How to effectively prepare for Predicted Grade and University entrance exams over the summer
We share with you our example revision schedule that, if followed, will guarantee results:
End of term celebrations are here and the prospect of a long glorious summer lies ahead, yet there is this little voice in the back of your mind reminding you that you have quite a bit to prepare for this summer. So how are you going to manage recharging your batteries whilst also adequately preparing for your exams?
Hopefully this is where we can help…
Firstly, you need to make sure you create some form of plan or timetable with achievable and manageable aims. I would initially create a timetable that considers the summer holiday in its entirety, blocking out any time commitments you have already made. It is vitally important that you allocate complete days or periods of time away from studying so that you give yourself enough time to feel rejuvenated. Once you have a rough idea of how your summer is looking, make a list of ‘priorities’ for each subject, ranking them in order of difficulty so that you know you aren’t neglecting anything or leaving all the trickiest topics to last.
Once you have blocked off your periods for free time start to schedule weekly aims. Think about the different subjects you need to balance and see how you can share these across the weeks. You may also have personal statements to write and university entrance exams to prepare for, SAT, UKCAT etc. It is a good idea to also allocate these into your timetable and perhaps prioritise them more so as they approach. By setting yourself weekly aims rather than a full daily task list too far in advance you are giving yourself room for flexibility and impromptu trips to the beach. It is important for you to use your time wisely; study smart not hard.
Personally, I would recommend doing a small amount of revision from 3 of your subjects per week. If you study more than 3 subjects this might require you to make a 2-week timetable to ensure you can dedicate time accordingly. Some of you may prefer to dedicate each week to one particular course, for example only studying Mathematics in week one then moving onto Chemistry in week 2 etc. This may work well for you however, I would recommend adding a little variety to help keep your brain alert and to optimize your processing skills. You want to revise effectively and avoid overload.
Across a 7-day period try allocating between 9 to 12 revision slots of no more than 1.5 hours each, then divide the subjects you have chosen to study that week equally between your time slots.
Above is an example of a weekly schedule you can refer to. In this example I have chosen to study 3 days in this week and get my 9 slots completed in those 3 days – this means I am studying for around 4.5 hours per day but I have 4 complete days away from studying. This is an extremely manageable schedule that creates time-effective, bite-sized revision periods that are not overwhelming or so time consuming that you end up missing out!
Alternatively, if you have university preparation to account for this needs to be taken into consideration as well, perhaps use the following schedule as a guide instead:
Here I have included both personal statement sessions as well as SAT preparation in the timetable and reduced some of the academic time to only one hour to accommodate this.
Whichever timetable you choose to follow make it work for you, they are not there for you to obsess over but instead to keep you accountable over the summer and help you to manage your time and stresses effectively.
How and when you complete these slots is up to you, some people like to wake up early and get their studying done and out of the way in the morning, others in the afternoon and some later in the evening. Maybe try a few different times in the first few weeks and see when works best for you. You can make the timetable as flexible as you need!
Don’t forget to read our ’11 Highly Effective Revision Tips’ to ensure you are optimizing revision output!