For some people reading this blog, the idea of sitting an exam in the run up to Christmas probably seems a little strange. Yet such is the variety and flexibility in examinations there is probably always someone sitting an exam. I can still remember whilst driving to one of my exams looking at other people and thinking, for you this is probably just an ordinary day, but for me it’s the accumulation of weeks and months of hard work that could all be wasted if I fail.
How I so wanted to be having an ordinary day….
So although examinations are never far from my mind, as some of my students are preparing for exams this November and December I thought it might be a good idea to look at what you should do as the tuition period comes to an end and the revision period begins. Below are my top three exam tips as to what you should do during revision.
Tip one – less is more
Let’s assume that you have a set of notes that have been taken during class or that you have made from a text book. In theory these notes contain everything you have learned and studied so far, in reality they are often not as comprehensive as you think and even though you have studied something it does not mean you have understood it. Chances are these notes are also a little on the thick side. Now depending on how you have studied (You might find it useful to read the blog on exam focussed learning ) it is more than likely that these notes will need to be refocused and cut down.
If you have not already done so you need to identify the most examinable topics for the subject you are studying. This can done by looking at say the last 4 exam papers and identifying topics that have been examined on several occasions. You then need to make these your focus of attention, each topic in your tuition notes needs to be ranked as must learn (most examinable topic) should learn (2nd most examinable topic) and nice to learn (3rd most examinable topic). Once you have done this you begin the process of going through your tuition notes using, must learn, should learn, and nice to learn as your guide as to how much time you spend making new notes on each area. These shorter, more exam focused notes will become your revision notes.
If you attend a revision course, these notes are often provided. In fact the reason revision courses are so popular and have higher than average pass rates is partly to do with these notes and the expert guidance you will get on the course itself.
If you are studying for your GCSE or A levels exams, in the blogroll is a link to a site that provides free revision notes.
Tip two will be posted soon.