Exam time is creeping up on us again! You’ll need to use your time wisely. Find out which topics you need to concentrate on by speaking to your teachers, check which exams come first and use this to help you draw up your timetable. Deciding how long to spend on each subject is half the battle, once you’ve worked that out you can then make every second count!
Do you know exactly what your exam papers will look like? After all, it’s no good memorising endless reams of quotations if the exam is going to be multiple choice. Double check with your class teacher whether it’s an essay, short or long answers, multiple choice or any other format, then there will be no surprises.
By planning your revision carefully you can take away the risk of missing a key topic from your studies. Look up the course syllabus now if you’re in any doubt as to how the subject is broken up, then decide on a specific focus for each revision session. Make sure you stick at it and don’t put the books away until you know your stuff!
Memory techniques are really useful for learning more facts than you ever thought that you could retain. Find a way that suits you, you could use methods such as spider diagrams, word association, mnemonics or memory maps. Don’t forget to make sure you’re getting both sides of your brain working so mix colour and images with words and order.
Check you can remember everything you’ve just learnt not only at the end of the session, but again the next day, the next week and the next month. If you can’t, chances are you won’t remember it come the exam either. Practice makes perfect.
It is essential that you should relax as much as possible before a big exam, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be revising! Use your revision materials to help you gain confidence and think positive!
It might seem obvious but we all work better after a good sleep and a good meal. Make sure you’re prepared for the exams by having a good routine leading up to the exams. Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy brain foods (bananas, pasta, fish etc) and make time to relax and do some exercise. Even more importantly, schedule regular breaks into your revision and stick to them.
Revision isn’t just about writing notes over and over or reading hundreds of pages of a book. It’s your chance to create something that works for you. This could be flashcards, memory maps, quizzes, posters or endless other things - you know how you learn best.
The first facts that pop into your head when you turn over the exam paper are usually the ones that you have learnt Immediately before entering the exam hall. By the day before an exam you should have the key points condensed down and written on cue cards. Take these cards everywhere with you, even the queue for the exam hall. But do put them away — well away — before you go in.
It’s ok to make mistakes! If you cheat and use your notes while revising, you’ll end up getting more practice questions right. But you’ll lose the invaluable opportunity to check what you didn’t know, why you made the mistake, and how you can change it.