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February Half Term Revision Tips
February 10, 2016
Although the summer exams in May and June seem a long way away, they do have a habit of sneaking up far quicker than any of us expect! Whether it's GCSEs, A-levels or school entrance exams many students leave their revision until the last minute causing sleepless nights, last minute cramming and in many cases underperformance.
February half term not only offers a welcome break but also a time for students to take stock of where they are at in relation to their upcoming exams. This doesn't mean hours upon on hours of additional work, even a little focussed attention can provide a huge boost for the months ahead.
So what are the things students should be doing? Here are our February half term revision tips!
Organise your files
This may sound obvious but taking a little time now to make sure your files, notes and books are in order can make a huge difference when it comes to revision. Although you may not have finished the course yet, you should have most of it. Checking now can give you time to approach your teachers or classmates if there is something missing, before the rush of pre-exam stress sets in.
Revision is exactly that, "re-vision". You are seeing your work again. Simply taking the time to organise your notes now can help refresh your memory. Learning is reinforced by repetition, looking over your work will help build on your memory and enhance connections that are required for more intricate exam questions.
Catch-up on missing work you may have missed
February half term is the perfect time to catch up on any work you may have missed, from being away ill or any topics you may not have quite grasped in class. As mentioned above, your classmates and teachers will have more time now to lend you notes or go through the topic with you again!
Take the time to seek out past papers and test yourself! Your teachers should be able to provide them for you, otherwise most are available online on exam board websites. You can find some on the Tutorfair Resource Centre too! Sit the test under exam conditions and mark it yourself using the mark scheme.
One of the most powerful learning aids is testing, even if you don't know the answers! Simply challenging your brain to work and solve problems helps build new connections and reinforce existing ones. It doesn't matter if you don’t get many questions right, especially if you've not finished your course yet! However, this exercise gives you a good idea of what's ahead.
You can even start to make notes on the topics you struggled with. Remember, after half-term teachers are likely to have more time, compared to the rush over the Easter period. Take the time to ask your teacher about areas you struggled with whilst sitting these tests.
Collect the resources you will need for your revision and the exam
As the summer exams approach tensions tend to rise and spare time often becomes less abundant. Use this opportunity to collect together the revision books, websites and other materials that you might need to revise from.
Also you may want to think about hunting down a transparent pencil case (required for most public examinations), a set of pens, pencils, rulers, protractors etc. Check you have the right calculator and that you have a spare. If in doubt your school should be able to provide you with a list.
Of course you don't need to have everything together, but the more you sort out now, the less you have to do during the exam period.
Make a calendar
Stick a few sheets of A4 paper together and draw a calendar for the next few months. Add your holiday dates, exam leave, and your exam dates timetable (which should be available from the school). Having a calendar on your wall can give you a much needed sense of perspective on the upcoming exams, and how much time you have to revise for each subject. This exercise also gives you a sense of ownership and responsibility over your own time.
In preparation for Easter revision, you should organise your revision topics and subjects by day. This exercise doesn’t need to be done now, but it can save you some time and stress if it is ready in advance!
Get some rest
The tips above are all very useful for students who want to get ahead of their studies, however it's also important to get some time off. The Easter holidays and the term that follows are quite full on so enjoy some down time now. We encourage you to get outside, have some exercise, sleep well and see friends! This can help reduce stress and means you will return back to school with your batteries fully recharged.
We hope you have found our February half term revision tips useful! You may also like to read our blog on how a tutor can help with revision.
Have you seen our resource centre? You can find plenty of past papers, subject syllabi and other educational resources!
Here are our top picks for February Revision:
How to structure an Essay?
KS3 Writing Test
ISEB Common Entrance Past Papers
AQA GCSE Past Exam Questions - To Kill a Mocking Bird
Past Papers for ISEB Maths
iGCSE Edexcel Maths Past Papers
Edexcel A-level Maths Past Papers
Periodic table download
iGCSE Biology revision sheet
iGCSE Chemistry revisions sheet