February 17, 2016
As the days and weeks race by, exam season is upon us. It might only seem like yesterday that the school year started but now we are well into the new year, the summer exams are fast approaching.
We’ve put together some tips for getting the most out of your GCSE revision:
Creating a revision timetable which schedules your time between each of the subjects you’re taking will make sure you manage each of them, instead of ending up in a situation where you have over-revised for one subject whilst feeling totally under prepared for another.
Taking into account things such as the date for each exam can also feed into the planning process – if your Maths exam is 4 weeks after an English exam, then this will give you additional time to revise for the former.
Even though you should begin revision early enough so that before any of your exams actually take place, you feel confident across the board, it is still good to bear in mind which come first, and which you have a little bit more time on.
Making the revision process as painless as possible mainly comes down to how you best work. Does writing facts and stats onto sticky notes and placing around the house help you remember them? Or does simply writing into a notepad or just reading textbooks provide you with enough knowledge?
Either way, make sure you have all the pens, paper and any other things you need to hand, as using revision techniques which don’t work for you will be ineffective, cause unnecessary stress and ultimately not provide the results you want.
It’s also a good idea to mix up your revision techniques – podcasts, whiteboard, videos, loads of digital help can be found if this is the best way you work and learn, so make sure you do the research and know what’s out there.
Even though creating and maintaining a revision schedule is a crucial part of working towards exam success, you still need to allow some flexibility where necessary. If one subject is taking a little bit more time to get to grips with, alter your schedule and put that little extra bit of time in.
Also if you’re feeling burnt out, take an extra break – you’re unlikely to learn much if you’re feeling over-stressed and likely to put yourself off from future revision, you can catch the time back up later as long as you plan ahead accordingly.
Practise really does make perfect, and using past papers is the perfect way to test out your knowledge and make sure you’re taking everything that you’re revising in.
Set yourself a mini exam, where you have peace and quiet to replicate what it will be like on the day – and ask your teachers if you’re struggling to get hold of past papers, they’ll be more than happy to help and have access to a wealth of materials.
Sometimes easier said than done, but when you’re confident in what you know for the exam, just remember to tell yourself you’re as prepared as you could be, and as prepared as anyone else in the room could be.
You’ll probably feel like there’s a little bit you can’t remember, or something you wish you had more time for, but this is natural. Keeping calm and putting onto paper what you’ve practised is all that matters on exam day.
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