Monday, 7 April 2014

Revision :)))))))))

Just the word makes me want to vomit.

In the UK the Easter Holidays have just begun, which, to all the lucky, lucky A Level students, means that revision is due to take over our lives.

Now, my current main cause of annoyance on this topic is the poor quality of my school. The school where I study have put on a number of revision sessions across the first week of the holidays for both A Level and GCSE students. However, of course, none of my subjects are being covered as none of my teachers give a flying fig about my educational needs. As a result of this, I have to revise my three subjects with zero guidance, oh, and did I mention, I haven't even been taught the full course for any of them yet :)))))))) I'm annoyed because even though I'm sure they've got marking and sleep to catch up on, my teachers have no care for their job in actually teaching both myself and others. If we'd finished all the courses then I wouldn't mind as much, because at least I've have all the information from which I could revise from. My main issue involves history. We've finished all our coursework with one of our teachers, which is great and I'm really happy with. But the teacher who is covering the actual exam has literally only just gone over half of the course with us. That's half a course in roughly SEVEN months. And my exam is in less than two months time :)))))))))) (I hope everyone's really feeling the sarcastic smileys because I am). Did I mention that this history teacher is the head of sixth form and so should definitely have our deepest concerns as her priority?????
Literally makes me want to give up on not just my education, but, moreover, humanity (maybe that sounds hyperbolic but really REALLY).

Anyhow, so far today I have done two hours of media revision which was kind of a stupid idea. Media is by far the subject I enjoy the most and the subject I'm doing the best in, and it's also the last exam I have. But it seemed like a good idea to start with something I actually kind of like rather than go straight into history and want to throw myself off a bridge (decided to save that for tomorrow afternoon).

I've devised a revision timetable, as I have since I began my GCSEs nearly five years ago (I feel like I've grown old too fast). However, I feel like it's all good and well to have your time managed on a piece of paper in front of you, but the real challenge is actually sticking to it. This is why I change it every week to avoid my whole life becoming even more of a tedious disaster.

If you happen to be looking for any tips on revision, here's a list of things to do/avoid:

1. Plan your time on a weekly basis - do not give yourself the exact same weekly plan for six solid weeks because you will want to shut your head in the freezer.

2. Start now - I feel like there's no point starting revision before the Easter holidays, simply because you'll just forget everything quicker. I now have five weeks before my first exam (an AS history retake that I know nothing for hahaha), and now is the time for me to cram my brain with all of the knowledge I should have already acquired. I did try to revise for this exam earlier, but I was completely unmotivated and saw no purpose. However, now I feel like I really need to get my bum in gear and I know it's more important to learn all the information now. Equally, I would not put of revising for any longer for any subject. You do NOT have to make your entire life revolve around revision, and if you do so then you will go crazy in an amount of days if you haven't already. Just a few hours of one or two subjects a day, broken up with food breaks and a couple of episodes of Gilmore Girls (or any other show of your own preference) is the way to do it.

3. Don't pay too much attention to how much revision other people are doing - last year I felt like everyone knew everything and they all seemed to be revising constantly between April and June. Do not let the educational insecurities of others become your own insecurities. You know how much you need to learn and revise for your subjects, so don't let the actions of others, especially for different subjects, effect your own workload. Equally, if people you know hardly revise at all, still continue with your own plan and don't allow them to distract you. If they're your friends then they should understand your ambitions and admire your dedication.

4. Read the specification from your exam board (it's likely different boards will have different requirements so make sure you're looking at the right one) - knowing what examiners actually want from you is always more of a help than a hindrance. This way you avoid collecting a pile of extra data that the examiner doesn't care about or want to know your knowledge of.

5. Break things down into topics - for subjects such as history there are always various topics to study. Don't try and do a bit from each. Focus on one at a time and continually go back over what you've looked at previously. There's really no point in looking at the civil rights of African Americans and Native Americans at the same time because you will only get confused and be unsure of what's what.

6. Continue to have a life - don't entirely forget about your friends and personal interests. Those are the things that make you happy and if you continually push them aside then you will become a miserable, antisocial person. Put time for your hobbies etc into your timetable so you know when you have time for everything.

7. Breathe (this is probably the thing I struggle with the most lolz) - don't spend all your time panicking and losing sleep thinking about how you're going to ruin your whole life by doing badly. There's always another way to get to where you want. Yes, people will consider your evident educational abilities, but they care more about your people skills and the type of person you present yourself as. Exam results don't determine your future, you do.

That's my guide to successful revision; it probably just comes across as a load of nonsensical jargon (that or just common sense), but I hope it's somewhat useful to at least someone.

Until next time.

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