So you’ve ignored your teachers’ advice and exams are getting scarily close; how do you manage to still get good grades despite leaving your revision to the last minute?
1. Step one: prioritise
The first thing that you need to do is download a copy of your specification so that you know exactly what you need to learn before your exam. With a limited time frame like this, it’s key that you prioritise the content you’re planning to learn before the exam. To do this you can go through your specification with three different colours of highlighter: one colour for “I don’t understand this at all”, one for “I pretty much understand this, but ideally I want to go over it again,” and one for “I’m confident that I know this.”
2. Step two: create a realistic study plan before you start
Once you have completed this step, you need to put together a study plan. To do this, create a simple calendar of all of the day leading up to your exams and then decide what times you want to study. Remember to keep this realistic; even if you’re cramming for your GCSEs, it is still unrealistic that you’ll be able to get through seven different topics in a day. To begin with, put in every topic that you highlighted as top priority into your planner. Then put in your second highest priority topics and finally the things you’re confident on if there’s time left.
3. Step three: make time your friend, not enemy
You should also account for time to do past papers as well as time to go over anything you don’t feel confident with after one session. Some people find that it’s much easier to plan out exactly what they’re going to do each session, for example writing “write out flashcards for biology key words” as opposed to just “learn biology key words”. This will help you to get started straight away when you go to study instead of spending ten minutes trying to figure out the best way to do things.
4. Step four: refrain from panicking and get started
The last thing you need to do is just get started! When you’re working within such a small timespan it’s key that you don’t waste any time at all. If you get distracted by your phone then leave it in another room or download an app which locks it for a certain amount of time. If listening to your favourite songs causes you to lose focus, then try to limit your music choices to instrumental songs like movie soundtracks.
5. Step five: learn from past mistakes
It’s also important that you learn from this experience and that you don’t carry on your study habits to your A Levels or further studies. In the future you should aim to create a study plan around 3 months before your exams so you know that your revision is on track. Ideally you should also be studying throughout the year so that you don’t need to cover anything in masses of detail at the end of the year.
Hopefully this article will help you to get your GCSE revision on track so that you can go into your exams with as much preparation as possible. Remember that you cannot cover everything in detail within the limited timeframe that you have so it’s important that you focus on the things that you really struggle with and just glance over the things that you find easier.