Here’s some tips we’ve put together for young people and parents for dealing with revision and exams. You can download a pdf version here.
As Benjamin Franklin said: “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.”
- Have a revision timetable but make sure it is realistic!
- You need a balance of revision and relaxation. Always take one day off a week from school work, no matter how much pressure you feel, God designed us to have one day’s rest per week.
- Split the day into three: morning, afternoon and evening – use two of the three for focussed study and revision – the other is for relaxing and exercise.
- Revise for an hour and then stop. Have a break, have a kit kat! Then come back to it. Take time to switch off and do something completely different.
- Organise your place of revision – make sure you have your notes, text books, writing implements, computer, drink and nibbles etc. all in easy reach.
- Create a playlist of motivational music to get you going.
- Ensure that you have regular food and drink, and exercise breaks – exercise helps to release endorphins – the feel good feeling and is an important stress factor.
Different ways to learn include:
- Going through past papers (and model answers) is often very helpful.
- Read it, doodle it, hear it, write it, speak it, etc, the more different ways you find to express it the more you will remember – also be aware that your teacher’s favourite teaching style may not be your best learning style.
- Use different colours so you can quickly scan the really important stuff.
- Make short notes, revise them the following day, then a week later. Repetition transfers info from short to longer term memory. Cramming is not productive.
- Stop all electronics at least half hour before bed.
- Make sure you still make time for the one thing you love, the thing that fuels your energy rather than just saps it.
- Get your parents to chill a bit!
- Get a good night’s sleep, set your alarm, have a good breakfast and give yourself plenty of time, allowing for traffic hold ups, etc.
- Check you have all your necessary stationary and equipment, including a watch!
- Know exactly where the exam is going to be held – I still have nightmares about not being able to find the right room and I left school a long time ago!
- Go to the toilet before the exam.
- Avoid talking to people about the exam, what you have revised etc., while waiting to go in as it can make you feel nervous that you haven’t revised enough – instead make plans for fun things to do after the exams or chat about last night’s TV!
- Listen carefully to any instructions, read the top sheet and complete it properly.
- Know your candidate number.
- Always take a deep breath before you start and know that people are praying for you
- Go for it – if you don’t know the answer go onto the next one – don’t sit there panicking.
- Read all the questions and make sure you know what you are being asked. Possibly start with stuff you are comfortable with, which may not necessarily be the first question.
- Know how much time to spend on each question. Time is crucial in exams – don’t waste it. If a question is only worth a few marks don’t spend ages on it. Always answer multiple choice questions even if it’s only a guess.
- If something is not clear then ask (just not the person sat next to you!)
- Check all sides of the paper – don’t miss a back page!
- Label all answers clearly and be as neat as you can. Show all working out and attach any notes made on questions you fail to complete.
- Leave 5 minutes at the end to go through and tidy up.