It is getting to that time of year. With only weeks to go, it is time to start thinking of revision. Hopefully, by now you will have finished the course (or literally be there) and about to starting to revise. So, how do you do this? I’m hoping this post will give you some ideas for the next few weeks.

Start with the obvious – get those past papers out. OK, so there aren’t any for the new course and you have probably used the specimen papers for a mock but the old papers are the best we have. Be mindful that there will be some things in them that will not be required (eg, buffers) and some things that will need to be tweaked (eg, anything involving STP) but on the whole, they are 80-85% very useful.

Move onto the text books – there are a wealth of questions in these and whilst they may not be examination questions, they are good, solid revision questions all the same.

With regards to paper 1, go through the specimen paper and ask the students to determine which level of command terms are being tested (ie, objective 1, 2 or 3) and then to decide the actual command term – it is not easy, believe me. Get the students to rewrite the questions to reflect different command terms. For example, if a question is testing an objective 2 command term, rewrite it to test an objective 3.

The option section of paper 3 perhaps poses some of the biggest challenges as it is totally new. Try splitting up the subject material between your students and ask them to prepare a 10 minute revision slot on this topic – it will help them and their peers – encourage them to produce sample flash cards or PowerPoint’s.

The mandatory lab section of paper 3 could be revised by running though the 10 mandatory labs. You don’t have to do the labs but pull out the equipment again, show the students how it was set up, talk them through what you did. Ensure that you are asking them about shortcomings to the method, shortcomings to the collection of data and alternative ways of carrying out the same lab. It’s also a good chance to revise error and uncertainty calculations.

Do you allow students to revise together? It’s a tough call to make – at this point in time, my honest opinion is no. At least, not in class. When they sit the exam in a few weeks they will be by themselves and I think it is important that they learn to deal with this.

Do you have any hints, tips or strategies that you are willing to share? If so, we would love to hear from them below.

Good luck and I hope the paper is a good one!