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7 minutes reading time (1352 words)

Revision Timetable: How To Create A Totally Awesome Exam Revision Planner! 

 

 (From a GCSE English teacher)

Revision Timetable Tricks of the Trade

 Okay, so you're here because you're trying to revise for an exam, aren't you? Or, maybe you're the parent of a teenager trying to revise and you're at your wits end with it all?! Do not fear! Fret no more! I am here to help you create a totally awesome, free (and very effective) revision timetable that won't stress either of you out!

 Now, I'll let you into a secret: revision is not all about spending every waking minute pouring over endless books on each of your GCSE topics with seemingly nothing sinking in. Nor does it need to be a chore that your parents force you to do every night in the build-up to your exams. One of the key things to remember with revision is it's just like drinking water to keep yourself hydrated: little and often is the way forward.

 But why do I need to create a revision timetable? This is a question I get asked over and over again by my GCSE students, year in, year out. In fact, if I had £1 for every time I'd been asked this question, I'd be a millionaire by now and could give up teaching! (Well, maybe not quite a millionaire… more like a hundredaire and could probably take my family on a nice little seaside break. Anyway…)


 It's so so important to create a revision timetable when it comes to your revision for important exams, as it will help you to decide which subjects you need to spend the most time on, and will also ensure you spend enough time revising and enough time relaxing! Yes, you read correctly, 'relaxing'. It's very important you manage your stress levels, particularly when you're revising for GCSEs (and A-Levels, and university exams and so on and so forth) as you stand to make yourself incredibly poorly if you don't take a proper break.


 STEP 1 - Revision Timetable Format:

 Choose which format you'd prefer your revision timetable to be in – this is mostly down to personal choice, and also personal budget. Some people prefer to head to Paperchase (other high street stationery retailers are available…) and drop £10 on a swanky diary, others prefer to download free printables (I'll pop some handy links at the bottom of this post) off the internet and sneakily use the school's printer to print them.

 Either way, choose what works best for you and stick to it. You may find it easier having a poster-style timetable on the wall, or you may find having a diary with the days and dates laid out already for you a little easier to digest.

 STEP 2 - Exam Times & Dates:

 If you don't have one already, get together a list of all of your exam dates, times, lengths and how many papers you'll be sitting for each subject. This will help you to properly organise your timetable and make sure you get that all-important chill time away from hitting the books.

 STEP 3 - Subjects & Target Grades:

 On a separate bit of paper, make a list of all of your subjects and your target grades (these can either be your target grades set by your teachers or the grade you're aiming for yourself). Next to your target grades, give yourself a confidence score out of 4 for each subject, with 4 being the highest level of confidence and 1 being the lowest level of confidence.

 STEP 4 - Revision Timing:

 Have a good think about when you work best. Is it first thing after school or college when you get home? Or are you better working after a break and some food, later on in an evening, for example?

 Remember, you need to make sure you're getting enough rest and sleep too. So try not to revise past 10pm as you'll find yourself getting more and more tired and the words may end up swimming around the pages. Once you've agreed with yourself the time you work best, set out the times you will allocate to revising, making sure you schedule regular breaks in between too.

STEP 5 - Revision Topics:

Next you need to think about the topics you need to dedicate the most time to. Use your confidence tally chart to help you, as usually the subjects you feel the least confident in you need to spend the most time swotting up on. You could even narrow this down further by completing a past or mock paper in your main subjects, then highlight the question/s you found the most challenging.  


STEP 6: Allocate Time To Each Subject:

 You're over half way to completing your totally awesome revision timetable now! Well done you! Now for the somewhat tricky part. You need to calculate how much total time you have to revise. Once you have done this, divide this time between your subjects, making sure you allocate the most amount of time to the subjects you feel the least confident in and that have the most topics which need working on.


STEP 7 - Putting It All Together:

Use your completed steps to create your revision timetable, in your chosen format. Remember, try to separate out your least favourite subjects as otherwise it could end up feeling like total revision overload! Try not to start with the most difficult topics first, either, as you could end up overwhelmed.  

Try to plan on topics that build on each other, so you can utilise skills you've already practised as you move on. For example, if you're revising for GCSE English Language, try to look at the summarising information topic before moving on to the language analysis topic. Then, once you've looked at language analysis, move on to practising the writing questions, as you'll already have a flavour for language that is effective and at a higher level.

 STEP 8 - Plan To Chill:

 Add in some relaxation time to your revision timetable, and make sure you include ideas of the things you will do in this time. Maybe you'll chill out by messing around on Instagram or Snapchat for half an hour? Or perhaps catching up on some TV you've missed (while revising!) is more your thing? Either way, make sure you plan this down time in, as it's just as important as the revision itself. You absolutely don't want to end up suffering from burnout!

STEP 9 - Stick To It:

 Almost there! This all comes down to your commitment and mind set now. You've made a plan, you've done the preparation and gathered all of your resources, now you need to make sure you stick to your plan. This way, you'll know you'll cover all of the subjects you need to and won't end up feeling guilty during your chill time.

STEP 10 - Start Early:

​Make sure you see your revision as an ongoing process, rather than something you just try to cram in a few weeks before your big exams. Use practice and mock exam papers to help you assess how well you're doing, ask your teacher for extra help (some teachers may even mark some of your practice papers for you, if you ask them nicely, and maybe even bribe them with a little chocolate!). Cross out topics as you work through them too, as this will make you feel a real sense of accomplishment as you go along.

 Step 11 - Sail Through The Exam:

 So, there we have it, and congratulations for making it through to the end! By now you should have a totally awesome revision timetable, and can use it to plan for your ultimate success in your upcoming exams. Remember, exams are a necessary evil, but if you plan and prepare properly, you've totally got this!

Handy Printables for Revision Timetables

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Sunday, 24 March 2019

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