Hey - I sat my GCSEs this year and got perfect results (nine 9s, and an A in Level 3 Maths). I was not overly strict with myself; I was disciplined cause I understood the weight of the situation, so for a while my revision was essentially ruled by fear. It worked, but that's obviously not sustainable and you need the guts to do it, and guts is not a prerequisite for doing well.
Everything they tell you about past papers is true. They are the truth. The gold dust. A good 95% of my revision consisted of past paper after past paper; I drilled them to the point where I felt there was absolutely nothing they could throw me that would come as a curveball. Obviously there was stuff in the exams that I completely missed or messed up with (Geography papers 1 and 2 lmao), but with each exam I went in with a level head, and I knew the work I had done had been driven by my instincts and this built my confidence. I did about 3 past papers for each paper in the build up, equating to about 60 past papers or so. A lot, but it's possible and will really help - the reason it's so efficient is it's as close to what you'll actually get as possible. It's like a football team training against their opposition the day before the real match. It's like cheating.
I was very disillusioned with creative methods like mind-maps and flashcards. When I did make revision resources they were these humongous documents covering EVERYTHING in the specification. Even if I was copying off somewhere else, all of it was going into my head as I typed it out. My English Literature revision consisted of writing essay plans with quotes surrounding each theme - one tip I don't hear shared often is that by learning themes, you will learn characters at the same time as all they do is convey a certain theme. For example, the character of Macbeth exists to symbolise guilt, manliness, kingship and more. Mr Salles is practically a guaranteed way of getting 9s in English. I didn't take notes for the sciences - I used Cognito's interactive lessons which are a brilliant tool.
Exam technique is also so huge. I knew so many people who would do so well in lessons, but put them in a hall and they'd perform nothing like they did. For every exam I used Rescue Remedy to calm my nerves (I'm not here to be a Holland and Barrett but it's a good tip), and highlighted EVERYTHING. I decided it was worth taking up all of my time to do things thoroughly and make sure I missed absolutely nothing. I got a good night's sleep every night and woke up with ample time to get myself in a state where I could take an exam.
As the weeks went along, I virtually monkey-barred from one exam to the next. I found there was no time for reflection, once one exam was done you had to start thinking about the next three. For me, I felt it was perfect to just be fluid and take each one as they come.
Efficient revision and a good mindset trumps every single cardboard-cutout revision strategy every single time. Find what works for you, trust your instincts and just go for it. I know it's a late reply, but I wish you every success for next year