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Thursday, 16 May 2013

revision tips from someone who hates it

You probably guessed from the title, but I hate revision. It takes up so much time, effort and organisation (urgh) that could be better used elsewhere *cough*internet*cough* and, if I'm perfectly honest, I'm pretty lucky in that I'm one of those people that tends to do pretty well without any revision. However, I have my GCSE courses starting next year (to anyone that doesn't live in the UK, GCSEs are the exams you take at 16- General Certificate of Secondary Education) and my language orals this week have been pretty stressful so I've decided to compile a list of ways I find easiest and most effective to revise.

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1) Write revision notes in colour and keep them together- It may sound strange, but writing notes in colour helps learning them a lot. Associate different colours with different aspects of the topic and when the question comes up you'll be like 'Oh yeah! That was in **** and was all about ******.' It also makes it easier on the eye meaning you might not be straining your eyes as much, and keeping all your notes together means you won't get in a flap trying to find things.

2) Flash cards on the walls- I used this for a science test last year and I managed to get the highest mark in the class with 90-something%. All I did was write quick facts on flash cards and stick them anywhere I knew I'd go- wardrobe, bathroom mirror, fridge, top of laptop etc. The fact it doesn't even feel like revision is also a major plus!

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3) Scour the internet (and/or the bookshop)- Google is your friend! If you don't know how to do something, look it up. If you want some practise questions, look it up. An extra tip is if you know which exam board has written said exam (e.g Letts, Edexcel, AQA) pop into your local bookstore and chances are they'll have revision guides, practise exams and all sorts supplied by the exam board. These are great as they will know exactly what's in the exam and what you need to know.

4) Re-re-re-re-re-read- If you are doing a speech or language oral this is a great way to get it into your head fairly quickly. My friend told me to try this for our german and french speaking exams this week and I managed to learn them fully on the day (although I did have to wake up at 5am) . Basically read a sentence, say it without looking, say the first and second sentences, say them both without looking, and carry on throughout the whole thing. If you go wrong or forget, write said which word came next for your cue card if you're allowed one and start from the beginning again.

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5) Photocopy and delete- Another one for oral exams, simply photocopy your work (very very very important!) and delete every other word and see if you can do it. Once you become comfortable with this you can start eliminating more and more words until you know the whole thing.

6)Record and listen- My last one for learning orals, is record yourself saying it and play it whenever you have time- in bed, in the car, walking someplace. This is putting the speech into your 'hearing' memory and you will remember how to form the words orally rather than just read them. Make sure the recording is clear with no mistakes or distractions, and try and include pauses and other ways of speaking into it.

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7) Schedule- Even if you don't stick to it, write a schedule for your revision and plan out which subjects you need to revise most/ least and for how long. Once you've done this, you can review it to see whether you really are putting it in perspective (and not just putting off your worst subjects) and it'll help you think when you sit down to revise exactly what you could do. Also, don't be afraid to go around asking teachers for what you need to do to prepare if they haven't already told you. There's no point revising the whole book if you only need to know chapters 1-5!

8) Work hard, play hard- If you spend too long doing the same old thing and staring at pages and pages of notes, you're going to get tired and won't focus properly. I recommend revising in 30-45 minute sections if you're finding it hard to concentrate, and 45 minutes- 1 hour if you're in a great revising mood to fully take advantage of this. Between these, take a 10-15 minute break when you relax your eyes, maybe have a quick energy boosting snack, and do whatever you want to do. Try to avoid electronics and books during this time.

9) Don't panic!- Once you're in the exam room and you're handed your test, don't panic and think 'I can't do this'. Instead, take a few deep breaths, focus, and remember- you've revised for this! Even if you haven't (join the club) still try and keep a positive mental attitude because at the end of the day, a test is not the end of the world. Exams are more of a test of memory than real knowledge so as long as you paid enough attention in class you'll most likely get the gist of it. Plus, once it's over, it's over! You will never have to take that test again (re-sits don't count, okay?!).

I hope this has helped you in some way and 
you now have a few ideas of ways to prepare for
whatever test you are taking.
And finally, good luck!


  1. Wow these are amazing revision tips, I like the flash cards on the wall the best :D
    Good Luck in your GCSE's

    Rebecca xxx

  2. I didn't realise you were so young! Good luck with any exams you have coming up :) I have my A levels coming up really soon and these tips will be so helpful!

    Louisa's Notebook

  3. I'm half way through my exams in spain! If you need any help, dont hesitate to ask :) great tips by the way :) xxx

  4. Tip number 2 is such a good idea! I think I might use it leading up to my physics test next week xo

  5. I'm at the same stage as you! Got 5 exams up until the 11th of June! haha A great tip i learnt was to do spider diagrams aswell, i learnt that in my psychology lesson as it's a memory aid, good luck in your exams!xx

  6. Thank you! I'm currently in the middle of my IGCSE exams and I'm kind of freaking out put I just need to knuckle down! Thank you for these tips and good luck with your GCSEs :)

  7. Thank you for revision tip #5, I never thought of photocopying my notes, deleting random words and then trying to fill in the blanks. It's very original, my pea brain would never have thought of that! Haha. Hopefully this will help me NOT fail my A Levels. You'd think that by now, I would have a great revision technique, but no! And it doesn't help that I procrastinate to the max, thanks Internet..! :P

    Thank you for the tips!

    ~Hannah xx

  8. Great tips! Tip number 2 is great, I used to do this all the time.
    Just followed your blog via GFC.

    FashionProject x

  9. I just came across your blog and I love it. Although I'm don't have many exams right now (done all my Spanish ones and only have Geography left for this year of GCSEs), I'm sure I will in the future so these tips are great, especially ones aimed at oral exams. I agree, I think colours make everything better! :')

    Good luck for any exams you have, I'm sure you'll do great.

    Kathryn x

  10. These are great tips, thank you so much for sharing! Best of luck!