What are the best tips to set your studying strategy for the UK GCSE and A-Level exams? How can you make the best out of the few months before the test? Which techniques can you use to pass the test with flying colours?
After years of education, there comes the time to take the final exams. The months before the exams are decisive and have a major impact on the test’s result. Be it GSCEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education), or later on A-Levels, UK students need a thought-through strategy to do their best on the exams.
ClassRx can help you prepare for the exams with the help of professional online tutors. Tailored to the needs of contemporary students, the private tutors’ mission is to empower you to become a future leader and achieve scholarly success.
What techniques can students use to study effectively?
Don’t Procrastinate and Start Studying As Early As Possible
Make Sure the place around You Is Study-Friendly
Take a Look at Papers and Exams From the Previous Years
Hack Your Brain to Revise More Effectively
Include Breaks and Exercise in Your Schedule
What else can you do to revise for GCSEs and A-Levels effectively?
1. Set Yourself a Studying Schedule
If you’re about to take your GSCEs or A-Levels, it means that there’s a tonne of material on your shoulders. Revising years of education from different subjects is a task that needs not to be underestimated.
To keep everything neat, create a studying schedule. Outline everything you need to revise, and highlight the things that need closer attention. Start learning months before the test and keep to your own schedule to prepare yourself for the exams.
2. Take Breaks
Whenever you’re studying or just revising material for exams like GCSE or A-Levels, always study in intervals. If you’ve already got a schedule for yourself, make sure to include breaks in it.
Especially if you’re using a computer, a laptop, or any device to revise for your exams - keep your eyes in mind! Staring at the digital screen hours on end will make you less energetic and make it more difficult for you to fall asleep in the night. Not to mention the health problems, especially those connected to eyesight.
3. Create a Study-Friendly Environment
One of the 13 virtues of Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s Founding Fathers, was to maintain order in his home and workspace. Centuries later, we can tell you that he wasn’t mistaken.
Something as easy as keeping your desk look neat or letting some fresh air in will create a study-friendly environment for you to revise all the material for A-Levels and GCSEs.
If you can’t create such an environment in your home, give a try to local libraries. They’re often open for students willing to lose themselves in coursebooks and notes in a peaceful place.
4. Don’t Procrastinate - Start Early!
Schedules and study-friendly environments won’t be useful if you reach for the books the night before the exam! Revising for GCSEs or A-Levels should be a process that starts as early as possible.
The earlier you begin to revise, the easier it will be to grasp all the knowledge and remember it long-term, instead of just meaninglessly cramming formulas shortly before the test.
5. Take a Look at Past Papers & Exams
When it comes to academic qualification final exams, their structure is more or less the same each year. The types of questions, difficulty, and the covered material isn’t too diverse. GCSEs and A-Levels base on exams from previous years.
The advantage of taking a look at past GCSE or A-Level papers and exams is twofold. First, you get to check your knowledge on the material you’re studying. It gives you a general outlook on your skills and what you already know.
Secondly, you get to know the structure of the exam better. They’re all similar, and (unless some changes are announced beforehand) your exam will look very similar to the ones from the past.
6. Play the Same Song Over & Over Again to Focus
Some people need not be distracted when learning. Studying for your GCSE or A-Level exam, you need to focus on what you’re doing. Every car honk, every barking dog, and every unexpected sound may get you off the right track.
How can music help? Try putting on your headphones and playing one song on repeat - it can be your favourite tune or a classical symphony.
After you’ve heard the same song a few times, your brain will get used to it. You’ll stop paying attention to the song in itself as if you’re not listening to it at all. At the same time, all external sounds are muted, leaving you to your own thoughts.
This brain hack will help you stay focused when preparing for UK A-Level or GCSE exams.
7. Deliver Information to Your Brain Via Different Senses
The more stimuli our brains get, the more likely they are to keep the information and move it to the ‘long-term memory’ box. How can you attack your brain with knowledge from each and every side?
● Read Coursebooks & Notes Out Loud
● Make Notes From the Things You’ve Read
● Read Your Notes Out Loud
By following these easy steps, your brain will receive the same information from different sources and senses - reading, writing, speaking and hearing. You can hack your brain into being a true memory machine, which will certainly help you during the UK A-Levels or GCSE exams.
8. Don’t Be a Tyrant for Yourself
Of course, keeping to your schedule, following your own resolutions, and having self-discipline is crucial if you want to pass your tests with flying colours. But remember to keep it reasonable and don’t be a tyrant for yourself.
We’ve already stressed how important it is to take breaks when revising study material and starting early to give yourself time. If you have a bad day or don’t feel like revising for the A-Levels and GSCEs, forcing yourself to sit down and study might turn out to be counterproductive.
You’re but a human being, no doubt about that. Treat yourself like you would treat a loved one. Be strict yet don’t take it to extremes, or you might negatively impact your own mental health.
9. Remember About Your Body - Eat Healthily
Sure, your mind is a powerful machine. Revising years of material for GCSE and A-Level exams are a great mental effort. To keep up with the process of studying, remember about your physical health too.
Eating healthily is the one thing you shouldn’t forget about. Your body needs a diverse diet to help your brain learn vast amounts of information.
Giving up on energy drinks and fast food is probably a good idea too. If you fill your stomach with junk, it might be detrimental to your cognitive abilities.
Another great tip is to spend a lot of time in the fresh air. If you have such an opportunity, consider studying outside - in your backyard or in a park. Exercising regularly is also proven to sharpen your mind, hence an occasional jog is more than welcome.
10. Divide & Conquer
Following the Romans’ example, divide and conquer to succeed at the tests. Faced with material from years of education that you need to revise for the GSCEs and A-Levels, trying to grasp all of it at once is futile.
When setting a schedule for yourself, try dividing the material into smaller chunks. Include breaks and don’t be a tyrant for yourself to make studying a pleasure, not a drudgery.
If you were to climb a high mountain peak, the task may seem overwhelming at first. There’s you - the feeble person - who stands against the power of nature at its best. Yet, if you decide to climb but a few hundred metres at a time, dividing the entire challenge into smaller components, it no longer seems impossible.
When in Rome, do as the Romans. When revising, divide and conquer. This strategy will help you revise tonnes of material and keep you motivated.
To revise vast amounts of material for exams like the UK GCSE or A-Levels, there are a few strategies and techniques you can implement in order to pass the tests with flying colours.
First of all, set yourself a learning schedule. Remember to include breaks, highlight the most important bits, and keep it all reasonable for your own good. It’s best to start revising for A-Levels and GCSEs as early as possible to give yourself time.
Secondly, try to create a study-friendly environment around you. Keep it neat and clean, so that the dusty desk won’t do your head in when revising. If you can’t do that in your home, parks and libraries are fine alternatives to turn to.
Always look at past papers and exams to get to know the test’s structure. Year in year out, GCSEs and A-Levels are quite similar in terms of how the tests look like. Get used to it, so that nothing can surprise you.
In the end, hack your brain into productive revising. Listen to the same song over and over to eliminate external distractions, or try to deliver information to your brain through different senses.
Revising so much for the UK A-Levels and GCSEs is a great challenge. If you need help, private online tutors will help you get prepared for the exams. Get in touch with ClassRx and get your pens ready for the final tests.