Exam season is looming, and it’s a stressful time at best. So make the most of your revision sessions with these top tips to get the best results from the time you put in.
Take Care of Yourself
A healthy body is the home of a healthy and fully functioning mind, so take good care of yourself during this time. Eat well and healthily, stay hydrated and try to do at least 30 minutes of exercise each day to get the blood pumping and oxygenate your brain. Do your best to get enough good-quality sleep and take time to relax after revision sessions too – your body and brain need time to rest and repair before the next session.
Know the Syllabus
Make sure to familiarise yourself with all the topics on the syllabus and the subjects that will come up in the exams. Talk to your teachers and look at past papers to get a good idea of what is worth spending time on and what isn’t. It can be disheartening to see that topics you’ve spent ages working on don’t even come up in your exams, so save yourself wasted time and effort by only revising what you need to know.
Be Organised but Flexible
Organisation is the key to efficient revision, so draw up a detailed timetable of the topics you’ll revise and stick to it. Make sure to alternate topics and allow yourself a break with a different subject before repeating material you’ve already looked at – this way your brain really has the chance to process it. However, if you wake up late and should have already made a start on Chemistry, don’t concede defeat and scrap the whole day. Work with what you have and use your timetable to make the best use of your time.
Use Past Papers and Notecards
Exam papers from previous years are a great way to get some practice similar to the real thing, and they will enable you to become familiar with the layout and sorts of things you can expect from the papers you sit. When it comes to going over your notes, old-fashioned address cards are a great tool to use. They make for quick, to-the-point revision without any clutter, and you can take them out and about with you, or give them to a friend or relative to help you go over.
A simple reward system is a great way of motivating yourself and punctuating your time – it shouldn’t be all work and absolutely no play. So set yourself rewards to enjoy once you’ve completed your day or a particularly difficult subject. But be reasonable – don’t decide you’ve earned the afternoon off after every session.
Short, Productive Sessions
Many studies have concluded that our brains work most efficiently when given frequent short breaks, so bear this in mind when revising. You are far more likely to process the information if you do regular stints of up to an hour, with a five- or ten-minute break in between. And when you do take these short breaks, use them to rest a little and refuel, so have some brainfood and water at the ready.
Lots of luck to all of you out there sitting exams in the coming months!