If you’re approaching the end of your GCSEs, chances are you’re looking for the best ways to revise.
Here’s everything you need to know to start revision on a forward foot.
The bread and butter of your revision will be made up using the teaching materials you used when you were first learning the topic. This might be the OHS course you’ve been following, or another guide on the topic that you find useful Just make sure that whichever you choose, go over the lessons, exercises and revision sections multiple times to make sure you’re totally clued up.
Exercises are included in your course materials for a reason – the more you practice a particular skill, whether it’s a mathematical technique or your ability to write creatively, the better you’ll get at it.
Once you’ve exhausted all of the exercises you have to hand, ask your mentor to come up with new challenges for you, or search online for revision practice resources.
English is all about honing your written communication and essay writing skills, so reading fiction and non-fiction outside of lesson time will definitely help you improve your vocabulary and grammar, as well as your ability to see different meanings within the text.
When you’re tackling practice questions, get into the habit of planning your answers. As well as giving you a chance to make sure all of the skills you’re being assessed on are present somewhere in your answer, a plan gives you a useful base to touch if you lose track.
For exams where you have to analyse texts, it’s important that you memorise lots of quotes and understand the texts in depth. The more you understand, the easier you’ll find it is to pull meaning from the texts, and the more quotes you can recall, the more evidence you’ll have to back up your arguments and conclusions.
The key thing to bear in mind when studying maths is that you need to understand, not merely memorise, the techniques. There’s usually only one way to get the correct answer to a question, and understanding how and why a particular maths skill works is the key to success.
All of this means going through your learning materials and as many past papers as you can get your hands on. Familiarise yourself with the layout of the exams so you don’t get any nasty shocks, and get into the habit of rigorously reading through the questions so you don’t make any silly mistakes.
Lastly, always show your working out. Even if the question is wrong, it’ll help you identify where you tripped up. What’s more, showing your working can also help you get extra marks – great news for those who aren’t 100% confident.
A mix of memorisation, analysis and mathematics, the sciences bring together lots of different skills, meaning you should use a combination of both the English and maths tips listed above.
Take lots of in-depth notes, worded in a way that you understand (don’t just copy out the textbook). Use flash cards to memorise formulas and – you guessed it – make sure you’re using all of the past papers, revision guides and textbooks you can.
For some people it helps to have lots of notes and aids to revise with. Mind maps, flash cards, flow charts, posters – there are loads of different ways to improve your revision with visual clues. Stick them around the house so you’re reminded of different topics at every turn, get your mentor or family members to test you, and soon you’ll be an exam-ready expert.
It goes without saying, but start working as soon as possible, leaving months of time between your first revision session and the exam. Last-minute study doesn’t work, and even if it did, you wouldn’t cement the knowledge in your mind anyway!
Want to know how to boost your memory skills when revising? Click here and start revision with your best foot forward!