When revision strikes...

10th May 2018

It's that time of year once again when you suddenly recognise that exam season is just around the corner. Your first reaction to this may be going into a complete panic mode like every other student across the country. Not to worry though as this blog is full of useful tips and tricks to help you through the exam period. 

How to prepare for an exam? 

1. Figure out the best way you revise- Are you a visual, audio or textbook kind of learner? This will help you figure out your study techniques.

2. Create a timetable- organise your time to make sure you cover all the subjects you need to revise for. (If you are struggling to create your own timetable 'getrevising' is a website that creates your own personalised timetable for you, including breaks in between- https://getrevising.co.uk/).

3. Shorten it down- create little cue cards or mind maps for each subject or topic. This is a great way to test your knowledge without having to intake your whole textbook in your brain.

4. Tests- it’s all great learning the information for an exam but you need to put that into practice. Some ways you can do this is by doing past papers, quizzes with your friends or classmates or create fun activities such as making board games relating to the subject.

Remember everyone revises differently and has their own ways and methods which works for them. The key thing is to figure out what works for you and then prioritise your time, to ensure you learn everything you need to know in the short time you have. It can be stressful, but by staying calm and being organised you should have nothing to worry about. 

When it comes to studying it can seem hard to know where to begin but by communicating with others and joining in with study groups, this will become part of your routine and will make revision less overwhelming. Revising with friends or classmates can make exam seasons more enjoyable, forming a good support system as you are all going through the same thing and you can help each other along the way. Personally, during my exams I found it helpful to study with my friends, we would learn and go through all the topics together and test each other by mixing up the order of everything we had studied to test our knowledge. 

If you prefer to revise on your own there are many useful resources to help you which include: BBC Bitesize, get revising, looking at examples of exam answers and asking older siblings or previous classmates for their notes- they could even give you some useful revision techniques in the process! When I was studying with my friends I was a lot more focused than when it came to revising individually. I am a visual learner so when I discovered educational videos on YouTube this made revision much more fun and exciting for me, rather than reading from my textbook- there were even short songs included to help remember key points to include in your answer, which I still remember to this day.  

Don’t forget to breathe!

1. You time- make sure you have some time for yourself, don’t overload your brain with information. Go outside and have some fun- create a balance between school and social activities.

2. Rest- sleep is key during exam season, ensure you get plenty of rest and store up your energy. If not you will only be spreading yourself too thin and you won’t be able to focus when revising.

3. Eat- Food is another form of energy that will help you with your revision. Now this doesn’t mean you can stuff your face with cupcakes even though we would all like to. You need to have a balanced and healthy diet to get the best out of your study time, as well as your performance in the exam. 

Onto the actual exam… 

No matter how much revising you do those few minutes before going into the exam can get you extremely anxious. A good way I found to battle this was by focusing on the fact that I had prepared for this exam (whilst enjoying a healthy snack)! Sometimes even sparing 20 minutes beforehand to find your subject teacher or friends for some words of encouragement can help and make you have a positive mind-set, which is important. It's easy to get caught up in worst case situations, but the truth is they can only ask you about the topics you’ve been taught, and the fact is once you're in there all you can do is your best! Also, answer every question even if you are unsure, as that one extra mark could be the difference between your grade going up.

After you have completed your exams, results day will be playing on your mind and that is completely normal. But it's important to remember that you deserve a break from stressing over exams once they're over. Summer has begun and it is important to celebrate all the hard work you have put into your studies and enjoy the sunshine. You should also use the time during the summer holidays to think about your next steps. If this is still overwhelming and you're finding it difficult to either choose a course, subject or find advice on what's actually available to you then ask for some support and advice. If you’re hoping to join NKC in September, but still feel a bit unsure of what is right for you, then give the college a call on 01322 629400 and speak to one of our careers advisors.

Good luck with your exams!

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