Welcome to Term 3 holidays or, more accurately, study break. It’s time now to get stuck into some serious exam revision. In order to revise for PE and not get overwhelmed, I found it useful to break up my revision into Unit 3 and Unit 4 topics. I then planned to spend the first week of the holidays focusing on Unit 3 and the second week focusing on Unit 4. That means that this week, it’s time to get out your notes from the start of the year!
Trying to revise all the content for PE can be really overwhelming, so it’s important to break it up into topics and to prioritise which areas need the most attention.
The first step is to remind yourself of all the topics you have covered this year in PE. This is a great time to use the study design to make a list of all the topics in PE. In this list, I also included the subtopics that the design mentions specifically. Don’t forget to also look over your own notes quickly to see if there are any topics that are important but not mentioned explicitly on the study design (for example, Lactate Inflection Point (LIP) does not appear on the study design but falls under the categories of aerobic energy system fatigue and aerobic chronic adaptations). Here is an example list for a topic in Unit 3 AOS1 with a column to check off areas once you have revised them:
Now that you have a way of seeing everything that you need to know altogether, it’s important to remind yourself that you do not need to re-learn a whole year’s worth of content! You remember stuff! So, the next step I took in my revision was to consider which topics I already felt comfortable with and which topics I needed to focus my revision on. The way that I isolated which ones I felt good about and which topics needed some work was by asking myself some simple questions:
What topics are my favourite?
Which areas do I remember really well?
Which areas do I need to improve on?
For example, I found that I remembered the topic of energy systems particularly well because I had thought about it throughout the year in connection to planning and designing training programs and chronic adaptations. Therefore, I knew I did not need to spend a lot of time revising Energy systems. For the topics I already felt confident with, I checked them off the list, so that I could get a better idea of what my revision would look like.
To maximise my revision efficiency, I used a similar process of elimination for each topic. A great way to figure out what you remember and what you don’t is to grab a blank piece of paper, give it a heading like ‘Biomechanics’ and then put on a timer for 10 minutes and write down everything you remember from biomechanics. If you’re a more visual learner, you can also do this activity as a mind-map.
It’s important to remember that everything that you have learned can come up on the exam. This means that your revision needs to be thorough and not just focus on the topics that you like. Actively identifying the areas that you don’t like or feel confident about by using these brainstorming techniques can help to focus your revision. I also found, through the process of doing practice exams, that some topics tend to come up more than others. In my experience, Unit 3 topics that are examined heavily are energy systems and energy system interplay. Biomechanics, while a very big topic and one that students worry about a lot, has not been overly represented on the exam. This is just to remind you not to spend all of your revision time focusing on one topic!
I found that doing all of these lists and brainstorms really helped me to refine my revision of the PE content so that I was targeting the areas that I needed to, without wasting time reviewing information I already knew.
In terms of actually revising content, I found that the more variety you can bring into your study, the better!
I found it useful to look over a summarised form of notes (your own or some you have been given) to refamiliarize myself with the content. I think that re-writing notes is not a good way to be active in your revision and will ultimately take a LOT of time. Use the notes you already have to revisit the information.
I revisited activities that I had used for SAC preparation (for example, practice SAC questions) and looked at the topics that I had struggled with on SACs throughout the year.
Rather than just sitting at a desk revising the information, I liked to walk around or spread my notes out on the floor and work actively through the content. When revising, I also found it was important to take short breaks regularly in order to keep focussed and not end up wasting time. Often, I would set a 20-minute timer to revise a topic and then have a 10-minute break.
If possible, talking to your friends who are also doing PE is a great way to revise. If you are meeting up over video call or in person, having a set topic that you are going to discuss is always a good idea to make sure you don’t get distracted.
Revising Unit 3 content is often the most time-consuming part of revision. I found that tackling it in the first week of the holidays set me up to have all my revision done by the end of the break and then have plenty of time for practice exams. Next week, we will work step-by-step through Unit 4 revision. Have fun, take care.