Mind maps are a serial way to help bolster your revision
Revision tips are always a useful area to explore when trying to switch up things in your studying routine.
For GCSE students, entering the period of exams is tough and at times daunting. But, there are always helpful methods available to grasp each subject or topic.
The first step to take is to realise what learning style suits you. Some prefer to be isolated in a quiet area so they can focus, others like to revise in a social setting etc.
However, regardless of which style you prefer, it’s always good to shake things up as well.
This not only shocks your brain but you can find newer ways to absorb different kinds of information. Not to mention making it more interesting for yourself.
So, if you’ve hit a brick wall or merely want to add some new steps to your schedule, here are some essential revision tips to help.
Make a Timetable
One of the most useful yet underrated revision tips is to create a studying timetable.
A timetable adds structure and can help you to choose which GCSE topics you need to prioritise.
Likewise, it gives you a plan for each day so you’re not wasting time wondering where to start.
For example, you can pick English and Maths on Monday and pick a challenging module from each subject to focus on.
Then on Tuesday, you may focus solely on something like Biology to get a better understanding of it.
You can also give yourself realistic timeframes to revise. Allocating a specific duration each day will help you focus without getting distracted.
But it’s important to follow your timetable. So, start off slowly and then as it gets nearer exam time, bump up the sessions by one or two hours.
There are plenty of websites where you can make an online timetable or easily create one with a whiteboard or on paper.
Whether you’re using a revision timetable or not, make sure to always schedule regular breaks.
As a student, it’s easy to get caught up in over-revising or thinking you need to have your head down for hours at a time.
But, this can do more harm than good. As with any mental or physical activity, breaks give you a chance to reset.
Exam periods are stressful enough, so allowing yourself some time away can help your performance and brain functionality.
It also makes revision less daunting if you know you won’t be stuck at your desk for a long time.
So take a walk, listen to music or just sit outside for a few minutes to stay calm, relaxed and refreshed.
One of the best revision tips which most students have heard before is to start revising early.
Steadily preparing yourself each week will be a massive boost when you start doing the harder study sessions.
For example, if you use flashcards as a tool, you can start making them throughout the school year after each module.
This way, you’re revision materials will be ready when needed and you won’t have to waste time trying to find certain notes from the early lessons.
Also, if you start revising early, you won’t be under as much stress as if you start too late.
One massive aspect you want to avoid is trying to cram in study sessions. This won’t be beneficial and can put you under a lot more stress.
Your Work Space
Whilst revision is about absorbing as much information as you can, the environment you study in is just as important.
All students are different. Some prefer a very quiet setting, some like a louder atmosphere whilst others choose group sessions instead.
So try different environments and see which one allows you to comfortably focus.
It’s also important to have a clean and organised space where you can easily access notes, stationery and sockets for laptop chargers and other electronics.
Try and spice up your work environment at home as well.
This is where most of your studying will take place so create a calming space with things like candles or soft music that allows your mind to be at ease as you study.
Vary Your Revision
Whilst it’s important to find the right routine that works for you, spicing things up every now and again is essential.
Your brain gets used to certain study habits, so when it is in a repetitive cycle, it doesn’t take on as much information.
Whereas if you switch things up every now and again, the brain will always be ‘switched on’ to pay attention.
Listening to podcasts like the GCSE Revision Pod, watching videos or even creating mind maps can refuel your focus.
Even a simple task like using different colours for your notes can make a huge impact.
Try new and unusual things and you’ll be surprised at how your brain recalls the way in which you revised a certain topic.
In the modern age, using apps can also be beneficial and that interactivity will provide you with another method of studying that is fun instead of boring.
As mentioned before, mind maps are a serial way to help bolster your revision techniques.
You can use them in a variety of ways. Get an A3 piece of paper and draw out everything you can remember about a subject (without looking at any notes).
Then, revise for a few days and then do the same again and see how much progress you’ve made.
You’ll also see which areas you’re forgetting more than others and that will indicate where to focus more on.
Additionally, you can design stunning mind maps of each topic with a few bullet points and different colours.
This visual learning aid is just another method to make sure the information sticks.
Connect ideas and thoughts on your mind maps and it will help you memorise ideas much better in the exam.
You can also practice doing a mini mind map plan for the actual test which will help structure your exam performance.
One of the best revision tips to use is doing mock exams.
These practice tests are one of the most significant changes you can make to your routine. Not only do these help with your studying, but they allow you to get a feel of the exam you will take.
Additionally, you can test yourself against the actual time limit.
Students are well aware that nerves kick in before an exam and during it, they’ll look at the clock every so often.
But if you have done numerous mock exams and gotten used to the time limit you’re under, then the actual exam will be a breeze.
Adding to this, try and take five minutes at the start of the test to plan your thoughts.
Get everything out that you can remember, that way you won’t waste time trying to remember stuff during the exam.
Put Notes Around the House
This may seem odd but it’s a proven tip to use when revising.
If you stick small notes around the house, then you can relate certain information to a place in the house.
For example, you could have a scientific equation on the fridge. Then, if you need that equation, your brain will remember the fridge and hence, remember the equation.
Now, we’re not saying put up massive mind maps or long essays but little reminders here and there are good.
This works best in your bedroom for something to look at whilst you get ready or before you doze off to sleep.
Keep Distractions Away
This may seem like one of the most obvious revision tips but it’s highly overlooked.
Some students struggle with discipline so will end up doing five minutes of revision and then scrolling on social media for 15 minutes.
But, you will be surprised with how much you can get done once you get into the groove of studying.
Keep your phone, tablet or game consoles in another room or hidden away – out of sight, out of mind.
Taking regular breaks also ties into this. Most students get distracted when they can’t focus or become too stressed.
But if you take occasional time away from studying, then your mind won’t feel overwhelmed and you’ll feel less need to become distracted.
Collaborate with Others
Having group sessions or working with your classmates can be an important step in getting the most out of your revision.
You can test each other, do quickfire questions and make studying into a game which is more exciting than just sitting and reading.
Learning with others also allows you to see their perspective on the subject.
Therefore, you could end up learning more about a topic than you would just studying by yourself.
For example, if you do ICT, a friend may know a certain coding shortcut which you have never seen.
But, now you do know and it can end up being useful when taking a test.
But as a student, you could also end up teaching others and providing them with some pointers. Helping others is always a good personal trait to have.
Sleep and Eat
Doing homework, studying or revising is a long process but it’s important not to overwhelm yourself with all this work.
Take your time and organise your schedule into something more manageable. Then make sure to eat so you can keep up your energy and focus.
Whilst you may feel like you’re wasting time by doing this, you’re actually helping your brain in the long run to store information.
Sleep also aids functionality as well. If you start cramming in subjects, doing all-nighters, you’ll feel so groggy and tired.
The last thing you want to do during the exam period is to fatigue your mind. So, plenty of rest and energy is key to better test performance.
Arrive Early & Don’t Worry
The final and most valuable tip in general for students is to arrive early on exam day.
If you took and applied some of these revision tips, when it comes to facing the actual test, there is no need to worry.
Whilst it’s normal to feel a little anxious, you should feel proud that you’ve put in the hours and did a lot of work.
If others around you are worried or stressed, then try and distance yourself in order to stay calm and relaxed.
You may find some classmates trying to cram in last-minute notes.
But as long as you have organised yourself leading up to the test with mock exams then you will know what to do as soon as you take your seat.
Use these surefire revision tips to help you in your GCSE exams or any other tests that you will take.
Make sure to stay focused and dedicated to the task at hand and you need to have the discipline to make sure you’re getting the most out of each of these steps.
Learning information and taking exams is not easy but you can make it less daunting by applying some of these elements to your schedule.
Most importantly, see what works for you. Every student is different so try some different things and use what feels best for your mind.