When should you START REVISING for GCSE? | The Exam Coach

yo squad it's the exam coach checking in

with you in today's video you'll learn

about the exam coach way to determine

when exactly you should start revising

for your GCSE exams okay so this is a

question I get asked a lot and I know

for a lot of you watching you've

probably just got back to school and

revision exams all that stuff might not

be the first thing on your agenda or the

thing you're looking forward to most

this yet but let's talk about it because

we want to make sure you're on top form

exam season intro exam coach star

we're going to break it down take it

from the top make it nice and easy to

understand so let's begin with the

obvious question what's revision to

revise literally means to look at again

or to revisit it's from the latin phrase

rivas era or re whiz era rear is ER as

actually the right way to say every

visit it's just my childre of saying it

but that's all you need to know during

the process of revision we develop our

understanding and ability to recall the

subject we're studying the more you

revisit and test yourself over an

extended period of time the greater your

understanding and ability to recall that

subject will become okay so now we know

what revision is we can move on to step

one of the exam coach way to determine

when exactly you should start revising

step one write down all of the subjects

you are studying this year for GCSE do

it on a piece of paper a note-taking app

on your smartphone doesn't matter we're

just crack it down somewhere and get on

with it now here's the important part

write down how you feel about your

ability to achieve the grade you want to

achieve in each of these subjects use a

grading system from one to five and

judge it on how you currently feel right

now in this moment if you give yourself

a 5 it means

you feel confident about everything

you've covered in the syllabus so far

and if you were to sit a mock exam

tomorrow you'd back yourself to get near

that grade that you'd ideally like to

achieve if you were examined on just

what you've covered so far in the

syllabus if you give yourself a 1 it

basically means you haven't got a Scooby

what's going on and you need to hit the


pretty sharpish it doesn't matter if

you're a 5 or what

all that matters is that you do this and

you move on to step two for step two we

need to consider how long you have left

between now and when you do your first

exam whatever this is for you write it

down in two ways the number of days and

the number of weeks if you need some

help working it out it stays divided by

seven boom there's your answer

crack on smash at the exam page wait

love it step three now get yourself a

calendar that shows you the time you

have from now to start your first exam

chop it up into three equal parts so for

this example and to make things real

nice and easy let's just take the terms

this school yet

so term one let's call it phase one

because we don't think exam coach way of

course phase one that's gonna be

September to the end of December face -

that's term - that's gonna be January to

mid March late March time phase three

that's gonna be term three and we're

looking at late March early April - when

you start your first exam which is going

to be probably late May time let's go

with that so let's talk about phase one

phase one is not about revision in the

sense that we defined it earlier in the


you're not reviewing or revisiting

anything you're actually just putting in

the work hitting the books making sure

you're up to speed with what has been

covered so far in the subject is

studying for we do this to gather

everything we need lay a super solid

foundation for exam season and make sure

there's no gaps when it actually comes

to putting in a big shift at the desk

during exam season and when you're

revising this also ensures that you've

covered everything you need to know for

the exam at least once now those numbers

that we wrote down earlier from one to

five they're gonna guide you in each

your subjects they're gonna indicate to

you okay which ones can I afford to just

go class pay attention stay up to speed

on and which ones

aka my ones we're at another clue what's

going on do I need to put in a bit of

legwork figure out what's going on ask

the teacher more questions do some extra

study ask your friends for their notes

copy stuff get it down gather the

information and get cracking and

remember don't go anywhere without your

map that's your syllabus and your

subject specification you need to have

them on deck ready to go because they're

gonna guide you through

what you don't understand currently and

also they're going to map the way

forward so you can stay up the speed

with the cloth if you've got a lot of

ones and twos next to your subjects take

it on the chin put in the legwork take

ownership for that and figure out how

you can move forward you're not gonna

get anywhere by complaining or blaming

other people how do I know I used to do

it and I'm gonna tell you a quick story

now back when I was at school I didn't

exactly find it easy to concentrate pay

attention behave in class in fact

between the age of 1415 I had a pretty

rough two or so years and I definitely

didn't stay up the date with what was

going on in class when I hit year 11 I

thought okay about the last two years

where all I've done is enjoy myself

ghost muck about a bit not pay attention

I owe it to myself to actually put a

shift in I haven't worked hard yet I

don't even know what hard work it's I'm

gonna really commit to this and make

this happen because I've had it easy up

to now and it's about time actually put

a shift in and got things going and

that's what I did so if that distinction

helps you at all I'd encourage you to

think about it that way and in fact all

you're doing is paying back what you owe

you've had a great time you've closed it

now it's time to hit the books and smash

it on the flip side if you find yourself

with lots of fours and fives next to the

subjects you wrote down you obviously

don't need to do as much recovery

legwork as someone who's currently

wedging in one and two ten but you do

need to stay up-to-date with everything

that's going on make sure you understand

everything that's been taught before

double check that and something that you

can prioritize is your extracurricular

activities and your routine around a

balanced healthy lifestyle you want to

work on that and have that on point for

exam season so let's move on to phase

two phase two in this example is that

second term we're looking at January to

about mid-march late March times during

this period of time you want to be doing

what I like to call fundamental revision

basically all that is is you're looking

at the key things in each subject that

carry the most marks and making sure

those things are crystal clear to you a

good opportunity to do this is

mock exams they usually come in the

second term you prep for them you revise

you make sure those basics the big

topics in the subjects and nailed down

and understood a way to figure out what

the fundamental topics are in each of

your subjects is get the syllabus get

the past papers get the marks keys take

a look at them figure out which topics

are coming up often and which topics

proportionally take up the most space on

the syllabus proportionally take up the

most marks on a past paper and I

mentioned a lot in the marks schemes and

then you know okay I need to know that

that's key to this subject then what

will happen is once you've understood

and nailed down that fundamental thing

you need to understand in each subject

it will lead you to understand the more

detailed pieces which often get the

higher grade marks later down the line

and squad let me tell you something I

know that GCSEs have just changed I know

that everything's a bit fuzzy unclear

there aren't that many passed papers all

these different things that we got to

contend with but let me tell you

something else we're gonna down 999 and

take a police escort straight to nine

Ville we're gonna be there come a time

and that's what we're gonna do we're

gonna cruise the exam coach way smash

through these barriers we don't care if

it's tough we're just gonna dominate get

our head down go straight to nine Ville

smash it the exam coach way here we go


and one more thing just in case some of

you keen nine villas are saying hey

judge I want to get into the detail in

term two I want to be getting those

grade nines straight up turn two in the

mock exams I'd say okay if you want to

do that you can do that but don't risk

burnout and don't risk making revision

boring for yourself you want to be

peaking come a time the other thing is

you don't want to skip those

fundamentals you need to make sure those

fundamentals are easy for you are in

your head ready to go whenever wherever

you need them phase three is all about

going all-in on exam success this is

when you've really turned it on and

begin revising with intensity and

regularity all you need to do now is

fill in the gaps from phase two in Phase

two we focused on the fundamentals the

big topics in each subject that you need

to understand now what you need to do is

make sure you understand the detail

needed to get those top grades to hit

nine vail the way you want to remember

the detail is you want to use specific

revision techniques like active recall

and spaced repetition you want to do

reps and sets of this as if you were

training for a sports competition it's

about forcing your brain to recall the

information without assistance and doing

this regularly over a spaced period of

time so that when you hit exam day

you're good to go

in terms of your routine you want to

make sure you're still doing stuff to

relieve your exam stress but you also

want to make sure you're prioritizing

your revision sessions over extra

curricular stuff when it makes sense for

example if you've got an exam on a

Tuesday morning and you've got a bit of

Monday Night Football

make sure you get your revision session

smash the exam and then do something to

relieve some stress so over the course

of Phase three you want to be building

up momentum so you're on peak form and

everything is super clear in your head

and you're ready to go come exam day it

just makes sense just like you'd be

taught any other type of activity or a

sport first off you assess where you're

at and you gather all the theory in


you need to know secondly you get the

fundamentals on point and nailed down

thirdly you sweat the details to get to

that top level where you want to be if

you found this video useful give it a

like ask any questions in the comments

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loads more content coming out specific

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too that's where the daily updates

happen but quick tips on the fly the

useful stuff that you can apply this

year for your exam performance I'm

checking out I'll see you next time