7 ways to make the most of your revision time
Time to complete
Procrastination; we’ve all done it. With so much revision to do it’s so easy to put it off for an extra five minutes to enjoy the finer things in life, like joining in on the jokes going around on your group chat and liking your friends’ photos on social media - suddenly hours have passed and you’re well into watching your third video of the talking goat that’s trending.
Sound familiar? Don’t get caught up in the digital cycle. Of course it’s hard to stop using your mobile during exam time, but if you are the type of person who struggles to switch off from the online world then it’s best to give your phone to someone you can trust for a few hours and follow these seven tips.
- Organise yourself
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” – it’s an old saying but still very relevant. When you use all the time you have available to revise, you are giving yourself a better chance at remembering all your notes and allowing yourself time to revisit the hard topics that need going over. You can do this by creating schedules that start right from the beginning of your study leave, and organise time to revise your subjects in order of priority. Include a schedule for eating meals and going to bed. It is easy to get caught up in your books and revise late into the night, but by getting at least eight hours of sleep and having a healthy diet, you will also be feeding your brain, which in return will be better for your mental health. For more on organising your time, head over here.
- Be creative
Sometimes, even with all the highlighters and post-its in the world we can still find it hard to remember certain revision notes that we write down. Do you ever daydream and suddenly have a eureka moment and recall a point you were trying to make three days ago? Certain memories can be triggered by the most random things and you can use that to your benefit during exam time. Be creative in your exam preparation; draw pictures, listen to music and use keywords that you can use to remind you about your revision.
- Break it down
Big projects like revision can seem daunting, but they are often made up of small tasks and approaching one thing at a time not only keeps you motivated but also allows you to be flexible to accommodate emergencies and other day-to-day essentials. For example, you can revise one module at a time (or binge-watch one TV series at a time, but starting with the revision is probably a good idea). Check out this useful video all about breaking stuff down.
- Reward yourself: In order to manage time better, you generally won’t be able to do whatever you want whenever you want. There will be some things you might have to do less from day to day. However, don’t hesitate to congratulate yourself when you get a job done. Enjoy yourself – on holiday or just on the sofa – for a little while before getting back to business.
- Play to your strengths: Are you more efficient in the mornings or evenings? Does writing things down help you to achieve them? Will writing your to-do list on your phone make it even harder to ignore those distracting notifications? Be honest with yourself and work in a way that sets you up to succeed.
- Prioritise: Learn the difference between urgent and important, and do tasks in order according to this. For example,going to your guitar lesson is really important, but if you also have work to do for an exam the next day, that is urgent. More about prioritising here.
- Shield your mind from stress
The day of your exam can be pretty nerve-wracking – if you let it be. You know that you’ve revised everything you could think of, but there is always that friend who asks you if a topic you’ve never heard of will come up moments before you walk into the exam. Be confident in your exam preparation and don’t let last-minute comments or thoughts stress you out. Focus on what you know and you will go into your exam feeling prepared and ready. Give yourself time off – with no phone, screens or anything else – so that you can relax your mind and body. It is scientifically proven to reduce stress and can help you concentrate when it matters most.
Learning to manage your time will enhance your effort and skills and it help make your revision easier and more effective. So why not start practising now?
Just remember: Keep Calm and Stay Exam Ready! (The talking goats will still be there when you're done).
Want some more advice on keeping calm during exam season? Check out these tips for managing stress and using that energy to your advantage.