Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Revision, Revision, Revision!

It may only be the end of February but May and June are literally around the corner. For me, revision has already started. I started back in September because I have learnt from my mistakes of last year.

If you are doing your AS or your A- Levels, then you really should be doing revision now. I know that is a harsh thing to say but it's the truth. Last year when I was doing my AS levels I started revision far too late and found myself panicking. The teachers tell you that there is a massive difference between GCSE and Alevel, but you don't believe it. A-levels have so much content and anything on the specification can come up. It's not like GCSE where you can remember the specification and get and A*. I did that for Chemistry GCSE and got an A overall, it worked but it doesn't work for Alevels. Its not just the knowledge its the application and evaluation etc, etc etc. They are hard for a reason. 

For me I have now found my way of revising which has helped me to increase my grades. At the moment I am doing three subjects: Economics, English Literature and History. I will also be retaking unit 1 of economics last year as I got a D in it yet in unit  I got an A and then D pulled me down to a C. So slightly annoyed about that. I thought it would be a good idea to share with you guys how I revise. These methods may not work for you, but if you are looking for a new method or not sure how to revise these may just help you. 


One: Mind Maps

Mind maps are great for linking knowledge together and also going over what you already know. I like to colour code mine. If I am doing say 'costs of inflation' I will do that section in red, but if I am doing 'the benefits of inflation' I will do it in green. 

TWO: Flashcards

I have never been a huge fan of flashcards, but these come in handy for History. You can have one sub topic per card with the relevant facts on it and then a paragraph plan on the back. Also, you can read them before bed or before a mock and you can even get people to test you as well. They are quite a handy little device. 

THREE: Rewriting

This for me is essential. I always come home from Sixth form and re write all my notes from that day in my 'neat' revision books. When you are in class, sometimes your notes just go everywhere in your book which I hate. Just to write them up heat is so handy when you are doing revision. Also, by rewriting your notes you can go over anything you don't understand and do some research to make your notes more advanced maybe. 

FOUR: Research

Research is so handy for some subjects. If you are doing English Lit. for example you may need extra context or theories that you may have not covered in class. By getting a bit more information it will help to make your subject knowledge more advanced and may also help you with parts of the course you don't understand. I often do this with Economics as well. 

FIVE: Practise past papers

We all hate doing 'mocks' but they do actually help most of the time. For me doing past papers in Economics really does work. It helps you to get your exam technique up and you start to understand what the exam board want for each question. Also, it will point out areas that are not your best which means you can then go over the stuff again and maybe re try the questions later. 

SIX: Use 'Get Revising'

I love this website. Honestly doing my AS levels this website was a godsend. I mainly used it for Russian History as there were so many resources on there. It can test your knowledge, you make your own resources, you can use other peoples resources. It really is great. I think I paid just over £30 for a year and it does really help in areas that you have no clue in. 

SEVEN: Using Colour

I just like to be organised so colour helps me so much. Also, I love using highlighters so I can pin point key points. It may not work for everyone but it helps for me. 

EIGHT: Definition que cards

These things work really well. At A level there are so many key words and stuff that you just have to know. These work like flashcards. You can test your self. Others can test you. You can read them etc etc etc. 

NINE: Create a timetable

Now when creating a timetable don't just say 'On a Monday I will be one hour of English, One hour of History and One hour of Economics' because that isn't going to work. For mine I went through the specification and books and took out all the topics. That way I know I am covering everything. I can then spend more on some topics than others and less on the ones were I am confident. I have also planned when I am going to do mocks outside of school. 

TEN: Time

Everyone needs a break. You can't go on forever. It doesn't work like that. I tend to do 20 minutes and then have a couple of minutes break. If I am going onto another subject then I will give myself a 10- 15 minute break. 

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