Six Tips For Last Minute Exam Revision

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Exam season is rapidly approaching, meaning revision is at the forefront of pupils' minds and is a common occurrence in their daily lives. In whatever way possible, students are preparing themselves for upcoming tests, including myself with GCSEs being only a few weeks away. Although some people may be sorted and confident in their revision methods, others may not know where to begin and how they should be studying in such close proximity to the exams. This post is tailored for any of you who need to know how to revise right before your exams start, or if you're looking for any extra tips that will help you be more confident during your tests. I use all of these methods of revision on a regular basis and they definitely work for me, so hopefully they will be useful for you too.

1. Read through any revision notes - I often make notes about my subjects throughout the course, opposed to waiting until the very end, meaning by the time I come to revise I already have notes on everything I need to cover. However, it's no use having these if you don't look over them, so I take the time to read over any revision notes again. This ensures that the knowledge becomes solidified in my brain and is also great for recapping on any topics that I might've forgotten. If you haven't previously made any notes and don't think you'll have time to now, I'd highly recommend skipping this step and focusing on the others, which are ultimately more effective. Now is also a good time to re-read any texts for English or go through vocabulary books if you study another language.

2. Use flashcards to test yourself and condense your knowledge - Everyone has different methods that work best for them, but I find that flashcards are the most effective for me. They allow me to organise my subjects into smaller sections and condense my knowledge into memorable and manageable chunks, so it's easier to recall the information. Also, you can easily flick through them to test yourself or get someone else to quiz you on the contents of each card. I personally like to type these opposed to writing them as I find it much quicker, but this is personal preference and I'd advise doing what's easiest for you. Don't worry if flashcards aren't helpful for you as there are many other methods, such as making posters, listening to podcasts, making rhymes and watching revision videos, so it's important to find the methods best suited to your way of learning.

3. Make the most out of revision guides - All of your revision guides have been created with your specific tests in mind, meaning they will contain all of the key points and cover any topics that you'll need to know about. I highly recommend getting all of the correct revision guides and utilising them, as they point you in the right direction and outline everything that you need to cover, being specifically tailored for students. My personal favourites are the CGP revision guides, which incorporate colourful layouts and understandable diagrams to make revision more manageable. These can also be used in conjunction with revision websites such as BBC Bitesize to ensure that you have a wide range of knowledge and are prepared for any question that may come up in the test. If you find that you want more detail about what topics you need to know, the specification for your exam is the best place to consult and is also the most accurate, as it's written by your exam board.

4. Highlight any key points - A vibrant highlighter is the best way to draw your attention and is therefore useful to make any key points stand out. If you know that a fact is important or if a certain topic is guaranteed to appear on the exam, make sure you highlight it so you know that it's worth remembering and it stands out as a significant point. When you skim-read over your notes again, the highlighted points will become ingrained in your brain and therefore much easier to remember. I also find it helpful to highlight any information that you continually forget, that way you'll find that your eyes are always returning to it and you're much more likely to eventually remember it. However, it's important to not highlight too much on the page, as this will stop it from being as effective.

5. Use practice papers to see your strengths and weaknesses - It's useless knowing lots of content if you can't apply it to specific questions, meaning past papers are really useful for practicing how to turn your knowledge into a suitable answer. By familiarising yourself with the type of questions that could appear, the actual test is less likely to be scary and you'll have adapted to certain styles of questions and irregular wordings which can often catch you out. Also, past papers assist you with wording answers and exam technique, as some tests look for a particular format or layout for your answer in order for it to be correct. You may also get lucky with past papers as similar questions may appear to those that you've already practiced and you'll therefore know how to answer them. Make sure you also look at the mark scheme to see if your answers are correct and find out how your can improve.

6. Split your revision into manageable sections - When it comes to actually revising, you want to ensure that you're as productive as possible. I can guarantee that if you are tired or not focused, nothing will go in and therefore trying to revise will be wasting your time. Rather than setting out to do revision for hours on end all in one block, split this into smaller sections to give you the chance to relax and re-focus in between. A small break can actually have a positive effect on the mind and makes it much easier to switch between subjects. However, don't let your breaks get too long, as that's where your motivation can start to dwindle as you revert back to distractions like phones.

I hope that this post has been helpful and that you now feel more prepared and know some ways that you can revise. If you have any upcoming exams then I wish you the best of luck and I hope that these methods will be successful for you.

Love from Daisy x

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