Here are some of the GLT Team’s top Revision and Exam tips. Best of luck to everyone taking their exams!
Last Minute Revision Tips:
• Be specific and work out which topics and modules need your closest attention. Prioritise your time to focus on these.
• Keep an eye on your timetable, how many days left until the exam? Establish how much you need to cover during that time and organise your workload accordingly.
• If you are running out of time and haven’t finished revising all your notes and topics, don’t panic! Take an A4 or A3 sheet of paper and brainstorm the final points, this will allow you to create connections and more often than not, you will realise you know more than you thought.
• Re-reading the same notes can be frustrating and uninspiring, change tactic and write past exam questions on large sheets of paper and answer them in a brainstorm or bullet point fashion.
• Likewise, working in the same room for weeks on end can be suffocating, change perspective and move rooms in the house. If it is nice weather, why not work outside in the fresh air?
• Our top tip towards the end of the exam period it is to look at past exam questions and mark schemes (both of which can be found online). Completing the whole paper in timed conditions can be time consuming. If you feel rushed have a flip through each paper, jotting down answers in bullet points for each question. If you have time at the end write out the answers for some of the last questions with most marks, these usually test your essay writing skills more than 2 mark questions.
• It is difficult to remain focused towards the end of the exam period and it is now more important than ever to take regular breaks and do some exercise to keep your mind focused.
• By now you would have worked out at which time of day you work best, use this time to cover new topics, or subjects with which you feel least comfortable. Use the time of day when you are least productive to schedule in some exercise or timed past papers. There is no point forcing your brain to work.
• Make sure that on the night before an exam you finish revising early. It is important to get a good night’s sleep – this will be easier if your brain isn’t swimming with information right up until your head hits the pillow.
• If on the night before the exam, there are still some points or vocabulary your brain refuses to absorb, write them down on a flashcard to look at in the morning.
• As you’re going into your exam, try not to talk about revision with other students, as someone is bound to make you feel uncertain. Remain confident, you have worked hard for each exam!
• Make sure you refresh your stationary so as not to be caught out in your final exam with no working pen.
• Remember it is only a short, skip and a jump to summer when you will have all the time in the world! Stay positive and focused for this final push.
During study leave:
• Create a revision timetable, marking the dates of your exams – this will allow you to visualise the amount of revision time you need to dedicate to each subject.
• Print off the specification for each subject, marking topics which you already know well and those you will need to work on – this will help you to focus your revision on your weaknesses. Specifications can be found on exam board websites.
• Use colourful brainstorm charts to revise – creating links between different topics and modules, will help you to produce more in depth and comprehensive answers.
• Complete past papers in timed conditions to practice your time management skills. Free past papers can be found online.
• If you can, take a look at the mark schemes for these papers – this will give you an idea of what answers examiners will and won’t accept.
• Use flash cards to help condense the information for each module. They are also particularly good for learning vocabulary.
• Record yourself revising a piece of text or literature on a voice recorder and listen back later.
• Find a comfortable space at home or in the local library to work and revise.
• Use different colours for each subject, this will help to jog your memory when you are in the exam room – each subject will be represented by a different colour.
• Take frequent breaks and work out what time of day you work best. If you revise better in the mornings, wake up slightly earlier and fill your afternoons with less demanding work, such untimed revision papers or looking over notes in preparation for the next day’s revision.
• Remember don’t be afraid to ask for help and support!
Before and during the exam:
• Make sure you know when and where each of your exams are being held.
• Make sure you have all the necessary stationary: pens, calculator, pencils, rulers, geometry set etc.
• Remember which exams are in the afternoon and morning – arrive on time for each exam.
• Make sure none of your exams clash, provisions will need to be made for this
• Read the instructions on the exam paper carefully – check it is the right paper!
• Read the question carefully, noting how many marks each question carries – allow this to guide your answers.
• Make sure you know how long you have for each exam and manage your time accordingly.
• Leave 5 -10 minutes at the end of each exam to check your answers and any spelling and punctuation mistakes.