Unfortunately, the Easter holidays are starting to draw to a close, and I will be going back to uni next week. With that of course, means deadlines of exams and essays are edging nearer at a pace quicker than I’d like. So, whether it be GCSE’s, A-Levels, Uni, exams, coursework or essays, I hope these tips are of some help…
- Set a time and stick to it – If you say you are going to start revision at 10, then do it. If it is 10:01 though, don’t think ‘ah missed it, will start at 11 instead…’ (been there, done that!) Go, you don’t need to start revision exactly on the hour.
- Don’t make huge plans – Don’t make huge, elaborate timetables that are colour coded and highlighted. It won’t work, and you’ll end up spending more time making it rather than actually revising. Instead, have a list of course content that you need to follow (For my A-levels/GCSE’s, I downloaded the exam specifications off from the specific exam body) and use that as your guide, ticking it off as you go. It is quite rewarding and makes you feel more prepared that you are ready for any question thrown at you in the exam – which is always a useful thing to be gained from revision!
- Step away from the phone – The reason revision tips are needed is because it isn’t something that is that easy, and I think they main reason for this is distraction. Therefore, it makes it easier to put the phone, laptop or anything else that may cause a distraction (it’s my lipbalm and handcream for me) away. Keep your workspace clear so that you can concentrate fully, meaning you can get revision over as quickly as possible, but with maximum benefit.
- Work out your attention span I have a teeny-tiny attention span, so this is a bit of a sticking point for me. I tend to be able to do about 30-45 minutes. Any more, and I am just going through the motions of revision, but really wasting my time, as none of it will be going in. So keep you revision short and sharp bursts, with small breaks in-between before returning again after a refresh.
- Find a way of presenting information that works for you – I love mind-maps, some other people find them messy. I also like having sort of acronym system, where I remember boring facts with letters of things that are funny or important to my life. Although, I know some people find this more confusing than the information they were trying to learn in the first place. It’s all about finding out the revision method that works for you. Try a few different sorts, and once you find it, it should help your studies.
- Condense and recap – Try and get the information you need to know on smaller and smaller bits of paper, until you seeing one word means you can roll off a paragraph’s worth of information. It takes time, but giving yourself less to learn is always a good thing. Also recapping is a really important part of revision, so try going over different topics regularly to aid memory.
- Give yourself off days – You have worked hard, so allow yourself breaks. It is actually more of a hindrance to your memory if you try and overload it with information, and it’s not good for you either. Have a day out shopping, a cinema trip, or even just simpler things like watching couple of episodes of your favourite programme, having a pamper session with a bath and face mask, or have some time in the kitchen and make some cookies, cheese scones or lasagne. (My comfort foods, if you were thinking these were odd choices!)
- Look at past papers – It’s something that is always drummed into you, but it really is super useful. Even if you don’t complete the whole past paper, have look to see the way the questions are worded, or planning an answer to a question. Doing the full paper can give you an idea on how you are doing for your timekeeping giving you time to complete each question fully, so if you have time, give it a go. It’s also worth having a look at mark schemes, to see how you get the marks eg. through describing or analysis.
- Have a motivation – Why are you studying? For your dream career? The hope that better qualification mean a little bit more cash? Having a holiday after your exams? Or just every revision session you do is one less off the list, and one step closer to your much anticipated summer holidays, where you can relax with family and friends? Whatever it may be, try putting a little photo where you study, or find yourself a good-old motivational quote. Let it inspire you; the cheesier, the better!
- Don’t put it off – You will feel so much better doing small, manageable chunks, rather than swamping yourself with information the night before. I know I have a bad habit of doing this, but once you actually start revising, you do feel better, and feel like you’ve done something with your day. It’s never as bad as it seems when you thinking about getting up to start it.
I hope these tips help and good luck with any of your upcoming exams or assignments!