Step 1: Start as early as possible
It’ll take the pressure off and stop you feeling overwhelmed. Don’t wait until just before exams!
Step 2: Plan out subject blocks
You can do this in less than 10 minutes using our free revision plan generator.
The default settings (our recommendation) for each weekday are:
1 x 30 minute block for term 1,
2 x 30 minutes in term 2,
3 x 30 minutes in term 3.
(There’s less revision and more homework at the start of the year, whereas most homework IS revision by the end of the year.)
This works whether you’re working towards GCSEs, A-levels, or simply end-of-year exams.
Print it out as a pdf, or add it to your phone calendar (once you’re sure you’re happy with it).
Step 3: Add topics
The key to a great plan is adding topics.
- map out all the topics in advance, meaning you can be certain you’ll cover everything by the end
- map out topics a week at a time to keep it simple. This way you can choose to revise topics you’ve covered in class recently
- do some combination of the two!
To find the topics, you can pick them out from the specification for each subject, or take the shortcut and use our subject checklists.
Step 4: Test drive your plan
Make sure it’s not too much (or too little) to manage by trying it out for a week. If you try to do too much, it’ll be really tough to stick to it.
Check your plan doesn’t clash with anything. It’s best to pick a time, ideally the same time every day, that you’ll revise. Make sure you also block out time for yourself – favourite tv show / sports / friends.
Step 5: Stick to it!
Keep ticking off those revision blocks. It all adds up…!
If you’re struggling with motivation, pick a reward for completing each week of the plan – whatever will work for you.
Keep reading for the common mistakes people make with their revision plan…
Want to make revision easier?
Grab the GCSE Toolkit!
Common mistakes with revision plans:
Not adding topics.
After a long day at school, coming home to find you’re supposed to revise ‘maths’ means you have to spend valuable time deciding which topic to cover. If you’re tired, you will probably pick the topics you think are easy, and you’ll end up with all the tricky stuff at the end…
Not tracking what you’ve learned.
Our subject checklists have columns so you can tick off when you’ve learned a topic in class, and then when you’ve revised it. You should also try and colour code topics with Red, Amber and Green, so you know which topics could still use some extra work.
You can create something like this for yourself if you have your own list of topics.
It will mean you’ll know you’ve covered everything before the exams.
Not scheduling time in for yourself.
If it comes down to a scheduling clash between your favourite show and revising photosynthesis, which are you going to pick…? Preparing for exams is stressful, and you’re going to need to have some down time.
Waiting until just before exams…
Trying to squish everything into just a few weeks is incredibly tough and incredibly stressful. Spacing it out across the year makes it easily manageable (and stops you feeling overwhelmed).