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Revision and examinations
Revision and examinations

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3.3 Stage 3: Deciding what to revise

In Stage 2, you will have reminded yourself of the scope of the course, and you will also have a sense of the range and breadth of topics you have covered. Now you need to decide what to revise.

Activity 5

Timing: Allow approximately 20 minutes.

Stages 1 and 2 will have given you some idea of the range of revision topics and potential material you could draw on for revision.

Make a preliminary list of course topics. Then look at past or specimen exam papers to see which of the topics on your list appear, and how often. Having done this, think of the material you have to revise from - is it limited or quite detailed?


You may find that for one topic you not only have an assignment, but also notes from your tutorial, course materials, audio visual material, or supplementary readings. Such a selection points to this being a strong revision topic for you.

Although there is no exact formula for how much you should cover in your revision, it is a good idea to revise more topic areas than the number of questions to be answered. You may find that a particular topic you have revised has a question with a narrow focus or an awkward slant.

It will become clear that certain topics appear on the exam paper year after year. Some topics will have a wealth of material for you to draw on, and other topics will simply be your favourites and easier to learn. It is always a good idea to show your list of revision topics to a tutor or fellow student. You can ask them what they think about your revision plans.