Here at PRC we want you to succeed in your exams, so here are a few of what we think are the most helpful revision tips.
1) Start revising early and create a timetable – then stick to it
Slow and steady is the way to go when it comes to revising for multiple exams. Starting your revision days before the exam isn’t going to help you very much! Structuring your timetable with the less enjoyable subjects in-between the ones you enjoy will help keep you going.
2) Make your notes colourful but don’t spend ages creating artistic masterpieces
Using colourful stationary or colour coding your notes can tackle the boredom factor associated with revision, but don’t waste precious time making things pretty – it’s all about efficiency.
3) Take short, regular breaks
Taking a short break every hour (ish) will help keep you motivated – there’s no point in plodding on if you’re too tired and you’re brain isn’t retaining the information.
4) Use post it notes around the house
Place brightly coloured post its with key words, dates or equations around the house on objects you use daily; the fridge, the toilet, your mirror. You’ll find yourself revising without even realising it!
5) Choose the right environment to study
Sitting in front of the TV or in bed won’t help with your concentration; ideally you need a proper, uncluttered desk. Listening to music can be helpful as long as it’s only in the background.
6) Don’t procrastinate!
Trying to fill your brain with information at the last minute is the worst way to revise. It will only make you feel stressed at a time when you need to feel as relaxed as possible.
7) Find the right methods of revision and mix it up
Just rereading your class notes won’t help get the information from the page into your brain, in fact statistically you will retain less than 10% of the information! Re-writing, condensing, making mind maps or posters, flashcards or even discussing things verbally with friends are much more effective ways of revising. Find what works for you and use it, but be mindful that while one method may work for maths, it won’t necessarily be the best method for history.
8) Practice, practice, practice!
Past papers are available from your teachers or on the exam board websites for you to use as many times as you need. They are the best way to get you used to the format of the exam, the style of questions and the time pressure- try doing them under timed and un-timed conditions to see how much you can get through and then improve from there.
9) Don’t overdo it
Revising for a few hours a day is far more effective than having your head in the books 24/7. Your attention span has a limit, often only one hour at a time! Getting up early (and forgoing the massive lie-ins, however tempting they may be!) and doing productive revision during the day leaves your evenings free for socialising and relaxing – everyone needs some free time!
10) Keep focused on exam day
Eating a good breakfast is the first thing you should do. Try and avoid your panicky friends the morning of your exam, that won’t keep you calm! When you come out of the exam, put it straight behind you – what is done is done and discussing every question with your friends and over analysing everything will only make you worry about something you now have no control over. Concentrate on that next exam instead!