Four top tips to wrestle with revision and win!

The Easter break is almost upon us and tens of thousands of teenagers facing their GCSEs and A-level exams in the coming months will be using this time to get their heads down and revise.

Experts tell us that the most ineffective way to revise is to read through your notes. Not much goes in, your mind wanders and you spend ages “working” for very little learning.

So, teen magazine Future Mag has shared their four top tips to help your son or daughter ‘own’ revision this Easter break.



Revision should be active – doing things, so:

  • Make fact cards
  • Draw mind maps
  • Highlight notes
  • Make lists
  • Write essay plans
  • Answer past questions



Don’t work for hours without a break. Your memory and recall become less and less effective, so:

  • Plan your revision in sessions of up to one hour.
  • Take a short break between sessions.
  • Change topics each session – this is really hard to begin with as you may have just got stuck-in to a particular subject, but it is a really effective strategy. It focuses your mind to get a certain amount/task done in a set time and makes the time spent revising really count.



For your revision sessions to be useful and worthwhile you will need to make a few sacrifices:

  • Find a quiet place to work. Not with the TV on.
  • Tell all your contacts on Snap, Messenger, etc. that you’re exiting the social media world for one hour.
  • Put phones on silent and out of sight, switch off social media on your laptop (you can do it!).

Your reward at the end of the session can be a quick communication frenzy, hopefully telling everyone how brilliantly you have just worked!



Make sure you include lots of essay plans, past questions and past papers:

  • Remember, application of knowledge has more marks than recall in some subjects.
  • Look at mark schemes and examiners’ reports. That is how you will learn what examiners expect you to answer for questions – know what gains marks and, equally importantly, what does not gain marks.
  • 50 per cent of your revision time should ideally be spent on past questions.


Good luck!

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