Exam Information and Advice

Revision Tips for Students

  • Start your revision in good time.
  • Plan a revision timetable.
  • Highlight coursework deadlines and examination dates and times.
  • Spread your subjects out over time so you cover each one several times.
  • Plan for half-hour or, at most, one-hour slots. Any more of one subject and nothing extra is likely to sink in.
  • In the evenings after school, plan one or two subjects only. Leave time for relaxation.
  • Allow yourself some days off but not in the few weeks before the exams.
  • Plan to revise specific topics or aspects of a subject – for example, not just science but human systems, or waves, or chemical reaction etc.

Revising at Home

Know how you learn best. Everybody has a way of learning that suits them well.  What works best for you? Do you remember things better if you write them down in a list or perhaps draw a ‘spider diagram’ or maybe record some notes?

Try some of these to see what works for you:

  • Music in the background (NOT TV or radio).
  • Read through a topic – make brief notes on cards, which can be used for further revision.
  • Instead of writing notes in words, draw a picture.
  • Redraw diagrams and check how well they match the original.
  • Use flow charts to sequence events or activities. Use linking words between boxes to illustrate the nature of the sequence.
  • Draw concept maps using keywords from topics. Label the linking lines with, for example, ‘comes before’, ‘is eroded into’, reacts to form’, is the past tense of’, ‘was the father of’.
  • Use colours to highlight keywords in your notes or revision books.
  • Work with a partner to help and test each other.

Being Prepared for the Exam

Make sure you are ready on the day. The school will provide basic equipment such as:

  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • An eraser
  • A ruler
  • A calculator
  • A protractor

You need to arrive on time and be well prepared.

Leave mobile phones at home!

Your Exam

  • While waiting for the exam to start, read the front of the exam paper so you know exactly what to do.
  • Read each question carefully – preferably twice.  Check how many marks are available for the answer. Write neither too much nor too little.
  • Answer the question. Don’t simply repeat it or make up a question of your own.
  • Write your answer if you feel confident. If not, go on to the next question. Don’t spend time on questions you are unsure of until you have been through the whole paper once.
  • Check all calculations. Does the answer make sense and have you included the units?
  • Check information in graphs, tables and pictures.  Did you read them correctly?
  • Check your spellings of specific words, but if you are not sure of the spelling write your answer anyway. You may get a mark.
  • If you have to draw diagrams, charts or graphs, use a sharp pencil and draw accurately, using a ruler where necessary.
  • Once you have answered all the more straightforward questions go through the paper again, tackling those questions which are more difficult, move on to the next question.