With A-Levels on the horizon and 2 years’ worth of work to look over, revision can seem like a daunting prospect.
These strategies may help:
1. Getting started
Sometimes, it’s hard to begin revision – where to make a start?
Procrastination is inevitable. We all put off tasks, but there are ways to overcome this –
- Maybe start with an easier topic, or one you know better.
- Boost your energy before you start.
- Make sure you have peace and quiet before starting work. Let friends and family know not to interrupt you – maybe switch off your phone.
- Do whatever you can to help you focus – some people work better with music, for example.
- Time off is allowed- taking a break will mean you focus that much more when you start studying again
2. Make a timetable
And stick to it, if you can.
- Having a revision timetable not only allows you to divide your work into manageable chunks, but also puts you in control of your studying.
- Maybe mix up your subjects- a change of topic can mean that your focus improves.
- Schedule breaks and activities you enjoy.
- Use a timer to organise your study periods- and take breaks in between.
- Work to your strengths – if you work better in the morning, reflect this in your timetable.
- Make it visual – colour coding and have a printed-out plan can really help some people.
3. Set yourself manageable goals
Don’t be unrealistic – setting yourself small and achievable goals will be better for your confidence and your learning.
For example, going over a particular set of notes for a topic and feeling sure of it is better than trying to tackle the whole thing.
4. Ask yourself “How?” and “Why?”
- As you know, A-Level subjects demand a deeper understanding of topics.
- You should be prepared not only to list what you know about a subject, but also the hows and whys, showing that you have taken in the underlying meanings and more advanced knowledge.
5. Practice past papers
Past papers are a very useful resource as they obviously demonstrate how the exam will be structured and allow you to practice working within this format and time frame.
- Try to complete exam questions in the time suggested as this will be helpful when it comes to the real exams.
- Always check your work – perhaps you could even ask a teacher to look over it for you?
6. Don’t avoid the difficult bits
- It can be tempting to stick with what you know, but tackling the parts you find more challenging will not only help you find a way to make these easier, but also make you feel more confident.
- Ask for help if you need explanations.
- Working with a friend can help here too- often different people find different topics hard and you may be able to help each other.
7.Try different revision techniques
There are many ways to revise.
- Reading textbooks and looking over notes can be effective, but you can try other methods.
- If you are a visual learner, using colour coding, charts, mind maps etc. can be really helpful.
- Test yourself on what you’ve learned, or get a friend to help you.
8. Remember why you chose your A Levels
You chose your subjects because you were interested in them.
Try to keep this in mind while you’re revising. Hold on to what you love about your subjects and you’ll be more motivated.
9. It’s not just about studying
- Try to get a good night’s sleep. Good sleep routines are a must – no one can revise when tired. Not everyone has the same body clock, and you’ll know by now what works for you.
- Eating healthily and exercising can also help.
- Have clear boundaries between study and free time – give yourself time to relax and do hobbies, see friends etc.
10. Keep an eye on your goals
Thinking about what comes next can be a great motivator and helps you think about life after exams.
This time next year, you’ll be doing something different and A Level revision will be a memory!