Firstly, organise all of your notes. It is so much easier to revise effectively when you have all of your notes in one place and they are all in a logical order. A great way to aid this step is to print off a subject specification and make sure you have notes on every topic. Whilst doing this, it might be a good idea to traffic light the spec, highlight green what you know and don’t need to revise, yellow where you understand it but are missing notes or you just need to go over it, and red for anything you don’t understand.
(This obviously includes having fancy folders with file dividers, enough highlighters, pens, paper, sticky notes etc. So write a kit list and go out and treat yourself! It adds a little bit of motivation and is a fun(ish) starting point that makes the thought of revising a little bit more appealing).
Secondly, write down your targets and make sure they are realistic! This gives your revision a purpose and means you aren’t drowning in a sea of notes, but rather using them to swim to your destination. This also helps to show you how much work you’ve got to do, if you already achieved your desired mark in your mock then you only need to keep your knowledge ticking over and make sure there are no gaps.
After this, you are ready for the third, and arguably the most important step in the entire process - write your revision timetable! Before we go any further, this needs to be something that is detailed yet flexible. Remember it is meant to help you de-stress and stay motivated - not add to the pressure!
Break down your final target into a series of smaller targets that you can put into your timetable. This will help to keep you motivated.
Start with the subjects you highlighted in red - no matter how much you are dreading tackling them - and reward yourself when you finally get your head around them!
This timetable isn’t meant to dictate your every second! Timetable in some free time, and be prepared to switch this around. For example, if you had planned to take Friday afternoon off, but after lunch on Wednesday you are feeling really unproductive and want to see friends, just put the work you were meant to do on the Friday. This way you are sticking to your goals, but also staying productive.
Lastly you need to start revising. Make sure your revision is active; don’t just re-read your notes (which is about as productive as sleeping with your textbook under your pillow hoping the notes will transfer into your brain via osmosis!)
Make flash cards and get your family/friends to test you.
Past papers are your friends! Put together all of the past questions on a topic together, try to answer them with you notes, and then without. Most importantly, check the mark scheme and know what the examiner is expecting you to put down.
Make revision notes that condense all of the information in your class notes/text book/ youtube and online resources. Make them in the same order as the official spec so that you make sure you don’t miss anything. Make them colourful, with pie-charts and flow diagrams to keep your mind on its toes. And use all of those colourful pens your bought for revision - a black ballpoint is so BORING!
If you're really struggling, come into INICIO to get help from one of our tutors.
Healthy snacks - if your stomach is grumbling it will be the only thing on your mind.
Study space - you need somewhere naturally light and peaceful - but don’t only stick to one place - keep your mind fresh and go to your local library or come and pop into INICIO*
No unhelpful technology! Mobile phones are currently the biggest distraction students face - so ask your parents to hold onto them for an hour - or turn them off and leave them in another room! No matter what you tell yourself - you do not need it to ‘help you revise’.
Find some new revision resources that word the same material in a different way.
Take regular breaks - but make sure they are doing what they should - giving your mind a rest! Again - don’t always use this as a chance to check your phone - you’ll be scrolling down Instagram for hours before you even know it! Go on a really short run or pop to the gym to keep your blood flowing and mind fresh. Ring a friend and talk about something other than exams etc.
Get a good night's sleep the night before the exam - there are very few people who benefit from an entire night of cramming.
*only available for our regular students