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The Geography Sited
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Designing Your Revision Plan

Revision plans are important because they allow you to plan ahead, get a good routine going, and work efficiently. A well laid out revision plan will cover all the topics you need, will make revision as painless as possible, and include time set aside for last minute panic!

It is well worth taking some time to design your plan. Getting it right is important, and even designing the plan helps you to remember what you need to cover. You will also feel less stressed if you know your revision won't be a last minute panic.

Start by talking to your teacher. If he/she has a revision plan you can use, that will save you a lot of work. Most schools produce revision planners, (sometimes they expect you to pay for them) and it's usually well worth getting one if it is offered to you. Your school and your teachers want you to pass your exams, so their revision aids are usually good.

If your school revision guide covers all the topics you need to revise, you will still need to break the topics up into small revision sessions before you can start revising.


How to break it down
Each topic (or specification you’re using technical terms) you have studied can be split into smaller topics. For example, glaciation has a sub topic of moraine, and you could split the moraine topic into different types of moraine, taking one in each of a series of 15 minute revision slots. Try to take a short break ( 5 to 10 mins only) after every half hour of study, and don't over do it.

So, draw up a list of main topic headings, and under each main heading break the topic down into smaller sections. Keep breaking it down until the separate units look about the right size for your study sessions.


How to record the plan

Now either acquire a calendar/planner or make one on a large sheet of paper. Cross out days when you know you wont be able to revise, such as your birthday, holidays away from home, hospital visits etc.

Enter the names of the revision units onto your planner - putting in perhaps two units for most of the sessions. Think carefully and realistically about this. Try to avoid putting all the hard things together and ask yourself how long it will take you to revise each unit. Giving a unit a short title such as 'volcanoes' doesn't mean it will take only a short time to revise it! Be realistic. If you are over ambitious you will quickly slip behind schedule and get into a mess, so it's better to play safe and find that you revise faster than expected rather than slower.

If you can't do two topics in a day, don't worry about it, just do one. So long as you planned it in advance you will still finish your revision on time. Remember that revision after school will be mixed with homework, so time is more limited in the evenings.


Using the Mock Exams

We haven't mentioned mock exams yet, (partly because they don't really matter if you do well in the final exams) but they are useful, and you will have to sit them so you should be ready for them. By starting your revision early you will go into the mocks having revised at least part of the course. The mock results will help you to see how effective your revision has been. If you do well on the questions you've already revised, you know your revision is working well. On the other hand, if you've revised hard and don't seem to be making the grade, it's time to chat with a teacher and discuss what you've been doing and get some suggestions for improving your study technique.

Your revision planner can them be amended to take account of the exam results and any changes you need to make.

Once the revision plan is complete you should find that you already know more than you though you knew. Even going through the topic headings and breaking them down will have refreshed your memory and added new knowledge. Be realistic though and remember that a plan on its own won't get you good results. The plan is not much use unless you use it!

Now you should be ready to get your books sorted out, find all your old lesson notes, perhaps buy a revision book, and then start the real revision.

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May 13, 2006