So summer term means one of two things: boiling hot sunshine or torrential downpours – neither are exactly inspiring to get you working, right?
Unfortunately there’s nothing we can do about the weather…or your exams; these things, unfortunately, will not change. However here are a few tips that might help with your revision.
1. Make a revision timetable.
This allows you to keep on track with work so you can see what you’ve done and what you need to do. Adding tick boxes to check off after each section can also feel rewarding and inspire you to keep going. A timetable allows you to plan your breaks well, giving you something to look forward to – and if you’re lucky you might find a friend to share them with, which means you aren’t a complete social recluse over the next few weeks – this period can get pretty lonely.
If you’re anything like me, time away from the books makes you feel guilty – as though you aren’t doing enough. It’s only natural. However, physical exercise is helpful and very important during this time! It seems contradictory that exercise can reduce tiredness, but it really works. Even a short 20-minute jog can make a huge difference, as physical activity increases your heart rate, making blood circulate faster to ensure the brain gets more oxygen. This will increase your productivity and ability to do more work whilst minimizing fatigue and stress. Also non-stop revision is unproductive and quite frankly, doesn’t work as effective as doing frequent shorter spurts of work, so why not use this as one of your breaks?
3. Find somewhere quiet.
Now I’m not suggesting that, if you’re a person that works with their earphones in, this is wrong – no. What is important, however, is that you find somewhere where you can work completely uninterrupted – by gossiping friends, or flat/house mates screaming at Fifa. Revision can be stressful and the loud rustle and bustle of everyday happenings can add to this – so why not head into Uni for the evening? Pilkington for instance , with all its added extensions, is available for you to plonk yourself on a seat and get down to it! If not here why not try a coffee shop, Hazelgrave , even JC’s!
4. Get out of that bedroom!
Yes, we are provided with a perfectly comfortable chair and desk being students and all, and yes, it does seem like the most convenient place to work, but staying clumped up in your room for the next month is definitely not healthy. For people like me, it usually means staying in our PJ’s and using a 30 minute work session an excuse to have a three-hour ‘powernap’. So why not get out? Try somewhere new. Getting out is likely to make you feel more refreshed and ready to work.
5. Get up and at ‘em!
It’s gotta be done at some point, so sooner rather than later is always better! Research has shown that you are more likely to complete planned work if you start early. Plus getting up early means you have more time in the evening if you stumble over something you’ve forgotten about, or it means you can wind down earlier in the evening to reward yourself. Eevening T.V. always makes for better viewing anyway.
6. Spice it up!
Writing line after line in black ink can be dull and monotonous and not very inspiring and definitely not easy to take in. So why not use of a bit of colour? Use different layouts? Tables? While making your revision techniques more enjoyable you are making the information easier to look at and remember as you create associations between the different colours and layouts with each different section. So stop making revision so boring.
7. Do past papers. Plenty.
Ask your tutors/lecturers for online sources. These can help you get to grips with the types of questions you might be asked and aid your exam techniques and timing, whilst familiarizing yourself with the papers. Also, looking at desirable answers can help you see what examiners are looking for.
8. Make summary notes and cue cards!
Most of you probably already do this, as it’s the best way to memorize lots of information. Reading and re-reading text books can be tiring, dull, and make it very difficult to take in lots of information, although it may seem like the quickest and easiest way. So write things down! Even better, when you think you know them, give them to friends and family to quiz you, this will help you see areas you are confident with, whilst showing you areas that need work.
9. Reward yourself
There’s no going away from the fact that this period is long and incredibly boring, and made worse when you’re staring out of the window watching the sun glaring. But, as I’ve already said, you need breaks too! Try and find the right balance so you can reward yourself with short stints outside sunbathing, a trip into town for a coffee, or a walk to the shop for treats to keep you going. It’ll make work seem a lot less taxing, believe me! Go for the chocolate biscuits; treat yourself, you deserve it.
10. Finally, think positive!
Think: ‘I can do this!’, because you can! You wouldn’t have made it to this prestigious university otherwise. Follow these tips; yes, study hard, but reward yourself!
If it makes you feel better ,take the pressure off by keeping in mind that there are plenty of successful millionaires in this world who didn’t gain 100% in their exams! You will be just fine.
Good Luck! Now get to work!