Ask Uncle Colin: How do I prove I’ve revised?

Ask Uncle Colin is a chance to ask your burning, possibly embarrassing, maths questions -- and to show off your skills at coming up with clever acronyms. Send your questions to and Uncle Colin will do what he can.

Dear Uncle Colin,

I have to revise for an upcoming test -- and my teacher is demanding proof! What's the best way to convince my teacher I've revised?

-- Totally Evidence-based Study Time

Hello, TEST - great question!

Depending on the kind of test, you have several options that leave a nice paper trail.

The first, if you're revising for a mock or actual Proper Exam, is to get hold of some past papers and work through them. Ask Google if you don't have any to hand.

If it's an end-of-year or end-of-term test on what you've covered, you can work through exercises and examples in your textbook on the topics you expect to come up.

If you have things to memorise, you can make flashcards (question-and-answer cards to quiz yourself from) -- either out of dead trees, or online. Anki is an especially good one online; you can also show your teacher your statistics and say "look, I did 20 minutes a day for the last two weeks."

The short answer, I suppose, is revise by doing maths, and writing it down. This would probably be my advice even if you didn't need to prove it!

Good luck,

-- Uncle Colin


Colin is a Weymouth maths tutor, author of several Maths For Dummies books and A-level maths guides. He started Flying Colours Maths in 2008. He lives with an espresso pot and nothing to prove.


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I teach in my home in Abbotsbury Road, Weymouth.

It's a 15-minute walk from Weymouth station, and it's on bus routes 3, 8 and X53. On-road parking is available nearby.

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