Welcome to exam panic fortnight, otherwise known as the Easter holidays
It’s familiar to students across the country as the traditional time for chocolate eggs and bunnies, punctuated by extreme bouts of exam panic and procrastination.
It's not too late to get started, but you probably shouldn't hang around much longer. Take a look at what the top students are doing over the Easter break.
1. Using a plan
Easter is a great time to get yourself organised by working out what you’re going to be revising and when. At the very least you’ll discover how much work there is to do and make sure you won’t run out of time.
My plan has a page to each day from now until my last exam. On each day I have put things I want to do and how I will approach each study session. It’s acting as a guide so that I have an idea as to what I will be doing.
Whenever I make a revision timetable, I allocate topics to days, rather than specific times. I find that allocating topics to days is far less stressful than trying to revise topics between certain times, as it allows more flexibility.
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2. Making revision resources
Right, time to get going. Making your own notes, card and/or mindmaps starts right now. Make them, then test yourself until you can recite them backwards.
For English literature, I will redo my poem mindmaps. For each poem I’ll do around three or four key quotes and analyse them and I might also do some comparison mindmaps too.
I made notes and flashcards on the nitrogen cycle and blood and the circulatory system. I then used them to test myself.
I love mindmaps, so I went out and bought 50 A3 sheets, a bunch of sharpies, and to be honest making them has proven to be so beneficial. Now I can just pin them onto my wall so that I'm reminded of the content every day.
3. Doing past papers
Nothing can beat direct practice at the tasks you’re going to be set in the exams. Practice some of the questions, and don’t forget to use the mark schemes to see how you’ve done. Be careful to get the right papers as some specifications are changing – check with your teacher and the exam board websites if you’re not sure.
Will spread the past papers out more this year and will ruthlessly go through the textbook on anything I get wrong.
I think doing the practise questions is really useful because in some exams you only get marks for including specific words even if what you wrote is right.
Find past papers for your exam and board.
4. Taking a break
Well, it is a holiday isn’t it? Maybe you could take a few days off to get a complete break and then hit the revision hard.
At Easter I plan to have a mixture of relaxation and work. I'd like to have a couple of days out; the whole family will be at home for the first four days, so no doubt we'll go out at least one of those days. I'd also like to spend a day with my best friend who I don't see very often.
You must remember to take breaks. Each time you finish a task, take the time to make yourself a drink, have a snack, go for a walk, watch something on YouTube – whatever. Just reward yourself for the hard work and get yourself ready for the next chunk.
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