Exam revision first aid kit for students

Exam revision first aid kit for students

Chloe Marie, School Success Manager - Edrolo

As the end of year exams get closer, you might be finding it harder to stay motivated. The end is so close yet still so far, and you’re in a revision slump. So here’s 6 easy hacks to revamp your revision sessions from some of our team who know a thing or 2 about exams (they were both standout students and then became teachers!) These strategies work whether you're studying VCE in Victoria, HSC in NSW or QCE in Queensland - and we've included specific links and examples for each state.

1. Cognitive verb bookmarks

POV -  You're reading Question 1 in an exam and having no idea what it’s asking. Relatable? You’re not the only one, and it’s often because we don’t understand the language or ‘cognitive verbs’ used in a question, leaving us clueless when forming a response.

So what are cognitive verbs anyway?

Cognitive verbs are command terms or action words that prompt you to respond to a question in a specific way. Some examples of cognitive verbs are words like explain, analyse or justify. 

But don’t worry, we have your back! Print this cognitive verb glossary (VCE, HSC, QCE) and practice exam questions using the verbs. You can also download a printable cognitive verb bookmark (VCE, HSC, QCE) with our top 10 verbs so you always have them handy as you study and revise over the coming months. 

2. Nutshell sentences

Do you have a habit of waffling on in your exam responses, including lots of details and information, unsure if you’ve answered the question. So you just keep writing in the hope that something sticks, the longer the answer the better, on and on and on ...?

Well try this!

1. Answer an Edrolo exam question as normal.

2. Challenge yourself  to reword your answer in 20 words or less. Your aim is to provide as much detail and accuracy as possible, without telling a super long story.

3. Compare your response to a friend’s, and then compare them to the Edrolo exemplar response. Self mark both questions and then determine what the most important information was to keep.

3. A pomodoro for Edrolo

This is a strategy widely used for time management. Are you a master procrastinator, who always finds yourself on Tik-Tok? This is for you.

1. It’s simple: Set a 25 minute timer to work to and complete one task in that time.
You can choose to work on a range of tasks in this time including completing Edrolo exam questions, writing some body paragraphs of an essay, reviewing Edrolo videos and content, or reviewing your mistakes and having a second go at questions on the platform.

2. After the 25 minutes you get a short break! (maybe stretch, have some water… )

3. Be impressed at how much you have achieved in 25 minutes, then start the clock again!

Find more on the Pomodoro Technique here

4. Syllabus flashcards

The syllabus or study design for each subject  is your guidebook, an instruction manual of sorts that tells you exactly what you need to know to succeed in your assessments and exams. 

So to make your life easier, and ensure you’re on top of all the content you need to learn, download the Edrolo Unit Plan which is directly aligned to the syllabus. You can then use this to make flash cards so you can test your knowledge on different topics. 

We even have a little key with brains that rate how difficult a concept is!

Example from a VCE Legal Studies Unit Plan

Example from a HSC Chemistry Unit Plan

Example from a QCE Psychology Unit Plan

5. Traffic light revision

Not sure where to start with your revision? Use the student self-rating scores in the Edrolo platform to target your revision!

Use the Edrolo self-ratings to target your revision

Now this is obviously easier to do if you rate your understanding on the platform throughout the year, BUT you can rate things now if you have forgotten to do it before. 

Once you’ve got your ratings, you can prioritise your study by reviewing concepts that you have rated a 1 or 2. Then move on to topics you’ve rated a 3 and so on. 

This helps to make sure you’re studying the things you actually need to study.

Pro Tip: Get a study buddy and revise tricky topics together, you can also help teach one another when you get to topics one person is more confident with!

6. Exam masters

It’s time to practice!  Avoid burnout by pacing your exam practice and not leaving it to the last minute. 

There’s lots of practice questions for you to do online with Edrolo. Once you’ve given it your best shot, make sure you go back and complete the self-marking so you know exactly what examiners are looking for in a  response. You can read an exemplar response, use the marking guide and even watch a video solution that helps break down and respond to the question. 

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