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Liz Wright

A Student's Diary – Applying to University

Elizabeth

Getting Prepared for A Levels (or not)

This month I thought I would talk to you about how I've spent my time leading up to A Levels. Not that I am advocating the art of procrastination.

With my first exam in a week you’d think the panic would have set in by now and I’d be spending every waking minute up to my eyeballs in notes. Well, the panic has set in, but instead of motivating me, I am spending a lot of time just……panicking.

Here’s a list of just some of the things I have done instead of revising:

  • Partially written a novel.
  • Emptied and refilled the dishwasher several times (usually one my lesser favourite chores).
  • Trimmed the hedge.
  • Trimmed the neighbour’s hedge
  • Trimmed my grandma’s hedge
  • Watched seasons 1–3 of a TV show.
  • Rambled. As in walking.
  • Made several lists. I have a thing for making lists…ironic?
  • Voted in the general election – and I hope you did too!
  • And, of course, wrote this blog.

Hedgeclippers TV Watching

The thing is, there still has to be a balance between work and play. It’s going to be some of the most stressful months of your life so it’s important to have some time to relax.

Back to the serious stuff. Learning styles

I recently took a quiz (another way of procrastinating revision I guess) to determine what kind of learner I am. According to this 1 quiz there are 3 main types: Visual; Auditory; and Tactile. I am a tactile learner which means that I learn best by doing. I understand things better through physical movement. The point is that now I know this, I can tailor my revision style to suit how I learn best.

If you don’t already know your learning style it may be something worth finding out.

Here's my top tips for effective revision, no matter what style of learner you are:

  • Engage with what you’re doing, even if it’s just reading through your notes, don't just skim over.
  • Take regular breaks. For me 30 minutes of work and a 10 minute break seems to work best.
  • Get fresh air. Some people even revise outside, I guess this makes one feel a little bit less resentful about wasting the summer months worrying about exams. 
  • Drink and eat regularly.
  • Get enough sleep.

Read more expert revision tips.

Of course this isn’t an exact science and you have to do what works for you.

Best of luck!