Term 3, week 5 – wake up work, sleep, work.
Half way through the final term! no more lectures, just me and exams. Revising is so strange for exams because there isn’t a textbook; you purely only have the guidelines given to you during lectures. Keeping revision exciting and fun is hard because all you seem to do as a classicist is read, read, read, make notes, and read again. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the umber of books you can read. But I’ve managed to keep my reading to a minimum….
Online lectures are wonderful, itunesU and podcasts is a great resource to help spark ideas and give you further reading and primary sources to explore. The benefit of our subject is that there are hundreds of documentaries that give you springboards to primary data. Try not to depend entirely on recordings etc because you want detail and academic opinions as well.
When revising, remember to follow the lecture and look at the notes you have made in your lecture, writing exams is not just about showing your knowledge on your subject, but also allows your tutor to examine how well you have taken on board the feedback you were given in essay reports and advice given in lecture. Write your exam for the examiner, if your tutor has stressed a certain source or case study learn that case study because there is a high possibility for it to come up in the exam as a gobbet or a vital source to discuss within your essay. This will ultimately give your brownie points, making the examiner happy, thus higher chance of you getting a better mark.
Depending on how you like to learn, making notes and consolidating your notes are both important. What I usually do is write all my notes from my books, lectures, and seminars all on lined paper. Keeping it fairly rough, the main part is this is extracting your ideas. Then I normally make mindmaps after re-reading all my notes again, putting things in categories and using lots of colours. This may seem like a waste of time, but when I put things on my mindmaps I only put keywords or short phrases that then spark off lots of information, the less you write down the better because that means most of the information is in your mind. Flashcards work like this, a word triggers a whole new idea. But it totally depends on how you work…you’ll figure this out this term so you know what’s more effective for you in your future years of your degree!
Revision is boring, and being stuck in your room all day is not fun. Things that help me….keeping my door open, so simple but it helps so much. People walk past to stop for 5min conversations which gives you time to relax and just zone out for a little while. Go out for lunch, living in Heronbank is brilliant for term 3 because it’s relatively quiet and you can go and walk around the lake :’). Remember to have breaks between your exams, go out! The buses still run, the trains are still departing, the world might seem to be standing still on campus but you gotta pop yourself out of the bubble and continue to explore. First year remember, no other better time than now!