Why are past papers important?
Past papers are an important tool for revision, allowing students to check how their revision is going and assess areas for improvement. Just doing the questions, perhaps under timed conditions and consulting the mark scheme is useful. However, too much of this can lead students to overemphasize the role of the mark scheme in their success and lead them to place a lesser value on other types of homework and revision. Often students resort to just going through the motions with past papers because they aren’t sure what other independent work they can do. Here are ten learning activities to do with past papers that also develop the deeper cognitive skills vital for successful competitive exams students.
What should I do before the exam?
Try to schedule revision for your most productive times during the day. For example, if you feel fresh and alert in the morning, make sure you do most of your studying early. You should also try to:
- Priorities exams that make up a large percentage of a subject’s grade.
- Take regular breaks to refresh your mind.
- Use a variety of study tools to revise – including books, audio guides, and online video summaries.
- Highlight important points in your study notes.
- Ask family and friends to quiz you on each subject.
- Sit past papers so you get a feel for the questions and timings.
- Make time for relaxation with family and friends.
Exams put extra pressure especially competitive exams students. But, with a little preparation and a well-planned revision timetable, you can achieve the grades you deserve.