Revising for your GCSE biology exam can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle. At Exam Papers Plus, we’ve found that the key to effective revision is variation. One way to add some variety to your studying is to play revision games.
Introducing activities like the ones below into your studying routine can help keep you motivated. They’re also a fun way to chart your progress and boost your confidence ahead of exam day.
Here are our favourite GCSE biology games to help you revise:
This revision game is a great way to help you practice thinking on your feet. It works particularly well with closed short answer questions that are worth 1 or 2 marks and assess your retained knowledge. All you need is a pen, some post-it notes, GCSE biology practice test papers and a family member to help.
Have someone from your family write out one sample question per post-it note from your practice test pack and have them write the answer on the back. Ask them to write enough questions so that you have a selection of notes to work with. Have them stick the notes all over the house in places that you’d least expect to find them – inside cupboards, jacket pockets and bathroom cabinets are all good hiding places.
Every time you come across one of the post-it notes, you need to answer the question on the spot, as quickly as you can. You can check if you answered correctly by consulting the answer on the back. This fun game helps you get used to answering questions spontaneously and under pressure.
You’ve probably seen the gameshow on TV and this revision game is based on the same principle. All you need is practice test papers, a stopwatch and a pen to write down your answer. The GCSE biology test papers last 1 hour 45 minutes each.
In the exam, you should aim to answer each question in approximately 3 minutes, which will still give you time to spare at the end to review your answers.
Using sample questions, set yourself a time limit for each question. For questions worth 1 or 2 marks, aim to give yourself 1 minute to answer. For 3-4-mark questions, give yourself 2 minutes, and for questions over 4 marks, give yourself 3 minutes. You can adjust these times to suit the stage of your revision, giving yourself less time as your studying progresses.
To save you having to set a stopwatch, why not use this 3-minute timer with alarm:
This GCSE biology revision game is particularly good for boosting your confidence ahead of exam day. You’ll need your revision notes and a friend or family member to help. Have your friend ask you a question from your notes. They don’t necessarily need to ask you an exam-style question, they might simply ask you to explain a concept, process or formula.
By verbally explaining your revision notes to someone, you adopt the role of teacher – an expert in your field. The best thing about this revision game is that your friend doesn’t need to be studying GCSE biology themselves. The simple practice of demonstrating your knowledge can help you realise that you know more than you think, which in turn helps you adopt a positive mindset for the exam.
If you’re a visual learner, you’ll find this revision game particularly useful for remembering facts, formulas and equations. A mind map is a visual collection of the material you need to know for the exam. We suggest that you create a mind map for all eight of the GCSE biology topics: cell biology; organisation; infection and response; bioenergetics; homeostasis and response inheritance; variation and evolution; ecology and key ideas.
Write down the theme in the centre of a blank page and fill the surrounding space with all the essential information you need to know about that topic for the exam. Some people like to use different colours to make the mind map stand out. For others, the simple process of documenting what you need to know for the test is enough to be beneficial.
Once you’ve created all eight mind maps, stick them on your bedroom wall, so you’ll have a constant reminder of what information you need to remember for the biology exam.
As you’ve probably realised, most of these GCSE biology games involve practice papers. Not only are practice tests a great way of adding variety to your revision in the form of games, they’re essential to improving your exam technique.
The earlier you introduce biology practice papers into your revision, the sooner you’ll be able to identify any weak areas and adjust your revision schedule accordingly. At Exam Papers Plus, we publish GCSE biology revision packs that can help boost your confidence and enable you to perform at your best on exam day.
Our biology packs cover all 8 topics in the GCSE biology syllabus. In creating our packs, we thoroughly analysed examiners’ reports from previous years to ensure we have every question type covered. To prepare you for every eventuality, we’ve even included some of the most difficult questions that you’re likely to come up against in the exam.
All of our GCSE packs are written and developed by former GCSE examiners and markers. They focus on the key skills that you need to do well in higher tier GCSE exams and include detailed mark schemes for every question. Each question is labelled to identify the relevant exam boards.
We’d highly recommend the following resources to help with your GCSE biology revision:
All of our GCSE packs are available immediately after download.
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