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How To Revise

Success in exams is all about planning rather than last minute panic.

Passive Revision - you do this whenever you sit and read through a book or your notes. Many people begin their revision this way but they soon discover that it's a waste of time. You won't remember the notes for long - you should be revising actively instead.

Active revision - this means that you are revising in a way that will help you to understand and remember your work. You might be writing revision notes using colours and key words, reading notes out loud, explaining a topic to someone else, getting others to test you, drawing mind maps or doing past exam questions.

Know your exam - you must make sure that, for each subject, you know how many papers there are and which topics are on each paper, what style of questions are asked, how long each exam is, and where and when the exam is.

Revision aids - your teacher (if you don't understand something, ask your teacher for help), your notes, revision sheets from your teacher, text books, published revision guides (ask your teacher for advice about which guide to buy), other students, people you live with (ask someone to test you on a topic or explain something to them), the Internet.
 

Write your own notes - this is a very effective way of actively revising and for dealing with the scary amount of notes that face you at the start! You can write on A4 paper or smaller card size paper (this is an easier size to revise from later). Choose a topic or part of a topic and then:

  1. Pick out key points and phrases and diagrams
  2. Write these onto your cards making sure that you space the information out and use CAPITALS and colours.
  3. Draw mind/concept maps for the topic linking ideas together.
  4. Write the subject at the top of the card and number the pages - keep them in bundles using rubber bands.

 Keep the cards with you and read through them whenever you have a spare moment.

When you've read through a card, ask someone to test you on it or try writing the information out again without looking at the card.

Use memory hooks - these are ways of remembering lists of facts in a certain order e.g. My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming Planets will help you to remember the order of the planets when you're sitting in the exam and your brain feels that its turned to mushy peas! Pictures can also be good memory hooks that you could display around your room.

Revision Timetable - you must make a timetable of when and what you are going to revise:

First you need to work out how many days until your exam and how many revision sessions you have - each session could be 1 hour followed by a 10 minute break.

Ask your teachers for advice about when to start revising - for SATS or GCSEs, you ought to begin at least 8 weeks before your first exam.

Your timetable needs to be flexible because you may find that you have to change it because of other commitments or you may decide that you need more time on a particular topic.

Think about how many hours you need to revise for each subject but be prepared to change this as, once you start revising, you will find that some subjects need more time and some need less

An example of a timetable for a week of your holidays before your exams:

Time

Mon.

Tues.

Wed.

Thurs.

Fri.

Sat.

Sun.

a.m.

Maths

English

History

French

    ----   

Music

I.T.

English

Science

D + T

English

Science

History

p.m.

Geog.

    ----   

Science

Maths

English

Geog.

Science

    ----   

Maths

R.E.

    ----   

    ----   

Even.

    ----    

R.E.

    ----   

Maths

History

    ----   

    ----   

Maths

English


Allow yourself no more than a 10 minute break between revision sessions. The timetable has spaces in it for when you know you have other commitments.

Review what you have done - it is really important that you think about how your revision is developing and, if necessary, allocate more or less time to certain topics. You will try to avoid the topics you don't like or don't understand but these are the ones that could make the difference to your grade - make sure you spend time on them and go and talk to your teacher about them.

Exam Time:

Triple check your exam timetable every day! It is up to you to be there on time.

Read through your revision cards the night before but not for too long.

Make sure you have a watch, pens, pencils, a calculator, etc. ready and don't go to bed late.

On the morning of the exam EAT BREAKFAST - you cannot expect your brain to provide you with correct answers unless you provide it with an energy source. You must arrive outside the Hall with at least 15 minutes to spare.

When the exam begins:

Don't panic - just because your neighbour has already started and seems to be on question 4 already doesn't mean that you should be!

Read the instructions carefully and make sure you understand which questions you need to answer.

Keep a check on the time - don't spend too long on one question and then find you have to miss out others.

If a question is difficult, leave it out and come back to it later.

Try to leave yourself 10 minutes at the end of the exam when you can read through your answers carefully and make corrections or fill in blanks.

 

Success in exams is all about planning rather than last minute panic.

Good Luck

(but you won't need it!)

Meole Brace School, Longden Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 9DW

T: 01743 235961F: 01743 364017E: admin@meole.co.uk

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