- You can look at past papers to help revise for your exams.
- Try out different revision techniques, for example Active Revision or flashcards.
- Make sure you are taking care of your health while revising.
Plan in good time!
Timetable: How much time have you got? What do you need to do? A week in hand: aim to have your revision completed by a week before your exams. This gives you:
- Flexibility in case of illness
- A chance to spend longer on something that proves difficult
- A break before you sit your exams.
Be selective: What topics do you need to revise? How much time do they need?
Targets: Be realistic about the targets you set yourself, how much time you will need.
Balance: Aim for a balance between subjects you’re strong in and those which you’re less confident about.
- It’s not enough just to re-read notes, make your revision active! Here’s how:
- Have plenty of paper and a pen handy.
- Study a section of your notes, and memorise the essential points.
- Put your notes out of sight, and write down from memory the essential things you learned.
- Check with your notes.
- Note any points you omitted or got wrong, and learn them.
- Reduce notes to essential points, either by highlighting or underlining.
- Use these points to make memory aids on index cards or similar-sized pieces of paper.
- Use a separate card for each topic.
- Write down important points to remember about each topic.
- Carry these cards with you wherever you go. Review them in your spare moments
Old exam papers
- Look through old exam papers: make outline plans for the answers and note carefully the slight differences in how questions are asked from year to year.
- Use your time well. Don’t try to do too much at once. Take a break from time to time in each study period.
- Revise with other people sometimes; if you don’t feel that you’ve entirely grasped a topic, or don’t have any ‘new’ ideas on it, discussing it with other students can be helpful. This is especially useful for auditory learners.
- Recognise the targets you have achieved. Mark your progress on your revision plan so that you can see what you are achieving.
- Trust your memory. Once you know a subject thoroughly, move on to the next. Don’t keep checking your memory to see if it’s doing its job. It’s like a filing system, and it will produce what is required at the appropriate time.
- Try and eat a healthy, balanced diet! Take time out for meals; don’t try to work while you’re eating dinner.
- Too much tea and coffee can increase your anxiety levels and induce insomnia. Caffeine tablets have the same effect.
- Get some exercise! 20 minutes exercise 2-3 times a week will give you more stamina, help reduce stress and help you to sleep.
- Don’t try to work through the night before an exam. Go to bed in good time and get as much sleep as you can.