Turn a weakness into a strength
If you know where you went wrong in your exam, or know what your weakness is, then focus on that first. Look at your marked exam paper. (if you’ve sent for it) Where do your marks dip? Practise exam questions. You can usually access previous exams online if you search for your syllabus.
Break down an exam paper into sections
To revise effectively, look at the different units or sections you need to master. For instance, if you are retaking English Language, there are two elements to work on. Reading analysis, and writing technique.
If you know you’re brilliant at argumentative writing, focus instead on those styles which you struggle with. Similarly, if you find it hard to analyse language learn what examiners are looking for. For a C grade, you must always write about how writers create effects. Just feature spotting won’t improve your grade.
To revise effectively, keep revisiting difficult concepts. Write pointers on sticky notes. Do short, intense bursts of revision rather than hours of unproductive time-wasting.
Book a tutor to speed up progress
Many students find home tuition invaluable when retaking. A specialist tutor can iron out all those grey areas you struggle with, and crucially, help you with timekeeping.
There’s no point spending half an hour on a question if you only have 15 minutes time for it in the exam itself. Be strict with yourself. Use a kitchen timer – and no sneaking onto facebook.
Nothing is ever plain sailing in life. After all, exams are a test of your nerve and technique as much as your ability.
It might feel like a mountain to climb now, but if you break it down into steps you’ll get there! Good luck… And remember, if you need some help, call us, especially if you’re in Kent or East Sussex.