Revising

Now that we have organized and planned our studies, we come to the final task as we get near the exams – revision. I must confess that for me, revision is the task I dislike the most out of the whole studying process. I enjoy planning past papers, making checklists and even writing notes because they are creative and active tasks. Revision is boring because you’re essentially trying to make sure that you know everything that you have already learnt, there is nothing new! However, unless you have eidetic memory, revision is an essential task to the learning process and cannot be avoided. The following are a few ways I try to revise after doing past papers and writing notes.

Actively Reading Notes

During my IGs, I actually assigned 2 hours every day in my study leave with the task “READ NOTES!”; I absolutely hated those two hours but it was the only way I would read them. However at that time, I had the task incorrectly defined: reading notes could mean reading words and taking absolutely nothing in! To revise, you must actively engage with the text and the way you can do this is firstly keep a pencil or a highlighter in your hand; underline and highlight words and ideas that pop out to you. Summarize bullet points, explain an idea in your own words or create mnemonics and scribble it into the margin! Use the notes that are available on this website and make them your own by not just reading them but really engaging with them. In the end, if we gather every printed copy of a set of notes, they may all have the same printed content but each should look completely different with highlights and scribbles, making it unique to the person who uses it. Another way to interact with the notes is by reading it out loud and when doing so, rewording some of the points. In absolutely no case should you sit down, repeating each point a million times and memorize everything word for word. If you do so then you have learnt absolutely nothing and just a slight spin in a question will throw you off completely. I cannot stress this enough, if you do not engage with the notes then you have not utilized the full potential of the notes so do not expect your grades to boost themselves.

Revising Past Papers

Doing a past paper and attempting all the questions is just one part to using them as a revision tool – marking them and going through your mistakes is very important. I implore you do not just fill in your papers by copying the mark scheme because that is useless. Use the mark schemes effectively after writing an answer – edit and add to the answer to make sure you are using the correct terms and ideas. It is also a good idea to have a look at examiner reports if you find a question particularly challenging. Closer to your exams, you should have done a lot of past papers and found many mistakes. A long yet very useful task for you to carry out is to go through every past paper and note down specific topics you are facing issues with, new facts you have found that aren’t in your notes and model answers for questions you have repeatedly got wrong or ones that require very specific wording. This job can truly benefit you a lot but it does take time so you should be done at least a week or more before exams.

Writing Summaries

After spending hours on writing notes on this website – typing them, formatting them and making sure not even an extra word has been used – close to my exams I write a complete new set of notes. Although the notes online are already very summarized, the drawback is that it contains every syllabus specification. Near the exam, you should already have become aware of your weak topics so when I hand-write the notes, I take out a lot of information that I believe I do not need anymore and focus on my weakest topics especially areas where I have to memorize a lot. The notes are extremely basic and parts of it may not be even understandable because they are specifically meant for me – the abbreviations and symbols may not even make sense.

Above is a part of organic chemistry notes for AS

Above is a part of organic chemistry notes for AS

After writing things down at that level of summary, you should be able to recall a large quantity of information by looking at just a few words or symbols. Along with that, writing things out by hand may sound old-fashioned but it really makes a difference as it is slower and gives you more time to think about what you’re writing.

Conclusion

I hope some of the ideas I have shared above will be useful to you. However, this article is solely based on my own experiences so please do not consider this to be the perfect method; other ways of studying are out there and these could be more effective for you. Everything that I have recounted and shown are purely for the purpose of guiding and helping others.

If you have any questions or would like some advice, please leave a comment below and I will reply to you as soon as possible.

69 comments

Guys, I didn’t yet go through any textbook (i got no base), would it be fine if I memorized this note and solved past papers

Thank you Guyz for these notes. They are very useful for last minute revision. These notes really helped me in many of my IGCSE exams. I am currently doing my exams.
Once again Thank you Guyz !!!!!!!!!!!

Really glad they saved you (lol)
Good luck!!

i am writing my igcse ‘s next year May/June session i am taking 8 subject and i feel slightly but not so much confident about them. In about 1 weeks time i will write my pre-mocks (my xul is really harboring us about the exams so we have to pass pre mocks or else we will be sent back to year 10. )anywayz i love your site and wanted to ask how u kept confident and what did you do to keep your brain active because i want to read but my brain or more so my body says go to sleep you can do it later how did u overcome that ? i really want to pass all my subjects but have a problem in staying awake naturally I’m an A * student but without studying i can plummet to C cuz of my brains inactivity’s. Any advice? Oh and i would love if you uploaded an R.S syllabus 0490 ( the one that talks on Luke and Acts of Apostles) revision guide please and thanks a lot for ur site it’s lit!

This is amazing note!

yo dheri ramro app ho! it’s great! useful!

thank you so much for the note they are very short and precise and easy to understand

Thank you so much.

thank you very much !
But i needs more helps from you.
i am a mauritius guy and i have A-level examination to do in the october/nov
my main subject are chemistry,physics and computer science and the sub subject is maths and general papers .
i want to gets A in my subject to make my parents proud of me and for myself also .
i can do anything just to get A.
PLEASE help me .

shut up , you say anything!!!

from what school are you from? im mauritian too

this is not how its done guys .Studying for fun is a whole new level.try to do it.its fun.

Hey. Any clues on A2 Geo revision?

Have u made notes when u were in igcse
If u have made can u give me

buddy all his notes are here, on this website 🙂

Dude Make one for urself!! Its not so hard but chill we are the same batch all the best Kudos!!!

than u very much for the notes and the tips as these are very useful

Only a month left for my semister 1 exams
lets see how much it helps!!!

It would have been really great if you added biology for AS level and other than that thanks for these notes.
I had a question well my O levels result wasnt that good so possibility of me getting into a public university is really low is there any way as in re taking O levels after A levels and using those grades to apply for University
P>S> Im from Bangladesh and currently studing at AS with 4 subjects (PHY,CHEM,BIO and Maths)

I am in my AS Dont worry abt o levels focus on A levels if u get good grades in A level ur o level result wont matter much

hello there . my name is maryam and currently studying igcse syllabus. i was impressed and motivated when i just knew about ur website.
firstly , i would like u to give some advice and tips on how to have positive thinking and believe that i can improve from c’s to a’s.
secondly: i want to be organized and constantwith my revision schedule, doing past years paper and setting up goals.

i tried ones setting up goals which is to finished all the atomic structure questions in my chemistry paper 3. since i wasn’t able to finished i get stress out.

thirdly: i have problem building up confidence especially the moment i entered the exam hall that i will defenetly fail the exam.

lastly but not least, i would like to thank u for ur outmost best effort which help most student all around the world.

i hope you will reply as soon as possible.

thanks again……..

You gain confidence through solving papers. The more papers you do. You notice your marks improve. That’s how you gain confidence study wise

hello thank u very much for everything. can you tell me is it better to take copy of the revision guide book or write them chap by chap please help.i have so much to write and draw diagrams which doesnt look nice

I am always finding myself in trouble with Math in the A2 levels.Even if I sit down with the interest of studying, I feel lost and can’t decide which to study after just 30 mins. I scored pretty bad in all subjects in AS and they are really bugging me. I really want to improve my Math as it is very essential in life. Could you please tell me how to motivate myself to practice Math?

BTW your notes are exceptional!

Just have the will buddy!

The best way to crack A2 math is to attack the paper topical wise. So take, let’s say 10 papers, and solve the same type of question from the ten papers. Check the answer after each question and move on. After you finish 10 papers, do a complete past paper and see how you do.

really you have motivated the ones who failed once. i am doing cie A/S and A2 together . the real problem is there is no support like tution class or not even proper school support. i am having my both years exams together in coming MAY/JUNE 2017. I am having just few months so i was just nervous about my exams . i just have a problem in time assuming for studying. i just need a advice of preparing for exams .

Ummmm , Hey ! Thank you so much for all your great work . I’ve got a few questions too xD
1- My IGCSE exams are taking plaace on MAY/JUNE 2017 and I’m studying 8 subjects hoping to have them on the same may/june session which is my first try in cie boards ! My 8 subjects are (Maths-English-Physics-Chemistry-Biology-ICT-Arabic-Geography) Do you think its too much to handle though I still have around 7 months ?
2- I always get the feeling that Im lacking behind or Im going too slow while studying and I always feel tensed and worried .. Any solutions ?
3- I have a problem while planning my studying shedule …. it ends up being thrown in the dustbin always and this makes me feel really bad .
4- I am ready to do anything just in order to get 8A* or A’s to make my parents proud … but how ? The feelings I get which says IMPOSSIBLE just drops me down when ever I gain confidence

Thank you indeed <3

Hey.
I do not think your subjects are a lot. They are very fine. And I had 7 subjects and it was good. You still have a few months left. This website was really helpful and even tho I am a commerce student, it helped me to no end. I would say its okay to be slow but if you create a ‘simple’ schedule, it should work. Try making a schedule for a day, then follow it, then make it for a week and so on. I scored all A*s and As and you’ll make it to. Good luck.

Hi, I am currently doing my Mocks, and I am taking 10 subjects, so I think 8 is good.

Hey is it applicable for students to start with A Levels even if they have failed their GCSE’s? (O LEVELS part 2) pls help!

It is not recommended. A Level uses the student’s knowledge at GCSEs as the building blocks for further topics.

Nervous. Have less than 58 days till exams. Oct/Nov 2016, IGCSE O ‘level 8 subjects. Had to find your page now!!! Not sure if I can follow all your guidelines, especially the printing part. But I definitely need to do that timetable thingamajig. Coz I am so random!

Good luck! Yep it’ll be helpful to have a timetable especially with so many subjects – allows you to balance the subjects and stay on top of everything.

Good luck! Same goes for me. All the best to the both of us!

Can you please Add A2 Geography Notes

I feel like finded your website was a blessing, what’s even better is we took the same subjects, I’m homeschooling for my as level and sitting for the oct/nov examinations and I’m incredibly nervous that my prep hasn’t been up to par, but after reading your studying post and downloading all your notes, i’m motivated to study again 😀 thank u so much

I am so glad to hear so. Good luck in your exams! 🙂

Wow! This is so weird. We revise, plan, and organise in the EXACT same way…

hey can u suggest me the timetable for AS CHEM..PHY..MATHS
how much time should i give to each subject?

i have no issues with the notes but definitely the picture u uploaded with the subtitle “Writing summaries”
u wrote electro(philes) = e- deficient species. which is absolutely correct but if u r to write with a similar kind of approach u shud have written “Nucleo = e- rich species ” just saying . if im not mistaken

Hahah you’re absolutely right too. Jus the way i think of it thats all. Didn’t think people would zoom and try to read it – well picked up 🙂

Love your amazing work! Hope you shall be rewarded! 🙂

Thank you 🙂

You are awesome Zubair. Stay blessed 🙂

Thank you 🙂

This is amazing 🙂 You’ve done a truly great job with the website and I’m sure thousands of people have you to thank for making their lives smoother, myself included.

I would say that I am a good student, although the thing with me is that I am quite lazy and I don’t study much because I find that I already understand everything during class. I did get A*’s in every one of my IGCSE subjects but now that I’m doing 4 AS levels, I find it very difficult to just depend on the things I learn in class, and due to my lack of practice I end up scoring low or average marks on my class assessments. I never feel like studying and when I do, I don’t know where to start or what to do. I’m really impressed by all the work you’ve done and I hope I can be like that too.

If I may, I’d like to ask you a few questions. 🙂 How many hours a day did you study on average? What’s your sleeping schedule like on normal and exam days? Did you study everyday or did you take days off? (like a day in the weekend or so, for example) How did you stay motivated? It looked like your schedule was packed, how did you manage between studying and having fun? (going out, playing games, watching shows, etc)

I have to say though, reading your guide really inspired me to start taking things seriously and I feel like I have a better idea of where I should start. Thank you for that! 🙂 Any advice you could give me would be deeply appreciated.

Thank you very much! – makes me happy to hear so 🙂
I understand your conditions exactly. I guess one of the biggest difference between IGs and AS/A2 is the maturity in a student’s independent studying ability required. Truthfully IGs are pretty easy exams which you can get through with very little revision (just work in class) and getting A*s n As. Congratz on those amazing grades! Really there isn’t much to say but that you have to work yourself if you want to get A grades (at AS). I saw friends around me who were A* students getting Bs and Cs. Its really easy to drop marks/grades in AS.
To the questions! Everyone asks me this and I have no reply – I have never (and never plan to) study in terms of hours because that just doesn’t work; I’ve had days with 2 hours of work which are more productive than those where I’ve worked all day! Like I mentioned in the guide, work in terms of tasks that you set per day/week. The points should be like your guidance on the day – plan according to the tasks you have. Don’t get annoyed if you’re not able to finish – your planning will improve over time but initially you may set too much/too little so keep catch-up times and extra work which you could add if finished early.
Sleep schedule.. hmm. Sleeping early and waking up early is an important factor I believe that helps me work more efficiently. Recently I’ve improved it so that I sleep at 9:30/10 and wake up at 5. I try really hard to maintain it during weekends too but usually it sorta collapses. Even those days I wake up by at least 8:30/9.
Motivation has to come from within you – mine is to get into good unis and make my parents proud as they have done so much for me. I can’t really help you with that.
Yes my schedule is PACKED and yet I’m not just working all day. One of the reasons I wake up at 5 is for my morning runs – physical activity is really important and I love running! Every morning before school (and on nights in weekends) I go out to run – it’s absolutely amazing to me and I enjoy it very much. Yep I go out on weekends and watch shows (keep myself limited to one episode per day or less). You can see that my day is packed with everything I have to do – enjoying yourself and studying is doable! You just need to strike the balance (btw that takes along time to truly come to you – I’ve gotten better after many years of self-improvement)
Finalllyy having a break.. there are days where I’m not able to get much work done but no I don’t set any day as a day off. Studying is really a process that you must develop and enjoy doing. I understand the ‘lazy’ aspect of it but you will have to find a way to love the way you study. The method in my guide is the process i follow and enjoy but you must tweak it for yourself. Again motivation must come from within you. I know this is hard but you must really stop considering studying a task and more a decision you take to improve your own life.
I’m glad the article has helped a bit  let me know if you have anymore queries or if anything doesn’t make sense above (it’s a massive comment probably made a few errors :/ )

I feel you have really aced your IGs and I REALLY need tips from you. Can you please send me an email on my id mehankhariessa@gmail.com .

I have my exams in the Feb/March session as I am in India and I would really appreciate if you were to help me.

My parents have high hopes and I have to live up to their expectations.

It isn’t even a choice for me to be happy with the Cs and Ds I’m getting right now. It’s December and February is not that far… I hope you can help a depressed person through this.

Awesome Man!You really have done a great job 🙂 and probably saved most lives on earth 🙂

Thank youu! Hahaha i hope.. 🙂

Your study tips are amazing!! How were your grades??
Can you please upload those checklists(the ones you used to see if you had completed all the past papers ad the ones regarding each subtopic, etc)?

Thank you! I hope you can follow some of them and improve your own studying. Which grades? IG or AS?
Ah I didn’t think of uploading those but why not? – it might help others. I’ll upload them and add them to the article soon.

Both of them. Also, i have a few queries regarding study plans.
1)How am i supposed to do past papers when my class has not finished with portions yet? Where can I get topical past papers from?
2)How do i practice for topics which have been newly added to the syllabus?
3) I might consider taking an extra AS level subject (either economics or further maths). Do you have any advice for that?

All my grades 🙁 Alright so my grades for IG were 8A*s and 2As and for AS I got 3As and I did A-Level Maths early n got an A*.

1) Topical past papers – I have a few Redspot books for sciences topical but I dont really use them. What I am doing right now as well (syllabus hasn’t finished and I am working on questions) is that I have set the first few years from 02 to 06 as my topicals so I go thru them and do the questions for the topic usually before a test. In this way by the end, these papers would slowly fill up and complete. I think this is better than topical so u have complete papers left in the end without trying any of the questions before.

2) That is extremely difficult! When I did AS Computer Science I had almost 0 resources so I had to research alottt to make the notes (for some I had to understand something extra from a different text and then write bullet points from my head for what the syllabus was asking for). I wasn’t really able to practice much other than specimens and old papers. Basically you’ll just have to study it really well!

3) Good question! Like I said before, I did A-Level Math and this was because I wanted to Further Maths. Are you doing the CIE board? If you are then AS Further Maths is not possible – you can only take the complete A-Level. Also further maths is an extemely difficult subject, again, with very few resources. If you are on the CIE board then I could guide you (we have started writing notes) but you will need to complete A-Level Maths in one year in order to do Further in the A2 year (Y13). If you choose economics, that is completely possible because you can do the AS exams only. Is this going to be your 5th AS?

Wow you’ve got some amazing grades!! Umm I’m doing edexcel board for maths(rest other subjects are CIE)… do you have any idea about that? And yes, i have 4 AS subjects so far (Mechanics, Physics, Chem, Applied ICT). Lets say if i chose economics, how should i begin the process of self-studying/tutoring?

Again thank you so much for your help!!! 🙂

Thanks but people still do much better. Aim higher!! Okay so the edexcel is modular so you’ll be able to do AS Further. Not much I can help with the Edexcel board though – no experience with that. Regarding self-studying a subject, especially something like economics is really not that difficult. I remember in IG i covered most of the syllabus independently. The best way to approach it is to get the exact textbook to the CIE 2016 specifications, keep a copy of the syllabus and start making notes on each topic. Making notes can be used in two ways – revising something or learning it. In this case, you can learn the concept by simplifying it into your own words. Keep the syllabus on hand and make sure every bullet point is satisfied. After that do past paper questions and see if you’ve picked up the concept. I do advise u to find a teacher and ask for tests as u complete a topic so you can make sure you’ve completed it thoroughly.

Wow amazing grades I have literally less than a month to prepare and I feel like I’m too LATE to start .my igs are this may and I’m panicked hopefully I could do atleast half as good as you

Try sharepapers.com
It have a portion called topical papers…
I hope this helps you.

Life saver! Thank you for the notes and tips.

Glad to help 🙂

beeeaaaast

Great ! It was really helpful 🙂 Good Job on the site too (Y).

Thank you! Glad to help 🙂

This is brilliant bro!! 😀

Thank you! I hope it helped 🙂

This is perfect 🙂

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