5 tips for the week before the Hamlet/Rossetti exam (OCR)

There’s no doubt about it – revising can be stressful. But there’s some crucial things to do in the week before the exam. School-run revision sessions can be helpful but think: why are you really going? Many students turn up to mine for reassurance – nice to have, but not the best use of their time. If there’s a question you really need answering, is it possible to get an email or message without adding the journey time? think about how you’re spending your time at this crucial stage.

Here’s my suggestions for a top revision week:

Monday: Re-read your past essays. If you haven’t already, get yourself a list of key quotes (good for several occasions/arguments), and make a cue card for each text.

Tuesday: Re-read the play. Or at least watch a good version of it. You need it fresh in your mind.

Wednesday: Re-read the Rossetti poetry. Use a few techniques from my post on revising poetry collections to check which ones you need to read again.

Thursday: Mind-map some responses. Use a list of past questions, and work through a few. Write the opening few lines, and mind-map your ideas. Don’t panic if there’s one you’re not sure about. Put the plan to one side, look at your text. How can you make this question work for you?

Friday: The exam! Avoid other students – everyone will have different quotes, and different ideas, and that’s ok. Just go somewhere quietly, preferably having eaten a good breakfast around an hour before (no sugary cereal – you don’t want to crash mid-way through!). Read through your cue cards slowly. it’s just a reminder – you already know this. With about ten minutes to go, have a little walk – just around the building or field if you can. Go quietly to the exam hall, and repeat – you know this. This is what you’ve been working for. Let’s see what you can do.

Check out my revision guides for Hamlet and Rossetti, aimed at the OCR specifications. 

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