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5 Ways to revise during an exam block

By Simon Hennessy on 29 October 2019NSWblogUKblogExam advice

Trying to revise during the exam period can sometimes feel like a bit of a puzzle. Do you read your notes over and over, or sit down and do all the exam papers you can find? Studying exactly as you did in the buildup to exams is just not feasible because you have less time now, and at this stage, it's not about learning the content. But what are the changes you should be making?

We’ve got five suggestions that will set you on the right track:

1. Focus on past paper questions

At this stage of the game, your most valuable resources are your past paper questions. Doing as many exam questions as you can not only puts your knowledge of the content to the test, it gets you in the groove of sitting the exam for that subject, meaning when you take it on for real you’ll be well prepared.

Your notes and textbooks obviously still have their role to play, so don’t go throwing them out just yet – but your priority should be on past papers now.

2. Make exam strategy a priority

This one fits in nicely with the past paper tip and is just as important. Exam strategy is just as important as knowing the material or writing out sample responses, so taking the time out right before each exam to nail down your particular strategy for that exam is going to key.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do a full Maths past paper every single time you want to practice your exam strategy; sometimes simulating different parts of the exam or testing yourself on the key points of your plan is enough. The important thing, though, is that you are making sure you use this time to fine-tune your approach for each exam as it comes.

3. Use your non-exam days wisely

The fact of the matter is that getting any study done on exam days is particularly difficult. You’re going to be worn out by whatever exam you’ve had that day, and you’ve also got to factor in the lack of sleep and unusual meal times that may occur due to exams. Valuable revision time may start to look a little thin.

Weekends or the weekdays that you have no exams are now extra important. Any heavy lifting revision you have planned for the exam period should fall on those days because that's when you have the most time and can set yourself up with the best study routine. Yes, it hurts to study extra hard on the weekend, but cheer up, it’s not for much longer.

4. Study what you don’t know, not what you do

Whether you like it or not, time is a massive factor during the exam period and getting through the entire course on every subject is simply not possible. So, being selective with the content you cover becomes all the more important. The more you can get through the better, but you also need to prioritise. If you’re super confident about your History essays and feeling iffy on your Chemistry definitions, put the focus on Chem. Trust the study you’ve done to get to this point by putting the remaining time you have where it’s needed the most.

Remember

You’ve already done the bulk of the revision, so now it’s just about training your brain so it’s ready for the big day. By focusing on past paper questions, exam prep and prioritisation you'll be able to breeze on through to that very last exam! Good luck 😊.

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