What Should I Revise (first)?

It’s really easy to spend the first half hour of any ‘revision session’ faffing about what you need to revise. Something that’s worth doing early on, for each subject, is to figure out:

  • what will be tested
  • how well you understand/remember it
  • what you can do about it

Some of this was covered in an earlier post but right now it’s time to focus on a particular subject. It’s time for an audit, which is nowhere near as scary as it sounds.

You’ll need a copy of the sullabus (from your teacher or the contents page of your revision guide is best). There’s two versions of the ‘audit’ available, a pretty pdf one which you can scribble on, or an editable word version.

  1. Write topics in the left hand column. These should be one or two words, and in some kind of logical order. You might find that you can use the titles of each lesson, or each page in the revision guide. Break them down if you need to.
  2. Give yourself a ‘star rating’, from zero to five, for each topic. The more accurate this is, the better. It should reflect competence (how good you are at getting the marks in an exam-style situation), not just confidence.
  3. Add some comments in the right hand column. These should be details about the topic, how you think you need to fix any problems, perhaps a page reference, a pointer to a website or a friend who’s agreed to help.

This should not have taken you long – perhaps 20-30 minutes for each exam subject. Those topics you’ve given yourself low scores for are your priorities – you need to ask for help, ideally from your teacher, before you can really start effective revision. Four or five stars means a quick review is probably enough for now.

For each priority area, spend a few minutes reviewing it as soon as possible. On the back, use the boxes to make a few notes, key words or flow charts that will help you with proper revision. Every time you finish studying a topic (using one of the active methods discussed here) write the next priority area at the top of a piece of paper and put it where you can’t lose it. This means your following revision session can get off to a prompt start. As you make progress, you can add stars to your audit sheet.






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