While revising MCQs (during your final exam), attempt every question again as though for the first time, reading every single word again.
Try not to mark your answers on the QP, as this might affect your revision and increases chances of someone copying off you.
Strictly restrict to syllabus aims- study with syllabus kept at your side
Unless specifically mentioned by the question, always give your answer to same number of sig. figs. as the question
Always include the appropriate units in your answers, taking care of nomenclature (uppercase/lowercase/punctuation)
Always show your working for numerical question along with the general formula used. Then, if you make a calculation error, you may still be awarded marks for using the correct formula/correct scientific concept
The depth of your explanations should match the number of lines and marks given for that question – do not over-write (writing too much outside lines can be penalised) but also ensure that you give sufficient detail. For example, if a part of a question is worth three marks you should make at least three separate points. Be careful that you do not make the same point three times (just phrased differently)
When drawing graphs and diagrams, use a sharp 2B/HB pencil and draw thin, neat lines/curves- try to erase minimally (as this causes fading of graph lines and leaves untidy marks.) If in doubt, draw light lines and plan the shape of your graph/diagram. Then draw bold lines when you are sure.
While practising past papers/other questions, if you encounter a question you do not understand, seek help and clarify that concept. Do not simply mug up the answer from the mark scheme or convince yourself of the unlikeness of that concept appearing in the exam.
When practising past papers/final exam, never leave any question empty. Fill up the lines with the answer that seems most likely.
(Especially for Bio)- Mug up definitions of key terms exactly as given in the syllabus
If you have just finished learning a new concept, try and explain it out loud, as though you are teaching a beginner. If you can explain it convincingly, using key terms, you are clear. Else, revise the concept again till you are confident you can explain it to someone.
Use mnemonics, colour coded notes, mind maps, audio-visuals, whatever helps you to remember. However, do not get so carried away colour coding that it manifests into a distraction more than a study aid.
When using online notes/study help, always be wary of what you are reading. Be vigilant. Do not blindly accept everything you read, as there may be errors in those sources (Z-notes!!!)
Though it is important to save trees and electricity, I found it very beneficial to solve physical printed past papers (especially for the sciences) under a time constraint and strict exam conditions when practising for my exams.
Underline key terms in the question, especially things that you think you will overlook when working your answer (for eg, “Air resistance may be ignored”/”Give your answer to the nearest degree”/”Object is stationary”)
Remember – it is highly unlikely that a piece of information given in the question is redundant. Thus, read every question twice before answering and notice the words used. There are often subtle hints hidden in the question itself.
Most of the questions have many sub-parts (for eg, Q1 (a),(i), (ii)) It is important to remember that these are meant to be answered in the chronological sequence as follow up questions often require the use of the concept/answer of the previous question.
By: Sharvani Sivakumar
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