Timetables are probably stuck on your wall somewhere by now but how prepared are you?
But let us tell you, you can never be too prepared! If you need a few extra pointers, coming from students who have been exactly where you are, here’s our tips:
It might be tempting under the stress to leave your bible on the dresser to squeeze in more study but chances are you don’t need to extra pressure. Taking the time to meditate and pray especially when you first wake up will help set things in perspective for the day ahead, and keep you calm and levelheaded throughout.
Draw up a revision timetable
Research shows that shorter 20-30 minute spells work best, because your concentration is much higher. We therefore recommend taking short, frequent breaks. Vary the topic or subject, and the durations of study to help keep your brain engaged.
Those studying sciences can confirm physical activity is very important, and particularly useful during intense study time. A small 30-minute jog after a day of revision will make a huge difference to your wellbeing, increasing heart rate which makes the blood circulate faster. The brain as a result gets more oxygen which increases productivity whilst reducing tiredness and stress! No brainer!
Find a quiet space
This is a pretty straightforward one: you desperately need a place where you can be uninterrupted for a few hours. Your room, local library or even local church hall (if it’s open) will do. Be careful with revising in a coffee shop – its often a distraction for some!
Get down to it in the morning
You have to make a start at some point and doing it sooner rather than later is a good plan. Going back to our previous point of planning a timetable – research shows that you are more likely to do all the planned work if you start early.
Spice up your revision
Drop the black biro! Drawing colourful learning maps, with bright colours and highlighters will help you to memorise facts. Did you know that colourful notes are easier to memorise than plain black and white ones?
Make summary notes
We all have been there, sat down reading a textbook and lying to ourselves that the time is being used productively – it is not! The best way to memorise information is by making notes over and over again. It may be incredibly tedious but the thing is that the most successful candidates often make as many as three sets of the same notes in a run up to the exams which help them to memorise the required information.
It is not all about the work; you need good breaks too. People who manage to find the right balance between study and leisure are the ones who get the top marks. For instance go to a cinema with friends after a productive day of revision or treat yourself to something sweet. Work hard, play not-quite-as-hard is the motto here.
Use your family and friends
Ask people around you to test you and give you feedback. You should already have made handy revision notes (see point #7). Why not give these notes of key dates covering Henry VIII’s reign to your mum and ask her to test you? This is not only a good way to revise but also a good way to have a break from the hard work.
At the end of the day, it’s not all about studying. There are plenty of people who did well in life without 100 per cent in every single exam, or who were actually pretty useless at school and university. Your life isn’t over if you don’t ace the exams, so take the pressure off yourself..
Following these tips you will get loads of work done, feel great about yourself and still have plenty of time to relax with your friends and family. All the best, now get down to those notes!