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How to identify key revision areas before you sit an exam

Revising is the most important thing you can do to prepare for your exams, and effective, well-thought out revision can be the difference between you achieving an excellent grade or a mediocre one.

It’s important to know where your strengths and weaknesses are in different subjects, as this will mean that you can spend more time focusing on the areas that you find hard to understand and less time going over topics that you already know fairly well.

Read our tips on how to identify the key areas that you need to be revising before you sit an exam.

Speak to your teacher

This is perhaps the most obvious thing that you can do, but it is also probably the most helpful. Your teacher marks all of your work and observes you in lessons so it’s likely that they are the one person who knows the most about the areas you need to work on. Arrange to have a meeting with them and ask them to write a list of the topics or subjects you’re not so strong on. It’s also an opportunity to ask them questions you are really struggling with and they will able to give you advice about how to revise effectively.

Look back through your notes

Dedicate some time to reading back through the notes that you have taken during class and pay attention to the ones you find yourself frowning over or spending more time to read. This will be a good indication of where you are finding it harder and will help you to create a worthwhile revision plan.

Test yourself
They say the proof is in the pudding, so take some of our past papers to see exactly which topics you need to focus on for your revision. Another way is to get your parent or sibling to ask you questions and make a note of the ones that you didn’t get right.

Stay positive

It can be disheartening when you are finding certain parts of a subject hard, but try not to beat yourself up about not getting it all right first time round. Instead, take it as a positive. You have identified the areas that you need to work on and now have a good chance to improve yourself and get the best possible grade.