How to manage revision for exams
Revision for Matura causes many students sleepless nights. There is always too little time and too much to go through, pressure, stress, other responsibilities… How can we cope with all this?
Revision – you still haven’t started? There is very little time left before the exams and you are wondering how to catch up on lost time? Below you will five hints for “last minute revision” which could help you!
Prioritise what you need to do
You are in the home straight and there aren’t enough hours in the day to revise all the material from every subject? You have to decide what to prioritise!
First of all, ask yourself which subjects are most important to you. Concentrate on revising those subject first. It is also worth beginning with the topic you are weakest in, since people learn bests from their own mistakes.
Sometimes, it is easy to run into a block, if you don’t understand something. Don’t waste time on details, don’t get stressed – and try to approach any issues with fresh, creative eyes. You could set yourself a specific period of time to try and get to grips with the problem, and if it is not solved by then, just move on. Remind yourself that the point of the matura is to assess your overall knowledge, and not to test what you know about this one subject. Don’t turn your back on logical thinking and your ability to reach conclusions. Maybe another task will help you to get to grips with this one?
Plan your revision
First plan, then act. Approach your work analytically and, first of all, draw up a schedule for one entire week. Try and make sure that you cover two subjects in turn each day, for example, on Monday you revise biology and chemistry; on Tuesday you concentrate on mathematics and physics, and so on. Make sure you schedule the areas which are most important to you early on, and put them into the planner.
At the beginning of every day, you can also break down the time into hour-long slots, and decide what you will cover in each hour. Try and divide your revision into blocks. Don’t forget to make time for food breaks and rest. These breaks can be short, but you do need to include them -a tired brain is less effective.
Nobody likes learning things which do not interest them. What can we do to make sure that matura revision is not a torture? Firstly, don’t leave the subjects you dislike to the very end of the day. Begin each session with a few exercises or problems that you want to simply get out of the way. The longer you go on revising during the day, the more your motivation levels drop.Remember, you will always go back to the subjects you like.
Learn by using your head
Analyse old matura papers. Many of the questions from the past could be repeated . In this way, you will be able to link what you have already seen with the questions which are facing you. Matura revision is not simply theoretical knowledge.Find you own technique for unpicking exercises, and teach yourself how to find the relevant key.
If you are finding it difficult to get to grips with a particular subject or question, try and find a new way of approaching it, and do not simply rely on books to clarify the knowledge you need. Maybe YouTube has a short video, which will help you to better understand anything which seems unclear? Maybe you can find an article on the internet which will give you a better explanation? By looking for information from other sources you will provide your brain with variety and this will, in turn, stimulate it to work harder and better.
Train yourself to pay attention
Many of the mistakes you make are the result of not reading what you are supposed to do carefully. You have to concentrate. Try and spend a little more time reading and understanding what you are being asked. Underline the parts which contain the question. This will make it easier to find the main idea connected to the question in the text.
Put your phone aside during revision. If you are being distracted by your brother, who is watching television, put on headphones. During the matura exam you will need to concentrate for long periods of time – this is your final opportunity to train yourself to concentrate.
Don’t forget that on the exam date you could find yourself having a worse day. Teach yourself how to concentrate over an extended period of time – this kind of matura revision will help you to fully draw upon all your knowledge during the examination itself.
You are bound t feel stressed. Everybody gets stressed. In order to prevent stress from blocking you, you have to let your brain cut itself off for a moment. Physical exercise is really helpful here – taking a few moments to leave your desk, do a few exercises or go for a short walk. You could also try all types of breathing exercises or meditation – it’s a great way of spending a short time without thinking about the subject of matura.
Finally, and importantly, try not to spend the day before the exam suddenly learning new information. You can spend a little time doing some final revision, then say STOP and do something which will make you happy. Take a hot bath, eat a good lunch, watch an entertaining movie. Try and concentrate on positive things , and when your mind drifts off and begins to fixate on the matura exams, tell yourself that they will soon be behind you!