Again, we are almost at the end of another month. I swear time is passing by quicker and quicker! So fitting with the theme in which I try and compose at least one exam-related post each revision cycle, today’s topic is going to be all about… revising productively! As a third year, I have four exams coming up meaning that I will be tackling four rounds of lecture content and revising them in quick succession. I’ll admit that it is pretty daunting and I have had to modify my to-do lists a few times as there are times when lectures are the last thing my brain wants to look at.
But fear not because I am slowly but surely muddling through and I will leave you with some words of wisdom on how I revise productively!
The first thing I’ll say is that starting revision early goes a long way. I don’t mean six months early – but early enough that you will be able to look through the content multiple times before the exam. Trust me, I understand that’s not always the case especially with uni work. Everything at uni takes twice the effort and thrice the time – but the earlier you can, the less stressed you will be and that’s always a bonus.
Okay, so now the revision cards have been bought and the lecture notes are on your desk. What next? The next thing to do is to read everything and clarify confusing concepts. During lectures, there are always going to be moments when you lose track or just give up, so you will probably encounter pages where your notes appear to be absent and suddenly the comfort of your own scribbles isn’t there to explain those confusing pathways on the notes. Fortunately, there is a helping hand in the fact that most lectures are now recorded so make sure you re-watch the slides until everything clicks.
Also draw everything! It is impossible to predict what will come up and the last thing you want to do is kick yourself because you decided to skip over a little diagram. Having a diagram also helps you remember things better – and will likely get you more marks in the exam!
Last but not least, don’t read and regurgitate! This means that revision will be a much more tolerable and productive process if you try and treat it as a more dynamic activity. Make cue cards, mind maps, leaflets, podcasts, presentations – whatever helps! In the exam, the questions will not be straightforward so understanding the concepts will be more important than planting each detail into your memory. Although, that does help and the more you revise, in more different ways, then it will probably help all of those concepts stick better.
So, good luck everyone, happy studying!