Whenever you speak to older students they always seem to say the same thing: I wish I’d started revising sooner. This often leads to wondering how early is early? At GCSE you could almost get away with not revising until the last minute, but with A levels being a huge step above- both content-wise and in terms of the amount you have to learn- this isn’t really possible. So when should you start revising?
1. Don't wait until May
Like we said, you can’t wait until May and then revise it all at once because there just isn’t enough time. The best way to revise for A levels is doing little and often throughout the year. Spending an hour or two per week revising for each subject will eventually add up to a lot more than you expect. Every time you quickly refresh your memory of a topic the easier it gets to remember, to the point where you don’t need to spend hours and hours on each topic during exam time.
2. Make your revision resources throughout the year
This includes summaries, flashcards, mind maps and anything else you typically use for revision. By making these resources earlier in the year it saves you some time during exam season and it also acts as a way to revise the topic. Of course, you could still make these as a revision method at exam time but don’t underestimate the value of making them early. Having these resources to hand also makes having to revise a little less daunting as it means you don’t have to spend hours writing out pages and pages of notes and it could be as simple as just having a flick through your flashcards.
3. Five weeks before your first exam
Although, this is just little things you can do throughout the year- the question is when do you start the hardcore exam revision? We’d suggest that once you reach about five weeks before your first exam it is probably best that you start revising properly. This means that you should focus on past papers and making more intense notes on the things you don’t understand. We say that you should start around this time because it gives you enough time to go over topics you don’t understand in a lot of detail. It should also be after your mock exams so it means that you’ll already have a good idea of what you need to revise more than other things so you aren’t working on things you don’t really need to.
Everyone is different though, the key to revising is to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses early on so that you know how much time you need to dedicate to each topic or subject. Just remember, it builds up so the more you do it the easier it will get. Success will come from those little study sessions throughout the year eventually building up at exam time.