Tips, Advice and Useful Websites for GCSE Revision||2016

by - 27.7.16

Since it's nearly time to go back to school and since this is the year I take my (I)GCSEs, I thought I would share some of my favourite study tips/tricks and how I like to study for each subject as well as some useful websites. The GCSEs I chose (aside from the main ones) are: History, Geography, Computer Science and Design Technology. My exam board is Edexcel except DT which is AQA. If you have any other questions on any subject, how I take/make my notes, etc. then just comment them down below or you can email me:

Let's start off with the tips:

Tip #1: I suggest making a schedule or getting a planner if you can to organize all your dates and revision time as well as your extra-curricular activities. This will help you stay more organized and feel less stressed out closer to the time of your exams. This way you can also prioritize which of your subjects needs more work.

Tip #2: Do as many Past Papers as you can. I found that it was the best way to get used to the question format especially in subjects like English Language, History and Geography where the technique to answer the questions is key.

Tip #3: Study with someone in your class to test how much you know. They can help you since they take the same subject. You can also study with someone who isn't in your class. Pretend to give them a lesson. This is an AMAZING way to see how much you've retained and what you've missed.

Tip #4: Figure out what learning style is best for you. I'm a visual and reading/writing learner. Different people learn better in different ways.

How I like to study for each subject:

English Language: Past Papers is the way to go. We do SO SO SO many past papers to practice, but it's really the only way you can learn. Learn what the examiners are looking for, by checking the mark scheme.

English Literature: I use Mind Maps for the Key Characters, Themes, Symbolic Objects, Narrative/Context, etc. I pick a colour for each character and object and where they link with another feature on a different Mind Map, I use that same colour (if that made any sense...) The novel I'm studying is Spies by Michael Frayn for those wondering. For Poetry, I annotate straight onto a copy of the poem and I note down the key themes for each poem and link them together with the other poems.

History: Once again I use Mind Maps to study as explained before. For History I pick Key Figures, Events, etc. I also like to make a Timeline for each topic and put every single relevant event that I've studied or that I can think of that may come up in the exam (3 mark Chronology Question). You can also make cause and effect diagrams which will make it easier to outline key points you could mention if that event came up in the exam.

Geography: For Geography I keep it simple and just make colour coded notes with some diagrams. For case studies, the way to go is to make tables and separate the effects into categories (e.g. Human, Physical, etc.) Once again, Past Papers are really helpful to grasp the technique for the 9 markers.

Sciences: I just make standard notes because I find that it's the easiest way to get all the information down. I would recommend finding the specification for your exam board (I know for sure Edexcel has them) and making your notes sort of in line with the points so that you don't miss anything out.

I don't do any languages but I for my German and French GCSEs, I used flashcards and looked for the vocab lists for each one for my exam board. They basically have the most of the vocab that you need to know for the exam.

Useful Websites and Resources

BBC Bitesize is really good for all the subjects. They've changed the format but you can still access all the notes. They have some interactive diagrams that I find really helpful. (The link is here)

Revision World has good notes as well on every single subject and it's one of the only websites I found some notes on Spies. (The link is here)

The best thing I would recommend are the CGP Revision Guides. They have them for nearly every subject and I know for sure that they do Edexcel and AQA. They have explanations on every topic and some Exam Style Questions you can use to practice. You can find them on Amazon.

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