A Level GCSE Revision

Staying positive – Revision Tips – Part 1

Contributions from winning entries to the Revision Tips competition.

Awarding yourself treats for completing revision sessions is a great way of motivating yourself and staying positive. Revision is also more enjoyable if you get into the habit of revising the subjects you find more difficult earlier in the day – so that you can focus on your favourite ones later on. Another technique is to use a variety of information sources (e.g. revision guides, iPhone apps, past papers) to stop you from getting bored and help to improve your memory.

‘Buy your fave choccie bar (or sweets.. whatever floats your boat) and give it to a parent/carer/trustworthy friend (you need to trust them not to eat your treat). Set yourself a few hours of revision and keep going until you reach an agreed time and collect your treat off of your treat-guarder. It will be in the back of your mind the whole time you’re revising, motivating you to get it done! If you give up revising for a long amount of time at any point, the treat becomes an hour further away…’
Jalisa Lynch

‘Do the subjects you don’t like as much EARLY in the morning and you can focus on the subject you do like later on and enjoy them! REVISION SHOULD BE FUN!’
Georgina Cooper

‘Use a variety of sources to revise, including revision guides, iPhone apps and past papers. This will ensure that you don’t become bored, and can remember the information as you have read it in different places; instead of just reading the same piece of information over and over again.’
Tom Aldred

Approaching your revision with confidence and a positive mental attitude is key to exam success. Here are a few additional hints and tips:

  1. Begin each day with a positive visualisation exercise. Sit-up on your bed or in a chair and close your eyes. Take a few deep breathes and then, with each of your following breathes, count down from 10 to 1. Now imagine that it’s the day that your exam results come out and that you receive all the results you were aspiring for. Conclude by placing your attention on how this makes you feel. Repeat this exercise again, but this time focus on entering the exam room feeling relaxed and confident – or on leaving your last exam in a state of elation and joy!
  2. Create a list of negative beliefs that stop you from revising (e.g. ‘I don’t have time to revise’ and ‘Revising makes me stressed’). Now write down some positive responses to these beliefs (e.g. ‘getting up half an hour earlier every day will give me extra time for revision’ and ‘Completing revision makes me feel more confident’).
  3. Write an entry in a revision diary every evening. Make a note of your achievements that day (e.g. ‘revised the topic ‘percentages’ for Maths’), questions that you’d like to ask your friends or teachers (e.g. ‘how’s it best to practice using different tenses in French?’) and generally how you’re feeling (e.g. ‘had a really awful day but feel better now that I’ve had a chance to chat to Sam’ or ‘I was feeling really anxious when I first got up but feel much more confident now that I’ve finally got started on revising my Science syllabus’).

James Lee, author of GCSE Study Skills: Exam Success
Contributions from winning entries to the Letts Student Revision Tips competition.

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