Thursday, 18 April 2013

Revision Tips and Tricks


The time every one dreads is just around the corner - exam period.  Not many people are a fan of exams, usually do to the boring, time-consuming, seemingly endless revision which is required.  I'm lucky enough to be on a degree with no exams, but I've done my fair share of revision through GCSE's and A levels and managed to pick up a few helpful hints along the way which I'm going to share with you.  I realise that different people learn differently, and some people prefer different methods to others, these are just a couple of suggestions that helped me with my exams!
  • Start revision early! I mean months early, not ten days before the exam.  I realise how boring it is to sit and learn things knowing the exam isn't any time soon, but I promise you it will be worth it and will reduce stress levels closer to the big day.
  • Put down the phone - if you add up all the time you spend texting your friends about how much you hate revision/tweeting about how bored you are/instagramming your endless pile of text books, you probably spend more time on your phone than looking at your books.  Put the phone in another room and get your head down, you'll get much more work done in much less time.
  • Don't let work take over your life.  It's important to have a balance.  Make sure you're spending a reasonable amount of time doing things for yourself - do some exercise, see your friends, watch a film or read a book.  It will relax you, and you'll feel better when you return to your work, but don't let it take over, some days your studying will need to come first.
  • Find ways to motivate yourself.  I used to promise myself that once I had learnt a set amount of information, I'd be allowed a day off revision to do something I enjoy.  That motivated me to efficiently revise to reach my goal.
  • Set your alarm and get up early.  You learn better earlier, so wake up at 9am and get it done so you can enjoy the rest of your day.
  • Check that your taking in what you revise.  Remember the "look, cover, write, check" routine to learn your spellings in primary school? That will come in handy now! Read over your notes, hide them from view, write out the information you remember and check what you've missed out.  That things you haven't recalled are what you need to spend more time learning.
  • Eat positively - reach for a banana; they're potassium-rich and raise your energy levels, enhancing your ability to learn information.
  • You don't need pretty notes - I was a culprit of doing this in school, I'd spend ages neatly writing out notes in different colours and sections, and didn't learn a thing; I wasted hours of my time. Don't get carried away, once your exams are over you'll never look at your notes again, you don't need to produce a masterpiece!
  • Find a suitable environment - Different locations suit different people, choose somewhere quiet with few distractions to ensure you focus.  Don't lay in bed to learn your work, you'll be nodding off in no time, and when you do want to get some shut eye you'll be reminded of your revision and find it hard to switch off.
  • Do past papers - This really helped me in college, practicing exam papers familiarises you with the lay out of the paper, the wording of the questions and looking at the mark scheme really helps you understand what sort of answer you need to be writing.
I hope these little hints help with your studying, when it comes to the exam all I can advise you to do is relax, get there early and not worry about what you know, there is no time left to revise so try your best to answer what you can.  Good luck!

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