WAEC GCE season is upon us again! And for many candidates taking the exam, it’s a time of fear and panic.
Be it because you’ve run out of time to revise or are scared you haven’t covered all topics, granted, the final days or hours before an exam can be daunting.
For those who have been swotting all the while, I’m sure you can’t wait for the exam to begin. But for other folks who haven’t really prepared enough, well, it’s never too late to put in the extra work to achieve the grades you want. Here we round up the best last minute revision tips to help you succeed:
Squeeze the most out of your final revision time by starting early. It’s easier to process information in the morning too. But ensure you get an early night beforehand and eat a healthy breakfast before starting work. Bananas are great brain food.
Get your priorities in order
Work out which topics need to be covered and prioritise the most important areas. The best way of doing this is to read the syllabus. It will tell you what examiners expect candidates to know and what they should be able to do.
Write out a list of what you’ve done and have yet to do. Ticking it off as you go along will help you to feel more in control.
Come up with mnemonics
That is, Make Names Easily Memorable by Organising Nominated Initial Characters.
For example, if you’re trying to remember the characteristics of living things, think ‘MR NIGER D’.
It’s often easier to remember a spider diagram or a mind map than a long list of words. Take an A3 sheet, put it in a landscape position and write the name of the topic you’re revising for in the middle. Now branch out to the sub-topics.
Make thick, colourful branches spanning out from your mind map, and then as you go along make smaller branches stemming from your keyword.
In the exam, visualise your mind map and it should help you to remember the key points and how they connect to one another.
Share your thoughts
Provided you work effectively and don’t get distracted, revising with friends can be a great way to revise last minute. Bounce around ideas and test one other. They’re bound to remember something you’ve forgotten and vice versa, so share your knowledge.
Page after page of information is great, but not when you’re trying to revise last-minute. So instead, write out flashcards summarising the five or six key points for each topic.
Just reading and re-reading your text book won’t help the information to sink in. Be pro-active – after each section, test yourself.
Write part of the fact you need to memorise in one column, and another part in another. For example, don’t just write ‘Nigeria gained independence in 1960’. Write ‘When did Nigeria gain independence?’ in the left-hand-side column and ‘1960’ in the right-hand-side. Cover up the right-hand-side column and test yourself.
Alternatively, write out what you need to memorise in your own words, several times, or read aloud the information you’re trying to remember. By engaging different parts of the brain it’s more likely to sink in.
Have a plan, Stan
In an ideal world you would practise writing essay after essay, but that’s not realistic if you’re cramming last-minute. So instead, write out on an A4 sheet an essay plan. In bullet point form note down what you will cover in your introduction, paragraph 1, 2 and 3 (and so on), and conclusion.
This will help you to remember the facts and feel more in control when you tackle English.
Also, practise as many math questions as you can.
Write out the key words/phrases/facts you need to memorise and stick them around your room or home.
Take a break
No matter how little time you have left to revise, taking a break is vital. It will give your brain a rest and help you to re-focus afterwards. Watch a short television programme with your lunch or go for a walk.
Get some shut-eye
It’s the night before the exam – do you a) stay up late cramming everything or b) prioritise the last-minute topics, revise them and go to bed early?
You should try to opt for the latter. A good night’s sleep is just as important the night before an exam. There’s no point knowing those last-minute facts if you’re too tired to put them down on paper properly.
If you’re still too anxious to go to bed, why not set your alarm an hour early instead? Calm and targeted last-minute revision will be more effective than desperately trying to cram at 1am.
Put things into perspective
Remember – this may feel like the biggest, scariest thing right now but in the scheme of your life, an exam is usually only a very small part. So keep calm.
Passnownow Note: In order to really help you out in the coming WAEC GCE, keep tabs on our facebook fan page as we continually give you all relevant tips that should help you ace the exam.