A-level Psychology: Easter Holidays Revision Preparation

Depending on what school (or university!) you are at, you will have around 3 to 5 weeks of vacation, a perfect amount of time to gorge on Easter eggs! This holiday however is also the time when thoughts about revision for summer exams come creeping into the back of our heads. Hannah, an a-level psychology tutor with Spires Online Tutors, gives us some advice for students ahead of this crucial study-period.

Throughout my time at school and at university, every time the Easter holidays came around I found it difficult to motivate myself to start exam preparation, and how to actually start revising. Psychology exams can seem very daunting, considering all of the names and dates of studies you have to learn, all of the topics on which you might have to write an essay, and all of the number crunching for the statistics exams! Nevertheless, if you plan your time well and build up your work slowly, you will return in the Summer term feeling prepared and assured, both about what you already know, and about what you need to do in the run up to the exams.

Planning psychology a-level revision is key

You know that you are going to want to spend some time over the Easter break catching up on sleep, spending time with friends and family, and generally chilling out, therefore it really is essential that you plan your time at the beginning of the vacation, to make sure that you have enough time to both enjoy the break and make a good stab at revision. It is very useful to spend some time looking through all of your notes and folders, to give yourself an idea as to how much there is to learn for the exams, and how much material you would like to look over during the vacation. With this in mind, you can plan to achieve a good amount of revision, as well as making time to rest and relax.

Make achievable psychology revision goals

It is very easy at the beginning of the Easter vacation to plan to cover all of the material and make extensive notes on everything, however this rarely actually happens, which often leads to you beating yourself up! Although Easter might seem close to the exam period, it is actually still quite far away; therefore setting realistic targets is crucial, so that you return in the Summer term feeling prepared but also refreshed.

Easter A-level preparation is not about becoming the finished article

I remember numerous occasions in Psychology classes when I either had absolutely no idea what was going on, or when I planned to do the supplementary reading, and never actually got around to doing it. The Easter break is a great time to catch up, both to ensure that you understand all of the lecture material, and to read around each topic so that you have some good extra knowledge and criticisms for essays. 

Although you may not know the material off by heart at this stage, it will put you in great stead for revision closer to the exams, as you will have notes on exactly what you need to know for the exams, from which you can then memorise. It is tempting to start looking at past exam papers, however it is probably slightly too early to be doing this over the Easter break, particularly if you haven’t covered enough material to answer an exam question fully. I found it best to save these for closer to the exam, as they are great practice once you have revised all the material and want to focus on exam technique.

Sharing is caring!

I don’t think I could have got through my A-levels without sharing essays and notes with my friends. Throughout the year we had all written essays and presentations on different topics, so sharing all of our work was a great way of gauging what information was important for answering essays on different topics, and what papers were important to read for revision. It can also save you a lot of reading time! 

Final thoughts on A-level psychology revision 

In the end, what matters is knowing the information. Many students feel that being unorganized and figuring out what to study the days before the exam, getting course content from friends, and studying wherever is convenient and appealing during those stressful times, works.

However, if you speak to any A*/1:1/distinction student, they will have something in common. They have habits, routines, and procedures, which may have originated unconsciously but are now deliberate. Methods they know work for them, are efficient, and get the job done. Many people prefer working at night in a quiet room when everyone has gone to sleep.

There are some who enjoy waking up early and spending time alone in the library. Other people study at noisy cafes wearing headphones. You might like to summarize contents or highlight notes, make flashcards, quiz your friends, or just do thousands of exercises and problem questions. It’s always there: a conscious decision to study in a certain way because they believe will help them learn the most in the shortest amount of time, in order to achieve excellence.

Of course, if you need extra help with your revision for psychology, or any a-level topic, perhaps consider some online tutoring. A private online tutor can help you to develop positive learning habits and structure your time well to ensure you reach your goals and excel at school, university, or in the workplace. 

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