How To Get Organised For Revision
Denial won’t work. It has to be done. Here are a few tips on managing the pain…
Whether it’s GCSEs or A-Levels creeping up on you, the same basic guidelines for revision apply.
Find out what you need to know
- Make your revision plan as early as possible. This will allow you to work out how much time to spend revising each day and, just as importantly, when to take breaks.
- Find out when your exams are and work out how much time you have until then. If you don’t know the dates, ask your teacher.
- Write a revision checklist
- Ask your teacher for a list of topics, or make your own by going through your notes. The BBC’s Bitesize revision map is helpful for those taking GCSEs.
- Think about which ones will need more revision time – perhaps they are more detailed, or you found them more difficult when studying. Be honest with yourself and don’t just focus on the subjects you enjoy the most or find easiest, as tempting at this might be!
- Don’t start the night before – planning will help formulate what you have to do in your mind. This should be reassuring and show you what you have to do is achievable in the timeframe.
Make a revision plan
Mark on the plan those things you need to do, such as being at school and mealtimes.When you know how many days you need to revise each topic, you’ll be able to make revision part of your daily routine. However, you need to be realistic about the time you have:
- Split the remaining time into half-hourly slots.
- Break each topic on your revision checklist down into smaller pieces that can be revised in 30 minutes, and fill your slots with these pieces.
Make revision notes
When looking at your notes, keep in mind why you’re reading them.
- Reading for detail is when you need to gain a good understanding of the text – read it at a slower pace than normal and ask questions while reading, or even read it aloud.
- Skimming is useful for getting the general idea of a large piece of text – read each paragraph quickly and identify the main ideas in each one.
- Scanning is used when you are looking for a specific piece of information – move your eyes quickly over the text, homing in on, for example, sub-headings, names, numbers, dates and quotes.
- Put revision cards with key facts round the house. Stick some in the bathroom to read while cleaning your teeth. Dot some round your mirror to glance at while preening yourself.
Look after yourself
- Regular breaks are important if you’re going to stay alert while revising. A five-minute break every half-hour for you to stretch your legs is better than a 30 minute break after five hours’ revision. Get up, make a drink, get some fresh air – you’ll come back refreshed and ready to carry on. These breaks will also help you absorb the information and avoid overload.
- Include a leisure activity in your revision plan twice or three times a week in order to take your mind off things.
- A healthy mind needs a healthy body so look after yourself while revising. Lots of sleep and regular exercise will help you stay alert. Your body needs fuel, so eat plenty of easily digestible foods – fresh vegetables and fruit will help keep your energy levels up.
- Find out what you need to know.
- Write a revision checklist.
- Make a revision plan.
- Stick to it and don’t panic.