It’s exam time! Whether it is GCSE, AS or A2 exams, you no doubt feel swamped by all the revision tips and techniques being thrown at you! While most of the tips are well-intended, sorting the useful tips from the useless can be a struggle.
We’ve compiled a list of the most useful tactics that are guaranteed to give you the edge over that daunting exam. They all apply to GCSE and A Level exams too!
Planning your revision is the best way to make sure you’ve covered everything you need to do before the test.
- Try planning out your revision schedule backwards from the date of your first exam. Around six weeks overall should do the trick.
- Lend more time to the subjects that you don’t know too well. This means that you should have no weaknesses come the exam date.
- Be sensible with your planning, don’t use every minute of every day for revision. Give yourself time for breaks and other commitments.
- Stick your revision timetable up somewhere in plain sight!
2. CREATE A WORKSPACE
When revising at home make sure you follow this advice to get the best possible results:
- Create a space that is purely for revision. Try to avoid your bedroom if possible, you want the area to be associated just with revision.
- Ensure your workspace is well lit, natural light is better.
- Having a quiet environment is important when revising but sometimes you may find that playing music will motivate or inspire you.
- Find a place where you can avoid all distractions. Switch off TV’s, mobile phones and your internet connection (unless you need the internet for your revision of course!).
- Get everything you need laid out before starting. Pens, pencils, paper, textbooks and past exam papers. This will mean you don’t have to go hunting for things in the middle of revising.
3. WHAT’S YOUR TECHNIQUE?
If you don’t have the right technique to suit you then your well-structured revision plan will be worthless. Make the most of your revision time and pick the right technique:
- Making notes and diagrams is a lot more effective than just reading from textbooks.
- Shorter chunks of revision work well. For example a 30 minute revision period followed by a 10 minute break would be very effective.
- Use past papers and syllabuses to make sure that you’re revising the correct subject areas.
- Setting time to think about your revision rather than just reading or writing is important as you want to keep your brain active. Maybe try changing environment for this.
- Revise material more than once to reinforce the information in your mind. Leave a break of a day or two in between though!
4. DON’T OVERDO IT
Make sure you push yourself but not too hard as you may run out of steam:
- Include breaks in your revision every 30 or 40 minutes.
- Keep a glass of water and healthy snacks like fruit or nuts nearby to stay hydrated and keep hunger at bay.
- Spending time with your friends and family can stop you getting stressed out.
- If things aren’t going to plan, stay calm. Assess the situation and see what you can cover in the time available.