Gathering Resources

Making sure you have everything ahead of time

Past Papers

The first thing I recommend you do is go and download all the past papers into each of your subject folders. All papers and mark schemes should be with you so you don’t have the excuse of internet down or website crashed at the revision sessions. Make sure you are aware what the different codes mean (qp = Question Paper, ms = Mark Scheme).

Along with this, go out and buy past papers for every subject you are doing from around ‘02 or ‘03. Make sure it has all the different variants available. If you are not sure which papers you will be doing, check your syllabus or ask your teacher.

Past papers for my A2 subjects. Sometimes not all variants or a subject is not available at a bookstore. In that case you can take the PDF files on a USB and most bookstores would agree to print and bind it for you.
Past papers for my A2 subjects. Sometimes not all variants or a subject is available at a bookstore. In that case you can take the PDF files on a USB and most bookstores would agree to print and bind it for you.

Syllabuses

Which brings me to the next task, download and print the syllabus for each of your subject. Yes print! You don’t need to print all 100 something pages, select the pages which say “Syllabus Content” and keep that copy with the books for that subject. This is an essential document whenever you are revising. It is vital that you know exactly what the syllabus says because any part of it can be tested in your exam. A bit of extra knowledge is good to have but only study wider once you know the basics.

Current A-Level syllabuses. Print the "Syllabus Content" section.
Current A-Level syllabuses. Print the “Syllabus Content” section.

Checklists

Topic Checklists

With the syllabus, I recommend you create a checklist with all the topics present in your syllabus so you will be able to tick them off as you study them, revise them and write notes for them. Use the topics listed write at the start of “Syllabus Content”.

Chem A2 Checklist
My checklist for A2 Chemistry. The letters each signify a task; S = studied in class, N = notes made, T = tested in class, P = past papers for the topic completed. Use the idea and add or subtract tasks to personalize it to your studying.

Past Paper Checklist

This is a more boring and tedious job – once you’ve got your past papers check the number of years that are printed within it. From 2010 onwards three variants where produced each year however most of the time, 2 variants would be the same therefore you need to go through all the papers 😮  and make sure you you have only the different variants printed and listed on your checklist. You could use this as a checklist or actually fill in your marks within it too. This would be a good idea as you would then be able to see your progress as you go through the year.

Past paper checklist for A2 Physics. Sometimes syllabuses change and papers may change too so you may have to check older syllabuses to find out (paper 6 was included before '07)
Past paper checklist for A2 Physics. Sometimes syllabuses change and papers may change too so you may have to check older syllabuses to find out (paper 6 was included before ’07)

Finally, a good place to position these checklists is on the wall right above your desk! It will help you give an idea of your position of studies in just a glance. It could also be motivating either by seeing it fill up (so close! lets finish it) or seeing it empty (a bit of healthy stress 😉 )

Slightly unconventional bedroom posters :p Make them an explosion of colurs and design! Checklists dont have to be boring (okay well.. a little less)
Slightly unconventional bedroom posters: On the left are the A2 past paper checklists, on the right are the SAT ones and below the blackboard are the topic lists. Personalize you checklists and make them an explosion of colors and designs! They don’t have to be boring!

Organizing the Resources

Notes, study guides, textbooks – make sure you have everything you need on your shelves. I know it sound ridiculous but organize your books by subjects and set them into piles which make sense to you – its really the psychological relief it brings to see everything ready and sorted out which then catalyzes your studying!

I take only 4 A-Levels but for IGs I would double up and put two subjects on each side.
I take only 4 A-Levels but for IGs i would double up and put two subjects on each side.

UPDATE:

Making a Topic Checklist

Okay so there have been a few comments asking for guidance on creating a topic checklist. Firstly, download this PowerPoint template. Click here. The template is generic with no subject title. Firstly, you have to look up the syllabus for the subject you are looking to make it for. Search here for IGCSE and here for A-Levels.

I am going to use AS Chemistry as an example. Search the syllabus to find the “Syllabus Content” section. For AS Chem this is on page 15 over here. For AS, I am going to select all the topic that are ticked under AS. You must simply copy paste each title into every row of the table. You can remove the extra rows once you’re done. These steps can be followed for any subject at any level.

Making a Pastpaper Checklist

You can use this template to create a past paper checklist. It’s very basic and it must be edited and filled in before use. Firstly decide the range of years you want to span. You’ll also have to add/remove columns depending on the number of papers in your subject.

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