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Can you revise from doing purely past papers?

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    Is it possible to just revise using past papers?

    I personally don't think so. A lot of people say they do, and I suppose it is feasible if you look at the mark schemes & examiners reports - but sometimes there are questions that have never been asked which may come up (the odd few, of course the whole paper will be structured around similar questions to past papers) also the factor you can't actually answer a past paper without the content knowledge. Past papers are really good for developing exam skill, knowing what the examiners want & seeing the sort of questions most likely to come up - but I wouldn't say do ONLY past papers. Do all of them, more than once if you like, but make sure you're doing other things too - mind maps, flash cards, posters - whatever works for you. (The only leeway I'd have with this is maths, maths I feel like it's a lot more useful to answer questions than to make flash cards etc, although some mindmaps and such on mathematical rules wouldn't hurt)

    Imo no or its a risky strategy to use past papers alone.

    (Original post by VincentBounty)
    Is it possible to just revise using past papers?
    I did, particularly for maths, which seems to lend itself best to this method. Worked very well for me in maths!

    Not really no. But what it will help with is cutting down your revision load as it will indicate what areas you need little revision on and what areas need to have a lot of time dedicated to them.

    Many teachers say to do past papers. Initially I have no problem with doing past papers but, you need to understand what the examiner is asking you, as there are similar questions that are repeated time and time again, but are worded differently. Also, to help aid your revision, doing mind maps, flash cards, having a revision buddy to test you on what you may know and what you will need to go over. Everyone's minds are different, we all learn differently so it is up to that person to find what way they feel comfortable to do revision. This would enable them to learn more and know their subject inside out.

    No. Past papers should accompany your revision guide/technique and are a necessary to Anyone considering a grade at A-level, if you're confident with the knowledge then I'd say it's possible but I would highly recommend a revision book or flash cards

    Yeah I used them loads in my a levels. But I think you need to do quite a bit of revision first to get to a certain level. because you won't really learn from it if you're not up to the exam level yet. Make sure you know your stuff or you'll just get disheartened when u dont get the grade u want on the paper.
    Also something I'm not sure many people do, get the specification and highlight everything youre comfortable with and research and revise everything you don't know. Often youre not taught absolutely everything and there are new questions and awkward things that might not be in your textbook. I've done this for most of my exams (especially sciences and geog) and you always find things you havent learnt and the new awkward bits the exam board have entered.

    GCSEs? Not exactly, no. It's best to build a solid framework of knowledge first. I found rote memorisation of pages of bullet points more than often did the trick (especially for the sciences, business and DT), but it depends by subject, don't do that for maths as I did, answer a load of textbook/exam questions for that, and don't only do that for essay subjects - e.g. for English you'll want to be writing timed essays to practice, or, at the very least, have study sessions where you give yourself a random question and 5 minutes and you have to write a full essay plan based on hitting all of the assessment objectives.

    But do use past papers a lot to then test your knowledge, this is a key to success that wasn't emphasised anywhere near enough at my woeful secondary school for my GSCEs and was constantly emphasised at my wonderful college for my A levels. I did significantly better during my A levels because of it. Essentially you want to get to the point with revision where you are a week or two away from the exam and purely be doing past papers. That way, you retain all of the knowledge you have built up (because it's constantly being tested), but you also learn how to structure answers properly (which is often key for A* grades and if you go to a terrible school like mine was, they won't even teach you).

    Edit: As the above poster stated, 'specifications' are amazing tools for seeing what areas of knowledge you need to work on or not. Use them as a rough outline of the sections of your revision.
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