The Christmas holidays are coming up and that can mean only one thing, prelims. It is a well-known fact that everyone dearly loves prelims and the Christmas period quickly becomes a time for frantic revision before the shock of returning to a multitude of different exams. But we all know the question you are burning to ask is, how exactly do I revise? There is a vast array of revision techniques you can use to help you get the best possible mark in your prelims and here are a few suggestions.


The traditional means of revising and the one most likely suggested by your parents is of course notes. These can be very useful for almost all subjects especially English and the social subjects as these are often heavily note orientated already. Notes can be jazzed up and made more interesting with annotated diagrams, eg. chemical structures you need to remember or a diagram showing the Rutherford structure of the atom; colour coding and annotated charts and graphs such as population pyramids with the different age categories identified et cetera.


Mind Maps

Mind maps are a fantastic tool for getting all the information swimming around your head onto paper. Bold, circled or highlighted headings can help you identify specific areas for when you are reading over them.



A powerpoint can be an interesting modern alternative to notes. Clear headings can help you quickly identify different topics when reading over the notes. Relevant images can brighten it up and make it more interesting.


Past and Exemplar Papers

Past papers are your friend, trust me, I’ve sat WP_20151210_00513 exams already. There is no better way of practising what it is truly going to be like in the exam than sitting down with an egg timer and a past paper. This will test your ability to work against the clock at the appropriate level, unless you are doing higher maths then all you have is our lovely paper from last year. These can be found on the SQA website (click here). Also, learning formulae for subjects such as physics and chemistry can be very useful. Print off the formula sheets and annotate the equations with units, names etc.


Scholar and BBC Bitesize

Both Scholar and BBC Bitesize offer topic by topic questions for a range of subjects. Although the Scholar questions tend to be more exam like and ‘harder’ the Bitesize ones are very good for quickly checking your general knowledge of the topics prior to diving into fully fledged exam style questions. Scholar and BBC Bitesize both offer topic summaries and information which can be of great use when writing notes or making mind maps.