Study and Revision – these are not the same thing

I don’t actually want to hear the word ‘revision’ until at least April next year. If you are a child embarking upon your GCSEs; if you are a parent desperately trying to support them through this process, can we have an agreement that the word revision will not come into play until the actual study has taken place first. 

Looking at the word itself re-vision, there has to be ‘vision’ in the first place in order to look back over it. This is why many of our children don’t actually know how to revise because they don’t actually have anything to revise because they haven’t done the work yet! 

There may at best be some notes in class within books, bits of homework but actually folders filled with work that the children have done themselves above and beyond what takes place in the classroom probably doesn’t exist.  

As parents you are about to embark upon a whole world of neurosis, to the extent that you will stop communicating with your children but you will simply turn into the worst version of your own parents and begin an onslaught of nagging in order to get them to do more, revise, revise, revise. 


Study? Revision? What is difference? – Have we actually got a handle on what it is we are nagging our children to do this half-term?  

Study = new and fresh self-learning”  

Revision = Going back over the studyto learn it”  

So, as far as study and revision go, both are equally as important but you can’t have one without the other.  

Study is when you self-teach and add value to your existing knowledge. You learn more new stuff about your subject through a range of methods.  

These might be:  

  • Study notes –  like Sparks or York  
  • YouTube tutorials – like Mr Bruff or Stacey Reay  
  • Testing yourself using past exam papers or making notes on the mark schemes  
  • Looking up exemplar responses. Then, you condense that knowledge to a way of easily remembering: posters, post it notes or cue cards.  

Revision is exactly what the word suggests, re-looking (re-vision) again at previous study, that is why your study has to be done in the first place.  

Make sure you have a really good selection of:  

  • Notes  
  • Homework  
  • Teacher’s feedback  
  • Classwork books and folders and then collate it all into a way of remembering it easily like you would with your study.  

Study is new and fresh learning, revision is going back over the study.  

I find the students (clue in the title) who study more and find new stuff to add value to their learning gain the better grades.  

Classwork, homework and “reading back over your notes” isn’t enough, learn some new stuff.  

Let us start by reinvigorating the words ‘self study’  

This is a reminder to young people that classwork and homework is simply not enough to attain the grades that are needed within the rigour of the new GCSEs. 

Let us banish the word revision until weeks before the exam and begin to communicate using the language of what we actually want the children to do.  

Engage with the subject, do more than what is involved in simply the teaching in the classroom. Learn to study. 

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