Getting the most out of revision

February 8, 2019

How students can get the most out of their revision

Whether your child is a year 10 trying to get into good habits, or a year 11 feeling like they are running out of time before their GCSEs this summer, it always helps to have a good revision strategy.

Here are my top 6 tips for students to make sure they get the most out of their GCSE revision:

  1. Work out what they actually need to do and when they need to do it. Before even picking up a revision guide or flicking through a folder full of notes, students will benefit enormously from putting a bit of time aside to plan exactly what they need to do and when they need to do it. Creating a REALISTIC and ACHIEVABLE revision schedule is essential. Too much time can be wasted by revising the wrong things and not prioritising what needs to be covered first. So often students take the easy option of revising topics they already know and ignore the ones they find more difficult.
  2. Establish what revision methods work best for them. All students have different learning styles and preferences. Some students are more visual and prefer fancy mind maps, posters, colour coded flash cards and highlighter pens.  Others may be more auditory focussed and could benefit more from recording notes on their phone and playing it back over headphones while sitting on the bus or taking a walk round the block. It’s important that students choose the most effective methods for them. Also adding some variety often helps to alleviate boredom.
  3. Monitor what is working and what isn’t. Revision is a process which needs to be monitored and reviewed regularly. Students need to ask themselves on a regular basis whether what they are doing is having the right impact and improving their chance of exam success. If things aren’t working, students should make changes and try new methods, timings, structure etc to find a more effective revision solution. All too often I see students following a plan which isn’t working for them and as a result they end up wasting a lot of time and effort and feel demotivated.
  4. Set goals. When students have goals to work towards they are far more likely to persevere and do what is necessary to achieve them. If they write these goals down or share them with others, the chances of their success increases even more. Students benefit from setting themselves some long-term goals and also some mini daily goals.  At the very least, having a plan for each revision slot before they start work will make sure that the time is better spent. Students can also think about how they will reward themselves for achieving the goals they set for themselves to boost motivation and it is also essential for them to spend time visualising how they will feel once they have reached their goals.
  5. Include self-care. Revision can often cause lots of stress and a lack of free time with students spending lots of time hunched over a desk studying and not spending enough time on activities to improve their well-being, both physically and emotionally. Physical exercise can have a very positive impact on brain power and creativity and also eating well and getting enough sleep can also boost productivity and focus. Students need to make sure that they are incorporating enough self-care into their daily routine to make sure they don’t limit their chances of success.
  6. Persevere. Motivation is key to getting down to revision day in day out. It’s important to find motivation techniques that work. Everyone is motivated in different ways and it’s useful to spend time considering what things are effective in being able to keep going. Students could focus on what they say to themselves regularly – self talk has a massive influence on motivation.  Having some key phrases to encourage and inspire themselves to study can be very useful. Also, it may help students to visualise how they will feel when they open their envelope containing their GCSE grades. What advice can they give to themselves to make sure they are the results they truly deserve?  Creating a set of healthy habits can also add a boost to students’ motivation. Having rituals and checklists they follow everyday can soon cause positive habits to be embedded which will improve the effectiveness of their revision.

I hope you have found these tips useful.  If you think your child could do with some more help, tips and strategies to boost their GCSE revision then take a look at my HeadsUp! Revision Skills Programme available as either a half day workshop, 4-part live webinar series or as a 1-2-1 tailored package.


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