If you’re in high school, you should spend about two thirds of each day studying for six days each week for several months before your important exams. But apart from doing the required homework, what else should you be doing in that time?
Answer: Just 2 things.
(1) Make great notes.
Make them, re-make them and then make them again. Make them clearer and more beautiful every time. Organise them according to the official study design (or “syllabus”) for your course. Put your notes on the wall of your bedroom or study. Take some of them down temporarily and see if you can recall them by heart.
You can buy books of theory notes online, but the process of making your own notes is when most of the theory learning actually takes place. Use those purchased books for inspiration only. It’s okay to use a computer to make notes, but do at least one hand-written version as well. Become a pro at hand-writing explanations and sketching diagrams with a pen. This experience will save you time in the exam.
(2) Do lots of practice questions.
Get practice questions from as many sources as you can. Use real past papers, use past-paper-style questions from companies, and if you need more, do questions from the textbooks your school isn’t using. Complete these questions first without answers, then refer to your theory notes if you get stuck. When done (or if completely stuck), check the answer key or send an email to your teacher. Do all of this in one study session.
That’s almost all there is to it! I’ll post more about each of these two instructions in the next two weeks. Making great notes and doing lots of practice questions are the two most important parts of exam revision.