Hopefully you have not left all of your revision to the last minute! But even if you have, these tips should help you.
First things first – relax. You cannot study well or absorb information if you are stressed. It may be last minute, but you are not out of time. And you’d be surprised at how much you can pack into your short-term memory.
Also make sure you take breaks. A common response to last-minute revision is to try and study for as long as possible. But you will remember more if you take regular short breaks and get enough uninterrupted sleep.
This is a tip that I first saw on TES and although it is described as a teacher activity, it is adaptable.
How it works: split topics into 5 minute chunks and make notes. That way you will only focus on the key areas and, get through a lot of information in just 60 minutes.
This leads me to an important tip – don’t sweat the small stuff.
When you are revising close to the exams, you need to prioritise on the major topics or key areas of each topic.
Instead of revising material you already know, try and identify your knowledge gaps and focus on filling them. It makes last minute revision both efficient and effective.
A good way of identifying gaps, is by using a checklist or the contents page of a textbook and ticking everything you feel confident on. That way, you can easily see areas that need more attention.
I love this one. The best way to know any topic is to teach it. And whilst you may not have the time or opportunity to actually teach others a topic, you do have time to write your own exam paper.
In writing an exam paper, you will be forced to think about the topic in-line with the style of questions you will face in the real thing. The most useful part here is writing the mark scheme.
Look at sample material from your exam board and write in their style. This will help you revise topics and improve your exam technique.
A quick, and more importantly an effective way to revise, is by using visual aids like mind maps.
Think about memory tricks and visual aids to avoid trying to remember large chunks of text or lots of terminology.
Sumantha is an education and training specialist with over ten years' experience in developing and delivering adult and secondary level education. Her professional journey includes a six-year stint as a secondary school teacher. She is currently a freelance content writer and learning and development consultant. Sumantha also has a portfolio of private students who she teaches up to GCSE level.