How to get the best from a week of precious revision and study time
There's no hiding place now. No more time for procrastination or for kidding yourself you can just sit back and everything will be fine.
Whether you’ve been revising since the start of term or chancing it with last-minute cramming, this half term is a big week leading up to the rest of your exams.
There’s probably no school or college so it will be up to you to make the most of it.
Follow TSR's tips to help use this week effectively.
1. Plan the week
Firstly, make a timetable for the week. Work out how much you need to revise for each exam and what topics you need to focus on.
Decide how long you want your revision sessions to be and whether you want to alternate subjects or revise in long blocks, and then slot the subjects and topics into the time available.
Put some time aside at the beginning and end of the week to spend looking at the whole subject, reviewing everything you’ve learned.
Don't forget to give yourself a bit of time off and build in some breaks to make sure all your revision has a chance to go in – it's best to take a 5 minute break every 25 minutes - sometimes called the Pomodoro method.
Try the Pomodoro method of studying
2. Find out what you don't know ... and learn it
Avoid that comfort zone of spending too much time on what you already feel confident about. Now's the last chance to face up to and brush up on your weakest topics.
Test yourself ruthlessly using flashcards, quizzes or just by hiding sections of your notes.
Getting together with some friends and testing each other is a great interactive way of learning.
Keep going over things until they’re stuck in your head. If this is really tough, try learning things in a different way, switching up your revision methods and focusing on past papers.
How to cram for exams without losing your mind
3. Go back to those past papers
Do loads and loads of practise questions in order to familiarise yourself with the layout of the paper and the exam experience. Try to do whole papers in timed conditions so you can work on your timings, and use mark schemes to check your answers. Work out where you lost marks and then try your weakest questions again.
Here's how to use past papers to ace your exams, and you can find TSR's bank of past papers here.
4. Think about banning yourself from social media
Yes, get someone to hide your phone while you’re working. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram will all still be there in a couple of hours. Maybe even keep off TSR.
If you must be on your computer, use willpower or a browser extension to limit your time on distracting sites. Extensions such as stayfocusd will block your time on sites that are a hindrance to your revision.
You can then use access to social media as a reward after a long revision session.
5. Don't become a hermit
You probably do need to spend a lot of time on revision during half term but keeping some parts of your normal life going will help you stay healthy in body and mind.
Make time for some social activities, try to get some exercise too and if it all gets too much – well, that’s what family and friends are for.
You’re nearly at the end – one last push and you’ll get there.
How are you using half term? What advice would you give? Head for the comment link below.