Tutorful logo
Become a tutor Login
Back to Blog
How to Create a Revision Timetable and Stick to It

How to Create a Revision Timetable and Stick to It

Exams are an inevitable part of every student's life, and preparation is key to success. A well-structured revision timetable not only organises your study routine but also makes the entire process less stressful. In this comprehensive guide, you'll discover the importance of a revision timetable, how to create one that suits your needs, and the tools and resources to make it happen.

Do you need a revision timetable?

“Do you need a revision timetable?" you might wonder. Managing your time is about assigning specific slots for each subject. By adopting this strategy, you won't find yourself cramming chemistry or any other subject the night before the big test. Planning ahead with a clear timetable can help you avoid that last-minute panic. If you're aiming to boost those grades, a structured revision plan is essential. Why? Because it helps you remember things more effectively. Plus it’s been proven time and time again that better recall translates directly to higher grades. So, in short: Yes, a revision timetable is definitely worth considering.

Revision timetables: How to make and use one

Whether you are in year 9 or sitting your A Levels, a revision timetable will help you with your studies.

Creating a revision timetable is easier than you might think. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Assess Your Subjects:

List all the subjects and topics you need to cover.

Step 2: Prioritise:

Rank subjects by difficulty and importance.

Step 3: Set Goals:

Define what you want to achieve in each study session.

Step 4: Allocate Time:

Break your day into study blocks and assign subjects accordingly.

Step 5: Use Tools:

Consider using a revision timetable maker or templates to simplify the process.

Step 6: Stay Flexible:

Allow room for breaks and unexpected disruptions.

Don’t forget that an experienced 1:1 tutor can help you come up with the perfect revision plan,

so if you want the best chance at succeeding, you’ve come to the right place!

Why is Your Revision Schedule Different for GCSEs vs. A-Levels?

Think of GCSE’s as a buffet — you've got a bit of everything, from Maths to Art. It's all about getting the basics down across a bunch of subjects. On the flip side, A-Levels are like diving into your favourite dishes and really savouring them. You pick a few subjects and go deep, really understanding the nitty-gritty. So, when you're planning your revision, remember: GCSE is about covering the ground, and A-Level is about digging deep.

On the plus side, if exams aren’t your thing, there are so many other options out there after GCSE. Your end goal doesn’t have to be university, in fact we put together a fantastic guide full of our favourite alternatives to university to give you some inspiration.

Even if you don’t intend on sticking around for further education, it’s still worth giving your GCSEs your best shot, and a revision timetable could be the key to success.

Young boy studying on his laptop at a desk

How to create a timetable for GCSEs revision

  • Balanced Approach: GCSE students often juggle numerous subjects. Focus on a balanced approach, allocating equal time to core subjects like Maths, English, and Science.

  • Integrate Specialised Subjects: Don't overlook subjects that are specific to your interests or future aspirations. Ensure they have a place in your timetable.

  • Incorporate Past Papers: Practice with past papers to get a feel for the exam format. Allocate specific sessions for this practice.

  • Weekly Review: Dedicate time for weekly reviews to reinforce what you've learned and identify areas for improvement.

How to create a timetable for A-Levels revision?

  • Field of Study Focus: A-Level study is more specialised. Emphasise the subjects that align with your chosen field of study, whether it's Humanities, Sciences, or Arts.

  • Depth Over Breadth: Unlike GCSE, A-Level requires a deeper understanding of fewer subjects. Allocate more time for in-depth analysis and critical thinking exercises.

  • Utilise Tutors: If you're struggling with complex topics, schedule sessions with tutors or mentors. Include these in your timetable.

  • Real-World Applications: Explore real-world applications of your subjects. This not only enriches understanding but also makes study sessions more engaging.

Tips on planning your revision

Do: 👍

  • Be Realistic: Make sure your timetable mirrors your real-life schedule. Got a part-time job or a football practice? Factor those in.

  • Include Breaks and Leisure: Remember, it's not a sprint, it's a marathon. Slot in time for your hobbies, relaxation, and just chilling.

  • Adjust as Needed: Things change, and that's okay. Review and tweak your timetable as exams draw near.

  • Seek Guidance: Chat with your teachers, parents, or mates. They might have some golden advice when setting up your schedule.

Don't: 👎

  • Overloading: Tempted to cram everything? Don't. Space out your subjects and focus on understanding, not just covering ground.

  • Forgetting Breaks: Your brain isn't a machine. Give it some downtime with regular breaks.

  • Being Too Rigid: Life's unpredictable. That friend's surprise visit or the next binge-worthy show? Leave some space in your timetable for the unexpected.

  • Setting Sky-High Goals: Aiming for the stars is cool, but keep one foot on the ground. Balance ambition with what's genuinely doable.

Taking It Digital with Excel

After mastering the essentials of crafting a revision timetable, why not consider a digital approach? Excel isn't just for number-crunching; it's also a handy tool for creating structured timetables. Here's how you can use Excel to craft a well-organised revision schedule:

How to Make a Revision Timetable on Excel

  • Fire Up Excel: Open it up and choose a blank workbook.

  • Columns and Rows: Set columns for days and rows for time slots. Decide if you want hourly or half-hourly chunks.

  • Pop in Your Subjects: For a visual touch, consider colour coding.

  • Add Some Notes: Jot down specific topics or goals for each session.

  • Make It Yours: Tweak fonts, colours, and borders to fit your style.

  • Save, Print, Stick: Once done, save your masterpiece. Maybe even print it out and pin it on your wall for easy reference.

And because we know everyone loves a good example, here’s a quick mock-up:

Responsive Table
Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Notes
16:00-17:00 Maths Revision Football Training Physics Revision English Literature Revision Chemistry Revision Stay active or focus on the subject
17:00-17:05 Mindfulness Breathing (Headspace) Mental reset and relaxation
17:05-18:00 History Revision Geography Revision Guitar Lessons Biology Revision Art Club Flexibility or club activities
18:00-19:00 Dinner Break Dinner Break Dinner Break Dinner Break Dinner Break Refuel and relax
19:00-20:00 English Language Revision Physics Practical Review Chemistry Experiments Review Historical Events Review Geographical Case Studies Review related textbook chapters
20:00-20:05 Guided Relaxation (Calm App) Mental relaxation
20:05-21:00 Geographical Landforms Review English Prose Review Historical Figures Review Physics Theories Review Mathematical Formulas Review related textbook chapters
21:00-22:00 Biology Systems Review Mathematical Theorems Biology Practical Review Geographical Phenomena English Drama Review Review related textbook chapters


  1. Play with Conditional Formatting: Have "Maths" blue and "Physics" in green. It's like Excel's way of letting your subjects wear their favourite colours. And if some subjects are yelling for more attention, let them stand out with a bold font or a bright shade.

  2. Dive into Excel Templates: Don't start from scratch. Excel's got loads of templates. Find a calendar or schedule that speaks to you, and with a few tweaks – you've got a revision timetable.

  3. Mix It Up with Other Tools: If you're a Microsoft fan, let your tools hang out together. Link your Excel timetable with OneNote for those deep-dive notes or Outlook for timely "get studying" nudges.

How to stick to your revision timetable

Now you’ve made your revision timetable, how do you stick to it? Here are some tips:

  • Start Small and Build Up: Set manageable goals initially, and gradually take on more. Having a consistent study time each day helps form a habit.

  • Rewards Matter: Finished a challenging section? Reward yourself with something you enjoy. Also, let someone know about your timetable – be it friends or family. They'll cheer you on and keep you in check.

  • Stay Adaptable: Life's unpredictable. If something throws you off schedule, adjust. It's also a good idea to review your progress every week. Are you on track? If not, tweak your plan.

  • Craft Your Study Space: A good study environment can boost productivity. Keep it organised, and if you're easily distracted, consider apps or techniques to stay focused.

  • Mix Up Your Study Methods: Find different ways to engage with the material. Maybe it's a video one day and flashcards the next. And don’t forget to balance study time with leisure. Regular breaks and hobbies can refresh you for the next study session.

In the end, it's about making your timetable work for you. Stick to the plan, but remember to prioritise your well-being and stay flexible. Success is a mix of discipline, adaptability, and self-care.

Getting extra support

Sometimes, having a structured revision timetable and a dedicated study routine may not be enough, especially if you're struggling with specific subjects or topics. 

This is where a tutor can make all the difference. A dedicated tutor can offer personalised guidance, answer your queries, and provide valuable insights that textbooks or videos might miss. 

They can help reinforce your understanding, making your revision more effective. Ready to find the perfect tutor to supercharge your revision? Check out 100’s of tutors on Tutorful and discover experienced educators tailored to your needs!

Promotional banner offering £25 credit for a first tutoring session. Instructions to register and find a tutor, with icons symbolizing learning and connection.

Hannah C

Hannah C

13th Feb 2024