The simple answer to the question ‘When to start revision for GCSE’s?’ is the earlier the better.
Revision should be started months in advance of exams. You are trying to understand and digest the information and this takes time. Last minute revising is often about regurgitating facts, figures and quotes it is not about understanding them.
To do well with GCSE’s you need to know when to start revising for the GCSE’s.
Tonight I have been to a parents evening at my year 11 daughters school. Her school is very switched on and I couldn’t agree more when the headteacher said that this year is about three things, remembering, memorising and deadlines. He understands the children really well and has put so much in place for them. It might seem that they have all the time in the world, yet but when you consider mock exams will be in the New Year and the real things start in May it is not something way off in the distance.
When should you start revising for GCSEs?
To revise for GCSE exams it is good to start at the very beginning of Year 11. If you have good routines and plan your time well you will reap the rewards later in the year. This approach will ensure that each subject is given adequate time and any real gaps of knowledge will be filled. Parents and students often ask me when is the best time to start revising for GCSE exams and how should they manage their revision.
GCSE revision tips & techniques
Create a study space
Consider place you will study. We have recently made Chloe’s bedroom more student-friendly and it means that she can work in an organised space which will undoubtedly make the revision for GCSE’s easier.
Plan a revision timetable
This should be done by looking at the week and including the social activities that the young person has. Then the timetable is realistic and workable. You can make your own or find a template with a quick google search. For Chloe she designed a two-week timetable that gives her time for every subject plus her downtime for her hockey and seeing friends.
GCSE mock exam papers
Use a range of resources to aid revision. I am a big believer in doing past papers and exam questions for revision. Nothing beats doing what you will face in the exam. It is easy to not to push yourself when revising and stick to what you already know. But that doesn’t help you improve, past papers can be found online and students should use the mark schemes to mark them also. This ensures that they are familiar with the syllabus and begin to include the key phrases often seen in the mark scheme.
Take notes in class
Spend time going over your class notes. A good tip is to have a notepad available and when you get home write down what you learnt in each lesson. What can you recall? Also, read your notes and if there is something you don’t understand find out or ask your teacher to explain it again.
GCSE revision guides
Use specific revision aids for your subject, make sure you know the exam board and get books that support the board you are using. Chloe has recently been sent the Collins Revision books and she is impressed with them. Each book has course notes and knowledge in the first half of the book. It is broken down into sections that help you understand the key points. The second part of the book has questions to test knowledge and prepare you for the exam. The answers are included which is pretty essential at this stage!
Mark your own work
Coming on to the answers, as a former teacher I know that it is important for students to understand their mistakes. Therefore it is good practice to mark the work yourself and then with the ones that are wrong go back and look at why and redo it until you have got it sorted.
Speak to your teachers
Seek out your teachers, they are experienced and understand the course and its requirements. Use them to the fullest, talk to them about the bits you are struggling with.
School revision sessions
Attend revision sessions put on by teachers. Give up some after school or lunchtimes to attend those extra sessions. It is not forever and come the summer you will be glad you did.
Slow and steady…
Finally remember the tortoise and the hare fable, slow and steady will get you to the finishing line. Keep going, keep considering the finishing line and plan on how you are getting there. This is why it is the smart student who knows when is the best time to start revising for GCSE exams.
By revising in earnest throughout the year you are giving yourself the best chance of success.