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BA (Hons) English

Jessica-AlexanderA-level and BTEC exams are fast approaching and I’m sure a lot of you have this revision malarkey well and truly underway.

Having taken my A-levels fairly recently, I know only too well how difficult it is to stick to a strict revision routine. That little voice in your head saying “I’ll start tomorrow” plays on repeat and before you know it you’re in that exam hall wishing you’d worked that bit harder.

However, I’m here to lend a helping hand with my Revision Survival Guide that will include some top tips on how to stay calm and work hard at the same time.


You must always be organised when it comes to revising. Having no routine, or not having the right equipment, such as paper, coloured pens etc. can make mind mapping and note taking a little challenging.

So, decide on a routine. What days are you going to revise? Are you better at revising in the morning, afternoon or evening?

What things will you need? You may have to pop to the shop to buy revision cards, coloured paper or coloured pens. I always found that colour coordinating really helped me visually remember information.

Decide what revision method you will use for what subject – e.g. for English you may want to revise by completing practice papers, taking notes from the set text or even simply re-reading. For Geography, you might want to produce A3 mind maps, with different coloured paper for each topic. BUT remember, when producing mind maps or revision cards, never write in full. A few words or a sentence to summarise will be most beneficial to memorise.


A little like organisation. Prepare yourself before starting any work.

Be in the right frame of mind. No one can revise if they’ve had a bad day at college or your busy day doesn’t end until 10pm. Start when you’re feeling fresh and ready (although try not to tell yourself every day is a busy, bad day, otherwise you won’t ever start revising).

Make sure you’re in a quiet environment. Most people can’t work with background noise, but if you need a little to keep you sane then I suggest some light, relaxing music, as opposed to heavy rock metal – but we all have our own preferences!

Create a revision timetable. After working out which days and times you can revise, put them straight down into a timetable and aim to stick to it as much as possible. You will feel so much better knowing you’ve earned your breaks at the right time and completed enough work to feel satisfied.


Get yourself in gear!

See revision as something exciting, a goal, an achievement, because in the end it all leads to something bigger.


Stick to your plan and if you set yourself some work to do, do it!

Don’t leave revision until the last minute, it’s the worst feeling trying to cram everything in last minute and you’ll be thankful if you start early.

Don’t give up – you’re doing great and all the hard work is paying off!

Dos and Don’ts

· DO take regular breaks in between revision sessions

· DO make sure you drink lots of water

· DO make sure you eat proper, sensible meals

· DO make the most of fresh air, sometimes your brain can get a little claustrophobic and you need to let it breathe

· DON’T leave revision until the last minute

· DON’T stay up all night. A good night’s sleep recharges the brain

· DON’T be worried. Exams aren’t all that bad and revision can be fun!


And it was all worth it to get here – the first time I met my course mates at BU!

By Jessica Alexander

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