GCSE revision tips

June 21, 2022 Juba A

Useful tips on how to plan your time and the best ways to revise.

Exam dates and papers

The first thing is to know when your exams are! Find out the dates and put it into whichever calendar you use: on your phone, laptop or on paper.

Revision Checklists

Next, you need to know what ground you have to cover. Get yourself a Revision Checklist- there's plenty of these online. Print the checklists that you need, making sure you have the right exam board. Use these to guide your revision right through to the last Science exam.

Top 5 tips for revision

What’s the best way to revise? Here is the top five tips for revision: what you need to do for exam success.


5 – Start early

That means now! You think starting early means you’ll forget what you’ve learned? Nope, it doesn’t work that way. Giving yourself time really helps you to understand the tougher topics. If you plan well, you can work on deeper skills now and do the memory work nearer the exam. If you leave revision too late, you’ll feel overwhelmed. Start now, today.


4 – Organise your time

You’re revising hard for exams, but you can still relax and have a life. With careful planning, you’ll have free time each day, even after you’ve done a chunk of revision. So how do you get a good balance? You need a revision plan!

Work out how much time you have to revise each day. Set up a daily schedule and try your best to keep to it. If your timing slips (a little) don’t worry, tweak your schedule. Revise in short chunks. If you revise for too long without stopping, your mind starts to wander and your revision will stop being effective. 30-45 minutes is about right.


3 – Organise your space

After the exams are over, you can make your space into whatever you like. But for now, it has to be a place where you are comfortable and well-resourced. Make sure your workspace is tidy and has everything you need: paper, highlighters, text books, notes, practice questions etc.

And your phone… really, it needs to be out of the way. Give it to your parents, leave it somewhere else or just put it on silent, face down and out of arm’s reach! It’s way too tempting to keep looking at your phone and chat with friends. Keep that for later, when your revision’s done for the day.


2 – Interact with your revision resources

What do we mean by that? We mean you must actually do something! Simply reading revision guides is boring and it just doesn’t work. Don’t copy out the textbook – that soaks up your time and doesn’t work either! So, what is the best way to revise?

  • Focus your time on the topics you don’t know so well. This is tougher, but you learn more. Don’t waste time covering topics you already know!
  • You learn best when you make notes actively and when you TEST yourself on what you’ve learned. Use the methods you prefer, but make them active.
  • Use words and images at the same time. This helps you learn better and memorise the facts.
  • Make sure you do different types of exam-style questions: multiple-choice, longer questions, 6-mark questions. This will really help embed your learning.
  • Top up your memory by recapping. Often just a few minutes is enough.
  • Use your revision checklist to tick off whats you have covered. Progress feels good!


1 – Know your exam

This means practising with exam-style questions, correcting your answers against a mark scheme, working on your exam technique and finally doing timed practice papers. Make sure you know how long the exam will be, take care to read the questions properly, look out for command words, think about how you should answer and think about the key words you should use.

Practising exam questions is always the number 1 tip of most successful students. It will help you build the exam-skills you need. And doing this takes time, which brings us back to tip number 5 above: start EARLY !

That’s it for now. It is a challenge but you can do it. Give it your best shot in the time you have.

And remember, always keep things in perspective. Don’t forget to make time to relax, even during the exam period. There’s a lot more to life than GCSEs


Have you thought about online lessons?

Online tuition gives you access to brilliant tutors across the country
Connect one-to-one with a tutor or share your lesson with a group for 50% of the tutor's hourly rate! Find a Tutor for One-to-One Find an Online Study Group

Want to know more?

Visit Juba's profile to find out more and send a message.

Visit Juba's Profile

Resources others found helpful

Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning Tips

Some tips for tutors and parents about how to teach and tackle reasoning for the 11+ exam and …

learn more

Mindfulness, Meditation

Meditation, audio, and practical life skills to manage stress and overwhelm more effectively

learn more

Interactive Simulations for Science

PhET Simulation

learn more

UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge

Interesting maths questions for students

learn more

Free resources, revision notes and past papers for students

Find revision guides, exam papers and sample essays amongst hundreds of free resources available to students.

Find resources any subjects

Maths resources | Science resources | Music resources | Spanish resources | English resources | French resources