10 tips leading to successful revision
Published Wednesday, 11 February, 2015 by Claire Keen
It’s semester two already and although it seems far away now those exams are creeping up fast. It almost seems strange to be discussing revision only a week or so into February, however with reading weeks fast approaching, now is the perfect time to sort out those revision blues and start like you mean to go on.
Using these 10 tips, revision will be easier than ever before, and you won’t regret thinking about it so early on in the year.
Make a plan – failing to plan is planning to fail! Planning a timetable is really beneficial to making sure everything you need to include gets done correctly. It is important to schedule in breaks and plan in other external activities you may be doing. Be realistic; don’t expect yourself to work solidly from 9am to 9pm every day of the week, because we all know no one would stick to that!
Take your time – when planning your timetable it is important not to plan just the few weeks before your exam, and to give yourself plenty of time to go over everything with enough time to revisit important areas. For those of you who have reading weeks in February this is the perfect opportunity to make a realistic plan from now until Easter making sure you know exactly what you are going to revise each day or each week.
Find a technique that helps you – none of us are the same when it comes to revising, some people can read through a book once and instantly remember what they have just read. If some of you are like me, it requires a lot more work than that! There are many different techniques and not every technique will work for you, it is important to mix up your techniques until you find a successful pattern of learning for you. My favourite revision techniques are cue cards and posters, I find visual techniques help a lot with understanding topics.
Don’t put it off – we have all been there, putting off revision until the last minute doing anything else we can to avoid what we really need to be doing. I once watched my flatmate clean the whole living room just to avoid the dreaded revision looming. However this is perhaps one of the worst things you could be doing, just starting the work is the hardest bit once you have done this you will be on a roll!
Practice makes perfect – practising over and over again really can improve your chances in being able to learn and remember everything you need to do, whether this is repeating your notes using different techniques or practising past exam questions.
Avoid distractions – I know it may be a hard thought to comprehend but putting away that phone for half an hour at a time really will do wonders for your concentration levels. Even if you put your phone on silent, it is hard to resist when you see that Snapchat notification. As well as putting your phone away, it is important to revise in a neutral and calming environment, being somewhere with loud music or a TV blasting away will affect your concentration levels.
Use the people/spaces around you – it’s very useful to use people around you. I often ask my family members or friends to quiz me and find it very helpful to learn different things. It’s also a very good tip to pin posters or cue cards around your house, perhaps on your shower door or next to the toilet, for you to read at any opportunity.
Reward yourself – it is important to always reward yourself, don’t ever punish yourself for not doing as much revision as you thought you may do, you will just feel even more demotivated than you did before you started! Whether your rewards are an extra five minute break or some sweets during your revision make sure you don’t skip this important tip!
Get plenty of sleep – this is perhaps the most important part of revision. No matter how far behind you may feel it is vitally important not to starve yourself of sleep. There are certain aspects of the sleeping pattern that allow the brain to collect and reserve information from the day, aiding to the memory. Sufficient sleep also affects our moods, and feeling down after little sleep will never bode well on how much revision will be completed.
Eat and drink properly – keeping a glass of fresh water is my main priority when revising, it helps me to stay concentrated and hydrated. Being dehydrated will cause headaches and tiredness, never helpful during revision.
Good luck with your revision!
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