ReviseWise

Revision isn’t something that should be challenging or difficult at all. What revising is, unfortunately, is time consuming. It takes a while. That’s why you might like to start early. (nothing to do on a Sunday?)...

Do you need some help with how to get started?

Go to the How to Revise- H2R help pages (access via student portal)

Before you begin...

Create good conditions to study in...find a quiet place to study and keep background noise to a minimum!

Have everything you need to do your revision before hand so you can settle into your revision session without having to keep stopping to find your calculator or a ruler etc.

Doing your revision
Revision Timetable
Organising Revision Sessions
Sitting the Exams
Coping with stress
Active or Passive Revision?

Active revision means involving your eyes, ears and hands in a variety of ways. Revising actively is the best way to make sense of the material you’re revising and also helps you to remember it.

Passive revision involves reading through your notes and books. Do not rely on this method alone, you will get bored!

Active methods of revision include writing revision notes, reading notes aloud, recording key points onto an iPod, MP3 or phone, discussing topics with a friend, testing yourself, getting others to test you, rewriting notes, trying past exam papers and using revision websites (See ‘Useful Websites in the blue information box)

Revise with exam in mind.

Get hold of the syllabus for each subject from your teachers as you can use this as a basis for organising your revision. For each subject make sure you know how many papers you have to take, how many questions you have to answer, how long the exam is and when the exam is. Practice under exam conditions with past papers.

About revision timetables

There are many good reasons for using revision timetables.
These include:
To avoid a last minute rush before the exam
To set up a routine and discipline yourself
To share revision time between subjects
To keep up with your revision
To spread out your revision
To get the right balance between revision and leisure time
To avoid wasting time trying to decide what to do for each session
You can use your own revision timetable template or you can use ours by clicking the link below

Revision Timetable

The first step to filling in your timetable is to enter all your commitments such as extra curricular activities, leisure time and time to complete any unfinished coursework (if you use our template your lesson times will already be filled in for you.)

Next fill in when you plan to revise each subject.

Remember to:

  • Balance revision time between your subjects
  • Space out revision for each subject over the week
  • vary the subjects revised on each day

Pin your timetable up in a prominent place in your room. When you come to the end of each weekly timetable, carry out a quick review and draw up a timetable for next week.

Where do I start?

Start by making a topic checklist for each subject. This is a list of all the major topics you have covered. You don't have to revise this list in any particular order and can help to boost your confidence if you begin with a topic you find easy.

After each revision session tick off the topic from your checklist. This will help you to see the progress you are making and help you to feel more in control.

Organising your time

Set a definate time when you will start and finish each revision session and stick to it. Keep revision sessions to a resonable length and stick to it. Between 1-3 hours is about right.

Most people are best in the morning so try working on difficult topics in the morning when your mind is fresh.

If you are going to listen to music, play it at low volume and choose something that doesn't distract you.

Improving your concentration

If you find it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time, start with short sessions and gradually build up to longer sessions.

Make sure you have regular breaks. A good guide is for every hour you work, have a break of 10 minutes. Get up and walk away from your desk. Get a drink and/or a snack to keep you alert.

Get plenty of rest. Teenagers need between 8 - 9.5 hours sleep a night.

It is helpful to vary the topic or the subject during each revision session. Even switching your revision method can help to keep your concentration.

Clear your desk or the space you are working in except for the relevant material and equipment so it is free from distractions.

Give yourself something to look forward to or some kind of reward after revision session - go on, spoil yourself!

The night before

Only attempt to do light revision using your revision notes and try not to do any totally new revision.

Get all the equipment you need ready the night before. The last thing you want in the morning is to be rushing around trying to find things.

Try to get a normal nights sleep (if you can!)

On the day

Get up in plenty of time
When you leave home make sure you've got with you everything you need for the exam.

If you want to, do some last minute revision by flicking through your revision notes.

Compose yourself

Ease yourself gently into the exam and resist the temptation to start answering the first question immediately.

Don't worry about your classmates who may already be scribbling away.

If necessary take a couple of minutes to write down anything you are afraid of forgetting.

If you are the sort of person who freezes in exams or finds that your mind goes blank, it may be better for you to get writing as quickly as possible so that you can get your ideas flowing.

Read the instructions carefully

Read the whole paper through carefully, noting all the instructions about the number and choice of questions.

If you have a choice of questions, select and mark those questions you feel confident that you are able to answer well.

Decide on your question order then start by answering the questions you know you can answer well. This gives you more time to think about the difficult questions and boosts your confidence.

Budget your time

Always take a watch in with you.

Before the exam, work out roughly how much time you can devote to each question or section. This will depend on: how much time you have for the whole exam, the total number of questions, the type and the difficulty of each question and the marks given to each question.

Don't fall into the trap of spending the most time trying to answer the questions about which you know very little.

Tackle the questions

Read every question at least twice, picking out the key words.

Think about the question and analyse it before you get into your answer.

Get a sense of how long and detailed an answer is expected.

For essay-type questions outline the main points you intend to include in your answer> Without an outline you are likely to stray from the point or forget important points.

Remember to stick to what the question is asking!

Talk about it

Think about the people you know who will listen to you and talk to them. Listners can be friends, family, teachers or others.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of maturity and strength to realise when you are having difficulties and to feel confident enough to share those difficulties with others.

Take time out to have fun

During the revision period make sure you give yourself some time to do the things you enjoy. Do the things that relax you and take your mind off your studies.

Do some exercise

One of the best ways of dealing with stress is to exercise. It will relax and calm your muscles as well as helping to clear your mind.

Exercise provides a way of releasing a great deal of muscle tension which stress produces.

Think positively

Thinking you might fail drains away your confidence, makes you worry more and makes you less enthusiastic about working hard.

Don't tell yourself things like "I'm useless at this subject" or "I haven't got enough time to revise properly". Replace this unhelpful self-talk with statements like "This subject is difficult but I've had difficult subjects before and understood them" or "I can get my revision done in time when I plan a proper revision timetable".

Relax your muscles

Start by tensing and then relaxing the muscles around the head, face, neck and shoulders. Then work down your body tensing and relaxing your arms, hands, chest, back, stomach, hips, legs and feet.

Eat well

Eating well reduces the overall stree on the body and can also make you feel good about yourself. Try eating a variety of foods.

Use breathing techniques

Here is a step by step approach to help you relax:

  1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes
  2. Breathe in slowly through your nose to the count of ten
  3. Hold this breath while you count to ten again
  4. Now let out your breath while you cont to ten once more.
  5. Repeat this three times

You can use this technique at any time you feel nervous, sucha as on exam days.

Use mental imagery

Mental imagery is a bit like a day dream and can help you relax your mind

Start by getting your self comfortable. Close your eyes and start to breathe deeply, concentrating all the time on your breathing.

Now form a picture in your mind of a pleasant scene such as a tropical island, a valley, a woodland area. Try to include smells and sounds.

Explore the scene and enjoy the surroundings. When you are ready, slowly open your eyes.

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