We’ve all been there before – life happens and suddenly the exam season is upon you. In a few days, you are about to face what is possibly one of the most important exams in your life, and you are not prepared. Here are some proven last minute revision tips which have helped many students lift their grades from the depths of a Level 3 to a Level 8 – and you can too.
(1) Rise early
Schedule your days with precision. Make sure you get 8 hours sleep and try your best to get up and revising by 7am. This will give you enough time to take in information throughout the day and it will also help to free up time so you can relax and unwind later on in the evening.
(2) Study timetable
This is invaluable: it doesn’t matter whether you have months or days to your first exams. Print out a blank calendar for the coming months, schedule in the days of your exams and schedule in – hour by hour – which subjects you will revise. Please be aware that you cannot waste a day. Every day is precious and it is another chance to be a little bit more knowledgeable about your subject. To make the most of it – schedule all your hours to account for your days in the run up to the exams.
(3) Cram cleverly with the Pomodoro technique
Switch off your phone. Shelf your laptop. Lock your door. If you are able to master this one technique – you will find that you will learn what would have taken you days to learn and remember is accomplished in short 25 minute bursts. What is the Pomodoro technique you ask? It’s an effective study technique that optimises your focus – in 25 minute stretches. You will likely need a wrist watch or a timer. Set your timer to 25 minutes with 5-10 minute rest breaks. For 25 minutes – revise in complete uninterrupted silence. You will be shocked at how much ground you cover!
(4) Revision Cards
You should have small coloured cards with condensed revision notes and stick them all around your room. Make sure the information is vital information. It could be a Maths formula that you keep forgetting or an important quote from a literature book – the one you never can quite remember.
(5) Past papers are key!
Practice past exam papers and remember to time yourself. After you have completed the test paper. Check your answer against the marking scheme to see how you did. Check to see what you did wrong and do that paper again. Continue repeating the process and do as much past exam papers as you can.
(6) Listen to yourself
Record yourself saying pieces of information on your phone and play it to yourself. Listen to yourself reciting your notes everyday with headphones. It is just like remembering music lyrics. Using this same technique you will be able to remember your study notes.
(7) Delete distracting apps
Delete any entertainment apps that distract you. Although apps can be fun, they are notorious for fuelling procrastination. If you want you can delete all your favourite apps and re-upload them after the exams. You can use tools such as the Freedom app that blocks websites and apps that you may waste time on. Now is the time to focus on making these exams a success. Your future depends on it.
(8) Youtube videos
You won’t have time to read through a huge text-book or novel so try the next best thing and listen to a summary on Youtube. Alternatively, you can search in Youtube a specific topic and there will be a relevant video which will help in retaining information and giving you a deeper understanding of the topic. The bonus is that watching Youtube videos on your topic makes revision a little bit more fun. However, you must be strict with yourself. Don’t find yourself wading into the land of cat videos or you may as well wave that Level 8 goodbye.
(9) The Cheat Sheet is Key
Make sure you have a list of all the important formulas and quotes that you need to remember for the exam. Make it a daily morning ritual to revise it every day. These will be your tools for your exam success.
(10) Remember your WHY
Get a piece of paper and write in block capital letters WHY you want to pass your GCSEs. Could it be ‘ To make your parents proud?’ or ‘To make yourself proud?’ Whatever it may be, write it down and stick it on your laptop or on your front door so you see it everyday. It will give you that motivation to get you through the revision process.