Win a GCSE 9-1 practice paper bundle with Collins – plus a £50 ASOS voucher!

I have found as I navigate my way through parenting four kids to adulthood is that things definitely do NOT get easier as they get older. Oh, sure, there’s definitely less sleeping/eating worries, and much less cleaning of bodily fluids. But other big stuff comes along and completely knocks your I’ve-got-this parenting confidence sideways.

One of those is the exams. I swear it isn’t THAT long since I took my own exams (listen, if I say it wasn’t, it wasn’t, okay?) – and I did pretty good in most of mine. But in the space between mine and theirs things have changed. Like, a LOT.
Oh, I can still hold my own in a discussion on the themes of Romeo and Juliet. But GCSE Maths contains things I didn’t even know existed when I was 15 (degrees are divided by minutes? Really?). And I only did GCSE Biology (well I did Chemistry too, but I got a D…), so help with the Physics elements of Combined Science? Nup, probably shouldn’t look at me.

And the revision is way more technical now, too. You have your revision Guides, which are ace for jotting notes on, you can tie them in to your own class notes, stick post-it notes in, keep notes on them from YouTube videos….
But then you don’t just need to know your subject. You need to know how to take the exam – a whole art in and of itself these days. So Practice Papers are an essential part of any GCSE-studying teens kit. Crack these, and on exam day they’ll feel far less stressed about the unknown – they’ll know what to expect in terms of layout and timings, they’ll know how to work out the marking scheme and perform accordingly, and they’ll know the pitfalls of the question wording.

And we have a whole BUNDLE of Collins’ Practice Papers to give away to one lucky GCSE student – alongside a nice little £50 ASOS voucher to cheer up their exam-stressed brain.

To enter, just use the magic widget below – closing date is the 17th of November, and first name out of the cyber hat wins. Good Luck!

Win a complete Letts ‘GCSE In A Week’ PLUS Spotify Premium!

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Author: Laura

A 70's child, I’ve been married for a Very Long Time, and appear to have made four children, and collected one large and useless dog along the way. I work, I have four children, I have a dog… ergo, I do not do dusting or ironing. I began LittleStuff back in (gulp) 2004. I like huge mugs of tea. And Coffee. And Cake. And a steaming cone of crispy fresh fluffy chips, smothered in salt and vinegar. #healthyeater When I grow up I am going to be quietly graceful, organised and wear lipstick every day. In the meantime I *may* have a slight butterfly-brain issue.

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182 Comments

  1. Take plenty of breaks to let the knowledge sink in.

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    • Make sure you don’t give up your sports time or exercise while you’re revising. It helps keep you awake and boosts your brainpower!

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    • Make a revision timetable and take short, frequent breaks during your revision.

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    • Preparation is key. Always organise what you’re going to do, when and for hoe long to reduce stress and help prevent exhaustion

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    • My top tip is to write and write again! “I had notebooks full of notes!

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  2. Do lots of practice papers and mark them yourself using the mark scheme so you learn what examiners are looking for.

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  3. Stay calm, you don’t take information in when you’re cramming or panicking about exams. Allow plenty of time and take advantage of any revision classes at school.

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  4. Do 30 mins at a time then have a 5 mins break

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    • Make a revision schedule and take plenty of breaks to not burn yourself out. This is what I have been doing with my daughter with mock exams looming and taking advantage of studying groups after school

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  5. Have lots of breaks during revision time and leave your phone outside the room!

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    • Make sure you have a nice quiet place to concentrate and lots of food and drink!

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  6. Lots of family support, revision notes and guides, balancing revision with relaxing.

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    • Revision notes and schedule revision on helps stick to the plan

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  7. Have a timetable to stick to and know what you need to revise for each session

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  8. Keep hydrated, make yourself a conducive atmosphere either with music or with quiet, plenty of good quality snack and remember not to panic x

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    • Make sure you eat breakfast and drink plenty of fluids otherwise you tend to lack concentration

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  9. Stay organised and revise in short bursts so you can stay focused

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  10. take breaks dont overdo it

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  11. dont leave it all to the last minute and drink plenty and get fresh air

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    • Bullet points and mind maps

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    • Mark the key points and words with highlighter. Easy to revise at the end moments.

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  12. Explain/tell someone about what you are studying. If they understand then you have a good grapse of the topic and helps you work out which bits you need to revise more.

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  13. Plan your revision using a timetable.

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  14. Little and often helps the information stay in

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  15. have plenty of breaks

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  16. Try to revise a consistant amount every day =- even if it’s just 20 minutes – try not to revise for too long at a time and have regular breaks for water

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  17. Keep hydrated and eat well, you can’t focus if you are dehydrated or hungry.

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  18. Work for an hour then take half an hour off and get plenty of sleep

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  19. Start as early as you can in the day so you can unwind in the evening.

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  20. education videos are good and quizzes

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  21. Revise bits in bite-sizes so you don’t get bored and more chance of retaining the information.

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  22. use little revision cards and make plenty of notes!

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  23. create a peaceful place where you can revise in comfort without interuptions and remember you can only do your best so as long as you are trying your hardest you should be proud of yourself

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  24. Plan a schedule for each different subject and make sure you schedule in breaks!

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  25. Make revision cards to break down the information and make it easier to remember

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  26. Work out how you best revise – for some it’s writing things down as a list, for others it’s more pictorial – work out what works best for you.

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  27. Pace yourself. Set aside a little time each day instead of trying to cram it all in at the end

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  28. do it when your mind feels most active,

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  29. My tip is so make a schedule so you know what times ect you have to get revision done

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  30. Make lots of revision cards and put relaxing music and incense sticks on when revising xx

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  31. Vary your revision with different activities

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  32. Make a revision timetable and stick to it.

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    • Don’t stress, find out how you learn best and do it yourself way. Repetition, colour codes etc

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  33. Don’t leave it until last until last minute to revise

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    • Little and often. And give yourself a treat afterwards.

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  34. Make notes, use mind maps and other tools, take regular breaks

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  35. Make little cards of things to remember and put them on your wall and around

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  36. Dont rush, allow yourself time and breaks

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  37. Take time out don’t over do it and stress out too much little and often

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  38. Revise in bite size chunks. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to take in too much at once x

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  39. Start early in the year and make your revision plan realistic including social times in it. Keep your notes in order so that when you come to revise it makes sense.

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  40. Practice, practice & practice! – do as many past GCSE papers as you can ?

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  41. Break everything down into bite-sized chunks and to make sure you’re taking regular breaks – you can only take so much information in, in one go.

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  42. Do not leave revision to the last minute – continual bite size chunks are best. Be organised – have an achievable plan and be disciplined enough to stick to it. Build in break times – and make sure these include fresh air & exercise – it’s good & healthy for your body & mind.

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  43. Do plenty of past papers

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  44. Fill in revision cards from day one of studies, it saves a lot of time in the long run when it comes to exam time saving more of that time for studies

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  45. The best thing I found for revision was to teach somebody else – eg. present it all to a family member, or write it up as a blog post. You’re more likely to understand it that way rather than just memorise it.

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  46. mine always has to be start early don’t leave it until you’re overwhelmed! failing to prepare is preparing to fail x

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  47. Don’t leave everything to the last minute as I did.

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  48. Don’t try and do too much at one time, have a few breaks in between

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  49. Make sure you are well rested before revising, Eat healthily and make sure you have breaks.

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  50. Make a plan, start early, and timetable in mini-breaks to refresh yourself

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  51. break it down into maneageable chunks

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  52. Make lists of bullet points and put them up on a wall that you walk past many times each day reading them each time.

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  53. Index cards! Summarise everything from your notes in bitesize chunks on the cards and get someone to pick them at random to test you.

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  54. Do a little revising every day.

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  55. Mine’s a bit of a strange one, but I guess that revision styles vary from person to person. I always felt that having my favourite music on in the background helped me. I know it seems counter intuitive, but I felt that it eased the stress and anxiety and allowed me to focus harder!

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  56. You won’t learn as well if you’re tired or hungry. Eat proper meals, take rest breaks and get good sleep.

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  57. Always use practice papers – past papers and Mark schemes -Plan your revision and build in social breaks and rest – eat well and sleep well – keep hydrated – have confidence that if you prepare well you will pass well !

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  58. Revise in small chunks. Absolutely no more than 30 minutes at a time, on something really specific.

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  59. Have break and keep fueled

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  60. Trial different methods of revision and find what works for you.

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  61. My top tip is putting post it notes EVERYWHERE. When I’m studying I revise when I’m making tea, answering the door or sitting on the toilet. When I’m in an exam it helps me visualise where in the house I learnt the answer to the question and it really really helps my memory.

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  62. Essey practice – write your salient points on a spider diagram and then write essays around it, then get writing those points and whittle down to one word reminders – then there’s less to remember and that one word will make you remember the rest!

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  63. I like mind maps, preferably with lots of highlighting and doodles.

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  64. Exercise. It acts as a great stress reliever. I recommend the park run, held in parks across the country on Saturday mornings. So you’ll be out of bed in time to get lots of revision into your weekend.

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  65. Start early and do little and often, making sure to have plenty of downtime too.

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  66. revise in little time blocks, spending too long on one subject will make you get bored and distracted

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  67. Find which method of revision works for you, people learn in different ways. Ask others what they do/did. Try not to stress!

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  68. Devise a timetable for studying and try and keep to it. Organisation is everything!

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  69. Don’t try and cram at the last minute as the pressure stops you performing at your best.

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  70. Keep organized and take plenty of breaks. Too much information without breaks won’t sink in

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  71. Make a revision timetable, set aside breaks and don’t leave it until the last minute

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  72. Plan everything out to The very last detail.

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  73. Take 30 minute breaks,so that you are absorbing what you are reading

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  74. preparation is key but dont overdo it! make time for yourself to just enjoy yourself this relieves some of the stress and pressure of sitting gcses and dont be afraid to ask for help when you need it!

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  75. Take regular breaks to avoid burnout.

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  76. Plan your revision to get the maximum intake of knowledge.

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  77. Make bullet points and have a friend test you from them

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  78. Write things down. After reading something write your own notes, things seem to sink in better that way. Quiz yourself regularly and get family members involved to help!

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  79. Little and often – get up and have a little wonder around, a cup of tea or just a little break to give your brain time to absorb what you are learning x

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  80. The best revision advice is little and often – give your brain time to absorb what you are trying to get it to learn x

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  81. My tip is to just do an hour at a time. Do an hour and then have a break before you get back to it.

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  82. Just reading is never enough to take in the information – something always needs to be written

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  83. When at school I spent hours revising, feeling guilty if I had a break. After leaving school and gaining a teaching qualification and then a degree I found short, sharp sessions much more effective.

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  84. Lots of breaks & I love key points on sticky notes!

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  85. Take plenty of breaks in between and dont try do to much in one night

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  86. DO practice questions or papers, they really help with technique as well as knowledge.

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  87. Stick to a revision timetable.
    Do 30 mins then have a break and walk around.
    Do cram just prepare

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  88. i used to set certain times for certain subjects, also time for fun helps too

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  89. Don’t leave it to last minute, prepare a plan always helps me nuckle down

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  90. Revise at a set time every day but not too late. Make time to wind down before bed

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  91. Take lots of breaks, drink plenty of water and brain food snack, if your feeling stressed or overwhelmed, tell someone.

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  92. Start early and do not leave it to the last minute.

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  93. Start early and work in a tidy clear space, do lots of practice papers and take regular breaks

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  94. Lots of breaks and water is key but I would suggest revising little and often, Post it notes all over my room really helped with information I found difficult to retain.

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  95. Go to the library where there’s not as many distractions

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  96. Get yourself a white board and plan your revision timetable. Dont overdo it, make time for relaxation too.

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  97. Start early and allow yourself plenty of downtime xx

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  98. Write clear and concise notes. Revise little and often.

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  99. Make sure you socialise with your friends still to give you a break from studying

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  100. Post-it notes.. Everywhere. On the bathroom door, on your bed.. even on the sink. With quirky simple one line facts that might help you, for example I had a simple one which stated ‘cumulative graph = End’. which reminds me when creating that graph i need to plot the end point!

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  101. Write lots of quick notes on revision cards. Then get someone to test you.

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  102. Read everything out loud, it helps you memorise it

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  103. the best way is to know your times table it should help you remember with answers.

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    • Set time aside every day make it a routine quite and calm

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  104. take regular breaks

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  105. Do little but often, take lots of refreshment breaks to keep you alert.

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  106. Writing down key points helps them to go in. If you find you are not absorbing the information, then take a break and come back to it later.

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  107. Make some flash cards.

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  108. Sniff rosemary oil. According to some studies the smell can enhance your memory.

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  109. Little and often

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  110. Use visual, written and oral materials as you may be more likely to absorb some of the information is a written or oral form better

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  111. Write notes and highlight key points

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  112. Try and do revision throughout the year, not just at the last minute.

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  113. I wish I’d listened to people telling me that GCSEs are not the be-all and end-all.

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  114. Make lots of short notes and best to write them soon after the lectures – so you have full notes and quick revision notes (reminders of each areas)

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  115. Make sure you fuel your brain with energy foods before revising otherwise your brain will fail to work

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  116. Lots of water and coffee.

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  117. Be organised, find a quiet spot, focus on subject and take regular breaks.

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  118. Better to revise in short sessions with frequent breaks so the child doesn’t get overtired or bored.

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  119. Do at least some of it in exam like conditions, it will mentally prepare you more.

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  120. Take plenty of breaks when revising for drinking and eating and just resting don’t panic if you think it’s not going in or your running out of time it’s surprising what you do absorb so stay calm don’t worry and remember if it does all go wrong on the day it’s only an exam it can be sat again

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  121. Make sure you schedule fun time in with the revision time or you won’t be able to stick to it for long.

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  122. Don’t forget to eat & drink

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  123. Little and often – don’t try to cram in too much information.

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  124. Stay calm!! And do as many practice papers as possible!

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  125. Take regular breaks

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  126. Don’t leave it until the last minute!

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  127. sometimes its good to revise with a friend, two can help each other with areas one isnt sure with

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  128. revise little and often

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  129. Start early, don’t leave until last minute and try to cram! Little and often and it will eventually sink in

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  130. My tip is to make revision cards, they help massively. You can revise by yourself or get someone to help test you.

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  131. Tell someone if you’re feeling panicky or overwhelmed. Go out and get some fresh air every day and try and keep up with your normal hobbies/activities that make you happy.

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  132. Mind maps! I always find them useful

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  133. Write information on Q cards, makes it easy to flip thru

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  134. I would say eat a healthy balanced diet including fish and make sure you drink plenty of water. also, start revising as soon as you can and take plenty of little breaks ??

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  135. Little and often works well. We also chat about what they’ve been learning about at the dinner table.

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  136. do revision with friends as well and have fun time also k

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  137. revise with friends

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  138. My RE teacher said (and was completely right) revise for 45 minutes, have a break for 15, and never do more than 3 hours at a time. I still take professional exams, and everyone I’ve passed this advice on to says it works!

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  139. Have a set time each day that you set aside for your revision that was it think you are far more productive and will spend the time more wisely!!

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  140. My son has been using a website for revision since he chose his options

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  141. Be organised, take breaks, reward yourself with little treats

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  142. Little but often !!

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  143. Stay focused & do your best, be organised & try to relax so your thoughts are clear

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  144. Little and often, don’t leave it too late

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  145. I always found that revising in short bursts was really helpful to me. And doing revision in a light, airy room and drink plenty of water x

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  146. Record key facts and figures on a voice app and play them to yourself in bed,

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  147. Pace yourself with the revision. Don’t overdo it or you won’t take anything in

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  148. Go for a walk in the morning to wake you up before you tackle your revision.

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  149. Lots of fresh air, healthy food and the odd bite of chocolate!

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  150. Don’t stress take your time and have lots of breaks

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  151. To have a revision plan with times, subjects and breaks so the rest of the family know what you’re doing and can be quieter/don’t disturb you

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  152. To have a revision plan with times, subjects and breaks so the rest of the family know when you’re studying so don’t disturb you

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  153. A nice quiet area helps to do revision, with drinks and snacks

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  154. Do not revise more than 2 subjects in one day

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  155. Make a revision timetable to reduce stress. Include relaxation/fun time on your revision timetable – it’ll stop you getting bored or frustrated

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  156. Make revision cards, use highlighters to make key terms stand out

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  157. make sure you get enough sleep and stick to a stritct bed time routine

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  158. Don’t overdo it. Take breaks and socialise as well as study. Plan your revision and see what works for you.

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  159. Start early and do revision little and often. Ask for help early, so you’re revising rather than having to learn things

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  160. Its good to plan ahead so make a revision timetable, and don’t leave it last minute you’ll always regret it :)

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  161. Give yourself breaks and rewards every so often so you don’t over do it and have something to keep you motivated.

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  162. Find a way that works for you – videos / flash cards/ mind maps

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  163. Don’t leave revision until the last minute

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  164. Do all the past papers you can find. Nothing like realistic practice.

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  165. Don’t assume that revisions methods that work for your friends will work for you – try different types to see what’s right for you

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  166. My tip.is to ask for help. Do not let it bog you down. Parents can help by making it fun. Playing games or quizzes really help.

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  167. Get a somebody to revise with you, keeping you focused.

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  168. Get a somebody to revise with you, keeping you focused.

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