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How - exactly - to revise using past papers

I understand that this is the "best" and most efficient form of revision but how exactly do you go about doing it? Do I read through the revision book first and then do the past paper or do you do the past paper without reading? Do you then do the same past paper multiple times? What am I supposed to do?
Reply 1
Original post by VincentBounty
I understand that this is the "best" and most efficient form of revision but how exactly do you go about doing it? Do I read through the revision book first and then do the past paper or do you do the past paper without reading? Do you then do the same past paper multiple times? What am I supposed to do?


I did a variety. Start off doing one or two with books etc.
Once you understand more about the paper etc., then try a few without books.
Make sure you try a few to time as well.

But most of all, correct yourself afterwards. There is no point in doing them unless you're going to learn from it. If you keep making the same mistakes, figure out why, then revise them, then try a question, or try a particular question again.

I'd recommend trying different past papers, rather than the same one multiple times, although it can sometimes make sense to go back over certain questions, particularly ones you find difficult.
Original post by VincentBounty
I understand that this is the "best" and most efficient form of revision but how exactly do you go about doing it? Do I read through the revision book first and then do the past paper or do you do the past paper without reading? Do you then do the same past paper multiple times? What am I supposed to do?


Also, always spend time going through the examiner report when you mark the paper as this can give you really useful information about exam technique and how to get the marks. :smile:
Reply 3
Original post by VincentBounty
I understand that this is the "best" and most efficient form of revision but how exactly do you go about doing it? Do I read through the revision book first and then do the past paper or do you do the past paper without reading? Do you then do the same past paper multiple times? What am I supposed to do?


Pointless attempting exam Qs if you haven't actually gone over the content - you will end up seeing questions where you will convince yourself that you could answer them if you revised the content - so you may as well revise the content.
When you revise content, you should also test yourself on purely recalling it at least 4-5 times over a period of days/weeks.
Then try a full paper in exam conditions. Mark it, make sure you understand WHY that is the answer, then go back to revising content and trying more papers.
a teacher at my school said to use all available resources to complete a past paper and then do it that way until you can answer the questions yourself and are getting near full marks
Reply 5
This is how I like to do past papers.

- revise the content/go over the content before past papers throughly.
- Do the paper in timed and exam conditions
- mark the paper. Be strict with yourself here
- read the examiners report and make notes on the side of papers on a question you might have struggled or extra pointers
- write down all the topics you might have struggled in the paper
- revise the topics you listed
- do the paper again to ensure that you have really understood the topics and what the examiner is asking of you.
(edited 7 years ago)
Reply 6
i literally just open the paper and the mark scheme at the same time, answer the questions myself and then check to see if I've got the answer correct and then move on to the next question. so i basically just memorize the mark scheme and it works because each year its the same kind of questions just worded differently.
What I always found the best way was to do the first few with your textbook & exercise book & revision guides and just whatever the heck else you need.
Look at the topic of the question/section, maybe skim read it, and then read all of your notes in your revision guides etc.
Then go back and answer the question(s) to see what you've retained
Once you've done that section, mark it and use the mark scheme. Understand every single question so that if you were to do the paper again, you'd get full marks (bonus points if you actually do the paper a second time :wink:)
There's no point in guessing, or you'll just learn the wrong thing. To reiterate: Skim-read, notes, do the question, mark it, (then do it again!)
Best of luck with your exams!
Original post by leahdw
I did a variety. Start off doing one or two with books etc.
Once you understand more about the paper etc., then try a few without books.
Make sure you try a few to time as well.

But most of all, correct yourself afterwards. There is no point in doing them unless you're going to learn from it. If you keep making the same mistakes, figure out why, then revise them, then try a question, or try a particular question again.

I'd recommend trying different past papers, rather than the same one multiple times, although it can sometimes make sense to go back over certain questions, particularly ones you find difficult.


So are flash cards a waste of time? Because I'm spending around 40-60 minutes writing all the necessary flash cards for one topic in a Science unit but there are 144 topics in all of the units of Science that I have to study.
Reply 9
Original post by aamirac
This is how I like to do past papers.

- revise the content/go over the content before past papers throughly.
- Do the paper in timed and exam conditions
- mark the paper. Be strict with yourself here
- read the examiners report and make notes on the side of papers on a question you might have struggled or extra pointers
- write down all the topics you might have struggled in the paper
- revise the topics you listed
- do the paper again to ensure that you have really understood the topics and what the examiner is asking of you.


How far back do you think i should revise to? Like do i revise from papers from 10 years ago all the way to now or are 5 year old papers enough? Im not sure how old of a paper is too old and unnecessary.
Original post by leahdw
I did a variety. Start off doing one or two with books etc.
Once you understand more about the paper etc., then try a few without books.
Make sure you try a few to time as well.

But most of all, correct yourself afterwards. There is no point in doing them unless you're going to learn from it. If you keep making the same mistakes, figure out why, then revise them, then try a question, or try a particular question again.

I'd recommend trying different past papers, rather than the same one multiple times, although it can sometimes make sense to go back over certain questions, particularly ones you find difficult.

Do I need to learn the question and mark scheme in every single question in past papers
Original post by aamirac
This is how I like to do past papers.

- revise the content/go over the content before past papers throughly.
- Do the paper in timed and exam conditions
- mark the paper. Be strict with yourself here
- read the examiners report and make notes on the side of papers on a question you might have struggled or extra pointers
- write down all the topics you might have struggled in the paper
- revise the topics you listed
- do the paper again to ensure that you have really understood the topics and what the examiner is asking of you.

This!! ^^^

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