Revising: Three Steps to Exam Success

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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.

Starting revision can be hard, but once you get going there’ll be no stopping you!

You should view your revision routine like a chain reaction: one thing needs to happen to set the next step in motion. The flow chart below illustrates what your revision process should look like!

Following the cycle of Notes > Topic Questions > Past Papers means you’ll highlight the gaps in your knowledge, which will show you what you need to focus on in your next session.

1. Notes

Notes are the foundation of effective revision and should be revisited and reread as often as possible. Make yourself a book of notes that is as thorough and detailed as possible, so that everything you need to know can be found in one place.

2. Topic questions

Our ’Questions by Topic’ are exam-level questions organised into topics, which allow you to test yourself on the specific area you’ve been revising. This will not only reinforce what you’ve learnt, but will highlight any gaps in your understanding. Keep a list of the questions and subtopics that you got wrong, so that you can return to these in your next revision session and patch the holes.

Each question pack is 45-60 minutes long, so they’re the perfect way to split your revision into manageable chunks.


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3. Past papers

Past papers are there so you can practice your exam technique. By the time you get to this stage you should be 90% happy with the content in the exam, so that you can answer most of the paper under timed conditions and feel confident about your answers.

Timing is key, particularly when it comes to answering long-form questions, so make sure you stick to the timings your teacher recommends.

Top Tip

Always refer closely to the mark scheme when checking your answers. Honesty and self-discipline when it comes to marking your past papers properly will lead to faster improvement.

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