The 3 phases of GCSE revision

May 15, 2018

The 3 phases of GCSE revision


I work with a lot of GCSE students trying desperately hard to revise, but often not going about it in the most effective way. They learn lots of content in lessons and by reading revision guides and textbooks, but this doesn’t automatically mean that they will do well in their exams. Steve Oakes and Martin Griffin in their book ‘The GCSE Mindset: 40 Activities for transforming Student Commitment, Motivation and Productivity’ make a very valid point that there are three stages to effective revision:

  1. Content – this involves reading notes, memorising information, watching videos, making mind maps and flashcards
  2. Skills – this involves doing past papers and model answer questions
  3. Feedback – this involves looking at mark schemes, examiners reports, group work to discuss model answers and teacher discussion

What I have found is that most students tend to focus the majority of their time and attention on content and don’t give enough time and attention to the other two areas. By doing this they are limiting the effectiveness of their revision.

We can look at it like a formula:

Knowledge = Information + Experience

Information doesn’t pass exams – knowledge does. By practicing the exam questions and asking for feedback students can gain a far greater knowledge of the subject area than by just focussing on reading content alone.

Tips like this can dramatically impact on the effectiveness of time spent by students on revision. If you have a child in year 10 or 11 studying for their GCSEs then my HeadsUp! GCSE Revision Strategy workshops could be just what they need to help them to focus on how to spend their time to get the best grades. Workshops run in Berkhamsted and they are also available as a 4 part online live and interactive webinar series. See here for full details

You may also be interested to know that I offer a FREE 15 minute phone consultation if you have any questions concerning your child and their revision. This can be booked here



Practical and interactive workshops to improve the effectiveness of GCSE revision and boost motivation.

Click HERE for more details


The HeadsUp! Webinar Programme is a series of 4 live and interactive webinars covering all aspects of GCSE revision.

Click HERE for more details


For students who prefer a more personalised approach, over 4 one hour 1-2-1 sessions we will cover a variety of techniques an strategies to improve GCSE revision strategy – either in person or via Skype

Click HERE for more details


for 7-11 year olds full of strategies to boost confidence, reduce worries, deal with anger and improve friendship skills.
Click HERE for more details


Calm Tookit for Parents stackEasy, useful and highly effective strategies to keep you in control even when your kids are pushing your buttons!
Click HERE for more details


Parent PowersA 4 week programme to take the stress out of being a parent and make family life more enjoyable.
HERE for more details

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This post was written by Beth Parmar