A to Z: Things That Will Help Revision Season
Today I decided to approach the ‘Revision Season’ Tips from a slightly different angle. I personally find lists much easier to read, so I’ve put together an A-Z of the things I do, or have learnt, that help me through exam periods.
I wrote a blog recently about great revision apps that I use. I love revision apps as they are so mobile, instead of sitting on a bus or train journey thinking of the mountains of work you have, or how you could be doing other things- you can quiz yourself, re-read flashcards or have any work you did throughout the day synced to your phone so you can continue it.
Regular revision breaks is so important. Not only for your sanity but also for your ability to learn. You simply won’t take in as much information if you’re tired. I like to have a break every hour or so. Only for 10 minutes, but it allows me to grab something to eat, flick the kettle on or watch something on the TV for a few minutes.
Caffeine is not for everyone, but personally I find a good cup of tea really helps me focus. I make sure not to have too many though, because sitting at your desk buzzing on caffeine can make you feel a little loopy.
Working at a desk really is the best option. Keep your desk space clear, with minimal distractions and you will get so much more work done.
As with the desk, where you work is important. You need to be comfortable, have space and work in an environment thats best for you. Everyone works differently, if you prefer working with background noise, turn the radio on or sit in a coffee shop, or even in the library. If you’re anything like me, I need absolute silence. So I sit in my room, on my own, with a desk. Granted, revision can be boring- but you need to work in the best environment for you. Sometimes it’s even nice to switch it up a little, new environments make things a little less repetitive.
Flashcards are my favourite method of revision. I fill them with colour, simplify the facts and whack them out at every opportunity.
There seems to be a loopy theme already… and we are only at G! But I personally (and I hope I’m not alone) find revision really isolating and can actually find that I feel a little crazy after a day of working on my own. So I made a rule. Everyday I get out. Whether its a walk, a coffee with friends or even a meal out. It simply puts me in a better head space for the following day, it refreshes me.
I like colour. I have found that I learn best through colour, doodles and highlighting my work. What’s best for you? Find it, do it and kick some revision butt. I used to try out my friends methods, but I quickly figured out everyone’s revision techniques really do differ.
I am doing my best.
Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t beat yourself up if the day hasn’t been as productive as you had hoped. As long as you’re doing your best, that’s all that matters. Some days are simply a write-off, others we can pleasantly surprise ourselves.
Prioritise your work and be realistic.
Know your exam timetable.
This links to judgement. You know the deadlines, you know the amount you need to do for them. Knowing your exam timetable off my heart means you know exactly where you are, and where you need to be, in the revision process.
Listen to your body.
When you can’t absorb any more information- call it a night. Tomorrow is a new day, wake up refreshed and ready. Likewise, don’t forget to eat and drink enough- you need to be healthy.
Sup, Procrastination Queen over here! One of my biggest battles during revision is avoiding procrastination. Top tip: put your phone on charge, or in another room- somewhere far away, then clear your desk. Sometimes I even set a timer (on the phone in the other room!) and make myself sit there and revise until that timer goes off! Do what you’ve got to do!
Oh how I wish I could put ‘napping’ as a skill on my CV. Feeling completely drained at 1 in the afternoon? Take a nap. But only for 20 minutes. It’s proven that after 20 minutes you go into a deeper sleep and will wake up feeling groggy and wanting more. Whereas a 20 minute nap leaves you feeling refreshed and really doesn’t make too much of an impact on the revision plan.
Revision plan. Know what you need to do. Allow yourself little achievements, goals for the day that you can tick off. Know where you’re going with the revision, how much you need to do and give yourself a buffer. This is one of my top tips: always have a buffer. Prepare for the unexpected, whether its sickness or any other inconvenience- if you’ve factored it into your revision timetable, it won’t throw you off course.
One of my least favourite things to do, but a total must. It shows you your weaknesses, your strenghts and teaches you to stick to timings.
Again, knowing your strengths and weaknesses is so important. Often, I quiz myself on whiteboards, I try and write everything I can think of onto the whiteboard and can highlight what hasn’t sunk in properly. Plus, those flashcards I slave over are ideal for family or friends quizzing you.
Yes, short term memory is highly under-rated, but the earlier you start revising, the better.
Sleep on it.
Reading your notes right before bed is a good idea, it sinks in over night and you will (hopefully) find that revisiting it the next day makes you feel pretty confident that you know your stuff.
Maybe a weakness of mine… but I feel that revision requires treats. Whether it’s a meal out or a bag of skittles (my personal favourite!) they’re just a pick-me-up!
Everyone does things differently, so try not to compare yourself to others. You do you, because you are awesome.
Vocalise your concerns.
You know at schoool where they say: ‘no question is a silly one’. Well this continues into Uni as well. Whether you’re at school, college or Uni- asking for help or saying you don’t understand is totally OK. It’s much better to ask than shoot yourself in the foot and never know the answer. Plus you probably won’t be the only one thinking ‘whaaaat?’.
Write it down, over and over.
I do this for concepts that just aren’t. Going. In. The ones that you read over and over or stumble on in every quiz. Yup, I go old school and write it down over and over on paper until I know it off by heart. Boring: but works.
X-cuse yourself from social events…
Sad, but true. Sometimes revision forces us to miss out on some of the fun. But not all of it. You have to do what’s best for you.
Wake up early, make the most of the day.
I love a good lie in, but I always wake up wanting more sleep. Whereas if you wake up after 8 hours sleep, get dressed and sit at your desk early, then your day will feel so much more productive.
You should try to avoid hanging around people that make you nervous.
Talking to friends about their revision is not always the best idea. It can stress you, or them, out. Nobody needs that- especially right before the exam. Trust that you have learnt everything you can and you will do great.
Sleeping 8 hours is the key to success. A goodnight sleep = a good days work!
I hope you found these helpful!
Good luck to anyone in the midst of exam season- you will smash it!
Please feel free to comment and I will make sure to get back to you as soon as I can!