Top 10 Exam Revision Tips
Share this post:
Have you ever come across someone who actually enjoys revision? Who’d willingly give up their Sunday afternoon to learn all there is to know about monoclonal antibodies and homeostasis? If you do, you’re in for a treat because that, my friend, is a rarity.
Whether you like it or not, revision is a crucial aspect of succeeding in school, and getting a job after you leave. That’s why we’re here, to share some wisdom and ease those nerves before sending you on the path to glory.
1) RISE AND SHINE
Nothing great comes easy. You have to work for it. Not every now and then, but daily. Remember the 1500 metre race you won a couple of years back? How good it felt to cross that finish line knowing all those hours of training had finally paid off? Well, there you go.
The same rule applies to revision. If you want to do well in your exams, you’ll have to start early. You’ll need to listen, take notes, read and reread them. Then do those things all over again until you’ve taken it all in. Avoid last-minute cramming. It’s stressful and rarely leads to victory.
2) GET ORGANISED
Revision timetables are frightfully useful. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. A well thought-out plan can literally make or break your results, so organisation is key if you want to knock it out of the park.
Start by ranking your subjects in order of importance, focusing on topics you find most challenging first, and work your way down from there. Multitasking is a great skill to have, so knowing how to prioritise tasks will take you really far in the professional world too.
Download your free GCSE revision timetable template to help you manage your time like a pro.
Share Revision Tips!
3) PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Practice papers are one of the best ways to revise for your GCSEs or A Levels. The more you familiarise yourself with the questions and how they’re formatted, the greater your chances of success on the day itself.
Exam boards are your go-to for these sorts of things. AQA, Edexcel, OCR, Eduqas, SQA and CCEA all offer past papers, so make sure you factor them into your revision timetable early on. Alternatively, you could ask your teachers for a copy. They’ll be happy to help in any way they can.
Try answering the questions under timed conditions. If you do, you’ll have a better understanding of what your strengths and weaknesses are and can shift your focus to those areas that require more attention.
This is the first year that exams will be taking place since 2019. So if you’re sitting yours in the summer of 2022, you’ll be given advance information by exam boards to counteract all the disruption caused by the pandemic. In other words, you’ll have access to some juicy bits of content that will further support your revision. Isn’t that wonderful?
4) USE REVISION APPS
There are so many ways to go about revising. But one of our top tips for revision is to pick the approach that’s right for you.
While some learn better visually, others will prefer listening and are likely to use podcasts or voice memos instead. Whether you’re this, that or the other, here are some apps that’ll set you at ease and put you on the road to success...
Check out our top A Level & GCSE revision apps to make revision that little bit easier.
5) GO OFFLINE
There’s nothing more distracting than getting a Snapchat notification or Instagram DM when you’re trying to revise for exams. As tempting as it may be to respond, try to ignore them! It’s easy to spend hours upon hours scrolling through reels. But before you know it dinner’s ready and revision time is over.
We recommend getting all the information you need from websites first then staying clear of phones, laptops and tablets until you’ve finished. You’ll be surprised at just how much of a difference that makes.
6) EAT HEALTHILY
Healthy body = healthy mind. In order to ace those exams, you’ll need to have a balanced diet. Sugar will give you that initial rush, but excessive levels can actually impact your concentration levels and cause brain fog, so try to limit your intake whenever you can.
Research shows that green, leafy vegetables, fatty fish, berries and walnuts (which are rich in omega-3) all improve your ability to think clearly, learn and remember. For that sweet fix, dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa is a great call. Cocoa contains antioxidants that improve blood flow to the brain, enhancing your mental performance.
Chamomile tea is packed with health benefits too. So if you’re sensitive to caffeine, this is the drink for you. Not only does it help with sleep, it moves mountains in reducing stress levels.
7) TAKE REGULAR BREAKS
Working hard is key to achieving good grades, but so is rest. Taking breaks will refresh your brain and increase those energy levels, allowing you to be more productive throughout the day.
Top tip for you: revision is a marathon, not a sprint. You can’t expect to flood your mind with information and remember it forever. Try staggering your sessions instead. Short, regular breaks will help you study effectively for six hours, instead of losing focus after two.
Step outside, make a cuppa, listen to some music. The possibilities are endless. Whatever helps you unwind gets our vote.
8) CHANNEL YOUR CREATIVITY
While we can’t guarantee the same methods will work for everyone, we know that staring at Microsoft Word for hours on end is enough to make anyone lose their marbles - whether you’re human or an amoeba.
Are you a creative, artistic soul, with a passion for highlighters? Fantastic. You can use said artistry to help you revise. Be creative with your revision notes!
Use colour, diagrams, pictures, spider charts and highlight any keywords or important formulas. Create mind maps connecting all your important points. If your notes look engaging, you are much more likely to remember them. This revision technique is widely recognised to help visual learners.
Some people revise by playing games. Jenga is a good one. Simply stick questions onto the blocks. When you remove a particular block, you have to answer that question.
9) TEACH YOUR FRIENDS
One of the best ways to learn something is to share your knowledge with others. If you’re an expert in a topic and feel like you could help your classmates out, why not teach it to them?
This won’t just benefit others. You’ll also be testing yourself and working out where your weaknesses lie, so you can resolve them quickly. Known as the Protégé Effect, this method is great for memory and recall. Teaching will also increase your confidence and help you stay motivated in the long-run.
10) KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
Last but not least, try to remain calm. We know it’s easier said than done, but a positive mindset is the best thing you can take into an exam. If you’ve done the work, stuck to that timetable, put those hours in and looked after your well-being in the process, you have nothing to worry about.
And remember, exams aren’t there to scare you. They are there to help you grow, so that you can become the person you were always destined to be.
You’ve got this. And we’re right behind you.