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Summer Revision – Use Your Time Right

Tornike Asatiani - Co-founder & COO of Edumentors

As the academic year winds down and the allure of sunny skies beckons, it’s crucial for GCSE and A-Level students not to completely abandon their studies. It’s summer revision time – a golden opportunity to consolidate the knowledge gained during the school year and prepare for the challenges that await in the next. But how can one make the most of this period without casting a shadow over the freedom and fun that summer promises? That’s precisely what we’ll explore in this article.

Why is Summer Revision Important?

Why should you spend those sunny summer days revising for exams that might feel a world away? It’s a question that has crossed almost every student’s mind, especially when the appeal of relaxation and leisure activities is high. However, summer revision holds more significance than you might initially think.

Firstly, it provides the ideal chance to revisit and consolidate the content you’ve learned throughout the school year. You’ve put in substantial effort to understand various subjects and topics – wouldn’t it be a waste to let all that knowledge fade away during a summer hiatus?

Moreover, it can give you a considerable head start for the next academic year, especially for A-Level students transitioning from GCSEs. Subjects become more demanding, and having a solid grasp of previous material can make this transition significantly smoother.

Another key reason to engage in summer revision is to identify and work on weak areas at a relaxed pace. The school year often moves quickly and is packed with a myriad of subjects, leaving little room to focus on individual struggles. The summer period allows you to delve deeper into challenging areas, transforming them into strengths by the time you’re back in school.

Let’s not forget about exam technique. It’s not just what you know, but how you demonstrate that knowledge in exams that matters. Summer provides ample time to practice past papers, refine your exam strategy, and become comfortable with the format and expectations of GCSE and A-Level exams.

While summer revision might initially seem like a damper on your holiday spirit, it’s crucial to remember that it doesn’t have to be all-consuming. It’s all about balance, creating a revision plan that allows for academic advancement whilst still enjoying the freedom and activities that the season offers. In the long run, the benefits of summer revision are undeniable, and with the right approach, it can be a productive and rewarding part of your academic journey.


Setting Up Your Summer Revision Timetable

A well-structured revision timetable is the cornerstone of successful summer revision. It helps to ensure that your study sessions are productive, balanced, and less stressful. So, how do you set up a summer revision timetable that works for you? Here are some key steps to consider:

Identify your subjects/topics

Start by listing all the subjects you need to revise. For each subject, break it down into smaller topics. This will help you visualise your workload and plan your revision sessions more effectively.

Determine your available time

Identify the number of hours each day you can realistically dedicate to revision. Remember, it’s important to also set aside time for rest, hobbies and social activities.


Rank your subjects or topics according to their difficulty and the amount of time you think you’ll need to master them. Allocate more time to the subjects or topics you find most challenging.

Create your timetable

Now, using your list of subjects/topics and available time, you can start to fill in your timetable. Aim for variety to keep your revision sessions interesting. 

Review and adjust

It’s important to regularly review your timetable. If you find that a certain subject is taking longer than expected, or if you manage to grasp a topic quicker than you thought, adjust your timetable accordingly.

Now, let’s take a look at an example of how a week in your summer revision timetable might look:

9-11 AMMathEnglishBiologyHistoryPhysicsFreeFree
11-11:30 AMBreakBreakBreakBreakBreakFreeFree
11:30-1:30 PMPhysicsHistoryMathBiologyEnglishFreeFree
1:30-2:30 PMLunchLunchLunchLunchLunchFreeFree
2:30-4:30 PMEnglishBiologyHistoryMathFreeFreeFree
4:30-5 PMBreakBreakBreakBreakFreeFreeFree
5-7 PMFreeFreeFreeFreeFreeFreeFree
7-9 PMSelf Study/ Catch upSelf Study/ Catch upSelf Study/ Catch upSelf Study/ Catch upFreeFreeFree

Note that this timetable incorporates adequate breaks and free periods. This is vital to avoid burnout and to ensure that you have time to relax and participate in other summer activities. Your summer revision timetable should be a tool that aids your study, not a rigid framework that adds extra stress. Don’t be afraid to adjust it as you progress through your revision – it’s there to work for you!

Revision Techniques That Work

When it comes to revision, a one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t exist. However, several techniques have been shown to consistently work well for many students. Here are some of the most effective revision methods that can help you maximise your summer study sessions:

Active Recall

This technique involves actively trying to remember information without looking at the text. You can use methods such as flashcards, question and answer sessions, or summarising what you’ve learned. Active recall has been proven to significantly improve retention of information.

Spaced Repetition

Spaced repetition is a technique where you review information at increasing intervals over time. It’s highly effective in ensuring long-term memory retention. You can use this technique with flashcards, using apps like Anki or Quizlet.

Mind Mapping

This technique helps you visualise the links between different pieces of information, which can aid understanding and memory. Start with a central topic and then branch out into subtopics, adding as much detail as you can.


Explain a concept in your own words as if you were teaching it to someone else. This helps to reinforce your understanding of the topic.

Practice Papers

One of the best ways to prepare for GCSE and A-Level exams is by completing practice papers. This helps you get used to the format of the questions and improves your time management skills. 

Interleaved Practice

This involves studying multiple subjects in a single study session, rather than focusing on just one. This has been found to improve learning by helping the brain to differentiate between similar pieces of information.

The Pomodoro Technique

This technique uses timed intervals (typically 25 minutes) of focused study, followed by short breaks (5 minutes). After every fourth study period, take a longer break (15-30 minutes). This can help maintain your concentration and reduce fatigue.

Remember, it’s important to find the techniques that work best for you. Don’t be afraid to mix and match revision methods until you find your optimal strategy. And, remember to always review the information periodically, even if you feel you’ve mastered it. Regular review is a crucial part of making sure that knowledge sticks.

Using Online Resources Effectively

Student Using Online Resources for Summer Revision
Student Using Online Resources for Summer Revision

In the digital age, online resources have become an invaluable part of the revision process. They provide diverse learning methods and can be accessed anytime, anywhere, making them perfect for supplementing your summer revision. However, the sheer number of resources available can be overwhelming, so here are some tips to use them effectively:

Identify Reliable Sources

Not all online resources are created equal. Be sure to use trusted platforms known for their quality content. Some great places to start for GCSE and A-Level revision are BBC Bitesize, Seneca Learning, and Gojimo.

Leverage Interactive Content

The internet is full of interactive resources like educational games, quizzes, and simulations that can make your revision more engaging and effective. Websites like Kahoot or Quizlet provide user-generated quizzes on a vast array of topics.

Make Use of Video Tutorials

Sites like YouTube, Khan Academy, or Twig World have a vast amount of educational videos that can help you understand complex concepts. Remember to take active notes while watching to boost your recall.

Join Online Study Groups

Communities such as The Student Room in the UK provide a platform to discuss revision topics, share resources and get advice from fellow GCSE and A-Level students.

Use Online Timetables and Organisers

Apps and websites like Trello, Google Calendar, or My Study Life can be used to schedule your revision sessions, set reminders, and keep track of your progress.

Access Past Exam Papers and Mark Schemes

Most exam boards have past papers and mark schemes available on their websites. These can be incredibly helpful for practising exam technique and understanding what examiners are looking for.

Stay Safe and Mindful

While the internet is a fantastic resource, be aware of digital wellbeing. Take regular breaks away from the screen to avoid digital fatigue, and remember to cross-check information to ensure its credibility.

Remember, while online resources are incredibly beneficial, they should complement, not replace, traditional revision methods such as textbooks and notes. A balanced combination of online and offline revision will provide a varied and robust approach to your summer study.

Balancing Revision with Other Summer Activities

While it’s important to dedicate time to summer revision, it’s equally essential to remember that summer is a time for relaxation, exploration, and personal growth. Striking a healthy balance between studying and other activities can enhance both your academic progress and overall well-being. Here are some practical tips on achieving this balance:

Stick to Your Timetable

It can be easy to let your revision timetable slide during the summer. However, adhering to your pre-set schedule ensures that both revision and leisure activities are given adequate time. Your timetable isn’t a ball and chain – it’s there to help create structure, allowing you to enjoy your time off without guilt or stress.

Engage in Physical Activities

Exercise is not only good for your health but also beneficial for your brain function. Whether it’s team sports, swimming, cycling, or simply walking, aim to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. It serves as a great break from studying and can boost your energy levels.

Explore Creative Outlets

Summer is an excellent time to engage in creative activities that you may not have time for during the school year. Whether it’s painting, learning to play an instrument, or writing a story, these pursuits can serve as a relaxing counterbalance to your academic work.

Mindful Relaxation

It’s important to give your brain a break and allow yourself time to unwind. This could be through meditation, reading a book, or listening to music – activities that help you relax and destress.


Spending time with friends and family can rejuvenate your mind and provide a necessary respite from your studies. Plan outings, get-togethers, or even study sessions with your peers.


If you have the opportunity, travelling can broaden your horizons and provide a refreshing change of scenery. It doesn’t have to be far – local day trips can be just as rewarding.

Learn Something New

Consider learning something new that isn’t related to your academic studies. This can be a new language, a cooking skill, coding, or even gardening. Not only does this provide a break from revision, but it also contributes to your personal development.

Remember, it’s not about compartmentalising revision and leisure but rather integrating them into your daily routine in a way that feels rewarding and manageable. It’s the quality, not the quantity of your revision that matters. So, make sure to enjoy your summer while also keeping your academic goals in sight. After all, a well-rested, happy student is a successful one!

How to Stay Motivated During Summer Revision

Summer, for many students, evokes images of sunny days spent at the beach or lounging in the park, far removed from the confines of textbooks and revision notes. This makes maintaining motivation for summer revision a challenge. However, with the right strategies, it’s entirely possible to keep that drive alive. Here are some effective ways to stay motivated during your summer revision:

Set Clear Goals

Knowing exactly what you want to achieve gives you a sense of direction. Make your goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Each small victory in achieving these goals will boost your motivation.

Visualise Success

Visualisation is a powerful tool. Imagine yourself achieving your goals, acing your exams, or moving on to the next phase of your academic journey. This positive imagery can keep you focused and motivated.

Maintain a Healthy Routine

Eat healthily, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. These not only keep you physically fit, but they also help to maintain high energy levels and a positive mindset, contributing to better motivation.

Create a Conducive Study Environment

A clean, well-organised, and quiet study space can significantly increase your productivity and motivation. Personalise your study area with things that inspire you.

Mix Up Your Study Techniques

Using different study techniques can keep your revision sessions fresh and engaging. Try mind mapping, flashcards, educational videos, or teaching someone else the material.

Reward Yourself

After each successful study session or achieving a revision goal, reward yourself. This could be a short break, a favourite snack, or a quick game. Rewards give you something to look forward to and make the revision process more enjoyable.

Stay Positive

Maintaining a positive attitude is crucial. There will be tough days, but remember why you’re doing this and that it’s just a temporary phase. Positive affirmations can be very effective in keeping your morale high.

Connect with Others

Join study groups or forums where you can connect with peers who are going through the same process. Sharing experiences and tips can be motivational and reassuring.

Take Regular Breaks

Incorporate short breaks into your study sessions to prevent burnout. Use these breaks to do something you enjoy, helping you return to your studies with renewed energy and focus.

Seek Support

If you’re struggling with staying motivated, don’t hesitate to seek support. Reach out to your teachers, parents, or a mentor at Edumentors. Sometimes, a little guidance can make a big difference.

Remember, motivation isn’t a constant, and it’s normal to have highs and lows. The key is to recognise when your motivation is waning and to take proactive steps to keep it going. With determination and the right approach, you can make your summer revision not just productive, but also enjoyable.


As we head towards the end of this guide, let’s remember that successful summer revision isn’t just about the hours you put into studying, it’s about making the most of that time through effective strategies, a balanced schedule, and a mindset focused on progress, not perfection. 

Take this summer as an opportunity for growth, not just academically, but personally as well. Think about what you wish to achieve, not only in terms of grades but also in terms of the skills you want to develop, the knowledge you wish to gain, and the person you aspire to be. 

Harness the power of the digital age, but don’t lose touch with the classic revision methods that have stood the test of time. Remember, the aim is to understand, not just to memorise. Your goal should be to learn in a way that stays with you, forming a solid foundation for future studies and life beyond school.

Most importantly, keep in mind that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Learning is a journey and there will be hurdles along the way. If you find yourself needing that extra bit of assistance or guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to Edumentors, an online tutoring platform that connects students with tutors who are themselves students at top UK universities. These tutors understand what you’re going through, they’ve navigated the same exams and can provide effective strategies to help you succeed. Not only can they help you achieve your desired results, but they can also help boost your confidence in your abilities.

Whether you’re starting GCSEs, moving onto A-Levels, or somewhere in between, remember that every day brings a new opportunity for learning, improvement, and success. So this summer, rise to the challenge, embrace the journey, and remember, you’re capable of achieving great things. Let this be the summer that fuels your future success.


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