Tips for GCSE, A Level, & IB Students on How to Study

Revising for your GCSE, A Level or IB exams in May? While it might be tempting to put off your revision until the last moment, starting your revision early means you can spread it out and avoid that last-minute panic.

Here are here are some top tips from school leaders in the UK to help you stay on track with your revision, so that you enter that exam hall at your most confident.

Darrel Ross, Assistant Principal (Academic) at St Clares, Oxford

Mr Ross’ top tips for revision include:

  • Make a plan – timetable your week and allocate free time each day to one or two subjects. Keep to your plan!
  • Study in blocks of time that suit you best – e.g. 20 minutes study, 10 minutes break, five minutes review and consolidate – then repeat.
  • Eating, sleeping, exercise and down-time with friends are important to continue and balance.
  • Use a variety of resources such as websites, online quizzes, flash-cards and exam questions; avoid just reading, highlighting text or re-writing your notes.

Ellie Vermeulen, Deputy Head (Academic) at Windermere School

Ms Vermeulen’s top tips include:

  • Start revision in good time so you can approach each task in a calm and relaxed manner.
  • Have a clear and specific list of what you need to achieve in each subject; make sure this is broken down into small chunks so you are not overwhelmed.
  • We learn best by reviewing work in small regular chunks; little and often helps consolidate information and builds strong foundations.
  • Be active with your revision; make notes by hand, and create question and answer sheets.
  • Get others to help you, for example by asking parents or friends to quiz you using flashcards or question and answer sheets that you have made.

Victoria Hearn, Principal at Impington International College

Ms Hearn recommends that parents help their children effectively prepare for examinations by doing the following:

  • Create a dedicated space for revision, ideally outside of the bedroom, which is kept clean and organised
  • Focus efforts using a revision plan, which clearly outlines topics and activities, and provides visual reassurance when items are marked as complete
  • Keep revision active by completing past examination papers, instead of passively reading notes or revision guides, to help retain information
  • Remember that mental and physical preparation is as important as academic preparation; encourage extra-curricular activities, keeping fit and eating well during the revision period especially when your child(ren) get closer to their examinations

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