Revision and exam help

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Different types of exams

Coursework or practical exam

These need a whole different range of skills. Many of the skills are less intellectually demanding than some hard theory topics, but this seems to make some students complacent. Listen to advice from your teacher for your specific exam board’s requirements and again look at the mark schemes from previous years to see what types of things keep coming up. This area is where you can perhaps make the greatest difference to your marks just by spending sufficient time on preparation. Learn which skills and techniques are needed, how to present and analyse data and how to discuss ways of improving an experiment or investigation. Most of the ideas are relatively straightforward, but not stating some basic things (that you might even think are too obvious to mention) can loose you lots of marks.

Synoptic exam

This will come at the end of your course. This again requires different skills. Students who do not fully understand the ideas in each module will have great difficulty drawing them together and looking for links between them. Your approach in this situation should contain at least two elements: you need to go systematically over the whole of the course to finally understand those topics that have so far confused you, and also learning the new skills required for your particular style of synoptic questions. As ever the best way to improve these skills is through practicing them – so yet again you are advised to do lots of practice questions.

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