Flavia Belham
Chief Scientist @ Seneca Learning
November 27, 2018
Top 10 Best Revision Tips From Past Students

Everyone revises in his or her own way. Some just read through their notes, others focus a lot on practice exams, or use online revision tools like Seneca. We’ve put together our best tips to help decide what’s the best way for you to revise for your GCSEs and A-Levels. For more tips on revising check out our Ultimate GCSE & A-Level Revision Guide.

1. Create Your Revision Timetable

Making a revision timetable will keep your time organised. It’s the best way to see how much time you need to allocate per subject and thus when you should start revising based on the exam date. If you’re looking on how to make a revision timetable then read this post with all handy tips and tricks.

2. Find the Right Environment to Revise

The best place to revise really depends on your taste. A lot of students nowadays go sit in a Starbucks, whereas for others such places are too loud to be able to concentrate. Think about what the best environment is for you to focus. Whether it’s your bedroom, the Starbucks, your university or the local library - it’s important that you feel comfortable and that you don’t get distracted too often.

3. Revise on Seneca Learning

We recommend using Seneca because it’s designed in a way to let you revise in an optimum way. Based on the latest neuroscience techniques the platform will repeat similar questions in different ways, gamify your experience to keep the brain engaged, and indicate when you should revise an old section again. As a result, you can revise for your subjects two times faster.

4. Start in the Morning

The best day to start revising is in the morning. After a good night’s sleep, your brain will be well-rested and in its optimum state for memorising your subjects. It will also give you a great boost for the rest of the day if you manage to complete one revision session early on. You’ve already achieved a big accomplishment and the day has just started.

5. Write Summary Notes

Make summary notes of the subject or sections that you find hard to memorise. Take them with you and frequently read through them. Repetition is the key to success, which is why we designed Seneca in a way that repeats the sections multiple times. The same counts for revision notes. Writing down the same note three times will make you memorise it faster and better than just once.

6. Take Short Breaks to Exercise

Once you feel that you’re brain is getting distracted then stop. Take a break and do some physical exercises. It’s important to do activities that increase your heart rate so that your blood circulating faster. As a consequence, your brain will get more oxygen increasing its productivity while reducing stress and tiredness.

7. Practice Plenty of Past Papers

Using past papers has many benefits. You’ll get used to the length of the exam and can test whether you answer the questions efficiently enough. It will familiarise you with the structure of the questions and how to phrase your answers. And if you're lucky you might recognise a question on your exam that looks a lot like the one you’ve just practices. The exam boards publish the past papers, but you can also ask your teacher for a copy.

8. Teach Your Friends or Classmates

The best way to get a deeper understanding of a subject is to teach it to someone else. You can ask your friend, classmate or sibling. Ideally, teach it to a classmate that in return can explain a subject that you don’t fully understand yet. It’s a very engaging way to learn and will lock in the subject much deeper than from reading notes.

9. Eat and Drink Well

Keep your body hydrated during revision and exams as it improves your level of attention. Try to avoid junk food as much as possible and aim to eat healthily. Whole grains, nuts, berries, and even dark chocolate can help you perform better. Other brain food suggestions are oily fish, eggs, dark leafy greens, peanut butter, green tea, and fresh fruit.

10. Take Enough Rest

Getting a good night sleep improves your memory recall. Make sure to at least rest for 8 hours the day before your exam. Your brain would otherwise not be able to perform at its best capacity. Cramming in the entire subject the night before will definitely not make you perform better. So plan your revision wisely and take enough sleep the day before.