How To Revise Effectively

When you're revising, you should work as smartly and strategically as you can, in order to make the best use of your time. Read on to find out how to make the best use of your revision time and master what matters as efficiently as possible.




Start with the tricky stuff

The key to effective revision is recognising what you find hard or don’t quite understand, and tackling it head-on. Don't beat about the bush and do the easy stuff first; this is just prolonging the inevitable. Front-load revision by starting with the tricky stuff when your mind is fresh and you haven’t already had weeks and weeks of study leave. It will also take away the niggling worry you might feel about hitting that horrible topic because, well, you're just getting on with it! After a little bit of hard graft early on, you'll probably realise that the topics you dreaded revising aren’t as hard as they first seemed – and if you are still struggling, you'll have plenty of time at this stage to seek help from teachers or tutors!


Use a traffic light system

A good way to structure revision  - so that all that nasty stuff is out the way first - is to categorise each topic within each subject using a traffic light system. Use green for the areas you find straightforward, amber for things you're not one hundred percent on, and red for the topics that need some serious TLC. When making a revision timetable, use this system to organise the order in which you tackle your topics. And make sure all of the red topics come right at the start of the revision period! Students don’t want to be panicking about trying to get their head around a difficult concept the week before the exam, so make sure you've had a proper look at all of your red topics within the first two weeks of revision time!




Use grade boundaries

You can also use the grade boundaries published with mark schemes to help them work out where you’re at on each topic. If you're answering a topic question paper and aren’t quite hitting the grades you want on that topic, you should do something about it. You won’t improve unless you make a conscious effort to do so!

Being self-critical, especially when you mark their work after doing a topic question pack or past paper, is very important for effective revision. It is important to not take it so far that you are doing themselves out of marks and stressing themselves out, but you should be fair and honest about how you think they're doing. There's no point in giving yourself top marks to make yourself feel good when the examiner wouldn’t give you the same! You'll feel far more confident when they walk into the exam if you can trust their genuine ability to answer those questions in the best way possible. Honesty is the best policy in most areas of life, and revision is definitely one of them! 

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