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The Last Minute List

One of the things I (re)learnt when doing A level physics is that the day before and the morning of an exam can be a crucial time, but it is difficult to know what to do with that time.

I shouldn't be learning anything new in that time(!) I found that doing practise questions, whilst useful, is also time intensive and I couldn't cover the whole specification.

A useful thing I discovered was to make a last minute list - this is a list of things I need to remind myself to do, or some snippets of information I can simply read.

This was yet another thing to do when doing past paper questions (on top of doing them, marking them and looking at the examiners' notes) or during watching videos, but it was not too much of a time drain. I simply made a note on paper when I was marking questions, reading notes or watching videos and found something I kept getting wrong, or that I needed to know. I found my last minute list both an invaluable source of information and a great confidence booster. It also gave me a great feeling when a question in the exam came up that involved doing something that I had written on my last minute list.

I made a last minute list for each exam.

Here are a few things I wrote down for my physics last minute list:

High resistance and low voltage for capacitors allows a bigger time constant and so it reduces uncertainty.

Number of readings is a whole number.

Check units of values have been given.

Look at scales on graphs - do they go down to 0?

Whenever you talk about making something perpendicular or parallel, use a set square.

When thinking about undertainties, think about which value provides the biggest uncertainty and how to change that.

If you are given an equation, look for the y = mx+c relationship to it.

The area under a stress-strain curve is the energy per unit volume.

I could go on...

Most of those points might not mean too much to anyone not doing A level physics, but these were pertinent things that I needed to remind myself for the exams. Your last minute list is likely to be highly personal, so anything I have written on mine will be unlikely to be on yours. However, I recommend you start a last minute list so that you can remind yourself of all those things you keep forgetting.

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