Revision StrategiesMind map

Revision is a fundamental part of the learning process in ensuring that students can be successful. At Cheam we want to ensure that students are using successful revision strategies when they revise.

Strategies such as re-reading notes, summarising key information and highlighting texts can be very popular amongst students but are proven to not actually be as effective as other strategies.

Strategies that feel effortful are the ones that help us learn the most.  

Therefore we have done extensive work with students on showing them which strategies are most effective and will have the greatest impact on their learning. This is done through assemblies, tutor time and also in lessons by subject specialists. Revision can look different depending on the subject you are revising for.


The key points to remember are:

  • Bringing information to mind from memory (without using any notes or your book or textbook) is a very effective learning strategy. This is called Retrieval Practice. It often feels really difficult but slipping into re-reading your notes or textbook will reduce your learning.
  • Retrieval Practice is any task where you have to recall what you previously learnt.


Flash cards


How do I use retrieval practice in my revision?

There are many ways retrieval practice can be used effectively during revision. Below are some examples:


  • Write it outGet a blank sheet of paper and write or sketch everything you can from memory. Once you have written or sketched everything from memory, go back to your course materials and see what you got right, what you missed, and what you need to work more on.
  • Use practice tests or quizzes. When you answer questions, you are bringing information to mind. Answering these questions from memory can be very effective.
  • Use flashcards. Flashcards are another great way to practice retrieval. It’s really important when using flashcards to make sure you actually retrieve the answer before you flip the card over.
  • Create concepts maps from memory. A concept map is a way of organising the ideas you are trying to learn by looking at the relationships between them.


Links to effective revision strategies:

Retrieval Practice:

Dual Coding:

Concrete Examples:



Spaced Practice:


Further information about each strategy can be found here:


Additional websites to support your revision:


Spark Notes:

Know Unity:

Brain Smart:

BBC Bitesize:

Revision World:

Get Revising:

Oak Academy:


GCSEPod is an award-winning website that specialises in mobile learning.  The school has purchased this so that all our Key Stage 4 students can have access to useful videos and recordings, to supplement their learning and support their revision, in preparation for their assessments throughout Years 9, 10 and 11.

There are over 4000 Podcasts which provide highly concentrated 3-5 minute bursts of audio-visual, teacher-written learning which can help to reinforce and consolidate key GCSE topics covered in lessons.  The Pods are designed especially for mobile devices.

Everything is explained precisely with all the correct facts, quotes, keywords, dates and annotated diagrams, all mapped to the exam specifications that are relevant to Cheam High School.

Take a look for yourself at and click login to create an account.

To download a guide for parents, click hereStories


Further reading can be found here: Strengthening the Student Toolbox: Study Strategies to Boost Learning, By John Dunlosky, American Educator, Vol. 37, No. 3, Fall 2013, AFT - books can be ordered from this website which give further understanding about the learning process.

Ace That Test, A Student’s Guide to Better Learning  - is a very insightful read for students on how to maximise their learning:


A document explaining clearly how we have communicated effective revision strategies to students can be found here:  Revision-How-To-Guide.pdf

Please discuss this with your child and talk through the strategies suggested.