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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Coping with Exams


Today we thought it would be a good idea to share with you some tips and advice for exams especially GCSE's as we have recently experience them but are also now experiencing AS level exams. These are tips that could help with revision for all things not just A levels or GCSE's as well as our experiences with GCSE's. Since doing our GCSE's recently the specification has changed although most are still the same as when we did it. However, we won't talk about the specification for each course we will give you advice on how to revise and what we found useful at the time.

To start with a top tip that lots of people use is a revision timetable which you can get a template of from the internet and put in the times where you are going to revise. However, we found that you never really stick to them unless you are thoroughly determined to do nothing else and are not easily distracted. Even if you are heavily work conscious it is still hard to follow as you cant stop living your lives and we found that it worries your parents more if you are cooped inside all day revising and it is actually not beneficial to you on your health or for your exams.

The best way to do it is to set out what you want to get done before you start revising. For example, if for physics you want to have written out your notes on a particular topic like the electromagnetic spectrum then plan to do that and give yourself enough time to revise that.

Another great way to revise is to have A3 pieces of paper and create mind maps or set paragraphs using different colours to section off the areas and have them up in your room. This may not be the best way for you if you are not a visual learner although it is a good way to memorise things like the heart and the brain if revising them for biology.

GCSE's, or any other exams, are not pleasant for anyone and therefore it is often hard to stay motivated for hours at a time. It is okay to have a break and is most definitely healthy. A good 10 minute or 15 minute break between revision is good and helps you when you go back to revision to stay focused. It is also important that when you are stressed you relieve the stress you are feeling many say to exercise which we have found is very helpful and does relieve stress but a good bubble bath can help too.

Another good way, and possible one that not everyone likes, is to just write out notes and keep writing. We found for a lot of the subjects it was more about remembering what you were taught rather than understanding it. This was especially the case in biology, chemistry and some physics topics.

Some people prefer to revise in silence but some people prefer to listen to some music or have some background noise. Whatever environment you prefer is essential to the way you revise. The most important thing to do when you revise is to be in an environment where you are able to revise. If you know you wont work with other people around you or listening to music then don't listen to it. If you cant revise in silence but know you will be distracted put something on that you are not that interested in just to have some noise to help you work. If you are easily distracted by apps like Instagram and Twitter then you can block yourself from using them for a certain amount of time and therefore you wont be tempted to stop revising.

We have found that the best way to revise is by using colour. The different colours helps to separate out the sentences and therefore allows you to see what you have written and revise it. It therefore helps when trying to remember it. Diagrams are also a good way to revise as you can see what is going on visually.

Maths is particularly hard to revise for as well as English. For Maths we found that you could benefit from re-writing examples and practicing questions. English Literature was about planning. We found that if we had a handful of quotes and characters that we could use for a variety of questions that they may ask it was less to remember.

As for other revision methods not specific for a subject area, we found that the best way to be prepared for GCSE's or exams was to stay calm and be well prepared. Make sure you know when each exam is and how much time is left before the exam. This is not to freak you out but to show you what you need to prioritise and make sure you are prepared in time for each exam.

Overall out top tips for revision are:
  • Have a comfortable environment to work in where you won't be disturbed.
  • Take 10 -15 minute breaks.
  • plan what you are going to revise before starting
  • Prioritise due to when your exams are.

Hope you were able to take away something away from this and found it helpful. Give us some feedback on some of the ways you revise and what you would like us to post about next.


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