Revision Guidance

Examinations and assessments can be a stressful time for our learners and their families

Quick Links

  • Easter Live Revision, click here
  • To order GCSE revision guides, click here
  • Year 11 - Eat the Elephant revision sheet, click here

Revision is really important as it builds confidence in the subject content and resilience when learners do encounter touch questions or tasks. Revision is revisiting the key information and facts from each subject in a structured way so that learners can retain the information and answer the questions in the assessments.
Past learners at Martin High offered some excellent advice when it comes to revision. They said:

  • Create a revision plan for each subject
  • Prioritise your time
  • Start revising NOW!
  • Don’t stress… plan for success.
  • Make a timetable and stick to it
  • Try your best
  • Stay fit, healthy and exercise too!

In order to best plan revision we have included a number of documents below including a revision timetable generator, revision flash card generator and revision advice. Specific subject advice is available on the subject area.

Additional materials

Key Stage Three revision strategies guide
Revision flash card generator
Revision timetable template
Exam board revision guidance 


Structure your revision plan around what works for you and never get stuck in a revision rut ever again! How to make a revision plan -  Click here

1 - Practice papers

Practice papers for your subjects is one of the most important revision techniques. Try and do as many as you can under exam conditions to get yourself used to the time pressure. Make sure you always get the mark scheme for your papers and mark what you complete so you know what to revise next.

2 - Mind maps

These are a graphical way to represent complex ideas and concepts. You could feature powerful mental triggers like images, colours and shapes to help your brain remember. It’s a helpful way to take notes or brainstorm essay themes or topics. Create a digital one with a tool like MindMup or go free-hand.

3 - Spider diagram posters

Similar to mind maps, spider diagrams are helpful for visually brainstorming ideas so that you can see a complete overview of all your information. It represents how different ideas are connected, with the key topic at the centre, like key Cold War events or plant transport systems. How to make a spider diagram – Click me

4 - Colour-coded post-it notes / flash cards

You can use colour-coded sticky notes or revision cards to write and organise important snippets of information like quotes, statistics and dates. You could stick them around your bedroom so you can read them every day, using one colour per subject/topic to help you differentiate. How to create flash cards – Click me

5 - Reading aloud / Record yourself

Whether it’s an essay draft, timeline or chemistry equation, reading things aloud can help things stick – or when it comes to essays or long answers, help you notice any mistakes. When learning languages or for subjects like drama, you could record yourself and listen back.

6 - Make up rhymes or mneumonics

We use mneumonics or memory devices to remember notes in music, colours of the spectrum and the planets in the solar system. You can make up your own acronyms, mneumonics or rhymes to help you remember the complex stuff.

7 - Re-organise school notes

Going through your notes, identifying gaps and re-organising them in a way that makes sense for you will help you to familiarise yourself with key topics and help you highlight if there are weaker areas you need to double up on.

8 - Blurting (or memory dump)

It literally means ‘blurting out’ all the information you know on a topic and trying to get it to stick in your long-term memory.  Get clued up here. Quickly read a section of a textbook or study guide, then close the book and write down as much info as you can. Once you’re done, reopen the text and see which areas you remembered well and which areas you didn’t. Then, give it another go, until you feel the information really going in.

9 - Funnelling

Funnelling is similar to blurting but helps you edit your notes very quickly. Here are the five steps

  • Write down everything about a topic – use sentences, bullets or diagrams.
  • Then, take one sheet of paper and, from memory, write it out again. Limit the info to fit on that one page.
  • Look at your work and try to identify the most important thing. Take a post-it or flashcard and write down the most important information from memory.
  • That’s the key thing but you’ll want more detail for the exam, so next, take one sheet of paper again and write as much as you can remember. Compare it to your original notes in step two, add in anything you missed.
  • Now do step one again, this time from memory and compare it to the original step one, add in what’s missing.


10 - Watch YouTube or MyTutor videos

Sometimes, watching a video that explains a complex idea or series of events just helps things make sense. Check out the free MyTutor Study Squads on YouTube on anything from coding to scatter graphs.

11 - Test yourself or get someone to test you

It can be really helpful to go beyond the page at times and either test yourself or get a parent or friend to test you. That little bit of pressure is great practice and will really help you know whether you’ve retained the information or not!

12 - Revise while doing something else 

For hands-on learners, sitting at a desk for hours might not be the most effective way to learn. Try going for a walk and listening to a class or recorded notes, or squeeze a stress ball as you read through key dates or stats – the steady rhythm may help you focus.

13 - Listen to educational podcasts or audiobooks

For those who like to listen to things being explained, you could compliment your revision with a fun podcast. TedTalks, Stuff You Missed in History Class and Science Friday are all great places to start.

Exercise the key to a healthy mind during assessment season

With the summer assessments beginning this half term it is important to consider your overall well-being. Exercise is a fantastic way to relieve stress and help you focus. It doesn’t have to be super strenuous either. The school track is 400m, why not take on a the ‘Daily Mile’ challenge during the assessment season by walking four laps during your lunch break. Take a friend, have a chat and enjoy the outdoors as well as the positive physical and mental health benefits below:

  • Exercise relieves stress - The bad news? Stress slows down the brain’s ability to process information, making it more difficult for us to concentrate and focus, which in turn can greatly impact your exam performance. The good news? There is a cure! Exercise cranks up the body’s production of serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good brain chemicals which helps create a happier and healthier mood. Even a quick 20 minute session can radically change your mental and physical state, especially if you have been sitting in the library all day.
  • Exercise improves memory retention - Finding it harder and harder to remember those Shakespeare quotes? Or the almost impossible answer to that biology question? Fitting in regular exercise into your routine can quite literally “jog” your memory. Exercise releases endorphins, also known as nature’s mood elevator, which has been shown to improve memory and boost your brain-building hormones. So next time you’re stuck for revision, try getting outside and let your brain do its magic!
  • Exercise increases focus and concentration - Regular exercise releases brain chemicals key for memory, concentration, and mental sharpness at the same time as lifting your mood, lowering stress and anxiety all of which contribute to brain health. Studies show that regular exercise helps you manage complex tasks, organise and razor sharpen your focus which is great for those long revision sessions or particularly complex exam questions.
  • Exercise boosts your energy - Feeling slumped? The more you move, the more energized you will feel. Regular physical activity improves your muscle strength and brain power, giving you the energy you need to think clearer and come up with new ideas. A good 15 minute break from revision to move around, even just around your living room, makes your body produce more energy whilst also making you feel happier.

For more information on the daily mile click here: