Revision & exam tips

The exam period is nearly upon us. This is a chance for you to shine and show everyone, and yourself, what you are capable of. Here’s a few helpful tips to help you get on top of your revision, prepare for your exams and manage any last minute nerves. #hardworkpaysoff

Revision tips

  • Eat breakfast: skipping breakfast can reduce your ability to recall information effectively. Even something small can help your levels of concentration.
  • Put your phone away: phones (particularly social media) are distracting. When revising place your phone out of sight and out of mind.
  • Start revising early: an athlete does not train the day before a competition! Space out your revision (such as one hour over ten sessions) is more effective than cramming. Spacing allows you time to forget and relearn.
  • Test yourself: test yourself at the end of a revision session. The most effective way to recall information is to practice using past papers or by quizzing yourself.
  • Teach someone: teach what you have learned to a friend or family member. This requires you to learn and organise your knowledge in a clear and structured way.
  • Think twice about using highlighters…try mind maps: don’t simply highlight large chunks of text and hope to remember all of the information. You learn and recall information better by connecting key facts. Use mind maps to test your understanding and make these links.
  • Get some fresh air and exercise: you can’t work all day and nor should you! Getting fresh air allows you to refocus and exercise helps you deal with stressful situations, reduces anxiety and increases self-esteem.
  • Sleep: have regular bedtimes, don’t use your phone, turn off your TV or computer and keep your room dark and quiet to allow yourself to be refreshed for the day ahead.
  • Create a revision timetable – schedule your time: revise in blocks (45 minutes studying, 15 minutes resting). Spend each hour on a different topic and schedule a longer break every 2.5 hours.
  • Understand what kind of learner you are: know yourself. What works best for you?
    • Visual learner – uses mind maps and spider diagrams
    • Auditory learner – revises out loud with a friend using Q&A techniques
    • Kinaesthetic learner – uses games, revision cards and post it notes

Exam tips

  • Get enough sleep the night before the exam: don’t study late into the night, hoping to cram in a little more information into your exhausted brain. Instead stop studying in the early evening. Take it easy, eat your dinner, get your things ready for the next day, take a shower, set a couple of alarms and head to bed early.
  • Make sure you eat on exam day: even if you normally skip breakfast or avoid eating when you are nervous, you should still make the time to eat something. Your brain needs the energy from food to work efficiently. You need to keep your mental focus on your exam and not on your hunger. If you really cannot stomach food, then try having a protein shake or smoothie.
  • Manage those pre-exam nerves: think positive thoughts, breathe, prepare the equipment you need, and make sure you know when and where your exam is taking place!
  • During the exam: take the time to read and understand the questions, make notes/ideas/prepare your answers and refer to those notes as you answer the questions. Don’t waffle or try and answer a different question that you have revised thoroughly. Manage your time. Keep an eye on the time, so that you have enough time for your final answer. If you don’t have enough time, make a skeleton answer in note form. At least you have put something down.
  • Stay calm and take deep breaths – you can do it!