I hope that everyone had a good Christmas. I guess it was fun, even though I spent most of it recovering from a self-induced food coma!
The song that was overplayed in our kitchen was George Michael’s ‘Last Christmas’ and it started to inspire this week’s blog post. What was I doing during last year’s Christmas break?
Well, as I mentioned last week, this break is the first time in five years where I have not had to revise for the dreaded January exams. This is a distinct change from last year where I was revising for my first ever Law exams. In my first Christmas break, as a Leicester Uni student, I had to prepare for 3 exams and 2 non-assessed essays. Despite the fact that, by then, I had survived four years worth of January exams (for GCSEs and A-Levels), it often does not feel better to have to study when Home Alone is on the TV and you have to memorise the the sources of the UK’s constitution. (And that is only the start of it!)
So I thought, I could share and hopefully help some of you with my Top Revision Tips, that I have acquired over these painful five years.
Top Tip #1: PLAN
- My first tip, is to make a list of every subject that you are studying.
- After you have done this, note down every topic or module that needs covering for that particular subject.
- By doing this you cannot deny that you are completely aware of everything that needs covering.
Top Tip #2: REALISTIC TIMETABLE
- After you have completed #1, you should be able to make a timetable.
- Make sure you know what the dates are for your exams so you can plan properly what you will need to cover for each day.
- Be realistic when you make your timetable – don’t plan to learn half a subject’s worth of work when you know it will really take four days – as you will be preparing yourself for more stress and not success! (Apologies for my rubbish rhyme.)
Top Tip #3: UNDERSTAND
- Something I can say I was occasionally guilty of, was to memorise lots of information but not really understand what on earth I was reciting.
- It may sound silly but I know I am not the only one, so make sure you actually understand the topic properly.
- Make sure, especially for humanities subjects, to understand the issue that the topic or module is focusing on.
- This will honestly make revision much easier because you will be interacting more with the subject that you are studying!
Top Tip #4: PRACTICE EXAM PAPERS
- Again, to some people, completing loads of past papers is an absolute no-brainer!
- However, I think we can all admit that we have, at times, focused too much on the content of the subject and neglected to apply what we have learnt by answering those practice questions.
- Therefore, try to do as many past papers as possible as it will allow you to get used to the type of questions they may ask and, over time, will be the best way to improve your answers!
Top Tip #5: SENSIBLE BREAKS
- Students, often suffer many (often extreme) types of insanity during the revision period. Amongst other things, this is often the product of taking no breaks or too many breaks.
Those who take no breaks are on the path to becoming a STUDENT ZOMBIE.
- These students are those who tend to eat, sleep, breathe and truly live for revision.
- At the time it may seem to be the answer – but it isn’t.
- You are almost definitely on the road to burning yourself out and you need to survive – till the last exam at least!
- So the cure for you is to allow yourself time out, regularly, to do something completely non-exam related to RELAX!
Those who have been particularly indulgent on breaks are walking on a thin line on becoming a SEVERELY STRESSED STUDENT.
- These students are those who have passed the normal levels of stress that students experience and can also lead you too burn out!
- SSS’s tend to have breaks every 5 to 10 minutes and are, in plain terms, avoiding revision.
- To these students, I would say that we can all be guilty of exhibiting the dreaded symptoms of procrastination … Making 10 cups of coffee in one hour and needing to go to a stationary shop for more highlighters are my favourite excuses BUT this is 100% NOT the answer where you are not helping yourself at all.
- To combat these horrible effects of procrastination, I try to put the examination into perspective. Completing the exam and doing the best you can will help you in the long run. And what is four weeks of (yes I admit it) boring revision, when you will probably have at least 3 and half months of summer to do whatever you want?
Now, I hope that my revision tips are of some use to those having exams this January. I want to say that you can do this – I believe in you! Good luck and make sure you don’t give up.
Get revising and I promise to check in with you before 2013 is up!