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17th February 2022
If you’ve received an offer to study Medicine at university, you’ll need to get those A-Level grades to secure your place and finally get into Med School. In this blog, Freya outlines some top revision strategies to help you plan and prepare for your exams.

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…

Step 1: Start planning early

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.

Step 2: Make a list of everything you need to cover

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.

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Step 3: Be realistic

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!

Step 4: Fill in the gaps

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.

My Top Revision Timetable Tips:

  • Colour-code your timetable. It will help you see at a quick glance what you’ve planned for the day ahead.
  • If you find that you’re struggling to keep up with your timetable, don’t be afraid to change it. There’s no point sticking to a timetable that isn’t working for you!
  • Be flexible with your plan. Closer to the exams, you’ll probably want to start doing some timed past papers. To fit these in, you’ll probably have to reorganise your timetable a little, but follow the same organised method and this shouldn’t be a problem.
  • If you’ve made your timetable on the computer, print it out as well and put it in a prominent place near your desk/study area. It will make it a lot easier to stay on task if you can see your plan for the day in front of you.
  • Be kind to yourself! Everyone has off-days, and if you’ve planned your time well, you shouldn’t feel bad about having a revision-free evening every so often. The exam period is tough, so don’t make it worse by working yourself too hard.
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