Exam Revision Tips

  • 2020-21
Exam Revision Tips

Examinations are a test of resilience as well as knowledge. Purposeful revision can improve exam performance. Here are some tips that can help as Easter approaches and public and internal examinations draw near.


  • Students should prioritise subjects and topics they find most difficult in their revision, and not leave them until last
  • A realistic timetable helps to organise revision – then students need to stick to it


  • A quiet, comfortable place in which to revise is essential
  • The desk should be tidy and organised – the same for the screen, where folder structure should be clear and logical
  • Avoid distractions – turn off the TV, switch off mobile phone and music
Exams - Study Tips


  • Consider what times of the day are best to revise
  • Balance time between subjects, and try to build in some variety  
  • Most people can concentrate intensely for 20-30 minutes at a time. Switch the type of activity or topic every 30 minutes; after an hour, take a break and switch subjects


  • It helps to distil notes onto index cards
  • Highlight key points in different colours
  • Spider diagrams or mind maps can help visually to organise work
  • Keep notes clear, neat and logical, using sub-headings and bullet points

Past Papers

  • Students should familiarise themselves with the format, assessment criteria and style of questions
  • It is best to practise under exam conditions and timings at home
  • Do practice questions on the topics you find most difficult


Exams - Study Tips - Index Cards

Active Revision

  • Students should find a revision style that works for them…
  • Try mnemonics (where the first letters of key words create another word you can remember)
  • Or record topics orally and play them back to help remember explanations
  • Explaining things to a friend or parent helps students to understand
  • Testing each other in pairs, or a parent testing orally is also helpful

Spaced Repetition

  • Leave a little time between revising things that are more difficult to remember
  • Repeat at intervals
  • That way students lock the information into their long-term memory



  • It’s natural for students to be nervous; the adrenalin produced can have a positive effect, but sustained anxiety is negative and unhealthy
  • Students should relax with regular breaks and exercise

Staying Healthy                  

  • Students should not stay up revising all night 
  • They should not drink too much coffee or caffeine-based drinks
  • They should get a proper night’s sleep so they wake up feeling fresh and rested in the morning
  • They should eat healthily
  • And take regular exercise to keep minds sharp and release stress-beating hormones
Exams - Study Tips - Index Cards - Education

Asking for Help

  • If students are finding revision difficult, they should contact their tutor and ask for advice
  • They should also feel free to talk about their worries with friends and family



  • After they have worked hard, it helps to give students a little present – a bit of cake, perhaps, a phone call, or watching a movie



  • All anyone can ask is that students do their best

None of these tips on their own will make a big difference, but collectively they could significantly improve the performance of students and raise their grades. 

Good luck to those students who still face exams, and to parents, too, as families go through this important time.

Chris Greenhalgh
Principal & CEO


  • Education
  • Study Tips