Preparing for your
Why are examinations so important?
We’ve got to get through exams so why not focus and aim high!
Sometimes we dislike examinations because we have to do so much
revision for them. On the other hand, it can be very satisfying to do
well in your papers and feel proud of your results.
Teachers need to find out whether you have understood what they
have taught you. You may have done smaller tests in class, but
examinations show what you can recall over a longer period of
Also, we need to pass examinations to get into our future schools.
The examinations you sit at St John’s will get progressively more like
those you will take later at senior school.
When should I start preparing for my examinations?
It’s a good idea not to leave all of your revision to the last minute.
You should start planning for your examinations a few weeks in
advance and make yourself a timetable of when you are going to
revise each subject. You will be given guidance by your teachers
about which topics or modules you need to revise and how they are
going to be tested. Whatever you do, don’t leave revising to the last
minute otherwise you will feel pressurised and nervous that you have
not left enough time!
So, the big question……How do I revise?
Revision means going over the material you have been
taught and think you know by making sure you really
understand it. Learning things and making them stick means
going over them several times. Did you know that if you just
read over your notes you may not be revising as successfully
as you might be? Here are some tips for successful revision
1. Find a quiet and comfortable place to work.
Avoid all distractions like computers, I pods television and music.
Find a comfortable chair and table where you can organize your
things. Get rid of any clutter on the table that is not going to help
you with your revision.
2. Choose the time of day when you are fresh
If you feel tired you will not revise effectively. On the revision
Timetable make clear times when you feel you can revise.
Give yourself some clear breaks. You can’t work all day!
As a guideline, about 30 – 40 minutes is long enough to work in
3. Try to revise methodically and have a system
This involves planning so you include all your topics. Make sure
you are not leaving anything important out of your schedule.
4. Write it down !
There is strong evidence that if you write down notes as you
Revise, this will help your memory to absorb facts more fully.
Why not set your own tests. For example, write yourself a
vocabulary test in Latin or French and mark your own answers.
5. Don’t be happy with just plain writing. Highlight
your notes, and feel free to make charts and mind maps.
6. Find a tester
Get someone to test you. Dad or mum, or a friend will do!
When you have thought about all of this, decide to
be an active learner!
Do some brain ‘warm ups’ for starters….
What do I already know about this topic? Spend two or three minutes
jotting down all that is in your head
Next, get started on that vital reading of your notes. Make notes of
the key words and hang all your information upon them. Key words
are the main information words and your brain works live a sieve,
filtering out the little words and keeping important fact-filled words
Make notes as you revise, but don’t just copy your class notes. Write
things down in a different way which will show that you have really
understood what has been taught. Use diagrams and maps to help
Use symbols and pictures to help you. If you are revising History why
not draw a sword to denote a battle by a list of dates. Abbreviations
are useful too. Do you know what these are?
If you said ‘Old Testament’, ‘New Testament’, ‘Important,’
‘Minimum’ and ‘because’, you are on your way to success.
Have you tried memory tricks?
You need to know that Helsinki is the capital of Finland. Draw a
picture of a ship sinking into red flames of hell and above it write
Finland. This might help you to remember it.
Now let’s concentrate on making
a revision timetable:-
Here’s one I made earlier
Day Session 1 Session 2 Session 3
Mon Geog (capitals) Maths(equations) French(verbs)
Tue French(my family History(Henry Vl) Maths(fractions)
Now you fill in yours on the next page.
My Revision Timetable
Day Session 1 √ Session 2 √ Session 3 √