By Matt Burdett, 6 March 2020
This article is about how to plan your revision for Geography in one month.
Whoops! You had the best of intentions, but there were so many other things to do…and now you only have one month left to revise.
Don’t panic! Everything will be ok.
In a previous post, I wrote about the best way to structure your revision. It’s not too late – one month is enough time to have a good, full programme of revision. Check out my suggestions for stress-free revision in my ‘6-point plan to stress-free revision’.
If you only have a month, there are some specific one-month strategies you can use. If you have more time, you might also check out my post on how to revise if you have three months to go. It has a bit more ‘big picture’ stuff, so if you only have a month to go, keep reading this post for my top tips.
Tip 1: One month: one focus: one syllabus
The first thing you need to do if you have a month to go is make sure you know what your syllabus requires. It’s likely that your teacher has taught extra things that aren’t in the syllabus (good for her! Education is about more than slavishly following an exam schedule), and may have missed out or skimmed over some parts.
Get out the syllabus. Use it as a traffic light checklist. Anything you understand, highlight in green. Anything you have no idea about, highlight red. Anything you’re not sure, highlight yellow.
Tip 2: Know where to start
Which type of student are you?
- You start revising at the start of the textbook or syllabus. You probably run out time to revise the second half of the book.
- You start revising the things you have no idea about. You probably need to make notes on everything first.
- You start revising what you feel confident about. It’s all good, until you get to the bits you don’t understand, and then you find yourself asking the teacher about them the day before the exam.
If you are a yes to any of these: STOP STOP STOP! These are all strategies that make you feel better but don’t necessarily help you pass an exam. Instead, you should start with the areas you know about, but aren’t confident about.
If you have done the syllabus traffic lighting from Tip 1 above, you will have found that you kind-of know some things. These are the bits to start with. Why?
- Starting with what you know is a waste of time. You know it already! Why prioritise this?
- Making notes on stuff you have no idea about is probably pointless. Most exams will give you a choice of questions. You can probably get higher marks by avoiding the sections you really don’t know anything about.
- If you begin with what you aren’t quite sure of, you have a starting point. This means your brain is working, and learning.
- It’s quicker. You probably have some notes already, and will only need to do a little bit of extra research.
Tip 3: Use past papers
If you have more time, I’d recommend doing past papers alongside other strategies. But with one month to go, you should try to do one past paper a week. Your teacher will be able to help you find them, along with the mark schemes. It’s fine to start with the mark scheme open while you’re writing, but in Weeks 2, 3, and 4, you should try to do them unseen.
Make sure you mark your own papers. Giving your work to the teacher is highly passive, and won’t help you think more clearly. Mark your own work, then give your paper to the teacher. This will help identify any points where you have misunderstood the mark scheme.
Those were my top tips for revising in one month. Do you have any other great ideas for revision over a one month period? Leave a comment below, thanks for visiting!