The few weeks before the January exams start is one filled with terror. Last term feels years away and you begin to shout at yourself for leaving everything so late. We hope you have stumbled upon this post on one of your breaks and haven’t been cheating by having Facebook on in the background. Either way, we come offering help. We have put together a list of ten helpful revision tips to help you on your way and the majority we used when we were students ourselves. Get reading before your textbooks drag you back…
1. Start early. You’re more likely to cram info into your brain at 9am than you are at 2am in the morning. Even if you stay in bed with your books and a laptop, at least you are starting somewhere. We’d probably say sitting at a well lit desk is the best way to revise but choose whichever’s best for you.
2. Create a revision plan. Have your exam timetable and work back to about six weeks before. Anything you think you’re pretty confident with, allocate less time to and spend the remainder of your time getting your head round confusing dates and equations.
3. Turn your phone, Facebook, Twitter and anything else, off. Please. We’ve been there, done that and there’s nothing more distracting than having things right there for you to play with. Log onto a website that will temporarily block distracting sites for you; Try Self Control for Mac users or Hack my Study.
4. Make sure you have scheduled breaks throughout the day and most importantly, work hard enough to earn them! Eat bananas, leafy green veg and calcium rich foods to boost your brain power. Luckily, chocolate has been proven to improve cognitive skills and helps keep your mood up. Yay!
5. Get creative with your revision. If you lived in shared housing or student accommodation, get your flatmates to give you a hand. If you’re studying history, act it out. English? Read aloud and then talk about the literature. For science and maths, get a huge sheet of paper and write it all down as you work it out. It beats reading the same page over and over again.
6. Work through as many past papers as you can get your hands on. Get to the library, harass your tutor, scour the internet, anything to make sure you have as much help as possible. From experience, past papers are invaluable. Try to arrange with your tutor to go through some of your answers, either after a seminar or in a quick meeting. Make sure you print them out too, it’s much easier to scribble all over them by hand, rather than just reading online.
7. Make flash cards, mind maps, diagrams and pin all your ideas and facts wherever you can in your flat, (just be careful of the paintwork!) If you get into the habit of looking at them all the time, something’s bound to stick, isn’t it?
8. Have a change of scenery. If you’re stuck in the house 24/7, revision is going to get boring. Liverpool is full of nice venues where you can set your laptop up and have a nice snack at the same time. Try Leaf on Bold Street, Moose Coffee on Dale Street or anywhere on Lark Lane or Smithdown Road.
9. Be prepared before the exam starts. Make sure you’re up early enough to get there and find out where the building is exactly before you set out. We have horrible memories of being lost 20 minutes before an exam started once! Give time for the 86 and the 80 to slowly trudge into the city centre and know the train times well in advance.
10. Have a clear mind in the exam. Make sure you have all the right equipment and a watch handy. Have a glucose tablet or some chocolate before you go in to really get your mind going. Read the whole paper first and create a quick plan of your answer. Leave any higher mark questions till the end so you can really put all your relevant knowledge into it.
We’re getting nervous just writing this so we truly sympathise with all our hard working Liverpool students right now! After your exams are all done and dusted, put them out of your mind and get focusing on the new term; worrying post-exam does not help at all!
Lots of good luck wishes are being sent your way from the Rooms4u team.