Tutor Icon  Request A Tutor
Pencil & Paper

Top 10 GCSE Revision Tips

Studying for your GCSEs? Whether you’re learning the structure of DNA, French verb conjugations, or the Cold War, follow these top 10 revision tips to achieve those top grades.


Weeks, not days before the exam. If you’ve just returned home from school and you’re still totally confused by that Maths equation, don’t ignore it until the week before your GCSE exam. Go over it as soon as possible.

Try to fill the gaps in your understanding throughout the year; this will make life much easier when you start revising for your final exams!


First of all, print a copy of the syllabus that you’re studying (make sure it’s the right exam board!). The syllabus will include everything that you’re expected to know about each subject, and therefore, what you could be examined on. Don’t waste time learning topics that are not on the syllabus.

Secondly, read the examiners’ report (this is an A* tip!). These reports include details of what students from the previous year did right and wrong in the exam board’s opinion, and it’s written by the people who will be marking your exam paper.


Start by breaking each topic down into ten to fifteen shorter sections. This way, when you sit down to start your revision, you won’t be overwhelmed by the task ahead. Work out how many topics you have to learn and how much time to spend on each, allowing extra time for those particularly tricky topics.

Create a timetable, setting realistic targets for each day (no, you won’t manage to learn the entire English Literature syllabus in one day…). Your timetable doesn’t have to be set in stone – you might even prefer to write up a weekly ‘to-do’ list for each subject.

However, creating a revision timetable is a waste of time if you don’t stick to it. Don’t spend longer learning a section than you have scheduled – move on. The purpose of following a timetable is to avoid spending weeks learning the earlier topics and then frantically rushing through the later ones.

After you’ve covered a section, tick it off on your timetable. Visually tracking your progress will help to keep you motivated.

Check out GoConqr when creating your revision timetable.


This means that simply reading page after page from a textbook is not enough to achieve those top grades. Make your own notes. Although it’s slower, you’ll remember more by hand writing your notes than by typing them. Don’t waste time making your notes look perfect.

Revise using as many different resources as possible to break up the monotony. For example, mind maps are an excellent way to visually link together different concepts. Listen to podcasts, watch documentaries, take online quizzes – mix up your revision resources.

Flash cards are perhaps the best tool for revising. Write a question on one side, and the answer on the other. You can use flash cards to learn just about anything; biological terms, mathematical equations, key historical dates…

Check out QuizLet for some useful online flash card decks.


No, in front of the TV is not a good idea (no matter how convinced you are that watching Big Bang Theory will help you to understand that tricky Physics chapter…). Don’t revise in bed – you’ll almost definitely doze off, and you’ll have trouble relaxing at night.

Try revising in your study, kitchen, the library, a coffee shop – wherever works for you (but remember that it’s best to use a proper desk and chair). You might find it useful to revise different subjects in different places.


It’s a struggle for us all, but keep off of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat whilst you’re revising. To avoid any temptation, keep your phone in another room and only look at it during your breaks.

Use apps such as SelfControl (for MACs) and ColdTurkey (for Windows) to block distracting websites on your laptop.


Get together with a group of friends who are revising for the same exam. You will be confident on different topics, so help each another out. Go through each section, quizzing each other and asking questions if you’re confused.

Explaining a topic to someone else is a great way to test that you’ve actually understood it, plus, it’s easier to remember information once you’ve spoken it aloud.


Once you’ve covered every topic, don’t just go over your flash cards thousands of times; you need to apply the information you’ve learned. GCSEs are not simply memory tests.

Attempt as many past paper and practice questions as possible. Do them in silence, and in timed conditions. By doing this, you’ll become more familiar with how questions are worded and you’ll learn how much time to allocate to answering each question. In the exam, you need to be able to recall only the information that is relevant to the question, and get it written down in the time given – this requires practice!

Once you have finished a practice paper, go over it with the mark scheme. Make a note of what you did right, and what you could have done better. Look at model answers given on the mark scheme. This is the best way to improve your exam technique.

The more past papers and practice questions you attempt, the more comfortable and confident you’ll feel in the real exam.


It isn’t effective. Take regular breaks whilst you’re revising, and return to your work with fresh eyes. You’ll be able to concentrate much better if you take regular breaks. It’s a waste of time trying to learn new information with an over-tired brain.

Keep your body and mind happy; exercise regularly, eat well, and socialise. You don’t have to give up the things you enjoy during the revision period.

Most importantly – sleep! Staying up all night and drinking gallons of caffeine are not good ideas. Sleeping actually improves memory.


If you can’t understand something, don’t drive yourself crazy. Make a note of where you’re stuck, and come back to it later. Look for a new source of information, and don’t be afraid to ask your teacher for help. You may not understand everything immediately – be patient with yourself.

We all have days when our brain seems to take absolutely nothing in. If you’re having one of these days, go for a walk, get some fresh air, and try again.

Happy Revising!


Melodie Argi
Melodie Argi
08:14 18 Oct 19
Tavistock tutors is by far the best tutor agency is London. The tutor selection is of the highest quality. Handpicked from the British intellectual elite in all sorts of disciplines. The staff is wonderfully helpful as well as being extremely attentive to feedback.read more
Henry Smith
Henry Smith
22:27 17 Oct 19
I have been employed as a tutor with Tavistock Tutors for over 5 years. I tutor mathematics and also help people with job preparation for different career routes (cv, cover letter, interview preparation and online test prep). They are simply a wonderful team of individuals who work collectively and strive to deliver the best possible service to both clients and their tutors. They work doggedly to achieve results. They are particularly honest and their feedback to tutors on how to improve is tailored, concise and always highly constructive. Even after 5 yrs, they only put me forward as a tutor if they think I am the absolute best they can find otherwise they are honest with me and explain why I was not put forward. I think this transparency is a huge reason for their success and keeps the best tutors on their books for years. Their communication on what a client wants is also clinically precise and effective and the team go out of their way to provide potential interests/passions of the client to help the tutor prepare accordingly for the lessons and nurture that interaction. Simply the finest agency and I have tutored with some of the best. World-class tutors and utmost confidentiality with respect to their clientele. I cannot be happier to work for them, a dream job with a team whose capacity for kindness, empathy and boundless intellect never ceases to amaze me. Their work ethic inspires me to relentlessly push myself to be a better tutor with their encouragement and constructive feedback.read more
Albert Tam
Albert Tam
20:50 17 Oct 19
Best tutors in London! Great experience and amazing customer service. Highly recommend, my tutors were all fantastic and a huge help. Really recommend Tavistock Tutors as I never had to worry about not getting the highest quality tutors unlike other agencies and online tutors.read more
16:13 17 Oct 19
I’ve used Tavistock multiple times and they never disappoint!I used them for myself secondary school, whilst at university and even now whilst working. Their service is second to none as are their tutors.I highly recommend them to anyone looking to better themselves academically or personally.read more
13:22 06 Oct 19
Why most reviewers have one contribution, namely to the Tavistock Tutors?High standards ? Mate get a real job rather than living off other's qualifications.Reality Check(See photos attached - that is the owner “looking for me” 1.5 years after leaving London and while my name and photo was on first page of Tavistock Tutor website...)read more
Jonathan Aaron
Jonathan Aaron
16:39 01 Aug 19
Amazing experience, the tutor was reliable, knowledgeable and reasonably priced and the company was both professional and reliable. Definitely will be using them again!read more
David T
David T
16:34 01 Aug 19
I used Tavistock for some Corporate Finance and Financial Modelling training at my firm. They were extremely helpful and the trainer, Simon, was of top quality, experience and charged a fair price. Thank you!read more
Olivia Pluss
Olivia Pluss
11:05 13 Jun 19
I had a fantastic experience with my tutor Elena and Tavistock Tutors. They were very well organized and made the entire experience so seamless and easy for me. I passed my assignment with great marks and the experience was much less stressful than if I had tried to complete the assignment without Elena's help.read more
J Mathews
J Mathews
11:27 22 May 19
My child used Glenda for HL biology. Glenda was outstanding. I would not hesitate to recommend her. Extremely intelligent, always prepared, knows how to teach/very helpful, and also just a nice person. Also, I would use Tavistock again for sure because we had such success with Glenda.read more
Alan Radford
Alan Radford
09:34 09 May 19
Tavistock Tutors were a delight to deal with, and highly professional at all times. They provided my daughter with an excellent tutor at very short notice - after my having approached them on a Thursday urgently requesting a tutor for that weekend. Tavistock Tutors immediately gave the matter their attention; they appreciated the urgency and responded quickly and efficiently, and helped to set my daughter up with exactly the right sort of tutor. Fantastic!read more
Sophie Taieb
Sophie Taieb
12:55 29 Mar 19
Very happy with Tavistock tutors services. They provide a wide range of tutors, from all backgrounds and for all types of needs. My uni son needed some help in research and methodology. We found a perfectly suited tutor in less than 3 days. He is very knowledgeable, punctual, open minded and brings the support needed to my son. I would definitely recommend Tavistock tutorsread more
Next Reviews

How to memorise quotes – (great for closed book exams!)

Memorising quotes can be a crucial element to your GCSE and A-level exams, so mastering the skill can be essential.Being able to use quotes in your written responses is a sure way to get marks fo...

How to choose quotes to learn for English GCSE

We know that learning quotes for a closed-book exam can be daunting, difficult and boring – especially when you’ve already been studying the text for an entire year. In our article ‘Do I need ...

Do I need to memorise quotes for English GCSE?

With the new GCSE specifications released in 2015, most English Literature GCSE exams have now become closed-book exams.

But what does this mean?

This means that in your exam, you won...

Call Now Button