Good Afternoon Munchkins!
As most of you are probably aware, it is now exam season – the time when 15/16 years olds up and down the country create a peak in the amount of existential crisis’ that occur in the year. I am currently in Year 10 so I’m completing my controlled assessments but I’ve already completed one Drama exam, have another to go and have a real sit-down-in-the-hall-and-die-from-lack-of-oxygen Statistics exam this year. You can really sense my joy, can’t you? I am relatively ‘fine’ with the 3 exams I am expected to pass this year, but come this time next year, I will almost, certainly be dying in paperwork. Due to the common stresses and my own experiences, I decided I would try and help you with some Revision Tips (yay!). I would like to help you along the way; although I can’t be in the exam hall with you, I would still like to relax you a little bit. I say this now but when I’m in Year 11, I know I will be shizzing it just as much as you! Anyway, I have had to start working towards exams and revising and I haven’t yet died so I thought I could try and enlighten you with some little things I do to get me to this state. In saying all this, my real academic exam is in 25 days and I literally know nothing.
Create a Plan/Timetable
This is something I’ve incorporated into my weekend (because things like this need to be ‘incorporated’, not just something ‘to do’) and has proved successful so far. I tend to reserve Sunday as my main ‘work’ day; the day where I write any blog posts for that upcoming week and complete any revision/homework. I’ve set it up so it suits when I have my brothers and when I don’t have them (they go to their Dad’s on alternating weekends) which is also paramount if you’re life isn’t in the same strict routine like mine. I make sure that I have a relaxed morning (either reading or watching YouTube) but get myself up and dressed before lunch and as I’m making/cooking lunch will prepare anything I may need for the afternoon (such as taking blog post pictures or gathering revision material). If I have any small, quick pieces of homework I may complete these as well in the late morning. I then have the entire afternoon to lock myself in my room and complete all the work that needs doing. This has to fit around my family and personal life also and this here blog also has to be catered for so I do sometimes have a lot to do but I find fixing it into this sort of routine really helps to get the work done. Routines just work for me and so they may help you too. This does sometimes need to be done on a Saturday or a day in the half-term holidays but it’s fairly flexible and applicable to any given day.
Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
This is something I’m really bad at. I can very easily look at everything I have to do and just think ‘okay, I could be doing this or be drinking cocktails in the sun surrounded my cats’ leaving the work unaccomplished and a massive weight on my shoulders. Break everything you need to do down and give it time slots; you may not get everything in a particular subject done but at least everything it covered. If you have a task that needs doing, break it down and make it as enjoyable as possible. Something that helped me to work out what works best for me is actually my Health and Social Care controlled assessment as there are 5 tasks with like 3 or 4 tasks within them, and it is just a case of finding what suits you amongst breaking it down (writing everything helps me!).
In correspondence to the first point, create mini goals for yourself. Make these quite challenging to push yourself and make sure you reach your full potential without wanting to swan dive out a window. Also, make them realistic and achievable; there is no point in saying ‘after 3 hours of revision I will allow myself a crumb of a cookie’. Be kind to yourself! This is a stressful time for everyone and that deserves to be recognized (though it very rarely is because Michael Gove and the education system!) and you deserve to still be able to care for yourself. Just make goals such as ‘after I’ve got my head round this’ or ‘after half an hour of answering questions on electrolysis, I will make myself a mug of hot chocolate’. Maybe not a hot chocolate at this time of year, but I know I would like that. Maybe an ice cream from the ice cream van down the road, or a walk with the family (this one is a sure fave of mine, it really clears my mind and makes sure I’ve actually got out that day, but it is a biggie so deserves a lot of work towards it!). These will keep you motivated and even excited for what is to come!
Take Regular Breaks
This is, again, kind of linking to the previous point but I do think this is very important. You can do all the work and revision you want in the world but it’s not going to be absorbed or at least stick if you aren’t concentrating. One way that helps me concentrate is by taking breaks because it helps refresh my mind and not want to eat the revision guides themselves. I don’t even have to do anything on these breaks or allow a large amount of time for them; it could be as simple as just checking my news feed on Facebook or reading a blog post or anything like that. It could also just be popping downstairs to get myself a Diet Coke, which also perks me up a little bit for more learning time *thumbs up*.
Prioritize What You Need To Get Done
Another extremely important thing I have learnt this year! Just use you’re time wisely and also, if you have a Physics exam on the Monday, there is no point in studying on Sunday night for the History exam you have on the Thursday. Also, take anything that is offered to you (in terms of studying, don’t do drugs!) such as catch ups because I can assure you they will be of use and not ‘a waste of time’. I struggle with doing this because I am quite shy and my anxiety’s really messing me up a bit at the moment so if you’re like me then go with friends in that class. It will be worth it, I promise you! It could be the difference between a few marks but those few marks could be the difference between a D and a C (i.e. not passing or passing). Just think about what you need because this is you’re time, you won’t get a time to take these exams in such a controlled, secure environment again!
Concentrate On You’re Problem Areas
When revising for my Statistics mock, I actually had my friend come over the evening before and we made cookies and as they were baking and cooling down, we actually helped each other with revision (side note: I really like this form of revision). She knew some things I didn’t (such as standard deviation, which I got full marks on but now have no idea what it is once again) and vice versa so we helped each other through it. We had a list of what would come up in our mock and so I ticked what I knew and we worked our way through what each other didn’t know and skimmed over what we already knew. Basically, there is no point going over (in detail) what you already know and are confident on when you could focus this valuable time on things you don’t know as much on. I find this really helpful and it also lessens the work I think I have to do, but ultimately, revision is there to go over what you already know and teach you what you may not have understood in lessons. That’s how I see it anyway!
And there we have it! That turned into a very long blog post, but as you know, I love a chat with you guys. Let me know any revision tips you may have or whether these tips are actually helpful for you! Also, let me know how you’re exams are going if you’ve already started taking them! Good luck, stay strong and it will be well worth it in the end when you get that grade you deserve!
Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you Tuesday,