Keeping on top of your revision will make a world of difference when it comes to your performance in exams. Granted, that first flick through all of the materials and notes you need might be a little daunting, but it’s important to stay calm. With a revision plan in place the amount of work you’ll need to do will look a lot less intimidating and a lot more manageable.
To help you through your exam season we’ve pulled together some handy tips so you can get stuck in:
How to revise
Before you start your revision it’s important to set realistic goals and timelines that you can work towards. You’ve probably already found yourself working to a tight deadline at some point in the course, wishing you had started earlier. If you’ve ever reacted to a mountain of work by feeling clueless about where to start and promptly put it to the back of your mind you’re not alone. Unfortunately that strategy always backfires!
When revising, you should make a conscious effort to eat healthily, exercise regularly and ensure you’re getting plenty of sleep – even if it seems like this time could be better spent studying. All-nighters at the library may seem tempting, but you’re more than likely to end up performing worse in your exams if you’ve tired yourself out.
Whatever your revision methods, taking care of yourself and your mental health should be your priority. When revising, give yourself enough time to study without sacrificing your wellbeing.
How to make a revision timetable
A revision timetable is a great way to help you plan ahead. Organising yourself this way can ensure you have enough time to cover all of the topics and material you’ll need to know for your exams.
The first step when creating a revision table is to block off the times you know you’re already going to be busy. For example, if you work part-time, you can add in the shifts you know you’ll be working. By recognising all of your pre-existing commitments, you’ll be able to see just how much free time you have left to revise.
Next create a list of all the topics and materials you’ll need to cover during your revision. You should try to allocate a realistic amount of time to individual topics in order to fully revise each one. Make sure to review your exam guidelines to ensure you’re giving the right amount of time to the relevant topics. For example, if one topic will determine 60% of your final grade, and two more will determine 20% each, you should keep this in mind when distributing your time.
Your revision plan should be personalised and tailored to suit your schedule. It’s important to work out the best way you can cover all of the relevant material that is both suitable to the time you have available and to your preferred working habits. At London Met, staff are on hand to support you with creating your own revision plans, helping you to use your time as efficiently as possible. Head to Student Zone to find out more about getting the most out of your student hub services.
How to make revision notes
When it comes to studying, lecture notes can be invaluable. However, there’s nothing worse than revisiting your lecture notes and realising that they don’t make much sense to you. A useful technique is to record your lectures on your phone to revisit at a later date (with the lecturer's permission), or check with your lecturer to see if they habitually record their lectures for students to use.
Creating notes when revising can, if done correctly, really help you to remember key pieces of information. A popular revision technique we recommend is to identify small sections of material that you think will be important for your exam and then to create sticky notes that you can place around your study area. Sticky notes are a great visual reminder, helping you to identify the topics that are most important whilst allowing you to revisit them at any time.
How many hours a day should you revise?
Most universities recommend those preparing for an exam study approximately 15 to 20 hours per week. This may seem a lot at first, but with a revision timetable you’ll be able to plan your study hours against the free time you have available, helping you to realistically manage and organise your time effectively. For example, if you choose to study between three to five hours each weekday, you could cover all of your revision during the week and enjoy plenty of well-deserved time off at the weekend.
How to make revision fun
Keeping yourself motivated can be one of the most challenging aspects of revision, and this is why you need to ensure you provide yourself with goals and rewards throughout the whole process. Set realistic targets and reward yourself with something you enjoy when you reach your goals. For example, when you’ve completed a topic you can treat yourself to sweets or perhaps take a break to watch a funny video on YouTube. This popular revision technique works particularly well when trying to stay motivated whilst revising a more challenging section of research. Once you begin to tick off items on your revision plan you may find that setting challenges for yourself becomes fun in itself.
It’s normal to feel the pressure during exam time – at London Met we recognise the importance of planning ahead and looking after yourself when revising for your exams. Our tutors can offer you guidance during revision. Whether that’s helping you create personalised revision timetables or supporting you both academically and emotionally throughout your studies, be sure to pay them a visit during office hours and make the most of their advice.
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