Revision Tips

Thursday, 7 May 2015

I can't say I'm a fan of this time of year; the weather is always really nice and yet students all over the country are stuck inside revising. Having sat exams for my GCSE's, A Levels, Undergraduate Degree and now my Masters, it's safe to say I've done my fair share of revision. However, around this time I always get so stressed, a bit down about how much stuff I don't know and become jealous of all those who don't have exams. It does mean that I've learnt a lot over the years and have developed some tips to make revision that little bit easier.

1./Make a revision timetable
Every year the teachers would bang on about revision timetables and how helpful they are. When I did my GCSE's I did a really extensive revision timetable, all colour coded and neat, but I ended up spending more time on that than I did on my actual revision. Now I just jot down on a piece of paper what I want to achieve and by when. That way, I don't waste loads of time on making a table look all pretty, but I'm still able to plan my revision to ensure I get it all done in time.

2./Take regular breaks
People suggest different work to break ratio's, but I think it's what works best for you. I normally do a couple of hours work and then have a 15 minute break and then break for half an hour for lunch. I'm really bad at taking breaks as I either take too many or just plough on through with my work which proves to not be as effective. 

3./Drink plenty of water
I always keep a glass of water on my desk whilst revising. It's important to keep hydrated whilst working as it helps the brain to function more effectively.

4./Eat properly and regularly
A few years ago, I made the mistake of not paying attention to this tip and ended up making myself really ill. It's important to have three meals a day (and snack in between!) to keep the body energised whilst working. Also, you should try to eat properly, i.e. healthy, balanced meals rather than junk food as junk food doesn't provide you with the nutrients to keep your body going whilst working.

5./It doesn't matter if you have bad days
You're not going to have productive days every day. I used to really beat myself up about this and make myself sit at my desk until I had achieved all that I had planned to. However, this is really counter-productive. It's best just to acknowledge you've had a bad day, chill out in the evening and come back to it fresh the next day.

6./Exercise Regularly
There's that cliché saying 'healthy body, healthy mind', but it's so true. I always make sure I exercise in the evening after revision as it helps to re-energise you and gives you something other than revision to focus on.

7./Give yourself something to look forward to
When I have long periods of revision, I always try to plan something for one or two evenings in the week to try and take my mind off of work. It may be dinner with friends, a movie night or a take away, whatever it is, it's important to be able to chill out and take a step back from revision. I usually have something big planned for after my exams too, this year I've got Radio 1's Big Weekend to look forward to.

8./Get enough sleep
It's important to get enough sleep in order to keep you going for a busy day of revision. I know some people work better at night, but I'm much more productive in the day, especially the morning, I always get at least 8 hours sleep and make sure I go to bed at a decent enough time to ensure I'm refreshed the next day. 

9./Don't compare yourself to others
One of the worst things you can do at this time of year is compare how much work you've done to how much your friend has, especially if you haven't done as much. We all work at a different pace and revise in different ways, so don't stress if you don't think you're at the same point as your friend, you'll get there in your own time.

10./Don't Stress!
This is very hypocritical of me to say as I'm the biggest worrier ever and get stressed so easily, but it's important to stay calm otherwise you won't be productive, Every year I have a day where I just breakdown and refuse to believe that I can pass my exams. If you've put the work in, you'll often know more than you think!  

Do you have any revision tips? Let me know in the comments below.

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