No one likes revising. Its time spent going over something that probably bored you the first time around, when there are so many other things you’d rather be doing instead.
But, that said, you’re probably reading this because you’ve recently had that horrible -sick-to-your-stomach realisation that your exams are soon. Like, really soon. So now you’re panicking that all those hours spent revising (and only occasionally getting distracted by Facebook) might not actually have been enough.
The only way to find out what you don’t know, is to test yourself. Using practice papers, you can find out exactly where your weak spots are, and hone in on those areas to make sure the time you have left to revise can be used as effectively as possible.
You’re probably already doing past papers for your revision- but, sorry to break it to you, unless you’re using them properly, you may as well not bother.
HOWEVER, with these steps, I promise that you’ll take yourself to the next level ahead of your exam, however much (or little) time you have left.
1. ACTUALLY FINISH IT This sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how often people only part complete practice papers. Patting yourself on the back for doing four out of ten questions isn’t going to help you learn, or tell you what you need to work on. You need to actually complete your practice papers, otherwise you’re not going to have a clue where you’re at.
2. MARK IT Congratulations, you completed the test! Job done, right? WRONG. Don’t just close the pages and ‘take a break’, never to look at it again. Go over the test and mark it yourself, straight away. It’s not what you got right that you need to worry about, it’s where you lost marks. What went wrong? What does that mean I need to go over? Make a list of what it was you struggled with. Revise these areas, then try again.
3. TIME YOURSELF You don’t have to necessarily do every paper in simulated exam conditions, but it’s important not to drag it out. You can’t do the real think in five sittings, so don’t practice that way!
4. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR SCORES When you’re worried, it’s easy to slip into denial about how much you know. However, when you’re sitting in front of your exam with an invigilator breathing down your neck, there will be no denying how much you’ve remembered. Keep track of the scores for every exam you do. Even if the first score is lower than you’d hoped for, that just means you’ve got room for improvement.
5. RINSE AND REPEAT Scored 90%? Great! But what about that 10% you lost? You have no idea whether one of those marks you lost could in fact be the difference between getting one grade or another in the real thing. Go through the paper and rinse it for all the information you can get. Keep a list of the areas in which you lost marks. Revise these, then repeat with another test!
6. GET SOME Z’s Even a basic addition can seem like quantum mechanics when you’re struggling just to keep awake! Make sure you’re getting enough sleep to properly revise, and don’t start a practice paper when you’re tired.
However much or little time you have ahead of your exams, there’s no time like the present to get started. Right now, you can sign up to MarkIt Maths App for free C2 maths mock papers, so you can practice until your heart’s content! Good luck, everyone. It’ll allllll be over soon!