1. Make a detailed revision plan and stick to it!
‘Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail’ – indeed, this should be your mantra throughout your revision period. Take time to map-out a detailed revision plan in order to ensure you have revised every topic at least twice, and completed timed past-paper questions on that area before you sit your exam. Make this plan manageable – trying to fit too much into one day will only lead to disappointment when you realise you have only covered half of your list! Try to break down larger topics into sub-topics – for example, if you are revising an English Literature text, break the text down into key themes, and set aside 20-minutes to cover each theme.
2. Switch on your mind, and switch off your phone and computer!
Having contact with friends and family during exam season is important – these are the people who encourage, motivate and support you. However, having your phone by your side whilst you revise can prove distracting and detrimental to your ability to study effectively. Let your friends and family know that, whilst you appreciate them keeping in contact during the examination period, you will be turning your phone off between certain hours during the day whilst you revise. Text messages, Facebook messages, Instagram pictures, and the like, will still be there when you switch back on your phone, but the opportunity to achieve your desired grades may not come around again! Google Chrome’s ‘StayFocusd’ and ‘Facebook Nanny’ can help you to restrict your online activity if you find it hard to control your internet activity.
3. Use past papers effectively – sharpen-up your exam technique!
Even students who know their subjects inside out lose marks through poor exam technique. Set aside time within your revision plan to take a close look at the types of questions examiners have posed in papers over the past few years for certain topics. You may spot a pattern emerging in the skills examiners are looking for, and therefore can tailor your revision towards that. For example, for certain English Literature GCSE specifications, the unseen poetry section always asks for analysis of ‘language, tone and structure’ – if you know this, you can ensure you have drawn up a checklist of different language techniques, forms of tone, and structural components of poetry that you can memorise in preparation for the exam.