Welcome friend, you have chosen Option A. You may think you've chosen the easy option. Sure, the probability of having your brain sucked out through your nose and digested is a lot lower, but exams are no pushover. However, if you follow these 21 simple revision tips, you'll stroll through the exams... Remember, these 21 tips are the key.

1. Start revising early

— i.e. months, not days before the exam. Make a timetable to plan your revision and stick to it.

 

2. Don't spend ages making your notes look pretty

This is just wasting time. For diagrams, include all the details you need to learn, but don't try to produce a work of art. Limit yourself to 2 or 3 colours so you don't get carried away colouring things in.

3. Use revision guides

CGP ones are the best you can buy (blatant CGP advert, I know, but what do you expect, you're on our website...)

 

4. Get yourself drinks and snacks

So you don't make excuses to stop every 10 minutes...

5. Stick revision notes all around your house

So in the exam you think, "aha, quadratic equations, they were on the fridge..."

 

6. Sleep on your exam notes

This will enable you to revise by osmosis. If you are going to do this, it's best not to learn anything until the night before the exam. Stick a revision guide under your pillow and when you wake the next day, you'll find the full contents of the book have been absorbed into your brain.

7. During study leave, start revising early

— i.e. 9am, that way you'll get your day's work done much quicker and will have time to relax in the evening.

 

8. Sit at a proper desk

Don't try to revise in bed, you'll be in the land of pink igloos and elephants before you can say "Captain Pigeonseye".

9. Don't turn yourself into a revision zombie

If you stop doing anything else but revision you'll turn into a zombie. It's really important that you keep time to do things you enjoy: cinema, shopping, sports, frisbee, rock-climbing, making model planes, nose-picking, whatever tickles your ferret. When you're doing these things, try to relax and totally forget about revision.

 

10. Try reading bits in funny accents

Australian is particularly good.

11. Do lots of practice exam papers

This is especially important as you get close to the exams — CGP has plenty available here (another blatant advert...)

 

12. Take short breaks

Every hour, not every 10 minutes.

13. Take in a beer mat

To beat the wobbly exam desk. This will do your nerves and general mental state no end of good...

 

14. Don't just read your notes

You have to WRITE STUFF DOWN. This is really basic "how to revise" stuff. For the full details, get yourself a copy of our How to Revise book.

15. Find the right environment to revise

NOT in front of the TV. NOT listening to the radio. Music can sometimes be okay, but you need to find the right kind. It's got to be something that's just there in the background that you're not thinking about at all. Music without singing is better as you won't be tempted to dance around your bedroom like a big fool.

 

16. Read the exam timetable properly

Double-check so you don't miss an exam and have plenty of time to prepare for it.

17. If you're really stuck in the exam, play the fortunes game

Throw all of your pens in the air and they'll form an abstract picture of what you're having for tea that night.

 

18. Take your revision wherever you go

Some of our revision guides and textbooks come with handy online editions — great for revising on the go! Just use the code printed inside the cover to access it via your CGP account on your PC, Mac or tablet. Struggling? See our help page for more info.  

19. Don't put it off

'Procrastination' is the long word for it. And it means rearranging stuff on your desk, getting a sudden urge after sixteen years to tidy your room, playing the guitar, thinking about the weekend, writing love poems about that girl/boy you fancy, painting your toenails etc.... Sit down at your desk and GET ON WITH IT.

 

20. Don't hang around with the nervous, paranoid people before the exam

— these people will just stress you out, which doesn't help at all.

 

21. Dress as a medieval knight and demand ale

This is an old tradition, which states that anyone attending an examination in full knight's costume has the right to demand a tankard of ale. Unfortunately, you need to be carrying a sword and if you try this you'll be arrested and sent to prison.

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