Additional revision resources can be found on Study and Revision - KS4
Start revising early
This means months, not days, before the exam! Make a timetable to plan your revision and stick to it. Start by mapping out what your week looks like – make sure to include homework and intervention sessions, after school clubs and some time to spend with friends. Use this timetable to plan out some revision slots, and choose which subjects you will revise in each. You need to make sure you are getting a healthy balance of time to work and time to relax, and this is easier if you start revising early!
Don't put it off
This is what adults mean when they tell you off for procrastinating! The best thing to do when it comes to revision is to just get on with it – it can seem like a big and overwhelming task at first, but the sooner you start (and the less time you spend putting it off) the more manageable that task will be. You can take revision one step at a time if you start in advance, but if you put it off until the night before the exam then prepare for a sleepless night and a stressful morning!
Sit at a proper desk in a quiet room
As tempting as it might to revise in bed whilst watching Netflix in the background, the only real way to prepare yourself for your exams will be to sit at a proper desk or table in a quiet room so you can really focus on your work. Not only will it help you to learn better, but it will also give you a better idea of what it might feel like in the exam room on the day so that you can be mentally prepared.
Take short breaks
Make sure you schedule yourself some rest breaks, especially between different subejcts, as your brain can work harder this way. Set target work times of up to an hour, and then take a break. The shorter the time you spend working, the shorter the break! For example, if you work straight for 15 minutes then you can take a 2 minute break. If you work for an hour, take 10 minutes off before you get going again.
Use revision guides
You are given really great revision guides from your teachers who choose them specifically to support you with your subjects. Use them! These are designed to support your learning and can help to explain topic content. Don’t just rely on your revision guides as they can only take you so far, but use them as a tool to support your revision.
Get creative with revision techniques
We all learn and remember things in different ways, so find what works for you. Don’t just read your notes until your eyes glaze over! If you are a visual learner, drawing pictures and diagrams might help you. If you are an active person, try to build revision into some sort of activity – like playing catch and answering revision questions with a friend. If there are particular things you need to remember, like dates for your history exam or equations for science, you could put them on sticky notes in places that you will see every day, like your bedroom door or bathroom mirror. If you want more ideas for how to revise, be sure to ask your teachers for their top tips!
Do lots of practice exam papers
This is especially important as you get close to the exams. You can either ask your teachers for past papers, or you can look online yourself. It may also be helpful to have a look at the course syllabus (which is a fancy name for the list of stuff you’re supposed to know for your exam!). When doing practice exam papers in your own time, go through each one after with the mark scheme, as this shows you what your examiners are expecting from a good answer. You could also ask your teachers to have a look through any completed papers with you.
Read the timetable properly
Make sure you know what days and times each of your exams is taking place and write the dates in your phone calendar! Set reminders if you have to, and stick the timetable somewhere you can see it – just make sure you don’t miss any exams! Give yourself plenty of time on the day to get ready and arrive early, so that you can remain calm and don’t feel rushed.
Be kind to yourself
Revision and exams can be a big cause of stress, and although it is important that you are trying your best and working hard to succeed, you also need to be kind to yourself in order to look after your mental and physical health. Taking breaks, maintaining a work-life balance, and rewarding yourself for all your hard work are all valuable things to do to look after yourself and your wellbeing.