I apologise for the lack of content, I have been swimming in assignments and exam revision, as I am sure a lot of you can relate to. For those of you who are stressed or feel like you don’t have enough time – don’t worry! I’m not going to tell you you should have started revising months and months ago if you haven’t, I’m just here to give you some tips on doing quality revision with the time you have left. Good luck everyone, stay calm, eat fruit, breathe, and you will be fine.
- Know what you need to revise
When you’re revising, if you haven’t got a plan it can be confusing about where you need to start. Have a clear idea of your modules and their topics, or your subjects, and write down each topic you need to revise. It’s good to write out a checklist, but know you can’t just check it off and not go over it again. Each topic should be revised quite a few times. Here’s mine…
- Don’t mix business and pleasure
It’s tempting to want to sit in bed and do revision, but it’ll stop you from performing well because your mental association with your bed is sleep and rest. It’s good to have a separate place where you do work and another place where you can just chill. If you are able to have a whole different room, that would be even better, like a study room, but I understand how university students may find it difficult if you don’t have a whole house to yourself or only have your accommodation room. This is why you should really take advantage of your university’s facilities like doing all of your work in the library, then coming home to relax.
- Be an early bird
Everyone’s heard the saying “work, then play” and it’s really true. Don’t do all of your relaxing in the daytime, and then work at night (I can tell some of you are feeling guilty reading this). It may work for you but it’ll have bad effects, trust me. You’ll get into a habit of doing this, and when it comes nearer to exams, you won’t have the discipline to revise straight away and you’ll only leave yourself with a few hours at the end of the day to do some revision. It’ll also not prepare you for what real work is going to be like because most jobs don’t start at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Get up early, revise all day, have a few breaks and then chill out in the evening.
- Don’t just read
Reading through notes, textbooks or Wikipedia isn’t effective revision. You should be writing things down, making bullet points, spider diagrams – whatever works for you. Unless you have a photographic memory, those words are gonna be forgotten in less than 30 seconds (thank you, Atkinson and Shiffrin), so make sure you are jotting down all that information.
- Don’t become a hermit
It can be super easy to turn to a life of solitude and spend all day inside revising. Make sure you take breaks and make sure those breaks don’t just mean watching something on Netflix for half an hour. Go for a walk, even if it’s just 20 minutes, but aim to leave your home at least once a day. You’re allowed to see your friends and you’re allowed to have fun! Just don’t go on a 5 day bender and wake up 10 minutes before your first exam.
- Have another hobby
Don’t let revision take up the entirety of your life for the next few months. Try to do something fun and creative when you aren’t doing revision. It’ll keep your brain active between breaks and it’ll give you something else to work on and achieve instead of just watching Netflix or going on your phone. Adult colouring books are great, making making your own scrapbook, playing an instrument, exercising – something!
- Also give your brain a rest
As well as trying to keep it active whilst revising, make sure you rest your brain at the end of the day when you are done with revision. Don’t revise until the moment you’re going to sleep, that’s not healthy. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to an hour before bed when your brain can switch off and you can finally just watch a TV show or scroll on Twitter.
- Look after yourself
I know it’s hard but make sure you are looking after yourself, even more than usual. When you’re stressed, this can really effect your body’s immune system and you’re more likely to get ill so stay hydrated, eat lots of a fruit and vegetables, try not to snack too much on high sugar foods or caffeine (AVOID energy drinks!!) and keep nourishing your body.
- Sleep, sleep, sleep.
It’s common to end up revising until the early hours of the morning but you’re kidding yourself if you think it’s going in. It’s counterproductive and not sleeping enough doesn’t give your brain enough time to absorb the information you’re trying to learn. If you’ve planned your time well you won’t need to cram. The worst thing you can do the night before an exam is revise until a few hours before you need to wake up. Your brain needs it REM sleep so make sure you are getting at least 8 hours a night.
- Stay calm.
Easier said than done but try not to stress too much. If you work hard, plan your time, actually revise and look after yourself, exams will be fine. If you haven’t done as well on something as you hoped or you don’t think your exam went that great, forget about it. There’s nothing you can do, just focus on the next one until they’re all done and then forget about them all. If you don’t do as well as you hoped, there are always tons of options. As long as you’re hard working and motivated, you can do anything you set your mind to.
Good luck everyone for exams, I’m sure you will all smash it! Remember, it’s not the end of the world. Stay calm, relax and just do your best.