Tips for STEM subjects


Salina Khan

2/19/20242 min read

person in red long sleeve shirt holding white pen
person in red long sleeve shirt holding white pen

For most, whether at GCSE or A-Level, the sciences and maths-based subjects can often seem the most daunting and difficult. Especially with exam season fast approaching, it is important to ensure your revision is stream-lined and specialised to ensure you're working as efficiently as possible. In order to aid you on your academic journey, we have compiled the best tips for revising STEM subjects!

1. Understanding, not memorising

The key to success for any subject is to first know and understand the basic definitions, and then build on your knowledge. However, it is often easy to confuse having understood and learnt information, with memorising facts straight from highlighted notes or textbooks. The issue with simply memorising is that your exams will expect you to apply information, so it's important to understand what you are actually learning. Efficient methods to achieve this is through active reading, or explaining concepts to your peers, or active recall.

2. Coming to class prepared

Pre-reading through concepts before coming to class, although seems difficult, means you already have somewhat of an idea of what you will learn during the lesson, before you even go. This means that you can consolidate on your learning during the lesson, and clear up any confusion by asking questions, and also makes revision easier, as you have given yourself more opportunities to understand the information

3. Deep focus study

Most STEM subjects can feel overwhelming, with the amount of content you are expected to learn, so making sure your revision is as efficient as possible will not only help lessen the time you spend revising, but also reduce anxiety regarding the amount to learn. Deep focus or deep concentration study is when you study for a short period of concentrated revision, with no distractions, allowing for more productive results than revising for hours, but whilst being distracted or not fully concentrating. For many, deep focus revision means reevaluating your revision techniques, to only use those which will actually help you in the exam - for example replacing making and highlighting notes, with concise flashcards and lots of exam practice.

4. Set realistic goals

Setting goals can be very useful, as it can be motivating, but also allow you to space out revision, so avoiding the stress of a last-minute cram. Setting larger long-term goals to work towards, as well as setting daily tasks to complete is a great way to make sure you are organised, and so can manage revision and leisure. Being realistic about how much you can revise is also important, as it will help you avoid feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

5. Start early

Although it can seem tempting to procrastinate, starting revision in good time of any exams means you will not only be able to still go out and enjoy leisure time whilst revising, but you will also avoid the stress and anxiety of leaving everything until the last minute. Particularly for STEM subjects, due to the amount and complexity of content, it is important to work on long-term memory, which can only be achieved by consistent, regular revision.

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