Ready, Set, Go! Top Tips for Exam Revision

It’s the end of the June holidays this week, which means that JC students are in the thick of their Mid-Year Exams. In a month’s time too, will be the preliminary examinations for many students – cue panicking over not having enough time to study!

We all know that it is never easy to get over our procrastination and often leave exam revision to the last minute, especially when we are faced with the behemoth wall of exams. However, the hardest choices often require the strongest of wills – so we’ve put together this list to encourage you to revise early and to help you avoid getting snapped during your exams.

1. Set a schedule

The hardest part is starting out when you are not looking forward to the task.

Start by scheduling the same block of time every day when you can study at your best. Having a fixed revision time trains your brain to get into the mindset of studying and to break your procrastination habit. This helps you to achieve consistency, especially if you are used to doing last-minute cramming.

2. Plan what you want to revise

Without a plan, you are more likely to stop revising when you feel that you are not making the progress that you want.

Try making a list of topics that you want to revise across your different subjects. Plan which subjects you are going to tackle each day – for example, tackling General Paper essays, or practising the Math questions that you are weak at. It is better to alternate between different subjects rather than focusing on only one subject for three days straight.

Then decide which topics you are going to tackle in every subject, and set yourself a goal for it. Maybe you want to revise some key concepts in Chemistry or Biology, or tackle a certain number of pages in your assessment book or ten-year series.

3. Find a method that works for you

There are tons of revision techniques, such as flashcards, mind maps, group study, mnemonics, etc. Finding out the one that works for you can involve an element of trial and error, and the same technique might not work for another subject.

You can try the Pomodoro Technique, which involves spending 25 minutes on a single task and taking a 5-minute break afterwards (each session is called a pomodoro, which means tomato in Italian). This keeps your mind mentally fresh and helps you to stay focused for longer. After 4 pomodoros, take a longer 15–30-minute break to reward yourself.

4. Take breaks

Cramming or chunking information does not always translate into effective revision. Your brain needs to take breaks too to remember what you have studied. When you start to lose focus, it’s time to take a break and come back when your mind is more refreshed.

If you feel that it is hard to get back into the groove of studying, try imagining that you are planning to do a deep dive into the ocean. Count down from 5 and then force yourself to do task-related actions like writing or reading, just to overcome the mental hurdle and get back into the thick of it!

5. Stay positive

It can be hard to revise when you are facing difficulties, and there’s that all too familiar panic when we realise that we have not enough time to study everything that we want.

Remember to stay calm and remind yourself that you have done the best you can do for your upcoming exam. Every paper presents a learning experience and an opportunity to learn what you need to improve on for the next one, especially to help you hone your study techniques.

Last few things…

Ideally, effective revision is not something that can be rushed. However, it is also never too late to start. Starting early helps to greatly reduce some of the stress of last-minute cramming and pulling those all-nighters before an exam.

Always remember to get a good night’s sleep before an exam, even when you are panicking to just get “a few more pages” in before the next day. Sleeping at reasonable times means you will be able to wake up earlier and have more time in the day to do other activities before you start studying. A proper sleep schedule also helps you to avoid feeling sleepy during the exam when they take place in the morning.

Revision is all about what you put into it – there’s no shortcut or perfect formula to achieving exam success all of the time. The key is to find out how you can revise effectively in your own way, and then sticking to it and doing your best.

We wish you all the best of luck in your studies!

Starting from now till the end of July, we’re having a special 20% discount on all our assessment books and STEAM magazines that you order from our online store! Use the promo code “CPDTWENTY” (without the quotation marks) at the checkout to activate the discount. There’s no minimum spending required, and you receive free shipping for orders with assessment books or STEAM magazines!

Hurry while the offer lasts!*

*Promo valid until 31 July 2021.