It’s boring but true – being organised can reduce exam stress, and help you make the most of your time. The best way to start your revision is to make a plan. Follow our guide to find out how.
1. Break up your subjects
Start off by listing the date and subject for each exam. Then look at what you need to cover for each exam, breaking each subject into small manageable pieces, and make a list topic by topic.
2. Think about where you need to focus
Some exam papers will carry more marks than others so it’s worth preparing in more detail for exams which carry a high percentage of your total mark. You may also want to spend extra time on your weaker areas or need to fill gaps. Add these to your topic list. If you having missing notes, speak to your classmates or teachers. BBCbitesize and s-cool have some excellent subject revision guides and subject revision books can also help.
3. Be realistic
Create a revision plan that is going to work for you. If you’re too ambitious with your plan it can be easy to lose heart. Studies show that people are more motivated by achievable goals. Think about what you can stick to and allow rest breaks and relaxation time where you can do something completely different.
4. Expect the unexpected
Timetable some free study blocks each week. Once you get stuck in you may find you need more time on a certain subject or you may have to deal with something outside of your studies. If there’s no flexibility in your plan it can be easy to get behind, so having some free blocks each week which you can use as you need can help you stay on track.
5. Make your plan
The next step is to draw up your revision plan. There are lots of ways you can do this – use a school-style timetable or calendar printout or get creative with colour-coding and post-its. If you use a spreadsheet you may find it’s worth having a paper copy too. Then:
- Mark in your exam dates and subjects
- Divide your list of topics across each week of your revision period. Make sure each topic comes before the date of the relevant exam. Allocate fewer topics near to your exam dates to allow for general review sessions where you can go through all of your revision notes
- Create a more in-depth schedule at the start of each week, complete with free study and rest blocks, and scope out your timetable for the next day in detail the night before. This makes it easier to adjust your plans depending on your progress
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