In a previous blog I briefly mentioned the advantage of taking breaks during revision, and since I am currently revising for the 6 exams I have in May I thought this would be a good time to elaborate on this.
Breaks are an important part of revision, if you don’t take them often enough the revision you do will be of low quality. The first think I recommend you do is find out how long you can maintain quality revision on a particular topic. This varies massively from person to person. For example I revise in one and a half hour segments, any longer and the quality of my revision decreases below a certain level that I would consider worthwhile pursuing. However, some people prefer to work in segments of half an hour; whatever works best for you. Between segments I take small breaks and at lunch I take a longer break. Personally I also never work past 6pm I start revision early in morning an always take evenings off.
During your breaks go do something completely different, I recommend that you walk away from where you are revising and go do something else, I personally enjoy watching YouTube videos during my breaks. What I don’t recommend doing is continuing to think about revision in the back of your head; if you are still thinking about revision in your breaks, you have not taken a break.
I also take longer breaks. For example I went home for 6 days during Easter and next week I will be going home for 4 days for my Birthday. When taking longer breaks like these, make sure you have organised them such that they do not disturb your revision, and don’t guilt yourself into thinking you should be revising. When I take these longer breaks I purposely leave all my revision notes and my laptop in Leicester so that I know this is time I can spend away from revision guilt free. I also make a conscious decision not to think about revision whilst on these breaks. I think a constant feeling in the back of your head that you should be revising is not good for your mental health.
In short when you are taking a break from revision make sure you are actually taking a break.
“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.”