Many students across the country are facing exams, whether that’s at GCSE, A Level, University or college. I am only a number of weeks away from my A Levels now and I am really starting to feel the pressure. A LOT. It seems that you can never do enough revision to feel confident in your subject, with the work set by your teachers frequently increasing. Normally I structure my blogs as advice pieces, but instead I’m going to share how exams are stressing me out and how I’m getting through it.
I take three essay based subjects: English Language, English Literature and History. Each subjects splits into different areas of study, along with coursework. I thought the coursework would be a piece of relaxing cake in comparison to my modules.
I thought so, so wrong.
Although the coursework isn’t part of my timed conditioned examinations in June, the coursework contributes to 20% of my overall grade in all three subjects. I found the coursework, a) much harder and b) less relaxed in relation to the time you had to finish it. I ended up getting myself in quite a bit of hot water by missing deadlines and not sorting it out with my teachers, which, in hindsight wasn’t the best idea. Thankfully I managed to get back on track but I had to spend a lot of extra time working on set work when I could have been revising, in order to meet my deadlines. I suppose what I’m trying to say is it won’t disappear. Your grades may disappear below the pass mark, certainly, but the work itself won’t disappear, you just have to, as one of my friends metaphorically said, ‘slap yourself across the face and get on with it’. This is the same with revision, it’s not going to go away; if you want to get the grades then it’s knuckle down time.
With that lesson learned, I hope I can make a good dent in my revision before it’s too late, now that my coursework is out of the way. Now I’ve just got to worry about the exams themselves.
I tend to have this really bad habit about leaving everything until the very last minute. This is not my wisest move and it makes you really stress out minutes before the exam as you feel extremely under prepared. This is why I am really trying to revise all subjects and stick to plans of what I want to get done. At the end of the day, once you’re in that exam hall, you’ve got a few hours to show how much you have learnt in the space of months or years. Although I don’t want to revise, believe me, there are plenty more things we would all like to do instead, but, if I don’t revise, then I’ve effectively wasted two years of my life. That’s a almost 10% of my whole life lived so far.
As all my subjects are essay based, I have starting doing essay plans. These are a solid way of learning the syllabus. This way, I can familiarise myself with the style of the exam questions, whilst learning the knowledge for the exam. This way I can get some decent revision done whilst not mindlessly copying a word from a book onto the paper in front of me, because everyone loves that.
In a nutshell, my advice to you lovely readers is this – bet you’re glad you read to the end now!
Don’t put off what can do today for tomorrow – I think the saying goes something like that, basically don’t let all the work rack up unless you’re aiming for the sleep deprived, aggy vibe that is oh so popular
Find revision that works for you – Don’t copy revision techniques off your friends unless they actually WORK. For example, I am never writing my notes in three column on A4 where they is no white space left in sight.
Snoop on your exam board’s website. Cmon, surely we haven’t done some Facebook stalking in our time? The exam boards actually have really useful things on their websites such as syllabus’ and mark schemes and exemplar pieces. On the bright side, at least you won’t get that sinking feeling of accidentally ‘liking’ something from six months ago…
I hope you have enjoyed my new Daybook entry, I want my blog posts to be helpful but also empathic, that’s why I structured this post as a diary entry. Let me know what you think, also sorry this post isn’t as visual as my other posts.