Know Your Enemy

Don’t worry, I am not talking about plotting revenge against that boy who broke your heart! No, the enemy in this instance is exams and me saying know your enemy means learning the format of your exam. This means to look over all past papers of the exam you are taking and find similarities in these papers. Make a note of these similarities and you can be sure that the question or type of question you have noted down will come up on your exam. This appeals more to university exams because, for university, their exams every year are very similar.

This method can also be applied to A-Levels. Once you have noted down the questions which you have found to come up in all/most of past exam papers, then practice these questions and make sure you know how to answer them. You need to take into account the specification changes over the years. So for example, an exam from 2010 may not be the same as an exam from 2017 even though it’s the same exam. So only look at exams from the specification which is the same as the current specification.

If your exam is the first of the new specification, then ask the teachers about what is likely to come up. They should guide you in the right direction and once you know this important detail, then go out of your way to practice these topics. Ask for topic questions, ask your teacher to prepare a mock exam etc. Put yourself in the best position to conquer the exam. The following quote should put everything in perspective, ‘The first step on the way to victory is to recognize the enemy’. Know what the exam offers and how difficult it will be, then plan ahead and be smart with your revision so you are best equipped to obliterate the exam!

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