As exam season fast approaches it’s important to begin to think about how best to manage, plan and utilise your time effectively. In this blog, I’ll go through my top 5 revision tips, which helped me be successful in exams. I hope they help you too!
Start Revising Early!
There’s nothing worse than leaving revision last minute and feeling unprepared for exams! By revising early you’ll have time to explore different revision techniques and find the one which works best for you.
For my exams, I made flashcards and took them everywhere with me. I looked at them whenever I got the chance as repetition is an excellent way to effectively absorb and retain information. Flashcards also broke down long written notes into manageable chunks of information, making revision fun and enjoyable.
As expected, by starting revision early I felt less stressed during the exam season. I was able to work through the content at my own pace as opposed to exhausting myself with all-nighters a week before the big day!
Plan your revision by mapping out your thoughts!
Map out your thoughts in front of you! This could involve creating a to-do list, with a list of tasks to complete in one day and ticking them off one by one. This will help you stay motivated and feel on top of your revision timetable.
When setting out a revision timetable, I always make sure the one I set is realistic and includes a breakdown of the subjects and topics I need to study, and when. I also include breaks in the timetable in which I will spend time with friends and family, rewarding myself for the work I’ve done.
Breaks are so important when revising. They boost energy levels, focus and brainpower. Perhaps you could try one-hour study sessions followed by 15-minute breaks.
Focus on subjects/topics you find difficult first
Students tend to focus on subjects they enjoy/are good at and avoid subjects in which they struggle. I wouldn’t recommend this and I suggest that you tackle the trickiest subjects/topics first.
By starting revision early, it will be easier to identify areas in which you’re not feeling as confident and approach teachers for help. Personally, I found several topics in Chemistry confusing in class but by working with teachers and asking for help, I grasped them quickly.
I also recommend completing practice papers from past years in weaker subject areas to get used to the exam format. This is because all too often students have knowledge in the subject, but their exam technique is lacking, and this ends up affecting their final grade! I found a whole load of practice papers online and downloaded them as well as asking teachers for practice tests from previous years and completed them all under time conditions!
Study with friends… but don’t get distracted!
There is always the chance of getting distracted, but I found studying with friends very effective! Me and my friends taught each other the information we needed to remember as chances are if you can explain concepts to others (and they understand it) you know it well!
I also asked friends to quiz me on my flashcards as this tested whether I could recall the information on them. You could also complete practice papers under timed conditions with friends and then mark each other’s papers.
Fuel your body & mind and find a good working environment!
If your family or housemates are distracting you and making it hard to focus, take yourself to your local library or nearby coffee shop as this will help you concentrate without any disturbances. I found revising in the library best as the working environment helped me stay focused and motivated.
Food and exercise are also so important during exam season! From experience, I know the feeling of wanting to gorge on junk food to reward yourself for revision but eating only salty, sugary foods will leave you feeling sluggish and unable to concentrate so try to eat healthy if you can! Studies have shown that exercise can have a positive impact on concentration and energy levels so try to do some physical activity in your revision breaks.
I hope this blog has been useful to you and I wish you nothing but the best of luck in your upcoming studies and future careers! 🙂
Watch Leon’s revision tips video to hear his advice.