Last minute revision is never going to be optimum, but I've made a few notes below on how to revise for an English exam within a limited timeframe.
Last minute revision tips for an English exam
- Familiarising yourself with the characters and places in the text that you've been studying over the academic year is a must. You may be forgiven for spelling names wrong, but not knowing them at all suggests that you haven't even looked at the texts.
- Personally I'm a visual learner, so to help get those names implanted into my brain i'd make lists of the names and other key information such as themes, key terms, and literally devices for each text.
- Make a short revision plan, including what you will focus on and when, as well as when you will take breaks to rest and eat or drink.
- Think about the themes in the texts you've studies, and then consider how the text may be similar or different.
- Take a look at Sparknotes and Wikipedia, but be sure to consider what you read, and always put your notes in your own words to prevent plagiarism.
- Have a look through your own class notes and pick out any key term. Using key terms in exams really makes it look like you've put in the time. This also goes for any literary commentators or critics.
- If the exam is a language focused exam, there may be more emphasis on your use and knowledge of grammar, as well as understanding how language is used differently for different purposes. So, familiarise yourself with these themes.
- Try to learn a name of a commentator for each text, and make sentence to learn about what their opinion is.
- Don't forget you have actually already learned most of what you need during your classroom hours. Revision is mainly a refresher.
- Make sure you eat and drink well while revising, and get a good night's sleep the night before your exam. A tired brain won't work well regardless of how much you cram.
- Rather than attempting pages worth of notes, condense your notes down so the fit onto post it notes.
Most importantly , don't stress. You can only do your best with what you've got, and so long as you try your hardest there is nothing more you can do. Remember it's only one exam, and next time you know to give yourself a little more time to prepare!