GCSE revision guide

TSR Wiki has it's own growing resource of revision notes for all stages of education. If you want to see what we have take a look here. For other locations of revision help read the rest of this page.

Business Studies

  • There are quite a few websites we used for the "Theory" of Business Studies and they are much better than any Revision Guide:
  • Business Studies Online
    • Choose "GCSE Applied Business" or "GCSE Business Studies" and then click on "Theory Notes" - all the topics are covered in depth and there is also help available for coursework.
  • Bized
    • Another excellent website with a lot and I mean a lot of factual information. They even provide mind-maps that you can just print out! Information is mostly on PowerPoint Slides are straight to the point, no waffling.

I can give you another tip, if your course like CCEA issue a Case Study or Pre-reading material, learn it inside out. Look at the phrasing and try and think what sort of questions they might ask you and prepare for them! If a phrase is "the lease on their headquarters is running out soon and they don't want to renew it..." then you should think of "Location of Industry" and what influences it (WARNING: Don't let this be your only preparation, you don't want to guess all the questions, you should still know all your theory before hand.) As always practise past papers and learn the "Key Words" and "Key Command Words".

  • Key Words: business terminology such as "Net Profit", "Profit Margin, "PEST", "SLEPT", etc.
  • Key Command Words: the words in the questions such as "Suggest" and "Evaluate" - these tell you how detailed your question should be and what is being asked. "Suggest" and "Evaluate" questions require analysis + a conclusion (state the pros and cons of a situation/decision) and words such as "What" are just memory recall.

Child Development

Just revise everything and try lots of past papers!!! and in the exam never leave anything blank


Computer Science

Gcse Computing OCR Specification by Susan Robson

This book I was told to order by my school pre 2012, when OCR hadn't released a theory book yet. This book was excelent and provided me with everything I needed to know and it had a glossary at the end of every chapter too which was extremley useful. I bought the 1st edition but she's released a second. The book is avaliable on Amazon.

OCR Computing for GCSE: Student's Book

This is the official book released by OCR. It can be bought off Amazon


There is no CGP guide for Latin, but Essential GCSE Latin (by John Taylor) explains all of the grammar you need to know

Classical Civlisation


Own Notes

There are no revision guides for GCSE drama for any exam board as far as I am aware. There maybe one for AQA, but you should NOT need a revision guise for drama. I don't see how you will need a revision guide for the practical side of it, so there would no point... For the written part of drama, use your own notes. Trust me, it's the best way! -- mikeski


Design & Technology


Literature and Language

Brodie's Notes

(All Exam Boards)

These books are excellent, cuts the crap and gets straight to the point. If you prefer to have all the information in clear text and none of the the diagram nonsense they seem to do these days then this is the definitive series for you. Don't be put off by the simple cover or the fact it was published in the 90's - old is gold. I used Brodie's notes for "An Inspector Calls" and "Of Mice and Men" (also in the 'Of Mice and Men' guide you get the revision guide for 'The Pearl' as well which might not be of relevance to you). It had absolutely everything from Themes to Character Analysis to Chapter by Chapter or Scene by Scene Analysis in snyoptic format followed by a 'detailed commentary'. These books will allow for a good foundation and allow you to thoroughly develop your unique ideas. The vocabulary is excellent; I can promise that you will keep a dictionary handy when studying from these books. I would say it is mainly aimed at A/A* students and are available for a modest price from Amazon.

York notes

(All exam boards)

Good book, but I didn't actually use it that much to revise from because I came up with my own ideas and could analyse the characters etc on my own. -- lizzyd

Excellent series of books, and are very informative, but sometimes will not contain the information that a top level student should be looking for. Apart from that, an excellent guide. --Chachu201

The themes analysis at the back was most helpful, as it served as a foundation to build my own ideas on.

Letts Notes

(All exam boards)

I used this book for An Inspector Calls, and its commentary was invaluable. It had lots of key phrases and words that shines up any essay. I must say however that the character and theme analyses were a little too short and not much use. Overall, I recommend these over York Notes. --Excalibur

Revise Opening Worlds and Opening Lines (Heinemann)


This book did contain many useful hints on how to revise, but nothing solid on the exact content that could be analysed. This book is a good starting point, but more the sort of book that many people could share than a necessity for each person to have one. It also contained model answers, but most of these were grade B/C, and so presumably this book is aimed at people who want those grades.

Working with Opening Worlds and Opening Lines (Heinemann)


This book was much more useful, as we used it during lessons and were given photocopies of all the relevant pages. Much of it will be irrelevant since only one poetry topic is discussed, yet it gives you questions to answer, which directs you to specific points of the text, allowing you to make more top grade comments in the exams.


They have seperate revision guides for each book and also for each poetry anthology unit (e.g. Moon on the tides- Relationships). They're extremley useful and for the literature books, they have a comic strip outlining the whole story so it's a very good book to own for the exam.

No revision needed

Again, I didn't think of too much of revision guides and didn't really revise, but York Notes or something similar for the play would be good and make sure you know your poems and short stories well.


English Literature

Past Papers



If you do as many of the past papers as possible, and spend 90 minutes on an essay, then although the essay will be double the length it needs be, you will be able to remember at least half of the essay. If you make sure that you know roughly what points you could write about beforehand, revision will be that much easier when you are simply learning what you have already figured out.

English Language

No revision needed


I didn't find revision guides helpful at all for this subject. To be honest, I didn't really revise for English, but if I had, I would have just read newspaper and magazine articles and practiced analysing them for the media paper and made sure I knew my texts well and practiced different writing styles for the other paper.


Food Technology



I didn't have any class notes because my teacher was utterly rubbish, so this was a good substitute.


CGP revision guide


I thought it was rubbish, not enough detail at all; probably ok if you just want to pass, but if you are aiming for the higher grades, then no. I eventually bought a Heinemann guide specifically made for my syllabus (Bristol Project). - lizzyd

(AQA) I got the CGP GCSE Geography Complete Revision and Practice - It goes into mush more detail compared to the standard CGP revision guides, and it includes a practice paper and mark scheme, revision summaries and mid-section sample questions. Much better than Letts AQA. --TheTallOne

The learning books are good and provide basic notes, but are for the average student. You will need to do more work on top of these notes if you are aiming to get A/A* in Geography. KwonoBB


(AQA) I bought a Letts GCSE Geography workbook, Revision Guide and Answers for £5. The revision guide is 96 pages, contains a contents checklist and covers the basic terms for each section. Contains practice questions and case studies, however the notes are short and personally I don't find them very intensive. If you use this you should get A/B grade, however I personally would choose to use lesson notes. --TheTallOne

(OCR C) I found this book (the Revision Guide) to have much denser text than a CGP book, and consequently it is more difficult to revise from. However, the checkpoint questions and sample answers were useful. With regards to those doing 'The Bristol Project', this book is helpful, but does not contain comprehensive notes on case studies - make sure your own case study notes are up to standard. Mr Dactyl 17:58, 4 June 2007 (BST)


CGP revision guides - British & Modern World History


Both turned out to be far too vague and did not seem to include some of my syllabus, so I just used my lesson notes to revise. -- splorgie


They're a bit too basic, so make sure you use class notes as well if you're aiming above a C.

(CCEA) Someone said that History CGP is crap... I would have to agree. Mainly for CCEA as they have only 1% of wht you need to know. I would definitely say that your won class notes are the best. - mikeski

Hodder Murray Revision for AQA


This was definitely the best book I bought for AQA History. The format is clear, succinct and easy on the eye; all topics are divided into subtopics and headings so that it is easy to structure your revision. Also, the practice questions and (most importantly) model answers with suggestions for improvement were invaluable. A definite must buy for AQA. --Excalibur

CCEA's own book


History CCEA have their own book, and I find that a great help. Its a textbook with practice questions at the end of each chapter (higher and foundation). Your school SHOULD provide you with the book if your doing CCEA (mainly people in NI really).




For this, I would often use the excellent site www.teach-ict.com which has most, if not all topics covered in the GCSE course. The Letts "GCSE-In-A-Week" book is basic, but good if you already have a solid foundation of ICT knowledge.


Past Papers

GCSE Maths Past Papers with Solution



The intermediate tier has been axed as of examination in 2008.

CGP revision guide


This book is quite long, but contains every single thing you need to know, even most of the basics which tend to be overlooked in the heat of revision. No obvious errors, and with a good easy to read format, this book allows you to actually revise without it all washing over you after 5 minutes.


CGP revision guide


The only CGP guide I thought was worth the money, although any help with Maths is good. - lizzyd

At a good price for a revision guide, this book contains everything you need to know, and even a bit more! Some things in it you may not need to learn (check with your teacher) so don't learn the whole lot unless you are planning on taking it for AS as well. Good detail on the more difficult topics, and despite the obvious (and annoying) attempt by the authors to make this book fun to read, it is still bearable, and should let you thoroughly understand the trickiest of topics. -- splorgie


Used this for my GCSE maths exam last year and it got me from a B to a mid A grade! Perfect for the less functional maths question papers- this helped me gain 85/100 marks in my non-calc maths paper- the highest in my class :) However it didn't help with functional questions on the calc paper, where you have to apply your knowledge to solve new style questions and use your creativity a bit more. I would recommend this to anyone whose not doing the more functional maths papers, as it really teaches how to do all types of questions and explains them properly, and doesn't just give you pages of sums to do with little guidance, like most maths textbooks do(although those are good to practice questions). - Paz


I guess the CGP book was the best one, but the sample papers at the back were really hard and I didn't find any revision guides that helpful for maths. I think going over exercises you've done in class and doing past papers is more effective.

(AQA Modular)

One book I would NOT suggest for AQA Modular Maths would be the CGP guide (well at least for Higher Tier). I have only sat one module, but for the first module, its completely rubbish! You would be better just getting a workbook as many people find it easier if they do questions over and over again. Letts are supposed to be good... -- mikeski


This is one of CGP's less satisfying efforts. Maths doesn't take well to the CGP 'one-size-explanation-fits-all' philosophy, and ambiguous wording or unfamiliar (read 'old-fashioned') methods can leave you slightly bewildered. Less effort seems to have been put into the questions, of which, in any case, there aren't enough. And the jokes aren't as good. Mr Dactyl 15:34, 5 June 2007 (BST)

Media Studies

CGP revision guide

(OCR) There is a CGP revision guide for this subject, although it is very poor in quality. For the topic we were studying, 'sitcoms', there was one page on it. It mainly covered topics we weren't studying. I'd advise you not to waste your money on this (my teacher overcharged me anyway!). Stick to class notes, if you have any, or go it alone!

Modern Languages


Malvern language guides (Vocabulary, Speaking Test and Grammar)

(All exam boards)

These books are lifesavers! The vocabulary book contains all the vocabulary you could ever want at GCSE level, plus some more. Especially useful when writing or planning your oral presentation, they allow you to just get on witht the work rather than having to constantly ask your teacher how to say such and such in French. If you try to learn a certain amount of words a day, by the end of the course you should know a significant amount of the words, if not all of them. Of course, this book isn't so good for cramming at the last minute, but if you pick the sections from the index that you have the most trouble with, last minute revision can prove truly effective. The speaking test book is also excellent for just refreshing your memory of more advanced vocabulary just before the exams. It contains lists of common questions, common answers and also good phrases. Finally, the grammar book has all different bits and pieces in it; some will prove more useful than others, since some of the grammar mentioned here does not need to be learnt for GCSE, and will probably be covered only at AS level. An invaluable reference, will prove useful long after you have done the exams!


Past papers and mark schemes

CGP revision guide


All the vocabulary and grammar you need and again presented in a nice format.


CGP revision guide


As with French, all the vocabulary and grammar is covered and there are practice questions at the end of each section as well as sample papers.


Malvern language guides (Vocabulary and Speaking Test)

(All exam boards)



(All) For general music, CGP is fine, but I wouldn't suggest using JUST this book; you need to fiind your own sources and use other music theory books outside of the GCSE specification. You should only require a revision guide for music for the theory part of it, as (not that I know of anyway) there aren't any revision books for set pieces - you should use your own notes for set works. For the composition side of music, you should only require theory guides, as composition should be your own. You may need some type of guide to help you complete a composition related to an area of study. -- mikeski


The CGP one for "Areas of Study OCR" did the job quite well, considering that there are virtually no other resources for Music. However, I did not find the "Core content" book of too much help; it was all basic music theory that wasn't too much use in the listening exam. --Excalibur



The Rhinegold revision guides were on the costly side, and probably not worth the money. However, the Rhinegold past papers were a gem - as with everything, practice papers are the key. Combined with the CD, it is quite expensive, so it would be better to ask your school whether they can buy one that you can copy from. --Excalibur

Physical Education

Religious Studies

Class Notes


Couldn't find any revision guides for this, so just used class notes.

RS would have to be your own notes as well, unless you want to get the top mark, then I would say go for the revision guide... It doesnt really matter which one you get as most exam boards do the same sorta stuff apparently. - mikeski

CGP revision guide

(AQA) Be careful which one you buy, as the RS course can come in many formats. The CGP guide does not go well with the AQA exam board, as the subjects are mixed abount in chapters and half of the book is unused. Use the AQA Revision guide instead. --TheTallOne


Single Science

Double Science

CGP revision guides

(AQA Co-ordinated)

The books mirror the specification. I was predicted CC in double science; I learnt the specification using these books and got AA!

I would definitely, without question, say the CGP books. They are absolutely fantastic!!! Also I found the AQA syllabus handy itself... -- mikeski

Life Processes and Living Things (otherwise known as Biology)

This book contains every single thing you need to know to be able to sit the first science paper. It is also a useful reference tool throughout the GCSE course, and can be used not only for the exams, but also for coursework and even lessons.

Materials and their Properties (otherwise known as Chemistry)

This book is a good price in comparison to other revision guide companies (e.g. Letts). It shows all the things that need to be learnt for the second science paper, and since it follows the specification, almost nothing is omitted. I found this book useful for completing and checking past papers, most of which were from www.aqa.org.uk, the rest of which were obtained from my teacher. I recommend this book as a highly effective tool of revision.

Physical Processes (otherwise known as Physics)

This book does contain an error when it comes to the life cycle of stars, ask your Physics teacher to check it. However the rest of it is sufficient, when used in conjunction with your textbook, to get a good grade. Slightly vague in places, and missing some useful information (e.g. the use of static electricity in precipitators), it cannot be used as the only source of information.

BBC Bitesize


I thought it had everything you needed to know presented in a simple way and it went into more depth than the website.


Finally, check your exam board specification - the best source of revision there is.

Triple Science

Lonsdale revision guides


Brilliant, couldn't find anything better, they had absolutely everything I needed to know and I didn't get bored of looking at them after 5 minutes! - lizzyd

I ended up having to buy both the science, additional science and the separate 3 (bio, chem, physics) because they didn't get printed in time. The only problem I would have with these revision guides is that there wasn't enough detailed info on how photocells generate electricity- only drawback in an otherwise outstanding revision guide.- Tinaturnerbunsenburner

CGP Complete Revision and Practice

(OCR Biology, AQA Physics and AQA Chemistry)

In my opinion, these separate science books are the best of the CGP books. The subject lends itself very well to the CGP classic lists and diagrams layout. However, the practice questions are often homebrewed rather than past questions, which can be annoying. It's made clear what information you need to revise for each exam board, and the corny asides often raise a smile (from me at least). A big thumbs up. Mr Dactyl 15:34, 5 June 2007 (BST)

Nelson Thornes


Really, really good! Matches up to the text books and has quick questions and answers to really test your knowledge. I found the 'how science works' section paticularly useful. In one word... superb!


CGP Revision Guide


As always, clear layouts and corny jokes are the order of the day with CGP, and in general it works well, if you're prepared to do a bit of rote learning. Clearly differentiated between higher and foundation specifications, it's comprehensive and helpful, if a little light on practice questions. It works well with the Workbook (see below). Mr Dactyl 15:34, 5 June 2007 (BST)

CGP Workbook


Pretty pointless to have without the accompanying revision guide, because they are designed around the order and logic of that book. Useful to test learning, but came away feeling a little shortchanged - not enough questions! Also, the questions are often not exam-style, which is unhelpful. Mr Dactyl15:34, 5 June 2007 (BST)