Planning Your Revision: Top 5 Tips

When I was revising for my exams a while ago, I tried all the methods I could find – from study guides to my uni bedroom walls covered in mind maps. I managed to eventually find the method that works for me, and here I set out ways in which this idea can be applied. I cannot say it will benefit all, but here are my observations. I hope it helps, but above all, good luck!


photo credit: jackhynes via photopin cc

Choose the right number of topics

For an exam with 2 questions revise 3 topics and be fully conversant with the terms and theories. Better to know 3 topics inside out than try and take on 5 and know little about each.

Start at the beginning of Easter

You can start later if you wanted to, but at this point you will go into panic mode! Better to give up this holiday and work through your preparation and start dreaming of your summer holiday, whether it’s a sunny break to Spain or you’re developing your skills on a summer project/internship. As you all know, it’s only 2 months of your life where dedication is key to success.

If it suits you, work in a group

Group work can prove to be successful and even though it may feel like you are working at a slower pace, information tends to be processed more deeply with other people around you, confirming or correcting your knowledge.

Remember – choose your group carefully; if they’re not motivated, it’s not going to work.

Set ground rules. Everyone will get frustrated at times, as it is a stressful period. Don’t take it personally but don’t get sidetracked either! Who’s sleeping with who is all good but not great on the exam paper if you can’t think what to write.

Be respectful and listen to each other. They might be wrong, but give them a chance to let it out and then discuss it as a group.

Use group work time as an opportunity to discuss and figure out your doubts and solutions, rather than sitting in a group and reading! You can do that on your own anyway!

Use a technique to suit you

We all learn in different ways; whether we prefer to see things, be practical, hear or watch. When you are revising, try to use a couple of methods of learning which suit you, rather than just one, as sometimes it can limit the information processed. Such as mind maps, notes, reading, answering short questions or watching short videos on the subject.

Remember: ‘Come off the page’ and test yourself. Don’t believe that by staring at the paper it will miraculously all stay in your head. Get someone to test your answers to re-confirm your revision.

Problem – What you revised doesn’t come up!

DON’T PANIC – answer the question you do know first but don’t spend too long on this, as if there are 2 questions, then both will weight 50%, so spending extra time may score an extra 5% (2.5% overall), whereas getting as much down about the weaker question should score at least 40/50% (20-25% overall)

Tip: Everyone has had the same information om the topic, but why not think about adding something different to stand out from the crowd? Be smart in your revision!


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