Expert Insights

Free GCSE Revision Timetable Template

Published 22nd March 2024 by Alastair

GCSE Revision Timetables: Why do I need one?

An effective revision timetable will ensure you have a plan to cover all the topics you need to cover. You will have been studying for nearly two years, and a timetable will help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by the task of revisiting and recapping all that learning.

It is essential to start your revision planning early and to stay organised to give you a sense of control. This guide will help you create a revision timetable that works for you, with tips on planning, setting goals, and managing your time.

1.0 Top

Benefits of Using a Revision Timetable

There are many benefits to using a revision timetable:

  • You will feel great achievement as you work through it and bring together everything you have learned.
  • It will help ensure you have not missed out on any topics
  • It will help you spread your revision over the time available and avoid last-minute cramming
  • It will help you make the best use of your time, including time for rest and recreation.

2.0 Top

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Creating a Revision Timetable

Before you create your revision timetable, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
  • How much time is there before the start of the exams – do you know the date of your first exam?
  • Make a list of all the subjects you are studying for your GCSEs – it is surprisingly easy to forget one and have to adjust your timetable later. Break them down into topics and papers.
  • Ask yourself, which subjects do you find most challenging? Prioritise topics where you feel you may have gaps in your knowledge.
  • Are there specific topics or areas within subjects that you feel less confident about and might need a different approach or a little extra time?
  • Do you have a preferred study method? Do you like to work alone or with friends; do you like to use online resources or your own notes from class?
  • Do you have any extra-curricular activities or commitments you need to factor in? A regular sporting activity or a visit to family.
  • What time of day do you find most productive for study? Are you an early bird or do you prefer to start the day doing something different before settling to study?

3.0 Top

How to Create a Revision Timetable

We all have our own preferences for exactly how and when we want to study. The key is to decide what works best for you and to devise a timetable that will support your study and revision style. The suggestions in this guide will help you create a pathway that suits you.


2.1

Availabilities

The amount of time you have for revision in a week will vary considerably and you will need separate timetables for school term time and for the holidays. Even if you are not an early bird, it is a good idea to start by 9.00am during the holidays. Exams often start at 9.00 so it is a good habit to develop to be studying early.


2.2

Goal Setting

Set yourself realistic goals. Prioritise the subjects and topics you feel less confident about and allocate enough time to go over topics more than once, to recap and relearn where necessary. If you are still attending lessons, you may be taking on new information right up to the end. Make sure you know how marks are allocated in the exams.


2.3

Subject Focus

Don’t try to cover too many subjects in one session but plan to go back and revisit your learning. When you start planning, make sure you know all the topics and papers for each subject so that nothing is left out. If you are studying ten subjects, for example, you could cover them all over 2 - 3 days, then go back.


2.4

Commitments

Block out any regular commitments and don’t forget those one-off promises to visit family, finish some chores, walk the dog. Although perhaps someone will help you with your chores while you are revising for your GCSE exams!


2.5

Breaks

As well as regular commitments, it is important to schedule in regular breaks and some fun activities. If you are working at a desk, get up regularly for a stretch, make a drink, talk to someone for 5 minutes, walk round the garden. If you plan your day carefully and are organised you can still fit in some much-needed down time. Remember to rest and try to eat healthily.


2.6

Topics Already Tackled

Don’t forget to allocate some time to go back over topics you have already revised. It is much better to revisit your learning than to cram a subject for two days and never look at it again. This is also when flashcards and other revision aids can be helpful as well – a few minutes every day looking over notes for key topics in each subject will help everything sink in.


2.7

Colour Coding

Colour is key! Using different colours for each subject will make the timetable easier to read and understand. You will be able to see at a glance what is on your schedule, when you will next be studying a particular subject, how many sessions you have planned for each subject.

You can even allocate your favourite colours to your favourite subjects.



4.0 Top

GCSE Revision Timetable Template

There are many different places to create a free timetable online. One that we recommend is from Third Space Learning. They can provide you with a free revision timetable template, which you can use to structure your personal revision.

However, you can always create your own! Whether by drawing it out by hand or using Microsoft Office tools.

You can see the timetable we've made below:


5.0 Top

How to Use Our Timetable Template

1. Start by counting the number of whole days left and multiplying by the number of sessions you want to have in a day. For example, if you have 10 days and are planning 6 hour-long sessions in a day, multiply 10 x 6 = 60.

2. You have 60 revision sessions which you can allocate to your subjects. You may want to prioritise and give more hours to some – this is where you will need to think carefully about what you need to cover, but make sure you don’t squeeze anything out completely.

3. Now start to fill in the slots on your timetable – remember those colours! You may need a few attempts at this to make sure everything is included, but that’s OK – this is your timetable. There may be other days when you know you will only have a couple of hours – perhaps timetable some quick flashcard revision, or an online quiz, or just focus on one subject you feel needs a little extra.

4. Go back to your timetable at least once a week and think about what you have achieved and whether you need to adjust anything for the next week.


6.0 Top

Strategies for Effective Revision

Once you have made your timetable, have ensured that you have included all your subjects, allowed for revisiting topics and included breaks, here are some revision strategies you can use to help you make the best use of that time.

  • Active learning: Don’t just sit and read your books and notes. Make flashcards, explain a concept to a family member, stick post-it notes around your room, use coloured pens for different topics
  • Practice questions: Use exam style questions to test your understanding and make sure you can apply what you have learned
  • Past papers: Make sure you are familiar with the format for each subject, and the types of questions asked.
  • Interleaving: Return to topics to reinforce learning. I have “interleaved” this idea several times, so I hope it sticks!

7.0 Top

FAQs

There really is no easy answer to this one. During term time, you will have homework to complete, but an hour or two a day of revision during the week will help ensure you stay on top of your schedule. During the holidays, and at weekends, you will be able to work more hours. A good target to set yourself is seven hours, but if you feel that is unrealistic, aim for at least five.

Really the sooner the better. Even if at first it is a broad mapping out of subjects across the weeks before exams, once you have the exam timetable and you have a better idea of the areas you feel need more time, you can firm things up. Be prepared to adjust your timetable as well.

This will depend on your personal learning style and the time available. At times you will do a few hours of revision in a day, but then make sure you get up, move around, take short breaks. If you have limited time, spend a few minutes going through your flashcards or ask a friend or family member to ask you questions based on your notes. Remember that in the exams you will have to sit and concentrate for prolonged periods of time – over two hours for some English papers – so it is good practise to revise for longer periods.

Don’t panic! Step back, take a bit of time to review the time left and prioritise the topics and subjects you feel you need to. Your timetable is a tool to help you, so take control and make it work for you.


8.0 Top

Conclusion

We hope you find this guide to creating a revision timetable helpful. You have worked hard for two years; now is the time to show off what you have learned. A revision timetable is just one tool that can help you make the most of your study time, but an important one.

If revision can sometimes seem overwhelming, a clear plan helps you feel in control and stay on top of things. If you feel it is all getting too much, talk to someone—a parent, teacher, or friend—and take a break and come back refreshed.

At Ivy Education, we run GCSE Revision Courses which can be a great way to reset your learning and perhaps see things in a slightly different light.


Alastair - Ivy Education - Author of Free GCSE Revision Timetable Template

BY Alastair

Alastair Delafield is the Managing Director and founder of Ivy Education.

All Author Posts