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thegingerone

Studying hell

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thegingerone

So like a lot of people here, I'm in the middle of exams (A-levels) and if anyone has any advice or whatnot it would be appreciated.

So far I've done my Biology AS resit and my first of two geography exams and I have the first of two biology exams and the second geography one on Thursday.  I wevised for about 3 weeks for the biology resit despite currently struggling a lot with executive dysfunctin and I managed to finish all my notes and I think I did well in the exam.  It made me feel really good and I was proud of myself.  However since then (and even worse since last Friday after my geography exam) I've been unable to get any work done for either subject and I'm close to melting point so to say.

I've tried so many different things like :

  • Writing to do lists that are really speciffic and include breaks and all that
  • Breaking topics down
  • Switching between different topics (didn't like that one at all)

The to-do list worked well before and now I'm struggling and have only crossed one thing off all day (and it's 2:48pm now)

I'm kind of freaking out because I only have 2 days after today to study for these exams and I've only done 1.5 units out of 7 for biology and not even started geography.  Also, I can't talk to school becasue the one person you are supposed to talk to about all that is off ill (and as far as they know I'm not aspie) and my parents will only give the advice of "it's only 2 more weeks" and "leave it for a couple of minutes and come back to it later"

Anyone have any advice?

Also, sorry for the long post

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aspieguy

This isn't exactly "traditional" exam advice, because such advice doesn't work for me. This is what works for me, but most people (including my mother) will tell you it's the worst advice you could follow. Proceed with caution.

  • Don't use revision guides; revise from the original books or websites where you learnt the information. It's easier for me to remember things when I can picture them on the page, and revising from a different book upsets this.
  • Don't make notes; just go over the information in your head as you're revising and then again maybe one or two hours later (when you're bored). If I make notes, I get too hung up on formatting the notes correctly and making sure that I've covered everything that it distracts me from the actual information, and the notes are useless for reading through later (see first point).
  • Don't make to do lists; just keep in mind what portion of the work you've covered and how much time you've got left, and adjust your pace accordingly. For me, to do lists always get longer and never get any shorter, because I never feel like doing what's on the to do list (which doesn't mean that I never feel like doing anything, just not the particular tasks that are at the top of the list).

As I say, these techniques have gotten me through all of my exams except the very first set (where I used more traditional exam techniques, only to discover that they didn't work very well for me, whereupon I started doing what came naturally and have always gotten good marks in exams). Normally I wouldn't advise people to do something that goes against traditional advice, but it sounds like you're not doing very well as it is so it might be worth trying a more intuitive approach to revision. Don't just follow what I've said; find what works for you, and don't feel obliged to follow traditional revision techniques that aren't working for you.

Sorry, I'm afraid that that's all that I can offer.

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thegingerone
12 minutes ago, aspieguy said:
  • Don't use revision guides; revise from the original books or websites where you learnt the information. It's easier for me to remember things when I can picture them on the page, and revising from a different book upsets this.
  • Don't make notes; just go over the information in your head as you're revising and then again maybe one or two hours later (when you're bored). If I make notes, I get too hung up on formatting the notes correctly and making sure that I've covered everything that it distracts me from the actual information, and the notes are useless for reading through later (see first point).
  • Don't make to do lists; just keep in mind what portion of the work you've covered and how much time you've got left, and adjust your pace accordingly. For me, to do lists always get longer and never get any shorter, because I never feel like doing what's on the to do list (which doesn't mean that I never feel like doing anything, just not the particular tasks that are at the top of the list).

Thank you so much :)

I'm definitely going to try the first two points, but I can't function without having what I need to do written out in front of me so I'm going to have to stick with the to-do lists for now :P

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Nesf

When I was revising for exams, I had a system where I would make a study timetable for myself that went like this: Monday morning - maths. afternoon - physics. Tuesday morning - French. afternoon: English, etc. I got my notebooks and went through them with a highlighter, skipping quickly past the bits I knew well and highlighting the bits I needed to remember or didn't know so well. I made notes sometimes, too, though that could slow me down. Then, when I'd been right through the material, on the night or day of the exam, I just went through the highlighted bits again or the notes of things I needed to remember. I had breaks, snacks and treats, but I was very insistent on myself getting to a certain point in the revision before I would take a break, so that I would have the incentive to keep going.

My greatest fear was the exam itself, as I had huge anxiety that I would blank out and not remember, or not have enough time. Then, when I sat the exam, I would agonize over all the mistakes I thought I had made and I was sure that I'd done absolutely terribly when in reality I hadn't. The best thing is to make sure you wind down and relax the evening for the exam, studying late into the night is more likely to make you tired and forget things or make mistakes on the day of the exams.

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aspieguy
58 minutes ago, AlzEilir said:

Thank you so much :)

I'm definitely going to try the first two points, but I can't function without having what I need to do written out in front of me so I'm going to have to stick with the to-do lists for now :P

If the to do lists work for you, then use them. :)

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