Why You Need This Book

Revising for exams can be daunting, stressful or just plain old boring, but sadly there’s no getting away from it. If you want the grades your ability deserves, you’re going to have to knuckle down and revise.

Real-world A-grade advice

To write this book, I wanted to find out what makes high performance revision. So I tracked down 25 of the world’s most successful, not-smug-at-all students. A-grade revision superstars, all of whom have bagged a place at Oxford University with some smokin’ exam results. In each in-depth interview, I asked them to share their top tips and tricks for GCSE and A Level success. I grilled them on all aspects of the big R, ranging from “How did you make Revision Notes?” to “How did you deal with revision stress?”

Talking to this panel of impressive grade gurus, two things became blindingly obvious:
A-grade students don’t all revise in exactly the same way.
There is a basic formula for success. It’s in this book. It’s called PUMP: Plan – Understand – Memorise – Practise.
Those students learned it the long way – by trial and error. But with this book in hand, you don’t have to.


There’s lots of long-beard scientific evidence to support the advice in this book. I read it all so you don’t have to – you’ve got enough to do. I looked at everything science has to say about learning and memory. The approach in this book includes all the study techniques that science has proved most effective. Luckily, my PhD training set me up nicely for the laborious task of reading gazillions of empirical papers and gathering the evidence. Turns out the top scientists agree with the top students; there are some core definable features of effective revision.

Applicable to all subjects

Studying for GCSEs or A-levels is a multitude of tasks. You have different subjects. You need to understand concepts, memorise facts or demonstrate skills. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses and a variety of learning preferences. So the question ‘how do I revise?’ does not have a single answer. But, drawing simultaneously on the scientific evidence and the real-world experience of A-grade students, I’ve discovered the basic formula for success. I’ve broken it down to a simple, four-step battle plan that applies to any subject and any level of study.

No need to wing this one

Raise Your Grade gives students – for the first time – a practical roadmap to guide you to exam revision success. It walks you through the tools and techniques you need to do exactly what it says on the tin. I debunk some popular study myths and lay out the do’s and don’ts of effective revision. In isolation, none of the techniques is new. But brought together in the end-to-end, step-by-step PUMP revision framework, approved by science and successful students alike, this book is unique. You will learn more, in less time.

Now’s the time to follow the simple, logical, well-researched, four-phase process this book offers: Plan – Understand – Memorise – Practise. Trust the evidence presented from scientists and A-grade students alike. Go with the flow of an end-to-end, step-by-step process. Be handheld by all the experts in this book.

And no grade-boosting guide worth its salt is complete without a word from the examiners. In a crucial section on How to Master your Exam Technique, Raise Your Grade includes guidance from real examiners – the very men and women that will be marking your papers.

Raise Your Grade is your comprehensive guide to exam success. Acing exams is a skill you can acquire. In this short book, I’ll take you through everything you need to know.