At this time of year, the thought of facing an A-Level exam paper might fill you with complete terror, but there’s something that can make the next few months a little more manageable: a revision timetable.
Before you make your revision timetable, it’s a good idea to firstly find out what your most effective learning style is. Do you learn better from textbooks or videos? Alone or in a study group with others? This What’s Your Revision Style? quiz will help by telling you whether you’re a visual, auditory, kinaesthetic or social learner.
Once you understand your learning style, you can start putting together your revision timetable. If you want some variety, you might like to make a list of multiple subjects to review each day. Or if you prefer to concentrate on one thing for a longer period of time, you might find it more useful to block out a whole day (or a few consecutive days) to tackle one subject in depth.
Remember that after you’ve made your plan, you don’t have to stick to it completely. It’s wise to think ahead and plan the entire revision period before it begins, but then you can adapt your plan as and when required.
Here are the steps I always follow to make a revision timetable that works for me…
There’s nothing worse than realising you’ve left something too late.
I’d strongly advocate planning some serious revision sessions from around two months before your first exam. It sounds like a long time, but believe me, it will fly by! And it’s certainly better than the alternative – which is leaving it until closer to exam time and then feeling totally overwhelmed by how much you have to do.
This might be a daunting prospect at first – you’ve done two years of work and made countless pages of notes… how can you possibly cover it all in a few weeks?
The most important thing is to be methodical. Make a list of all the topics you’ve covered in each subject, dividing them into groups based on exam papers if that’s how you’re going to be assessed. You might also want to note down the number of classes you had on each topic, to get a rough idea of how to split your time between them.
Make sure you don’t fall into the trap of attempting to do too much and trying to fit in more than you can cope with.
When you’re assembling your timetable, remember to include any weekly commitments (e.g. school, extracurricular activities, family events, etc) and long-term plans (e.g. holidays) that you have. And don’t forget to leave a couple of hours free each day – you won’t be productive if you don’t take breaks!
After you’ve made a note of all your other commitments (i.e. dates and times when you can’t do revision), it’s time to start planning your revision slots.
I like to vary what I’m revising throughout the day, so I tend to plan my revision an hour at a time. If you prefer the opposite of this, think about the topics you need to cover and plan out a whole day (or more) to review each one. It’s also important to make sure you’re spending the necessary amount of time on each topic and aren’t devoting too much time to some while neglecting others.
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