Sitting exams has always been a daunting experience, even coursework isn’t much better. This is why revision is so important – we want to feel as prepared as possible, so the exam feels less scary. The internet is full of amazing tips and techniques. Here are some that have helped me, and may help you:
1. Learn ahead
Spend some time reading up on the topic you’ll be learning about next. This could be watching a video on photosynthesis before your biology lesson or going through the lecture slides beforehand. By doing this, your lesson becomes more of a revision session. I can’t describe how many times this has helped me understand what my teacher or lecturer is trying to explain.
2. Always review
It’s also good to review what you learned after your lesson. I like to spend some time writing down as much information as I can remember. Then I grab my notes and fill in any gaps. I find this is a quick and less overwhelming way to revise.
3. Have short breaks
We all know breaks are important, but it can be hard to figure out what you should do during them. I like to have a walk around the block, eat a quick snack, or do a little tidying (because there’s always something laying around).
Having a toilet break, getting a cup of coffee, or checking your email doesn’t really count as they don’t usually give you enough time to “rest”. But taking a break, no matter what it is, is always better than not taking one at all.
4. Use past papers
No matter what exam I have, I always make sure to get a hold of as many past papers as I can. As they say, practice makes perfect!
I redo papers I’ve scored badly in and when I’ve been taught most of the topics, I will do them under timed conditions. Also, take a look at examiner reports – they include some great tips for what they’re looking for.
5. Remove distractions
This one might seem obvious but I’m still a victim to it. “Quickly checking Instagram” usually turns into endless scrolling and why am I looking at what Disney Princess I would be? I now make it a habit to always leave my phone far away and mute any notifications. You’ll be surprised at how much work you managed to get done.
My final bit of advice is to do what works for you. We’re all different and what works for one person may not work for another, so always try out new techniques and stick to the ones that feel right. Don’t panic, you’ve got this!