It’s coming to the end of second term and again the topic of exam revision arises; those dreaded assessments which stress most of us out to no end and deprive us of that spring sunshine in exchange for the dismal four walls of a study room.
The past two terms have passed in a flash and you’re wondering to yourself exactly what exam preparation you’ve done since September? If your answer to this question is “plenty…I’m very much ready” then you can stop reading this article, well done to you! However, if you’re panicking over that exam timetable that draws ever closer, then please read on – I hope this advice can calm you somewhat.
Exam revision should be approached with some form of plan in mind. Firstly, you should go through all your lecture notes and make a list of what each module has covered, so you know which topics need to be studied for the exam. Secondly, using your exam timetable, work out how many weeks you have between your last assignment deadline day and the start of the exam period; this way you know how much time you have to cover all of your modules. It also means you can schedule in some time off at the end of second term…we all need some of that!
Everyone learns differently and everyone can work for different amounts of time at maximum efficiency, so I am not going to generalise methods on how to study. Simply try out different methods and see which works for you and when you feel your mind wandering; that’s your time to stop and take a break!
3. Health and Diet
As well as revising, you need to make sure you look after yourself also! The brain cannot revise efficiently if it’s constantly in a state of stress! So take time out, eat well and schedule in half an hour of exercise every day.
In terms of taking time out, make sure it’s somewhere away from your study area. You won’t be able to truly relax if you’re surrounded by revision notes.
Regarding diet, do not resort to living off of crisps, chocolate, takeaways and those sandwiches from Loafer’s! You need to make sure you’re getting all those essential nutrients to keep your brain at its best! Snack food also makes you feel lazy and lethargic, hence can deter you from revising and instead, sit you slumped on a sofa frustrated and stressed out that you can’t find any motivation!
When I say half an hour exercise, I mean anything ranging from a walk around town, to a Pilates class, to a gym session or a run. Exercise keeps you alert and helps you sleep better, so it’s definitely worth it, especially for those sound nights asleep NOT worrying about exams!
4. Regime and Discipline
On a weekly basis, you should try and stick to your plan as much as possible! Remember this is not a permanent fixture; this is only until you have finished your exams, then you can spend all summer relaxing and rejoicing in the knowledge that it’s all over! Covering everything you’ve set out to study thoroughly and not missing anything out, means that you’re ready for any question the exam paper can throw at you. Also, you never know what you will remember or forget in an exam; for all you know that topic you perceive to be really difficult may provide an easy question in the exam paper. You’d be kicking yourself if that happened and you hadn’t revised it!
5. Personal Effort
Ultimately, you can only do your best! No one expects anything more of you! So by the end of your revision period, you should feel like you’ve done your best to prepare for these exams. Your results will reflect this and you should be proud! I’m not going to tell you that thorough note making during the academic year and thorough revision of your modules is a fail-safe plan to exam success! But what I will say, is working your hardest throughout the academic year and during revision time is the best way to feel confident that you have done your best! Walking into that exam room confident (and with a bag of sweets) is the best calming strategy. Remember, it’s only an exam!