Ambassador Stories: All you need to know about revision

3 min
October 29, 2021
Going into year 10, I had a lot of anxiety about sitting my GCSE’s. I’d been nervous about it all through year 9 as I was nervous I wouldn’t achieve the grades I wanted. I spent hours watching videos titled - ‘best ways to revise’ and ‘how to get all 9’s’. I had confidence in my ability to achieve but I didn’t know how or where to start.

Having done so much research into revision I was disappointed with my first topic test result and started to compare myself to other people. I soon realised that the first thing I did wrong was use other people’s revision methods; there is no point forcing yourself to revise for hours in one sitting if you get distracted after 30 minutes - it simply isn’t effective. Instead, it’s much healthier and better to use revision methods that work for you, you can even revise around your other commitments.

I felt a lot more relaxed when I took control of my studies and started planning. I’m sitting my exams in June, and I don’t feel scared or stressed, and I believe everyone can feel like this if they are proactive.

Here are some tips that have helped me:

  • Overcoming procrastination: Plan to study 1-2 hours a day. Revising in bite-size chunks will stop you from getting distracted and prevent work from building up.
  • Making revision timetables: First, start by writing down the times you’re in school, clubs, doing homework and travelling. Then, add one or two subjects to either write notes on or revise. 
  • Making revision resources:

- Flashcards active recall is the way to go. Put a question on one side and the answer on the other. You can do this on paper/card or online on Quizlet or Anki.

- Notes should be very condensed compared to what you have written in class. The Cornell method works best for me!

- Mind Maps are another type of active recall revision. Write everything you remember with a black pen and then go over and fill in any gaps with a red pen.

  • Exams: Treat your mocks as a real exam. This will help you feel less nervous about the real thing! Channel any stress you have into confidence, so you stay calm and focused. 
  • Revising for exams:

- Read over your condensed notes and/or practice with your flashcards (do this in 30-minute chunks).

- Answer a round of practice questions with no help.

- Mark your work and add any new information to your notes, then repeat the process until you are happy with your mark.

  • Websites for practice papers:

- Physics and maths tutor

- Save my exams

- Revision world

- Your exam boards resources

  • Overwhelming feelings: These exams are important, but they don’t define you. There are always other options if things don’t go to plan so don’t compare yourself to anyone else; just focus on yourself.
  • Pressure from teachers and parents: Parents and teachers want the best for you, but you shouldn’t let that stress you out. They will be proud of you for  trying your hardest!
  • Expectations: Success is relative! What you expect for yourself may be lower or higher than the next person. Or it can vary by subject; you might expect to do really well in Maths but if you achieve an average grade in History you might consider that to be just as big a success and that’s ok, great even! 

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