How To Get The Most Out Of Save My Exams
Amy studied at the University of Bristol and is our revision blog guru. She only graduated recently so understands the pressures of being a student better than most, and is here to share her wisdom so that you revise effectively, smash your exams, succeed at school and write cracking university and job applications.
The exam period and all it entails can make for a slightly gruelling stint by anyone’s standards! Exams require lots of revision and you may well feel under pressure to perform the best you can.
Fortunately for you though, we’ve already done a lot of the legwork by putting an extensive set of resources on Save My Exams which are designed specifically to help you revise for (and excel in) your exams; and get the best possible grades you can (if we may say so ourselves).
Save My Exams has a huge amount of material that can make a major difference to your exam prep and final marks —so it’s important that you not only make the most of it, but also know the best way of using the resources available.
1. Save My Exams Topic Questions
Our Topic Question packs offer a brilliant approach to practicing exam style questions, without using up the finite resource that is actual past papers. The Save My Exams Topic Question Papers are laid out like a real exam, but focus on just one topic so that you can do targeted exam practice.
When should you use them?
- As an end of topic test once you’ve finished learning a topic in class
- After you’ve revised a topic for an exam, to test and consolidate your knowledge
How should you use them?
- Complete Topic Question papers under exam conditions (each question paper states the exact time you’re allowed for the paper)
- Mark them using mark schemes or model answers
- Record your mark and estimate your grade based on the grade boundaries on the front of the question paper
- Did you get the grade you want? Great! You can tick that topic off and move onto the next one.
- Didn’t get the grade you want? No problem! That means you need to spend more time on this topic. Look at the questions you got wrong, review your notes, and read through our handy model answers to ensure you fully understand your mistakes.
Once you’re confident you’ve understood where you’re doing wrong, go back and do another question pack on this topic.
Why are topic questions so powerful?
Think of the revision process like building a pyramid one block at a time. Each block is a topic.
If you use broken blocks or don’t put the blocks together properly, the pyramid will eventually fall down.
Topic papers help you make sure every block in your pyramid is strong and stable, and let you spot the gaps in your knowledge and put them right so that your knowledge of a subject is solid and unbreakable before your exam.
We’ve got topic questions spanning most exam boards across Maths and Science, so that you can cover all bases en route to securing the grades you deserve.
Keep a note of your scores so you can see where the gaps lie, and don’t be afraid to return to Topic Question Packs and do them again in future to see your improvement!
2. Past Papers
It’s said a lot, but it’s totally worth repeating. Past papers are the most valuable resource available when you’re preparing for exams, and we’ve got everything you could want: from OCR past papers to Edexcel past papers, IGCSE to A Level. Practicing past papers is the closest you’ll get to recreating the real exam before you sit it, so they’re a great way of getting used to the timings, formats and question-styles in each of your exams.
When to use them?
- The last month before exams (not before!)
How to use them?
- Don’t do them until you’ve finished revising ALL the topics for an exam. Otherwise it’s a waste.
- They’re less about testing specific knowledge (this is for the topic questions) and are more about honing exam technique – so use them to practice your timings and get used to the style and format of exam questions
- Mark your answers using our mark schemes and model answers so you can see how the examiner expects you to approach questions. You might have the right ideas, but often if you don’t present them the way the examiner wants you can lose out on precious marks.
Why are past papers so useful?
- They’re the closest you’ll come to taking the real exam before you actually take it
- They offer a unique opportunity to refine your exam technique and practice time management before the real thing
We have a huge catalogue of past papers going back many years, all available for Save My Exams members when needed. The full mark schemes are right there with them so you can check yourself along the way.
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3. Model Answers
When to use them?
- After answering topic questions or past papers
How to use them?
- Identify all the questions where you lost marks
- Use the model answers to understand WHY you lost marks. Unlike normal mark schemes, our model answers go into much more detail. They’ve been written by teachers for students to help them understand where and why they went wrong, and explain how to get to the right answer. Our model answers also include explanations, diagrams and exam tips so you can learn from your mistakes and give your grades a real boost.
Why are model answers so useful?
- They signpost exactly where the gaps are in your knowledge, and how can go about filling them in
- Past papers and topic questions are only useful IF you learn from your mistakes using model answers
- You can answers thousands of questions but if you don’t learn from your mistakes then your grades won’t improve
- Model answers make it much easier to see WHY you got a question wrong and offer hints and tips on how to make sure you don’t make the same mistake again in future
Our model answers are colour coded so you can see clearly where you can improve, and have been written by subject experts. You never know what difference a few marks can make, so it’s best to leave nothing to chance. Our model answers will help.
4. The Save My Exams Blog
Finally, don’t forget that Save My Exams blog posts are written by people who have been through it all themselves, and know what it takes to revise effectively and smash your exams. On our blog we offer direct advice for specific situations and to help solve your problems, offering revision tips, exams guidance, and advice on things like writing a personal statement and applying to university. Check it out!