When you are facing a mountain of subjects, coursework, exam papers and more during your GCSEs and A-Levels, the last thing you want to think about is the enormous task of revising all that information you have spent the last two years studying. The sheer size of the workload is enough to put many students off, as they cannot begin to contemplate how to tackle it all.

The key is gaining and maintaining motivation, but that is easier said than done. Fortunately for you, we have prepared a helpful list of tips to help you build motivation and keep you on the right track. The fact is that studying for your GCSEs or A-Levels should be a marathon, not a sprint. Starting early and maintaining a steady level of motivation and self-discipline will see you through the “race” much more effectively than if you leave it too late and try to cram your way through the entire thing.

Motivation Tip #1 - Make a Plan and Stick to It

Start planning 2-3 months before your exams so you can give yourself, at the very least, 5-6 weeks of solid study time. The more time you give yourself to your plan, the more you can easily break down the work and take it in manageable chunks. If you start your plan earlier, you can also make realistic goals that you can stick to. There is no killer to motivation like the dread you feel when you know you have to cram too much into one day.

Motivation Tip #2 --- Reward Yourself

Think about treats that you will give yourself for completing various studying goals. It could be something as simple as helping your favourite snack for each unit you finish, a 30-minute break to watch a favourite show on Netflix, or even an evening off to spend with friends. Creating incentives will drive you to accomplish your goals.

Motivation Tip #3 --- Tidy your Study Area and Organise

You may have already tried this little trick before. Have you ever noticed that when you tidy up your desk, you are suddenly hit with a sort of productive tidal wave in your mind? There is nothing like an ordered, tidy, clean workspace to prompt good ideas, creativity, and hard work. If your desk or study area is messy, get some folders, storage boxes and other bits from a stationer and neaten it all up. You will feel the difference almost immediately, we are sure.

Motivation Tip #4 --- Set goals for each day/week and then try to beat them

One way to make learning a bit more fun is to record your achievements on the first day or week and then work to break them continually. For instance, if you mastered 100 French words last week, try to get to 120 words or more the following week. You might find the irresistible need to defeat yourself to be a perfect motivation. Your challenges could include the amount of material covered, the number of pages, or how quickly you can master something, the sky is the limit.

Motivation Tip #5 --- Find ways to revise with friends

Turning your revision session into a “social” study time can effectively motivate some. If you and a friend share the same difficulties in a particular subject, you can have a good time working out innovative, exciting and unique ways to teach the material to each other. Having someone there to test you and to whom you can speak aloud the material might help make it stick better in your mind. That success alone will push you to stay motivated, and if you enjoy the study time, it can only make you want to do it more.

Motivation Tip #6 --- Try out new methods

Before your revision time starts, ask your teachers, friends and the online community if they have any ideas for unique methods for learning topics. You will be surprised how many ingenious yet straightforward ideas there are out there, and all of them could make your studying both fun and effective. The thrill of trying new ideas can make previously dull revisions livelier and help you look at things in a whole new light. Gaining new perspectives will help you make connections and inspire you to keep going.

You need not do all these things to be successful in your GCSE or A-Level revision, but we are confident that starting early and sticking to at least some of these principles will keep you motivated and productive. So much revision can be procrastination and time-wasting, but do not beat yourself up too much if you feel you have done either of these. It happens to the best of us! 

Best of luck to all in your revision!