With exam season upon us, it’s time for students across the UK to get their heads down and focus on achieving the grades they deserve. Here’s our top ten tips to keep revision on track:
1. Make a revision timetable
Plot when your exams are, mark-off any unmissable social occasions and create weekly timetables which cover the full spectrum of content you need to revise. Be sure to vary the activities and factor in breaks.
2. Practice skills as well as content
Cramming in facts and subject info is important but, unless all your exams are multiple choice, you’ll also need to demonstrate good structure and vocab use in your essay writing, as well as the other specialist skills you’ve been learning in class. Be sure to factor some skill-focused sessions into your timetable too.
3. Vary the way you learn
Taking notes for three weeks solid is dull, and it’s likely you’ll switch off if your using this revision strategy all day, everyday. Try a variety of revision tactics, from quick quizzes to essay writing, and note taking to mind-mapping.
4. Get help from a tutor
Give your subject knowledge a boost and up-skill your exam technique with a private tutor who specialises in helping students get the grades they’re worthy of. Tutoring you in your own home and at your own pace, they can focus on the aspects you’re struggling with or show you how to develop your answers to reach higher grades, plus give you the motivation you need to keep revising.
5. Team up
Use friends who are studying the same subjects to help you revise, and factor these sessions into your revision timetable so they are pre-planned. Decide on a focus before you meet up, so you come prepared and don’t waste time. With an hour or two of revision complete, reward yourselves with a trip to the local coffee shop or cinema.
6. Plan your breaks
The thought of a long day of non-stop revision is the ultimate motivation killer. Instead, schedule short and longer breaks into your revision timetable, allowing yourself set times to have a snack and a cup of tea, call a friend, go out for a walk or socialise.
7. Vary the pressure on different days
Working to your maximum capacity every single day is hard to sustain, and if you set yourself ambitious goals every time, it can be frustrating when daily life gets in the way and mucks things up. Instead, plan big revision days when you know you won’t be disturbed – perhaps when the rest of your family are or when close friends are busy. If you know you’ve got other things to factor into your day, plan smaller, bite-sized revision sessions which you can complete in between catching up with friends or doing chores.
8. Find a productive workspace
Everyone’s different, but many people find that clean, uncluttered work spaces tend to be better for focusing the mind. With this in mind, try to keep your desk area free of scrap paper, apple cores and pizza boxes, so your work space is conducive to stress-free learning. Ideally, it needs to be in a quiet part of the house, so if your little brother won’t leave you alone, try the library.
9. Switch off your phone
Even the best laid revision plans can veer off track when your phone starts buzzing with text and Facebook messages. Avoid distractions by switching it off or leaving it in another room for an hour, then reward yourself by checking it or contacting a few friends after a productive stretch of revision.
10. Stay healthy
Sweets and chocolates can be handy motivators during revision time, while tea and coffee often seem like the only things that will see you through, but sugar or caffeine crashes can be detrimental to revision. Surprisingly, a jog, brisk walk or few minutes of skipping can be far more energising and can also help to clear the mind.