Knowing how much you should be revising for GCSEs can be difficult to determine. GCSEs will most likely be your first formal exams, where it is up to you to revise independently. This can be overwhelming for some students, as they don’t know how to even begin! It can definitely be difficult to find a good balance. You don’t want to be revising too little, as this won’t prepare you for the exam. However, revising too much can also have negative consequences.
The number of hours you should spend revising for your GCSEs depends on a range of factors. For example, you may have more homework than usual or just feel too tired. You also may have more time to revise on weekends and holidays. However, in general, it is useful to spend at least two hours a day revising for your GCSEs. The earlier you start this, the better!
If you want to find out more about how many hours you should spend revising for your GCSEs and how you can make this revision time as productive as possible, check out the rest of this article!
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How much revision should you be doing per day for your GCSEs?
There is no definite answer to this question. Different students perform their best revising for different numbers of hours.
You do need to make sure that you are revising a little every day during the run up to your exams. This may only be one or two hours a day during school days, after all, you will probably be revising during the lessons.
However, on weekends and holidays, it may be useful to amp up the revision. Determined students may do seven hours or even more a day when they are not at school.
However, if this feels too much for you, don’t worry! Four to five hours would also be sufficient, for example. You need to remember that the quantity of your revision isn’t what is important.
Many students get caught up in the trap of thinking they need to do ‘x’ number of hours a revision a day. However, this is not the best way to look at revision.
This is because a twenty-five minute revision session may actually be more effective than a four hour block. This is due to losing concentration if you revise for too many hours at a time.
Therefore, when planning out your revision, remember to focus on the quality and not the quantity.
Does each GCSE need the same amount of revision?
This again depends on each individual student. If you are not very confident on a certain subject, it may be beneficial to do more revision for this subject, compared to other subjects that you are more confident in.
There are some GCSE subjects which generally need to be revised more by everyone. For example, subjects with key dates and facts should be revised more often, so that you are keeping on top of your knowledge.
In comparison, subjects such as GCSE English Language may require less revision because it is quite hard to revise for this subject, as you don’t need to know key facts. If you want to discover how to revise for GCSE English Language effectively, check out this article from Think Student.
For GCSE Maths, you only need to revise different formulas and methods, thus this subject may also require less revision. However, this decision depends on each individual.
If your weakest subject is GCSE Maths, then revise for it as much as possible!
Check out this Think Student article on the ultimate way to revise for your GCSE Maths exam.
When should you start revising for your GCSEs?
A common misconception by students is that they don’t have to start revising until a couple of months before the exams. This works fine for some students, however, for most, this is not the best way to go.
Instead, you should probably aim to start revising for GCSEs approximately three to six months before they start. This is for a number of different benefits.
If you start revising early on, you are able to identify any areas of weakness, meaning you can focus more on these topics. It also allows you to understand the material more, so you won’t be panicked a couple of weeks before the exam.
The earlier you start, the more times you can review topics, meaning the information is also more likely to be in your long-term memory. If you want to discover more reasons why revising for your GCSE exams earlier is better than leaving it till later, check out this article from Edumentors and this article from Think Student.
Some students will even start revising in Year 10! This will serve them well in the future, as they will feel more secure in their knowledge. As a result, they may not get as panicked before the exam!
It is never a good idea to leave revision to the last minute, even two months before your GCSEs may not be enough time. If you leave it too late, you may find it hard to understand the information and it may not go into your long-term memory.
However, if you have left it a little too late, don’t panic! Start revising as soon as you possibly can and focus. With some hard work, you can still do well.
How do you start revising for your GCSEs?
If you are not used to doing a lot of revision, it can be hard to start revising for your GCSEs, as they demand a lot of your time! If this is the case, then the best thing to do is to only start with a little bit of revision.
You can then gradually build this up every day, until you are doing a couple of hours each day. Revision can be hard because of how long it takes and having to keep concentrated for extended periods of time.
However, if you begin to give yourself treats whenever you do a certain amount of revision, this can increase your chances of actually doing it! For example, after you have done an hour, reward yourself with your favourite snack, or a walk around where you live.
If you allow yourself to do a couple of fun things, you are more likely to be able to start revising. If you want to discover more tips, check out this article from BBC Bitesize and this helpful guide from Think Student.
How do you start planning your revision?
Often, planning your revision is one of the hardest steps to revising! This is because you need to be organised and good at time management, making sure that you are giving enough revision time to each subject.
The best way to plan your revision is to create a revision timetable. These are easy to make! All you have to do is create a table with the days going down one column and different time periods on the across column.
For each time period, write in a revision task that you would like to complete. Check out when your actual exams are to see which subjects you need to prioritise.
When writing in your tasks, be sure to make them specific, so that you have a solid plan for your intentions. Also, make sure to also put in activities not related to revision in your timetable, after all, breaks are just as important!
If you want to learn more information about creating a timetable, check out this article from BBC Bitesize, which also has a helpful video. This article highlights the importance of colour coding different subjects in your timetable.
Not only is this visually pleasing, but it also shows how much time you are allocating to each subject. This allows you to check that you aren’t neglecting any subjects.
For a more in-depth explanation for creating a revision timetable, check out this article from Think Student.
How do you split up your GCSE revision sessions?
It’s easy to say that you need to split up your GCSE revision sessions up equally, based on different subjects. However, this can be extremely hard to do, especially when you don’t know how to start!
The best way to do this is to find out which of your GCSE exams are first and then create a revision timetable by working backwards. This allows you to prioritise certain revision. For more tips on this, check out this article from BBC Bitesize.
15 to 20 hours of revision per week is an acceptable amount to most students. The best way of achieving this is doing about three to four hours a day.
Although it is helpful to do a little bit of revision every day, you may choose to do most of this over 6 days, having one more relaxing day where you only do, say, 1 hour of revision. Time off is always important, as it allows you to re-energise and gives you a well-deserved break.
Even between revision sessions, you need to make sure that you are giving yourself breaks. This can be ten minutes or even an hour, as long as you are having a break and then are getting stuck back into revision. You can use the Pomodoro technique, this is discussed further in this Think Student article.
It is up to you to decide how many hours you should spend on each subject. To do this, you need to think about which subjects are your weakest and which exams you have first. In this way, you will be able to discover which subjects gain revision priority.
However, a good rule of thumb is to do at least two hours per week, per subject. In the Easter holidays, it is best to slightly amp up your revision, maybe doing five or six hours a day in total.
This is because you won’t be in school, so using your free time to revise would be extremely beneficial!
How many hours of revision per day is too much?
Personally, I would say that over six hours of revision a day is too much. Sometimes, revising lots can be counter-productive. This is because if you spend a large block of time revising, your concentration will definitely decrease.
You will take in less information as a result. You may think that you are being productive if you revise for seven hours in one go. However, the quality of your revision may not have been very good, despite the quantity.
It will probably be better for you to do shorter revision sessions, which are more spaced out. If you want to discover why revising for long periods of time may not be very beneficial, check out this article from Birmingham City University.
Personally, I know from experience that too much revision can be bad. This is not only because of a lack of concentration but you may also not need to revise as much as you think.
If you know a topic really well, there is no point reviewing it over and over. This could actually end up confusing you! Also, too much revision could result in a lack of any social life and no time spent with your family.
The key to revising is balance! If you want to discover more information about how long you should revise for, check out this article from Think Student.
How should you revise for your GCSEs?
Students are often unsure about how to revise. They may have been told different revision methods in school. However, the truth is that no two students will revise exactly the same way.
Different revision methods work for different people. As a result, it is best for you to explore the different revision methods advertised to you before you start revising intensely, to discover the best methods.
The most effective revision methods are ones that involve active recall. This is because it requires you to really think about the answers, instead of passively reading, meaning you are more likely to remember.
In my opinion, the best revision method is using flashcards. This is where you ask yourself questions which are on the cards and then check if you were right by viewing the answer, which should be written on the back. Think Student has two articles all about flashcards, you can check them out here and here.
Blurting is also an effective revision technique. This is where you write down as much as you can remember on a blank piece of paper about a certain topic. Again, this is active recall. If you want to discover some very effective revision techniques, check out this article from Think Student.
Regardless of how you revise, make sure that you are taking breaks and being consistent! You will do so well if you follow these tips. Happy revising!