What is the best way to revise for essay based subjects?

While revision is subjective, with successful methods depending on the individual, essay based subjects are widely considered difficult to revise for. Especially during stressful times like exam season. I often wondered what the best way to revise for essay based subjects is during my GCSE's and A levels and is a question I get asked constantly by many younger students.
Firstly, it is very important and valuable that you perfect essay/exam technique before you start revising content. Having a lot of content knowledge is futile when you can't put it on paper and craft it in a way that the marking criteria demands. The most common and consequently the most successfully way to craft and high marking essay is to use the PEEL method (Point Evidence Explanation Link). This is pretty straight forward. You have your point and and support it with evidence. Then you explain/analyse using the evidence why your argument is correct ( this is the most important part), then you link back to the exam question, in order to make sure you didn't get lost on the way!
After this, you can begin content revision. Now this is extremely subjective as it is based off memory, so do which ever revision technique works the best for you. For me it was flashcards, but it can be mind maps, look cover write check, quizzes, etc!
After you feel comfortable with all the content, you can move onto past papers. The majority of your allocated revision time should be on past papers! For all my exams I practiced planning not writing all the past papers I was given. This is a useful tactic the. revising for essay based subjects because it is a lot less time consuming and it showed me that whether I understood what the questions were asking, how they would be worded and ensured that I had enough content/evidence to write a whole essay mop matter what the question.
Finally, once I felt comfortable being able to answer any question on the syllabus, I began planning and wiring essays under timed conditions. I highly recommend doing this so there are no nasty surprises when you come to sit the exam!

Answered by Maxime O. History tutor


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