Our Revision Tips for GCSE Exams

We have been building up to the dreaded GCSE’s for what feels like forever but suddenly it seems to be looming overhead and it is just 58 days until Kian will be sat in an exam hall with his peers.

The mock exams are done and I have to say I am impressed with how Kian coped with them but I know the real exams are more stressful, after all the mock exams are there to see what extra revision is needed.

I have to say his school have been fabulous and at his last parents even we were given a list of revision books that they recommend to assist with his studies which we bought straight away, plus they gave him a revision timetable and have arranged revision sessions for the Easter holidays, but there are still plenty of things he can be doing at home too.

Here are some of our revision tips:

  • Using a revision timetable is a great way to organise study time and helps boost your motivation to revise for your exams.
  • A tip I learned when I did my exams is to use flashcards for important facts but fill them out using different colours. Whilst using colour makes revision more fun and notes more attention-grabbing, it is also a scientifically studied means of improving memory and recall.
  • Mix up study habits and methods by listening to podcasts, watching videos or documentaries or moving to new study area as looking at reams of paper can get boring.
  • Mind Maps are particularly helpful for revision as they give you a broad, visual overview of each subject.
  • Take regular breaks, eat and drink healthily and get some fresh air. There is nothing worse than sitting in a room all day studying.
  • Revision websites can break things up and BBC Bitesize is one of our favourites.
  • Quizzes and sample questions are ideal methods for GCSE preparation as they ensure that you are exam ready and confident enough to face your exams. Technology has really come on, even since Abbey did her exams, and online Quizzes can be really helpful as some use a timed function and weighted scoring system which creates an exam-like scenario. Plus they use a mix of questions types and add images to really test yourself. There are even apps for phones now too.
  • Using Mnemonics are great for two reasons.  Firstly, remembering only one word gives access to many other words without cluttering the short-term memory.  Secondly, they give an order or priority to the list of words. (I still remember BIDMAS in mathematics to help remember the order of operations – Brackets, Indices, Division, Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction).

Do you remember what worked for you, or has your child done their GCSE’s?

What worked for you?

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

BritMums

32 thoughts on “Our Revision Tips for GCSE Exams”

  1. As you say there are so many sources of information now for children. When I did my GCSEs it was just books! I never liked doing test papers at home as it panicked me buy I know for some people it helps to identify areas they need to concentrate on.

    Reply
  2. These are great tips! Its been a while since i did my G.C.S.E’s or anytime of exam, there was no internet like there is now, i have to go through things over and over until i get it then it sticks, so id probably do better now with all the different resources available.

    Reply
  3. One of mine is preparing for hers at the moments and struggling with revision so far! She has finally found a great timetabling app to aid her and kind of started this week. The school hasn’t helped too much to be honest and certainly not in the way that you describe. I think that different things work for different people. Past papers are always a good thing.

    Reply
  4. It will be 20 years since I sat my standard grades (that’s quite scary!!) and I remember my mum making sure I took regular breaks, that I was eating and drinking enough and that I actually left the house as she wanted me to be as prepared but as relaxed as possible. I remember a trip to the local bookshop to buy past papers.

    Reply
  5. I remember my daughters doing their GCSEs all too well! I’d maybe add don’t be scared to take a break if revision’s not going so well.
    Good luck to your son, I hope everything goes well for him x

    Reply
  6. * shudders* That’s brought it all back to me!

    Best of luck to Kian, great tips. I just wish there wasn’t so much credence on exam results, I much preferred it when it was more coursework based.

    Reply
  7. Good luck to Kian, it is a tough few weeks ahead but a summer of fun after that. I have Felix taking his and Alistair doing A levels. Mind maps seem good, working through past papers and asking someone to test on a section when the revision is done. I try not to sound like a nag but boys do need a little nudge to get on with it I find.

    Reply
  8. Some great tips there, I hated revising so simply didn’t! I now know this was down to having a form of dyslexia. I am dreading the kids having exams though, it is stressful but with so many tools and ideas such as these hopefully when we get to that stage it’ll be easier.

    Reply
  9. Flash cards worked so well for me too, I dedicated different sections of my wall and different colours to each topic. BBC Bitesize also really helped with science, which was one of my weakest subjects. Best of luck to Kian!xx

    Reply
  10. Some great tips. I used to revise to classical music (no words), and would record myself doing quotes for french and english then fall asleep playing them back. They were probably the only bits of my french A level I remembered!

    Reply
  11. My god it was six years ago that I was in year 11 can you believe it so much has changed since then and yes I found that overrevising would sometimes make you do worse. For example the one subject that I couldn’t understand and still don’t is maths and no matter how hard I try I couldn’t pass that exam. I literally retook it four times.

    Reply
  12. What great tips. I just winged it. I hated senior school and was actually expelled! I hope my boys are better than me at the whole senior school thing! I did manage to get 10 O’Levels and the highest mark in the UK for history!

    Reply
  13. You have shared some useful advise, we used to find making a revision timetable with some set free time slotsfor treats pencilled in was really helpful as was doing revision using mind maps

    Reply
  14. I always found exams stressful and spent weeks indoors revising. Great to hear you are there to assist Kian with practical advice, wishing him all the very best!xx

    Reply
  15. These are such great tips 🙂 When I was doing my GCSE’s I was struggling to learn anything at school so my mum took me out and I taught myself at home. I went from predicted grades D/Ungraded to getting B’s and C’s!

    Reply
  16. Love the list of study tips, using podcasts is a great idea I think. Back when I did my GCSEs, all we had were just textbooks and worksheets but my son has a range of resources that he uses, such as a series of podcasts for history.

    What is your opinion on tutoring? We think it works well for our son, gives him a bit of extra attention but would like to know what you think.

    Reply
  17. Great tips here; I used BBC Bitesize and Mind Maps when I was doing my GCSE’s and it got me through. That and my Mum reminding me every hour to put my books down and take a break! I didn’t always listen but it definitely helped to stop every now and then. Hope the real thing goes well in a few weeks!

    Reply
  18. oh the stress from exams, i couldn’t bare it, so much so that I asked school to cancel the eldests exam leave and teach him right up till the exams, they agreed and he passed, just. I’m also thankful that the youngest is at boarding school and i dont have to worry about them any more

    Reply

Leave a Comment