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I've recently found the 'DooYoo Lounge' and found loads of topics I'd love to speak about. Here I will discuss things which work for me personally and little tips which may help you with your revision. I have tried to summarise everything down to basics because no-one wants to read a long winded paragraph about 'revision'. I hope it helps!!
I am currently a Year 13 Sixth Form Student. I have been in education now what feels like a lifetime. But I am nearly at the end of my studies. I have 'recently'-since 2007- been through Secondary School and taken GCSE's and AS exams so I know the necessity of some good revision before exam time. I feel as though I did pretty well in all my exams and got the kinds of grade I deserved from the work I put in. So, I can't really complain. Revision for me always begins properly about 1-2 months before any exam. Usually however this begins Very light and progresses until I'm locked in my bedroom the night before the test reading under my Duvet. However, I have found this approach has always suited me well. Not for everyone but definitely for me.
I am very much a visual and fact kind of learner. I learn best by reading and learning the facts of a subject from a book and then creating something with that information. In many ways I have a photographic memory. When in an exam situation if I'm unsure I can usually pick up information in my mind from where I wrote it down last. Likewise, I can usually remember where in a textbook I would find the answer. A little odd but that's my brain for you!
Over my time I have studied a wide array of subjects from Biology to DT Food to Art to English literature at all levels. So, I've had to face written, creative and verbal exam situations so in many ways my tips will hopefully cater for many of you reading this. I've tried to break up my points and summarise them for you below. On the whole my top tips are
1.) Find your learning style
2.) Put the work in beforehand!!
3.) Take regular Breaks
5.) Make it enjoyable
**NO. 1 FIND YOUR LEARNING STYLE**
My top tip is definitely to find your learning style. All Minds work and behave in very different ways. like I said I work visually and learn best in this way. However, some people prefer physical learning. Maybe watching videos or carrying out science Experiments. Likewise others may work best listening to music or participating in group activities. Or maybe being alone.
You need to find what works for you so you can be the most productive in your revision. There's no point sitting there and reading your 'Course textbooks' cover to cover if you can't ingest what your reading. If you're unsure how you learn trial different activities and see which works best for you. Likewise, there are many quizzes on google you can take which work out the kind of learner you are.
**PUT THE WORK IN AHEAD OF TIME AND 'REVISE' WHEN YOU'RE CLOSE**
Top Tip Two is to ensure you're putting the work in before revision happens. This tip comes from experience. I spent most of my Biology AS lessons feeling confused about what we'd studied but doing nothing about it. I'd go to a lesson engage a little but miss out on the facts. I'd then leave it and leave it not studying the subject further at home. I found by exam time when trying to revise I couldn't even tell you the anatomy of the heart. Let alone how it works.
Doing this makes revision hell. I felt so stressed when it came to my exam and panicked so much about it afterwards. The stress of exams is bad enough without the added pressure or 'teaching yourself' the course weeks before. Don't do it to yourself be prepared in the long run and the revision period will be a breeze.
I think it's really vital that you take regular breaks in between revision. Don't sit there for hours on end. Not only does it get really boring but also it puts strain on your memory. You are more likely statistically to remember something if you learn it, revise it and then keep coming back to it. Don't force it upon yourself.
Personally I like to do some revision from a textbook. Possibly making a mind map of key points. I then go off and have a drink or a snack. I return and finish and then stick up the mindmap on my wall. I'll leave it there for a few days and whilst just entering the room or leaving I will try and remember one more thing. I find this steady pace allows me to absorb the information and not lose it. Likewise I find it helpful to read course books. For instance in my case of English literature. I will read the book and then re-read it before exams.
Now, this point is very much up to you. I don't myself work by scheduling revision but a lot of my friend do. Many make timetables of what will be done when. They sort out timings, days and breaks. If your someone who likes routine then I'm sure this is for you. Personally, I will mentally agree with myself to do 1 hour of revision a night. When this happens I never know. Nor do I know how widespread this will be. I think if you make a kind of agreement you are more likely to stick to it.
**MAKE IT ENJOYABLE**
Really this tip should be number One. Revision is nearly always boring. I don't enjoy it I find it gets repetitive and gives me a headache after a while. Due to this I ensure I make my revision fun. Revision doesn't mean studying hard. I revise for my exams watching Documentaries; Listening to my favourite songs with changed lyrics; reading outside on a summer's day; doing practical activities; sitting with friends and quizzing each other; drawing etc.
I think people make too much of a chore out of revision. It can actually be really enjoyable sometimes. Especially if it's on a subject you enjoy. Personally I study DT Food (home economics- whatever you like to call it!) and for my exam I get 8 mark exam style questions on things such as Nutrition, additive, manufacturing techniques etc. For this I learn through resources. However, for the other part of my exam I get a long essay question. This nearly always involves issues of a social, moral, economic and environmental standing. Due to this I can revise watching TV. For example this time last year there was a show about 'Greggs' on the TV. Nearly everything said on that show could be turned into valid points for my essay. Win-Win. I was having fun, relaxing and learning at the same time. Likewise, I did History and English literature (still do English). I could read the facts and then watch TV. For History I could indulge in an episode of the Tudors and for English I could watch Blackadder!
Anyway, that's my top tips. I hope some of them work for you and help you out. Obviously, I have experience but am no expert in any way so don't take my points in gold. Likewise, make up your own. Find what you like and adapt it.
Good luck with all your revising. Always remember hard work pays off.
Thank you for Reading- Please rate and check out my other reviews if you enjoyed!
Likewise comments are always welcome!
I was born and raised in Hong Kong. As most of you may know, Asian schools and universities usually have quite a lot of exams and tests so I believe that i am in a good position to share some experiences on revisions. I had my O-Levels, A-Levels and 5 years in university (most of them in law school) and have spent almost all my time on studying during that period.
The best revision tip, for sure, is to attend your class, pay attention to your class and revise what you have learnt immediately after class. It is ideal. However, in reality, we all know that we will not even know that exam is approaching until say, two weeks before the exam actually takes place. Below are a few steps that you may wish to consider adopting if you are going to have your exam shortly.
1. Ascertain what the scope of exam is
If you have never attended your class for the whole semester, please go ahead and check with your friends whether the teacher has offered any tips on the scope of exam. At the very least, take out the syllabus and see what have been taught in the whole semester. You do not want to spend your precious time on studying something that will not be covered in the exam.
2. Read the past exam papers
You should go and check whether past examination papers are available for references in the school library. If not, ask your seniors whether they have kept copies of the past exam papers. It is important that you read them as they will give you an idea on what to be expected in an exam.
Of course, make sure that there are no significant changes to the format of the exam before you start reading the past papers!
3. Form a study group
You will not be able to finish studying everything if you are studying on your own. Find a few classmates that you can trust and form a study group. Each of you can choose a topic and start preparing notes for them and share the notes among each other say a few days later.
By preparing study notes, you will have a good understanding of your responsible topic. You will also get to know what the important points for the other topics are. Besides, we are all more critical about others' work and you will have a better grasp of the other topics while reading the study notes others have prepared.
4. Work on at least one set of past exam paper
Once you are done with the study notes, try to work on a set of past exam paper within the time allowed for the paper. You do not want to spend all the exam time on just one question. This will not help you to obtain high marks in exam. Doing past papers will allow you to manage your time better during your exam.
5. Have some good rest the night before exam
There is no use to study overnight just before the exam. Have some sleep and eat well. You have to feel energetic to perform well in exam.
6. Have a good pen
What is worse than finding out that your pen is not working during the exam? Bring one that you find yourself comfortable to write with and bring an extra one as back up.
I hope that the above will be helpful for those who have to attend exams shortly and good luck!
As I have been both a college and school student here are my top tips for those who are going into year 11 or 6th form/a-levels in September.
These are going to the most stressful times of your time at school/college and the thought of 'revision' or 'exams' gives you a bad feeling and think 'uh-oh.' But in the end it is worth it, but to do that you must work very hard and you'll grantee good rewards at the end!
If you are going into year 11, in December/January you will take GCSE mock exams, this is to give you a better idea of what will happen during the exam, and if you were to take the exam, but if you do badly, don't worry cause many students do badly in mocks, including myself! But that will give you out the message saying 'you need to make sure you revise loads for your exams.' The mocks are basically give you an idea of what you would get if you took the exams in December/January.
But if you're doing a-level you won't do mocks as you already know what to expect.
Exams for both GCSE and A-level take place in May/June period, but some may be earlier like in January especially science exams.
Results come out about mid-August for A-levels and a week later for GCSEs.
Here are my tips for revising:
1. DON'T leave the revision till the last minute - do it as early as possible around February/March cause the time will fly and before you know it will be your exams.
2. It is best to do revision in a room where it is quiet, a room without a TV or radio - this will stop you from being distracted. But if music helps you to revise, then do so.
3. Do revision in chunks, and not in long blocks because it won't be fresh in your brain. The best way to do this is set a timetable of where you will do your revision and what you will revise, do at least an hour, a max of two. rest for an hour or two. Focus on another subject.
4. DON'T waste time revising things you already know - focus on things you're not too sure of or don't understand.
5. Make sure you take a break while revising, so either play sport or have a little browse on facebook and tell your friends how much you hate revision! The best one is to do some sort of sport as this will freshen your mind. Make sure you have something to eat and drink too while you're at it.
6. If you are asked by teachers, to attend revision classes. DO! cause make sure you get every opportunity as teachers can help you prepare for your exams - so don't loose out.
when it comes to the exam:
1. Take deep breaths, you'll be fine! Nerves are normal.
2. Make sure you have something to eat and drink before the exam - it'll get your brain working!
3. If you have a revision class an hour before the exam - for god's sake GO! cause it'll help you re-cap on anything before the exam and sometimes it does end up in the exam!
4. Make sure you have the right equipment before the exam. DON'T bring anything into the exam if you don't need it!
5. Make sure you know what your candinate number is, and you know where you are sitting for that exam.
6. Phones, Ipods etc Must be switched off! cause this can get you disqualified from your exam or even worse all your exams. So double check before you go in.
If my degree was in procrastination I'd be on course for a first. Unfortunately, they don't offer that course at my uni so I'm stuck doing something proper! When it comes to exams I have a tendency to panic, and out of fear of not knowing exactly what to do I put it off til the last second which is probably the worst thing you can do! What should you do then?
My first piece of advice is to get a wall chart calendar and write on it everything you have to do (exams, coursework, work) and put it in the space you do most your work so you can keep track of what you need to do and how long you have to do it. Secondly, instead of panicking, just get on with it! Remind yourself why you and doing your course (to get the job you want etc.) and try and use that as your motovation. If you are stuck, talk to your tutor! It's their job to help you! Don't be embarrassed, they'll be happy you have asked for help, and getting a bad grade is way more embarrassing than asking for help! And finally, when asking your tutor for help, also ask if there are any past papers you can look at, these will give you an idea of what might be asked, although don't just revise what is in the past answers (remember its always better to know a bit about everything, than everything about something). Good luck!
Exams. Probably one of the scariest words in the English language. They're a necessary evil and - unfortunately - can sneak up on you at any age.
I've sat exams from SATs, GCSES, A Level and University exams. But that wasn't the end.
Sadly, I am apparently a glutton for punishment and have since ended up taking numerous professional qualifications once in the world of work in finance, regulation and accountancy to up my game a bit and to help me in my job.
As a result, I've seen exams at all stages - but I believe there are some really common tricks and tips to help at all levels:
~*~*1. Don't leave it until the last minute *~*~
I think most people have experienced that 'pit of the stomach' terror of impending exams. Don't let the prospect of exams scare you into burying your head in the sand. You can give it your best shot if you face them head on and give yourself a decent start to tackle the revision and mental preparation. I found that, for almost all my exams, I needed to take a few weeks of solid revision to get a handle on subjects and feel confident going into the exams, but of course this will vary from person to person. You know yourself better than anyone, so decide how long *you* need - realistically!
~*~* 2. Know your enemy*~*~
Ok, so you probably shouldn't think of exams as your enemy. But you do need to know what you're going to be tested on. This will help you focus on all the areas which are eligible to be tested in the exam and can help you structure your revision timetable (make sure you don't fall into the trap of spending 3 weeks designing a gorgeous revision timetable and one week revising!) and help you identify areas which you know you're weaker on. It's tempting to spend longer revising areas of a subject you enjoy and feel confident on, but remember it's the areas that you find scariest and you know in your heart of hearts you're not confident with that you need to work on the most.
The easiest way to know what could be covered on your exams is to try and get hold of a syllabus - ask your teacher or course leader if they can provide one or, if you're sitting a recognised external exam e.g. GCSE, ACA, you can usually find the syllabus online on the exam board website free of charge. At university, the details of what is covered in your course booklet usually - if in doubt, ask.
~*~* 3. Grab your ammunition - and your pencil case!*~*~
I'm not sure if this is a girly thing or not, but one thing which really helped me prepare and get in the right mind-set for revision was stocking up on stationery - tragic i know. But you needn't blow your budget in buying up the stationary section of WH Smiths. Just making sure you've got a decent set of pens (e.g. biros), coloured pens, highlighters and enough paper to take notes can give you a boost and incentive to start revising.
If you're taking exams while working also (such as a professional qualification), then you may be able to dip into the work stationery cupboard for such goodies.
~*~* 4. Location, location, location - finding your perfect 'study spot'*~*~
Now that you're armed and ready to go, it's time to find a place which works for you as a study area. The ideal place is somewhere you can associate with concentration and studying - that's why lounging about on the sofa in front of the tv rarely works! A lot of people find working in a study, at the dining table or at the library works best for them. If you've nowhere suitable at home to study, try and find a quiet spot elsewhere - local libraries are open throughout the week or, if you're at work or school still, finding an unused meeting room or classroom after hours can give you the luxury of space.
It's generally recommended that you make your study space comfortable - make sure it's well-lit, not too hot or cold and you have your paper, books and stationary to hand.
Although working in silence works for many people - it can help you focus and get into practice for sitting in the exam hall. However, I found (together with a lot of other people), that having some music playing in the background isn't too disturbing, as long as it's not too loud and distracting. I wouldn't recommend having a TV on in the background - it works for some people - but I think it's too easy to get distracted and start watching the TV for a sneaky 5 minute break, which extends into 15 minutes, then half an hour - you can see where this is going... Be strict with yourself.
~*~* 5. Time to be selfish - what works best for you*~*~
Revision and preparing for exams is a personal thing. Remember, your result is the result of the work you put in, no-one else's.
In the same way, remember your approach should be the one that works for you too. Whether it's where you work or how you take notes (spider diagrams, diagrams, notes plastered all around the house or full on written notes) - don't panic if your friends aren't doing the same. We all learn in different ways and the way things commit to your memory is different too.
Try experimenting or going back to what you know works best for getting facts into your memory. I worked best from handwritten notes, with keywords underlined and highlighted in coloured pens. However, I know my best friend works best from craziest brainstorming and spider-diagrams I think I've ever seen, while my sister loves typing up her notes into neat tables and pages to read later. Find what works best for you and stick to it.
~*~* 6. Practice makes perfect - past papers, self-testing and repetition*~*~
It's an overused phrase, but it is true. Not even a genius with a photographic memory could be expected to replicate everything needed to sit an exam without a little practice. This is true for all kinds of exams - whether multiple-choice, essay-style or maths questions.
Try getting hold of past exam papers (whether from your teacher, course leader or online on the exam board's website - they're usually free). It's also a good idea to take photocopies of these so, if you do want to mark up, scribble or make plans on the paper, you can repeat your practice at a later time on a clean version.
Maths questions and essays need practice - you need to know the techniques and timings to get the right answers down. The worst mistake you can make with exams is thinking that you can just open a text book, revision guide or notes and the information will just seep into your brain through osmosis - it really doesn't work. You need to put in the hours to practice - it will pay off in the end.
~*~* 7. MNEMONICs - a difficult word that makes things so much easier... *~*~
Mnemonics are incredibly handy. They're devices to help you remember things, using the key letters to remember a sequence of items and turning them into a handy, easy to remember phrase.
An example of one that a lot of people know from their school days is for remembering the order of the planets - My Very Elegant Mother Just Sent Us Noodles (& Pizzas!) - this helps you remember the order of planets closest to the Sun - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune (and Pluto - which is apparently no longer a planet!).
Try turning groups of items into a mnemonic to help you quickly commit them to memory. Remember, mnemonics exist in your hand (and your notes) - you can make them as bizarre, random or filthy as you want (I often find it's the X-rated language ones which stick in my head best - not sure what that says about me though...!).
~*~* 8. Look after yourself *~*~
Revision and preparing for exams can take it out of you. Don't forget when you're revising that you need to be healthy and happy to be fully functional. Make sure you take regular breaks (say, a 15 TV, coffee or internet surfing break after an hour of work) and make sure you're well fuelled by eating properly and drinking plenty of water.
Exercise is also important too - a lot of people find that it's during exam term at university that you pile on the pounds. Not from all the alcohol and bad diet from a typical student lifestyle, but because you rarely leave your desk. Try incorporating a good walk or exercise session (maybe a kick about with your mates or a trip to the gym) into your routine - you can even be practising the mnemonics and working out equations while pounding the treadmill!
As much as you need to be physically looking after yourself, don't forget that your mental health is important too. Exams are pressurised and can be a stressful time - don't be scared to tell family, friends or an outside service (such as your university counselling service or The Samaritans) if you feel you are not coping or just need to offload exam stress - you're only human.
~*~* 9. Remember the purpose of exams - testing, not tricking you *~*~
Exams can feel like they're a never-ending nightmare. But remember their purpose - to test what you have learned and what you do know, not to trick you and show you up for what you don't.
~*~* 10. Have faith in yourself *~*~
The most important thing, beside preparation and practice, is to have faith in yourself. Exams are a necessary evil - they're not fun (unless you do get yoru kicks in a weird way!) but they're not impossible. Having self-confidence and faith in your ability to get through the exams can go a long way - definitely don't lose sight of that, particularly when it gets tough.
Best of luck to anyone who is sitting exams!
It has been many years since I opened a book and had to study, however, I have recently started a Masters Degree in Analytical Credit Risk Management, and I couldn't believe how out of tune I was with academics. I started my reading, in turn my assignment, and I was like 'Wow, I can't even remember how to write a bibliography!', so I have gone through the nerves of exams and the scary revision all over again. It doesn't get any less nerve wracking, but by following the routine I have set down below, it isn't as unorganised as it was when I was 17 and trying to balance A Level study with partying and relationships!
*~Where to Study~*
The most important thing to me is the environment you work in. I personally don't like to be too hot, or too cold, I need the temperature just right, if it's not I get distracted, to go put an extra jumper on, or a pair of socks. My bedroom is warm with the heating on and then I have the window open a crack to keep a good fresh air flowing through and this ensures it doesn't get too hot. I often need to go to the library and I'm sure they don't have heating - it's freezing, and I spend most my time in there thinking how cold it is, no concentration whatsoever. I also like to have things around me, even though I am just upstairs I make sure I have a flask of black coffee or herbal tea which improves my concentration and provides me with mental stimulation. It's also an idea to keep the snacks away, especially when your reading - it's so easy to just eat your way through a full bowl of crisps! I have to be comfortable, so I dress in scruffs (jogging bottoms and light sweatshirt for example) and I ensure background noise, including the downstairs TV are at an absolute minimum level. My desk in my bedroom provides me with a comfortable chair, plenty of work space to spread out my books, papers and laptop as I can't work cramped up; plus the lighting is really good - there's nothing worse than squinting your eyes. I finally make sure I have everything to hand, there's nothing quite so frustrating as getting to a certain point in coursework or revision and then finding you need to go and look for something to complete what you're working on!
* Settle down to work in an environment that is a suitable temperature, has plenty of light and is as spacious as possible
* Be comfortable, dress in comfortable clothing and sit on a comfortable, supportive chair
* Have everything you will need to hand, including materials, information, refreshments
* Keep background noise and distractions to an absolute minimum
*~Revision Checklist / Planner~*
This has always been one of my major downfalls. I write lists for all kinds of things, shopping, holidays, packing, studying, but I never tend to adhere to them! If your anything like me then this will be the hardest part of your revision. However, that said, making a revision plan is important and can help you to make the most of your precious revision time.
* Find out when your exams are and when any other coursework or committed deadlines are. Factor in regular activities, important unmissable events, for example, your Mum's birthday or similar; eg, if your revision time spans the Christmas period, factor in Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years, along with time to visit family and complete your shopping, plus your swimming class, or gym or similar!
* List all of your exam subjects, and the time until each exam; consider where your strengths and weaknesses lie, be honest, and perhaps use past exam results to do this. Divvy your time up based on which subjects / topics are likely to need the most time
* Draw up a revision timetable, to include times you CAN revise and WHAT you plan to do during that time
* Use a revision checklist. Make it visual i.e. on your bedroom wall / fridge, check off as you go and this will spur you on
* Little and often, as with diets, exercise and all other things in life, little and often is the way to safely and effectively revise
*Schedule breaks, even if it is 5 minutes to get up and go for a walk about
* Within one session try to vary the subject matter at 'break' time
* Don't panic!
* Make sure you allow plenty of time and don't leave it until last minute, even if you feel you work better under pressure. Remember the saying, 'Why put off until tomorrow, that which you can do today'
*~How to Study~*
There are so many ways of studying and it really does depend on the individual. However, there are a few ways that I find have worked for me. The important thing is to understand the facts and consolidate your knowledge. Knowing the facts for sure will help you put them in to action in response to your exam questions. The most effective technique I've found is to take a piece of A4 paper, then, before doing any revision, I write everything I know about the subject on to that piece of paper. I always, without fail, surprise myself at how much I do know already. It highlights your strengths and weaknesses so you know what you need to revise heavily, and what you don't need to spend so much time on. This is a brilliant way to commence your revision planning... Other techniques I use include getting some index cards and writing just one fact on each, then hole punching them and putting a ring through them and then sticking them in my handbag. When I'm waiting for the bus, waiting to pick someone up, on lunch at work, etc I can just get them out and flick through them. With my course being a distance learning course, I don't have any friends that I can study with, but at school, college and uni, this used to be my top revision technique; study with friends - prepare each other a quiz and then when you've answered it, switch and mark it - you will argue, agree, explain your way through your answers and it is a great learning tool.
* Using your course notes, materials such as text books, etc - make 'tools' including factsheet summary, flash cards, key notes stuck to the fridge, bathroom mirror, etc, voice recordings to listen to as you drift off to sleep, etc.
* Skim read - look at the text books skim the page, summarise all the key facts which jump out at you. These are probably what you already know, then look inbetween what you know already and pay close attention to these bits.
* Create memory aids like mnemonics (e.g. MBLOC = Market Risk, Business Risk, Liquidity Risk, Operational Risk, Credit Risk) - beware though, don't use this technique too often or you will end up confused and muddling them up!
* Try to do some study with a friend, test each other
* Use revision guides where available such as the York Notes series - ask your tutor or teacher to recommend a suitable one
* Try to get access to some past papers
* Read aloud. Yes it's embarrassing but in the comfort of your own home it's acceptable and super effective!
* Refer to, organise and index your course notes. These are invaluable in helping you revise. Try typing up your handwritten notes, this always helps me to remember them.
* Keep yourself focused, vary your study method, even if you have found a certain way that works, try alternating between just that one and another like the writing all your key facts down on one page to test yourself
* Go to revision classes if they are on offer at your institution, to hell with the stigma of being a geek, this is your future, I can definitely say I got bullied something chronic at school, to the point where I just stopped going in (yes me, not the bullies); but it was because I was a geek and I wouldn't change that, or my great job, decent pay and excellent career prospects for anything!
* Don't compete too much - I always think a little bit of healthy competition works great, but don't push yourself to do too much (yes there is such a thing as too much revision)
*~Last Minute Tips~*
You must make full use of your studying tools to consolidate your knowledge in these last few weeks / days. Keep calm, don't panic and get distracted by the amount of time you have left (or don't have left if that's the case!). Don't stay up all night revising. You will be tired for your exams, instead of trying to learn about anything you haven't covered, work harder on the subjects you already know a lot about. You may make up marks by being a specialist in certain areas, despite lacking knowledge in others. For example, I don't have much of a grasp of hedging funds and derivatives, but I still managed a high grade on my paper as the other topics I am competent and have a broad subject knowledge of. Ensure you have a relaxing bedtime routine the night before your exam, as sleeping will ensure your rested to work your brain even harder than it has been during the exam. Plus sleep is when things you have learnt through the day sink in. A baby learns peoples faces in it's sleep, you will be sure to do the same with your facts if you get a good night's rest.
Everyone gets nervous around the time of exams, it can put a lot of pressure on you. But, unless you learn to control your nerves this could be the thing which throws all of your careful revision and planning out of the window! These are things you can try to control your nerves:
* Following above guidelines - being prepared will make you feel better no matter how much of a nervous disposition you have
* Sleep, eat and play well - you must have a good bedtime routine whilst revising, you should also eat good food, regularly, don't skip proper meals to revise and substitute with fatty snacks. These wont help you at all - you will just feel lethargic. Have some time set aside for relaxing, socialising, reading (fiction!), sporting activities, etc - in other words take your mind off it sporadically, all of this will help steady your nerves
* Use Rescue Remedy drops or similar to calm you, Kalms are a natural supplement which can help you sleep and relax
* Have a long soak in the bath with some calming essential oils
* Go to the exam with a friend; chatting on your way will help to take your mind off it - or listen to the radio for example
* Try to assimilate your nervousness to the severity of the test. You can normally resit exams free. So you will have another shot. Everyone wants to do well first time, but don't make yourself too scared and nervous by thinking I only have one chance, if in truth you actually have more than one.
Make sure you wear a watch. There is nothing worse than trying to crane your neck to see the clock in the exam hall if your not sitting directly in view of it. You should time yourself and then you will know how long you have left. Also, check you have all the equipment you need BEFORE leaving home, and that it is within exam regulations, i.e. a clear pencil case, etc. If it is not, you may not be allowed to take it in and then you will find yourself unequipped to deal with the exam paper. Set off with plenty of time to spare - traffic, emergencies, lost keys etc could all interfere with your journey; take a toilet break right before you are due to enter the exam hall. If you are allowed a drink, make sure you have one with you.
Once in the exam, read through the whole paper - I always make the mistake of spending too much time on the difficult questions and then not answering those that I can do in a flash. Mark the horrible ones and get on with what you know. It will give you a confidence boost when you see you have completed 70% of the paper and only have a few questions (although they might be tricky) left. Don't get frightened by the first question - papers don't always get progressively difficult. In my mock GCSEs I will always remember the Mathematics higher paper Q1. I didn't even know what it meant so, I got up and walked out in tears. I dropped down to the intermediate paper and passed no problem, but when I went back to the higher paper, I saw that Q2 onwards were all things I knew and would have been able to answer confidently.
Read and re-read the question, 9 times out of 10 the answer is within the question, or at least it will give you a good understanding of what they are looking for. Look at the possible marks, if the question has 40 possible marks, it is likely that a one sentence answer is not going to be sufficient. Ensure that your answer meets requirements, i.e. you either show your workings or you stick to word limitations. If you use extra paper, be sure to mark your details on it carefully and use it only in the way instructed on the paper. If you have any essay style questions, make a plan / structure before attempting to answer. In my General Studies A Level exam I had to write an essay for Q1. I spent the whole exam waffling on and I never even had time (or the ink) to attempt Q2. Needless to say through lack of essay planning, I got a big fat D. Another good tip is to leave ten minutes at the end to re-read your answers. Don't be too critical during this time or dwell on what you have / haven't done. This is an opportunity to put right what you can (crossing out is usually the conventional method to ensure the examiner disregards part of an answer).
Finally, (and this should be a given) use good grammar and spelling; ensuring your hand writing is neat and easy to read.
After you leave the exam, get some fresh air and a bite to eat, maybe a coffee and chill out for a little while. You've probably got more revision for the next exam waiting at home, so make sure you have a little rest. Don't panic, what's done is done, don't chat to your friends about their answers, this will only make you, or them, feel upset or worried. Think positive and reconsider your revision timetable, does this now need to be revised. After all of your exams, treat yourself. Not necessarily to a big blow out, but a little gift for yourself, or a meal out with family perhaps will be just the thing to reward yourself for all of your hard work.
*~Health and Support~*
Whilst being under the tremendous amount of mental pressure that studying, coursework, revision, exams, etc present; you must be sure to look after your health. Eating food like oily fish to improve concentration isn't just a myth, this actually works. 2-3 portions a week will really help you to excel. Try Mackerel on Toast for a healthy revision snack, mackerel does contain fats, but they are healthy fats and it will help you be more productive. Drink coffee, as this is proven to help concentration, but only 2 cups and before 11am. Any hot drinks after the morning period should be either hot chocolate (for a little sugar boost) or herbal teas. Green tea or chamomile are particularly calming and nourishing. Try getting a little bit of exercise too, even if your not sporty, exercise again stimulates the brain, I always find after a quick swim or walk to the shops I feel like I can conquer the world, so it is motivating. Stick to a good bedtime routine, remember, an hour before midnight is worth two after as my Nanna used to say! So try getting to bed by ten and waking up at the same time, perhaps 8am at the latest. There's no point staying up until 3 / 4 am revising then laying in bed all of the next day. It will simply not be as productive as sticking to a good bedtime and morning routine.
You absolutely must have the support of your friends and family, or colleagues if your working too. If you're a carer for example for a family member, during revision you may need to accept help from another family member or even consider hiring some help for a couple of hours a day. The same goes if you have children, you might have to consider hiring a babysitter a couple of nights a week, or getting a family member to help out. It's no good if all your mates plan a big night out in the middle of your study time, you should ask them to try and reschedule or you will have to miss out.
There are many other things which could affect you whilst your studying, financial pressure particularly and bullying are two examples. You need a close support network to deal with these things, to keep you happy and get you through this stressful time. When I was at school I got bullied while I was doing my GCSEs, the teachers tried what they could, but nothing made much of a difference. I had to finish the revision and work at home about midway through 5th year. This led to me getting slightly lower grades than I had hoped, however, my teachers were great at sorting out and dropping off work and my parents were brilliant at giving me support and advice while I was working at home. At uni, money took over and debt became a problem / distraction for me. I ended up dropping out because of money, but if I had my time again I would do everything differently. I would listen to the advice and support of my parents on money and to that of the student union, etc. I would use the resources I had open to me more effectively, and would not of let it spiral out of control. These are all things you must think about, and most importantly, enlist the help of people who love you and want to support you.
It would be easy to throw your revision out the window and think, I'm not putting my life on hold for all this, its boring, and so-and-so's having a wild party this weekend, so who cares about revision. Well your exams and grades are the key to your future, even if we're not talking about GCSEs and A Levels, we might be talking about a Customer Service NVQ which you do on day release at work. They will all shape your career and more importantly your earning potential and quality of life.
*~Useful Sites (whether your at school or an adult learner)~*
For Students at Uni:
Support and Advice for Anyone:
Well it's the start of exam time for me and panic is starting to set in. I feel like I haven't done enough and there's too much to learn and I always think that everytime I do exams and i get good grades, that I am a fluke and I just got very lucky. I put a lot of my good grades down to my "lucky magic biro" (which I must lay out for tomorrow I guess!!!) and not down to hard work although I think I do try really hard.
I am probably not the best for giving revision tips but I am just going to quickly (I'm on a bit of a revision break but its getting a bit extended so I better hurry up and get back to the grindstone!) chat through some of the things which help me and maybe can help some other people/you can relate to them.
Firsty, I dont think that starting to revise early can be too helpful. I tried to start earlier than usual this time and I just can't remember it. I think you do need to start early with putting the work in, like not skipping classes or lectures, doing the reading and the work etc. as this is the only way to get a good grounding. You also need to understand everything before you go away on your own to revise and find you dont understand the notes. Also as preliminary stages, you can sort out your notes and books and make sure you have everything you need.
Secondly I think it is good to set out a revision space where you feel comfortable and you can leave your things out and come back to them, but where there arent too many distractions. I use the kitchen table at home and then when I go upstairs, I am just leaving it behind completely.
My third tip is repetition repetition repetition. I tend to write all of my notes out and then read through the topics on my own, outloud to anyonw who will listen and when I read it I try to make analogies with random things to help me to remember. I also take the book I write them in to the exams and read them on the bus/in the last 5 minutes, you never know if something will catch your attention and be useful.
My 4th tip is to use notes and bit posters around your room for equations and that knd of thing which you basicaly just need to learn how to use. I haven't done this yet and I am regretting it, I think that randomly glancing at things helps you to rememmber things and can be a great tool.
My last tip is to use whats available and to look over nay past papers and practice them as much as possible. Use these and where you can I think it is good to try to second guess questions and start to plan out practice model answers. Don't get too hung up on these though because remember - they might not come up, but it can be good to just try to order your thoughts and think about writing things in an exam style.
Also don't forget that when you have exams you have to do whats best for you and try to find a learning stye (dont think I've found one yeat though :( ) also you need to make sure you arent stressed out so make sure you are clear of when your exams are, where they are and what time they start just to make sure you won't let last minute nerves screw you up at all!
I guess all of these tips are good because i just got my grades and did pretty well yey!
Revision. Revision. Revision. It comes to that time in the Summer that is filled with exams and you have so much to remember. I have made it through, school, college and university so I have a fair bit of experience with exams, and I must say that I am more of a person who prefers to write an ongoing essay or study than to sit an exam! But some things just have to be done, so the more prepared you are the less you are going to stress about it.
One of the most important things I think to revising, is to know your learning style. People learn in different ways, you may be more of a visual learner, an active learner, a audio learner, preferring to either see things, do things or listen to things, and each way will benefit people in different ways. It is important to know this because then you can revise in the way that best fits your style.
For example, for me, I prefer to write everything down on paper and then go over it time and time again, this way suits me because it is more of using my memory to remember what was written on each part of the page, I would also use colours and pictures as symbols for things. Then when I go into the exam I would think back and visualise the peice of paper to remember whats on them.
Also, at the moment in my course at university I have 39 statements to learn, so what I have done is got 39 large post it notes, written the statements on each peice of paper, in different colours for the different sections, and put them up on my bedroom wall, this way if I am drying my hair in my room I can stand there and have a look and be constantly reminded of the standards. It doesnt take much to just read a standard as I am walking past.
This method can also be benefical when you are in the bath or shower, ok so now your thinking Ive lost the plot, but if you write some bullet points on a peice of paper, put it in a plasic wallet and then stick it on the wall by the bath or shower, when you have a shower or bath you can have a quick read. This way if you are really stressing out and think you havent got time to relax, take your notes in the bath with you, and you can revise and relax at the same time!
Its always best to be organised before you start revsing, if you have a set period of time to revise make sure youve got everything with you, drink, pens, paper, notes, food etc. so that you arent constantely up and down.
As I said before, people learn in different ways, some people might prefer to be locked away with no distractions, no TV, no Phone, no music etc. This way isnt for me, the silence is just too distracting in itself for me, so I do like ot have the Tv on in the background or some music. I think this way also suits me because sometimes you can link the work to different things. If you listen to a particular song or artist when you are revising it might help you link the song to what you have remembered which might be like a trigger in your brain. (Just dont get too carried away and start singing in the exam room!)
Anagrams are also very useful, try to think of funny ones or things that you will remember, dont make them too complicated just the basics will do that will hopefully again act as a trigger for you when you are taking your exam.
Another thing I was told at university that it supposed to help you revise is if you wear the same thing each time you revise, such as a particular necklace, watch or jumper etc, Im not sure how it is supposed to work, but I did try it out this year and wore a long silver necklace throughtout my revision and in the exam, and I passed! So it could have worked!
I have also heard that chewing chewing gum whilst revising is good a good revision tip, not really tried this one out, but Im sure its worth a try, every little helps!
Well, my main tips would be too:
- Know your learning style and revise around this
-Give yourself enough time!
Well, good luck!!
Over the years I have had to study for many exams, both for School, Work and University, so I feel I have some idea how to revise. I also understand the pitfalls and stresses involved and hopefully I can make a few points that help some people.
Revision: What do we mean by revision? We mean to bring information from our brain, to the forefront and in some order. This way when we sit down at an exam, we have the relevant information ready. Imagine it like a computer and you upload all kinds of files over a period of time. All the files go to different drives and partitions on your computer. When you ask the computer for these files it takes forever. It has no idea where they are located.
Then we compare this in a similar way to a human brain. The brain holds significantly more information than any computer will ever do. Each moment of the day it creates a file, for observations that it has made. Some get stored in the recycle bin - ie there was a coke can on the floor by the bus stop. Other information such as your studies are located in other files within your brain. On exam day - these files need to be in some kind of order. An example may be 'what date did Henry VIII die?'. Well in order to consider this, your brain needs to be in order. It needs a Geography folder, History folder, Economics folder. I know it sounds daft but you get the idea. It will of course need to look in the history folder.
So why do people fail at exams. Well the blunt of it is that they do not take enough time organising their brains. The brain, unlike a computer, can only process small bits of information at a time. However you can train it in order to process information more quickly. Using your brain learning simple excerices or snippits of information is believed to stimulate blood flow and strengthens the connections (synapses) between nerve cells in the brain. However in order to do this you need to feed information to your brain, a little at a time.
How I learnt, when studying for my honours degree.
Pictures: They say a picture can paint a thousand words. I am not going to disagree with that. It is far easier to watch a DVD on Henry VIII than read a book about him. So if you are studying History for example look out for DVD's about it. Go to the Theatre and watch it. Draw pictures about certain battles etc.
If for example you needed to remember a date in History such as 1066. Think of a something you can associate it with. An example would be, when I was 10 my Dad was 66. As soon as you see this question you will see your Dad with you aged 10. Perhaps you had a day out at Hastings. It need not be true but your brain needs to relate to it.
A little Often
I hate sitting down for hours studying. My brain just won't take it all in. I therefore prefer to take little snippits in. I have yellow stickers across the car dashboard and on the fridge. I read a couple of paragraphs and then take a long rest. I do this regular, I don't leave it until the last minute. It might sound daft, but my brain can't concentrate for long. It maybe because I suffer from depression, I don't know.
Record information so you can listen to it in the car. This way it gives you more studying time. Or maybe listen when you are lying down. This rests your eyes. There are hours of audio info on the likes of youtube, all free.
Read books into your pc mic, and then copy to CD. it s so much easier to understand.
Write/buy your own test papers
I write my own test papers and then I copy them and sit down as practice exams. I buy or copy previous exam papers. I also used to ask my tutor to mark them for me.
Have some soft music in the background whilst revising. It relaxes the brain. Maybe even have a long bath with some smelly salts. You can read whilst you're in the bath.
Well these are a few things that worked for me. I hope you find them useful. Good Luck.
As Im procrastinating from revising for my dutch exam, I thought I would share my revision tips.
When learning a new language, I find its helpful to mutter to myself the answer to questions that your going to be asked in the exams. Then get a helpful friend to read out the questions, (doesnt matter if they get the words a bit wrong) and then its more like a conversation and how it will be in the exam.
When revising for a writing exam in languages, I think the best way is to literally write everything out that could come up. Think of all the topics that could be there like food, friends, family, jobs, and then have 4 key sentences that you can remember for each one, so that you definately get some marks.
When revising for a listening, try getting on the internet and watching the news in that language, it will get all the sounds awakened in that language. Also the news is the fastest you will get for a listening practice, or you could watch a fast paced quiz show.
I have so far got a first in dutch with these revision tips, so good luck in your exams everyone!
Well it is quite fair to say that what works for one might not work for someone else. I like to think that I have a good memory which has obviously been useful, but this is what I did and I came out with a first class degree. Hope it works
I started about two weeks before the exam. I worked through my notes and wrote down in bullet point all the important parts, there was a lot that could be ignored. This was done for at least a week and and half in stages with plenty of breaks, where I actually left the house I did something else to completely shut off from studying.
I also made a note of any good quotes that I would be able to remember for the exam. I only noted down those that were short and those that were quite general and thus could be used
for various questions that might appear. I know for sure that including the quotes made my marks soar.
After working through my all my notes and having noted down all the important information, I then spent 2-4 days before the exam going through them to see what I had remembered which you might find it quite a lot. The harder things to remember where the quotes and very specific information. I then wrote these onto small cards which I carried everywhere in my bag and went over whenever I could.
I would the score out the imformation I knew by heart as I went along and by the day of the exam, which was very satifying and I then usually only had a few cards left with quotes to get in my head which I retained long enough for the exam that day.
That might seem dreadfully boring and in truth it was, but no proper revision is fun, otherwise it isn't working! Anyhow all I can say is that is worked for me every year.
My biggest revision tip is that you can't take short cuts and expect to achieve good grades. Sorry, but it's true. People who tell you that they didn't do any revision and got As are either lying or they worked there arses off for the whole year and so already had the knowledge pretty safely stowed away in their heads. My advice is to give yourself plenty of time to revise and make a timetable a couple of months ahead to plan out the most efficient way to revise as much as possible. Make plenty of time for topics you are unsure of and cover as many topics as you can. I have only studied Humanities-type subjects so these are really all I can speak with any authority on. Don't get too bogged down in the specifics - the exam is testing how well you understand what you have been taught not how many facts you can recall from memory. I don't think that the reward system works well - when you do a certain amount of study then reward yourself with something you like doing - as I have seen a lot of people reward themselves for smaller and smaller things. Look at it this way: getting good grades will be your ultimate reward if you study well. I'd suggest that you try to keep your routine as normal as possible to keep perspective and beat stress. If you regularly go out on a particular night, go out. But I would advise that you avoid drinking too much as your brain will not work well with a hangover. Most of all, stay calm - the world won't end if you don't get perfect grades and if you have studied you will probably do a lot better than you think.
As many of you may know from my previous reviews, I am a first year student at University, and in order to get here, I had to sit and pass quite a number of exams. I have sat exams at least once a year for the past four years, and am happy to say that I have passed every single one of them. It is true that that is due largely to the fact that I went to a good school and have supportive parents who helped me when I was struggling, and the fact that I was able to choose the subjects that I was best at, but when it comes down to it, I wouldn't have been able to pass those exams without doing a lot of revision by myself. Revision takes time and effort, and is usually boring as hell, but if you have good strategies for managing your revision it can really help you to boost your grade. After all, you could be a genius, but if you don't know the material you're being examined on, you're not going to do well.
So, anyway, the point I'm trying to get to after my usual ramble and backstory at the beginning of my review, is that I have developed some strategies for effective revision over the last few years that have helped me. I am writing this review to give some of this advice to you, and hopefully it will help you in your revision and in your exams.
1. Manage your time.
Time management is something that I'm terrible at. I'm usually late for classes/appointments/meeting friends/most other things, so it's unsurprising that I also leave starting my revision to the last minute as well. One of the most important things to try to do when you have exams to revise for is to start early rather than late, as if it gets to a week before the exam and you realise that you will have to work night and day to get it all done, you're going to feel very stressed, and stress and trying to revise don't mix well at all. A lot of people find that making a revision timetable and sticking to it rigidly is a good way of making sure that it gets done, which is a good idea if that's how you work too, but it never really worked for me. I often make timetables and then end up totally ignoring them and revising just when I feel like it, though just because it doesn't work for me doesn't mean that it won't work for you.
In terms of revision and time management, the most important thing is starting early enough, as you'll feel calmer and less overwhelmed by your workload if you have more time than necessary rather than less. This also means that you won't feel too guilty if you have a few days off revision, as you can afford to without running out of time.
For me, prioritising more important revision over others is the best thing that you can do to improve your revision. If you're sitting several exams at once, for example Highers, GCSEs or A levels, then this can involve prioritising one subject over others. It's a good idea to prioritise revision for the exam that you have to sit first over ones that come later, as obviously you will have more time to revise for the later ones once your first ones are over. It is also a good idea to prioritise subjects that you feel that you are doing worst in, as it will take more work for you to get a good grade in this subject than in others.
It's also a good idea to work out what you need to prioritise within a subject as well. I'll give you the example of my Psychology A2 exams, of which there were two. On one paper, there were four potential questions that we had studied for, but only had to answer three of them. This meant that for me, it was a good idea to prioritise revising for only three of the topics, as I knew that if I knew those topics like the back of my hand, I would definitely be able to answer those questions on the exam, and it didn't matter if I knew nothing about the fourth topic, as I wouldn't have to answer that question. By prioritising three topics, I knew that I could definitely answer all the necessary questions, but if I had more time, I could revise for the fourth one as well to give myself more choice in the exam.
On the second paper, there was a question which could be about any of three topics (Schizophrenia, Depression or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), and we wouldn't know which one it would be before we went into the exam. Honestly, I didn't have enough time to learn all three topics to the extent that I would be able to write an A or B grade answer for whatever question came up, so instead I prioritised. My teacher had predicted that it would be more likely for schizophrenia to come up than the other two, and it was incredibly unlikely that OCD would come up. For this reason, I decided to prioritise Schizophrenia, and learn it inside out so I would be laughing if that came up in the exam, and learned enough about Depression to be able to adequately answer the question, and a couple of facts about OCD so I could scrape a mark or two if it did come up. Unfortunately, Depression came up, which I was gutted by as I was really hoping for schizophrenia, but since I had prioritised Depression over OCD I still did well on the exam, though this could be down to doing well on the other two questions.
Anyway, my point from this story is that if you haven't got all the time in the world to spare on revision, the most important thing to do is prioritise. If you work out what's the most important thing to learn and revise that, then you can do the rest if you have the time.
3. Avoid distractions
The most annoying thing about revision as opposed to any other kind of work, is that it requires your full attention or it doesn't work. You can go into a daydream whilst ironing, or another mindless task like arranging stock in a shop, and the job will still get done without your full attention. Revision, however, requires all of you to be focussing or nothing gets done. You can read over a page a hundred times, but if you're not actively thinking about what you're reading at the same time, it's not going to go in. If you're glancing at the TV every 2 minutes as well, nothing is going to go in, and your revision is pointless. If you know that you're the type of person who gets distracted easily, then you need to find a place to revise where you know that you can work uninterrupted. I used to go to the library at school for my A level revision, even if I had the day off, because if I stayed at home I would end up watching TV or going on the internet or something when I was meant to be revising. Being in a quiet atmosphere with no entertainment meant that I had to revise or be bored, which worked for me. It's also important to know when to stop revising - if you're not paying attention to what you're doing and you know that you're not learning anything, then you should take a break and go back to it later.
4. Making sure it goes in.
After all, all my other tips are worthless if you have no way of actually getting the information to stick in your head. The important thing here is working out the best way for you to make it so that you remember what you've revised in the exam, and remembering that everyone is different - how one person revises isn't necessarily how you should revise. For some people it helps to make flow charts and visual representations of information, whereas other people can revise just by reading or making notes. In my Psychology exams, I found that the best way for me to revise was to pick a small topic, and get as much information about it onto an A4 sheet as I could, and then revise from that sheet. I would then find practice questions on this topic and attempt to write an answer using the sheet, and then later in the day do a similar question, but using my memory instead of the sheet. This would help me to see how much I actually had remembered as well as working out what I found difficult to remember, so I knew what to revise more, and it also gave me exam practice of writing an essay like what I would have to do in the exam. The fact that I got an A proves that this method worked for me, though that doesn't necessarily mean that it will for you.
My other two subjects, on the other hand, required a different kind of revision, as they were modern languages. I didn't really have information as such to learn for these subjects, but had to learn vocabulary and grammar, which are different. I used to make a list of a few foreign words and try to learn their meanings, and would keep repeating them until they stuck in my head. Another way to learn words was to try to put them in relevant sentences, as then as long as I remembered the sentence, I could work out the word's meaning from the context. Grammar was different again, but I developed my grammar skills best by reading and writing in the language, as it is possible to pick up grammar points from reading texts in the foreign language. Making verb or noun tables and learning them by heart is the way that I had to learn most things, however.
So, I hope that my revision tips have helped those of you out there who need advice on how to revise for exams, and that reading this review hasn't been to much of a distraction from the work you should be doing.
AAAGGGGHHHHH THE DREADED REVISION! Ok so you have been to all the classes/lectures/tutorials; you have tried to keep up with the recommended reading; and you have a massive selection of notes which make no sense really; your exam is in a months time and you have no idea where to start......yup I am all to familiar with this scenario I'm afraid.
After leaving one university course because I was failing so badly due to not studying and keeping up with the workload, I have now moved onto a different course after a years break and I have found some really useful revision tips which have helped me pass exams with flying colours!
STEP 1: A revision timetable. This is a crucial step. First thing to do with this is mark in the dates of your exams (hopefully you should have around 6 weeks to study to get optimum results, I have found this is the best amount of time!). After the exam dates, mark in any all your shifts for work, and any other appointments (for example; nights out, days out etc.) Then start marking in blocks of time where you would be available to study.
STEP 2: Subject headings & Learning Outcomes. Most students are given learning outcomes to show what they should have learned from certain lectures or tutorials or seminars, these are a valuable tool. From these learning outcomes it is possible to create a plan of what has to be revised. If you know a subject off by heart there is no point in incorporating this into your plan of what has to be studied.
STEP 3: Mind Maps. Mind maps are a fantastic way to create a set of notes to revise off of. Using the subject heading as a base, look at your learning outcomes andon one sheet of paper incorporate all your notes into this simple format. This makes it easy to show exactly what each subject contains. Make your mind maps colourful as this can help you to remember the information in them. These are my favourite revision tool, they take a while to make up if you are doing it for every subject while, but i recommend them. You can also carry them about with you and read over them on trains and buses etc.
STEP 4: Past Papers. Usually a variety of these should be available by your tutor. Use your mind maps to help you to answer past paper questions. After a while you will find you do not need to use your mind maps for assistance and remember the information in them, this will increase your confidence when the exam comes.
All in all the key is to manage your time, create some good revision tools - again I recommend mind maps, and finally past papers to ensure you have learned what you have been studying!
Hope this helps a bit!
Structure your revision - Draw up a REALISTIC revision calendar. Factor in friends, family and fun.
Time it - use a stopwatch (most mobiles have them). You can do anything for 20 minutes. 20 minutes note making, 20 minutes condensing. 20 minutes self-testing (At the very least Cover - Write- Check as you would do when learning spellings in primary school. Spot the areas you have forgotten and put these on a post-it for the next revision session).
Analyse your commentary - Most A levels require you to show evaluation skills. Whenever you write a comment on something, show the good points and the weak points about that 'something'. Is there research evidence? Is this contradictory? Is the research out of date? Is there an alternative explanation for the point you have made?
Re-read you class notes - Do you understand everything that you have written? Did you miss any lessons? Have you caught up on the work? Are there gaps in your knowledge and understanding? Supplement class notes with information from textbooks. Seek help from teachers now if you are missing something.
Test yourself - log on to the exam board website relevant for all your subjects and print off some past exam questions (even with the new specifications there is generally some cross-over). Print off the marks schemes too. Have a go at planning answers then check what you have put against the content of the mark scheme. Fill in any information that you missed out then skeleton write the exam answer.
Exam technique practice - Complete at least 3 past papers under timed conditions. Many exams are 'a mark a minute', check that you can complete an essay in 12 minutes if required to do so.
Adapt your revision strategy. What worked at GCSE is unlikely to work as well at A level. Knowledge alone will not get great marks. You must also show that you understand the information you are using. Do this by extending your answers with examples, outlining relevant research, writing descriptions and analysing the points that you make. Try using different coloured pens to show when information is purely knowledge (black), when it shows understanding (blue), when it provides positive criticism (green), when it shows negative criticism (red). If you can look back through an essay and see an equal distribution of the four colours you've bagged a good grade.
Remember - memory works in funny ways. If you can set up cues to information then you're off to a good start. If possible take a look at the room that you will be sitting the exam in. Try and locate specific pieces of information on physical objects in the room (Psychologists - If there a badly fitted blind in the room, fixate your information on Baddeley and Hitch's working model of memory here. What Central Executive failed to give the blind attention? Who's phonological loop can't hold a replacement request for long enough to deal with the task? What would a new blind look like on their visuo-spatial sketchpad??!!)
Learn with someone else. Test each other, compare essays, play games (write out cards with key terms, researchers, dates, characters etc... on them. Play 'guess the word/name/date', one player describes what's on their card whilst the other has to guess it. Alternatively, write names on hats and play 'who/what am I' - make good use of all those cracker paper hats!)
Yawning will not aid revision, even if it does increase the oxygen level to your brain. Get plenty of sleep and take care of your physical needs whilst revising - but do not use this as an excuse to put off doing the work. You can eat fruit while revising, you do not have to set time aside to do so!
S tructure and plan
T ime revision fairly between subjects
A nalysis gets more marks
R e-read notes and fill gaps
T est yourself using past questions
E xam conditions practice
A daptable revision methods
R emember different memorising techniques
L earn with a friend
Y awning won't help