My Top Revision Tips!
Its that time of year again. Remember when Easter was exciting? All chocolate and Easter egg hunts? Now, for most students, Easter is the dreaded calm before the storm. The sun is coming out but you are indoors revising for the upcoming exams. Having been in this situation for the last 5 years now, I’ve learnt a thing or two about what I feel makes revision the easiest.
Anyone who has revised for anything knows how stressful starting late can be. Starting early and making a clear timetable of when you are going to cover what can really help this stress. However, not everyone works best starting early. When I say organise early, I am referring to what works best for you. For me, I like to do one task at a time. Therefore, I usually do a weeks’ worth of heavy revision for an exam, at around 4 hours a day. For some people, leaving it his late would give them a heart attack, however, it is what works best for me. You don’t have to start revising when your teacher tells you to or when your friends start. Plan it yourself, know what you are going to do to ensure you cover everything you need to.
Structure your breaks
Having breaks is an absolute must. Sitting for 6 hours high on energy drinks like Will from the Inbetweeners is not productive. After the first hour or two, you won’t be taking anything in. Personally, I like to have 40 minutes then a 10-minute break, with an hour break in the middle of however long I am working for. In my breaks, I usually get a drink or some food, but when I was in sixth form, I used to throw a tennis ball at a wall (sounds nuts but it was actually really cathartic). What you do on a break doesn’t really matter, as long as you get up from your desk, even if you just walk around your room for 10 minutes.
Give yourself time off
Similar to having breaks, you won’t fail if you don’t revise 6 hours a day every day. Have a day or two off a week, that is absolutely okay. My friend has his 21 in the middle of my exams, so I’ve already written it into my schedule so I can work around it. Locking your door and disappearing for 2 months to revise is not healthy and will probably worsen your results rather than help them. By giving yourself the time to go out and enjoy life whilst working hard on revision, you can be productive and happy at the same time. Things like sports and socialising are a great catharsis after staring at a textbook or lecture capture for 4 hours a day.
Don’t be hard on yourself
This is the one I’ve learnt most recently, it is okay to have an off day. One night in second year I didn’t sleep very well, but regardless woke up early and revised for 4 hours. I wasn’t really feeling it, but I just carried on working. I came back to it the next day, to realise I’d revised the topic wrong and clearly missed the majority of the point. Working hard is great, but working smart is better. If I had slept in a bit that day, and started 3 hours later, or even just done less that day, the work I would’ve done would’ve actually been useful to me. Instead, I wasted my time and energy on things that didn’t help me at all. If you need to adjust or reschedule stuff for your own mental and physical health, DO IT.
I hope these tips help anyone who needed to hear them, and best of luck to everyone studying for exams over the coming months!