Good Morning World!
Its getting to that time of year where most of us still in education will be getting ready for our mock exams or preparing for our final exams in a couple of months. This is one of my biggest regrets from my AS exams and even my GCSE’s, I did the bare minimum when it came to revision, and it didn’t get me very far. This year I am ready to make a change, and I have already started revising for my A2 exams and my re-sits from AS. I have developed a few skills from my months of pre-revision that I wanted to share with you, so that you don’t make the same mistakes that I did.
- Find a quiet space. If you are frequently bombarded with questions and requests from your siblings and parents, then it is important to take yourself out of that situation and make sure there is nothing that can distract you. I recommend that you find somewhere where you wont be distracted, or set a specific time that you want to revise so that your family wont intrude. As my mother is always working and my brother spends most of his time in his room, I find it easy to find time to myself.
- Take frequent study breaks. You are more likely to learn if you study in short and productive intervals, than a hour long sessions spent predominantly on your phone. To prevent this I like to revise in half an hour intervals, this way it reduces the chances of me getting bored. However, if you still feel that half an hour is too long for you, then do 15 minutes of revision with a 5 minute break. Trust me you will see a difference. Also, don’t feel that you have to take a break, if you are in the zone and you could go another 10-15 minutes then go for it. The more revision you do, the better the outcome will be for your exams.
- Make sure the information is going into your head. If you find yourself revising for hours and still knowing nothing, then there is a chance that the way you are revising isn’t right for you. Don’t be down hearted by this, as everyone learns in different ways. Personally, the way I learn takes a lot of effort, I have to read the text book out loud to myself, make notes on what I have just read, then read out my notes, then finally make index cards on the most important parts of the topic. This is only me, and it took me so many tries to find the right technique that suit the way I take in information. For visual learners I suggest doing mind maps, for auditory learners try reading the book aloud then quizzing yourself, (I like to do this as well, you’ll look like a right weirdo when talking to yourself but its worth it). However if you learn by doing things then I suggest trying what I do, because this is how I learn. Revision is trial and error. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.
- Try revising with a friend. Study groups are a great way to cut down your work load. In my biology class, Phoebe, James, Scarlet and I created a study group to cut down our work load and make learning fun. The way we do this is to do a page in the text book each, this focuses us on learning one section of that particular topic. We will then play teacher. Teaching each other on what we have learnt. This is very effective as you need to know the information to be able to teach someone who is clueless on that topic. This also a massive time saver. Say if everyone spends an hour on their topic, then you’re saving yourself 3 hours learning those topics by yourself.
- Have motivation. Having something to motivate yourself to revise can make you want to do it more often, whether it be your football game, a shopping spree, or just a bar of chocolate. It can help. I always like to treat myself after I have spent hours revising, this way I will keep doing it.
- Be organised. Make sure you have all your equipment out before you start. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started revising then remembering that I need a ruler and have to run upstairs, or need a calculator and have to rummage through my bag. Its extremely time consuming, so make sure you have everything out before you start.
- Don’t cram. Use your time efficiently by starting your revision sooner rather than later. It is better to have over revised for an exam, then only crammed the night before. This is how most of my GCSE exams were approached. I would have done no revision until about a month before my exams started, then I would only focus on my first exams so when it came around to the last few I literally only read the textbook the night before. Adamant to say that those are the subjects I didn’t do so well in.
These are just some of the things I like to think about when revising. I hope you find these tips helpful, and let me know if you are going to try them out, or if you already do some of them yourself. Good Luck!