Many young people find it difficult to revise effectively for tests and examinations.
At St Bede's, we aim to dispel the myths surrounding revision, and help students learn the skills to revise more effectively, in a more efficient way.
The following guidance is tailored more towards mock examinations and formal GCSEs, however the principles can equally be applied to any form of test or examination.
The key things to remember for effective revision
- A revision timetable is an invaluable resource. The purpose of creating a revision timetable is to ensure that you cover the required material, and do so in a way that aids the way your brain works (i.e. interleaving topics, spacing topics, etc.). Revision timetables also help you organise your thoughts and rationalise your task - this will help reduce the stress linked to beginning the revision process.
- Revision needn't take forever. If you use, for example, topic checklists, you can quickly identify areas of priority within each topic, you can focus time on these. This will remind you that you don't need to revise everything, rather, just the specific areas you need to.
- Application of understanding is the most effective way to revise. Certain tasks require the memorisation of facts or quotes, but when we apply our understanding to different scenarios (as would be presented in test or exam questions), that's when we find out what we can, or can't, recall. We recommend you prioritise exam-style question practise, once you've completed a checklist and associated revision of identified areas.
- Prioritise rest and/or leisure activities as highly as the revision. Your health and wellbeing is more important to us than trying to squeeze an extra hour of inefficient revision in an evening.
- Get organised and away from distractions. We always recommend, unsurprisingly, that you ringfence a quiet area at home, away from distractions, which can be used for focused revision. The most successful students will ensure that they are organised and ready to revise, when they plan to. This means you need to plan ahead and gather all necessary resources, such as calculators, revision notes and questions to practise (with mark schemes to check their work). Try doing this the night before.
Some useful resources
First and foremost, you should be able to access subject-specific revision resources with the subject Team area. Revision is not a one-size-fits-all activity; you may need to revise in different ways for each subject, depending on the skills required. Make sure you are familiar with the revision resources provided - there are lots!
General revision guidance
The document provided here provides guidance for students planning for revision, and is focused more towards end of year exam, mock exams and GCSEs. Included within the document:
- Creating a revision timetable
- Effective revision techniques
- Getting the balance right
- Summary of key ideas
Revision timetable tool
The spreadsheet provided here allows students to plan their revision time (and can be used when creating a revision timetable (see guidance, above)
Effective Revision Strategies
The following document outlines some effective, evidence-based revision strategies