Exam season is nearly here, and year 11 students across the land are looking for the best GCSE revision tips.
When it comes to exams, preparation is everything. Revising effectively over the next few weeks will make all the difference to your child’s final grades (and their future prospects).
This article shares key advice to help all GCSE students revise effectively (and make time for some self-care too).
Develop a revision timetable
Organisation is the key to effective revision, so the first thing your child needs is a revision plan. Revision timetables will help them structure their workload and prioritise key topics, leaving them well-prepared for whatever the exam papers bring.
It’s easy to become stressed and overwhelmed when revising for your GCSEs, but having a plan puts your child back in control of their learning. In fact, learning to work in a disciplined, efficient way is a skill that will serve them well even beyond school.
Identify your optimum study times
Every student has a different body clock. This means there will be times of day when they learn more effectively, and times when they don’t. Some people find that their most productive study time is the early morning, others find it easier to focus during the evening.
Your child will achieve far more if they study when your they are most focussed, so encourage them to identify when those times are, and plan their revision timetable accordingly.
Study past papers
We’ll say it again – when it comes to exams, technique is just as important as knowledge. It doesn’t matter if you memorise the entire syllabus – if your exam technique is poor, your score will suffer.
Studying past GCSE papers allows your child to refine their exam technique and timing. After all, there’s no point answering one question well if they run out of time to finish the paper! What’s more, reviewing previous papers will give them an idea of which questions and topics come up regularly. This means they can structure their GCSE revision plan to focus on key topics and revise more effectively.
With the right diet, your child’s brain will receive all the nutrients it needs to help them revise effectively. Get it wrong, and their performance will suffer.
The traditional revision-season diet of many students is energy drinks, and unhealthy comfort foods. This may give them a quick energy burst, but it certainly won’t help their cognitive functioning. Luckily, this is one area where parents can really help. There are plenty of guides to eating sensibly during revision season, but here are some key tips:
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of plain water and eating fluid-rich foods such as soups, fruit, and vegetables
- Minimise caffeine
- Avoid salty foods as this will leave them more dehydrated
- Choose nutritious foods that are easy to digest
- Exercise portion control as being too full will make your child drowsy, which means revising will be even harder
- Have plenty of healthy snacks available
Take a break
Taking a break is important. Research suggests that employees in the workplace perform most effectively when they work for 50 minutes, then take a break of around 17 minutes. That’s true of GCSE students too. We recommend that children split their revision into 50-minute sessions, taking a 15–20-minute break in between each session. They can use the break to practice a bit of self-care (such as meditating or having a long shower) or simply rest and refocus their minds for the next session.
George Alexander Tuition is a specialist maths and science tuition agency based in Central London. We support children aged 11-18 with a variety of home learning packages and exam coaching. We also provide coaching for A-level and GCSE revision. To find out more, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow our social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook, and check out our handy revision tutorials on our YouTube channel