With GCSE and A-Level exams just around the corner, exam revision is right at the top of every student’s priorities right now…or is it?
Having the intention to study for exams is one thing but actually doing the revision is a whole different ball game.
And then there’s the issue of what to study.
To help you make the most of your exam revision, we’ve put together a list of actions you can take to ensure you achieve the grades you’re hoping for.
Creating a Study Schedule for GCSE & A-Level
If there’s one key takeaway from this post, creating a study schedule would be it. Having a documented timetable of what subjects you plan to study and when will greatly improve your focus and commitment.
Even if you don’t quite manage to stick to your schedule completely, you’ll still be far more organised than you would be without one. Once you’ve created your schedule, you should do two things:
- Save an electronic copy and send it to your mobile phone. This way, you can refer to your timetable when you’re on the move and will be able to make better study decisions when social opportunities present themselves.
- Print a copy and place it on the inside of your bedroom door. Now you’ll have a constant reminder of your new routine for the next few weeks.
Be Clear on What You’re Studying
When it comes to studying for GCSE and A-Level exams, half the battle is knowing what to study. After all, you’ve just spent the past year covering a whole range of topics and absorbing new information – where do you start?
Well, here’s the trick:
Not everything that you’ve studied throughout the year will be in the exam, only some it, and part of your revision process is to determine what is most likely to be useful to you and what isn’t. In most cases, it makes sense to cover all eventualities but focus more prominently on those topics that you strongly believe will come up on the day.
Brush up on Your GCSE & A-Level Exam Technique
You may know your subject inside out but unless you’re able to apply your knowledge effectively in your exam, it won’t count for anything. One of the best ways to improve your exam technique is to work through past exam and specimen papers. Not only will this get you in the mindset for your exam but it’ll also help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.
It’s a good idea to complete these papers under exam conditions within the same timescale as your final exam to help you develop good time management habits.
Ask for Help as Soon as You Need it
When we come across something that we don’t understand, it’s natural for us to glaze over it and let it pass us by. However, the students who end up doing well in exams are the ones who are persistent in filling gaps in their knowledge.
As soon as you find something that you don’t understand and deem important, ask your class teacher, private tutor or friends for help. Don’t cast it to one side or pretend that you’ll have the time to address it later. Do it now.
By adopting a proactive approach to filling your knowledge gaps, you’ll be better prepared for whatever questions come up on the day of your test.
Collaborate with Your Classmates
Your friends and classmates are a resource readily available to you, so why wouldn’t you use them to aid your studying? Well, a lot of students feel that they need to revise for exams on their own or that their classmates are in some way their competitors and therefore can’t study with them.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Group studying is one of the most effective ways to improve your knowledge and understanding and help you prepare for GCSE and A-Level exams. Everyone learns differently and everyone grasps information at different rates, so by coming together as a group and sharing information and advice collectively, you get the benefits of several perspectives.
But don’t just take our word for it, listen to the experts. In a related post, we asked several publishers, education consultants, teachers and students what their top revision tips for GCSE and A-Level students were and much of their advice echoes what we’ve just covered.
Make sure you're prepared for results day by checking out our post listing everything you need to know.
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Photo Credit: MC Quinn - https://www.flickr.com/photos/mcquinn/2302027163