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  • Writer's pictureFlora Kozma

Time is Ticking: Last-Minute Exam Revision Hacks for Maximum Impact

Welcome to the final countdown to your GCSE and A Level exams!

We understand that with limited time left, you may be feeling overwhelmed and anxious. But fear not, because in this article, I'll provide you with valuable last-minute revision hacks to help you make the most of the time you have left.

So, let's dive in and discover how to stay calm, focused, and achieve optimal results in the little time you have left before crunch time!

1. Prioritise Your Topics

With limited time available, it's crucial to identify the key topics that are likely to appear in your exams. Go through your exam board's specification and mark the areas that are likely to come up and the areas you feel weakest on. By focusing on these topics, you can ensure you're maximising your study efforts and not wasting time going over topics that you already know really well or topics that are unlikely to come up!

2. Create a Realistic Last Minute Revision Plan

Time management is key! Create a study plan that accounts for each subject and allocates specific time slots for revision. Break down your subjects into manageable study sessions, ensuring you cover all the essential topics. However, do NOT waste time making your timetable pretty and colour coded - active recall of key facts is a better use of your time (see my next point!). Also, don't make a revision plan if you're not going to follow it!

3. Utilise Active Learning And Memorisation Techniques

Engage in active learning strategies to make the most of your revision time. Summarise complex concepts in your own words, use flashcards for quick recall, and test yourself with practice questions. These techniques help reinforce your understanding and improve retention. Note how I didn't write MAKE flashcards - waste of time at this crucial stage. There are plenty of excellent resources out there already for free - I'd recommend checking out Anki or Quizlet.

When time is of the essence, efficient memorisation techniques can make a significant difference. Use mnemonic devices (like the one in Figure 1), acronyms, and visualisation techniques to aid memory recall when you're in the exam hall on the big day!

4. Past papers, past papers, past papers!

Take advantage of past exam papers to familiarise yourself with the format and types of questions that may appear. Reviewing (and sometimes even memorising) mark schemes can provide valuable insights and help you identify key points to include in your answers. For AQA for example, you can find past papers and mark schemes here.

5. Seek Clarification and Support

If you encounter challenging topics or have doubts, don't hesitate to reach out for clarification. Consult your teachers, tutors, or even your friends for guidance. Online resources and forums (such as The Student Room) can provide valuable support and alternative explanations to enhance your understanding. Or, if you want to jump on the AI bandwagon, I'd highly recommend getting ChatGPT to act as your personal study buddy and tutor!

6. Stay Calm and Stay Positive!

As the exam pressure builds, it's crucial to manage stress effectively. Practice deep breathing exercises, mindfulness techniques, or meditation to calm your mind. Taking regular breaks, engaging in physical activity, and getting lots of good quality sleep are equally important for maintaining focus and reducing anxiety.

Lastly, remember to believe in yourself and stay positive throughout this journey. Your hard work and efforts will pay off. Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends and family who encourage and motivate you. Visualise success and approach your exams with a confident mindset and you will no doubt get the grades you deserve!


As you navigate the final days leading up to your exams, implement these last-minute revision hacks to make the most of your remaining study time. Prioritise, plan, and engage in active learning techniques to reinforce your understanding.

Good luck!

If you need any last minute help or you're panicking about the exams, get in touch - I'd love to help!

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