In this series, I’m looking at the ways get the most from mock exams, with practical steps to help you dial back the stress.
- Know your goals.
- Create a revision timetable (this post)
- 10 revision tips
- A good revision space
- What to do during mocks
- Review, reflect, repeat
DO NOT get out highlighters and coloured pens.
It’s a cliché, but an often true one: the timetable makes so long to make that by the time you’ve finished, you have to do it again to make up for the time you’ve spent making it.
There are also online timetable creators like GetRevising, but you have to put in so much additional information, and they’re quite difficult to change so it’s hard to be flexible with them.
Actually, I’d start somewhere else.
Here’s the basics:
- List your topics
- Assess your confidence
- Create a weekly schedule
- Organise your subjects for long-term learning
List your topics
On a piece of paper, put the subjects as headings. Then, underneath, list the topics that need revising for each one.
So for my English exams it would be :
Assess your confidence
Once I’ve done that, I’m allowed a highlighter or felt tip! Two colours – the ones I’m really confident in, and the ones I think need a lot more work.Obviously across a lot of subject there’ll be a lot more topics, too. This is why starting early for the summer exams is a good idea – but don’t panic.
Create a weekly schedule
Put that to one side and do a quick weekly outline, and a list of any dates you’re not available, on paper – just rough, this is a starting point. You can do it on something like Excel or Word if you prefer.
30th November – mum’s birthday
7th December eve/Sat AM – Freya’s birthday (back 2?)
Remember to include any travelling time in activities – it’s any time you’re not in the house.
- Don’t over-schedule. Make sure what you’re putting in is decent, but realistic, otherwise your plan will fall apart immediately.
- Check with your parents if they have any unexpected plans! Although they want you to do well, they might also have some family commitments you’ve forgotten about.
- Leave some space. So on mine, I have Sunday free. This means I can have a full day off, which is important for my health – physical and mental! It also means that, if I want to, I can plan some weeks where I have evenings off, or shift the Saturday revision to Sunday if I change my plans.
Organise your subjects
So, in the above example I have 14 hours of revision planned.
For each hour, put a subject next to it. Don’t spend 4 hours in a row doing Physics – mix it up with an hour on Physics, one on English, one on Spanish etc. That way you’re working your brain harder which will help long-term learning – more on this in the next post!
You already have your topic list, and your goals which tell you which subject you need to focus on, so when it’s time to do Chemistry, have a quick look at it to get started – remember, start with the harder topics!
When you get into exam weeks, that’s a different question, so have a look at the next in the series: making the most of trial exam weeks.
The week of your exams