It’s exam season.

Coursework deadlines are impending and it’s making the teachers and students alike shit themselves as they scramble to get things finished.
I have one last piece of coursework to get finished, and it’s music. We’re getting a lot of support from the teachers so luckily it’ll all be done by next week.

I thought I’d write a post compiling a few revision tips, exam pointers and advice on how to destress. Hopefully it’ll help me as well, since my motivation is nonexistent.


Revision Pointers

  • Don’t rely on the same method of revision you have always used (especially if you’re still using the same one you used at GCSE).
    Even if one method works really well for you, there’s no harm in trying a different one. Who knows, you could find a type of revision that works better for you.
  • Make it as fun as you can.
    Whether that’s turning it into a song, drawing, poster or just using coloured pens, fun stops revision from becoming boring.
  • Take breaks.
    If you’ve been revising for half an hour, take a five or ten minute break. Revising for four hours might get everything done quickly, but it’ll tire your brain out.
  • Don’t get angry at yourself for not sticking to a schedule.
    I have made revision diaries and schedules, and I never stick to them. This made me so upset with myself until I realised that schedules don’t work for everyone. As Lin Manuel once said on Twitter: “Just make [procrastination] part of your process… Use the Pressure”.
  • Remove distractions.
    Everyone always says it, but not having your notifications turned on on your phone does help. It might annoy you at first, not seeing who’s sent you a streak on Snapchat for the fifth time, but it stops you from procrastinating.
  • Work in a place that’s comfortable.
    If you prefer a messy space or a clean space, a wooden chair or a comfy bean bag, make sure the space in which you revise is a place you’re comfortable being in at length.


Methods of revision:

  • Flashcards.
    Write keywords, key points and phrases in short form. Either leave it at that, or add a question on one side and test yourself/get friends to test you.
  • Posters.
    Pictures, mind maps or just notes can be presented as a poster that can be stuck on your wall for a quick review.
  • Apps.
    For the technologically-minded, there are tonnes of apps that can be used to revise. Khan Academy (videos) and Quizlet (quiz-making) are amazing, and there are plenty of subject-specific free apps that can be downloaded for free. QuizUp is a fun app, as it allows you to compete against others in any given subject.
  • Reading over notes. 
    For some people, the best revision is reading over notes or copying out a textbook word for word.


Exam Advice

  • Always have the correct equipment.
    Sharpened pencils, multiple pens, rubbers, sharpeners, ruler and a calculator are used in most exams.
    Although you might not need 3 pencils, especially when you’re given equipment, it’s always comforting to know you’re prepared.
  • Prevent distractions.
    If your brain has a habit of being easily distracted in stressful situations, it’s best to make sure that you have everything you need to stop this happening during an exam. If you tend to feel sick during exams, perhaps try chewing chewing gum (it helps me when I feel anxious too), have a bottle of water to quench your thirst and go to the toilet before you start the exam.
  • Be prepared.
    Not an intentional reference to The Lion King but oh well. Being prepared for your exam will stop you from worrying. If you only revised one topic that you already knew perfectly, you’re not going to be too confident walking into the exam hall are you? Even if it’s last minute cramming, skim-reading the topic book, you have a better chance than not revising at all.
  • Self care.
    Eat something really ostentatious for breakfast, get as much sleep as you can, do something that makes you feel a bit more human. If it’s the night before the exam and you’re thinking of revising frantically all night, DON’T.
    I know it might seem like a good idea but believe me, you’ll feel like shit for the exam and the whole day.
  • If you need certain arrangements for the exam, tell your teachers.
    Whether that’s extra time or you want/need to sit at the back of the hall, let your teachers know in advance and see what they can do. If you don’t ask, you won’t get.



  • Revise.
    I am a hypocrite. I don’t revise as much as I should. But when it comes down to it, even if it’s a month till exams, you still have time to revise.
    Maybe stop going for a piss-up every weekend, start going to a mate’s and revising instead. Or stop watching YouTube, rereading your favourite book or playing on your Xbox.
    You can do those things after exams, which will make them feel more rewarding.
  • Self care.
    Yes, again.
    Have a bath (or a shower if you don’t have one). Deep-condition your hair, shave, exfoliate, moisturise etc. Pamper yourself. It’ll relax you mentally and physically and helps you to reset your mind.
  • Talk about your worries.
    Whether it’s someone online, a friend, family member or teacher, tell someone that you aren’t feeling good about the upcoming exams.
    If you talk to a teacher, they’ll probably wave it off and say “everyone’s stressed”, which is true. However, if you feel you need extra support, a day off timetable to catch up on coursework or you just need someone to tell you to revise then let them know! They can’t help you if you don’t ask.
  • Remember that exams don’t define you.
    Another point that I need to listen to myself. Yes, you need grades to get into certain courses at university but there will always be another option.
    If you want to study a certain subject, but you’re afraid you’ll fail all your A Levels, ask your teachers if there are other paths into that field of work.


And that concludes this post. It’s repetitive and chatty, so I’m sorry for that, but if this helps someone then I’m happy.
Good luck to all those about to take exams or hand in coursework.
-A. Bluegown.