A and A* students... Share your revision tips

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    (Original post by Vanny17)
    I worked very hard for my As level exams but came out with very bad grades. I read during every break/ lunch and sometimes 4 hours straight. I worked through EVERY past papers, made revision notes, cut out on social life and always read before every new chapter. My teachers and students said I had potential to get AAAB grades. How come I messed up? Please tell me what I did wrong. Share your revision tips as well! Please. My subjects are biology, chemistry, Religious Studies and sociology. Thanks.
    I read over all my notes and write them up, getting simpler and simpler every time I also did every past paper possible. Finally I didn't work for longer than an hour. Every hour I would have a half hour break
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    Well, I guess everyone's different and I don't know about religious studies or sociology BUT I am doing biology and chemistry and managed (could have been fluke though) to come out with 2 A's
    I didn't do any past paper's for them, but that was a BAD IDEA. I really should have done to get a good idea of what the style of question would be like.

    What I did was try to tackle about 3 double page spreads of my text book a day and just work on them until they were completely understood and I knew them off by heart.
    If I could answer all the set questions on them then I considered myself done, put a sticky note on the page to mark it, and then I'd move on. At the end of the three, I'd go back to the one's from a few days ago and make sure I still understood. It's a bit tiring and definitely long-winded but it really worked for me last year!

    It may not be the best way for you to revise though, and I've decided not to do it for this module of biology as it's too content heavy, this time I've decided to make little videos, put key words to barbara steisen (don't laugh, it actually works! Although now I can't even say 'cytochrome oxidase' without singing it in my head anymore) and make a hugely long powerpoint. I guess we'll see in august if it's worked out xD

    Oh! I almost forgot! Get a friend (NOT A DISTRACTING ONE) around and get all your ideas onto a wipe-board or lots of sugar paper. Do stupid anecdotes (like for enzyme inhibitors I thought of a couple that NEED to get together (substrate and enzyme) being cockblocked (inhibited) by the girl's boyfriend. Ridiculous, but it worked)

    I hate to say it, but 4 hours straight might have been a little heavy. I usually do about an hour and when I feel my concentration slipping I'll go and chill out for about 15 minutes before getting focused again. Set yourself time limits and goals to achieve and DON'T OVER DO IT!!

    I really hope you do well in this next set of exams and hopefully this might have helped a little bit
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    If you want to learn something, and I mean really learn it so that you can recite it at will then use this site: quizlet.com

    It's amazing for vocabulary for languages, for dates and quotations for History, or learning set texts/ speeches or anything. Basically you put in the list of things you want it to test you on then keep going at it until you get them all right. Then repeat.

    It's basically tapping in to that video game ability our generation has. I found it ridiculously useful and hope everyone else does as well.
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    i hate alevels, just saying
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    Something you could do is to use a memory journey if you have to remember certain things in an order. You should pick a journey you do every day, perhaps going to school or from the point you wake up to the point you're eating your breakfast. At each part of that journey, pick an object, for example, you bed, and associate part of what you need to learn with that bed and keep doing that with other objects in your journey, you should then be able to learn quite a lot of facts in the correct order
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    Firstly, make sure you're not mucking up your routine by revising late at night or anything - confusing your body will only make you exhausted and moody. Sleep when you're tired, eat when you're hungry.
    Secondly, recall. Learning information is okay but getting people to test you on it means you remember it better and can detect any areas of weakness faster.
    Also, not entirely sure how much this helped, but i've tried remembering stuff in other stressful or distracting situations such as under time pressure or when listening to loud radio programmes - theory being that if i've learned it well enough to remember then, it'll probably stay during the exam.
    Lastly, during the exam, remember to breathe. Helps to combat the adrenaline which will otherwise just make your head spin.
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    Sorry I haven't read the whole thread but.
    Science: Learn the mark scheme, particularly some boards repeat the same questions every single year to a ridiculous extent, and exam technique can be more important than course content. Learn it till you can get over 90% on past papers.

    Humanities: study and then condense your notes onto one word document or notebook or something. It helps you remember. Also, any subjects with long written questions make essay plans to revise - you learn what you need to and it saves planning time.

    And here's a good and humourous cracked article about what not to do: http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-7-du...ramming-exams/

    (Read the above article even if you ignore my post)
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    (Original post by daydreamaway)

    Do stupid anecdotes (like for enzyme inhibitors I thought of a couple that NEED to get together (substrate and enzyme) being cockblocked (inhibited) by the girl's boyfriend. Ridiculous, but it worked)
    :rofl: :rofl: That's cool lol. One of the funniest thing's I've ever heard lol.
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    Don't study for long periods. This was my revision timetable which got me AAAAB (Scottish highers) and thus an unconditional.
    45 minutes study.
    30 minutes break.
    45 minutes study.
    30 minutes break.
    45 minutes study.
    30 minute break.
    45 minutes study.
    30 minute break.
    45 minutes study.
    30 minute break.
    45 minutes study.
    30 minutes break.
    30 minutes study.


    Thats 5 hours study although 4 would be suffice.
    Use the last 30 minutes as a re-cap, and the first 45 to go over stuff that you covered already covered, e.g. stuff you learned the day before or from the previous week. Repetition is essential to ensure the knowledge goes into your long-term memory. Also, regular breaks are key to keep your mind awake.
    Past papers and marking schemes are all useful.
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    Ok, bit of background info:
    Before January, I was very laid back and uncaring, the kind of "revision...LULZ" type of guy and I crammed a few days before the exams.
    I currently take Bio, Chem, Maths and Business Studies at AS. My results in January were A,C,C,B respectively.

    Upon getting my results in March, it gave me a huge wake up call as I am aspiring to go into medicine (3 A's required) and I made a pledge to improve.

    1)You must have a solid foundation when beginning revision and this means trying your best in every single lesson that you have and going over newly learned content (10 mins reading before and after is sufficient) which helps to instil a valuable work ethic and above all, confidence in the subject.

    2)When learning content as other people have said, try to link it to what you already know.
    One useful tip I found is to devise questions that they may ask you on the content you have learned and then answering them.

    3)Print of the specification of the subject you are revising.

    4)Systematically go through what you know on the spec by doing small revision sessions- no more than 45 mins.

    5)Start heavy revision about 1 month before the exam. Heavy revision meaning that each subject gets at least 10 hours a week.

    6) I recommend the CGP books for everything EXCEPT maths.

    7)Once you're confident enough, begin doing past papers on the subjects and revise the weak points that crop up.

    8)If available, try to do tests that are based on just one section e.g. my school has devised papers on fronter that are just on each type of section in Bio.
    There are Chemistry tests such as these available in the chem resources thread- It is in one of the links on the op.a level chemistry the site is called.

    8)Section based test help as it allows for constant repetition of a subject.

    9)Do past papers in genuine EXAM CONDITIONS, so you can achieve a true reflection of where you are at.

    10)Learn from the mark scheme thoroughly and spot the patterns.

    I did all of the above and I am now on track to get A* in maths and 3 A's in the rest. Sorry if that sounded arrogant by the way, just wanted to use myself as an example

    So yeah...
    Good luck
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    Don't overdo it on the revision, I think that's where I went wrong.
    I stressed myself out so much worrying that I ended up in tears a lot of days before my exams and I still only got Bs. (not that there's anything wrong with that at all but I put in so much effort.)
    I think the only way to ensure that you get a high grade is to make sure you understand what you're learning, paying attention in class, making sure your notes are organised etc. And another main way of getting your grade up would be to look at the mark schemes of past papers. If you see a pattern in the way they mark it, it will give you and idea of how they will mark your papers and you can ensure you get as many of the marks as possible! Hope this helps.
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    A paper by UCAL that came out yesterday points towards a healthy diet being a key factor in revision success. Not that I ate all healthily at uni...oops
    http://sciencebehindscoop.blogspot.c...-of-sugar.html
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    i actually had 3 exams on consecutive days so its practically impossible to revise EVERYTHING in less than 24 hours... but i tried.

    That seems good for history... but r these for essays too?
    (Original post by deano0417)
    Im in a similar situation, I just started yesterday so I am hitting it fast and hitting it hard, first exam on the 22nd and I am revising around 4-6 hours a day at the moment, just think of it this way, after the exams that's it you can chill the f*** out of the next 3 months.

    But for how to revise I personally use flash cards and my notes, I condense my notes for example my 15 page history booklet on Kennedy was condensed to around 3-4 pages by cutting out the crap and then after condensation has taken place I write out my flash cards an example being on one side "How many hamlets were there by the end of 1963" and the other side having the answer on. I then use those little paper shaped things that stop your paper from like creasing as easily. Whack my stapled together booklet of condensed notes in there with my flash cards. Then when I need to revise I use my flash cards, if I find one I can't do I quickly skim over it in my notes and then try again.
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    im so damn stressed out.
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    How do people specifically link and understand concepts rather than rote memorisation? I been trying for too long and wondering if anyone has solid methods to do
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    can i revise everything properly in 2weeks? :/ and still end up with an A/B?
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    (Original post by Raj K)
    can i revise everything properly in 2weeks? :/ and still end up with an A/B?
    You can but depends on what you're doing in your study session. How much you got left?
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    (Original post by Vanny17)
    I worked very hard for my As level exams but came out with very bad grades. I read during every break/ lunch and sometimes 4 hours straight. I worked through EVERY past papers, made revision notes, cut out on social life and always read before every new chapter. My teachers and students said I had potential to get AAAB grades. How come I messed up? Please tell me what I did wrong. Share your revision tips as well! Please. My subjects are biology, chemistry, Religious Studies and sociology. Thanks.
    hmmm .. you have basically overworked your brain :/ i find that i used to do the same , read for hours on end but when it came to sitting down and thinking about what i learnt within them 4 hours, i could only recall a around 60 % of what i actually read ... so i started reading in smaller chunks , the best advice i can give you is ' you are your best resource' so TAKE care of your self , regular sleep , always eat or have some food while revising; i find that i dont get sleepy while i eat fruit or nuts , and another thing that works for me is just dancing around or doing some type of exercise , it wakes you up and gets you more alert and puts you in the right mind set , i tend to get my self hyper and enthusiastic before exams and play little fun mind games with my friends just to get into a positive mood .
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    (Original post by LifeIsGood)
    You can but depends on what you're doing in your study session. How much you got left?
    Thanks for replying (: lifeisgood for you but not for me lol! errr...well i dont know how to prioritise my time..i have 2 exams next week (wednesday and thursday) then 1 whole week gap for the next and straight after 2 weeks when we break up for half term..i have 3 exams (so yeah literally 2 weeks to cram everything in my brain is gonna burst) and those 3 exams are all together in 1 week (tues, wed, thurs) -no gap..then another 1 gap week for my final exam.. sorryyy for long reply!! but do u think i should just revise for the exams that are coming up soon..and then when one's over revise for the next coming up..and soo on..???
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    Personally, I think that all distractions MUST GO! That means:
    Giving your phone to your parent or carer until exams are over - only use it when you need it.
    Un-plug bedroom television
    De-activate Facebook etc

    For me, I find that using as many senses as possible whilst revising is really useful:
    Listening to audio revision (different poem analyses on youtube)
    watching revision videos or using images and colours to help me to remember things

    or generally just finding alternative ways of revising
 
 
 
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