We all know the anxiety that bubbles under the surface when we have exams coming up. It’s usually teamed with a sense of dread about the hours of study and revision that are about to dominate your life in the weeks before.
But if you’re well organised and take a methodical approach, hitting the books doesn’t have to be the life-consuming succubus we all fear.
While we all learn in different ways, there are a few guaranteed tricks to make revision as pain-free and effective as possible.
Be realistic – make sure you get started early rather than cramming at the last minute. Weigh up how long you can dedicate to your studies and be realistic with how much you can achieve in that time.
Write down major deadlines and keep study sessions in manageable time slots to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
Create a to-do list – This is the best place the start. Figure out what topics you need to cover, pinpointing the ones you need to work on most, and simply make your way through the list. Identify more urgent ones and put them up top.
Strengths and weaknesses – Figuring out your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to revision can save you a lot of time and help you retain the information better.
We all learn in our own unique ways and figuring out which of the four learning styles best suits you will not just help you in the lead up to exams, but throughout your education.
Test yourself – to figure out the areas you struggle with most, do a self-test before you crack open the books. This will help you focus your revision time more efficiently.
Keep doing this throughout your revision to test where there are still gaps in your knowledge.
Work together – Revising with some of your course mates means you can discuss topics as you go, helping the important stuff stick in your memory better. It also helps you quickly clear up any areas you’re unsure about. Not to mention, it gives you a little extra incentive to show up to study sessions when you have other people relying on you.
Short sharp bursts – Research shows 20-30 minutes of full, undivided attention is better than an hour of distracted learning. Set a timer if you need to, but quality revision time is far more beneficial than wasting your evenings blankly staring at textbooks.