With mock exams approaching it’s important for students to spend some of the Christmas holidays revising. As Christmas is usually a busy time full of family gatherings and other festivities, it can be tricky to stay motivated and keep on top of studying. However, revision doesn’t have to ruin the Christmas holidays. Here are five tips to help students revise effectively throughout the Christmas break just in time for their mock exams.
- Make a realistic timetable
Even though the Christmas break is only a few weeks, it’s important to create a realistic timetable. Don’t panic though! It doesn’t need to be a regimented hour-by-hour schedule, it just needs to outline key objectives and a rough daily plan so students know what they need to do and when. This way before the Christmas break starts there’s plenty of time for them to assemble the study material they need, such as past papers and revision books. It’s also important to schedule in a few ‘no study’ days over the holidays such as Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve. This gives students a well-deserved break and time to have fun with family and friends.
- Prioritise revision
Prioritising revision is a great idea as it indicates the areas that need the most focus. Get students to go through exam specifications or the syllabus for their subjects and mark each one using a red, amber and green system depending on how much knowledge they have. Red means ‘no knowledge’, amber means ‘some knowledge but needs more work’ and green means ‘good knowledge and confident with subject material.’ This way the subjects marked as red can be focused on first, then anything labelled with amber. It’s also a great way to make the most of each revision session, rather than spending time going over a ‘green’ subject.
- Use incentives
The Christmas holidays is always full of distractions such as social invitations, family gatherings and festive activities, meaning it’s a great idea to use incentives for each revision session as it can encourage focus and motivation. Each time students sit down to study, ask them to choose an incentive they can enjoy later on. Not only is it a great motivator during the revision session, it also gives them something to look forward to. Get them to choose from a range of things depending on the length of the revision session. Incentives can include something small like enjoying a chocolate from the Christmas tree, watching a Christmas movie, or something bigger like enjoying a festive shopping trip.
- Remove distractions
Distractions are one of the biggest culprits for getting in the way of revision sessions. It can be easy for students to waste away hours of time that could have been used to revise. Often this can result in students feeling stressed and anxious as the mock exams get closer. That’s why it’s important to remove all distractions as study sessions are guaranteed to be much more productive. So, make sure students about to revise move away their phones, and aren’t sat near any screens, new gifts or people who don’t have exams to prepare for!
- Revise in the way that works best
It’s so important that students are revising in a way that suits them best. Some like to use flashcards or re-write out their notes, whereas others students like talking about topics out loud or making a poster. Just because someone has made lots of flashcards doesn’t mean one poster covering that topic is any less useful- stick with what works for you! It’s also important not to rely on simply re-reading over revision notes; make sure students transform them in ways that’ll really make them stick.