Sorry I’ve been AWOL for a while. I do, however, have an excellent reason for my absence, and this reason can be summed up into just one word; exams.
Oh yes. At Leicester, you’ll undergo bi-yearly examinations, much like at A-level. You’ll have one set in January (the ones I’m currently cramming my brain with knowledge for), and a set in May, after the Easter holiday.
Now, I’m not so patronising to think that you all don’t know how to revise. You’ve managed to get to A-level (congratulations, by the way) so I’m sure by now you’ve figured out what works for you in terms of revision.
What I am going to do is discuss the common mistakes people make that send them slightly crazy during the revision period.
For starters, make sure you exercise and eating well during your revision period. The temptation to stay holed up in your room surviving on nothing but broken biscuits and hummus might be quite high, but it will not help your mental state. Don’t revise on your bed in your pyjamas. Get up and out of bed and get dressed every day. Additionally, make sure you have breaks in which you’re active. Clean your room, go to the gym, and once every couple of days, make sure you actually go outside (even just for a short walk).
Over the last two years, I’ve noticed that when you’re caught up in revision panic, there are two main things that will suffer; you social life and your sleep routine.
By social life, I don’t mean how much you’re going to the pub (if that’s NOT suffering you’re doing something wrong), but that the amount of human contact you have will drop very low if you’re not careful. Make sure you still have some human contact, or you will get cabin fever, and be found, weeks later, curled up in your laundry basket reciting fossil names. If you’re living with other students, this is easy. They’re all going through the same processes as you, so will also have the need to socialise. You can arrange breaks so you can go and have a cup of tea with some company that isn’t your revision notes. Have group revision sessions. Go and waste time for 20 minutes by listing all the possible questions that won’t come up in your exams with someone. Anything to give your mind a break.
As for sleep patterns, if you’re anything like me, mine gets messed up simply by me lying awake and worrying. Alternatively, you may be one of these people who doesn’t work all day, then panics at 10pm, revises up until 3am, then goes to bed. Neither of these attitudes are good. Force yourself to go to bed at a reasonable hour, and make time to wind down before trying to sleep. Don’t be trying to learn the geological time scale off by heart just before you go to sleep, because you will dream about dinosaurs, and they will try to eat your face (I have bizarre dreams when revising).
And most of all, don’t panic. You will gain nothing by worrying about how much work everyone else has done or the possibility that the exam will be scrapped on the day in favour of an assessment of how well you can play the didgeridoo (another dream).
Just make sure you work hard, rest harder, sleep and eat well and get some exercise!
Good luck everyone!