Revising: Effective Revision

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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.

Revising effectively means working strategically to make your life as easy as possible in the long run.

Imagine your future self: well-revised, well practiced, well-rested and confident, with the privilege of easing off the pressure as your exam approaches because you’re just SO prepared.

1. Know your weaknesses

Come to terms with the fact that the key to effective revision is recognising what you find hard and tackling it head on.

Front load your revision by starting with the tricky stuff when your mind is fresh and you haven’t already had weeks and weeks of study leave.

After some hard graft early on you should realise that the topics you dreaded revising aren’t as hard as they first seemed – and if you’re still struggling, you have plenty of time at this stage to seek help from teachers and tutors.

2. Use the traffic light system

A good way to structure your revision 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 you’re making your revision timetable, use this system to organise the order in which you tackle your topics, making sure all of the red ones come right at the start of the revision period so that you have plenty of time to nail them.


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3. Be self-critical

Being self-critical, especially when marking past papers, is super important for effective revision. Don’t take it so far that you’re doing yourself out of marks and stressing yourself out; but do be fair and honest about how you think you’re doing.

You’ll feel far more confident when you walk into the exam if you can trust your 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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