It is getting to that time of the year. Students pack into libraries with a mountain of junk food to keep them going into the long hours of the night and coffee sells like hotcakes in all the local supermarkets. For once in my entire academic life, I will not have summer exams. This means that I will actually have a three month summer this year! But I am aware that others are not in the position that I am and I have received some questions from students about how to make the most of revision. So I have decided to make a post about some things that I have done over the years to ensure that I work efficiently.
If you follow me on Instagram/this blog, you will know that I have a list for everything! One of the first things I do when starting my revision, is to create a long list of things I need to cover before the exam. You can find a template of a checklist that I have created here. This enables you to ensure you have covered everything you need to know and you can also keep track of your progress.
Following on from creating a checklist, the sheer amount of tasks you have to do may be overwhelming. So the best way to tackle this is by creating a timetable and ensuring you stick to it. Normally I use excel to create this but to save you guys time, I have created a timetable here so that you can be more efficient with your time.
It is so easy to lose yourself in the work mode that you forget to take breaks. I use the Pomodoro technique to revise and that works for me. This means that I work solidly for 30 minutes followed by a 10 minute break. Revising in this way ensures that I do not get distracted and that I remain focused.
Make sure you make notes that YOU find useful. Some people find it easy to learn just by writing things down on lined paper whereas I like to be theatrical with my notes with colours and illustrations! It is useful to create some flashcards summarising your notes which you can use closer to exams to consolidate your knowledge.
Do not leave things to the last minute. Make sure you start your revision in plenty of time in order to avoid mental breakdowns the night before the exam. Think months instead of days before the exam…
Eat, revise, sleep, repeat
I know a lot of people that tend to neglect sleep or food during the revision period and this just does not seem healthy to me! I have always ensured that I get at least 6 hours of sleep every night and have three meals a day; and personally, this helped me remain sane during exam time.
Stay calm and confident
I know that this is easier said than done. But it is important to find something that will help you to remain calm during the revision period so that you do not burn out. For me, my faith plays a big role in this. It is easy to feel down and worry about failing. Trust me, I do it too! But recently I have started visualising and trying to imagine how I would feel if and when I succeed in exams and this helps me to remain motivated when studying.
This is another aspect to keeping yourself motivated. I used to give myself time to brush up on my art skills if I managed to get eight hours of work done a day.
I really struggle with working in my bedroom. There are just way too many distractions! So I tend to go to libraries or cafes to get my work done and I have definitely had more productive days when I leave the house, than if I decided to stay in the comfort of my own room.
If you are a sucker for new stationery like me then treat yourself to some new stationery goodies. I am always keen to get some work done when I buy myself a new notebook or pen!