Revision planning and techniques
It’s that time of year again… exams are quickly approaching and you need to do some serious revision. It is not always easy getting motivated to revise, what with so many distractions, but now is the time to take the initiative and get ahead of the game!
Plan of attack
Getting organised is the best place to start. Find a place where you know you will not be disturbed, like your bedroom or the library. Try and keep to using the same time, same place and same space to study. Make sure that you have everything you need, so you don’t have to keep getting up. Turn off the TV, switch off your phone or put it on silent, avoid social media; we all know that an intended quick look at Facebook can turn into an hour! So it’s best to avoid temptation and switch it off. Create a timetable and study plan of what needs to be done and when, and keep to it.
Make awesome notes
Don’t waste time trying to make your notes pretty, they just need to be written in a way where they are easily understood for quick reference. The ideal way is to make notes in sections as they are easier to read. Use highlighters to make text stand out, as well as underlining key information. Using imagery, spider diagrams and keywords will help group information together. Summarise: it will help your understanding and will be helpful for referencing and when testing yourself. Make sure that you re-read your notes.
Work and play
Getting an even balance with your study and revision is not always easy. You will need to be disciplined with yourself to be sure you get the most out of your time. The key to balancing everything is to give yourself plenty of time; don’t leave revision to the last minute. There is nothing worse than cramming 4 weeks’ revision into 2 days, as it will make you feel anxious and stressed. Give yourself breaks in-between studying. Having 30-minute revision or study sessions and then taking a 10-minute break; use your time out to go for a walk or have something to eat; it will clear your head and refresh you and will make retaining information easier.
Early bird or night owl?
Whichever suits you, there is no right or wrong time to study or revise. However there are scientific advantages to revising in the morning! Natural daylight is less likely to strain your eyes; it stimulates the pituitary gland making you alert and awake. Also, in the morning you will be more refreshed after a good night’s sleep and have eaten an energy filled breakfast. The best bit about morning revision is that it frees up your evenings to relax and go out with your friends. Some prefer to study and revise in the evenings and at night. The benefit of this is peace and quiet; you are less likely to be disturbed. You will probably find that your eyes will feel more strained at night because of the artificial light, your brain also works differently at night, and you will feel tired more quickly than if you revised during the daytime.
Efficient revision and studying is all down to state of mind, know your study/revision style! Do what works for you, stick to the plan, don’t be too harsh on yourself and treat yourself to a reward when you reach your revision goals. Good Luck!