The Best Way To Revise
As Amelia Earhart said, “The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” Having said that...some methods of revision have a much greater impact than others. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking you are doing lots of revision because you are spending an hour starting at your book. 15 minutes of another method can often be much more efficient use of time. So why do students still fall into the “sitting in the library is work” thinking trap? ...because it’s easier than the methods that require brain power and analysis. Yet it is much less effective.
Here are my top 3 tips for passing exams with flying colours.
1) Find out what you will be tested on
While it might be interesting to read around the subject (and helpful in many cases), exams are based on a specific set of topics and skills. Firstly, find out which exam board will be setting your exam. They provide specifications for each of the exams they set. These are easily accessible from a quick internet search if you haven’t been given one by your teacher. Use this as your basis alongside your notes and revision books. As well as content, make sure you know what skills will be tested too. For example will you need to be able to draw graphs?
2) Can you explain it to an 8 year old?
Make sure you understand all the content. Memorising facts without knowing the context will only get you so far. For application based questions you will need to thoroughly understand the information as well as how it all links together. If you’re not sure whether or not you understand something, try explaining it to an 8 year old. This might seem odd to say for A Level subjects, but the more you understand something the simpler you can make it in an explanation to others.
3) Analyse past papers.
There are lots of revision techniques, but the one that stands out by far the most in effectiveness, is analysing past papers. Practising exam questions is great, but if you don’t know where you have gained or lost marks then you will likely make the same mistakes in the next test too. Take time to read the mark scheme. Find out which words and phrases the exam board give marks for and which ones lose you marks. It is time consuming, but definitely much more efficient use of time than just reading through notes, and hoping for the best.
Now go forth, conquer that revision, and smash those exams!