Maihvish passes on some revision and exam tips in her final blog

Thursday, May 12, 2016 12:50 PM

This is my final blog in what has been the busiest, scariest and the most exciting year of my life. What with all the hard-core revision, exams that never seem to end, trying to fit in all my daily activities, and preparing for interviews, it seems to have tested me to my limits.

So, currently, I am waiting for the exam season to start and I am trying to get any last minute revision done and brush up on exam technique using exam questions. I have seven exams to look forward to, which seems quite daunting but will be my last chance to get the grades I need for university. So in other words, it’s an opportunity to ‘show off’.

Exams – what to look out for

To the students who have upcoming exams: the examiners are not looking to stump you and make you fail, they’re actually looking to give you marks so you can pass. We students always assume the examiners are trying to trick us and we don’t see the question as it is but rather what we think it is. The most effective way of targeting the question and giving the answer the examiners want, is to read the question out loud (in your head, obviously) and whichever words or phrases jump out, these are the keywords that need targeting.

Words and Phrases

Alternatively, you should highlight the key words and phrases that seem important and remember, A-level exams are based on keywords and scientific terms. You may get marks for using specific keywords so don’t waste time writing too much because you might end up missing other marks further on in the paper. Also, even though you’ll have been told this many times, I am going to emphasise how important it is to answer every question. Even if you don’t know what to write, write something that at least links to one of the keywords in the question. For example, if a biology paper included a question about water, osmosis should immediately enter your head and that could possibly count for one mark.

Rules to follow in exams

I have a couple of months before I go to university to study pharmacy and I’m actually feeling pretty excited and probably a bit nervous in advance but of course those are feelings which most people experience. To be honest, I think the hardest part of education would be getting through your A-levels in one piece and then uni life may feel almost like a stroll through the park in comparison. Since I’m an English student, I would like to briefly mention how to ace essays and other exam practises. There are just a few simple rules to follow:

  • ·       Always start off every paragraph with words from the question
  • ·       Try using the writers name at least twice in the paragraph and just mention what effects their methods have
  • ·       Always end the paragraph with words from the question (Just shows that you are answering the question)
  • ·       Time your paragraphs. If you have a 1 hour time slot, then 15 minutes for each paragraph would suffice, with the addition of 5/10 minutes for planning and 5 minutes checking time at the end
  • ·       And lastly, remember that you need to pick only the best points and ideas to use with a sufficient number of quotations to back your points

So anyways, good luck to everyone who has upcoming exams (although no luck is needed if you have revised!). This is my last ever blog and I will really miss doing this but all good things come to an end. A big thank you to for allowing me to do these blogs and giving me a chance to help not only other people but also myself. 

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