By Catriona Poon
Revision is always a struggle – whether it is attempting to beat the temptations of procrastination, or exhaustion from overexertion, there aren’t many people who will say revision is a walk in the park. That being said, here are top tips for making revision easier and more effective.
1. Give yourself enough time. One of the worst things students do is revising too late. The solution to this is simple enough: start revising as early as you can, particularly on the ones you have the most difficulty on.
2. Practice is key. With the invention of the internet, came the availability of past papers to practice exam techniques, as well as testing your knowledge. This will enable you to make connections across the syllabus, which is vital if you’re aiming for top grades. It isn’t hard to find exam questions, so utilise the resources available!
3. Create a plan. Perhaps revision timetables aren’t your thing, but creating even a rough plan saying that you’ll look over Maths for 50 minutes on Saturday morning, before moving onto Chemistry is sufficient, and will make a difference.
4. Preparation is everything. If you’re unsure what will come up in an exam, get a copy of the syllabus, and tick the topics off as you go through them.
5. Make it manageable. Breaking down your subject into sections makes revision less daunting, and you’ll be able to see what you’ve revised, which topics to focus on, and the progress you’re making. This will be an effective organisation of your revision time, so instead of flicking through the book for topics to cover, you’ll know exactly what to revise in that time period.
6. How do you learn? Cater your revision tools to the way you learn. If you’re a visual learner, create mind maps, or flow diagrams, or if you’re an auditory learner, record your revision notes and listen to them before bed. Sticking your notes all over the house, and colour coding your notes are also helpful for training up your long term memory.
7. Revise with friends. Sometimes revising with other people help, as you share notes, discuss and swap tips, and test each other. That doesn’t mean to get distracted completely, but perhaps a more relaxed environment will help it all stick in your mind.
8. You are what you eat. What you put into your body will affect your mind, so eating the right types of food is crucial, particularly in the weeks leading up to exams.
Brain Boosting Foods:
- Blueberries – Studies show they boost your focus, concentration and therefore performance (by 11%)
- Whole-grains – Wholegrain pasta, cereals, will help boost your short term memory.
9. Ghosting isn’t always bad. Talking about what happened last night on EastEnders won’t help you revise. Turning off your phone, laptop, and any other connections to social media for that hour of English will.
10. Take a break. Taking a break does not equal slacking. Don’t overwork yourself, and take some time to do something completely unrelated to revision. If you feel like nothing is going into your head anymore, that’s a massive sign to stop. Forcing yourself to carry on “studying” won’t do anything as you won’t actually absorb any of the material. Taking a break will help your brain absorb and process all the information you’ve been looking through.