It's exam season. And stress levels are high. But with our handy revision guide, we'll help you feel prepared so you can stay cool as a cucumber.
Create a revision planner and schedule in time to review for each exam. Stick this up on your wall so that you can refer to it whenever you need to. Not only is this a great way to keep track of your progress, but it'll help kick-start your revision by making you organise and break down areas of study into manageable chunks.
Prioritise, and give yourself enough time to get to grips with anything you really struggle with. Make sure your timetable is simple and realistic. Don't kid yourself: are you honestly going to be waking up at half past six on a Sunday morning to brush up on your algebra?
No, we don't believe you either, and whilst ambition is great, it's important not to be too hard on yourself - you're only human, and you'll need rest in order to make the most of your time, which leads us nicely onto our next point.
A healthy body means a healthy mind. Exam period can be stressful, but it's important not to let it get the best of you - you've got to be top of your game and that means getting enough sleep, exercising and eating healthily.
Whilst you might just plan on hiding yourself away with your notes and a month's supply of energy drinks and fast food, you run the serious risk of turning into a revision zombie. Here's how to keep yourself sane during the study period.
*Consume at your own risk.
Let's face it, revision can be tough, so it's important to make it as fun as possible.
‘Fun? Are you kidding?’ we hear you say. Ok, so whilst we aren’t going to pretend you’ll want to swap your salsa classes/X Box/bird watching hobby for revision, there are ways you can inject some fun into your studies and optimise your learning.
Think about how you learn best, and try to use your different senses. You might find you remember things easier by listening, so why not record some sound bites, questions, and revision tips into a dictaphone and play them back. Even better, save them on your phone so you can listen to them
on the go – just make sure you’ve removed them before your end of exams party – nothing will clear a dance floor like your recorded recital of Newton’s three laws of motion.
If you’re more of a visual learner, you might want to draw a very quick illustration or comic strip to help memorise a point, or cover your entire room in posters and mind maps, which will catch your eye even when you’re not officially revising. Some people find working in a group really beneficial, as you can discuss ideas, quiz each other, and help with any problems. Be careful not to get distracted though, it’s important you keep on track.
Whether it’s through song, mnemonics, different accents, interpretive dance or just plain old notes, find a medium that works for you and go for it.
At the risk of sounding like your grandma, the art of penmanship is rapidly becoming extinct, and that, my dear, is a great shame. She might have a point, you know.
Back in the good old days, before all these new-fangled computers and mobile phones, grandma had to write everything with a pen and paper/quill and parchment/chisel and rock, and whilst this sounds terribly long-winded and time-consuming, good handwriting is actually a pretty useful skill to have.
Because most of us now type rather than write, we’re used to using different muscles in our hands. In an exam, you could be writing frantically for up to four hours, which, if you’re not used to, can actually be rather difficult. If you’re out of practice, you might experience hand cramp and wrist fatigue (a serious ailment during exam period), so it’s definitely worth getting used to writing in timed conditions, and for longer periods of time to build up your hand stamina.
Planning becomes even more important – you can’t just cut and paste paragraphs and edit and re-edit as you write like you’re able to on your computer, so it’s vital you get your ideas sorted before you start scribbling away. If your handwriting looks like something your cat might have scrawled, it’s worth trying to neaten it up. It might not seem like an important factor, but if the examiner simply can’t read your perfect answer, the chances are you won’t get the marks you deserve.
If you’ve followed the rest of the tips on this list, then this point should, in theory, be totally irrelevant.
Pulling an all-nighter might seem like a viable option, and yes, you may have got through your mock exams, bleary eyed and by the skin of your teeth by cramming the night before, but is it really worth the risk?
Revising over a longer period of time means that more is engrained into your long-term memory, as well as giving you plenty of time to get to grips with anything you really don’t understand. So, to summarise, only use this technique when you absolutely have to.
A little bit of stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it’ll give you the push you need to work hard.
For more helpful revision tips from our students, search #INSTANTWISDOM on Twitter.
Or if you'd like to download the Revision Guide as a pdf you can here.
GOOD LUCK - YOU DON'T NEED IT, YOU CLEVER THING, YOU.