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Ten tips for making the most of half term revision

For those of you taking exams in March, half term is an ideal time to do some extra revision and make sure you are well prepared. Even if you’re not taking exams until May and June, now is a good time to start thinking about revision. Follow these ten tips for making the most of your half term revision time:

  1. Make a revision plan, make sure it is realistic, and keep to it
  2. Avoid distractions while revising – no email or phone
  3. List all the topics you know you need to spend extra time on
  4. Make a checklist of what you want to cover for each subject
  5. Tick off the topics as you finish looking at them
  6. Do at least one past paper or practice paper per subject
  7. Check your work against the mark scheme
  8. Work with a friend – mark each other’s past papers
  9. Learn from your mistakes – revise again
  10. Make a note of any questions you have for your teacher

 Make a revision plan, make sure it is realistic, and keep to it

Making a plan or timetable for your revision is good idea because it helps you to keep things in perspective. The plan should ensure that you keep time aside for doing things you enjoy, as well as spending a reasonable amount of time on revision. Make sure your plan is realistic. It is better to spread the revision out fairly evenly, than to just spend all of the last weekend of half term on revision. If your plan is realistic, it shouldn’t be difficult to keep to it.

Avoid distractions while revising – no email or phone

You will get much more done in a shorter time if you avoid distractions. Going for an hour or two without checking emails or you phone shouldn’t be too much of a hardship. It is worth it because you will get your revision done more efficiently, and you will benefit more from it.

List all the topics you know you need to spend extra time on

Be completely honest with yourself here. You probably have a good idea of which topics you found especially difficult. Make a list of them and devote a bit of extra time to them. If you can’t remember which topics were difficult, have a look through your school exercise book or a revision guide/text book.

Make a checklist of what you want to cover for each subject

Making another list may seem like a waste of time but it is worth doing because you can see your progress as you check the items off the list. It is a reminder of how much you have done, not just how much you need to do.

Tick off the topics as you finish looking at them

Remember to tick off the topics when you have revised them. This gives you a sense of achievement and motivates you to keep going.

Do at least one past paper or practice paper per subject

This is important because you want to make sure that you not only understand the material but also know how to apply it to answer exam questions. It is also a good way of finding out which topics you need to do more work on.

Check your work against the mark scheme

Having done a past paper, check your answers against the mark scheme. Don’t just check to make sure you have the right answer; make sure you have shown enough of your working to pick the method marks as well.

Work with a friend – mark each other’s past papers

Revising together is not necessarily a good idea – you might distract each other. Planning your revision with a friend can be useful though. Do the same practice paper, and then mark each other’s work using the mark scheme.

Learn from your mistakes – revise again

Finding out where you made mistakes is only useful if you learn from the mistakes. Look at the relevant topic again, and make sure you understand where you went wrong.

Make a note of any questions you have for your teacher

If you come across anything that you really don’t understand while you are revising, make a note of it and ask your teacher when you get back to school.

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