Making a revision timetable that actually works
Just like an architect wouldn’t begin a project without a blueprint, you can’t just open a book randomly one day, begin reading and hope for the best.
Must read: A* students reveal their revision secrets
Once you start getting everything out on paper or screen, you'll have a proper idea of the task ahead. Can you afford a few days off here and there? Or is it pretty much full-on revision right up to the exams?
Let's get started on that winning revision timetable...
1. Compiling your timetableA basic revision timetable is essentially a calendar; but instead of holidays and birthdays, it contains topics and subjects you need to revise on specific days. Yours doesn't really have to stray far from this model:
- Divide however long you have until your exams by how many subjects you study
- Then for each, divide all the topics and areas you need to cover accordingly
- Keep it very simple or add extra fields, such as to note specific things you want to achieve in a session.
2. PrioritiseWhat subjects – or particular topics within those subjects – do you need to spend more time on? Perhaps some disappointing mock results have flagged areas you need to pay attention to? Or there are certain subjects where you need to achieve a certain grade, to progress into what you plan to do next?
Remember not to get cocky and neglect those subjects which you’re already strong at.
3. Regular refreshersDon’t just cover an area once and move on. If you do this, the material you study first will be a distant memory by the time you come to exams.
Fit in time to revisit material. You can test yourself with past papers to check that it's sticking.
4. Approach subjects differentlyCertain study methods will suit some subjects better than others. This might depend on how intense the material is, how it will be assessed or simply how you best retain everything.
For example, the following methods might work for you:
- Flashcards for key dates in history
- Jingles or rhymes for phrases you'll have to speak in a French oral exam
- Pictures to identify parts of the human body in biology.
5. Useful timetable apps
Below are three popular apps to help structure your revision:
My Study Life: an app to use throughout the year, not just during your revision period. Track homework and assignments, and organise your daily and weekly schedule. Everything is stored in the Cloud for easy access on multiple devices. Available on: Play Store, iTunes
SQA My Study Plan: created by the Scottish Qualification Authority for Scottish students, the app creates a personalised study plan based on when your exams are – you can import your exam timetable directly from SQA MyExams. Available on: Play Store, iTunes
Timetable: if you're an Android-head, Timetable is one way to manage school life across your devices. The app even mutes your phone during lessons, in case you forget... Available on: Play Store
Good luck with your revision! Thanks to the forum members over on The Student Room for their tips - you can follow the thread link for more discussion.
Looking for more revision help? Check out our revision hub.