Laurel, our resident apprentice at Visionpath, knows all too well the stress of exams and revision. She sat her A-levels just last year! Here's her take on how you can revise your way to success in your final exams...
As we are in the middle of exam season, I wanted to share some tips and tricks to help you when revising. I sat my A-levels in Sociology, Graphics and Business last Summer so I know how stressful it can be. Here are some of the most important tips I was given and would recommend from my experiences.
Structure your time
Before starting my revision, in January I made a time table including the times that I was available to revise and filled the slots with different subjects. Within those I planned what topic I was going to revise, for example in Maths you may choose to revise the data handling unit. Creating a timetable helped me because knowing that you must complete a certain number of tasks encourages you to get on with it and do them.
Have a routine
It's important to eat and drink properly as you need food to keep up your energy levels and be able to concentrate. Having breakfast is essential, they don’t call it the most important meal of the day for nothing! As well as keeping up your energy levels, you need to really wind down of a night time and forget about your exams. Getting the right amount of sleep can ensure that your revision is really going in, if you’re tired then you’re not concentrating. When I revised, I took regular breaks to clear my head so that I wasn’t switched off 4 hours into revision…otherwise you’re wasting your time. Go outside or make a drink, just take yourself away from your revision to refresh your brain.
Understand your notes
There’s no point reading something that doesn’t make sense to you and expecting to remember it. For example, in science…if you don’t understand a method then you must ask for help to understand it. Once you understand how it works and how they reached the conclusion then it will stick in your mind.
Also, reading notes is the first step of revision but not the only one, that won't stick. Make notes, draw pictures or diagrams, be colourful and make key terms stand out, it needs to look interesting for your brain to remember it. When you get a question, you want to think back to your notes and that bright yellow bold term that is the answer.
Get rid of distractions
You can’t revise properly if your phone is next to you, breaking up key revision time. Put your phone and any other distractions away and give revision your full attention, your notes will get you grades, a Twitter notification won't! Think long-term not short term. Ask yourself "where can these grades get me?" That’s far more important than 5 minutes of social media.
You need to believe in yourself and be positive, believing that you can do it. If you say you can’t, then you won’t. When doing past papers, don’t let any mistakes knock you down. Take this opportunity to see where you went wrong and focus more on what you struggle the most with. Go into the exam hall with confidence that you’re going to do well.
And keep your eye on the prize
When I had a few exams left to go, I found myself becoming demotivated and restless, as some of my friends had already finished and were living their days of freedom! Don’t let this put you off – remember these last exams are just as important as the first ones, so keep your revision head on and keep thinking about the end goal.
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