I find myself saying this phrase a lot between the April to June months because exams are looming for millions of students all over the world, whether it’s GCSEs, A Levels or Degree level exams. I walk into the library, and it’s so busy there’s barely a computer free and I turn to my friend and mutter “it’s that time of year”. Lots of third year students are panicking about their dissertations, spending 10 hours in the library every day, then there are people like me who go in for revision.
So, because it is “that time of year”, here are a few exam revision techniques that might come in handy for all you students out there!
- Make a revision timetable; it can take a while but it helps me. I need routine in my life, otherwise I have mental breakdowns, so making a timetable that I stick to every day really helps me.
- Divert from this timetable (when necessary). Sometimes I’ll put something in the timetable, for example “read Sonnet 129, Shakespeare”, that I’m really not in the mood to do. You have to be in the mood to do something, otherwise you won’t take any information in.
- Work with what you’ve already learnt over the year/two years of your study. If you’re trying to cram new information in during your revision period, you’ll just get confused.
- Make a space to revise. Clear your desk and make space for your laptop and any textbooks you’re using that day. Organisation is key for revision.
- Use mind maps, flashcards, post-it notes, voice recordings, anything that works for YOU. There are so many techniques for revision and everyone is different.
- Take frequent breaks (writing this is currently counting as one of my revision breaks). Scientists have found the most effective way for revision is 20 minutes of work, 5 minute break and then every hour take a 10 minute break. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but the breaks add up and mean your brain will memorise the information better.
- Revise everything, it will not go in. Be selective and choose a wide variety of topics so that you’re prepared for most scenarios in the exam.
- Read the textbook. Reading for revision is for “visionary” learners only. Audio learners will need to listen to something for it to go in, so maybe consider recording yourself and listen back to it. Kinesthetic learners need to do things; make mind maps, highlight text, create posters with facts on.
- Leave it all until the last minute. Your brain needs to process information and information overload means it cannot do this effectively.
I really hope this helps and good luck to you all!
I also recently did a blog post on Essay Tips for Students, so to view that as well, click here.