If you’re determined to get as many top grades as possible when you open your GCSE results in August, you may be searching for better ways to revise for your exams to make sure you get there. Nothing beats hard work, especially when it comes to studying, but there are ways you can guide your brain to remember information easier which supports your ability to learn.
We have gathered the best revision techniques from past GCSE students who have overcome the exam stress to achieve top class results and help you understand how you can learn better to improve your GCSE results.
Delve into the best practice advice and tips below to optimise your study time leading up to your GCSE exams at the end of Year 11.
Create a Revision Timetable
Building a revision timetable can add structure to your revision 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.
Take the first step by setting your GCSE study goals to build a strong foundation for success.
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:
o Exam format
o Question style
o Time pressure
o Retrieve information quicker
Click on the links below for advice and information on Mind Maps.
Dealing with Exam Stress
For advice on dealing with exam stress click here.
Collaborate with Classmates
If you find your coursework to be too much, why not divide the course study notes between trustworthy classmates and share your notes with each other.
This will reduce the amount of workload you need to do to prepare for your GCSEs plus you will gain an insight into how other students learn.
Interacting with other students will also help you improve your communication skills. The extra benefit is that you and your classmates can test one other by using online.
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!
Understanding your Learning Style
Everyone thinks that there is a best way to study but the reality is that each person is different.
Once you understand your learning style by deciding if you are a visual, auditory, reading / writing or kinaesthetic learner, then remembering and recalling new information will become much easier.
You can find out about the different learning style best suits you by clicking here.
Practice will also tell you if you work better studying during the night or in the morning / daytime.
Variety is the Spice of Life!
Mix up your study habits and methods by listening to podcasts, watching videos or documentaries, moving to a new study area or even something as simple as using different colours for your study notes.
This is different to the other GCSE revision tips mentioned here as it encourages you to try a few different things to see what fits for you.
Your brain will recall where you were or how you revised for a topic which will help you remember more information. Give it a go!
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.
Day of your GCSE Exam
The day of your exam can be the most stressful of the entire examination experience but there are ways which you can minimise your anxiety such as avoiding panicking friends and giving yourself plenty of time to get to school.
Also don’t underestimate the power of eating a healthy breakfast the day of your exams, and avoid nervous students or people that will make you feel anxious.
Drink water, remember to read the questions carefully and keep an eye on the time.
However, the best way to beat stress is to be properly prepared!
Adapt for different GCSE Subjects
It may seem obvious but many students try to study for different subjects using the same study methods.
Your GCSE revision should take account of the difference between your subjects and the challenges they represent.
For example, flashcards are an ideal study aid to help you prepare for a language exam where you need to remember key terms, while apps and websites can help with many subjects.
These ideas and others can be found here.