By James Kennedy
- Using exam-specific language
- Working to a strict time limit
- Working in silence in a big hall
- Coping with the stress that examinations bring
1. Revision is a full-time job (38 hours per week)
2. Revise in 3.5-hour blocks
3. Revise during regular, scheduled revision sessions at the same times every day
- Morning study session: 9:00am to 12:30pm
- Afternoon study session: 1:30pm to 5pm
- Evening study session: 6pm to 9:30pm
4. Create a revision timetable and stick to it
- Revise for 11 sessions each week (about 38 hours)
- Revise for no more than two sessions in a day.
- Take one day off each week.
- Use your free time to relax or get some exercise.
5. Revise in exam-like conditions!
Disconnect from all social media until after your examinations have finished. Just leave one tweet/status update saying “Preparing for exams now full-time until November XXth. Wish me luck!” and delete all the social media apps from your phone. People will understand!
- Revise in a comfortable, clean, quiet, uncluttered room. (Some students in China rent hotel rooms at this time of year to help them revise more effectively!) Is your study place as clean and quiet as a hotel room?
- Revise sitting upright at a desk without a computer present. Don’t cross your legs. Use a desk that’s high enough, and sit 10cm from the edge of the desk. Remove all non-study-related objects from your desk and put them behind you.
- Don’t listen to music while revising. Not only will music distract you (no matter how much you insist otherwise!), but it’s also forbidden in the examination hall.
- Eat and drink only things that are allowed in the examination while you’re revising. For the vast majority of people, that’s water only!
- Only two pieces of technology are allowed: your scientific calculator and an analogue clock. (Why? That’s all you’ll get in the examination hall!)
6. Practice examination sessions (50% of study sessions)
7. Note-taking sessions (the other 50% of study sessions)
8. On examination day
- Don’t revise on the morning before examinations. This will only make you feel rushed and more stressed in the morning. Use your time more wisely by making sure you get to school on time and instead.
- Don’t listen to music on examination days until after your examination is over! Songs stay in your head for a long time after you’ve heard them, and they’ll distract you slightly from the material you’re being tested on.
- Bring water in a transparent bottle into the examination hall.
- Wear layers of clothing that you can add/remove easily. The temperature in examination halls can be unpredictable.
- Always let invigilators know about errors in the examination paper. However, only tell them about the errors that might affect your score!
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