Originally I had intended this post to be some advice for the exams, but it turned very quickly into this. So, for a bit of light-hearted relief during the exam season, here is “A Day in the Life- Revising for a Maths Exam.”
8.00am: Alarm goes off. Groan. Snooze. Go back to sleep. Stupidly, you were up late revising, despite PROMISING yourself you weren’t going to, and that you were going to get into a healthy sleeping pattern.
8.15am: see above.
8.30am: Alarm goes off. Okay, you should really get up now.
Drag self out of bed. Attempt to make self look human, give up. Try and put contacts in, give up. Opt for a hoody and glasses.
Have some form of breakfast, because “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and all that. Remember that a banana and a cup of coffee apparently doesn’t count as an adequate breakfast.
8.50am: Walk to uni, listening to some sort of motivational playlist on your way there in an attempt to get yourself pumped for the day.
9.00am: Arrive at uni and find somewhere to work. Avoid the library, you will NOT find a seat. Start revising.
9.01am: Bang head on desk. Carry on revising.
9.30am: Bang head on desk again. Maybe cry a little.
9.31am: Stop being ridiculous and start actually focussing. Make a list of all the things you want to cover for the day. Break it up into tiny chunks in an attempt to not get overwhelmed.
11.00am: Coffee break. Check Twitter and Facebook.
11.10am: Consider getting back to work. Check Twitter and Facebook again.
11.15am: Strongly consider getting back to work. Watch a YouTube video.
11.17am: Seriously contemplate restarting revision. Send snapchats and tweet about how revision is going.
11.20am: Actually start working again.
1.00pm: Congratulations, you’ve actually managed just over two solid hours of work. Reward self with food, and maybe another coffee. And some internet. Go outside, breathe some fresh air.
1.30pm: Start working again. Move onto practice questions after a heavy morning of notes and theory.
1.45pm: “IS THAT EVEN A WORD? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? I SWEAR WE’VE NOT COVERED THAT BEFORE?”
1.46pm: Refer to lecture notes.
1.48pm: Realise you were being a idiot and that the answer was really easy.
1.49pm: Go back to question. Immediately forget what you have just read and repeat the process.
3.00pm: Start checking answers.
3.05pm: “Oh, I’m doing pretty well. That’s right.”
3.06pm: “And that’s right.”
3.07pm: “Oooh, and that’s right.”
3.08pm: “Oh dear, what happened? Seriously though, what on EARTH have I written??
3.10pm: Consider changing degrees.
3.12pm: Get off the uni website because you’re not actually going to change degrees. Start working again.
4.30pm-8.00pm: Home time. Watch some Netflix, have some dinner, have a shower. Plan to get a good night’s sleep.
8.30pm: “Oh, I’ll just look up that one thing…”
8.45pm: Carry on revising when you really should be relaxing.
1.00am: Realise the time, curse self for staying up late revising, despite promising self AGAIN that you were going to get a decent night’s sleep.
2.00am: Finally fall asleep after staying awake stressing.
8.00am: Alarm goes off.
So, whilst this is intended as humorous blog post, there is some advice in there somewhere. My revision days (mostly) aren’t like this. My top five tips for revision are:
1. Get regular and healthy amounts of sleep. Caffeine is not the same as sleep.
2. Ditto for meals. Eat regularly and healthily.
3. Take a break once in a while. Maybe even go outside. Get away from the revision.
4. Divide up your work into more manageable chunks. For maths, I tend to go for half the day doing ‘theory’ (definitions, theorems, notes), and the other half doing past papers and problem sheets. Set goals for the day, you can’t do everything.
5. Don’t panic. (I can feel my friends collectively rolling their eyes as I write that. I’m awful for it.)
On a similar note, I’ve written a blog on a mental health site about making the exam season manageable when you’re struggling with issues such as anxiety. You can find that here.
To those of you with exams- good luck! Until next time, all the best.