Practicing exam questions is such an important part of the revision process, so I would definitely recommend giving yourself a good amount of time to look over past papers.
But, if you need some convincing, here are 5 reasons why it’s important to revise past papers:
- An opportunity to get familiar with the types of questions you’ll be asked
- Practice working in timed conditions, and with a pen (for those of you who are used to typing up your lecture notes!)
- Determine which areas you need to spend some more time revising, so you can focus the last few days of your revision on this
- Understand the mark scheme better to optimise your chance of gaining marks
- Practice staying focused, and on task
Let’s be honest, practicing exam questions can be a bit boring but it will definitely aid your revision, and leave you feeling much more confident when it comes to doing your real exams!
There are a number of different ways to revise using past papers, but here are a couple of my favourite ways to do it:
- Print off a past paper and work your way through each question, writing down your first impressions and ideas – you could even give a quick rating on how confident you would be answering the question, using green/amber/red highlighters. Then, you could either go straight to revising the subjects you’re uncertain about, or you could do some research and then refer back to the question, writing a timed response.
- Alternatively, mimic exam conditions from the start – no textbooks, no lecture notes – just you, a past paper, and a pen. Sit down for the entire length of your exam, and put your all into it. This way, you’ll be able to figure out whether you need to practice working in timed conditions, or whether your main focus needs to be on remembering certain points.
Either way, familiarise yourself with the exam, and any rules or regulations. Then, when it comes to doing the real exam you won’t need to worry about working over time, or missing something out. You’ll be all prepared!
What’s your favourite way to revise past papers? Leave any tips down below!
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