Starting to revise can feel overwhelming, especially if an exam covers two years of work. Breaking things down can be a great psychological win and make things slightly more achievable. Break down your subject into ordered sections. Breaking down the exam into lots of little sections makes revision less daunting, and you'll know exactly where you stand in terms of how much you've done.
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For my exams, I broke down a module into 20 sections or topics. It meant it didn't seem like much of a chore to start the next one, as they didn't last long. Then, before I knew it, I'd whizzed through the module without it being much work. Don't leave things to the last minute, thinking that it will stick in your head if you do it won't. Get into the habit of doing a little nightly or weekly throughout the year. By the time you get to revision season, everything will hopefully feel more manageable.
This will also leave you more time to practise and test what you really know. Revise continually. Don't leave it a few weeks before an exam. Revise the stuff you're learning as you learn it. Go home from school and make flash cards and posters and so on. That way, when you come to the exam period, you already know most of it and it's just brushing up on final details. Don't frantically cram for an exam. There's no point - it won't go in.
Davidmroper The Student Room Member. Watch now: How to calm exam nerves. Having everything written down in front of you will ensure nothing gets forgotten and give you a basis to work from. This can make a real difference when you have multiple subjects to study for.
What Other Books Don't Tell You: Student Ace: the Guide to Academic Excellence
The best thing my mum ever did for me was make me set up a revision timetable. I wrote out every topic within every subject I needed to revise, then estimated how many sessions of 50 minutes I would need to revise that topic. Strawberryjellybaby The Student Room Member. Making a revision timetable that actually works. What are your options if your final exams go disastrously? Whether you've got your results or you're not feeling confident about results day, this is what you can do.
Relentless study and revision can make you burn out - here are our tips and tricks to keep on track when learning and revising. What are the best ways to revise for exams? We cover some top revision techniques to help you nail your exams. Find a course Search, shortlist and compare thousands of courses to find that perfect one. Search for a course. Popular subjects. Where to study See what makes a university special and discover where you belong. Find a university. Popular university cities. Get advice Get tips, tricks and wise words from students and experts at each stage. Browse advice.
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Do you know how to revise? It might sound like a silly question, but some killer revision tips could take your revision, and consequently your exam prospects, from whatever to wow. And no, none of them include leaving things to the last minute Alternatively, skip down to our top A-level revision tips including answers to common study questions. Sign me up. Our emails are packed with advice for getting in and getting on at uni, along with useful information about other Which? You might feel your whole life revolves around exams, and no sooner is one lot of study out of the way but you're immediately pitched into another!
If you take up a profession such as medicine or accountancy, the bad news is that exams continue well into your twenties. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make the pain easier.
Photo: No-one much enjoys sitting exams. Make sure you're prepared and you'll stand a far better chance of success. As far as you're concerned, teachers probably have a single function: to help you pass your exams and either get a job or move on to the next stage of your education. Teachers themselves see things a little differently—don't forget that they have to get hundreds of students through exams each year—but generally their aims are in tune with yours.
Remember that your teacher is not your opponent or your nemesis: he or she is not out to frustrate you or irritate you. However it might seem at the time, teachers are always trying to help you.
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Take advantage of that help and you'll never regret it. Ask for help whenever you need it: that's what teachers are there for. Having said that, as you'll have discovered for yourself, there are many good teachers and quite a few bad ones. Most of your teachers care passionately about how well you do even if they don't let on and one or two truly couldn't care less what happens to you especially if you don't care very much yourself.
The first top tip I have is not to rely on teachers to get you through your exams. Teachers will help you enormously, but ultimately it's your job and yours alone. The older and more senior you get, the more you'll find that teachers and lecturers put the responsibility of passing exams onto their students.
What does that involve in practice? The first thing is to understand the curriculum or syllabus you're studying and exactly what you're expected to know about each subject. Ask your teacher to supply you with a copy of the curriculum you're working to or look it up for yourself on the Web. Note that different examining bodies may use slightly different curricula, so be sure to find the correct one. Armed with this information, you will at least know what you need to know, even if you don't know it.
Got me? Photo: Once you're in the exam, you're on your own—without even your phone to help you. Make sure you're prepared. Before you go anywhere near an examination, it's vitally important to understand how the marks are allocated. You might find that 75 percent of the mark comes from the exam you sit at the end of the academic year, while the remainder is allocated by your teacher based on coursework or projects you do during the year itself.
It's very important you understand the marking scheme, whatever it is, right at the start. If 90 percent of your mark comes from coursework and you do that poorly all year, you can't expect to save yourself at the last minute with a sudden good exam performance. Similarly, even if you've done brilliant coursework, if it counts for only 10 percent of your total mark, you still need a good performance in the exam.
If you understand where your marks will come from, you can allocate your efforts accordingly. More than 20 years after I last sat an exam of any kind, I still get a recurring nightmare about not having started my revision in time! Chore though it is, you can never really spend too long revising.
Teachers will tell you that it's generally easier to spend a small amount of time each day revising over a long period than to try to cram in all your revision the night before your exam. But different strategies work for different people. Some people find concentrated revision suits them best. Some prefer to revise one subject entirely before proceeding with another topic; others prefer to alternate revision between different subjects. As you become proficient at exams, you should find a pattern that works for you. One good tip is to make revision a habit: treat it like a job and make yourself revise between certain set times of the day whether you feel like it or not.
No-one ever feels like revising, but if you get into a routine where you always begin and end at the same time, you'll find it a whole lot easier. Another good tip is to intersperse your revision with relaxing activities to stop your brain overloading. Go for walks, listen to music, hang out with friends, play sports—whatever you like— as long as you understand the distinction between break and distractions.
Probably give reading books a miss until your revision is done, however. Aim to revise everything but devote more time to things you don't understand or know less well. It sounds obvious, but it's surprisingly hard to do.
Because we like doing easy things—so our tendency, when we revise, is to concentrate on the things we already know. If you're not sure what your weaker subjects are, ask your teacher or look at the marks you've received on coursework through the year. Prioritizing weak subjects also goes back to understanding the marking scheme. Let's suppose your examination involves you writing three essays.
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Most likely they will carry equal marks. Even if you know two subjects off by heart and get perfect marks, if you can't write a third essay you risk losing up to a third of the marks. So weak subjects will have a disproportionate effect on your total mark, dragging your overall grade down much more.
That's why you should give weak subjects most focus.
1. Make your own decisions
What are you good at and what are you bad at? Maybe you think you're good at everything, but you'll still have weak points you need to focus on. And if you think you're bad at everything, that's probably not true either. Ask your teachers to spend a little time with you helping you to understand where you need to focus your efforts.
Most often they'll be happy to oblige. Now, as teachers often tell you, exams are theoretically a way of testing your knowledge and your understanding and the object of studying is to get a good education, not to pass exams. But exams count for a lot and a great deal of our education is geared specifically to helping us to pass them. Like it or not, you'll be sitting an awful lot of exams in your life.