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8 top exam revision tips for I/GCSE students

  1. Start Early

  2. Fail to plan, plan to fail

  3. Work out what works for you

  4. Make it fun!

  5. Eat well, sleep well and relax in between studying - look after yourself

  6. Create an environment that works for you

  7. Stay calm and positive

  8. Sit past papers. Mark them. Resit them.

1. Start Early

Don't leave revision until the week before the exam!!! Start early and give yourself enough time to cover the whole curriculum.

2. Fail to plan, plan to fail

A revision timetable will help you to plan your time effectively. If there is a revision checklist available for your subject - this will help enormously. Look at what you need to cover and how long you have, then plan it out week by week.

I have example checklists for Environmental Management IGCSE available on my Facebook group

3. Work out what works for you

What works for one student doesn't always work for another. I am a visual learner - so I write notes, draw mind maps, draw pictures and make posters. It works for me. My daughter HATES writing notes. It is a waste of time for her. Some people prefer to listen to recordings over and over again - I am unable to retain anything that is purely auditory!

You need to work out what works for you. THEN stick to it!

Some don'ts though.....

  • Don't rewrite the same notes over and over. If you do need to write them out, shorten them, illustrate them, use colours, mind map them...anything but the same old notes!

  • Don't spend hours highlighting everything! It is better to write things out onto an A4 sheet and draw links between the information - not just highlight most of the text!

  • Don't just read all your notes. Reading through pages of information is passive and boring! It is very unlikely to be sustainable AND it is unlikely that you will remember what you have read. (Ever started over again several times because you can't recall any of what you have read?)

4. Make it fun!

You are never too old to play games! Make key cards into dominoes; play a memory game (flipping over cards and trying to match pairs); have quizzes; make or play a Kahoot anything to add a bit of amusement into revision!

5. Eat well, sleep well and relax in between studying - look after yourself!

This is just common sense isn't it? You can't function properly on empty! Eat well, drink lots of water and get a good night's sleep. Not always easy during exam periods, I know, (I have had teenage daughters!) BUT try to switch off after revision and enjoy your leisure time. Don't study right up until bedtime - have a break, listen to music, go for a walk, watch some t.v. but take a break.

6. Create an environment that works for you

Some say to 'turn off everything' and have a totally distraction free environment but this doesn't work for everyone. I DO think it is best to turn off your phone and avoid social media when revising. I also think that listening to music with lyrics can be distracting, as it's tempting to sing along. However, having some music on in the background helps some people to concentrate better, It's got to be about what works for you. I find Mozart helps me to study better!

7. .Stay calm and positive.

You've got this! Believe in yourself. There are going to be areas that you find harder - so work on these - but don't forget that there is lots of content that you find easy!

Beating yourself up over questions you got wrong isn't going to lead to success. Just revisit them and learn from the mark scheme.

8. Sit past papers. Mark them. Resit them.

By far the best way to achieve success is to do plenty of past papers. Sit them in mock exam conditions. Then take a break and mark them using the mark schemes. When you haven't got full marks, correct your work - rewrite the correct answers onto the paper.

Revise areas you got stuck on. Resit the paper and see if you can improve.


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