GCSE Exam Revision: How to Juggle All Your Subjects

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Amy studied at the University of Bristol and is our revision blog guru. She only graduated recently so understands the pressures of being a student better than most, and is here to share her wisdom so that you revise effectively, smash your exams, succeed at school and write cracking university and job applications.

Juggling subjects can be tough - here are our tipsWe can all feel a little overwhelmed when juggling so many different exam subjects, particularly when you’re doing your GCSEs. 


There’ll be some you find easier and some that require more work, but each will have a different type of exam and marking criteria that you’ll want to master. And, unfortunately, you can’t control your exam timetable, meaning your tests may not be evenly spaced out throughout the exam period.

However, there’s no reason to fear this subject variety – it can be your friend! Moving between subjects which activate different parts of your brain is great for keeping you fresh, alert and creative.

Just follow our 5 top tips to become a subject juggling pro…

1. Prioritise

To prioritise is to strategise, and when you’re handling so many different subjects and areas of study – as is the case with GCSEs – you need to think strategically, identify goals, weaknesses and strengths, and adjust accordingly.

So, if you know that Biology and Physics are strengths, but that Chemistry is a weakness, make sensible short-term alterations to your revision timetable so that over the course of a week, you can bring up those weaknesses, before balancing things out again across all the subjects. In this case, you would want to give GCSE Chemistry past papers extra attention, perhaps an hour more for a few days. Once you feel satisfied that a weakness has been addressed, consider whether there are any other areas that now warrant special attention.

With this kind of pragmatic, flexible approach to your revision timetable, you’ll know that you are getting the most from all your revision resources and past papers.

2. Organise

Organisation is another vital part of your exam skill-set. You need to make sure each subject has a separate folder or notebook so you know where all your revision notes and past papers are. For essay subjects, it’s also a good idea to keep examples of coursework where you scored the highest marks. It’s great for the confidence boost that you do know what you’re talking about, as well as getting you in the right mindset to revise that subject.

As mentioned above, it’s not only crucial to organise your resources, but also your time. Creating a structure that’s a little flexible so you have time to address anything that comes up is going to make all the difference.

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3. Practice
We’ve talked before about how important past papers are to exam success, but they’re even more important when you’re juggling a range of subjects.
Each one has a unique format and timings and you don’t want to be confusing them. Even within a subject, you may find the exams are of different lengths. Practicing in timed conditions well in advance means you’ll be in the groove come exam day. Remember to be conscious of using the correct range of resources – such as whether to study our OCR past papers or Edexcel past papers.
4. Take good notes
There may be days where you have exams back-to-back, and in different subjects. Although not ideal, with a little planning there’s no reason for this to affect your results. Part of your revision can be to create a crib sheet summarising key information, quotes and formulas that you can quickly read over before each exam. This will help you focus completely on the task in hand, calm those pesky exam nerves, and put to one side whatever may have happened before.

4. Take care of yourself

Looking after yourself during the exam period is as important as revision. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and you need to make sure you don’t burn out before your final exam. Getting enough sleep, eating properly to fuel your mind and body, and taking care of your health will keep you going to the finish line. It’s all about the balance.

Keep calm and remember – you’re brain is able to store the equivalent of one million gigabytes of information at once. More than enough to get you through those exams!

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2019-01-17T18:56:50+00:00
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