Christmas – A Time To Revise

Why you shouldn’t skimp on Christmas holiday revision

It’s the end of a long, hard term. We’re in deep winter. Everyone else is getting ready to kick-back and enjoy the Christmas festivities (even if they’re curtailed by Covid) – but you’ve got mocks to revise for. The temptation is to forget about the revision, relax on the sofa and gorge on Quality Streets. But, you might end up regretting this more than the extra chocolates on Boxing Day.

Mocks are important every year, but this year they’re even more important than normal.

Why mocks are always important

Mocks are an important learning opportunity. It’s not just about learning the stuff you need to know to get a decent mark in an exam. It’s also about learning how you revise, and seeing where you can improve for the ‘real thing’. When you take your mocks revision seriously you learn things like:

  • What times of day you revise best, and which should be avoided
  • How you can motivate and incentivise yourself to keep going
  • How long you can sit for without getting bored and distracted
  • Which revision techniques work for you – and which ones don’t
  • The amount of time it takes you to learn what you need to cover

You simply can’t learn this stuff without doing it yourself. And, if your mocks are in January, now is the moment to find these things out. After the exams you can do an exam season review to capture what you’ve learned from your mocks and how to move forward from there.

Why mocks are important this year

This year, mocks are even more important than ever. With the cancellation of last summer’s exams still hanging over us and the prospect that Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs) could be used again, mocks could make a significant difference to your future.

The government currently states that exams are going to go ahead – but it would be wise not to ditch Mock exam revision because you’d rather be watching Netflix over the Christmas period. Take your revision seriously and you’ll be looking after your future whatever happens in 2021.

How to stop mocks from ruining your Christmas holiday

If you want to be conscientious about your revision, but also deserve a break (you do, by the way), this is how you stop your mock exams from ruining your Christmas holiday.

  1. Schedule days off
  2. Focus on the topics that will make the biggest difference to your overall grade
  3. Make a revision plan
  4. Do revision power hours
  5. Use a timer
  6. Incentivise yourself by promising yourself treats and rewards for doing the revision throughout the day
  7. Make sure you’re using revision techniques that work for you
  8. Remove distractions (say bye-bye to your phone – just while you’re trying to focus!)

So, the message is – yes, you need to revise for your mocks. But, you also need to relax and enjoy your Christmas. By balancing the two things you’ll set yourself up to reach your academic potential in 2021, and beyond.

Lucy Parsons in an academic coach, author of The Ten Step Guide to Acing Every Exam You Ever Take, and founder of The Extraordinaries Club where she teaches families the study skills, mindset and communication strategies to get through the exam years successfully.