How to revise for O and A levels with less than 2 months left: Tips from a 4 A* student.

trThere’s very little time left. You haven’t studied much or at all in the last 5-6 months. Preparation for the upcoming Cambridge/Edexcel/IAL examinations is terrible. You think all is lost… But wait, what’s that? Look up in the sky…it’s a bird, it’s a plane…nope! It’s Fahad Dewan with another blog to drag you out of the depths of misery and despair, and give you hope!

Assuming you are an Average student at least, you’ve done some of your classes at school or coaching. You’ve probably sat for a few tests/exams as well. Simply put, you’ve covered all the chapters in your syllabus by now, at least superficially if not in depth. If not, you’ll need to adapt. You don’t have the time to learn new chapters only. It’s high time to sit down and start revising! Here’s my top 5 revision tips that helped ME achieve A*s in my O and A level. You could try them out as well!
Indeed, with around 40-50 days until your examinations, time does seem to fly. If you’re a student, you’re probably nodding in agreement right now. So, how DO you keep track of the hours when they are conspiring against you? Get yourself a calendar/ diary and make a schedule. How do you make a schedule? Sit down with your syllabi/specifications, books, question papers and list all the chapters/sections you need to complete revising for each subject. Depending on the length, depth and your comfort with that chapter/section, OVER ESTIMATE how long you could take to cover ALL the CONCEPTS, FORMULAS, NOTES etc. DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE TIME TO SOLVE SOME CHAPTERWISE QUESTIONS FROM THE QUESTION PAPERS. With so little time left, I suggest you solve chapterwise questions from the years 2012-2015 and leave the 2016 for YEARWISE mocks.

For instance, if you think you’ll be able to complete the chapter of Electromagnetism in 2 hours or the entire section of Electricity and Magnetism in 5-6 hours total, write down 3 hours and 7 hours respectively. Do this for all the subjects.
Then, make a weekly schedule. What chapters/sections are you going to complete over the next one week? List them down. Which ones are you gonna cover on Sunday and on Monday and on Tuesday and so on. Set your goals accordingly. Make sure your schedule and goals are realistic and will lead you to complete revision on time.
2.    Don’t spend too much time making lengthy notes/essays all over again. Instead make flowcharts, bullet points, concise diagrams etc.

Remember that you’re on a deadline and that you gotta take shortcuts. Instead of writing all the reactions of alkylhalides in words, with descriptions and all, make flowcharts and bullet points to save you time and the sheer volume of revision materials. If you DO need to write a concept in detail, do it in a short paragraph and include only the crucial points in that paragraph. This technique of summarizing entire chapters will not only get your revision done relatively quicker, but also strengthen your concepts.

In my opinion, this is the most unusual yet rewarding revision technique I have used in my life. So this is how I made the best use of my SOLVED mock and past papers:

When my Biology Paper 2 exams were about 3-4 days away, I used to compile all my mock papers and solved past papers. I would take a pencil, and start going through, for example, the entire May-June 2011 Paper 2 question paper I solved, VERY QUICKLY. In the process, I would find out WHAT MISTAKES I DID, WHAT CONCEPTS I STRUGGLED WITH, WHICH FORMULAS I HAD FORGOTTEN- basically all my weaknesses on that paper. I would write all those down on the Cover Page of that Question Paper. I would do this for ALL the papers I could find. The next day I would start making corrections. When I did this for all the Biology Paper 2’s from 2006-2013 for example, the chances were that I had covered CONCEPTS AND PROBLEMS from the entire syllabus.


Some of you may already know what this is all about. It’s based on scientific studies that show that sleeping consolidates memory and new knowledge by forming synapses (connections) in your brain. I can attest to the fact that a concept I revised at night, right before I went to bed seemed more vivid to me when I woke up the next morning. So, ektu koshto kore (try hard) instead of taking your phone to bed the next 2 months, take your revision sheets/notes/question papers and revise the entire day’s work in 20-30 minutes and go to sleep. Don’t check your Facebook or Snapchat or anything distracting in between. Study and go to sleep! If you see calculus in your dreams, you know you’re doing it right.


5.    If you believe in a God, pray to HIM.
If you believe in a higher power, there is probably no better time to renew your relationship with Him. This also means it’s a very good time to learn the Ayatul Kursi.


If you need any help getting MOTIVATED or if you don’t quite understand any of the things I’ve mentioned in this article, please feel free to message me on Facebook at

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