Revision Advice from GCSE and A Level High Achievers
Who better to give advice on how to get those top GCSE and A Level grades than past students who achieved those grades? We’ve broken down top tips from some of the UK’s high achievers from the last few years.
❶ Ruby Granger
GCSE: 11 A*s (Grades 8–9)
A Level: A*AA
Ruby’s tips (GCSE):
- Be prepared to put in the time and the work.
- Find a way to enjoy your subjects and make the work personal – go beyond and develop your knowledge even further in areas you are interested in.
- Do past papers. They are a great revision strategy (‘the most effective form of revision’ according to Ruby) and help you identify weak areas.
- Ask teachers for help.
- Find a balance, and ensure that you take breaks.
- Get enough sleep.
- Revise for your end-of-topic tests and mocks – they can help you identify early the areas which you need to improve on.
- Write your revision notes throughout the course.
See the full video of Ruby’s advice below:
❷ Lucrezia Chloe
GCSE: All 9s
Lucrezia’s tips (GCSE):
- Immediately after completing a topic: make notes and then make flash cards.
- Do practice questions – make sure you know how to apply your knowledge.
- Look at mark schemes – make sure you know what the examiners are looking for.
- Use the collection method: go through your flash cards, test yourself and then write down all of the things you got wrong in order to make these into a ‘collection’. Revise your collection before the exam so that you can focus on the things you don’t know.
- Ask your teachers for help, and listen to their feedback.
- Try not to get too stressed about your GCSEs. The work you put in will be reflected in your grades.
- Use examiners’ reports so that you can learn from the mistakes of previous years.
- Revise for your mocks as it will make revising for your real exams so much easier.
Here is Lucrezia’s summary of how to use the collection method:
See the full video of Lucrezia’s advice below:
A Level: AAA
Nayf’s tips (A Level):
- Put in the work.
- Learn from the textbook in advance of your lessons. Your lessons and your homework are then acting as revision.
- Make good-quality notes.
- Timetable your study time and stick to it!
- During a study block, work for 45 minutes and then take a 15-minute break.
- Don’t overwork yourself – give yourself a day off. (For Nayf, this was Friday.)
- Put in the hours and use your time efficiently.
- Study with friends.
- Keep your body healthy, and this will help to keep your mind healthy; do some exercise.
See the full video of Nayf’s advice below.
Please be aware before watching the video that it contains some expletives.
❹ Jack Edwards
A Level: A*A*A*
Jack’s tips (A Level):
- Plan out your revision – this helps you stay focused.
- Plan out your essays in exams.
- Make short-term goals, and set yourself deadlines for them.
- Block out distractions. You can use apps on your phone and computer to prevent you from getting sidetracked. It also helps to put your phone away from your work area.
- 5Condense your notes.
- Revise efficiently.
- Use a flash card system in which you revise each card every day, then every other day, then once a week, then once every two weeks, and then just before the exam. If you get one of the cards wrong, it goes back to every day and starts working through the system again.
- Not all revision has to be neat.
- Make essay plans and revise from them.
- Find a study space.
- Journals are a great resource.
- Look after your mental health. Get some exercise. Talk to someone about your mental health if you are experiencing any issues.
- Take days off and give yourself breaks.
See the full video of Jack’s advice below:
So there we can have it – top tips from top exam performers! We hope you found them helpful. Good luck with your revision!
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