Find out as much as you can about the test
Ask your teachers questions! It can only go one of two ways: Either they will tell you how many questions will be in the test and what type, or they won't.
If there will be many short answer or MCQ type questions, then a general knowledge of the whole subject is important, whereas if there will be more essay-type questions, then an in-depth knowledge of the topics will be better.
Other things to find out are:
- How long will each test last?
- How many questions?
- Will all the topics be covered equally?
- Will practicals be included in the test or simply theory?
- Are past papers available?
Armed with a list of topics for each subject, quickly skim over the notes to make sure that they are complete. If not, use text books, ask your teacher or get together with friends to compare notes.
Write a list of the main topics for each subject and order them into levels of difficulty. Write the one you find more difficult to master at the top. These are the topics that you will tackle first.
Plan your time
Next work out how much time you have to revise before the exams start. Don't forget to schedule in days between separate exams.
If you do not have much time left, then use your text books to skim over the main points. Write bullet point lists and learn the main facts. Your aim here is to cover a lot of material quickly so that you will be able to answer a large number of questions reasonably well.
For essay questions, use your time to answer specific questions. Time yourself writing out an answer to an essay question so that you get a feel for how long it takes.
If you have a reasonable amount of time left, then plan to cover all the topics a couple of times. Read through your notes, make bullet point lists or flash cards. On the next read through, ask questions as you read the text. Why did Henry VII do that? How would a person digest protein? What are the geographical features of coastal erosion?
Reading your notes critically will get you thinking differently about the text - not just some words to memorise, but information to know.
Finally, test yourself. It is good if you can do this with a study partner. Close the book and see how much you remember.
Spread the work out
Make a study timetable to help spread out the work. Don't learn the same information over and over again. Move forward. The point of studying the harder stuff first is so that your revision gets easier and you may even have things to look forward to towards the end.
Also don't spend too much time on one topic. If it is a general exam, then you should get a higher mark if you know a lot about most of the topics. Only learning one thing thoroughly is risky and if that topic is not even covered in the exam then you are stuck.
Plan some downtime
Do not forget to schedule in plenty of breaks and downtime. Don't forget meals and drink plenty of water while you study.
If your timetable is not too strict then you have more of a chance of sticking to it. Have lots of breaks, but make sure that you come back after the breaks are over.
Treat yourself after every study period. It can be anything: 5 minutes on your favourite game or website, a snack, a chat to a friend, anything to look forward to when you have finished the work.
Get some sleep!
Don't stress out too much
Sleep when you are supposed to.
You can only do so much, take it in short easy steps and keep a note of how much you have done to motivate yourself to do more.
You know, it could be an enjoyable experience if you do it right!
Don't do this: