Revision is, unfortunately, a necessary process. Careers are important; therefore, grades are important, therefore exams are important, therefore revision is important; but we know it’s not always easy to get motivated when there’s so much to do. Revising develops your learning further and is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your grades. Follow these revision tips to guide you on how to get your revision done:
There are different methods to help with revision and each person has a different method that suits them. Thinking about how you learn best can help you pick a good system, and you can also try out different things until you find something that works. For example, do you learn by doing, or is endless re-writing of your notes more helpful? Here are some revision methods to consider:
Active revision – this involves using your eyes, ears and hands in multiple ways. Active methods of revision include: writing revision notes, discussing topics and notes aloud, testing yourself or getting others to test you, attempting past exam papers and using revision websites. Revising actively is the best way to make sense of the material you’re revising and helps you to remember more.
Revision cards – they are usually postcard size. You can make your own by simply cutting a sheet of A4 card in four. Revision cards consist of simplified notes. Try putting possible exam questions on the front and facts/answers on the back.
Completing past papers – By completing past papers, you can identify gaps in your knowledge and practice showing the examiner what you know.
Repetition– re-writing and repeating your notes will help you to remember the information, especially if you are a read/write learner.
Find a quiet place to revise – you don’t want to have any distractions or be interrupted. This can also mean silencing your phone or getting some apps that temporarily block social media.
Preparation – It is important to be prepared and make sure you have all essentials required. By being prepared, you increase your productivity.
Make sure you know which topics you need to revise for each subject – use your exam board specifications as a revision list. Review how much you already know and work out what you don’t.
Create a revision timetable – this is a great way to organise your study time, ensure you cover everything, and help boost your motivation. Seeing your mass of studying split into little chunks often makes it look much more achievable.
Managing stress – High levels of stress hormones (cortisol) are known to have many adverse effects on your body, including your memory! Everyone has different methods of stress relief that work for them. Exercise has been shown to boost your mood and help you to relax. Talking to someone if you are under pressure helps as you are given support. Meditation is also a great way to relieve tension and anxiety – try searching online for apps or guided meditation if you don’t know where to start.
Take regular study breaks – take short breaks to increase performance and reduce stress. Research has shown that students who take regular breaks retain more information. Some people recommend a 25/5-minute work/break system, but others find a 45/15 works best for them. See our essential self-care article for more tips on maintaining a healthy mind and a healthy body so that you can perform at your best!
Staying motivated – Revising is hard and the temptation of procrastination is strong, so give yourself some credit! Rewarding yourself when you’ve achieved a goal is a great way to stay motivated.
Think positive – Acknowledge your progress and maintain a positive attitude when faced with challenges. Remember to celebrate little victories as you move through your revision timetable and try not to psych yourself out with negative self-talk.
Staying healthy – It is important to stay active as it increases your focus and helps you become fit and healthy. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. Find what works for you – if you always hated cross country, a long run probably isn’t going to be relaxing, and you might do better with some gentle yoga! Eating well is essential too – check out our Foods for Productivity article for more on this.
Sleep – It is very important to get enough sleep, especially during exam season so your concentration levels can remain high, and you have more energy throughout the day. While it can be tempted to stay up late cramming, you’ll be much better off spreading your revision out and making sure you are rested.