There is no point sitting down the week before an exam, opening your file and hoping for the best. Planning is essential before you try to start studying for exams.
Make a revision plan
This does not need to be a fancy document, it can just be a list of the subjects that you are studying, sub-divided into topics. Put a star or symbol next to the topics that you find hard so that you know to allow yourself more time for those ones.
Whenever you have an evening, a day or a weekend set aside for revision, identify which topics you are going to cover and plan 10 minute breaks after each 45 minutes of study. Keep ticking off the topics you have covered so that you get a sense of achievement, but also so that you don't spend too long doing one area at the expense of the others.
Your learning style
Try and think of what helps you to learn things most effectively.
- Are you more awake and receptive at certain times of day?
- Are you better studying alone or with others?
- Have you got a good place to work, free from distraction?
- Does it help to recap at the end of a section or topic?
- What helps you to switch off and relax in between study sessions?
Know what to expect
Make sure you know what the exam is going to be like.
- Are you going to be doing lots of short questions or fewer long ones?
- How long are you going to have for each question?
- Are you allowed any kit (such as a calculator, set text, dictionary)?
Your teachers or tutors should go through this with your class, but if you think of any VI-related specifics that you aren't sure of, make sure you ask before the big day.
Go on a study skills course
Every year in the Easter holidays, New College Worcester, a leading residential secondary school for students with vision impairment, runs a revision course for pupils in year 10 and 11 preparing for their GCSEs. It is a residential four-day course, open to all pupils with a vision impairment who attend mainstream schools.For more information visit the New College website or email [email protected].
Meet up and quiz each other
Often talking with your classmates can be a great way to commit your subject information to memory, especially if trawling through books, papers or files is hard work and time-consuming in the format you use. Choose a study-buddy carefully though! Don't meet people who are going to baffle you with information or show off what they know!
Perhaps plan to do some essay plans together, or go through a topic to identify the main points so that you can go and revise them on your own. You can swap and share some revision - each of you prepares one topic, to "present" to the others, and vice-versa. It might save you time at the books on your own.