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GCSE & A Level Revision – The dos and don’ts

Revision tips, how to revise during holiday, UK Study Centre blog
6 April 2018

Top tips on how to approach the all-important revision period over the Easter Holidays.

Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the Independent Schools Council, has recently published his advice on how to approach the all-important revision period over the Easter Holidays.

He has said that “The best GCSE and A-level results don't go to the cleverest students — they go to those who revised in the Easter holidays.”
Here at UK Study Centre, we also believe that if a student organises their time efficiently and plans their revision period well leading up to exams, hard-work will be paid off when their results come in. However, there are certain ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ to consider when revising, particularly when doing so intensively over the school holidays…

Do!

Revision tips, how to revise, UK Study Centre blog

Do plan your revision materials ahead of time – Ensure you are revising from the correct syllabus and exam board. Make sure that any notes you have taken throughout the year are complete and in full. If you’ve missed any lessons or topics, ask a friend to share these with you or refer to the syllabus, most of which are available online. Separate topics into clearly divided sections and reduce long essays into bitesize notes for easier learning.

Do take breaks – Take regular short breaks to stay energised. Drink plenty of water and eat well to ensure your brain can concentrate. A hearty breakfast will ensure you start the day right. Take a lunch hour to rest in the middle of the day, ready to hit the ground running in the afternoon!

Do test yourself – Write and re-write your notes from memory to ensure facts are stored in your brain in the long-term. Ask a parent or tutor to create short quizzes for you to complete and revise further any mistakes you may make.

Do revise more than one subject a day – Split your time between two or three subjects every day, too much focus on one subject will tire you out. E.g. do some maths revision in the morning and some chemistry revision in the afternoon.

Do start early – It is scientifically proven that our brains are more energized and active in the mornings. Wake up in good time and be ready to start revising by 9am at the latest. Finish in the evenings by 5pm so that you can relax and allow all the revision to sink in! A good night’s sleep will also ensure you awake feeling refreshed for the day of revising ahead.

Do revise with friends – Revising alone is important but if you have friends that live locally, arrange study groups and revise together as well. Test each other on facts and knowledge, you may pick up some new information that you didn’t know before.

Don’t!

Revision tips, how to revise, UK Study Centre blog

Don’t panic – Lots of students can find that revision is an overwhelming prospect. There is no need to become stressed about revision. Take our advice in this blog post and you will find that revision can be a great way to not only revise material you already know but to learn new information that will see you achieve great exam results.

Don’t overwork yourself – Pace your revision and work to a strict, planned schedule to ensure you make the most of your holiday time. Take regular breaks and remember to make time for a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Don’t procrastinate – Don’t give yourself reasons not to revise. Put away your mobile phone, iPad, laptop and anything else that is a distraction! Don’t make plans that mean you’ll be out all day with friends/family. Revision is best done daily to ensure your brain retains all the information and facts you’ve been learning.

Don’t work in a noisy place – Find a nice quiet room at home or in a local library where you can revise in peace and quiet. A home office or dining room where you can sit at a proper table and close the door on any noisy siblings, parents or pets is ideal!

Don’t feel defeated – You are not alone! All your peers are in the same situation. Share your revision techniques with your friends and stay positive. Remember that once you’ve sat your exams, you’ll have plenty of time to relax!

Lots of student’s approach revision in different ways. Some students like to ‘cram’ as much information into their brains as possible before each exam, some like to revise occasionally and spread out their revision, so they don’t become overwhelmed. However, an organised and diligent approach to revision will undoubtedly stand you in good stead for any upcoming exams. Treat your revision period like an extension of your school timetable, be disciplined with your time and take ownership of your studies. Soon, you may be off to university and the skills you have acquired in your revision periods, will assist you in the independent learning that is required in many higher education courses. Lastly, but certainly not least, the very best of luck with your exams!

Should you be interested in an intensive tuition package over the holiday period to assist with your revision, please get in touch with us now.

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