7 Revision Techniques That Work
It’s time to stop procrastinating and get down to revising. Here are 7 revision techniques that work and will help you perform your best.
1. Have a healthy lifestyle
This might sound like an annoying, unhelpful tip, but we’re not suggesting that you get up at 6am for a run or exist solely off quinoa and chia seeds. Your brain needs proper fuel, exercise and rest, to perform to the best of your ability during exam season.
Top Universities suggest eggs are a great way to start your day! And planning your meal times and what you’re going to eat will not only ensure you make healthier choices, but will give you something to look forward to and break up your revision sessions.
But it’s not just about food – staying hydrated is really important too. The NHS recommends drinking around 1.2 litres of fluids a day – water being the top choice to keep your body and brain functioning on top form.
If you find that your mentally tired from using all that brain power, but you’re still struggling to sleep – that’s because you’re not physically tired. The University of Surrey suggests getting 30 minutes of exercise a day will help oxygenate the brain and release tension, helping you to keep calm, mentally relax and study more efficiently.
Alongside that – remember to get your zzz’s in! Brain recall is stronger after good sleep and information is easier to access. Professor Della Sala says, “sleep is fundamental, it allows memories to consolidate. It’s a good idea to learn something just before going to bed, and then let your brain do the work.”
2. Early bird catches the worm
The best revision is continuous revision, starting as early as possible. Aim to spread the content you need to learn into several sessions – rather than cramming everything in the last minute.
Hours of productivity vary for each individual, but do try and avoid procrastination. Schedule your revision like a school or work day – this will give you a routine and structure, but also you finish by the early evening.
3. Prep your space
In an ideal world, we would have a perfectly quiet, totally empty revision space, with lots of natural light and ergonomic chairs. Unfortunately, these places rarely exist. Libraries are notoriously noisy, there’s always someone coughing, and a group of friends gossiping. Home can also be a problem – housemates coming and going, mess in every communal space.
However, there are a few things you can do to maximise productivity. First of all, don’t revise in bed, or with the TV on. Even if your house is -20 degrees, it isn’t productive and you will ‘accidentally’ fall asleep or remain there for the rest of the day.
Your phone is also a distraction. A study showed that having your phone out whilst doing homework or revision can make students perform 20% worse.
4. Use past papers and read the examiners report
Memorising the information is only half the battle, you need to be able to apply it! And ideally, you need to use information creatively so you can give a good answer, even if the question stumps you. Try and hunt down some past papers so you can get plenty of practice. Alongside that – it’s worth checking out the examiners report to know exactly what they’re looking for.
5. Work with others
But only if you’re going to be productive! Getting together with a fellow classmate or friend to test each on what you have learnt is a great way to track your revision progress.
6. Don’t compare yourself to others
Don’t focus on how much everyone else is revising, it’s totally unhelpful. Some people work really hard for six hours in a day and can do no more, others have photographic memory and are done after an hour. It’s far more productive to set knowledge, rather than time-based goals.
7. Get inspired by motivational quotes
The best thing to remember is that it’s temporary. Yes it’s really stressful and hard, but the revision, exams and studying is all temporary, it’s only for a period of your life that will take you to the next level.
Try and stay positive! Research people who have your dream job and read about their lives, write a list of the things you want to achieve in your life and then break it down to how you’re going to get there! Even just finding some good old motivational quotes will spur you on!