How to prioritise revision

how-to-prioritise-revision-fSo, you have five exams next week and haven’t started revising yet so how do you decide what to do first? Before you plan to stay up all night, every night before your exams and revise, I would suggest reading this blog post. While it is always better to revise in advance, here I will explain a simple system to help you to prioritise your revision if you need to.

Traffic light your work

Before you rush into trying to revise everything in no particular order, take a moment to traffic light your exams. Go through your exam specifications, or use the contents page of your book and mark everything you need to know for your exam as either red, orange, or green. Red is for things that you would have no idea about answering an exam question on, orange is for things that you might be able to answer a question on, and green is for things you would feel confident answering a question on. Once you have done this you will be able to see which areas are red, and therefore the most important.

When you are revising only focus on the specific areas that need work (ie. the red areas) and don’t get distracted by going over information you already know. If you have time you can then focus on other areas.

Think about the order of your exams

In addition to thinking about which areas need the most work, it might be sensible to revise for your first exam first. This way, that exam will be out of the way and you will have time to focus on other, later exams. That said, if you have more green areas in your first exam and your last exam has lots of red areas then you might be better to revise for your last exam instead.

Work out the weighting of your exams

If you have to choose between revising for an exam worth 15% and an exam worth 75% of your final mark, it would probably make sense to revise for the one with the highest weighting. You will be able to find out the weighting of your exams either from your school or university or from your exam board.

Stay calm

If you have loads to do in a short space of time it can be easy to get stressed and not give yourself any free time. While this probably isn’t a good time to decide to go away for a weekend and do no studying, you do need to give yourself breaks. Just a quick ten minute break every hour or so and making sure you get enough sleep will help you to stay calm so you can focus better when you are revising.


Leave a comment to let me know if this has helped you to prioritise your revision more effectively 🙂

Ellen Allsop

Hello! I'm Ellen Allsop, the creator of EAsy :)

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1 Response

  1. December 1, 2016

    […] You need to make sure you divide each subject up into little pieces for this, so each colour has an individual piece of information attached to it, rather than a big topic. By doing this your revision can be more specific and more focused on the most important areas (which will stop you wasting time on things you already know). This is why using an exam syllabus can be better than using a contents page of a textbook as they tend to divide the information up well. Once you have done this you should have a clear idea of what your best and worst topics are so you can prioritise your revision. […]

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