Revision Tips: A level
Exam season is a stressful time for everyone, so take the pressure off yourself by starting revision early. If you’re wondering what you can do to make the whole process easier, here are some tried-and-tested tips to help you feel more in control.
#1 Write a revision timetable
Simple but effective, a revision plan takes away the decision of ‘what should I revise today?’ You don’t have to plan too far ahead, just a couple of days will do, as it’s meant to be flexible, not set in stone.
#2 Use revision cards
The simple act of writing revision cards helps your brain to digest information, even if you aren’t aware that it’s happening. These small cards can be carried with you. They’re easy to read in a queue, on a car journey, or if you have five minutes to spare between lessons.
#3 Teach someone
Well known as a good way to test your own knowledge and understanding, if you can teach someone a concept you’re already on the way to a successful result. Test this out on your Mum or Dad – they might learn something new, and realise just what clever offspring they have.
#4 Take regular short breaks
A great way to motivate yourself and avoid procrastination is to set a timer for 30 or 45 minutes, and then take a 15 minute break. Setting a stop-time helps you avoid procrastination. Another way is to say to yourself that you’ll just take a quick look at your notes for 10 minutes. You’ll probably find that you carry on revising after this time – you just needed to pick up your books and start.
#5 Prioritise exercise
People often feel lethargic at revision/exam time, but you need to make exercise a priority. Go for a walk or run in the park, swim with friends – anything to release endorphins and boost the serotonin levels that make you feel happy.
#6 Understand your learning style
Each side of the brain is said to control different types of thinking. The left side controls analytical and logical thought, with the right side being in charge of intuition and creativity. Although this theory is dismissed by some, it’s worth considering which type of thinker you might be as it could affect how you learn.
If the theory is true, a ‘left-brained’ person might learn better using the written word, whereas someone creative may prefer to use visual and auditory revision techniques.
#7 Read examiners’ reports, marking schemes and example answers
Getting a feel for what the examiners are looking for allows you to approach each question in the right way. Example answers from past papers are full of clues as to what is required, unless the syllabus has changed completely.
#8 Past papers
By completing lots of past papers you’ll probably start to see a pattern in the questions and types of answers required. Unless you’ve moved to a new Examining Board or the course has altered significantly, past papers provide a wealth of information about how to tackle each exam.
#9 Use revision guides
Widely available in high street bookstores and online, revision guides cut through to the most important topic areas and facts you’ll need to know. It’s well worth buying one for each subject, or sharing the cost with a friend. There are so many on the market, however, advice from your teacher on which one to buy would be helpful.
It’s important to look after yourself when revising, so get plenty of sleep, eat well and make sure you take enough exercise so you feel energised and ready to tackle the exams.
For more revision tips, have a read of our blog.