General Studies revision: How the heck do you revise?

General Studies is the unwanted love child of A Levels but just how do you revise for it?


Well the relatively short and simple answer is: You can’t, really. General studies tests your logic, reading, writing and general comprehension skills and a lot of its content is about just applying skills you (should) already have to a new problem.

No expert or special knowledge is required for the exam but there are a few things you can do to put your mind at ease and some topics to brush up on if you’re desperate to get the best marks you can.

Revise essay writing

A large portion of questions in General Studies exams require long-form, essay style answers so it’s a good idea to make sure you know how to write one. You’ve probably written plenty already but take a quick look at our essay writing guide for some quick tips.

Learn critical thinking

Many General Studies topics involve arguments and writing for or against something so revise your critical thinking skills. In particular, look ways at how to structure arguments including what flaws to avoid. See our Critical Thinking revision notes for more!

Do a bit of maths

If you’re taking Maths at AS/A Level (or any other “Maths-y” subjects like Physics) then you shouldn’t need to worry about this bit, but if you’re a bit rusty then it’s best to recap. The Maths based questions in the exam are not too difficult – and you’re allowed a calculator! – but may require you to rearrange equations or do a bit of algebra.

Past papers

A way to revise for ANY test and it applies equally to General Studies: Whip out some past papers and give ’em a go. This will give you a chance to familiarie yourself with the format of the exam and the types of questions you can expect to answer.

Watch some telly

At least, watch the news. General Studies papers are usually very topical so keeping up to date with current affairs may give you an idea of what sorts of subject areas may crop up in the exam. Practice on thinking up or writing arguments for or against tricky topics.

How do you revise for General Studies? Add your comments below!