How To Revise For GCSE 2022: 5 Scientifically Proven Study Techniques

Following a long two years of no final exams, the pressure to perform is on.

Most students sitting their GCSEs this year will have never sat a formal exam in their lives. This makes the lead up to exams very daunting but with the right preparation, it doesn’t have to be. 

There is no escaping exams. The GCSE 2022 exams will commence on May 16th and finish on June 28th, so it’s in your best interest to start your revision now! 

You have what it takes to achieve great things and make yourself proud on results day! Here are five scientifically proven study techniques to help you revise for your GCSE 2022 exams. 

  1. Chunking 

While longer study sessions sound good in theory, scientific evidence proves that working in shorter chunks is more effective for learning. 

A study published by Marked by Teachers, revealed that breaking revision up into short regular sessions (also known as chunking) “can be particularly useful” when revising for exams. This is because it allows you to group related information without overwhelming your brain. You just have to focus on remembering one small chunk of information at a time and steadily build on your knowledge. 

The study results revealed that students could recall “far less” of the information they learned when their study sessions were not chunked down. 

A great template for chunking is The Pomodoro Technique. This is where a timer is used to break revision sessions into intervals, 25 minutes of hyper-focused study, followed by a five-minute break. This cycle is then repeated depending on how long you have to study, e.g. if you have two hours, you’d repeat this four times. 

  1. Quiz and recall technique

This technique was popularised by YouTuber,  Ali Abdaal who credits active recall for helping him achieve his 1st Class Medical degree while he was studying at Cambridge. 

Active recall involves testing yourself after each study session rather than waiting till you’ve completed the entire syllabus. 

The best way to do this is by creating a mini quiz that asks you questions about what you’ve just learned or by creating flashcards with the questions on one side and the answer on the other. The aim is to quiz yourself without looking at your notes regularly. 

Testing yourself in this way allows your brain to retrieve information from memory which will benefit you in your exams. It strengthens your ability to retain information by fortifying the links your brain makes between different concepts. This technique will help you piece all your revision topics together. 

  1. Practice with past papers

You’ve probably heard that practice makes perfect and the same is true for revision too! Aside from revision, another very important part of exam prep is understanding how the paper is structured. 

Every subject has its own exam-style so time should be taken to learn what you need to do for each one. Getting comfortable with how to answer the questions correctly and how long you should spend on each section can help to minimise exam nerves and help you perform at your best. 

Completing past papers is also a great way to test and improve your knowledge because it can help you identify your weaker areas so you can plan your revision effectively. 

  1. Mnemonics 

Mnemonics refers to any memory-boosting technique that can help you remember information. It can be used in the form of catchy rhymes, acronyms, picture associations and other techniques that trigger memory. 

A study published in the Scientific Reports journal found that using different colours to prompt visual working memory enhanced the participants’ ability to remember information. 

We’ve all experienced hearing a song or smelling a scent that instantly triggers a memory. Using mnemonics in your revision follows a similar pattern. 

Let’s face it, revision can be quite dull so finding ways to make it more fun are always welcome. You may want to include diagrams, emojis and different colours in your notes and recall quizzes to make remembering information easier.

Emoji quizzes can be a lot of fun. Find some links below: 

  1. Teach it 

One of the best ways to learn something is to teach it. This is because effective teaching is rooted in excellent subject knowledge, which is then simplified in a way others can grasp. 

You can try this technique out on a friend or family member, the trick is to work out how you can explain a particular topic to them. Explaining some information to them will help you to see it clearer in your own mind. 

The process of simplifying a topic to teach others can help you see the gaps in your learning so you can improve those areas. It also allows you to recall information from your memory which consolidates your learning. 

Bonus tip: Sleep 

Exams can become a source of stress and panic for a lot of students. The desire to do well can cause anxiety and lead to sleep deprivation due to expressive studying. 

Pulling all-nighters to cram as much information in as possible is actually linked to the lowest grades. This is because it negatively impacts the reasoning and memory faculties in your brain which are crucial for retaining information. The unfavourable effects can last up to four whole days so quality sleep should be a major part of your revision timetable! 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our scientifically proven study techniques, let us know if these tips have been helpful. Good luck with your exams!