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Holmer Green Senior School

Holmer Green Senior School

Independent Study


Most students will come to their A-Levels and BTEC Level 3 courses with some ideas about how to revise for examinations. However, the strategies they have used in the past are not always the most efficient at this stage. So, what makes for successful revision?

  • Preparation
  • Organization
  • Memory and recall

One important point to note is that at A-Level and Level 3 BTECs, the process of revision should begin during the very first week of a student’s course, and simply builds up over the two years. Students who try to cram at the end will not be successful at this level.

There are a lot of resources out there to help, for example the following link:

At HGSS, all Year 12 students begin their Enrichment programme with our “Sixth Form Toolbox” which covers some of the on-going skills which are crucial to exam success. Seminars include:

  • Study Sensei
  • Time Management
  • Memory Mnemonics and
  • Ace you Exams

Below are a few ideas which may help students to get started.

A-Level Tools and Resources

The tools below can be found at:

  • Mind Maps
  • Flashcards
  • Quiz Maker
  • Notes
  • Revision Timetable

Revision Tips for A-Levels and BTEC Level 3 Examinations

Hard work can be just that, but if students guide their brains towards learning in a smarter way, they can do less revision by finding ways to remember information more easily.

We have gathered together below the best A-Level revision tips from past students who got top marks in their exams. These tips will help current students improve their revision and find what works best for them, so they can work effectively towards the marks they need to get.

  • Create a revision timetable
  • Practice past exam papers
  • Collaborate with classmates
  • Exercise regularly
  • Figure out your learning style
  • Test your knowledge
  • Use mind maps to connect ideas
  • Adapt for different subjects
  • Apps for students

Linear A-Level Exams

All A-Level subjects now have linear exams. This means the courses are end-loaded, so final A-Level grades will depend on the results in the Year 13 summer exams. BTEC examinations are timed throughout the two-year course. Everyone is in the same boat. Students will do as well as the rest of their year group, provided they work hard, don’t leave revision too late, and don’t panic. Remember, universities and employers still need to fill places!

Year 13 - Make time to revise Year 12 content as well as Year 13. Revise Year 12 content first, while Year 13 content is still being taught.  You will need to work out for yourself how to balance your different subjects, but don’t neglect the topics you don’t want to tackle! 

Use revision guides alongside your old notes – ask teachers if there is anything you don’t understand anymore. Use past papers and mark schemes alongside examiners reports.


  1. TAKE NOTES – Go through each topic and make notes on key areas;
    get creative, use colour, draw concept diagrams and doodles
    to ‘personalise’ content and help you remember it.
  2. MAKE PRESENTATIONS – At the end of each topic, make a
    presentation, jotting down key points/ideas as bullet points. Be concise.
  3. TEACH IT – Explain what you have learnt to friends who study
    different subjects, or members of your family. This will help you
    pinpoint what you still don’t understand. As Einstein said:

‘If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.’

READ MORE – Keep your brain active when you are not working; it needs exercise to keep strong over your revision period. Read more - it doesn’t matter what, newspapers, online articles, a good book. Take some inspiration from our KS5 Reading List.