Starting the GCSE revision

Now I’m not sure when the optimum time to start GCSE revision is, but my instinct tells me it’s February half-term – three months before the exams start.

Kids these days study for about 10 GCSEs and within those subjects, there are a lot of topics. It’s almost two full years’ work in every subject. Now GCSEs aren’t rocket science (it is a GENERAL certificate of secondary education after all), but to get the best grades, and the grades they’re capable of, kids do need to put the work in.

After 15 and a half years as his mum, I know my son pretty well. I know he doesn’t like school work and I know he doesn’t like to be put under pressure. So was I going to tell him to start revising in February half-term? It seemed like the sensible thing to do, but I didn’t want him to feel I was putting pressure on and potentially turning him off revision before he’d even started.

But over the last year or so, my son has surprised me. He’s never going to work particularly hard, but he actually revised for the first time ever for his year 10 exams (and surprised his teachers with his results). He went on to do a bit of revision for his mocks in December and came out with predictions which should hopefully get him a place at his chosen grammar school.

But I was still surprised when he told me himself that he would be starting revision in February half-term. And he did! He only did an hour a day, but it’s a start and it’s getting him into good habits as we move ever closer to the GCSEs. He has carried on with his hour a day since going back to school. Yes, he usually needs reminding to do it and rarely starts before 7.30 or 8pm in the evening, but he does actually do it.

We’ve agreed that he will increase the amount he does in March – to an hour and a half a day on school days and two hours a day. For a boy who goes to bed very late, he’s still got plenty of time to relax in the evenings and should be laying the foundations for some really good GCSE results. He will increase the time he spends again in April, with a final push in May before the exams start in the middle of the month.

It seemed like a hassle to him at first, but he’s getting into a routine of sorts. Three months of revision might seem a lot to him now, but time will pass very quickly and he will be glad he’s put the work in when the exams come round in May.

It’s great to see him taking his GCSEs seriously and I’m very proud of him for starting to revise so early. Hopefully his results will reflect his hard work.

Revision, GCSEs, GCSE mocks, Revision guides

Bubbablue and me school days linky

Author: Sarah Mummy

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24 Comments

  1. Hi Sarah, an hour a day, off his own back, is a great start. I bet if you had made the suggestion that he started revising in half term the outcome may not have been quite the same. I hope he continues to revise and gets the grades he deserves at the end.

    xx

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    • You’re absolutely right! The suggestion needed to come from him! He’s quite motivated by the idea of going to a new school for 6th form, which means he’s working harder than we might otherwise have expected. I’m sure it will be worth it! x

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  2. It sounds like your boy is fairly motivated compared to many. I wish him all the best with his revision – I still remember feeling like I never did enough!

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    • Thanks very much! He’s actually really taken me by surprise as he’s never been motivated before. I think to start revising in February will give him a really good head-start.

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  3. Oh good for him, he’s much more likely to be able to concentrate on his revision if it was him that chose to do it. I never really revised when I was doing my GCSEs. I went through the motions but I had no idea how to learn what I needed to know. I hope that children are taught how to revise these days, in a way that will work for them.
    Nat.x

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    • Thanks very much! I revised a lot for mine, but it was nearly all reading and re-reading. They have so many more interesting ways to revise now like doing maths online or watching revision video or listening to revision audio. x

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  4. I’m very impressed with this Sarah. My teen thinks he can do the bare minimum and still get As – I think he’s about to find out the hard way that it isn’t that simple! An hour a day is brilliant off his own back. It’s a massive struggle with any teen for them to see things the way we do so I’m sure he’ll do really well as a result of this! Good luck with the rest of the exam period, maybe we need a support group? 😉

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    • Thanks very much! I think we’ll definitely need a support group! I don’t kid myself that it’s going to plain sailing all the way through. He’s found the step up from an hour a day to an hour and a half a little bit challenging, but I’m just really pleased that he is revising at all. He knows he won’t get As without revision. If he didn’t revise, he would probably get Cs, but that won’t get him into his chosen school, so he needs to get at least Bs and preferably some As too.

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  5. Well done to him starting from now and putting the effort in. It’s such an important time but I tends to fly by so quickly. Little and often is always the best way!

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    • Thanks very much, I think so too! It’s already nearly a month since he started revising and I have no idea where that time went to. It’s now only two months until the exams start.

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  6. I will definitely be revisiting this post in another 12 months, though Morgan has already started some revision in year 10. Some elements of his business GCSE will see them taking the exam in a few weeks. Thankfully he is like your son, and is fairly motivated with a small amount of nagging from me. I think it’s hard for them to fit revision into their schedule sometimes, between sports and downtime they need. Sounds as if you have a good plan in place x

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    • Well done to Morgan! I’m impressed with how well my son is doing. I really wouldn’t have believed it a year ago! x

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  7. That’s great that he volunteered it himself. I suppose school have mentioned it maybe as well? I just remember I worked hard at school, but for GCSEs only remember Letts book revision where I literally went through everything in maths and science. Otherwise I didn’t do much at all. Hope he manages to stay calm through it.

    Thanks for linking up to #schooldays.

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    • Thanks very much! I’m very impressed with him 🙂 I revised a lot for my GCSEs and think I started about February, but I mainly just read my books over and over again!

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  8. I didn’t revise for my GCSEs at all – I didn’t have a clue how to. I mostly just sat and made pretty revision timetables that I then completely ignored and just spent the time reading novels instead. (I went to a revision ‘club’ for Geography but that wasn’t so much revision as last minute learning because my actual teacher forgot to teach half the stuff I needed for my predicted grade because all but 5 of our class were taking the lower grade paper and she forgot about the 5 of us until a month before the exams. We had to go to the other class’s revision sessions to cover the extra stuff. It was revision for them but first time hearing it for us!!)
    Luckily I breezed through them (all high grades with the exception of one C grade) but then totally fell on my face in the January exams at AS-Level in 6th Form and actually failed all but one subject. Learning to revise then was hard and my science grades never really recovered. I went from A* student at GCSE to scraping Ds and Es at AS & A-Level. I did okay in English Language & Drama because they are less fact-heavy subjects and I found I could get As & Bs without intensive revision.

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    • I can’t believe your teacher forgot to cover the whole curriculum for you, that’s terrible! The step up between GCSEs and A Levels is so big, as I keep telling my son! I think if you’re pretty bright you can breeze through GCSEs, but A Levels definitely require work!

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    • Fingers crossed, it may happen! I never thought I would see my son get motivated like this.

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  9. Good to see him starting in plenty of time. In my day I think it was Easter for revision, but I didn’t have any exams till June (apart from language orals), so they need to start a bit earlier.

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    • I think I started in February too, but I never expected to see him start so early. I’m very pleased that he has though 🙂

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    • Thanks very much! I’ve been really impressed with him. He is revising every day and that is so unlike the old him. I think he’s going to come out with some results we’re all really proud of! x

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  10. That’s amazing preparation and such a bonus that he made the decision himself. I remember we started revision classes at school but I remember feeling burnt out at home and really don’t think I put the hours in. I got a few B’s though so I mist have done something right. I’m sure all his are work will pay off. He has his goal set and it really sounds like he is putting his mind to getting to where he wants to be.

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements
    x

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    • Thanks very much! It’s right that he made the decision himself, otherwise he would be forever trying to get out of it! I’m really impressed with how he’s doing so far and think he will actually keep it up! x

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