Need help with GCSE revision?
When you’re revising for exams, there’s one age-old tactic that students habitually find themselves employing – that is, doing everything possible there is to do except actually revising. It can be a daunting prospect – spending a couple of weeks cramming your brain full with as much information as possible from the two years’ worth of facts and techniques your teachers have been attempting to hammer into you.
For anyone who can remember the sepia-tinted times before GCEs became GCSEs, revision using meant spending lonely hours in one’s bedroom, pouring over dusty tomes, slowly losing the will to live. For the modern student, the wonderful world of the web has opened up a plethora of sites and possibilities, all of them perfectly designed to reduce the stress associated with preparing for those life-affirming examinations.
What follows is a top ten run down on the best GCSE revision sites out there.
1. BBC GCSE Bitesize – www.bbc.co.uk/gcsebitesize
Easily claiming the number one spot on our run down in the Beeb’s GCSE Bitesize, a stupendous resource that offers anything and everything anyone faced with the arduous task of revising could possibly wish for. This site is actually one of the top 100 most-visited sites in the UK. It offers vital information, video and audio resources and links, fun and games, and message boards so you can connect with students who are suffering just as badly as you.
2. Cambridge International Examinations – www.cie.org.uk
As any decent teacher will no doubt tell you, the best way to prepare for your forthcoming GCSEs is to study and perhaps even work through previous papers. Usually your tutor will have a few old papers to hand, but in case not, at this site you can obtain and download – free of charge – papers from past exams that have been prepared by this self-styled ‘world’s largest provider of international education programmes.”
Certainly aiming to put the “fun” in “fundamental education”, this colourful site aims to help students achieve their personal revision aims. A free-site, S-cool obviously acquires its income via advertising, and this can be a little off-putting, especially when you are faced with an advert for over-50s life cover. S-cool gives you revision guides, a query-answering service, and tips on how to come up with that all important revision time-table.
4. Teachit – www.teach-it.co.uk
Originally an English Language revision site only, teachit has recently branched out into the realms of Citizenship, Maths, Languages, Geography, History and Science. Membership is usually free, and for that you receive access to a mind-blowing 15,000+ pages of resources, all in a handy PDF format. If you like what you see for free, you can purchase a paid membership (starting at £49.95) to uncover even more in the way of useful resources.
5. RevisionWorld – http://www.revisionworld.com/
Revision world gives you a more human understanding into the world of revision, rather than the more academia of other site. Its chief claim-to-fame is its ability to come up with a revision time-table automatically; you simply add your exams details and dates and the level at which you want to study and the software will do the rest for you. In addition, if revising gets too tough, you can spend ten minutes playing one of the site’s fun games, which includes Asteroid, Connect Four and Battleships.
6. John D Clare – www.johndclare.net
If GSCE history is your thing, then this site should definitely rank in your favourites list. Focusing on Modern World History, this comprehensive site offers detailed examination e-booklets that are free to download. It also offers a revision hub as one of its services, and a portal for those who interests lie in much more ancient times. If you’re stuck somewhere without your laptop, the site also offers a unique revision app for your mobile device.
7. Education Quizzes – www.educationquizzes.com
A fun site definitely designed for children, and not just for GSCE revision victims. The site includes sections for those at Key Stage 2 (Age 7 to 10) and Key Stage 3 (Age 11 to 13). The site promises that their revision quizzes, which are written by teachers, will help a student improve their focus and solidify their existing knowledge and expertise. If you do get bored with studying though, the site does offer a selection of “fun” quizzes on the kind of subjects you’d expect whilst playing Trival pursuit.
8. Mathswatch – www.mathswatch.co.uk
It’s perhaps unfair to single out one particular subject as being more important than any other, but if you were forced to perform such a task, the one most people would pick would surely be mathematics. Mathswatch is designed to be used by schools, but there is no reason why individual students cannot purchase the items the site offers. You may need to convince a few friends to do likewise, though as there is a minimum 25 DVDs per order limit. The site holds testimonials from satisfied customers claiming an average two grade jump in their grades.
9. GCSE Revision 101 – http://gcserevision101.wordpress.com/
This site acts as a portal to an Iphone revision app which is downloadable for free. The app styles itself an interactive textbook, and you can download the particular modules you are interested if for a mere £1.49 each. The site seems to focus on the sciences, namely Biology, Chemistry and Physics. GCSE Revision 101 seems to be on the verge of bigger things as well, outlining a new site where up-to-date syllabus notes for all sciences can be downloaded for the one-off fee of a fiver.
10. Swot Revision – www.swotrevision.com
A 100% free site, Swot Revision holds comprehensive revision notes and advice for GCSE German, English language and Literature, and History. For the more advanced student, there are similar tools for A Level Chemistry, Business Studies and Physics. The most notable thing about this site is that it was started by five Year 11 students in 2007 as part of the Young Enterprise business challenge. “SWOT” they claim, stands for “Success Without Teaching”