Barnaby Lenon, who was headmaster of the elite private school Harrow, advises students put in seven hours revision a day over the Easter holidays. Here are his five top tips for Easter revision in full.
1. Before you start, make sure your notes are complete.
“First you need to ensure that the materials you are going to revise from are complete. There is no point pushing yourself to revise well if the materials you are revising from are inadequate. You need to know which exam board and which syllabus within that board you are studying in each subject. You need a copy of the syllabus (which is on the exam board website), an understanding of the structure of each exam paper and likely questions. Above all, you need to photocopy other people’s notes if you missed lessons, or make your own notes from textbooks if there are other gaps.
3. Work for seven hours each day.
“Plan to work for seven hours a day most days of the Easter break. That may seem a lot, but the students who get the best grades will be working this hard and some exams start in May. If you work for 14 days, that will be about 100 hours of revision. If each topic takes two hours to revise, that is 50 topics.
4. Don’t just read or highlight notes – make new ones and test yourself.
“How do you actually revise? This crucial question has been studied by researchers and teachers for years and we know what works and what doesn’t work. What doesn’t work is simply reading notes or highlighting notes. “What does work is making notes from notes and then TESTING YOURSELF, often by seeing if you can write out the notes from memory. It is the process of trying to recall information that drives it into the long-term memory.
5. Start early in the day, take breaks, and get a good night’s sleep
“Start your revision early in the day – 9am. Work for no more than one and a half to two hours and then take a 30 minute break. You should be finished by 6pm and can relax in the evening. You need a good night’s sleep so never be tempted to revise late. Good sleep will help your brain retain information in the long-term memory.”
There is more detail in the original article.