Exam Preparation Week 2
Updated: Sep 10, 2021
Hello! It’s Jo again, hope you’re all doing well and taking care of yourselves and each other. Before we get into today’s topic, just a little reminder to take a break if you need it and to check in with the people around you- you and your health and happiness are what matter most. Reach out if you need help, everyone’s rooting for you!
This week, the focus is on organizing your notes and getting ready for revision in the September holidays. The very best thing that you can do is to set yourself up for productive and effective revision, so here are some ways that I went about doing that!
First, I’m going to walk you through a reflection activity that I found to be the most important part of my revision in year 12. The benefit of reflection like this is that you can wrap your head around what you know and don’t know, what your goals are and how to get there. This means that your study has direction and is mindful and, therefore, more productive. Below are some questions that I encourage you to ask yourself before you start revising for your exams. These questions will work for all subjects, but I have provided further prompts that are specific to PE to show you how you might unpack some of these questions. Here we go:
1. How have I done so far in PE?
Consider the grades you have gotten for your SACs, maybe you want to work out an average? Know where you’ve been, but don’t get hung up on how your SACs have gone, the most important part is yet to come.
Isolate any area that you want to improve on and note the topics.
Consider how you have felt during your SACS. Did you walk out of the energy systems SAC thinking you’d done poorly and then when you got your mark back it was better than you expected? Was it the other way around, where you felt like you aced a topic and your mark didn’t reflect this?
If your feelings about a topic don’t match up with your grade, ask yourself why this could be? Did you misunderstand the key instruction word in the question? Do you need to revisit this topic? Maybe have a chat with your teacher to figure out what is causing the discrepancy.
2. What study methods/practices have I been using?
Consider what has been working for you. Maybe you (like me) love cue cards and swear by them. Maybe you tried cue cards and they weren’t for you, so you moved onto posters instead. What have you been doing in your PE revision that has been great?
Consider what hasn’t been working so well. What doesn’t support you to do your best study for PE? Are you writing too many notes and not being able to remember them all? Are you revising all at once or are you doing little bits everyday (think massed vs distributed practice!)?
Now, the most important part: what are you going to keep and what are you going to change? Make a conscious decision to introduce better study habits and practices- this is the time that it counts!
3. What are my goals for PE?
Think beyond a study score!
How do you want to feel the night before the exam? How about in the exam?
Do you want to maintain your current effort/grade or improve on it?
How many practice exams do you have access to? How many do you want to do?
4. Finally, do my study habits and my goals match up?
If not, what needs to change?
Who can I ask for help?
At the end of this article you will find a table that you might print off and fill out for PE before you start your exam revision. Physically writing your answers down, not for anyone else, just for yourself, is really useful to help you think through some of these questions.
Once we have reflected and figured out what we’re changing, it’s a good time to make sure your notes are in order before you get into serious revision in the holidays.
Check if you’ve accidentally left any gaps, maybe you had a week or two where you didn’t keep up with your notes. Take the time to fix this now. I do not recommend rewriting all of your PE notes!!!!! Work with what you’ve got, there’s no sense in doing the same work twice.
Also have a look around your room and in your locker for any extra notes that you have been given throughout the year, for example gather up your Connect notes and handouts. Get everything together and then figure out what is going to be most useful for you.
In this time, I also printed out the examiner’s report from the last couple of years to have a look at the general comments. I also found it useful to have a copy of the study design handy.
I found it most helpful to use this week to get organised. Hopefully some of these tips and activities can be useful for you as you prepare to get stuck into some PE revision! Catch you next week when we start focussing on revision in depth. Take care.