The big question: how do I make a USEFUL revision timetable?

Lots of students tell me that they don’t have a revision timetable because they don’t know where to start with making one.  Lots of other students tell me that they’ve made a revision timetable but they don’t use it!

There’s no point in making a revision timetable unless it’s going to be useful to YOU and YOUR learning style and YOUR habits. The first thing you need to do is decide whether you want it to be colourful and beautiful, stuck above your desk, or whether you want it to be accessible everywhere, perhaps on a calendar app on your phone.


  1.  Title a large piece of paper with subject 1’s name.  Repeat for all subjects.
  2. Write a list of all the modules you’ll be examined on, and using them as subheadings, write down ALL the different topics you have to know.  Check your text books, your notes, your mark schemes and your past papers so you’re sure you haven’t missed anything out.
  3. On another large piece of paper, draw a table showing how many days you have until exam season.
  4. Fill in your exam modules.
  5. For each subject, work back from your exams.  The fortnight before each exam you shouldn’t be revising anything for the first time, so block out those weeks.  Those will be purely for past papers.  The number of days left between now and then are what you have to work with.
  6. Count the number of topics you have to learn for each subject, and the number of days you have available.  Fill them in – in as logical an order as you can manage.
  7. Remember that looking at a topic once is highly unlikely to be enough!  Give yourself at least three different occasions to look at each topic, a week or so apart.
  8. Most people can’t concentrate on one topic for much longer than an hour.  Be reasonable with yourself.  During term time you can probably do a couple of hours revision each evening.  (You’ll also have your frees at school of course.)
  9. You might want to make a neat copy of the final timetable (or enter it into your phone calendar – especially good if you share it with your parents and want them to be able to see what you should be doing).
  10. If you find you’re not sticking to it, don’t abandon it entirely.  Ask yourself why – what about it isn’t working for you?  Address that.  It is far better to have a timetable that works for you than to just dive into some books when you feel like it and hope you’ve got time left to cover everything you need to study.

And the last step – ask me for help!