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Revising for Physics exams

First of all don't give up!

Here are some thoughts and suggestions about the preparation for a Physics exam.

1. Find out what is on the syllabus that you are studying for! When revising for an exam there is no point in spending time on learning material that you will not be required to know.

2. Coursework if you have not already handed it in make absolutely sure that it is as good as possible (there is a whole section on the website suggesting how to check that you have got all the points written down for any experiment). Coursework is really important because it may count for about 25% of the final marks do this well and you start off with a big advantage before even sitting down for the written papers.

3. Ask your teacher for as many past papers as they are prepared to give you and then work through these systematically over the coming months. Make sure that they are the same type as those that you will be sitting.

4. Find out what the correct answers are!

5. Write out your own revision cards. There are some on the market but it is much better to do some yourself. However don't make them too long. Split the subject up into small units and then write one card per unit. (For example one could be on electromagnets)

6. Find out which topics you are weakest at (don't say all of them!) and then revise those. There is no point in relearning the things that you know it will make you feel good but won't really help your revision.

7. For each topic that you revise start with a blank sheet of paper and write down what you know about it. When you have written down all that you know about that topic look it up in books or on the Internet and make some notes. Learn these and then go back to another blank sheet and try again until you have mastered the topic.

8. Talk about the topics with your teacher, friends and family even if some of them are not experts. It really helps to try and explain topics to others you will soon see if you understand the subject.

9. Read about the topics in as many places as you can. You might simply try choosing a page at random (by its number) and then dipping into the book to see if you understand the work that you find there. There is also the Internet.

10. Write things down don't just sit and dream over a printed page your mind will wander!

11. Find as many questions about the topics as you can and answer them. Check that they are on the syllabus before getting worried.

12. Plan your revision very carefully week by week, deciding what topics you will revise and when and then stick to it!

There are over 1500 questions suitable for 16-19 courses on the site as well as at least 1200 11-16 ones. You will have to ask your teacher if you can see the answers.

Good luck!


© Keith Gibbs