The Three Phases of GCSE Revision

March 5, 2018

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 St Albans and I also offer 1-2-1 sessions in person or via Skype. 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


Tags: , , , , , ,

Categorised in: ,

This post was written by Beth Parmar