Revision Techniques

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General Tips

To take in as much information as possible, you have to revise with certain things in mind.

Here are some tips that you need to know before you start.

1. Have everything ready before you start
Make sure you have everything you need in front of you – your pens, books, snacks, etc, and you have things you don’t need away from you, like your phone. This means you won’t need to get up during studying, and you have a much smaller risk of getting distracted. If you need to use a computer, make sure you have open everything you need, and think about using extensions such as StayFocusd.

2. Create a timetable
This tip doesn’t work for everyone, so don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t for you. Creating a timetable means that you have all your revision time planned out, and it means you can make sure the revision is spread evenly across all of your subjects. It also means that you don’t have to waste time mid-revision session figuring out what to do next. Alternatively, at the start of each session you can create a list of what needs to be done, and do things in the order you want to, or, if you don’t particularly like structured revision, at the start of each day write down the things you need to do and do them when you want, as long as they are done by the end of the day.

Active Revision

Testing yourself is the most important thing to do for your exams. Active revision has proven to be much more effective than passive revision, so here are some tips to help you actively revise.

1. Textbook questions
If you have a textbook for your subject, start with these. Make sure you’ve had a quick read through the content you need to know first, then do as many textbook questions as you can. If you need to memorise content before you start, Memrise is a really good website for that. Textbook questions are invaluable, especially if the textbook has come from the exam board you’re with, because those are the kind of questions that will come up in your actual exam. 

2. Online questions
After doing textbook questions, or if you don’t have a textbook, then online questions are helpful to do. Some websites you can get them from are listed below. During a revision session, you can get these questions up on your computer and then answer them in a notebook, or you could print the questions off and answer them on the paper.

Physics and Maths Tutor (includes all sciences, Geography, Pyschology and Economics)

Maths Genie

A Level Chemistry

Revision World (for all subjects)

3. Past papers
Doing past papers is one of the most important and effective revision techniques. Generally, you can find them on the website of your exam board. There are only a limited amount of past papers, so make sure you revise before you take them so that you don’t waste any. After you have done a paper, thoroughly mark it using the mark schemes that are also on exam board’s websites – mark yourself harshly, as generally you will be marked harshly in the exam, and go through every question you get wrong and do it again, but with the mark scheme and your notes. Usually, you can also find grade boundaries on exam board websites. I have listed some websites of common exam boards below:
AQA

Edexcel

OCR

WJEC

4. Mind maps
A slightly different method of active revision is making mind maps – start off with the name of the topic in the middle, and then have all the sub-topics from a text book or the specification coming off it. Then, without your notes, write down everything you know. Afterwards, go back with a different coloured pen and add in everything you forgot from your notes or the specification – repeat this over time so that eventually you can write down everything you need to know without notes. 

Some useful videos of other active revision techniques:

UnJaded Jade – New Revision Technique (that actually works!) for GCSE & A Level 2018

UnJaded Jade – The Revision Technique No One Tells You: How to EASILY Remember Anything! (How I Got All A* at GCSE)

Eve Bennett – HOW I GOT ALL A*S (8 + 9s) AT GCSE! | Tips ALL Students NEED to know for GCSEs 2017 and 2018!

Work life may still seems like years away, but there are still little steps you can take today that your future self will thank you for:

  • Catch up on the latest industry news
  • Research the latest developments
  • Research new LinkedIn contacts
  • Write a diary or create a scrapbook of the information you learn/things you find interesting – keep it fun!
  • Read something motivational
  • Visit our inspiration page
  • Perform a random act of kindness
  • Believe in yourself a little more than you did yesterday
  • Do something that makes you smile 🙂
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