Monday, 28 October 2013

Revision Tips From A Straight A Student

Hello everyone. I've been thinking about publishing a post like this for a long time. But just didn't know how to go about it without appearing big headed. But I've just decided to go ahead and do it. I got straight As in my highers and whilst a lot of people just like to write that off as me 'just being really clever' I actually worked my ass off last year. To put it into perspective: from the October break to the Christmas break I done 3 hours of revision per subject per week(15) and from the Christmas break onwards I done 4 hours of revision per subject per week(20). And I have a part time job. I'm in no way saying that I'm some sort of revision expert but I was able to work out what was good for me and obviously it was effective.

1. Work out what sort of revision works best for you. The top 3 ways that I learn are: rewriting notes, answering past paper questions and teaching other people. Things that I don't find effective are just listening to people talk, watching videos(although if you're doing higher physics and you've not seen GlesgaPhysics then you're missing out) and making things(models and posters and such). It's all about figuring out what works and then utilising that as best as you can.


2. Realistically keep track of what you struggle with the most in a subject and study that. There's absolutely no point in studying what you know. Yes it's a lot easier to do a lot of questions on something you're really good at, but it isn't going to get you anywhere. When I'm in class I mark my own work with a green pen(I write in black) and I also make corrections for the questions I get wrong. Then when I'm going back through my work I can easily spot what I need to work on the most because it's the areas with the most green pen.

3. Always ask for help if you don't understand something. "He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever." That's true. I always ask if I don't understand something or know how to do something. You just need to push past the idea of people thinking that you're stupid. It's going to help you in the long run so who cares? A lot of the time I get people saying 'oh thank god you asked about that because I didn't get it at all'. You're not the only one. It also helps you build a better relationship with your teachers as they know that you're really serious about passing the subjects. I'm not saying go around and kiss ass but it does help if your teachers actually like you.


4. Take advantage of any extra help your school offers. My school runs after school revision classes for almost every subject and then after school on a Friday there's a 2 hour 'master class' for English. There were also full day revision classes closer to the exams. I'm not saying that you should go to every single one because sometime life gets in the way and what not. But if you don't make the effort to go to anything at all can you really say you tried your hardest?

5. Try and start revising as soon as you get home from school. I found that if I came home and sat about for a while and said that I'd start revising after dinner. The harder it was to actually start revising after dinner. You're brain's already turned on so take advantage of that and you'll maybe even be able to get in an hour or two before dinner. This is why I liked the after school revision classes as I could get an hour of revision done before I'd even gotten home.


6. Don't beat yourself up too much to revise. Yes you should be trying to revise as much as you need to but if you slip up every now and then don't beat yourself up about it. We all have off days and that's ok. You need a break sometimes so take one. Sometimes I felt like I was really stressing myself out and making myself feel ill. That's not ok! Just make sure you get back on track.

7. Start early. A little bit of revision every week from about now to your exams will be a lot better than cramming everything in two weeks before the exams. Stop putting things off because before you know it the exams will be a month away and you haven't started revising. I find it more effective to revise as you're learning because if you wait until just before the exam you've got a lot more to go over.

So there you go. Those are a few tips from me on how to revise. Please don't take anything as concrete though, everyone has their own ways.

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