This was originally something I wrote in an old notebook I recently unearthed which noted parts of our conversation but with illegible handwriting. I’ve tried my best to keep this accurate but if there’s any outdated information, please do let me know. – Nishat
My brother got 100% on his economic essay in his A-Levels despite the fact that he only revised the day before the exams. He kindly bestowed some of his wisdom to share – which is nice considering he could make a slammin’ book out of this.
It’s becoming a more prominent aspect in exams. You have to understand the content well enough to a point where you can see the connections between each idea.
Here’s an example:
This is a simple example from what seems to be two different aspects of German history merging together. In this question, they give two topics to work from, it all depends on knowing your stuff and having a good structure when you write your answer. We’ll address presentation in a second too.
Some could appear like this:
When these questions pop up, they’re asking for the same thing. Except you have to rely on what you know. So you might wanna revise.
“But this is all self-explanatory Nishat, is there a better way to revise for this?”
Glad you asked.
- Scan your whole textbook or your notes.
- Try to understand, not remember, the points until you get a good grasp of the content.
- Come up with exam-style questions and write them on sticky notes.
- Allocate a mark to each question as you see fit.
- Answer them, duh.
- Do a load of practice papers.
- Then teach a friend (or just anyone, I used to teach my cat about Kant’s Axe).
Ideally, you want to create both simple and hard questions. The easy questions are equivalent to 4 mark question (or you can make it 8 if you’re feeling frivolous) and they allow you to consolidate your knowledge. The hard ones link up various topics that can be compared or used to evaluate different sides of a statement.
If you do this and formulate strong answers, you’ll be able to comfortably understand the content and how it factors into your topic. There’s even a chance a similar question will appear in the exam. Then you don’t have to plan what points you need to make, you just need to focus on how you’ll structure your work.
This scenario happened during my brother’s test. He came up with a few questions in his head beforehand and when one very similar was in his exam, he didn’t have to stress about his points, he just needed to present his work concisely.
Once you got that on lock, you’re halfway immune to the threat of exam failure.
Let’s move on.