Top 10 Exam Revision Tips
1) Start Revising Early
Not only does this mean that you should start your revision months rather than weeks or days in advance of your exams, you should also get to it early in the morning so that you have the whole day to go through all the content and you can begin to relax towards the end of the day and this won’t upset your sleep schedule.
2) Find the right environment to revise in
This all depends on your specific wants and needs, I personally like to just sit on my bed with either some music or background noise while I work and I can concentrate. However, some people need to be sat at a desk, some people need complete silence and no distractions and some people like to work with others. Whatever works best for you, find the right environment so that you can concentrate properly on your revision and take everything in more successfully.
3) Get organised and draw up a timetable or plan
Not everyone can stick to a timetable but at least create a rough plan of all the revision you need to do and when you want to get it done by. Organise your notes in an effective way for you – either rewrite them, type them up, colour coordinate them, create post-it notes with bullet points or just stick them on your walls. Research shows that shorter 20-30 minute spells work best, because your concentration is much higher. Try to mix the order of the subjects or topics so that you can do something different frequently which should help you to remember things and you shouldn’t get as bored.
4) Pick out key themes from the syllabus
Go through all your notes and pick out any key themes that are especially prominent or prioritised by teachers throughout your course. Then summarise these into a simpler and more straightforward form to help you memorise key points of information. You can then begin to find areas to compare and contrast and should be better able to understand the sorts of topics that you may be asked about in your exams.
5) Be flexible
Some days, unexpected circumstances may crop up, you may lose all your motivation and procrastinate all day or you may just be feeling unwell. These things happen and you are only human so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t stick to your plans or timetable 100% of the time. Just adjust your plans so you can fit your revision in somewhere else or make up for lost time later.
6) Discuss your ideas and revise with other people
Ask people around you to test you and give you feedback. This is not only a good way to revise but also a good way to have a break from the hard work. Alternatively, having a revision session with some of your course mates can give you a better insight into what everyone else is revising and may highlight things you may have missed or things that may be coming up on the exam. It can also make you feel more assured that you are keeping on track with your revision or perhaps you need to put some more effort in to be as knowledgeable as your friends are.
7) Look at and try some past papers
Find some past papers as most exam boards nowadays put a lot of emphasis on exam technique and simply familiarising yourself with the format before the exam can often save you time and help to earn marks. Examiners don’t tend to invent terribly innovative questions once you have done three or four past papers and the chances are that some of questions that come on the day will look familiar so you can revise and prepare accordingly. If you write up some example answers you will get a feel for the sort of response you should be writing as well as being able to time yourself so that you don’t run out of time in the exam.
8) Take short breaks
Rather than revising from the moment you get up until the moment you go to bed, take short breaks to let all the information sink in. Every hour or half an hour, take a bit of time to fulfil any needs you have and entertain yourself for a short while before you restart your revision. This will stop you from becoming swamped with information as people often hit a brick wall when they revise for too long at a time and struggle to take anything in making it useless.
9) Reward yourself and relax every now and then
To keep you from insanity and exhausting yourself, you need to relax and pamper yourself a bit. People who manage to find the right balance between study and leisure are the ones who get the top marks. After a productive day of revision treat yourself to a night out with friends, binge watch your favourite series on Netflix or snack on your favourite foods! Your mind and body will thank you for a bit of time for yourself.
10) Trust in your method of revision but if it hasn’t worked in the past, change it!
If you have done well in your exams in the past, don’t change the approaches that you usually use and have faith in your own abilities. Be positive and take the pressure off yourself because if you think that you are going to fail before you even start then the chances are that you will. However, if you know that your approach hasn’t worked in the past and that you could have done more, make the changes that you need to and try out new methods if you haven’t found one that works for you yet. It takes hard work and dedication to do well in your exams but nothing is impossible so believe in yourself!
Thanks for reading, Kristie