind Maps for learning including being able to map out your curriculum, develop GCSE concepts in-depth and create sample exam answers.
Useful Websites For GCSE and A Level
Whether you're doing GCSEs, A-levels or you're at university use this to boost your grades today! How to revise effectively for GCSE and A Levels
Preparing for your exams can help you achieve the results you want. Here is some advice to help you get revising. AQA Student Support
Revision World is part of a group of revision websites, offering you thousands of free GCSE and A Level revision resources and study help advice. Revision World
|Mathematics||Maths Watch (students know their log ins)|
|English||BBC GCSE Bitesize|
Science support resources can also be found on the L:Drive
|PE/Btec Sport||PE Yr 11 BTEC Sport Revision resources can be found on the L: Drive|
BBC GCSE Bitesize
BBC GCSE Bitesize
|Geography||BBC GCSE Bitesize
|History||BBC GCSE Bitesize|
5. Collaborate with Friends
If you find your coursework too much to tackle alone, then why not collaborate with friends. Mix up your study habits and methods by listening to podcasts, watching videos or documentaries, moving to new study area or even something as simple as using different colours for your study notes.